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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Shifting Turkey from secularism to islamist on: October 10, 2014, 10:26:53 PM
Turkey's consitution requires the military to remove any govt that becomes religious.  A coup is what Turkey needed and still needs. Who ever wrote this piece needs to do some reading on Turkey's history.  Ataturk worked to remove people whose goal was to live under a caliphate.

Turkey's Military Resigns

by Austin Bay
August 2, 2011

In a democracy, when senior military officers can no longer support the policies of the elected civilian government they serve, they are supposed to resign their posts and retire -- not launch a coup.

This is one way to initially frame the complex circumstances surrounding last week's mass resignation by the most senior armed forces commanders in Turkey, the culturally Islamic nation bridging Europe and Asia and possessing NATO's second-largest military establishment.

It is a frame, however, with both encouragingly optimistic and oppressively pessimistic interpretations.

Let's start with the optimism. The Turkish military sees itself as the defender of Turkey's secular democracy. Ironically, in the process of defending democracy, on four occasions since 1960 the Turkish military has toppled an elected government, or threatened the government and precipitated its collapse. Coup leaders claimed they were protecting Turkey's political secularism and thereby ultimately defending democracy from the threat posed by Muslim recidivists and political extremists of the far left and right.

In the historical lens, the military insists it is forwarding the political and social modernization process begun by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. Ataturk was a visionary, a dedicated secularist modernizer who pursued a socially transformational agenda. For example, between 1922 and his death in 1938, he emancipated Turkish women and liberalized and expanded public education.

As a war-winning general, Ataturk used the military as the primary (though not sole) instrument in his modernization process. The army had prestige, organization and educated officers -- all valuable assets in a land devastated by its loss World War I and the subsequent carnage of its victory in the ugly little conflict known as the Greco-Turkish War. When Ataturk died, however, he left Turkey with a democratic structure, not a democracy.

The optimists now argue that the modernization process Ataturk initiated has succeeded. Twenty-first century Turkey now possesses a robust and resilient democracy supported by a free press, eclectic civil society and a middle class interested in expanding economic opportunities. It no longer needs military intervention in domestic politics.

Moreover, the 1980 coup tarnished Turkey's armed forces when it imposed a constitution that circumscribed democratic rights and enshrined military privileges -- a praetorian constitution is a phrase used by its many critics. Protection of democracy decayed to coups by a praetorian guard cadre intent on determining political outcomes. Democratic Turks don't want that.

The pessimists, however, see recidivist Islamists launching a systematic, stealthy coup to end democracy and create a religious tyranny. In the pessimists' interpretation, the late July military resignations signal that current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) have succeeded in sidelining, arresting or retiring military secularists. Once Erdogan and his cronies have removed the military secularists, they will rapidly replace other secular institutions with Islamic organizations and "re-Islamize" Turkey.

Erdogan's opponents argue that the very curious Ergenekon investigation is one of several noxious examples of Erdogan's plan to slowly strangle secular institutions. Erdogan's government alleges Ergenekon is a plot by secularists to destabilize Turkey and set the stage for another military coup. The government has accused hundreds of people of being involved in the murky conspiracy, including senior military officers.

The pessimists say Ergenekon and the so-called Sledgehammer coup conspiracy are poppycock and paranoia that serve Erdogan's dark motives. In pursuing the investigations, they argue that Erdogan has used state powers to intimidate, smear and imprison his secular opponents. His electoral triumph this June, which gave the AKP a large parliamentary majority, have convinced him he cannot be stopped. The mass resignations are all that a weakened general staff can manage -- they no longer have the power to act to stop the Islamist threat Erdogan represents.

Erdogan's harshest critics, however, recognize his commitment to economic development. Arguably, he has tied his own political future to sustaining economic growth. The economic disaster in neighboring Islamic Iran serves as a reminder of the wages of dogma: ossification, corruption, poverty and violent repression.

Economic growth requires adaptation, creativity and agility -- traits the Ataturk-inspired Turkish democracy possesses. Mr. Erdogan, take note.

2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: August 04, 2009, 10:52:49 PM
Russia and Israel.
Ahmed Hany May 12, 2009The ex-Soviet Union was the first country that recognized Israel. Moreover, there was an untold agreement between it and the Western powers to keep the military balance in the Middle East in the favor of the Hebrew State. The military relaxation in the Middle East was the term agreed by both superpowers while Israel was occupying Sinai, Golan, West Bank and Gaza. Egypt fought against the will of both superpowers to create new strategic facts on the ground, so that political negotiations could be profitable.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia kept the same views in the Middle East. It opened doors for its Jewish community to immigrate to Israel and within few years about a million and half Jews reached Israel from Russia. It kept the military balance by limiting arms supplies to its allies. It frankly assured Israel that its arms supplies to Syria and Iran will not change the military balance in the Middle East. These facts mean that Russia have an interest in keeping Israel in the region and safeguarding its security against all countries including Russia´s allies. This should be clear for those who still see the solution of the conflict in the Middle East would be only achieved by throwing Israel into the sea.

In fact Napoleon was the first who thought about creating a nation for Jews in the East separating Egypt from Turkey so that, the Ottoman Empire would collapse. Let us not forget that Russia saw the Ottoman Empire a strategic threat. The Egyptian army saved Turkey in its war against Russia. Few years later, when Mohamed Ali was about to transfer the capital of the Empire to Cairo to renew it against the will of the Ottoman Sultan, Russia joined the international alliance against Egypt. Then, Russia sees Israel beneficial for its strategy provided that Israel itself does not pose a threat to it. This clears the swinging Russian policy in the Middle East since creation of Israel. The Russians see the Israeli nuclear force hostile because they consider it a part of the Western nuclear force. However they see Israel vital for not creating a great power on their Southern borders.

Within the frame of the global conflict between NATO expansion to the East and the Russian desire to safeguard its vital space, the Balkan War erupted. Regardless of the victory over Georgia, the Russians discovered that their aerial surveillance by their unmanned aircrafts was not advanced like the equipments that their tiny rival used. Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Levini asked the military institutions to stop exporting arms to Georgia not to anger Russia. In fact, the untold agreement that kept the military balance in the Middle East is more important for Israel than Georgia.

Israel always tries to keep military relation and cooperation with any country that produce arms. That happened with China, India, Brazil, Argentina and even Turkey. While the Arabs might buy arms from these countries, Israel might provide technical aid to develop their industry. Of course cooperation with Israel is more profitable for these countries. Anyhow, Arabs would buy the older less advanced versions because they have no other choice. Israel even may spy on the US and exchange secrets with these countries as what happened with China. Therefore, it was normal for Russia to buy advanced unmanned aircrafts with 49 million dollars from Israel. One should not be astonished if Russia went into more cooperative steps as military exercise.

Since the Balkan War, Russia applies a new strategy that compete militarily with the US up to the level of threatening it European allies with ground to ground missiles and with long range strategic bomber planes. It consolidated its military presence in Latin America. Russia chose to return differently to the Middle East. It is returning to this volatile region as one of the Quartet not as a rival to the US. The difference shows the limit of Russian support to the Palestinian cause. Being a rival to the US opens the door for Russia to stand against Israel. Being one of the Quartet means that Russia would support solving the problem to reach the Two-States solution while safeguarding the presence and security of Israel.

Regarding the Iranian nuclear file, Russia is in favor of dialogue. However it refuses and perhaps more than the US that Iran becomes a nuclear power. Russia does not want another war on its Southern border that may destabilize Central Asia. Even in Afghanistan, Russia is ready to fight if NATO lost the war. It does not want to see Taliban rule again at any cost as the extremism would spread to it small republics that seek independence. Shanghai Cooperation Organization SCO that was formed by four Central Asian republics along with Russia and China did military exercise and is ready for development in Afghanistan. Some strategic analysts predict that SCO would not last long. However, it showed to the Russians that NATO operations in Afghanistan may form a good base for SCO-NATO cooperation. It is known that the US and NATO use unmanned aircrafts heavily for offensive operations against Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The conclusion is to change the military balance in the Middle East the Arabs should develop their ability to industrialize weapons. Russia may not take policies that contradict with the western powers and at the same time its policies are not a copy of them. The global strategy may open doors for some countries to be allies for a certain aim and their contradicting national strategies may lead them to be rivals in other subjects. The military industry and export is now more opened than before. While Russia buys unmanned aircrafts from Israel and provides Iran with military and nuclear aid, it may sell advanced air defense systems to Turkey, the NATO member while assuring that these systems will not be deployed in Syria and Iran.

Arabs should define their regional strategy and their role in the global strategy before talking to or criticizing global powers. They may discover opportunities by coordinating their strategy with the strategies of some global powers and they would know how to defuse threats. The real security strategy is built in schools, laboratories and research centers.
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-Russia on: August 04, 2009, 10:50:52 PM
Russian Subs Patrolling Off East Coast of U.S.


WASHINGTON — A pair of nuclear-powered Russian attack submarines has been patrolling off the eastern seaboard of the United States in recent days, a rare mission that has raised concerns inside the Pentagon and intelligence agencies about a more assertive stance by the Russian military.

The episode has echoes of the cold war era, when the United States and the Soviet Union regularly parked submarines off each other’s coasts to steal military secrets, track the movements of their underwater fleets — and be poised for war.

But the collapse of the Soviet Union all but eliminated the ability of the Russian Navy to operate far from home ports, making the current submarine patrols thousands of miles from Russia more surprising for military officials and defense policy experts.

“I don’t think they’ve put two first-line nuclear subs off the U.S. coast in about 15 years,” said Norman Polmar, a naval historian and submarine warfare expert.

The submarines are of the Akula class, a counterpart to the Los Angeles class attack subs of the United States Navy, and not one of the larger submarines that can launch intercontinental nuclear missiles.

According to Defense Department officials, one of the Russian submarines remained in international waters on Tuesday about 200 miles off the coast of the United States. The location of the second remained unclear. One senior official said the second submarine traveled south in recent days toward Cuba, while another senior official with access to reports on the surveillance mission said it had sailed away in a northerly direction.

The Pentagon and intelligence officials spoke anonymously to describe the effort to track the Russian submarines, which has not been publicly announced.

President Obama spoke by telephone with President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia on Tuesday, but it was not clear whether the subject of the submarines came up, although another source of friction between the two countries did. Mr. Medvedev called Mr. Obama to wish him a happy birthday and the White House said the president used the opportunity to urge Russia to work through diplomatic channels to resolve rising tensions with Georgia.

The submarine patrols come as Moscow tries to shake off the embarrassment of the latest failed test of the Bulava missile, a long-range weapon that was test fired from a submarine in the Arctic on July 15. The failed missile test was the sixth since 2005, and some experts see Russia’s assertiveness elsewhere as a gambit by the military to prove its continued relevance.

“It’s the military trying to demonstrate that they are still a player in Russian political and economic matters,” Mr. Polmar said.

One of the submarines is the newer Akula II, officials said, which is quieter than the older variant and the most advanced in the Russian fleet. The Akula is capable of carrying torpedoes for attacking other submarines and surface vessels as well as missiles for striking targets on land and at sea.

Defense Department officials declined to speculate on which weapons might be aboard the two submarines.

While the submarines have not taken any provocative action beyond their presence outside territorial waters of the United States, officials expressed wariness over the Kremlin’s motivation for ordering such an unusual mission.

“Anytime the Russian Navy does something so out of the ordinary it is cause for worry,” said a senior Defense Department official who has been monitoring reports on the submarines’ activities.

The official said the Navy was able to track the submarines as they made their way through international waters off the American coastline. This can be done from aircraft, ships, underwater sensors or other submarines.

“We’ve known where they were, and we’re not concerned about our ability to track the subs,” the official added. “We’re concerned just because they are there.”

Once among the world’s most powerful forces, the Russian Navy now has very few ships regularly deployed on the open seas. Moscow has contributed warships to the international armada searching for Somali pirates. In addition, a flotilla of Russian warships participated in exercises with Venezuela last year.
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: July 12, 2009, 03:36:47 PM
Gore: U.S. Climate Bill Will Help Bring About 'Global Governance'


Former Vice President Al Gore declared that the Congressional climate bill will help bring about “global governance.”

“I bring you good news from the U.S., “Gore said on July 7, 2009 in Oxford at the Smith School World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment, sponsored by UK Times.

“Just two weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey climate bill,” Gore said, noting it was “very much a step in the right direction.” President Obama has pushed for the passage of the bill in the Senate and attended a G8 summit this week where he agreed to attempt to keep the Earth's temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C.

Gore touted the Congressional climate bill, claiming it “will dramatically increase the prospects for success” in combating what he sees as the “crisis” of man-made global warming.

“But it is the awareness itself that will drive the change and one of the ways it will drive the change is through global governance and global agreements.” (Editor's Note: Gore makes the “global governance” comment at the 1min. 10 sec. mark in this UK Times video.)

Gore's call for “global governance” echoes former French President Jacques Chirac's call in 2000.

On November 20, 2000, then French President Chirac said during a speech at The Hague that the UN's Kyoto Protocol represented "the first component of an authentic global governance."

“For the first time, humanity is instituting a genuine instrument of global governance,” Chirac explained. “From the very earliest age, we should make environmental awareness a major theme of education and a major theme of political debate, until respect for the environment comes to be as fundamental as safeguarding our rights and freedoms. By acting together, by building this unprecedented instrument, the first component of an authentic global governance, we are working for dialogue and peace,” Chirac added.

Former EU Environment Minister Margot Wallstrom said, "Kyoto is about the economy, about leveling the playing field for big businesses worldwide." Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper once dismissed UN's Kyoto Protocol as a “socialist scheme.”

'Global Carbon Tax' Urged at UN Meeting

In addition, calls for a global carbon tax have been urged at recent UN global warming conferences. In December 2007, the UN climate conference in Bali, urged the adoption of a global carbon tax that would represent “a global burden sharing system, fair, with solidarity, and legally binding to all nations.”

“Finally someone will pay for these [climate related] costs,” Othmar Schwank, a global tax advocate, said at the 2007 UN conference after a panel titled “A Global CO2 Tax.”

Schwank noted that wealthy nations like the U.S. would bear the biggest burden based on the “polluters pay principle.” The U.S. and other wealthy nations need to “contribute significantly more to this global fund,” Schwank explained. He also added, “It is very essential to tax coal.”

The 2007 UN conference was presented with a report from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment titled “Global Solidarity in Financing Adaptation.” The report stated there was an “urgent need” for a global tax in order for “damages [from climate change] to be kept from growing to truly catastrophic levels, especially in vulnerable countries of the developing world.”

The tens of billions of dollars per year generated by a global tax would “flow into a global Multilateral Adaptation Fund” to help nations cope with global warming, according to the report.

Schwank said a global carbon dioxide tax is an idea long overdue that is urgently needed to establish “a funding scheme which generates the resources required to address the dimension of challenge with regard to climate change costs.”

'Redistribution of wealth'

The environmental group Friends of the Earth advocated the transfer of money from rich to poor nations during the 2007 UN climate conference.

"A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources,” said Emma Brindal, a climate justice campaigner coordinator for Friends of the Earth.

[Editor's Note: Many critics have often charged that proposed climate tax and regulatory “solutions” were more important to the promoters of man-made climate fears than the accuracy of their science. Former Colorado Senator Tim Wirth reportedly said, "We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing — in terms of economic policy and environmental policy."]
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: July 08, 2009, 01:14:06 PM
True unemployment rate already at 20%
Posted Jul 06 2009, 01:16 PM by Anthony Mirhaydari Rating:  Filed under: Target, Office Depot, Macy's, economy, Anthony Mirhaydari

Really, how hard is it to find a job? Was June's horrid numbers, in which 467,000 people lost their jobs compared to 345,000 in May, a one-time fluke? Or does it mean that all those Wall Street economists who believe the economic recovery is starting are dead wrong?

Not to scare you, but the situation is actually worse than it seems. Over the years, the government has changed the way it counts the unemployed. An example of this is the criticized Birth-Death Model which was added in 2000. The model is designed to account for the birth and death of businesses and the resultant lag in survey data. Unfortunately, the model doesn't work that well during economic contractions (like we have now) and consistently overstates the number of jobs being created each month.

John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics specializes in removing these questionable tweaks to the government's statistical data to better align current numbers with the methodology used to gather historical data. After reviewing the data, Williams believes that "the June jobs loss likely exceeded 700,000." David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff notes that the fall in the number of hours worked in June (to a record low of 33 per week) is equivalent to a loss of more than 800,000 jobs.

There are similar issues with the way the unemployment rate is measured. The headline rate only jumped from 9.4% to 9.5% because of a drop in the number of people in the workforce. The more inclusive "U-6" measure of unemployment, which includes discouraged workers, jumped from 16.4% to 16.5%. But even this doesn't adequately capture the situation on the ground: Back in the Clinton Administration, the definition of discouraged worker was changed to only include those that had given up looking for work because there were no jobs to be had within the last year.

By adding these folks back in, William's SGS-Alternate Unemployment Measure rose to a jaw-dropping 20.6%. Separately, the Center for Labor Market Studies in Boston puts U.S. unemployment at 18.2%. Any way you cut the numbers, the situation is very bad. According to David Rosenberg, one-in-three among the unemployed have been looking for a job for more than six months and still can't find one.

This brings us to another issue: expiring unemployment benefits. Continuing unemployment claims fell 53,000 to 6.7 million last week, but Deutsche Bank's chief U.S. economist Joseph LaVorgna wonders how much of this decline is due people exhausting their standard 26-week benefit. He says: "We are concerned about what will happen when a significant share of out-of-work individuals' benefits completely expire, because this could lead consumer spending to re-weaken, hence jeopardizing a fragile recovery."

Unless the economy starts getting traction here in the third quarter, we could face a situation where people find that they have no job and no unemployment benefits. For these people, 2009 will feel an awful lot like 1932. As a result, spending cuts will be deep and dramatic.

My positions

The ongoing job losses will continue to weigh on the retail sector -- which was one of the best performing groups coming out of the March low. I've added short positions in Target (TGT), Macy's (M), and Office Depot (ODP) to my portfolio. Besides penny-pinching consumers, retailers face a federal minimum wage increase as well as a tough back-to-school and holiday shopping season.

Disclosure: The author does not own or control a position in any of the funds or companies mentioned.

Anthony Mirhaydari is a researcher for the Strategic Advantage investment newsletter. He can be contacted at Feel free to comment below.
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: July 07, 2009, 07:56:01 AM
Oil, Gas Market Speculation May Face Restrictions by U.S. CFTC
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By Tina Seeley

July 7 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. regulators say they may clamp down on oil and gas price speculators by limiting the holdings of energy futures traders, including index and exchange-traded funds.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will hold hearings to explore the need for government-imposed restrictions on speculative trading in oil, gas and other energy markets, Chairman Gary Gensler said today in a statement. The agency didn’t say when the hearings would start or who would be asked to testify.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, and Representative Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat, have called for action to avoid a repeat of last year’s run-up in crude oil prices to a record $147.21 a barrel, which they blame on speculators. Oil has climbed 44 percent this year in New York Mercantile Exchange trading, even amid a drop in demand and high levels of fuel in storage.

“Our first hearing will focus on whether federal speculative limits should be set by the CFTC to all commodities of finite supply, in particular energy commodities, such as crude oil, heating oil, natural gas, gasoline and other energy products,” Gensler said in the statement. “This will include a careful review of the appropriateness of exemptions from these limits for various types of market participants.”

Billionaire investor George Soros told a Senate hearing in June 2008 that the oil price increase that year was caused partly by index funds that buy only oil contracts. Index funds and exchange-traded funds, which mimic an index, can hold oil contracts in excess of available supply.

Emergency Authority

Sanders has introduced legislation that would force the CFTC to invoke emergency authority to stop oil speculation. The agency is seeking input on whether it should impose aggregate position limits, Gensler said.

Gensler said in a letter to lawmakers earlier this year that speculators contributed to an asset bubble in commodities in 2008. His statement broke from former CFTC Acting Chairman Walter Lukken, who testified to Congress on Sept. 11 that there wasn’t “strong evidence” index traders were driving up prices.

Gensler wouldn’t say in an interview last week if he thought the same thing was happening this year.

“The CFTC currently sets and ensures adherence to position limits with respect to certain agriculture products,” Gensler said in the statement. “For energy commodities, futures exchanges set position limits and accountability levels to protect against manipulation and congestion. The exchanges are not required to set and enforce position limits to prevent the burdens of excessive speculation.”

‘Bona Fide Hedging’

The chairman said the CFTC is reviewing exemptions from position limits for “bona fide hedging,” after seeking public comment on whether the exemption should continue to apply to traders who are in the market for financial reasons, rather than those that actually use the commodity.

Gensler also said the agency was going to improve its weekly commitment of traders’ reports by separating swaps dealers from hedge funds. The agency will continue to collect and report data from swaps dealers and index investors, extending a “special call” from last year, Gensler said.

“Enhancing the quality of information in these weekly reports will better inform market participants and the public about the positions of the various types of traders,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tina Seeley in Washington at
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-- Europe on: July 03, 2009, 09:36:32 PM

You know I consider you a brother in arms, so forgive a moment of smart-assedness, but I gather your response means you are backing off your claim of the Russians opening bases in Latin America, and therefore acknowledging the point implicit in my question about how we might feel about a Russian base/alliance of mutual defense with Russia-- yes?

Personally, i think Russia was encouraged to start up the cold war games after we rammed the seperation of Kosovo away from serbia down the throats of the russians and serbs.  Im still trying to figure out why we took a city that is considered the cradle of the orthadox church away from the serbs and gave it to muslims who can only trace their ansestry there back to the 1500's and the last ottoman crusade into europe.

A new Cuban missile crisis? Russia eyes bomber bases in Latin America
It could be bluffing or it might be payback – Russia says it's 'ready to fly' bombers to Venezuela and Cuba.
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-- Europe on: July 03, 2009, 04:55:40 PM
I saw about the joint exercises, but as far as the logic of the point goes, were they or we doing this first?

As far as opening bases goes, when?  Where?

You are a serious student of this part of the world (Georgia, etc) so I would be particularly glad to get your assessment of my additional questions/points.

I was talking to our office there this week.  Russia has moved a considerable amount of men and supplies into Georgia's break away regions and are provoking the Georgians on a daily basis.  Shootings, assassination's and motarings are common on the border areas.  The Georgians are desperate to get into Nato, they figure if they are not admitted soon the Russians will walk in and take Georgia back.

One thing that was not reported last time around, the Georgian military did not tuck tail and run.  They were killing russians at a rate of 10-1.  They did rush their armor back to Tbilisi but they figured that they were going to be forced to make a last stand.  this time Russia will probably not stop, they will install a new govt and say they were freeing the people from a tyrant

9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sharia comes to Dearborn MI on: July 03, 2009, 04:48:43 PM
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fall of Capitalism, Rise of Islam conference in Chicago on: July 03, 2009, 11:42:13 AM
You beat me to it.

11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-- Europe on: July 03, 2009, 11:39:14 AM
Russia is opening bases in South America again. Last summer they did joint exercises with Cuba and Venzuala

Many good points in this article.

That said, I find myself wishing its thinking were placed more into a historical context. 

Did not President Clinton promise that we would not take NATO into eastern Europe?

What was the point of our supporting the creation of a breakaway country in the former Yugoslavia against extremely strong Russian discontent on the point? (for reasons of the implications in international law for regions on their periphery IIRC)

How would we feel about Mexico forming military alliance with Russia?

Was it not a major error of President Bush to start something with Russia that we were not in a position to back up?  We still have 130,000 troops in Iraq, and our generals in Afpakia have been told not to ask for any more troops, even though they need them.  If Pakistan goes down the toilet, how will we supply our troops in Afg?  President BO seems to think cutting a deal with Putin et al is the way to go.  (The blithering stupidity of such a course of action I trust is apparent to all here.)  The Russians continue to play balance of power politics pitting us and the Iranians with occasional support for Iranian nukes and militarization.

Good rule:  Don't finish what you can't start.

Led as we are at the moment, with our economy rapidly spiraling into serious vortexes, are we up to this?
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Russia-- Europe on: July 03, 2009, 12:15:14 AM
Russia Is Back on the Warpath
The West must reaffirm its support for Georgia
With President Barack Obama's trip to Moscow on Monday, you might expect Russia to avoid stirring up any trouble. Yet the Russian media are now abuzz with speculation about a new war in Georgia, and some Western analysts are voicing similar concerns. The idea seems insane. Nonetheless, the risk is real.

One danger sign is persistent talk of so-called Georgian aggression against the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Russia recognized as independent states after the war last August. "Georgia is rattling its weapons . . . and has not given up on attempts to solve its territorial problems by any means," Gen. Nikolai Makarov, who commanded Russian troops in Georgia in 2008, told the Novosti news agency on June 17. Similar warnings have been aired repeatedly by the state-controlled media.

Independent Russian commentators, such as columnist Andrei Piontkovsky, note that this has the feel of a propaganda campaign to prepare the public for a second war. Most recently, Moscow has trotted out a Georgian defector, Lt. Alik D. Bzhania, who claims that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili "intends to restart the war."

Yet Russia is the one currently engaged in large-scale military exercises in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and adjacent regions. Russia has also kicked out international observers from the area. On June 15, Moscow vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution renewing the mandate of U.N. monitors in Abkhazia because it mentioned an earlier resolution affirming Georgia's territorial integrity. Negotiations to extend the mission of monitors for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have broken down thanks to Russian obstruction. Now, 225 European Union monitors are the only international presence on the disputed borders.

The expulsion of neutral observers seems odd if Russia is worried about Georgian aggression. But it makes sense if Russia is planning an attack.

What would the Kremlin gain? A crushing victory in Georgia would depose the hated Mr. Saakashvili, give Russia control of vital transit routes for additional energy resources that could weaken its hold on the European oil and gas markets, humiliate the U.S., and distract Russians from their economic woes. Mr. Piontkovsky also believes the war drive comes from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is anxious to reassert himself as supreme leader.

Still, the costs would be tremendous. Last year the Kremlin repaired some of the damage to its relations with Europe and the U.S. by portraying the invasion of Georgia as a response to a unique crisis, not part of an imperial strategy. Another war would cripple Russia's quest for respectability in the civilized world, including its vanity project of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

And after the patriotic fervor wears off, domestic discontent would likely follow. Moreover, Russia would almost certainly find itself mired in a long guerilla war. This would further destabilize a region where Russia's own provinces, Ingushetia and Dagestan, are plagued by violent turmoil.

Given all this, a war seems unlikely. What's more probable is that Russia will seek to destabilize Georgia without military action. This saber-rattling may be meant to boost Georgian opposition to Mr. Saakashvili.

Still, Moscow's actions are not always rational. If the pro-war faction believes that the Western response to an assault on Georgia would be weak and half-hearted, it could be emboldened. In a June 25 column on the Web site, Russian journalist Yulia Latynina writes that the probability of the war "depends solely on the Kremlin's capacity to convince itself that it can convince the world that the war is its enemies' fault."

That is why it's essential for the United States and the EU to respond now -- by increasing their non-military presence in Georgia, expressing a strong commitment to Georgian sovereignty, and reminding Russia of the consequences of aggression. Such a statement from President Obama in Moscow would go a long way toward preventing the possibility of another tragedy.

Ms. Young is a columnist for and the author of "Growing Up in Moscow" (Ticknor & Fields, 1989).

13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: July 01, 2009, 09:00:24 PM
The Sound Of Suppressed Science Canada's top authority on polar bears is barred from


from .....

The Sound Of Suppressed Science

Canada's top authority on polar bears is barred from .... international meeting on polar bears, of course!
Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching the status and management of polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.
Dr Taylor agrees that the Arctic has been warming over the last 30 years. But he ascribes this not to rising levels of CO2 – as is dictated by the computer models of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and believed by his PBSG colleagues – but to currents bringing warm water into the Arctic from the Pacific and the effect of winds blowing in from the Bering Sea.
He has also observed, however, how the melting of Arctic ice, supposedly threatening the survival of the bears, has rocketed to the top of the warmists' agenda as their most iconic single cause. The famous photograph of two bears standing forlornly on a melting iceberg was produced thousands of times by Al Gore, the WWF and others as an emblem of how the bears faced extinction – until last year the photographer, Amanda Byrd, revealed that the bears, just off the Alaska coast, were in no danger. Her picture had nothing to do with global warming and was only taken because the wind-sculpted ice they were standing on made such a striking image.
Dr Taylor had obtained funding to attend this week's meeting of the PBSG, but this was voted down by its members because of his views on global warming. The chairman, Dr Andy Derocher, a former university pupil of Dr Taylor's, frankly explained in an email (which I was not sent by Dr Taylor) that his rejection had nothing to do with his undoubted expertise on polar bears: "it was the position you've taken on global warming that brought opposition".
Dr Taylor was told that his views running "counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful".

By the way, the average temperature in the arctic this year is still below zero, "the latest date that this has happened in 50 years of record-keeping".
14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-Russia on: June 30, 2009, 01:56:14 PM

Russia Holds Largest War Games Since War With Georgia _ In Signal To Georgia, And To US

Thousands of troops, backed by hundreds of tanks, artillery and other heavy weaponry, began rumbling through the North Caucasus on Monday, as Russia began its largest military exercises since last year's war with Georgia.

The Caucasus 2009 war games are being seen by many experts as a warning shot for nearby Georgia, where the government says it has rearmed armed forces and where NATO recently wrapped up its own exercises.

Experts say the exercises may also be signal to the United States that Russia will give no ground on its efforts to maintain an exclusive sphere of influence in Georgia and other former Soviet republics. The games run through July 6 _ the day that President Barack Obama arrives in Moscow for a highly anticipated summit with Russia's Dmitry Medvedev.

Defense Ministry official say more than 8,500 troops will take part, along with nearly 200 tanks, armored vehicles, 100 artillery units and several units from Russia's Black Sea naval fleet.

The exercises, which are being personally overseen by Gen. Nikolai Makarov, the chief of Russia's General Staff, are structured around a theoretical crisis situation that spirals out of control into open fighting, the ministry said.

Tensions remain high between Russia and Georgia, which lost authority over the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia during the war in August. Russia has been building military bases, storage facilities for supplies and roads in the two regions, which Moscow recognized as independent, and around 6,000 troops are based in each region.

Moscow has been openly hostile to Georgia's ambitions to join NATO and has signaled that it would not tolerate any other ex-Soviet republics from joining the alliance.

Still, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has not backed down on his drive for NATO membership and his efforts to draw closer to the United States.

Last month, NATO wrapped up a month of its own training exercises in Georgia, though just a few hundreds troops participated. Despite the small size of the games, Russia was irked, calling them a provocation.

Deputy Defense Minister Col. Gen. Alexander Kolmakov was quoted by Russian media on Monday as saying that the Caucasus 2009 exercises were adjusted as a result of the NATO games and would be "quite major, as compared with those that were conducted in Soviet times."

NATO and Russia over the weekend agreed to resume military ties that had been frozen after the Georgian war.
15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: June 29, 2009, 10:11:54 AM
Fading of the Dollar's Dominance

As a result, the IMF is now set to "print" $300 billion worth of SDRs -- 10 times more than currently exist -- for distribution to nations around the globe. They will effectively be held as reserve deposits by each nation's central bank.

Some, like Bergsten, have argued the SDRs' role should be taken a step further, allowing them to serve as a de facto global reserve currency. Bergsten has advocated, for instance, the idea of nations such as China "trading in" their dollars for SDRs, allowing for an orderly transition away from the greenback without causing a sharp fluctuation in the dollar's market value.

"Like it or not, the dollar is going to lose some of its global status," Bergsten said. "So maybe it's time we just accepted that and figured out the best and most orderly way to make that happen."
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: June 28, 2009, 05:31:10 PM
Global Warming Bubble   (Bubble #6 from a fantastic exposé by Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone)

It's early June in Washington, D.C. Barack Ohama, a popular young politician whose leading private campaign donor was an investment bank called Goldman Sachs - its employees paid some $981,000 to his campaign - sits in the White House. Having seamlessly navigated the political minefield of the bailout era, Goldman is once again back to its old business, scouting out loopholes in a new government-created market with the aid of a new set of alumni occupying key government jobs.

Gone are Hank Paulson and Neel Kashkari; in their place arc Treasury chief of staff Mark Patterson and CFTC chief Gary Gensler, both former Goldmanites. (Gensler was the firm's co-head of finance.) And instead of credit derivatives or oil futures or mortgage-backed  CDOs, the new game in town, the next bubble, is in carbon credits - a booming trillion dollar market that barely even exists yet, but will if the Democratic Party that it gave $4,452,585 to in the last election manages to push into existence a ground breaking new commodities bubble, disguised as an "environmental plan," called cap-and-trade.

The new carbon-credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that's been kind to Goldman, except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won't even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance.

Here's how it works: If the bill passes, there will be limits for coal plants, utilities, natural-gas distributors and numerous other industries on the amount of carbon emissions (a.k.a. greenhouse gases) they can produce per year. If the companies go over their allotment, they will be able to buy "allocations" or credits from other companies that have managed to produce fewer emissions. President Obama conservatively estimated that about $646 billion worth of carbon credits will be auctioned in the first seven years; one of his top economic aides speculates that the real number might be twice or even three times that amount.

The feature of this plan that has special appeal to speculators is that the "cap" on carbon will be continually lowered by the government, which means that carbon credits will become more and more scarce with each passing year. Which means that this is a brand-new commodities market where the main commodity to be traded is guaranteed to rise in price over time. The volume of this new market will be upwards of a trillion dollars annually for comparison's sake, the annual combined revenues of all electricity suppliers in the U.S. total $320 billion.

Goldman wants this bill. The plan is (1) to get in on the ground floor of paradigm shifting legislation, (2) make sure that they're the profit-making slice of that paradigm and (3) make sure the slice is a big slice. Goldman started pushing hard for cap-and-trade long ago, but things really ramped up last year when the firm spent $3.5 million to lobby climate issues. (One of their lobbyists at the time was none other than Patterson, now Treasury chief of staff.) Back in 2005, when Hank Paulson was chief of Goldman, he personally helped author the bank's environmental policy, a document that contains some surprising elements for a firm that in all other areas has been consistently opposed to any sort of government regulation.

Paulson's report argued that "voluntary action alone cannot solve the climate-change problem." Few years later, the bank's carbon chief, Ken Newcombe, insisted that cap-and-trade alone won't be enough to fix the climate problem and called for further public investments in research and development. Which is convenient, considering that Goldman made early investments in wind power (it bought a subsidiary called Horizon Wind Energy), renewable diesel (it is an investor in a firm called Changing World Technologies) and solar power (it partnered with BP Solar), exactly the kind of deals that will prosper if the government forces energy producers to use cleaner energy. As Paulson said at the time, "We're not making those investments to lose money."

The bank owns a 10 percent stake in carbon credits will be traded.  Moreover, Goldman owns a minority stake in Blue Source LLC, a Utah-based firm that sells carbon credits of the type that will be in great demand if the bill passes. Nobel Prize winner AI Gore, who is intimately involved with the planning of cap-and-trade, started up a company called Generation Investment Management with three former bigwigs from Goldman Sachs Asset Management, David Blood, Mark Ferguson and Peter Hanis. Their business? Investing in carbon offsets, There's also a $500 million Green Growth Fund set up by a Goldmanite to invest in green-tech...the list goes on and on. Goldman is ahead of the headlines again, just waiting for someone to make it rain in the right spot. Will this market be bigger than the energy-futures market?

"Oh, it'll dwarf it," says a former staffer on the House energy committee.

Well, you might say, who cares? If cap-and-trade succeeds, won't we all be saved from the catastrophe of global warming? Maybe but cap-and-trade, as envisioned by Goldman, is really just a carbon tax structured so that private interests collect the revenues. Instead of simply imposing a fixed government levy on carbon pollution and forcing unclean energy producers to pay for the mess they make, cap and trade will allow a small tribe of greedy-as-hell Wall Street swine to turn yet another commodities market into a private tax-collection scheme. This is worse than the bailout: It allows the bank to seize taxpayer money before it's even collected.

"If it's going to be a tax, I would prefer that Washington set the tax and collect it," says Michael Masters, the hedge fund director who spoke out against oil-futures speculation. "But we're saying that Wall Street can set the tax, and Wall Street can collect the tax. That's the last thing in the world I want, It's just asinine."

Cap-and-trade is going to happen. Or, if it doesn't, something like it will. The moral is the same as for all the other bubbles that Goldman helped create, from 1929 to 2009. In almost every case, the very same bank that behaved recklessly for years, weighing down the system with toxic loans and predatory debt, and accomplishing nothing but massive bonuses for a few bosses, has been rewarded with mountains of virtually free money and government guarantees - while the actual victims in this mess, ordinary taxpayers, are the ones paying tor it.

It's not always easy to accept the reality of what we now routinely allow these people to get away with; there's a kind of collective denial that kicks in when a country goes through what America has gone though lately, when a people lose as much prestige and status as we have in the past few years. You can't really register the fact that you're no longer a citizen of a thriving first-world democracy, that you're no longer above getting robbed in broad daylight, because like an amputee, you can still sort of feel things Bat are no longer there.

But this is it. This is the world we live in now. And in this world, some of us have to play by the rules, while others get a note from the principal excusing them from homework till the end of time, plus 10 billion free dollars in a paper bag to buy lunch. It's a gangster state, running on gangster economics, and even prices can't be trusted anymore; there are hidden taxes in every buck you pay. And maybe we can't stop it, but we should at least know where it's all going.
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: June 27, 2009, 08:48:36 PM
On June 15th California implemented another foreclosure moratorium.  The California Foreclosure Prevention Act (CFPA) was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger which adds another 90 days to the foreclosure process.  If you recall, a similar law was put into place in 2008 and turned out to be an utter failure.  So what do we do?  We virtually create another replica plan for a second go around.  The plan will fail on so many levels and we will discuss the reasons why in this article.  California has taken a major beating since it was part of the housing bubble mania and is now at the forefront of the bubble bursting.

The problem with dealing with the current foreclosure issue in California is how the issue is being framed.  Take this perspective for example:

“(SF Chronicle) The goal is to compel banks to do systematic loan modifications across California to reduce our foreclosure rate, which is the highest in the nation,” said Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, who wrote the bill. “Until we slow that down, the California economy cannot recover.”

I appreciate the perspective but dropping the foreclosure rate in the short-term to pad statistics is flawed for many reasons.  The way the plan is devised, it will create an army of lifelong renters with onerous mortgage terms.  This is helping no one except servicers to get a nice kick back for modifying the loan and padding foreclosure data in the short term.  Take a look at how the last moratorium turned out in California:
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: June 25, 2009, 04:44:52 PM
Iranian diplomats disinvited from Canada Day ceremonies
Iranian diplomats disinvited from Canada Day ceremonies
Updated Thu. Jun. 25 2009 4:12 PM ET News Staff

The Harper government has disinvited Iranian diplomats from attending Canada Day ceremonies in Ottawa to express its displeasure with the Iranian government's bloody crackdown against opposition supporters.

The move follows a similar one by the U.S. for its July 4th celebrations.

Reporting from Ottawa, CTV's Graham Richardson said the government is "trying to send a signal in a very strong way they are not pleased with what's going on in Iran" following disputed presidential elections.

Richardson said a senior government source told him that part of Canada Day "is celebrating Canadian liberties," and that the government "doesn't see a role for Iran to play on that day given what happened in Iran over the last few weeks."

Traditionally the prime minister invites representatives of foreign governments to celebrate Canada Day on Parliament Hill.
19  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: toronto dbma training camp featuring Crafty Dog, Top Dog and Sled Dog Aug 21-23 on: June 21, 2009, 10:53:46 PM
Im only an 1 hour north east of there.  Im in for sure. 
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: June 18, 2009, 11:02:07 AM
Its an idea that a economic fascist would love.

I fear for you guys.  Things are changing so fast, there is no time to mount opposition to half of what is being passed.  What the heck is going on with all the Czars?  why does obama feel it nessesary to appoint people to power that are not accountable to anyone but obama?Huh?

Your stock market is up today on the news that job losses were only 600K and that jobless claims are down by 145k........... because those 145k's benifits have expired.  Its like a group of people going over a waterfall while cheering because the drop is only 200ft, 50ft less then expected.
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: June 17, 2009, 10:36:50 AM
The Fed Becomes a Dictator
"President Barack Obama is expected Wednesday to propose the most sweeping reorganization of financial-market supervision since the 1930s, a revamp that would touch almost every corner of banking from how mortgages are underwritten to the way exotic financial instruments are traded.

At the center of the plan, which administration officials are referring to as a "white paper," is a move to remake powers of the Federal Reserve to oversee the biggest financial players, give the government the power to unwind and break up systemically important companies -- much like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. does with failed banks ...

Lawmakers are expected to take issue with several of the plan's more thorny issues, including how to create a system that won't simply bail out large financial companies when they topple. Giving the Fed more clout -- in light of recent criticism from lawmakers, both Republican and Democratic, of its secrecy and accumulation of power -- will also be a controversial idea."

Question to ponder: Since there is really nothing Fed about the Fed other than it's head is appointed by the POTUS, do you feel like a private banking cartel should have the power to dismantle private companies much like the FDIC does with failed banks?
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: June 17, 2009, 08:22:34 AM

The other Islamist threat in Pakistan


THE DANGER of an Islamist takeover of Pakistan is real. But it does not come from the Taliban guerrillas now battling the Pakistan Army in the Swat borderlands. It comes from a proliferating network of heavily armed Islamist militias in the Punjab heartland and major cities directed by Lashkar-e-Taiba, a close ally of Al Qaeda, which staged the terrorist attack last November in Mumbai, India.


Pakistan’s failure to crack down on Lashkar-e-Taiba militias and the recent release of two of its leaders jailed after the Mumbai attack led to an angry exchange on Monday at a meeting in Russia between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan Prime Minister Asif Ali Zardari.

No new US aid commitments should be made to Islamabad until it takes decisive action to disarm Lashkar-e-Taiba in accordance with Article 256 of the Pakistan Constitution, which bars private militias. The administration wants to provide $3 billion in new military aid on top of the $10 billion already showered on Pakistan since 2001, together with a five-year, $7.5 billion program of economic aid. Surprisingly, while congressional leaders are seeking to attach a variety of conditions to the aid package, they have so far ignored the critical issue of the militias.

Disarming Lashkar-e-Taiba should be the top US priority in Pakistan because it would greatly reduce the possibility of a coup by Islamist sympathizers in the armed forces. The closet Islamists in the Army and the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) are not likely to risk a coup in Islamabad unless they can count on armed support from Lashkar-e-Taiba and its allies to help them consolidate their grip on the countryside.

Equally important, a strong US stand on Lashkar-e-Taiba is necessary to defuse India-Pakistan tensions that could lead to another war and to sustain the improvement now taking place in US relations with India, a rising power eight times larger than Pakistan.

New Delhi fears a repeat of the Mumbai massacre, in which 166 were killed, and views US readiness to pressure Islamabad on the militias as a litmus test of US friendship.

To be sure, the Pakistan government did make a show of cracking down on Lashkar-e-Taiba after the Mumbai tragedy. It banned it, placed two of its leaders under house arrest, and jailed and arrested six of its operatives on charges of “facilitating a terrorist act.’’ But the two leaders were released on June 2. The government stopped short of breaking up the militias and destroying the weapons stockpiles at their four training camps near Muridke and Muzaffarabad, and it has yet to prosecute the six prisoners or to arrest Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, identified by US and Indian intelligence sources as the ringleader of the Mumbai attack, who is still at large.


Under a new name, Jawad-ud-Dawa, Lashkar-e-Taiba has continued to operate its militias, its FM radio station, and hundreds of seminaries where jihadis are trained, in addition to its legitimate charities and educational institutions. When the UN designated Jawat-ud-Dawa as a terrorist group, the Pakistan government issued another ban and Jawat-ud-Dawa changed its name to the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.

The “foundation’’ now has 2,000 members doing relief work in war-torn Swat with the approval of the Pakistan government, amid credible reports that it is using its humanitarian cover to recruit new members as it did after the 2002 Kashmir earthquake.

Lashkar-e-Taiba is on the Sunni side of the Sunni-Shia doctrinal divide in Islam and has its deepest roots in a 20,000-square-mile swath of southern Punjab between Jhang and Bahawalpur, where it champions the cause of landless Sunni peasants indentured to big Shia landowners.

“It is common knowledge that the local police are in their pocket in much of that area,’’ retired diplomat Tariq Fatemi, a former ambassador to Washington, told me recently.


Sunni extremist groups have been active in the Punjab since the creation of Pakistan and became the nucleus of Lashkar-e-Taiba when the ISI, with US funding, built up a jihadi movement to fight against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Lashkar-e-Taiba and key allies such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi still get ISI support and have close ties with other intelligence agencies, but how much and how close remain uncertain.

Like Al Qaeda to Americans, Lashkar-e-Taiba is a powerful emotive symbol to the 1.2 billion people of India. Hindu nationalists use this symbolism to fan fears of another Mumbai and to step up demands for reprisals against Pakistan. Increasingly, they are criticizing the United States for giving Pakistan money and weaponry without monitoring whether they are being used to strengthen Pakistan forces on the Indian border.

Why, they ask, should the United States give another $10.5 billion in aid, on top of the $14 billion already provided since 2001, to a government in Islamabad that is unwilling or unable to disarm home-grown terrorists who threaten India?


Why, indeed.

Selig S. Harrison is author of “Pakistan, The State of the Union,’’ a report just published by the Center for International Policy, where he is director of the Asia program.


23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: June 15, 2009, 10:22:29 PM
Notice the U.S and the UK were not invited?

MOSCOW — Leaders of some of the world’s most powerful economies are gathering on Tuesday to plot how they can exert more control over the global financial system as it takes its first wobbly steps toward recovery.

Yet not an American or Western European will be in the bunch.

The first summit meeting of the so-called BRIC group — Brazil, Russia, India and China — is intended to underscore the rising economic clout of these four major developing countries and their demand for a greater voice in the world. And Russia, the group’s host and ideological provocateur, is especially interested in using the summit to fire a shot across Washington’s bow.

All four countries have expressed varying degrees of discomfort with Washington’s financial stewardship, and are particularly concerned about the value of the dollar at a time of rapidly mounting indebtedness in the United States. At the same time, most economists say the BRIC countries can do little to change the current architecture of the global financial system, and that the outcome of this meeting will be largely symbolic.

The BRIC countries comprise about 15 percent of the world economy and, perhaps more important, have about 40 percent of global currency reserves. Brazil, India and China have also weathered the financial crisis better than the world as a whole.

While they are far from a monolithic group, they are generally united in their frustration with the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency, which enables Washington to run budget deficits without fears of facing the kind of budgetary day of reckoning that other countries risk.

The excess dollars fill up in foreign central banks, leaving those countries with a difficult choice: reinvesting the dollars in United States securities or holding them and facing an increase in the value of their own currencies, making their products less competitive in world markets.

While there have been periodic complaints about the dollar through the years, the criticisms from the BRIC countries have become more frequent and more acerbic lately, and have included calls for a supranational currency to replace the dollar.

In March, the prime minister of China, Wen Jiabao, expressed concerns about United States budget deficits, suggesting they might lead to inflation, a weaker dollar and rising yields on Treasuries, any one of which would hurt China’s $1 trillion investment in American government debt. Later that month, the head of the Chinese central bank called for a new international currency to replace the dollar.

For the Kremlin, undermining the dollar as the prevailing medium of exchange reflects a broader Russian belief that the United States exercises a dominance in global affairs that exceeds its diminishing power.

“What we need are financial institutions of a completely new type, where particular political issues and motives, and particular countries, will not dominate,” Russia’s president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, said this month.

Senior officials in most of the BRIC governments — India, which does not depend as much on trade, is something of an exception — assert that while the United States has acted irresponsibly over the last 30 years by amassing too much debt, they will be the ones who suffer.

“The world economy should not remain entangled, so directly and unnecessarily, in the vicissitudes of a single great world power,” said Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Brazil’s minister for strategic affairs. “The developing countries should not have to see painfully accumulated hard-currency reserves fall under the shadow of major devaluations.”

China, Brazil and Russia have said recently that they will purchase notes from the International Monetary Fund to begin diversifying their reserves.

Still, the reality is that even many forceful critics of the dollar see no immediate alternative to it as the vehicle for international trade. No other markets in the world have the depth and liquidity of those in the United States, experts say.

And the four BRIC countries, while newly emboldened, have starkly different economies and relationships with the United States, complicating their attempts to unite. Each of the four also has a currency that either has been historically unstable or is not easily convertible.

“Between the BRIC countries, there is really little in common,” said Yevgeny G. Yasin, head of research at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. “Each of them has its own destiny, its own special character, and it will be much more difficult for them to agree among themselves than separately with Western countries.”

China, whose economy dwarfs those of the other three, depends on the export of manufactured goods to the United States and Europe. Russia sells oil, natural gas and other natural resources abroad. Brazil focuses on agricultural exports, while India’s growth has been largely based on its domestic market.

The four countries do not necessarily do much business with one another. Only two percent of China’s trade last year was with Russia, though the countries are neighbors, according to official statistics.

At the same time, Brazil announced this year that China had surpassed the United States as its largest trading partner, and said last month that they would look for ways to finance their trade without the dollar.

The very notion of the BRIC nations was conceived in 2001 by an economist for Goldman Sachs, and only then embraced by the countries themselves. Their leaders have conducted informal discussions before, but the event on Tuesday in the central Russian city of Yekaterinburg will mark their first formal gathering, officials said.

Russia has sent somewhat mixed signals recently regarding how determined it is to confront the dollar. Last week, it announced that it would purchase bonds from the International Monetary Fund, but then the finance minister, Aleksei L. Kudrin, acknowledged that the world was not yet ready for another reserve currency.

Vladimir A. Mau, rector of the Academy of National Economy, a government advisory organization in Moscow, said Russia and the other BRIC countries had legitimate worries that the United States was piling up too much debt. But Mr. Mau said that at this point, he doubted that the Kremlin had any recourse.

Mr. Unger, the Brazilian minister, agreed, saying that the BRIC countries do not see replacing the dollar with “heavy-handed, bureaucratic machinery,” such as a global, European-style Central Bank.

In China, popular sympathies are with Russian and Brazilian demands for a robust challenge to American control, analysts said.

Yet there has been no consensus on what a new financial system should look like, and China’s dependence on exports and enormous holdings of dollar-denominated assets give it a vested interest in the status quo, leaving China’s leaders reluctant to pursue far-reaching changes.

While China’s official news media often give sizable attention to coming international gatherings, they have offered little coverage of the BRIC summit meeting.

Xu Xiaonian, an economist at the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai, said the silence reflected a desire not to raise hopes for the meeting. “What can they agree on? So little,” Mr. Xu said. “This meeting is more symbolic than of real effect.”

Vikas Bajaj contributed reporting from New Delhi, Alexei Barrionuevo from Rio de Janeiro, and Keith Bradsher from Hong Kong.
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: "Stalin Would be Proud" on: June 15, 2009, 11:26:06 AM
Mousavi and Karrubi, the two “reformist” candidates in Friday’s “elections”

hahahahahahha, reformists eh? the only difference between them and amadinijad is that they want muslims to be able to kill inifdels while wearing blue jeans.  Neither of them were willing to recognize Israels right to exist, nor were they willing to halt the nuke program.  Its all a media gong show created to by them time and give obama hope that he can fix the situation with sunshine, hugs and puppy dogs.
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Declining standard of living on: June 15, 2009, 08:22:04 AM
A friend writes:

"Iif prices go up while the population does not have (at least nominally correspondingly) increasing incomes, that's not inflation.  That is a decline in the standard of living.
"When one lives in a poor country (been there, done that) everything seems expensive -  and that has little to do with inflation.
"One of the side effects of defining inflation as a general increase in prices is that  it becomes quite easy to mistake growing poverty for inflation.  "Inflation" which in reality is a progressive decline in the standard of living is, in fact, deflationary - the economy slows, and people are willing to work for less."

Now add to the equation, prices are going up and the U.S dollar has been dumped so every import must be bought in Euro's.
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: June 15, 2009, 08:18:38 AM
Obama launches ocean protection plan


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama launched a plan on Friday to protect the oceans, U.S. coasts and Great Lakes from the threats of climate change, pollution and overfishing.

"The oceans are critical to supporting life," Obama said in statement designating June as National Oceans Month. "The base of the oceanic ecosystem provides most of the oxygen we breathe, so oceans are critical to our survival."

Obama set up a task force led by chief White House environmental adviser Nancy Sutley to recommend a national policy to protect and restore "the health of ocean, coastal and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources" within 90 days.

The initiative comes as Obama is pressing Congress to pass sweeping new legislation to reduce the use of fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed for global climate change.

Oceans cover 70 percent of the Earth's surface and are a major source of jobs, food and energy resources. They are also critical to the transportation of people and goods and the mobility of U.S. armed forces.

Oceans "not only affect climate processes, but they are also under stress from the impacts of climate change," the White House said in a statement.

Other challenges are pollution, degraded coastal water quality, habitat loss, fishing impacts, invasive species, disease, rising sea levels and acidification, it said.

The environmental group Oceana praised Obama's action, hoping it would bring a "unifying vision" to the 140 U.S. laws and 20 federal agencies involved in oceans management.

"With the oceans facing the triple threats of overfishing, pollution and climate change, they need attention at the highest levels of government," Oceana chief executive Andy Sharpless said.
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: U.S. Census 2010 on: June 11, 2009, 05:16:38 PM
Obama moves Census to White House

Why did he do this?HuhHuh?? guess who will over see the census now? Rham.
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: June 10, 2009, 09:31:14 PM

Obama is a 20 year disciple of Rev. "Them Jews" Wright. Much like Obama's lack of concern for the US soldier murdered by the black muslim convert in Arkansas, I doubt his concern here. His radicalism become clearer every day.

+1. Obama would have to be the dumbest community planner ever to have not noticed that his pastor was a racist and overly chummy with the head of the nation of islam, also a racist organization.

Wright’s Security Provided By Nation Of Islam ^

Posted on 04/28/2008 3:54:13 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY

By Michelle Malkin

April 28, 2008

Heard E.D. Hill mention this earlier today. It’s been confirmed: Jeremiah Wright’s bodyguards are Nation of Islam goons. Several Farrakhan acolytes were also in the audience for Wright’s vaudeville performance at the National Press Club, including one of our favorite race clowns, Malik Zulu Shabazz, and America’s favorite race clown politician, Marion Barry. Also in attendance: Wacknut Obama supporter Rev. Michael Pfleger:

Speaking before an audience that included Marion Barry, Cornel West, Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam official Jamil Muhammad, Wright praised Louis Farrakhan, defended the view that Zionism is racism, accused the United States of terrorism, repeated his view that the government created the AIDS virus to cause the genocide of racial minorities, stood by other past remarks (”God damn America”) and held himself out as a spokesman for the black church in America.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 10, 2009, 01:31:59 PM
My company does business in Israel so i get to talk to quite a few Israelis on a regulary basis, one of them knows Rham Emmanual personally and says he is a national villian.  I think we are looking at this situation through a western lens and not having exposure to other news outlets and lines of thought.  Israel does a brisk business with India, Russia and China, those relationships are growing all the time.  If Israel is going to ask for permission to take out Iran they will ask Russia or China before they ask the U.S.  what is Obama going to do if he gets a call from China and/or Russia saying piss off or your currency is done.  Think about it, China needs the oil to flow im sure they must realize that a nuclear iran is a threat to that.  If the oil is shut off as a result of war or a nuke going off in Israel China's economy will die when the oil stops flowing.
30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: June 10, 2009, 10:46:30 AM
GE Aviation sees orders down 50 pct this year

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - GE Aviation, a unit of General Electric Co (GE.N) and the world's largest maker of jet engines, expects orders this year to halve as airlines slow plane buying amid a slump in travel demand.

Jack Lutze, vice-president of sales for Europe and Africa, told Reuters on Tuesday some deferrals were likely for next year's deliveries but only a few cancellations, a sign that more airlines are likely to postpone plane buying in the downturn.

"Everybody is looking to push back 2010," Lutze told Reuters on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) annual meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

"This industry lurches from boom to bust," he said. "We lag the industry on the way down and on the way up."

GE Aviation still has an order backlog worth years of production, Lutze said, after airlines went on an expansion drive earlier this decade with $500 billion worth of future plane orders placed by IATA airlines based on today's list prices, according to Reuters calculations.

But airlines have been hit in the past year's financial crisis by weak passenger and business travel demand, a slide in air cargo trade, trouble getting financing for new planes and by volatile oil prices.

Top plane maker Airbus told Reuters on Monday it would be a tough year for orders and next week's Paris Air Show would be nothing like last year.

GE Aviation, which makes engines for plane makers such as EADS (EAD.PA) unit Airbus and Boeing (BA.N), said in January it aimed to reduce its white-collar staff by more than 1,000 people this year, but did not plan to trim its manufacturing headcount.

The job cuts, off a base of 16,000 salaried employees, would come through attrition, retirement, buyout packages and some layoffs. Fellow engine maker Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N), is also laying off 1,000 jobs.

Lutze said the focus for GE Aviation was to maintain existing orders, get customers needing engine servicing or parts to pay up, and win new orders.

"Cash is king for us too," said Paris-based Lutze.

The mood at the IATA meeting in the Malaysian capital was fairly grim with the association forecasting industry losses would be $9 billion this year, nearly double a forecast made just three months ago.

Many airline CEOs at the event told Reuters this was the toughest environment they had faced and some said they were considering deferring orders, though most have been careful to avoid mentioning cancellations.

(Editing by Ian Geoghegan)
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: June 10, 2009, 10:44:48 AM
Opinion: Zero growth at Pentagon leaves $150B budget gap
Brookings Institution fellow Michael O'Hanlon says President Barack Obama has made his first serious mistake in the national security realm by failing to present an adequate five-year defense budget. O'Hanlon says a policy of zero growth in inflation-adjusted Pentagon spending will leave the U.S. about $150 billion short of its defense needs by the year 2014. While praising budget increases for international aid and State Department programs, O'Hanlon says it is "unwise politics and unwise strategy to put these key elements of foreign policy in direct competition with each other, as appears to be the case in the new budget." The Washington Post
32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: June 09, 2009, 03:46:26 PM
Napolitano adds adviser with ties to terror backers
Swears in leader of Arab group that hailed jihadists as 'heroes'

Posted: June 07, 2009
9:27 pm Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Kareem Shora

JERUSALEM – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano swore in to her official advisory council the head of an Arab American organization whose officials have labeled deadly anti-U.S. jihadists as "heroes" and opposed referring to Hamas as a terrorist organization.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, or ADC, also has close ties to anti-Israel professor Rashid Khalidi, whose association with President Obama – first exposed by WND – stirred controversy during last year's presidential campaign.

The ADC also leads the opposition to domestic anti-terrorism measures taken after the 9-11 attacks, such as watch lists, background check delays for visas and an initiative meant to more comprehensively screen visitors from select Mideast countries or specific individuals labeled as possible national security threats.

Last week, Napolitano swore in Damascus-born Kareem Shora, the ADC's national executive director, to a position on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, an outside-the-department group of national security experts that advises the secretary. Shora is the first Arab rights advocate on the panel.

At the ceremony in Albequrque, Shora reportedly recounted how he watched with his immigrant father Obama's address last week to the Muslim world. Shora said his father cried when he heard Obama's message of reconciliation.


ADC glorifies terrorism

The ADC takes an openly anti-Israel line. Its official material has accused the Jewish state of "apartheid" and "atrocities" against the Palestinians. In 2006, a local ADC group drew up a petition calling on the U.S. to stop providing Israel with weapons.

Scores of senior ADC officials have expressed positive views toward terrorist organizations.

In 1994, during one of the main peaks of Hamas suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, then-ADC President Hamzi Moghrabi said, "I will not call [Hamas] a terrorist organization. I mean, I know many people in Hamas. They are very respectable. … I don't believe Hamas, as an organization, is a violent organization."

Discover the Networks notes that two years later, Moghrabi's successor, Hala Maksoud, defended the Hezbollah terrorist group.

"I find it shocking," Maksoud said, "that [one] would include Hezbollah in … [an] inventory of Middle East 'terrorist' groups."

In 2000, new ADC President Hussein Ibish characterized Hezbollah as "a disciplined and responsible liberation force."

When Israel released Hezbollah prisoners in early 2004, Imad Hamad, ADC's Midwest Regional Director, openly celebrated the freedom of "the heroes."

Besides its deadly terrorism against Israel, Hezbollah distinguishes itself as second only to al-Qaida among terror groups responsible for killing the most Americans. It's responsible for such deadly attacks as the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, which killed 299 servicemen, including 220 U.S. Marines.

ADC linked to Khalidi

The ADC is linked to Columbia University's Khalidi, who spoke at several of the organization's events. At one speech, in June 2002, the New York Sun documented how Khalidi appeared to condone the killing of armed Israelis.

"Killing civilians is a war crime. It's a violation of international law. They are not soldiers. They're civilians, they're unarmed," Khalidi said in a recorded address. "The ones who are armed, the ones who are soldiers, the ones who are in occupation, that's different. That's resistance."

The ADC also has collaborated on numerous projects with the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN, an organization founded by Khalidi's wife Mona, and which WND first reported received start-up funds from a nonprofit, the Woods Fund, on which Obama served as a paid director.

The AAAN, headquartered in the heart of Chicago's Palestinian immigrant community, worked on projects supporting open boarders and education for illegal aliens. Speakers at AAAN dinners and events routinely have taken an anti-Israel line. The organization co-sponsored anti-Israel projects and exhibits.

Khalidi, an apologist for PLO terrorism, holds the position of Columbia's Edward Said professorship of Arab Studies. Said, a well-known far-leftist intellectual and apologist for Palestinian terrorism, served on an advisory counsel to the ADC.

ADC opposes anti-terrorism screening

According to the ADC charter, the organization seeks to "empower Arab Americans; defend the civil rights of all people of Arab heritage in the U.S.; promote civic participation; and encourage a balanced U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East."

The organization has actively lobbied against the Patriot Act and was reportedly instrumental in scaling back some of the restrictions of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System program, or NSEERS. Shora was personally involved in those efforts.

The NSEERS required persons whose nationality identifies them as a possible security risk to submit to control processes governed by the Department of Justice. NSEERS also targeted specific individuals labeled as possible national security threats, at times making them undergo fingerprinting, photographing and registration.
33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: June 09, 2009, 03:42:46 PM
Days after statement, DOJ files suit against NJ county on behalf of Muslim
By creeping
When was the last time the Department of inJustice filed a suit on behalf of say, Christianity or Judaism…just a day after announcing on its website it would protect that specific religion while not mentioning anything about any other religion.

“The President’s pledge for a new beginning between the United States and the Muslim community takes root here in the Justice Department where we are committed to using criminal and civil rights laws to protect Muslim Americans. A top priority of this Justice Department is a return to robust civil rights enforcement and outreach in defending religious freedoms and other fundamental rights of all of our fellow citizens in the workplace, in the housing market, in our schools and in the voting booth.

According to FBI crime statistics from 2007, the last data set available, it’s not Muslims who are most in need of favored status and protection from the DOJ:

Bias motivation Total victims
Year 2,006 2,007
Religion (total): 1,750  1,628 
Anti-Jewish 1,144  1,127 
Anti-Other Religion 147  148 
Anti-Islamic 208  142 
Anti-Christian 151  137 
Anti-Multiple Religions, Group 92  66 
Anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc. 8  8 

*Source: FBI Uniform Crime Statistics

NEWARK, N.J. – The U.S. Justice Department has sued Essex County over its firing of a corrections officer for wearing religious headwear.

The suit was filed in federal court in Newark on Monday on behalf of Yvette Beshier.

It claims Beshier was first suspended and then fired by the county for wearing a khimar, or Muslim head scarf.

The suit seeks monetary damages and also to require Essex County to adopt a policy that accommodates the religious observances and practices of employees.

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin or religion.

A county spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit.

via Suit claims NJ woman fired for wearing Muslim garb | AP | 06/08/2009.
34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: June 08, 2009, 11:12:20 PM

Sorry Barack, but there were no Muslims on the Mayflower

Paul Williams  Bio
Email Article
 By Paul Williams  Friday, June 5, 2009
- The Last Crusade

Speaking at the University of Cairo, President Barack Hussein Obama said that Americans are indebted to Islam for the great contributions Muslims have made to the history and development of the United States.

“I know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story,” Mr. Obama told the throng of unenlightened Muslims. “The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. . . And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States.”

Mr. Obama went on to say: “They [Muslims] have fought in our wars. They have served in our government. They have stood for civil rights. They have started businesses. They have taught at our universities. They’ve excelled in our sports arenas. They’ve won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building and lit the Olympic torch. And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same holy Koran that one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, kept in his personal library.”

No one at the Egyptian University or the international media took issue with the President’s bizarre interpretation of American history, let alone his confusion of the Nation of Islam (the religion of Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X) that bears scant similarity to orthodox Islam. The Nation of Islam teach that Allah in the flesh was a bona fide nutcase named Wallace Fard and that Eli Muhammad, a conman with a tested IQ of 70 and not the Prophet Muhammad, was the true last prophet of Allah.

Let’s set the record straight once and for all.

Sorry, Barack Hussein, but there were no Muslims among the passengers on the Mayflower or the settlers at Jamestown. Muslims were conspicuously absent from the ranks of George Washington’s Army of the Revolution and played no role in the creation of the American republic - - save for the fact that the new country’s first declaration of war was against the forces of Islam in the form of the Barbary pirates.1

Despite popular folklore, few Muslims numbered among the 12 million black Africans who were shipped to the New World from the 17th to 19th centuries. The Muslims, in fact, were not the slaves but the slave traders. Senegalese educator Amadou-Mahtar M’Bow has written that in 1587 a shipload of Moriscos (Spanish Moors) landed in a coastal area of South Carolina. The Moors, he contends, migrated to the mountains of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina where they established colonies.2 In reality, this is pure speculation. There is not a scintilla of archival or archaeological evidence to support this claim.

This is not to say that no Muslim slaves were transported to the colonies. Two such slaves - - Ayuiba Suleiman Diallo and Omar ibn Said - - were brought to America is 1731 but both were returned to Africa in 1734.3 In a Herculean effort to materialize at least one Muslim living in America before the Civil War, Muslims in America, an Islamic website, point to the name of Mahomet, the great grandson of Uncas, the founder of the Mohegan tribe, on a gravestone in Norwich, Connecticut.4 The name of this Native America, they argue, resembles that of the prophet, and, therefore, he must have been a convert to Islam.

In a similar example of straining at gnats, the compilers of The Collections and Stories of American Muslims, a non-profit organization, claim that Peter Salem, a former slave who fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill, must have been a Muslim since “Salem” bears an etymological resemblance to “Salaam,” the Arabic word for peace.5

For additional proof, the compilers turn to folklore, such as the story of Old Tom, a slave at a plantation in Georgia, who allegedly uttered, “Allah is God and Mohammed his Prophet” on his death-bed - - and the apocryphal tale of “Old Lizzy,” a slave from Edgefield County, who reportedly said, “Christ built His first church in Mecca.”6

Surprisingly, there is no record of any Islamic American among the enlisted and conscripted forces of World War I, let alone among the blue and grey armies of the Civil War. The great migrations that lasted from 1865 to 1925 brought 35,000,000 people to the New World: 4,500,000 from Ireland, 4,000,000 from Great Britain, 6,000,000 from central Europe, 2,000,000 from the Scandinavian countries, 5,000,000 from Italy, 8,000,000 from Eastern Europe, and 3,000,000 from the Balkans. But the number of Muslims who came here from the Middle East was statistically nil.7

In 1960, aside from the temples of the Nation of Islam, the only mosques in the United States were in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Dearborn, Michigan, and Washington DC (which opened in 1957) - - and all three professed less than 200 active members. Four other cities contained miniature mosques with less than fifty members.8

Oh, yes, Jefferson did possess a copy of the Koran which Keith Ellison, our first Muslim Congressman, used to make his oath of office. But what was Jefferson opinion of Islam? Did he believe the Muslim religion represented a salubrious influence in world affairs? Far from it. In 1786 Thomas Jefferson, then US ambassador to France, and John Adams, then US Ambassador to Britain, met in London with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Dey’s ambassador to Britain, in an attempt to negotiate a peace treaty with the Barbary Pirates based on Congress’ vote of funding. To the US Congress these two future Presidents later reported the reasons for the Muslims’ hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.

“...that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

Jefferson had it right.

Obama has it wrong.
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: June 08, 2009, 07:25:45 PM
The logic of "if you are going to make me pay, then , , , the State and I own your *ss and get to tell you what to do" makes me really, really, really leery.

Know what makes me leery?HuhHuh? close to %40 income tax rate on 150k and above, 13% govt/provincial sales tax, oppressive property tax (some how even in this down turn my property value went up, it might of had soemthing to do with the appraiser not liking me calling her comrade and asking her why i should pay more in taxes because i chose to put the money into my home instead of a beer and pot like some of the others in my small town)..................... the list goes on.
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: June 08, 2009, 06:51:22 PM
Unfortunately the tax is also on smokers and drinkers who don't use government programs;
that was my point.  Why discriminate?  Therefore fat people should be taxed the same.  smiley

As for the paramedics, my insurance reimburses them; the state (your/our taxes) don't pay.

Unfortunatly my friend here in Canada everyone uses the same system.  Health care is a state monopoly and competition is ilegal, therefore everyone draws from the same tax payer pool when they drink their liver to mush.  Dont worry, you will get to experience it in the near future if obama has his way.
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: June 08, 2009, 06:20:48 PM
Maybe they should tax fat people too (I'm thin).  Just kidding...
There should be a tax on unhealthy people who want to use govt programs.  If im going to be forced to pay for their health care they should atleast do their part to lighten my load.  Same goes for smokers and alcoholics, dont ask me to pay for the health care of those who do not care enough about themselves to take care of themselves.  Drunk driving and hurt in a car wreck?HuhHuh?? unless you have cash the paramedics should just carry a pistol.  Its time to get back to an age of self responsibility.

BTW, corporate income tax should be as close to zero as possible.
38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: June 08, 2009, 06:16:52 PM
Huss,  I don't buy all your pessimism on the US dollar as a world currency, but we will see.  Over the decades those types of enemies and economic competitors would have abandoned the dollar at any time if they could: Russia, CHina, Brazil, Chavez, etc.  If we really do rack up deficits in the tens to twenties of trillions of dollars in the near future, our collapse will force that move.  I don't know how but someohow I think we will still wake up.

Leaving the gold standard was forced by policies and circumstances of that time, leading up to 1973.  Going back is what I think they call putting toothpaste back in a tube...

The poster cheapshotting Ireland never did return to answer the questions I asked.  Did revenues and employment increase when they went to a low tax rate strategy.  Of course they did.  Instead he points to their current troubles, but that could be said of California, once the greatest economic 'nation' on earth, or Maryland as you point out.

We do business in Brazil, India, The Republic of Georgia and Israel on a regular basis.  Right now we are quoting Aerospace work in Brazil and for the life of me, I can not get the Brazilians to commit to a long term agreement in U.S $.  The Indians just signed a contract with us in Canadian dollars and the Georgians will only take U.S $'s as a last resort.  the only people that i find are confident in continueing to use the U.S $ are americans.  Do you have any idea how much money Airbus lost last year when the U.S dollar tanked........... probably less then what they will lose if the U.S dollar continues to slide.  They buy components in europe in Euros and sell aircraft in U.S $'s, its not a good situation.

39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: June 08, 2009, 06:11:12 PM
40% of the US population doesn't pay federal income tax. Should they be able to vote?

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse (generous gifts) from the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: June 08, 2009, 04:41:15 PM
BRIC Countries Kick Sand in the Face of 98-pound-weakling US Dollar
Well, there they go again, as Ronald Reagan used to say. The Russians, that is, sniping at our powerful, globally-respected currency. Get a load of this commie carping --

June 5 (Bloomberg) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev questioned the U.S. dollar’s future as a global reserve currency and said using a mix of regional currencies would make the world economy more stable. The dollar “is not in a spectacular position, let’s be frank, and its prospects cause various questions as do the prospects for the global currency system,’’ Medvedev, who today hosts an international economic forum in St. Petersburg, said in an interview published by the Moscow-based Kommersant newspaper.

A new world currency may be on the agenda when Medvedev meets counterparts from Brazil, India and China on June 16 at a summit in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, the Kremlin said this month. “This idea has potential, even though some of my G-20 colleagues aren’t actively discussing it at the moment,’’ Medvedev told Kommersant. “However, for example, in the opinion of our Chinese colleagues it is quite a possible step. The most important thing is not to walk away from discussions on this topic.’’

Turning the ruble into a reserve currency is still a possibility, especially if some of Russia’s partners start making payments for their oil and gas in rubles, Medvedev said. Russia might consider setting up ruble-yuan swap positions similar to the recent accord suggested between China and Brazil, he said.

Here is a comment made on the article above that sums it up quite well

At 2.85 billion, the population of the BRIC countries is more than nine times higher than that of the U.S. Their combined GDP is slightly larger, too.

Currently, the English-speaking financial centers of New York and London have carved out a role for themselves as global cross-rate middlemen. If you want to exchange rubles for yuan, typically you must do back-to-back transactions -- rubles to dollars, then dollars to yuan. Forex dealers love the fat spreads and dual commissions.

If the BRIC countries decide to walk away from this exploitative, anachronistic scam, there won't be a damned thing that the Anglosphere can do about it.

More significant than the eroding economic leadership of the U.S. is its eroding intellectual leadership. Bretton Woods I, circa 1944, was an Anglo-American production. Bretton Woods II, circa 1971-1973, was an abortion caused by U.S. default on its promise to redeem overseas dollars for gold.

Now, virtually all innovative thinking on global monetary reform comes from the BRIC countries, while Anglo-Americans stand by sucking their thumbs, navel-gazing, and tweaking their high-speed presses. Does the unmerited privilege of seignorage make you poor and stupid? The evidence points that way, comrades.
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: June 08, 2009, 04:32:16 PM
Huge sums of Treasury bonds seized on italian-swiss border
A short summary in english, i found the news in italian only.

On june, 4th the Italian police officials of the "Guardia di Finanza" and swiss authorities stopped two japanese businessmen arriving in Switzerland from the italian border at Chiasso; at the customs check the two declared nothing and were discovered having hidden in their luggage 249 FED Bonds ($500 millions each) and 10 "Kennedy" bonds ($1 billion each) for a total of $134 billion in value.

Investigations are underway, officials say.

the news can be found here (italian only):

Mercato Libero Blog (italian financial blog):

Ticino Online (swiss newspaper):

Guardia di finanza (official site):

Other references can be found on adnkronos.
42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: June 08, 2009, 04:06:23 PM
Odd you bring up Ireland; their economy is dying and they are now thinking of raising taxes to survive.

And I truly believe GM and Chrysler shot themselves in the foot.  Pig headed and blind; they deserve to
go bankrupt and not be bailed out.  Toyota, Honda, et al have been eating their lunch.
Further I think it is wrong that secured creditors are being given only
pennies on the dollar. 

As for the tax rate going higher, I think the rate of 35% is about right at the current time; higher is wrong, but then so is lower.
And I do not desire to emulate Europe, but we need to be competitive, however I think one should compare apples to apples.
National Health Insurance (a different debate) is a "tax" that should be included in tax calculations as well as other social
welfare programs.  Please see post above regarding the World Bank's study - our taxation rate is in the middle.

As for unemployment rate being double ours, well, as of yesterday the EU reported an unemployment rate of 9.2%; hardly
"double" that of ours. 

Hows that working out for Maryland?HuhHuh?

Last year the state of Maryland decided to impose a “millionaire’s tax” to close a budget gap; this year though, one-third of those in the millionaire tax bracket, are no longer there. They have either left the state, seeking a lower tax burden; or they have left the million dollar tax bracket altogether due to the economy.

you would think they would have learned after watching california's demise.  why do people like you feel you have a right to take my income and use it to fund poorly run govt entitlement programs?HuhHuh??

43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: June 08, 2009, 02:16:08 PM
Professor Saeed ....issued five demands from Muslims to the Department of Justice. These demands included a cessation to the infiltration by spies of mosques and an end to the introduction of agents provocateur. In addition there was to be a cessation of attempts to undermine Muslim groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

I find this deeply distrubing, even more distrubing though is that America gave into these demands.  If this is not the right place please feel free to move it but its important that we take a closer look at CAIR and see the kind of evil people we are giving in to.

CAIR was started by Hamas members and is supported by terrorist supporting individuals, groups and countries. -

CAIR has proven links to, and was founded by, Islamic Terrorists. CAIR actively supports terrorists and terrorist-supporting groups and nations.

CAIR is an organization founded by Hamas supporters which seeks to overthrow Constitutional government in the United States and replace it with an Islamist theocracy using the American Constitution as protection. -

Let there be no doubt that the Council on American-Islamic Relations is a terrorist supporting front organization that is partially funded by terrorists, and that CAIR wishes nothing more than the implementation of Sharia Law in America.

*“I swear by Allah that war is deception,”...“We are fighting our enemy with a kind heart ... Deceive, camouflage, pretend that you’re leaving
while you’re walking that way. Deceive your enemy ...”

*"Politics Is A Completion Of War"


Omar Ahmad
(Click Photo)

Co-Founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

President and CEO of Silicon Expert Technologies.
Former  Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) Officer.

Omar Ahmad was captured on FBI surveillance tapes at Hamas meetings in the U.S.A. during 1993 explaining that the IAP could not, for political reasons, admit its support for Hamas, and then
discussing how the Hamas agenda could be cloaked and advanced.  Omar Ahmad's airfare
and hotel bills for this meeting were paid for by the Holy Land Foundation

"Those who stay in America should be open to society without melting, keeping Mosques open so anyone can come and learn about Islam. If you choose to live here, you have a responsibility to deliver the message of Islam ... Islam isn't in America to be equal to
any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book
of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the
only accepted religion on Earth."

"Fighting for freedom, fighting for Islam, that is not suicide," ...
"They kill themselves for Islam."
(Ahmad Praising Suicide Bombers)

"Registering an organization is easy. I can register 100 organizations
in 100 cities in one day ..."I mean, we don't really have available
people whom we could dedicate for the work we want to hide ..."

" Politics is a completion of War "


Nihad Awad
(Click Photo)

Co-Founder and CAIR Executive Director

Former Public Relations Director for the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)
A Palestinian born in Jordan and now a U.S. citizen.
Identified participating at a 1993 Hamas meeting in the United States

"I am in support of the Hamas movement."

"We Should Not Blame The United States Alone For The 11 September 2001 Attacks"

"Our administration has the burden of proving otherwise.”
(Awad's response to muslim accusations that federal raids
were a War against Islam and Muslims)

"Address people according to their minds. When I speak with the American,
I speak with someone who doesn't know anything."

"If you love Israel, you're OK ... If that is the litmus test, no American Muslim
and no freedom-loving person is going to pass that test."



Ibrahim Hooper
(Click Photo)
CAIR Spokesperson
Former  Employee Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)

"CAIR does not support these groups publicly."
(Hooper comments on CAIR's record of supporting Hamas,
Hezbullah and other official terrorist groups)

"I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of
the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future...But I'm not going to
do anything violent to promote that. I'm going to do it through education."


Mousa Abu Marzook
 Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) Founder
Parent organization of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
Officially Designated Terrorist and Fugitive from Justice.
(IAP was found Liable for aiding and abetting Hamas in the murder of a 17-year-old American)

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it,
just as it obliterated others before it" -  Hamas Charter

Senior Hamas member Marzook conspired with Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad, and others to establish what the United States government has termed “front organizations” to support and advance the interests of Hamas and radical Islam in the United States. IAP provided the
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) with employees, funding, operational
expertise, and ideological guidance.

  " ... probable cause exists that Abu Marzook knew of Hamas's plan to carry out violent, murderous attacks, that he selected the leadership and supplied the money to enable the attacks to take place, and that such attacks were, therefore, a foreseeable consequence
of the conspiracy."  (Judge Kevin Duffy on Marzook)


Ahmed Rehab
(Click Photo)
CAIR National
Strategic Communications Director
"CAIR is not a front for Hamas, Hezbollah, or any other foreign group,
nor has it ever been. CAIR is an independent American institution,
established by Americans ..."

"Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad have never been members of
or associated with or tied to Hamas"


Corey Saylor
(Click Photo)
CAIR Director Of Government Affairs
"Some people try to hold us responsible for the actions of people that
are associated with our organization. That’s absolutely ludicrous …
you don’t hold all of Enron responsible for what Ken Lay did."


Ahmed Bedier
(Click Photo)
(Former) CAIR-Florida Communications Director
"We are to the American Muslim community what the NAACP is to blacks
in America. If you attack us, you are attacking the Muslim community
and the religion of Islam in this country." (Mpls Star-Trib -10/24/06)

"Catholic priests pose more of a terrorism threat by having sex with young
altar boys than those who flew planes into the World Trade Center."


   Ahmad Al-Akhras
(Click photo)
CAIR Vice-Chairman\
"Americans in general might be more supportive of targeted attacks on civilians,
as part of the war on terror, than U.S. Muslims"

"What has happened in Somalia, for the majority of Somalis inside
and those who are abroad, is a positive change."


Randall "Ismail" Royer
(Click Photo)
CAIR-National Civil Rights Coordinator
& Communications Specialist
Committed Terrorist Crimes while working for CAIR
Pled guilty to using and discharging a firearm during, and in relation to,
a crime of violence; and with carrying an explosive during commission
of a felony ... admitted helping four people gain entry to a terrorist
training camp in Pakistan operated by Lashkar-e-Taiba.
[United States Of America V. Randall Todd Royer (pdf)]


Ghassan Elashi
(Click Photo)
Founder Of CAIR-Texas
Chairman of Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development

Sentenced To 65 Years In Federal Prison

Committed Terrorist Crimes while working for CAIR
Tried on 21 counts of conspiracy, money laundering and dealing
in property of a terrorist. Found guilty on all 21 counts.
[United States of America V. HLF (pdf)]
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Islamic Countries: on: June 08, 2009, 08:34:05 AM
I think its time for a little reciprocity.  If they want to persecute Christians abroad muslims should not be able to build mosques or operate charitable groups who receive tax breaks.   Notice that CAIR not only always over looks these types of events (listed above) but they are always quick to come to the legal aid of "suspected" terrorists. 
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Islamic Countries: on: June 08, 2009, 08:30:29 AM
Pakistani Catholic leaders come out against the Taliban and the imposition of the jizya

by Qaiser Felix
Tax on non-Muslims is a threat that violates basic human rights. In tribal areas near the border with Afghanistan more than 700 non-Muslim families are persecuted and forced to pay. Federal Religious Minorities minister strongly condemns the tax, pledges help for the victims.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) has condemned the imposition of the Jizya, the poll tax for non-Muslims, in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the border with Afghanistan because of its discriminatory nature and because it constitutes a direct threat to basic human rights.
Mgr John Saldanha, archbishop of Lahore, and Peter Jacob, NCJP executive secretary, have urged the federal and provincial governments in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) to do something to alleviate the plight of non-Muslim families forced to “hand over their hard earned bread and butter to the extremists.”

Lashkar-e-Islam, a militant Islamist organisation based in Bara, about 10 kilometres south-west of Peshawar, is responsible for applying the tax.

Local sources said that more than 700 non-Muslim families have had to pay the tax.

NCJP leaders have complained about the lack of security among religious minorities in Orkazai and Khyber agency areas and that they are victims of harassment, religious taxation and expulsion.

The tax also is a threat to the country’s “democratic credentials and political system”. For this reason the government “should make it clear that Pakistan is a democratic country that cannot allow religious minorities to be subjected to such discrimination and economic injustice because they are equal citizens and not a conquered people.” These principles, the NCJP statement said, “are still part of the Constitution and the political system.”

Religious Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti reacted to the appeals of Catholic leaders by strongly condemning the demand on non-Muslims to pay the jizya.

Speaking to AsiaNews, the minister, who is Catholic, said that the tax “is illegal, unethical and against the Constitution of Pakistan.”

Moreover, in condemning those who perpetrate violence in the name of religion, he insisted that the protection of non-Muslims “is our constitutional obligation and moral duty”. The government, he reiterated, “will not let the Taliban threat and harm the minorities.”

46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Islamic Countries: on: June 08, 2009, 08:28:40 AM
Mother caned in Bangladesh for talking to Hindu man
By Shafiq Alam – 2 days ago

DHAKA (AFP) — A Muslim mother has been caned for talking to a Hindu man in Bangladesh, police said Saturday, prompting fresh concerns about a rise in cases of harsh treatment of women under strict Islamic law.

The punishment was carried out in a remote village in Muslim-majority Bangladesh on the orders of village elders, local police chief Enamul Monowar told AFP by telephone.

The village elders found Kamala Begum, 38, a mother of four, guilty under Islamic sharia law of chatting with an unidentified Hindu man, Monowar said. Hindus make up around 10 percent of Bangladesh's population.

"The villagers got bundles of 25 sticks and hit her four times on the back. They claimed it was a symbolic punishment. But she's humiliated and has been in great mental pain," Monowar said.

It was the third such reported case in two weeks in the country and stirred concern among women's groups in Muslim-majority but officially secular Bangladesh, about what they say is a rise in the brutal treatment of women under locally applied Islamic laws.

"In the last few months, we have seen villagers invoking sharia to mete out barbaric punishments to women," said Salma Ali, the head of rights group Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers Association.

Police have arrested one man and are looking for others who meted out the punishment to the woman in Shason in northeastern Bangladesh, Monowar said.

Earlier this month a man and a woman were caned for adultery after being convicted by a village court, police said.

Village courts are common in Bangladesh, particularly in more conservative rural areas, but are not recognised as legitimate courts of law.

Also this month, a 22-year-old unwed woman was caned 39 times and left fighting for her life after saying a neighbour was the father of her six-year-old son.

The case caused a national outcry with Premier Sheikh Hasina ordering the woman shifted from her village home to the capital for treatment. The woman is now in a stable condition.

So far, Bangladesh has been little affected by the spread of hardline Islamic sentiment that has badly shaken its South Asian neighbour Pakistan.

But women's rights groups say there has been a spike in the number of "fatwas" -- judgments in line with sharia law -- in rural areas.

"In the last few months, we've seen villagers invoking sharia to mete out barbaric punishments to women," said lawyer Ali.

"It's disturbing sign and a real concern. It shows some parts of the country are becoming more conservative," she said.

Bangladesh has been ruled by female leaders for 16 of the last 19 years and prides itself for empowering women.

But although women hold high government and private sector posts, a move last year to give equal property rights to women was scuttled by Islamist protests.

The Awami League government has vowed to eradicate militancy from the country, hit by series of blasts by outlawed Islamic groups in 2005, and has warned of "zero tolerance" for harsh sharia punishments.
47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 06, 2009, 08:11:10 PM
Hey Huss!

Remember how you and I used to go around the Mulberry Bush over at WT?   

JDN, watch out for him!  In my conversations with him I used to sound like you do now here, but now looks at me shocked cheesy

Anyway gentlemen, further discussion of this strand within Islam should be continued on one (or more) of the Islam threads.  Please used advanced search funtion for "Islam" in the subject and see what pops up.


hahahahahaha, i almost got banned from there for it.  I will say this JDN, read through the Koran on the link i supplied you.  When you are done reading you will not be able to defend islam at its core as a peacefull religion.  I also suggest you study the time line of mohammed life, he was nothing more then a murdering bandit.
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 06, 2009, 02:41:24 PM
Actually, I was just about to post.

My original post was asking Huss what he meant by "mistreatment" of non muslims.

GM's immediate post is exactly on mark, identify and giving an excellent example of a "mistreatment" of non muslims in a discriminatory way.

In contrast, Boyo's post was not an example of discriminatory mistreatment of non muslims and therefore I disagreed.

But I will do further research on past posts.


a really good website to visit for more info on islam is
49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 06, 2009, 08:04:02 AM
Not trying to dodge the question, but could you define "mistreat". 

Not allowed bibles, churches, voting rights and in some countries like saudi they still have slave markets and collect the jizya from non muslims.
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: June 05, 2009, 11:19:05 AM

May Employment Report Not BelievableFriday, June 5, 2009, 8:51 am, by cmartenson
Well, I thought that I had seen some fantastic data manipulation in the past, but today's release of the May employment report by the BLS was a real keeper.  It is one for the books (the forensic accounting books, specifically).

Here's the news:

NEW YORK ( -- Job losses slowed dramatically in May, according to the latest government reading on the battered labor market, even as the unemployment rate rose to a 26-year high.

Employers cut 345,000 jobs from their payrolls in the month, down from the revised 504,000-job decline in April.

What spectacular news!  Stock futures vaulted, gold killed, the dollar rebounded - all in all a very favorable set of market outcomes that are certainly welcome in the marbled halls of DC and on Wall Street.

The problem is that this huge surprise to the upside is completely out of line with other sources of data and depends (once again) on an incredibly suspect boost from the Birth-Death Model.  Let's start there.

In the chart below, you are looking at the number of jobs that the BLS has "modeled" to have been created.  These are either added to or subtracted from the total that is reported and trumpeted across the financial-media spin machine.

I want you to note the blue arrows, which reveal that 43,000 construction jobs were somehow added in the month of May, along with 77,000 "leisure & hospitality" (hotels and parks and such) jobs and even 7,000 financial services jobs (I bet there are more than a few banking industry folks wondering where those might be!).
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