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USA And The Future Of The World
Eamonn Fingleton's Record: Thirty Years of Prescience.
by Eamonn Fingleton

I am preparing a proposal for a new book and, on my agent's suggestion, I will include a retrospective on my record in world watching. Below is a draft of that retrospective.
Eamonn Fingleton,
Tokyo, July 2005.

After more than thirty years reporting from London, New York, and Tokyo, Eamonn Fingleton has few rivals in the range and depth of his economic commentaries. He has met everyone from Henry Kissinger to Deng Xiaoping and has interviewed many of the world's most prominent news sources -- not just quotable business figures like Rupert Murdoch, Lou Gerstner, Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, and Donald Trump but fundamental economic thinkers like Robert Solow, Paul Samuelson, James Tobin, Milton Friedman, and Friedrich von Hayek. His books have been praised by Pat Choate, Senator Ernest Hollings, Sir James Goldsmith, and Bill Clinton and have been named among the best business books of the year by Business Week and Amazon.com. His prescience has been vindicated on everything from the Tokyo financial crash (which he vociferously predicted in articles in the late 1980s) to the current American quagmire in Iraq (which he foreshadowed in an op-ed article in March 2003). Described by James Fallows as a "bravely original minded writer," Fingleton is fearless in exposing the cant, wishful thinking, and sheer propaganda that too often pervades the English-speaking press.

Here, in reverse chronological order, is a retrospective on some of his bolder insights:

On Alan Greenspan

In the introduction to Unsustainable, a book he published in 2003, Fingleton spotlighted Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan's failure to sound the alarm about America's mounting trade problems. Suggesting that Greenspan risked ruining his legacy over the trade issue, Fingleton wrote: "Where trade is concerned, Greenspan and his officials have been almost entirely silent." Within a few months, Greenspan hinted he might abandon his long-held view -- then almost universally shared in Washington -- that America's trade deficits did not matter. In November 2004 Greenspan made world headlines when, in a tone reminiscent of Emperor Hirohito's admission that "the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage," he characterized the deteriorating trade trend as a "problem."

On the Iraq war

In the run-up to the Iraq war of 2003, Fingleton pronounced the Bush administration's strategy "badly misconstrued" and, almost alone among Tokyo-based commentators, ridiculed the then consensus that a defeated Iraq would play out like Japan at the end of World War II. In an editorial page article in the International Herald Tribune (March 18, 2003), he added: "The trouble with the Japanese precedent is that few of the conditions which made it possible apply to Iraq. Even in defeat Japan was an orderly nation; the same is unlikely to be true of a conquered Iraq… Japan played the role of model prisoner, gracefully putting up with many indignities the sooner to regain freedom. For people to behave like this requires a sense of far-sighted discipline that few nations have shown in defeat. Yet post-war Iraq will lack even the most basic decision-making structures necessary to enforce such discipline."

On the New Economy

In his book In Praise of Hard Industries: Why Manufacturing, Not the Information Economy, Is the Key to Future Prosperity (Houghton Mifflin, 1999), Fingleton exposed the logical flaws on which America's dot.com boom was based. Early reviewers, writing in the fall of 1999, found his analysis "far-fetched" and for a while he had few intellectual allies (albeit, including as they did such opinion leaders as Warren Buffett, Rupert Murdoch, Ernest Hollings, and Julian Robertson, they made up in reputation what they lacked in numbers). The book went on to be named one of the ten best business books of 1999 by Amazon.com. It received this cover comment from James Fallows: "His [Fingleton's] skeptical look at the software/Internet boom is important while the boom is going on and will seem even more intriguing once it is over." Months later -- in March 2000 -- the dot.com bubble began to implode and millions of unwary savers were caught in the subsequent crash.

On U.S. Software Jobs

Fingleton was early to spot the devastating threat that cheap foreign labor posed to American software jobs. Citing the rise of the Indian software industry in a commentary in 1995, he debunked the then widely held view that Americans enjoyed a unique cultural edge in software. He added: "Increasingly America's software workers are pitted in head-to-head wage competition with workers in other countries.…. Software know-how migrates quickly around the world via textbooks and journals, not to mention the reverse engineering of innovative products. Virtually the only thing needed to create software is brainwork. And these days brainwork is a commodity that can be sourced anywhere there are modems and telephone lines."

On Japan's War Legacy

Fingleton broke new journalistic ground when in 1995 he directly contrasted how Japan and Germany had dealt with their respective World War II legacies. As he pointed out in Blindside (p. 122 and pp. 365-366), Japan had paid a mere $1 billion to victims of its war crimes -- a pittance compared to Germany's $72 billion. Fingleton's disclosure defied a general pattern of "self-censorship" on the compensation issue in Tokyo. As far as the government-controlled Japan Times was concerned, whenever the topic of Japan's war guilt came up, reporters were expected to focus narrowly on the semantics of Japan's apologies, while steering clear of the compensation issue (for fear of provoking class-action suits from American lawyers). The semantics-only approach was also followed -- generally unwittingly -- by Western correspondents in Tokyo. It is interesting to note that in 1994 Ian Buruma, a prominent Anglo-Dutch intellectual (and formerJapan Times reporter), published an entire book devoted to coparing and contrasting Japanese and German war guilt without ever mentioning the sharp divergence in compensation policies. Fingleton's initiative was followed quickly by Iris Chang who highlighted the compensation issue in her book The Rape of Nanking and thereby precipitated a flood of class actions in California. Only then did the Tokyo authorities relax their "semantics-only" editorial guidelines.

All this had a sequel when Fingleton as well as Chang, who died in a reported suicide in 2004, were targeted in an Internet-based effort to discredit their work. Ostensibly espousing their work (and giving the impression it was operated by a close associate of Fingleton's), a racist website entitled East of the Rising Sun purported to link them to anti-Japanese hatred. The site was bogus and its owner proved untraceable.

On the Japanese Economic System

Beginning in the late 1980s, Japan's public relations spokesmen began proclaiming "the end of Japan Inc." Japan was supposedly opening up to free trade and would therefore be forced to abandon such hallowed economic institutions as permanent employment, the so-called keiretsu system, cartelization of production and marketing, and minute bureaucratic control of almost every aspect of Japanese life. Led by The Economist magazine and the Wall Street Journal, the Western media took the bait. Fingleton was almost alone in rejecting the story. In his 1995 book Blindside, he showed that far from being "dysfunctional cultural remnants," Japan's distinctive economic institutions worked together in highly counterintuitive (and never before explained) ways to further the central objective of Japanese economic policy: the domination of the world's most advanced manufacturing industries. Ridiculing the conventional view of a "Westernizing Japan," he argued that Japan's special economic institutions would triumphantly survive the financial strains of the 1990s. They did. Essentially as of 2005 the Japanese economic system worked as it did when Fingleton arrived in Tokyo twenty years earlier.

On Japan's Trade Surpluses

Fingleton has consistently opposed the long-held conventional wisdom that Japan's trade surpluses are destined inevitably to decline. He first made the case in The Atlantic monthly, where he argued in 1989 that earning large and rising surpluses was central to Japanese policy-making. This was the same year that the writer Bill Emmott premised a whole book on the opposite view -- he argued that Japan's trade surpluses were destined soon not only to decline but to disappear. Referring to the most comprehensive measure of a nation's trade, Emmott commented: "The [Japan's] current account is moving more rapidly towards balance than anybody realizes… Japan's capital surplus has already passed its peak. It is destined to last at best for another decade, to 2000; more likely it will be gone soon after 1995." The evidence is now in. Japan's current account surplus in 2004 came to $181 billion. That was up more than three-fold from $57 billion in 1989 (which happened to be the peak year of American concern about Japan's "juggernaut" trade policies).

On U.S.-Japan Economic Rivalry

Since the late 1980s Fingleton has consistently warned that a key aim of Japanese industrial policy has been to hollow out America's most advanced industries. He went on in the early 1990s to challenge the then widely held opinion that a suddenly resurgent America had "turned the tables" on a supposedly struggling Japan. In Blindside in 1995 he showed that Japan was continuing to capture ever more "chokepoints" in key high-tech materials, components, and capital equipment -- and as a result was establishing dominance over an ever-widening swathe of advanced manufacturing. And advanced manufacturing, he showed, was the key to global economic leadership. The evidence of latest trade figures clinches Fingleton's case: between 1989 and 2004 -- a time when, as already noted, Japan's current account surpluses tripled -- America's current account deficits increased six-fold. The contrasting trade trends reflect a huge migration of advanced manufacturing from the United States to Japan -- a shift that was one of Blindside's central predictions.

But what of the Japanese yen, which Fingleton argued would more than double against the dollar during the 1990s (this was the basis for Blindside's subtitle, Why Japan Is Still on Track To Overtake the U.S. By the Year 2000)? In the event the yen's rise -- at a mere 40 percent -- was far less than Fingleton expected (though even this modest rise represented a powerful rebuke to his opponents, who by the mid-1990s had written Japan off as a "basket case"). The yen's shortfall is not vindication denied, he says, but merely vindication postponed. What threw off his prediction was that, in defiance of all concern for the American economy's long-term health, the Clinton administration suddenly switched to a high-dollar policy in 1995 (just as Blindside was published in fact). This provided a strong short-term boost to America's trade position, by immediately reducing the dollar-denominated cost of American imports. But as the subsequent trade trend has made clear the long-term effect has been to condemn America's remaining manufacturers to a slow death.

In standing by Blindside's subtitle, Fingleton argues that, absent massive intervention by the central banks of Japan, China, and other East Asian nations, the dollar would long ago have collapsed. While Japan and China could easily survive and indeed thrive with a dollar at half its early-2005 level, the problem lies on the American side. As Clyde Prestowitz has documented in a 2005 book, a deeply hollowed out United States has lost virtually all import-substitution capacity -- thus in the short and medium terms a collapse in the dollar would have the perverse effect of greatly exacerbating America's current account deficits. Of course, dollar support efforts not only hasten the ultimate implosion of American power but in the meantime hide from the American people how disastrously the United States has already been weakened.

Basket case note: America's current account deficit in 2004 equalled nearly 6 percent of national output. The only case of a major nation exceeding this level was Italy in 1924. In January 1925, Benito Mussolini seized dictatorial powers in Rome.

On the Japanese Trade Lobby

In a major investigation for a New York-based publisher, Fingleton in 1989 showed that world-renowned McKinsey consultant Kenichi Ohmae had systematically misled American officials, executives, and journalists over many years about the nature of Japanese trade policies. Ohmae's career never recovered and he was eventually "let go" by his embarrassed McKinsey partners. Once so prominent in the trade debate that he was described as Japan's most famous citizen, Ohmae has long since virtually disappeared from view.

It is interesting to recall that in 1989 Ohmae argued that the Japanese market was as open as that of the United States. The truth was officially admitted only years later when, in a devastating gaffe at the Tokyo press club, Mitsubishi Corporation president Minoru Makihara referred to the Japanese market of the late 1980s as "closed and tightly protected."

On the Tokyo Crash

Reporting from Tokyo in the late 1980s, Fingleton was one of a tiny minority of observers who warned consistently and clearly of the coming Japanese financial crash. His concerns were first aired in Euromoney magazine in September 1987. In a six-page article he showed that Japanese banks were lending heavily to a highly inflated real estate market. The analysis was billed on Euromoney's cover with the title: "Why the Japanese Banks are Shaky." In the February 1989 issue of the same magazine he made his first prediction of the coming Tokyo stock market crash. He wrote: "After the current tax-driven boom ends in April, Tokyo stock market volume will slump -- and a prolonged bear market, starting probably in the next six months, will make the woes worse." The bear market took longer than expected to arrive -- about four months longer -- but it was to prove more ferocious and prolonged than even Fingleton had expected.

On American Accounting Standards

In 1983 Fingleton highlighted an accounting loophole that enabled many American software companies to inflate their reported profits. He showed how instead of expensing software development, companies misleadingly treated it as a capital investment. Fingleton argued that software development costs should be treated as a form of R & D -- a change that would require deduction in full against current profits. His analysis, published in Forbes magazine, was named the best accounting article of the year by the American accounting profession. The profession subsequently tightened U.S. accounting rules to eliminate the abuse.

On the American Newspaper Market

In 1982 Fingleton challenged the almost universally held view among American media professionals that the Gannett group's plans for a U.S. national newspaper were misguided. Writing in Forbes, Fingleton argued that Gannett's embrace of new technology would likely ensure success where a technologically less sophisticated previous venture had failed. The new newspaper duly caught on -- so much so that it is now America's biggest selling daily. Its name: USA Today.

On the American Television Industry

In a profile of Rupert Murdoch in Forbes magazine in 1981, Fingleton broke the news that Murdoch's Sydney-based company was considering entering satellite broadcasting in the United States. Murdoch duly pressed ahead. The resulting business is now a household name: Fox Broadcasting.

On the British Mortgage Cartel

As City editor of The Sun newspaper in London in the mid 1970s, Fingleton shocked the British establishment by baldly describing Britain's building societies (which are the British version of home mortgage banks) as a cartel. In a pioneering investigation, he showed that the nominally non-profit societies were reaping large profits from their industry-wide "agreement" on interest rates -- and were ploughing these profits into bloated branch networks and unnecessary advertising. Fingleton's campaign was endorsed by the politically influential Institute of Economic Affairs in 1979 and the cartel was broken up in the early 1980s.

Eamonn Fingleton is the author most recently ofUnsustainable: How Economic Dogma Is Destroying American Prosperity (Nation Books, 2003).

Can Anyone Compete with China? Lessons from Japan
by Eamonn Fingleton

Americans believe that the United States is in good company in being hollowed out by China. After all Japan is also suffering badly from Chinese industrial competition -- or so the American press reports. Actually Japan's trade strategy sacrifices neither workers nor high-tech leadership. This article by Eamonn Fingleton was first published in August 2005 in **The American Conservative**. For more than a decade now we have been told that the world's most advanced economies face a common fate in this era of Chinese economic expansion: massive layoffs in manufacturing and ever-rising trade deficits. Indeed, if American press reports are to be believed, Japan has even more to fear from the Chinese economic threat than the U.S. Supposedly, key Japanese industries such as electronics are being rapidly eviscerated by low-wage Chinese competition. Such reports, suggesting that there is something inevitable and inexorable about the decline of manufacturing in advanced nations, have served powerfully to tranquilize American public opinion at a time when America's trade deficits have gone from merely horrendous to truly disastrous.

It is past time these reports were exposed for the propaganda they are. No nation's trade position has suffered as much from China's rise as the United States. Quite the reverse. Many of America's key economic competitors have, on balance, strongly benefited from China's industrialization. Of these the most notable example is, oddly enough, Japan.

Consider this little publicized fact: Japan's current-account surplus last year totaled $181 billion. This was a record for any nation in world history. It was more than 2.5 times China's 2004 current-account surplus. More to the point, it was three times Japan's surplus of 1989, the peak year of American concern about Japan's "juggernaut" trade policies.

The truth is that Japan has closely co-operated with China's desire for export-led growth yet it has found ways of doing so that also boost its own exports. Hence another rather significant unpublicized fact: Japan exports more to China than it imports. Its surplus with China in 2004 ran to nearly $14 billion, up 17 percent from 2003.

Just as in the case of the United States, outsourcing to China has played a major role in corporate Japan's production arrangements in recent years. There the similarity ends. Unlike the United States, Japan believes in managing its trade. Although Japanese officials recognize that consumers can benefit from trade, they also recognize that people need jobs and incomes before they can consume. Thus where imports might pose a significant threat to Japanese jobs, the Japanese government works to minimize the damage.

Besides influencing the pace of outsourcing, Japanese policymakers ensure the trend does not entail the leakage abroad of the nation's key production technologies. Thus individual corporations are not permitted unilaterally to transfer advanced technologies to foreign operations.

If this seems impossibly complicated to administer, it isn't. Much of the control stems semi-automatically from Japan's distinctive labor regulation. In principle, employers are foresworn from making layoffs. This principle is applied flexibly: exceptions are permitted in the case of struggling small firms as well as corporate dinosaurs in near-terminal financial difficulties. But as a practical matter, layoffs are not an option for any healthy mainstream Japanese corporation.

Whereas American chief executives are much concerned with pandering to the whims of securities analysts, a typical Japanese chief executive is necessarily focused on long-term production planning. His principal concern is to create new and ever more productive work for his Japanese colleagues at every level, not least the newest recruits who can be expected to be on the payroll 30 years hence. To this end, he will make sure that, among other things, the corporation spends heavily on research and development.

He will also probably try to focus this spending mainly on developing efficient new production technologies, which provide a much more lasting benefit in terms of secure long-term jobs than, say, designing new products.

All this means that a Japanese chief executive's attitude to outsourcing will almost automatically be closely aligned with the Japanese national interest. Because he cannot easily shed labor at home, he will move production activities abroad only after he has lined up new and better work -- either more capital intensive or more know-how intensive or both -- for his domestic workers.

By way of example, a Japanese television manufacturer might move assembly operations to China only after redeploying its domestic assembly workers to make liquid crystal displays. This latter activity can be at least 10 times as capital intensive as assembling television sets.

As a practical matter, in the early stages of the trend for American corporations to outsource to China, Japanese corporations held back. But lately they have caught up and now outsource almost all routine assembly work. For both Japan and China, this is win-win. In a textbook illustration of the principle of comparative advantage, Japan does the capital-intensive work supplying high-tech components to China's low-wage assembly plants. The net effect has been a huge increase in global output of everything from mobile phones to game machines -- with a resulting benefit to the world's consumers in ever lower prices and ever greater functionality.

In geopolitical terms, the result is that Japan is now far more securely in the lead in advanced manufacturing than it ever was in the late 1980s. This does not show up in American trade statistics because much of what Japan sells to the United States these days comes via final assembly plants in China and thus is counted for American statistical purposes as "Made in China."

While Japan is the most spectacular example of a nation that has secretly leveraged Chinese industrialization to the advantage of its export industries, it is hardly alone. This should be obvious from the fact that China's surplus with the United States exceeds its surplus with the world as a whole. In other words, while China is a huge net exporter to the United States, it is actually a major net importer from the rest of the world.

It is fair to say that, in common with Japan, many of the world's other advanced manufacturing nations are using China as an export pipeline through which to sell to the United States. It is also fair to say that, not for the first time, Uncle Sam is being treated as the world trading system's ultimate patsy.

Why isn't all this better understood? A key factor is the Washington trade lobby. So skilled has it become in spinning the story that it has succeeded in pulling the wool over the eyes of countless analysts at supposedly independent think tanks.

Another factor is the perennial naivety of American foreign correspondents. The problem is particularly acute in Tokyo, where the local English-language press functions shamelessly as the Japanese Foreign Ministry's propaganda arm. The message in recent years has been that Japanese industry is almost ludicrously dysfunctional -- and therefore is quaking in its boots at the rise of Chinese manufacturing. The tone of desperation was nicely encapsulated in an op-ed article recently by corporate chieftain Nobuyuki Idei. Under the headline "Nation's competitiveness must be recovered," Idei bemoaned Japan's allegedly widespread economic inefficiency and a general decline in competitiveness. But how inefficient can a nation be if it boasts the largest trade surplus in world history and pays some of the world's highest wages? (Japanese wages now run about 20 percent higher than American levels.) Idei, of course, did not mention these points. Also left unsaid was the fact that Idei's own corporation has multiplied its dollar-denominated sales nearly fourfold over the last 15 years.

What should the United States do? Clearly it cannot -- and should not -- attempt to emulate everything a highly regulated nation like Japan does. But it could make a start by doing some things that, until recently at least, have always been in the best American traditions -- like being honest with itself.

*Eamonn Fingleton is a Tokyo-based economic commentator and author most recently of Unsustainable: How Economic Dogma Is Destroying American Prosperity (New York: Nation Books, 2003). This article is based on a presentation he made to the United States-China Commission.*
Even if you think it is stupid...........try the last part yourselves!!!

1) New York City has 11 letters

2) Afghanistan has 11 letters.

3) Ramsin Yuseb (The terrorist who threatened to destroy the Twin Towers in 1993) has 11 letters.

4) George W Bush has 11 letters.

This could be a mere coincidence, but this gets more interesting:

1) New York is the 11th state.

2) The first plane crashing against the Twin Towers was flight number 11.

3) Flight 11 was carrying 92 passengers. 9 + 2 = 11

4) Flight 77 which also hit Twin Towers, was carrying 65 passengers. 6+5 = 11

5) The tragedy was on September 11, or 9/11 as it is now known. 9 + 1+ 1 = 11

6) The date is equal to the US emergency services telephone number 911. 9 + 1 + 1 = 11.

Sheer coincidence..?! Read on and make up your own mind:

1) The total number of victims inside all the hi-jacked planes was 254. 2 + 5 + 4 = 11.

2) September 11 is day number 254 of the calendar year. Again 2 + 5 + 4 = 11.

3) The Madrid bombing took place on 3/11/2004. 3 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 4 = 11.

4) The tragedy of Madrid happened 911 days after the Twin Towers incident.

Now this is where things get totally eerie:

The most recognised symbol for the US, after the Stars & Stripes, is the Eagle.

The following verse is taken from the Quran, the Islamic holy book:

"For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle.
The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah and lo,while some of the people trembled in despair still more rejoiced: for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah and there was peace."

That verse is number 9.11 of the Quran.
uncovinced about all of this Still ..?!

Try this and see how you feel
afterwards, it made my hair stand on end:

Open Microsoft Word and do the following:

1. Type in capitals Q33 NY.
This is the flight number of the first
plane to hit one of the Twin Towers.

2. Highlight the Q33 NY.

3. Change the font size to 48.

4. Change the actual font to the WINGDINGS

What do you think now?!!
How US economy works?

<!--emo&:argue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/argue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='argue.gif' /><!--endemo--> Updated: 02:29 AM EDT
<b>Judge Orders Halt to Warrantless Surveillance</b>
Bush Administration Says It Will Appeal the Ruling

DETROIT (Aug. 18) - Noting "there are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution," a federal judge ruled Thursday that President Bush had exceeded his authority when he allowed the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans without a warrant.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the suit, said it would oppose a stay but agreed to delay enforcement of the injunction until Judge Taylor hears arguments Sept. 7.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit said the surveillance by the NSA violates the rights to free speech and privacy, as well as the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution.

The Bush administration said the program is a vital tool in the fight against terrorism and said it would seek a reversal by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

White House press secretary Tony Snow said the Bush administration "couldn't disagree more with this ruling." He said the program carefully targets communications of suspected terrorists and "has helped stop terrorist attacks and saved American lives."

Taylor ordered an immediate halt to the program, but the government said it would ask for a stay of that order pending appeal. The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the suit, said it would oppose a stay but agreed to delay enforcement of the injunction until Taylor hears arguments Sept. 7.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit in January on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who say the program has made it difficult for them to do their jobs. They believe many of their overseas contacts are likely targets of the program, which monitors phone calls and e-mails between people in the U.S. and people in other countries when a link to terrorism is suspected.

The ACLU says the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which set up a secret court to grant warrants for such surveillance, gave the government enough tools to monitor suspected terrorists.

The government argued that the program is well within the president's authority but said proving that would require revealing state secrets.

The ACLU said the state-secrets argument was irrelevant because the Bush administration already had publicly revealed enough information about the program for Taylor to rule.

Taylor agreed, writing in her 43-page opinion that "Plaintiffs need no additional facts" to establish their claims.

Taylor, a Carter appointee, said the government appeared to argue that the president has the "inherent power" to violate laws of Congress and the First and Fourth amendments to the Constitution.

"We must first note that the Office of the Chief Executive has itself been created, with its powers, by the Constitution," Taylor wrote. "There are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution. So all 'inherent powers' must derive from that Constitution."

The Justice Department said the program "is lawful and protects civil liberties."

ACLU executive director Anthony Romero called Taylor's opinion "another nail in the coffin in the Bush administration's legal strategy in the war on terror."

"At its core, today's ruling addresses the abuse of presidential power and reaffirms the system of checks and balances that's necessary to our democracy," he told reporters.

One of the plaintiffs in the case, Detroit immigration lawyer Noel Saleh, said the NSA program had made it difficult to represent his clients, some of whom the government accuses of terrorist connections.

Many of those cases require him to speak to witnesses overseas. "There's no way I or my clients would feel secure" about the privacy of those phone conversations, Saleh said.

Saleh, a leader in Michigan's large Arab-American community, said the program affected not only lawyers, scholars and journalists whose professional activities require them to communicate overseas, but anyone with relatives abroad.

For example, Saleh said there were "constant phone calls between the United States and Lebanon" in recent weeks, as people here sought news of their families amid the violence in the Middle East. The NSA was likely listening in on many of those calls, he said.

"People have the right to be concerned about their family, to check on the welfare of their family and not be spied on by the government," he said.

In Washington, Republicans expressed hope that the decision would be overturned, while many Democrats praised the ruling.

"It is disappointing that a judge would take it upon herself to disarm America during a time of war," Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.

West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the decision shows the executive branch needs more external reviews.

"The administration is wrongly convinced that it can run the country without Congress or oversight. This is their tragic failure, and the courts understand it," Rockefeller said. "The nation's security is serious business - and particularly during such a dangerous time - it requires constant oversight, input and understanding from the Congress, the courts, and the American people."

Both Hoekstra and Rockefeller have been briefed extensively on the program's details.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, is championing a compromise that would allow Bush to submit the surveillance program to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a one-time test of its constitutionality. Civil liberties groups say such a review would be a sham.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the administration believes such legislation is not necessary to make the program legal but has committed to working with Specter on it. He said it may address some of the concerns raised in the judge's ruling.

But Taylor's opinion was so sweeping that congressional approval of the program would not address her concerns, said Richard Pildes, a professor at New York University School of Law.

"The debate about this program has overwhelmingly been about whether Congress has to authorize it for it to be constitutional. But beyond holding that Congress does have to do so, this judge has suggested it would violate the Constitution even if Congress authorized it," Pildes said.

"Until Congress actually addresses these questions, I would expect most appellate courts to be extremely reluctant to address many of the questions this judge was willing to weigh in on."

Taylor dismissed one claim in the ACLU's lawsuit that dealt with data-mining of phone records. The lawsuit alleged that the NSA "uses artificial intelligence aids to search for keywords and analyze patterns in millions of communications at any given time."

Taylor said not enough had been publicly revealed about that program to support the claim and further litigation would jeopardize state secrets.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed related to data-mining against phone companies, accusing them of improperly turning over records to the NSA.

Associated Press writer Katherine Shrader in Washington contributed to this report.
<!--emo&Tongue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tongue.gif' /><!--endemo--> About the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution, in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the <st1:place><st1TonguelaceType>University</st1TonguelaceType> of <st1TonguelaceName>Edinburgh</st1TonguelaceName></st1:place>, had this to say about the fall of the <st1:place><st1TonguelaceName>Athenian</st1TonguelaceName> <st1TonguelaceType>Republic</st1TonguelaceType></st1:place> some 2,000 years prior:

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

"The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. From bondage to spiritual faith;

2. From spiritual faith to great courage;

3. From courage to liberty;

4. From liberty to abundance;

5. From abundance to complacency;

6. From complacency to apathy;

7. From apathy to dependence;

8. From dependence back into bondage "

Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts
concerning the 2000 Presidential election:

Population of counties won by: Gore: 127 million; Bush: 143 million;

Square miles of land won by: Gore: 580,000; Bush: 2,427,000

States won by: Gore: 19; Bush: 29

Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Gore: 13.2; Bush: 2.1

Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by the tax-paying citizens of this great country.


Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off government welfare..."

Olson believes the <st1:country-region><st1:place>United States</st1:place></st1:country-region> is now somewhere between the "complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of Democracy, with some 40 percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.

Pass this along to help everyone realize just how much is at stake, knowing that apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom.

P.S. #9 If the Senate grants Amnesty and citizenship to 20 million criminal invaders called illegals and they vote, then goodbye <st1:country-region><st1:place>USA</st1:place></st1:country-region, sooner than you think!
<b>Bush: Without my plan, detainee questioning won't continue</b>
Today's press congerence was very interesting. I am waiting for transcript to come on line. Here are some highlights.

-On Islam : Fighting war against Islam is important otherwise they will harm our children.
- On Pakistan : He will talk to Mushy regarding hanky panky with tribal leaders.

- On Iraq: <b>"It's no question it's tough. What I look for is whether or not the unity government is moving forward, whether or not they have a political plan to resolve issues such as oil and federalism, whether or not they're willing to reconcile and whether or not Iraqi troops and Iraqi police are doing their jobs."</b>

-On Sudan's Darfur crisis: Bush said, "<b>I'm frustrated with the United Nations in regards to Darfur. I have said, and this government has said, there's genocide taking place in Sudan. ... I'm troubled by reports I hear about escalating violence. I can understand the desperation people feel for women being pulled out of these refugees centers and raped. And now is the time for the U.N. to act."</b>
<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in USA's Department Of State submits a highly derogatory and distorted International Religious Freedom report on India. This report is to be placed in US Congress and Senate.</span>


Some gems from the report:

However, the Government sometimes did not act swiftly enough to counter effectively societal attacks against religious minorities and attempts by some leaders of state and local governments to limit religious freedom.

Terrorists attempted to provoke religious conflict by attacking Hindu Temples in Ayodhya and Varanasi. The Government reacted in a swift manner to rein in Hindu extremists, prevent revenge attacks and reprisal, and assure the Muslim community of its safety.

Despite the UPA Government's rejection of "Hindutva," the ideology that espouses politicized inculcation of Hindu religious and cultural norms above other religious norms, the ideology continued to influence governmental policies and societal attitudes in some regions at the state and local levels.

In response to a supreme court mandate, in February 2006, the Gujarat police stated that it would reinvestigate 1,600 of the approximately 2,000 cases that were filed and closed in 2002. In March 2006, the Banarjee Commission report stated that the Godhra train fire was an accident.

BJP held power in eight states. Its political platform called for the construction of a Hindu temple on the site of a mosque in Ayodhya destroyed by a Hindu mob in 1992.

List is long...

This is a weird game being played out..


For first time, unmarried households reign in US
Only Pentagon can provide this information. This information should be confidential.
John Wilson: Some Highlights of the Annual Meeting of the Historical Society

Source: Christianity Today (6-12-06)

Faithful readers may recall the parallel-universe cabinet proposed in our 2004 election issue (the one with "Bono for President" on the cover), which included Mark Noll as Secretary of History: "Imagine the president meeting every two weeks, say, with his historian. Everyone else around him is focused relentlessly on the present, not least on the ever-proliferating opinion polls. When his advisers venture into history, they generally do so in the spirit of a raid—to rip from its context a precedent, an anecdote, a jeweled phrase that will serve some partisan purpose. But for a half-hour every fortnight, the president simply listens to his historian telling him about another time, with its enigmas and ironies intact—yet also, always, a tale of choices made for better or worse, hence bearing on the choices to be made today."

So I fantasized in November 2004. Alas, there's no indication that such a new cabinet post is about to be created. Still, undaunted, historians continue to ply their trade, and earlier this month I had reason to reflect on just how useful their work can be. The occasion was the every-other-year convention of The Historical Society (I urge you to visit the website and check out their excellent publications, Historically Speaking and The Journal of the Historical Society), held this time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The subject was "Globalization, Empire, and Imperialism in Historical Perspective."

We urgently need an antidote to the journalistic clichés and the even more deplorable pseudo-scholarly discourse surrounding the interlocked themes of globalization, empire, and imperialism. We need the distance—the perspective—that good historical thinking affords. There was plenty of that on display in Chapel Hill, along with some muddle.

The most provocative session I attended was the concluding keynote lecture by Deepak Lal, the polymathic economist whose book In Praise of Empires: Globalization and Order (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) argued that peace and prosperity are likely to flourish under the umbrella of empire, while convulsive disorder typically follows the decay of imperial power. <span style='color:red'>For his lecture at the conference, Lal summarized that book-length argument and added observations based on recent events, particularly the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Witty, urbane, gleefully contrarian, Lal added the charge (which he has made elsewhere, in The Hindu Equilibrium, for instance) that the Christian monotheism still so influential in the United States has interfered with the proper exercise of American power. Empires, you see, should be content with establishing order; in other respects they should be wisely tolerant, not attempting to impose their beliefs on the various peoples in their sphere of influence. (We'll return to this topic, and to Lal's work in particular, later in the summer.)</span>

One of the hot scholarly trends these days is "transnational" history, and that was evident on the conference program, both for good and for ill. A paper on the expansion of British Freemasonry gave the impression that this was something unprecedented as an instance of a "cultural institution" that established an international "presence" in a way that contributed to globalization. Hmmm. What about the Catholic Church? (The paper mentions the Jesuits only parenthetically, then goes on to argue that Freemasonry marked a departure in developing "international networks." Really?) Indeed, scholars focusing on various aspects of the history of Christianity have been doing first-rate transnational history for a long time, much of which has a bearing on our understanding of globalization and empire.

In addition to the official program, of course, such gatherings offer abundant side-conversation, and the quality of the talk here was very high. I'm already looking forward to the 2008 edition.

That's classified information, which shouldn't be public.
Only people who would be interested in that are Iranian intelligence or an Iraqi terrorist.

<!--QuoteBegin-jayshastri+Oct 17 2006, 11:26 PM-->QUOTE(jayshastri @ Oct 17 2006, 11:26 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->rough estimate? relative praportions? % ? any thing?
<b>The World After Bush</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->By Michael Lind,  New America Foundation
PROSPECT | November 2006

The neoconservative fantasy of US global hegemony is discredited, and the neoliberal dream of a UN-led world is also doomed.

On 20th January 2009, George W Bush, barring his death, resignation or impeachment, will be succeeded by the 44th US president. Whether Republican or Democrat, the next president will not only inherit a number of crises, but will be in a considerably weaker position to deal with them.

Much of America’s weakness will be the result of self-inflicted wounds: the unnecessary invasion of Iraq, along with the Bush administration’s gratuitous insults to allies, its arrogant unilateralism and its hostility to international law. But as tempting as it may be to put all of the blame on the Bush administration, the truth is that most of the trends that will limit American power and influence in the next decade are long-term phenomena produced by economic, demographic and ideological developments beyond the power of the US or any government to influence. The rise of China, the shift in the centre of the world economy to Asia, the growth of neo-mercantilist petro-politics, the spread of Islamism in both militant and moderate forms -- these trends are reshaping the world order in ways that neither the US nor any of its allies can do much to control.

In retrospect, we can view the period in US and world history that has just ended as "the long 1990s." Those years began in euphoria with the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and expired in frustration in late 2003, when the swift victory of the US and its allies over Iraq’s armed forces was succeeded by an insurgency that exposed the limits of US power. But even if 9/11 and the Iraq invasion had never occurred, the conventional wisdom of the long 1990s would have crumbled at some point after colliding with reality.


<b>GOP officials: Rumsfeld stepping down</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, architect of an unpopular war in Iraq, intends to resign after six stormy years at the Pentagon, Republican officials said Wednesday.

Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, would replace Rumsfeld.

The development occurred one day after congressional elections that cost Republicans control of the House of Representatives, and possibly the Senate as well. Surveys of voters at polling places said opposition to the war was a significant contributor to the Democratic Party's victory. 

President George W. Bush was expected to announce Rumsfeld's departure and Gates' nomination at a news conference. Administration officials notified congressional officials in advance.
<!--emo&:blow--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blow.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blow.gif' /><!--endemo--> http://nancypelositohillaryclinton.blogspot.com/
<!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo--> <b>Gates closed window of Indo-Pak war</b>
[ 9 Nov, 2006 2300hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
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Robert Oakley, the U.S envoy to Pakistan who accompanied Gates to the meeting, tells Hersh that Beg had not briefed the Pakistani leaders on the risks of war, in a similar vein it appears, to what Gen. Musharraf did with Nawaz Sharief in the context of Kargil. Oakley says Beg sat in the meeting looking smug, while Khan became quite sober, particularly after Gates warned him that if war breaks out "Don't expect any help from us."

In the end, following Gates warning that Pakistan has to "stop supporting terrorism in Kashmir," – the reason for India’s military flexing -- Khan assures him that Pakistani training camps for Kashmiri insurgents would be shut down. Gates then goes to New Delhi with this assurance. India agrees to let American military attachés of the U.S Embassy go to the front in Kashmir and Rajasthan and see for themselves that no imminent invasion of Pakistan was in the works. The American attachés duly reported that the Indian units, including its vaunted Strike Corps, were in the process of closing down their exercises.

While this is the American version of events, Indian officials close to the developments in those days have told this correspondent in the past that the narrative is exaggerated and there was never a threat of nuclear war. By Gates own account, even the Soviets declined to weigh in and basically dismissed the American notion that there was a crisis. And most significantly, Pakistan’s then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was travelling in the Gulf at that time, gave him the run around did not even return to meet Gates -- much to his annoyance.

While this "American-made crisis" and Gates' role in defusing it might be of interest to India now that he will be Defense Secretary, U.S commentators were busy scrutinizing his extensive 26-year CIA career. He is the only CIA Director who began as a recruit at the bottom of the ladder and reached the very top – with a couple of stumbles in between.
<b>Man who averted an Indo-Pak war</b>?<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The story goes back to May 1990 when Robert Gates was a Deputy National Security Advisor in the Bush Sr White House, and<b> India and Pakistan were ruled by relatively weak governments headed by V P Singh and Benazir Bhutto respectively</b>.

A series of misunderstandings between the two countries arising from military exercises and violent incidents in Kashmir brought them to the brink of a war including activating nuclear weapons – according to the American version of events

Same is current situation.
Lets see what is store for India.
<!--emo&:bhappy--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/b_woot.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='b_woot.gif' /><!--endemo--> US senator outsources speech to India
Mini Joseph Tejaswi
[ 13 Nov, 2006 0010hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

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BANGALORE: Last year, the UK government is said to have outsourced a pre and post election related work to a business processing organisation (BPO) firm in Bangalore.

Now, a republican senator, Frank Morse, in Portland, Oregon, read out a speech on ‘‘The Impact of Globalisation on Oregon Economy’’ written by another outsourcing provider in Bangalore.

It might sound quite ironical, considering the amount of anti-outsourcing rhetoric raised across the US and UK. But the fact is that, the waves of outsourcing have been hitting the political power corridors of these dominating economies in the world.

Well, that’s the power of outsourcing, a virtual hammer that beats the fat, round world into a flat platter.
That’s why, Brickwork India’s captain, Vivek Kulkarni, could sit here and put down a well researched speech copy for a United States politician, who is thousands of miles away. Being a technocrat cum entrepreneur, what’s Kulkarni’s expertise to draft a political speech?

"I have written dozens of speeches for former chief minister of Karnataka S M Krishna, who was also the IT minister, when I was the IT secretary. So when senator Morse, who is also a big industrialist, approached us, we knew what to do. We took a couple of weeks to do it, after studying the senator’s earlier speeches to familiarise his style,"
he said. But again, Kulkarni and his team had to work hard since it was a business speech by a politician.

A lot of preparation was needed, apart from culling out a lot of ground-level, local, specific information. Thomas Friedman's book 'The World is Flat' seems to have worked as a global signboard for Brickwork. It was through this book the senator learnt of this company.

Brickwork subscribes to a lot of databases, McKinsey, Harvard Press journals, all leading business, trade,
industry magazines, all major foreign news papers, publication and business magazines.

Also, the internet comes handy as a research point. "But again, it will not give you everything," said Kulkarni.

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