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USA And The Future Of The World
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Wish China weren't communist. But that's one of those wishes, isn't it: wish christoislamism would cease to exist, wish China wasn't a power-hungry communist country but a Taoist-Buddhist-Confucian country again, wish communism would cease to exist, wish the US wasn't trying to destabilise/breakup other countries, wish psecularism would cease to exist, ...<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

In the case of China I am of the opinion that being Maoist or Taoist or Buddhist does not make a difference. Some time ago I had posted messages on some of the victories of Buddhist/Taoist China. In case you want to get a picture you can see the below links.

China can only be seen as a danger to its neighbor irrespective of its religious callings and cultural leanings at that time. A weak China is good for the world, especially India. The Chinese are an old civilization with many worthy accomplishments, but for Non-Chinese that is only all the more cause of worry. Unfortunately, we do not have the Turks and Mongols anymore who in the past used to knock China on the head and keep them contained.


Thanks for the links. I will read them.

I only spoke as I find. Knowing quite a number of Chinese and Taiwanese Taoists, Taoist-Buddhists, Buddhists - some of whom are Confucianists also - (T, B, C) they are very much like older generation Indians. Such people are of course not the kind who'd have ever been or would ever become emperors or communist dictators in China.

Conceding that imperial or monarchic China has for many ages been a threat to neighbouring nations, might that not be different if the average B,T,C Chinese person - if they are like the people I know - were part of a democracy rather than an empire/communist country?
I mean, if the current communist-dictorship collapsed and China ceased to have an authoritarian government - wouldn't a democratic government that is more representative of the C,T,B population be a much safer and more sincerely friendly neighbour?

Am rather worried about the creeping christoterrorism in China, though. It will destroy the average Chinese person's character if given a chance. So in that case, if China were to become democratic eventually, it would certainly not be a neighbour heathen Asian countries would wish to have.

Have now read the 3 links. Feels like history is repeating itself these days, what with islam and Chinese imperialism having helped each other for their own reasons in the past to destroy Indian (and other ancient) societies, as Pakistan and China's communism are doing today.
Didn't know where this was to go. This is Canada, not the US.
Internal disagreement on whether to keep or toss the recent anti-terror measures.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Canada Set To Kill Anti-Terror Measures</b>
28/02/2007 07:19 AM
David Ljunggren
Canada's Parliament is set to scrap two contentious anti-terror measures on Tuesday, angering the minority Conservative government, which accuses opposition legislators of being soft on terror.

One provision allows police to arrest people suspected of planning an imminent terrorist attack and hold them for three days without charge. The second provides for investigative hearings in which a judge can compel witnesses to testify about alleged terrorist activities.

The measures were introduced by the then-Liberal government after the Sept. 11, 2001, suicide attacks on the United States. In a bid to allay fears over human rights, Ottawa agreed the provisions would expire after five years.

The measures run out on March 1 and can only be extended by a vote in the House of Commons, where the Conservative government controls just 125 of the 308 seats.

The three opposition parties say they will vote against the measures because they have never been used and therefore are no longer needed. The vote will take place at about 5:45 p.m. Eastern Time (2245 GMT).

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose Conservatives won power in January 2006 on a platform that promised to crack down on crime, says the Liberals are soft on terror and cannot be trusted to keep Canadians safe.

"That is an irresponsible and dangerous action and the Liberal Party should change course," he told Parliament last Thursday. The Liberals will be the main threat to Harper in elections which some political observers expect this year.

Liberal leader Stephane Dion rejects the charge, saying Harper is using fears of terrorism and crime in a bid to win votes.

"Soft on terrorism? That's awful. It will not stop me from finding the best solutions. I will not be intimidated by these bullying strategies," he told Reuters in an interview late on Monday.

"I know very well how important it is to protect Canadians against terrorism ... I came to the conclusion with my caucus that the two provisions we are speaking about are not helpful and represent a risk to individual rights."

Not all Liberals back the stance of Dion, who has ordered his legislators to vote against the measures. Former justice minister Irwin Cotler said he would abstain.

"The fact that they've not been used means that they've not been abused, but they may still be needed and therefore should be extended," he told CBC television on Tuesday.

Some government officials suggested a compromise on Monday whereby the measures would be extended by six months to give a special parliamentary committee time to review the matter further. Dion said the offer had been made far too late.

A vote against the two provisions would be the second time in a week that elements of Canada's anti-terror legislation have been eliminated.

Last Friday, the Supreme Court struck down a law that allowed foreign suspects to be detained indefinitely without trial on the basis of secret evidence.

"Now we see that a nation can regain its senses after calm reflection and begin to rein back such excesses," the New York Times said in its main editorial on Tuesday, calling on the administration of President George W. Bush to take similar steps in the United States.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
That was Canada. Meanwhile, in America:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>US Urged To Account For "CIA Prisoners"</b>
28/02/2007 08:59 AM
Mark Trevelyan, Security Correspondent

Several dozen terrorism suspects believed to have been held at secret CIA prisons are still missing without trace, and the United States should reveal what has happened to them, a leading rights group said on Tuesday.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged President George W. Bush in an open letter to disclose the identity, fate and whereabouts of all prisoners held at secret CIA facilities since 2001.

"As you may know, the CIA's detention programme has inflicted great harm on the reputation, moral standing and integrity of the United States," HRW wrote to Bush.
('the reputation, moral standing and integrity of the United States' <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo-->)

"By revealing information about the fate and whereabouts of people formerly held in CIA custody, you could begin to repair the damage this abusive program has caused."

Secret abduction and detention of suspects has been one of the most controversial and fiercely criticised aspects of Bush's war on terrorism, with rights groups arguing such methods are illegal and frequently lead to abuse and torture.
(Come on. The US has always done this. People ought to stop pretending it's a new thing. But it's true that the US has expanded it massively now, what with outsourcing their 'interrogations' to their bases in Europe and Central Asia.)

Bush acknowledged last September that the Central Intelligence Agency had run a secret detention programme for terrorist suspects and strongly defended it, saying the intelligence gleaned had saved lives.
(See links at the bottom of this post.)

Washington said at the time that the last 14 prisoners held had been transferred to its detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, and none remained in CIA custody.

But HRW said many people remained unaccounted for. In the letter to Bush, it listed 38 missing people it believed had been, or may have been, held in secret CIA prisons.

Among those on the list:

-- Hassan Ghul, a suspected al Qaeda operative whose capture in Iraq was announced by Bush in January 2004.

-- Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, a Pakistani whose arrest in Lahore in July 2004 triggered security alerts at financial targets in New York, New Jersey and Washington and helped Britain crack a suspected al Qaeda sleeper cell.

-- Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, a Syrian holding a Spanish passport who is wanted in Spain for possible links to the 2004 Madrid bombings. Pakistani intelligence sources told Reuters last year he had been caught and handed to the United States.

HRW said it was possible some of the missing people had been moved to foreign prisons but remained for practical purposes under CIA control.

Or they might have been transferred out of CIA custody to countries where "the torture of terrorism suspects is common", it said, citing Algeria, Egypt, Libya and Syria.

"If they are being held in proxy detention in a third country, the U.S. government should either transfer them to the United States for prosecution in U.S. courts, or order their release," HRW said.

"To leave these men in hidden limbo violates fundamental human rights norms."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Enough pretending that the US is some pro-Human Rights country. They should just say: so we disappear-and-torture suspects, so what? We've always done so. Cue the speech of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men: 'Son, you can't handle the truth... '.

I don't care a dime about terrorists, but what's up with the US playacting about how its means are so far above those of their adversaries? Afraid their populace won't come around? Don't worry, American majority is christo. Am sure they're just fine with it. Christoislamism: christos and islamics are made for each other.
The rest of us: Yeah we know - it's their world and we just live in it. And we ought to thank our lucky little stars that they let us live at all, right?

HRW Statement on U.S. Secret Detention Facilities in Europe

BBC - Secret CIA jail claims rejected (7 June 2006)

BBC - Bush admits to CIA secret prisons (7 September 2006)

BBC - US deal struck on terror suspects (22 September 2006)
(Since the cat is out of the bag, they're trying to change public image through words. But it's all words. In reality, nothing has changed.)

Washington Post - Rice to Admit German's Abduction Was an Error (Dec 2005)

BBC - Europe 'aided US in CIA flights' (7 June 2006)

BBC - Euro MPs demand CIA jail answers (7 September 2006)

BBC - EU states 'knew of CIA flights' (23 Jan 2007)

This should be introduced into the Californian school curriculum, to pay tribute to modern-day christianity. Cheers.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>US Tells Russia Missile Shield Is No Threat</b>
28/02/2007 07:48 AM
Adrian Croft
The United States plans to build a missile shield in eastern Europe to protect US allies from attack by Iran and it poses no threat to Russia, US officials said on Tuesday.

The US plan to put a radar system in the Czech Republic and a missile battery in Poland as part of the shield has angered Russia whose president, Vladimir Putin, has described it as a threat to his country's national security.

The head of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, dismissed that concern.

"There's no way 10 interceptors based in eastern Europe can challenge the hundreds of missiles and the thousands of warheads that the Russians have," he told a conference hosted by the Royal United Services Institute, a British defence think-tank.

"It's not the Russians we're worried about. It's the Iranians we are worried about," he said.
(Oh, you bet they're worried about the Russians. Both the Russians and the Chinese can easily beat the US and become superpowers. What country or empire has ever beaten Russia? Not Napolean, not nazi Germany - both lost to Russia and both were destroyed because they threw themselves against Rossiya.
Though I'll admit these puny little interceptors needn't be meant for the Russians at all.)

Washington and Tehran are locked in a confrontation over Iran's nuclear programme, which Iran says is for peaceful purposes but which the West says aims to make nuclear bombs.

Obering said there were no defences in place to protect the forces of U.S. allies in Europe from the threat of a long-range missile attack by Iran.

"We're not focused necessarily on what Iran is doing today or tomorrow. We are worried about what they are going to be doing in three or four or five years because that's how long it's going to take us to build these defences," he said.

US officials say the shield is also designed to counter any missile fired from North Korea.

Obering said he had travelled to Moscow to brief Russian officials on the US missile defence plans. "We'll continue to do so, so that they feel more and more comfortable," he said.

He said the United States had invited Russian officials to visit interceptor silos in Alaska and hoped to invite them to the installations in eastern Europe, if they went ahead.

John Rood, assistant US secretary of state for international security and non-proliferation, also assured Russia the U.S. plan posed no threat to Moscow.

"The United States has no interest in an arms race with Russia and there won't be an arms race because we don't intend to race," he told the conference.

He said Washington had been deeply disappointed by what he called "Cold War rhetoric" from the Russians about the system.

Britain said last week it was talking to Washington about participating in the shield. In 2003 Britain agreed to let the United States upgrade early warning radar systems at the Fylingdales air base in northern England so that the missile defence project could go ahead.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Just a question, why is the US allowed to build bases everywhere?
Based on the same logic, if I were to become emperor of India (don't worry, no one will let it happen <!--emo&Wink--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='wink.gif' /><!--endemo--> ) would America just roll over and let me build my bases in the US and Alaska and Mexico, say, and can I have, for instance, large missiles housed in those bases that I could use (at my whim) to point to any country in the Americas if I ever got miffed with anyone? Absolute power sounds so ... empowering. Maybe I <i>should</i> stand for the 'Absolute Monarch'-elections next time they roll round, or, if I fail to get myself democratically elected, I can always crown myself emperor like Napoleon did. You'll all be invited to the ceremony, by the way.
('Liberty, Equality, Fraternity' my foot - after abolishing the monarchy, Napoleon got himself made emperor in papal presence. Sounds like communism, doesn't it? Got to love facts when they're so much better than fiction...)
I have heard identical views as yours on a democratic China being a safe bet from some Americans. My take on it may be you are right. Some people have indeed declared that democracy reduces conflict due the government being under people's control. But then we have US a decmocracy entering into many unnecessary wars, often with the American people's support for these wars. So I am not immediately sure how the democratic Chinese may behave. I have encountered Chinese outside of China that have broken away from their government propaganda and these are generally not the like the Maoist in the homeland. But i still remain circumspect about China.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Am rather worried about the creeping christoterrorism in China, though. It will destroy the average Chinese person's character if given a chance. So in that case, if China were to become democratic eventually, it would certainly not be a neighbour heathen Asian countries would wish to have.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

This is a big danger. A Chinese scientist whom I met felt that the US is strongly driving for Xtianization of the land and is helped by the denudation of baudha and their native mata-s due to Maoism. In lanka, and some eastern bauddha countries the bauddha monks are aggressively checking missionary intrusions. But many Chinese are now thinking Xtianism is "cool".
Post 110 (HH):
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I have heard identical views as yours on a democratic China being a safe bet from some Americans. My take on it may be you are right. Some people have indeed declared that democracy reduces conflict due the government being under people's control. But then we have US a decmocracy entering into many unnecessary wars, often with the American people's support for these wars. So I am not immediately sure how the democratic Chinese may behave.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->My post was obviously just a supposition, based on the Chinese and Taiwanese people I know.

But as the two countries in question - China and the US - are rather different in character, it's hard to make a comparison or make a prediction about one based on the other. The US population is largely christian, and even those of its people that are non-religious are unfortunately very much raised in a christian-conditioned environment (society).

Many religious Americans really believe the US is the promised land gawd gave them (Americans think they've become the chosen people of gawd; an idea stolen more recently from Judaism, and based on Yahweh's promised land for his Jewish followers who were his Chosen People) and that they can lord it over other nations like Adam played 'steward' to the animal creations. This has had generations to seep into even those who are non-religious. They think they really can and have the right to 'set everyone's house in order' and at the same time make it align with their own.

The Chinese are not a christian people, so we don't really know clearly to what extent a democratic C,B,T (non-christian) China will be similar to or different from a 'democratic' US.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->a 'democratic' US.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Suppose I ought to qualify why I've put democratic in quotes at the end of post 111. Everyone here would know, but this is for the record.
The last two US elections were rigged to make Dubya 'Look, I Can Read Dr Seuss' Bush the president and bring in the Republican party and put their policies into effect.

In the 2000 elections Gore and the Democrats should have pressed for a recount.
Kerry should have done the same in 2004. Wonder why neither did.

<b>2000 elections</b>
(1) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info...le3187.htm
<b>"Greg Palast: BBC Investigation Into How Voter Data Was Used To Prevent Democrats From Voting In The Last Presidential Elections."</b>
Contains a Real player video summarising the 2000 US election scams

At the end of the video, it mentions that one Democrat admitted that if they could have, the Democrats would have acted (cheated) the same way as the Republicans had in actuality done.

Greg Palast, who's mentioned above, is a journalist (investigative reporter for BBC Television, also a contributing editor for Harper's magazine. He also used to have a column in UK's Guardian paper)

(2) http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0621-11.htm
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Published on Monday, June 21, 2004 by GregPalast.com
<b>One Million Black Votes Didn't Count in the 2000 Presidential Election
It's not too hard to get your vote lost -- if some politicians want it to be lost</b>
by Greg Palast

In the 2000 presidential election, 1.9 million Americans cast ballots that no one counted. "Spoiled votes" is the technical term. The pile of ballots left to rot has a distinctly dark hue: About 1 million of them -- half of the rejected ballots -- were cast by African Americans although black voters make up only 12 percent of the electorate.
This year, it could get worse.

These ugly racial statistics are hidden away in the mathematical thickets of the appendices to official reports coming out of the investigation of ballot-box monkey business in Florida from the last go-'round.

How do you spoil 2 million ballots? Not by leaving them out of the fridge too long. A stray mark, a jammed machine, a punch card punched twice will do it. It's easy to lose your vote, especially when some politicians want your vote lost.
While investigating the 2000 ballot count in Florida for BBC Television, I saw firsthand how the spoilage game was played -- with black voters the predetermined losers.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->(3) http://www.workingforchange.com/printite...emid=16995
BuzzFlash Interviews Greg Palast
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(<b>Greg Palast:</b>) I've been working with the statisticians from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and Harvard Law School. In the year 2000, 1.9 million votes were cast and not counted across this country –- 1.9 million votes. And of those 1.9 million votes, about a million were cast by African-Americans. This investigation was conducted by Harvard and the Civil Rights Commission, and I grabbed the material. There's a 1965 Voting Rights Act that gave black people the right to vote, but not the right to have their votes counted.

All this came out of my first investigation in Florida. I brought it to the attention of the Civil Rights Commission that the so-called "spoilage rate" seemed to be different among black people than with white people. What that means is that, if you make a mistake on a ballot, or if there's some problem with reading your ballot, your vote doesn't count.

In Florida, the researchers went precinct by precinct and determined that if you are a black person, you are 10 times more likely to have your vote marked spoiled and voided than if you're a white voter –- 10 times! And what's disgusting is that that is the national average. So we basically have a big black thumbprint on the electoral scale in our election, and it's going to be worse in 2004.

<b>BuzzFlash:</b> You're saying that the Florida 2000 election was just the tip of the iceberg and that there is essentially a national epidemic of erasing or not counting African-American votes?

<b>Greg Palast:</b> There are several things. First, there is the big story I broke last time. As it turns out in Florida, 90,000 mostly African-American voters -- which is the latest official number from the courts -- were illegally targeted for removal from the voter rolls. Those people were not allowed to even register to vote and therefore didn't cast a ballot in the election.

But for those African-Americans who did get to vote, their votes were far more likely not to be counted than other votes. I saw this in Florida, and it is deliberate. When it's 10 to 1, as any statistician told me, unless lightning strikes seven times in one spot, how can it not be deliberate? <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->(4) There's even a <b>DVD documentary</b> on this, it seems:
'Unprecedented - The 2000 Presidential Election'
Continued from post 112:

<b>2004 elections</b>
Everyone must have read the news - it made international headlines - that in some places in the US, African-Americans (more likely to vote Democrat, based on past voting patterns) were told that they were to vote on another day. Even though many African-Americans are christians, they are ever the untermensch in the christo-paradise of America.
Similarly, people voting for Democrats were told they had to vote on a separate day. Excerpts from various papers and articles follow:

(1) http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Pa...L20041208b.html
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Jesse Jackson: 2004 Election 'Ain't Over'</b>
By Marc Morano
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
Flyers were sent to black voters telling them the election was two days after the actual date, Shelton charged.

"We were told that if you were for one party, you would vote on one day, on November 2, but if you were the member of another party -- a party that over 88 percent of African Americans supported in this last election -- your day to vote was two days later," Shelton said.

"And indeed people came out to vote two days later and found out they could not cast that vote because of the kind of trickery that [they] were still experiencing," he added. "The trickery has become much more insidious than ever before."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->(2) http://www.freepress.org/departments/dis...9/2004/834
(The right-hand column at this url links to more articles on uncounted votes and more)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Election Issues
<b>Basic report from Columbus</b>
by Ray Beckerman
November 5, 2004

I worked for 3 days, including Election Day, on the statewide voter protection hotline run by the Ohio Democratic Party in Columbus, Ohio.

I am writing this because the media is inexplicably whitewashing what happened in Ohio, and Kerry's concession was likewise inexplicable.

Hundreds of thousands of people were disenfranchised in Ohio. People waited on line for as long as 10 hours. It appears to have only happened in Democratic-leaning precincts, principally (a) precincts where many African Americans lived, and (b) precincts near colleges.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->(3) http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0410/S00308.htm AND http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/ne...956129.stm
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Greg Palast: BBC Reveals New Florida Vote Scandal </b>
Wednesday, 27 October 2004, 2:41 pm
Article: Greg Palast 

                <b>Tonight BBC TV to Reveal New Florida Vote Scandal
                                 Republican "Caging List"</b>
                               BBC Television News On-Line
                                Tuesday, October 26, 2004
                                    Greg Palast, reporting

A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->(4) http://www.gregpalast.com/bbc-report-spark...ida-vote-storm/
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>BBC Report Sparks Florida Vote Storm</b>
Published October 28th, 2004 in Articles
By Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst

Washington, DC, Oct. 27 (UPI) — A British Broadcasting Corporation report has unleashed a political storm over suggestions that the Bush campaign in Florida may be planning to disrupt voting in the state’s black neighborhoods.

Democrats have expressed outrage over the BBC report, while Republicans are heatedly challenging its accuracy.
However, the controversy around the Jacksonville list is far from the only allegation of attempts by GOP campaign officials to suppress or discourage African-American voter turnout.
In Ohio, where around 400,000 new voters in generally Democratic areas have been added to the polls this year, Republicans have deployed a high proportion of their 3,600 polling monitors in predominantly black areas such as inner-city Cleveland.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->(5) http://www.tompaine.com/articles/kerry_won_.php
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Kerry Won. . .</b>
Greg Palast
November 04, 2004
<b>Kerry won. Here are the facts.</b>
I know you don't want to hear it. You can't face one more hung chad. But I don't have a choice. As a journalist examining that messy sausage called <b>American democracy</b>, it's my job to tell you who got the most votes in the deciding states. Tuesday, in Ohio and New Mexico, it was John Kerry.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Additional links:</b>
(1) http://www.votersunite.org/takeaction/2004...lemsampling.htm
'A Sampling of Election 2004 News Reports'
(2) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?con...0&articleId=209
'Election Fraud in America'
Compares the American situation with elections in Ukraine and Venezuela which the US had denounced as fraudulent.

And now comes dubious Dubya's dumb conclusion:
1 + 1 = .... ummm... 5?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Last Updated: Sunday, 16 January, 2005, 09:45 GMT 
<b>US voters 'endorsed Iraq policy'</b>  
George W Bush believes the US public are behind him on Iraq
President George W Bush has said his re-election has vindicated his administration's policy on Iraq.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo--> He must know that the election was partly rigged. (Or did his puppeteers convince him that he won?) So how can he draw any conclusions from his being allowed to sit in the White House for a second term?

Wienerschnitzel and Co. have promised to meddle in India's 2009 elections to attempt to prevent the BJP from getting elected. Was wondering: are they also going to import American election-rigging tactics (swelling the existing Congressi bag of tricks for stealing power) to ensure the American-favoured/-supported Congress wins?
<b>Cheney under political cloud after Libby trial</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Saturday March 10, 01:48 PM
<b>Maya to "cleanse" sacred site after Bush visit</b>
GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Mayan leaders will spiritually "cleanse" ancient ruins in Guatemala after a visit by U.S. President George W. Bush, unpopular here because of foreign policies going back to Central America's civil wars.
The leaders said they would hold a spiritual ceremony to restore "peace and harmony" at the Mayan ruins of Iximche after Bush tours the site on Monday.

"No, Mr. Bush, you cannot trample and degrade the memory of our ancestors," said indigenous leader Rodolfo Pocop during a press conference. "This is not your ranch in Texas."

Bush will arrive on Sunday night in Guatemala, his second-to-last stop on a five-country tour of Latin America, where his approval ratings are low. His visit sparked violent protests in Brazil and Colombia. Social groups are organizing marches against his visit to Guatemala.

On Friday, some 150 student protesters blocked off a street in Guatemala City near two U.S. fast food outlets to burn an American flag and set off firecrackers.

"We've burnt this flag for what the Yankee did all over the world. We remember the CIA's policy in our country, which promoted scorched-earth policies and the bloodshed of our people," the protest leader shouted, standing on a car.
(Actually, it's christo US govt and US christos that did these things. The Deist and Agnostic 'Yankees' are very good people. They should be in the government.)

The CIA helped overthrow a democratically elected socialist government in Guatemala in 1954 and <b>U.S.-backed troops destroyed entire Mayan villages</b> in a counter-insurgency campaign at the peak of Guatemala's 1960-96 civil war.

<b>U.S. involvement in the war, which left nearly a quarter of a million people dead or missing,</b> makes Bush's presence in Guatemala offensive to the nation's ethnic Mayan people, youth leader Jorge Morales Toj said.
(Another christo-American genocide.)

In a 1999 visit to Guatemala, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said the United States was wrong to have supported violent right-wing governments in the Central American nation.

Resentment still lingers across the region, however.

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, Washington's principal antagonist in Latin America, has called Bush "the devil" and at a United Nations debate last year said the U.S. leader left a smell of sulfur lingering in the room behind him.

Bush will visit farm cooperatives and schools in the Chimaltenango district to the west of the capital, an area where forensic scientist have uncovered numerous mass graves from wartime massacres.

At the Iximche ruins, a capital of the Kaqchikel Mayan people before the 1524 Spanish conquest, native dances will be performed for Bush and Berger and they will be given an archaeological tour of the vine-cracked pyramids.

"We reject this portrayal of our people as a tourist attraction," said Morales Toj, who heads a national Mayan youth movement. <!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo--> "We will burn incense, place flowers and water in the area where Mr. Bush has walked to clean out the bad energy."

The activists also criticized massive deportation sweeps in the United States, where many poor Mayans live and work without papers.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Don't care about Hugo Chavez, and of course he called Bush 'a devil' - that's what christos of different denominations do to each other.

But the Mayans are right. People need to know what christo US government did to them.

On the other hand, not every American is christo. There are a great many who admire and wish to be like the great Thomas Paine, the man who started the abolition, the one who promoted reason and spoke against the violent christian religion. Thomas Paine believed in the vision of a great America and so fought for its independence. (Thomas Paine was a Deist.)
Americans who are like Thomas Paine (okay, he was from Britain originally, but so were many naturalised Americans at the time) should come to power in the US government rather than the born-again fundoos or catholics we see today; and they should enter the American defence and central intelligence agencies rather than the terrorist missionaries that are always recruited into the CIA.

Full Text: The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2006
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Monday March 12, 04:19 PM
<b>S. Korean Activists Go On Hunger Strike To Protest US FTA Talks</b>
SEOUL, March 12 Asia Pulse - A group of 20 local activists said Monday they have started a hunger strike to oppose the South Korea-U.S. free trade talks underway here, adding about 1,000 more people will join them later this month.

Top negotiators from Seoul and Washington are engaged in the final day of talks aimed at concluding a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two governments. South Korean farmers and workers say such an accord would threaten their livelihoods because of cheaper agricultural goods and harsher working conditions such as lower wages.

The five-day talks, the eighth since last June, are believed to be the last round, as an end-of-March deadline approaches for the submission of a deal to the U.S. Congress for a straight yes-or-no vote without amendments under the Trade Promotion Authority, which expires July 1.

The 20 officials of the Korean Alliance Against the Korea-U.S. FTA said they are planning a massive hunger strike by about 1,000 protesters on March 26. They did not specify how long the hunger strike would last.

The two countries did US$74 billion in two-way trade in 2006. Some studies show that an FTA would increase their trade volume by 20 per cent, while opponents argue the deal would only deepen economic disparities.

The free trade deal, if agreed upon, is also subject to approval by South Korea's 299-seat National Assembly, where supporters outnumber opponents.


On another matter, see red bit above: first time I've ever come across 'Asia Pulse' at Yahoo Australia. Seems to be a very recently invented 'Asian' news depository.
Look at their data sources:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Asia Pulse DataSources supplies an extensive range of English-language news from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Central Asia, India, Indonesia, Korea, the Middle East, Nepal, the Pacific Islands, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

This content is supplied daily by national news agencies and selected newspapers in these countries, including ANTARA (Indonesia), The Dhaka Courier (Bangladesh), DubaiPhotoMedia, The Nation (Pakistan), The Nepali Times, Pacific Islands News Association, Pajhwok Afghan News, Pakistan Press International, The Philippines News Agency, [color=blue]The Press Trust of India, The Times of Central Asia, United News of Bangladesh, UzReport (Uzbekistan), Vietnam News Agency and Yonhap News Agency (Korea).

These are highly reputable and reliable sources whose local journalists compile the news. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Highly questionable whether all of these 'are highly reputable and reliable'.
See also http://www.asiapulse.com/
<!--emo&<_<--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='dry.gif' /><!--endemo--> Our/America's 1st Muslim president
By Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 19, 2007

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that Barack Obama’s campaign seems to be modifying its earlier affirmation that “Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian who attends the United Church of Christ in Chicago.”<o:p> </o:p>

In a statement to The Times on Wednesday, the campaign offered slightly different wording, saying: “Obama has never been a practicing Muslim.” The statement added that as a child, Obama had spent time in the neighborhood’s Islamic center.<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

His former Roman Catholic and Muslim teachers, along with two people who were identified by Obama’s grade-school teacher as childhood friends, say Obama was registered by his family as a Muslim at both of the schools he attended.<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

Speaking about speculation over his religious affirmation, Obama himself has said: “If your name is Barack Hussein Obama, you can expect it, some of that. I think the majority of voters know that I’m a member of the United Church of Christ, and that I take my faith seriously.” <o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

If it is true that Obama was registered in school as a Muslim when he was a child, he could possibly be charged with being an apostate from Islam. This could give him a unique chance to speak out about the freedom of conscience and the human rights of those who leave Islam -- for Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, ordered that apostates from Islam be put to death. Although this is frequently denied, his statement “Whoever changes his religion, kill him” appears in numerous authoritative Islamic sources, including Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, An-Nasai, the Muwatta of Imam Malik, Tayalisi, Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Hibban, the Sunan al-Kubraa, Bayhaqi, Abu Ya‘laa, Humaidi, Abd al-Razzaq, and Ibn Abi Shaybah.<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

Western Muslims who claim that this is not Islamic law are often hailed as moderates and reformers. This, however, ignores the fundamental difference between denial and reform. If the Protestant Reformers had simply begun indignantly denying that the Catholic Church taught Transubstantiation and the sacramental priesthood, instead of arguing that such doctrines should be discarded, they would not have been reformers, but obfuscators. A genuine Islamic reformer today would acknowledge that the death penalty for apostasy is mainstream Islamic teaching, affirmed by all the madhahib, or schools of jurisprudence, and then explain why this should be set aside. But that is not the same thing as claiming that Islam doesn't teach this in the first place.<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

So is Obama under a death sentence? Probably not – particularly if he left Islam while still a child. This is a crucial point, for according to Islamic law an apostate male is not to be put to death if he has not reached puberty (cf. ‘Umdat al-Salik o8.2; Hidayah vol. II p. 246). Some, however, hold that he should be imprisoned until he is of age and then “invited” to accept Islam, but officially the death penalty for youthful apostates is ruled out.<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

Nevertheless, if he was ever considered a Muslim at all and is now a Christian, he could still seize this opportunity to speak out for the plight of people like Abdul Rahman and other Muslim apostates who have been threatened with death for exercising their freedom of conscience. However, I think that Obama’s candidacy and religious history are more likely to work to the advantage of the Left and the jihadists, even if he flames out a la Howard Dean in 2004. For if the Islamic death penalty for apostasy is even allowed to come up in the mainstream media, smiling Islamic spokesmen will deny that Islam teaches this. They can even be honest and simply affirm that it doesn't apply to Obama at all, since he left Islam while still very young.<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

It is most likely that the media and Obama’s campaign will ignore the apostasy law altogether, and tar anyone who brings it up as a “bigot.” The propagandists of CAIR, MPAC et al are quite savvy at portraying themselves as victims in response to presentations of uncomfortable aspects of Islam. And it is virtually inconceivable that there will be protests in the Islamic world over his apostasy, or calls for his execution. The Cartoon Rage and Pope Rage riots were orchestrated from above. The people who orchestrated them know enough not to shoot themselves in the foot. They (as well as Obama’s campaign) have a chance here to portray Obama as someone who was raised as a Muslim and thus has a keen understanding of the Islamic world and the Islamic mind -- rather like the positioning of Bill Clinton as our “first black President.” Muslim leaders worldwide will not be saying, “He was raised a Muslim. Isn’t that terrible?” They’re more likely to say, “He was raised a Muslim. Isn’t that wonderful? At last, someone who can see our point of view.” Given Obama’s politics, it will not be hard to present him internationally as someone who understands Islam and Muslims, and thus will be able to smooth over the hostility between the Islamic world and the West – our first Muslim President. <o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

Obama’s Muslim upbringing could become the linchpin of an attempt to present him as the only candidate who can end the war on terror. We can only hope that, if he does become President, he won’t propose to do this only by means of various varieties of appeasement.

Click Here to support Frontpagemag.com.
This is a developing story with predictions wide-ranging from minor-to-terrible. Mostly due to alan-cheap-money-greenspan, but might have huge repurcussions for everybody.


Subprime woes spread
Detroit is a special case because of sluggish local economy, but still..


Houses cheaper than cars in Detroit
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Houses cheaper than cars in Detroit <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
All due to Ford and Chrysler layoff/ restructuring. Now workers are moving to Ohio, TN, and Kentucky.
Lot of people made mistake, they were thinking that property will appreciate, but hey it went south. Lot of people bought multiple houses and now they can't sell and now can’t afford multiple mortgages.
Hongkong also went through same cycle in mid 90s.

Check this , median price is still $2.2 million in Silicon Valley, and going up.
Los Altos, CA Real Estate Market Snapshot
updated Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Listing Type Number <b>Median Price Price Change from Feb </b>
Homes for Sale (MLS) <b>47 $2,218,000 +11.2% </b>
New Homes 0 n/a n/a
Real Estate Classifieds 82 $2,380,000 +3.6%
Foreclosures 13 $612,528<b> +30.7%</b>

California Real Estate Market Snapshot
updated Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Listing Type Number<b> Median Price Price Change from Feb </b>
Homes for Sale (MLS) 214,730 <b>$495,000 </b> <span style='color:red'>-0.8%
New Homes 5,042 $474,900 +1.0%
Real Estate Classifieds 110,425 $505,000 +1.0%
Foreclosures 63,869 $304,000 +<b>6.4% </b></span>
Related to post 108 of this thread:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Gates urges closure of Guantanamo</b> 

Mr Gates said the Guantanamo prison had become "tainted"
The US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, has said that Congress should look for ways to close the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba.
He said the military trials of terror suspects at the prison lack credibility because they have been tainted by the harsh treatment of detainees.

But he said that some detainees who have vowed to attack the US should never be released from custody.

The US has started the military trials of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay.

Mr Gates told a House of Representatives committee that "my own view is that because of things that happened earlier at Guantanamo there is a taint about it." <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Gee, ya think?
It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to insist closing places of torture, but I suppose US government is not even in that category. Last I heard, Bush was still reading Dr Seuss... Gates is rather slow too if it took so long for him to come to this opinion.

Meanwhile, some others are not in the least repentant of christo torture by US govt:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Rumsfeld torture suit dismissed</b> 

[Image caption:]Donald Rumsfeld apologised for abuse at Abu Ghraib
(Translation of Rumsfeld's position: "I'm sorry for the torture. That doesn't mean we won't do it again. Of course we will. And then we'll be sorry again - to save face of our pro-human rights reputation")

A US court has dismissed a lawsuit against former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld over claims prisoners were tortured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The court accepted that the nine men who sued had been tortured - and detailed the torture in its ruling.

But Judge Thomas Hogan ruled the five Iraqis and four Afghans did not have US constitutional rights, and also that Mr Rumsfeld was immune from such suits. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Good old US. See me waving a virtual American flag. 'Democracy', 'human rights', it's all there. "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave." The man who wrote that would have cried about the mockery the US govt has made of his words. I think many others should be crying besides.

"the five Iraqis and four Afghans did not have US constitutional rights" - reminds me of 'some humans are more equal than others', paraphrasing George Orwell. So too the statement: "Mr Rumsfeld was immune from such suits". Yeah, some people have a Licence to Torture, and immunity from repercussions. (Rumsfeld is not rushed to a Hague tribunal unlike a particular Yugoslavian leader...)
Human rights - for the most part limited only to human (and religious) rights of christos - is just something America expects from other governments.

Torture terrorists then. Just don't go around claiming you are a proponent of human rights and lecturing others after that. Hypocrites.
Or don't torture and you can go around preaching.
But you can't have the cake and eat it too.
A new Tour of Duty? Sudan this time.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sunday April 22, 02:32 PM
<b>We must consider Darfur deployment: Rudd</b>
Opposition leader Kevin Rudd says Australia should seriously consider joining a United Nations-backed peacekeeping force in Sudan's Darfur region.

<b>The United States and Britain last week threatened Sudan with sanctions and other punitive measures unless it agreed to accept a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur, scene of a humanitarian disaster.

African Union peacekeepers have been unable to stem the violence in the region, where</b> <b>at least 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million made homeless since 2003 in ethnic and political conflict triggered by a rebellion.</b> <!--emo&:o--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ohmy.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Speaking in New York, Mr Rudd said the African Union force lacked the resources to protect people in the region.

<b>"It is a rolling humanitarian tragedy. We need action," he told reporters.</b>
(Why is it that 4 years had to pass for these countries to accumulate enough crocodile tears to do something?
Because it's taken these 4 years for the west to realise that the islami Arabians in Sudan are winning and getting closer to putting j-hadi hands on all the $$$$ lovely Sudanese oil...
For a moment there they had me convinced that people had finally started caring about the Sudanese populace... a lovely delusion that lasted all of 3 seconds.)

"On the question of Australian contribution to that action, I'd like to look at whatever proposals came forward from the United Nations and to see whether we've got the capacity to assist in some way or another."

Any Australian involvement would have to be modest, Mr Rudd said, as the government was already committed to deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor, the Solomon Islands and Fiji.

"Therefore, we've got to operate within those constraints," he said.

"Let's see what comes forward from the United Nations on this."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&:angry:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/mad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='mad.gif' /><!--endemo--> When 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 mil made homeless over the last 4 years, why in the world isn't Sudan in the main news everyday. Yet I notice that a few British soldiers who'd been snooping in disputed Iraq-Iran waters were never out of the news for long? So much media time to spend on them and barely anything on Africa - except when something like World Vision wants to raise money to <i>save</i> the 'starving (heathen) children', of course.

Go meddle in Darfur to claim the precious oil, then - as a side-effect, it might even have some positive effect for the Sudanese. But just don't tell me that it's because so many people have died. They've been dying there for a long time. And if there was no oil involved in the matter, you can bet no one would be showing up now.
Time for the west to play Soldiers of Fortune again - I mean 'heroes' of course.
Welcomes Brzezinaski to NYC

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