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Old 2011-01-31, 11:10   Link #11741
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bladeofdarkness View Post
one particularly noteworthy paragraph from this document is this



the writer makes it seem like the world is just looking to screw the U.S at every turn, and yet he completely misses the point.
he misses the REASON why everything keeps blowing up in their faces.

they support dictators - it backfires.
they support democracy - it backfires

they intervene in humanitarian crisis - it backfires
they stay out of them - it backfires.

they intervene for short terms - it backfires.
they intervene long terms - it backfires.

did it ever occur to the writer that America's problem is that it can't seem to decide what it actually wants to do as a matter of policy, and then always act according to that policy ?
if you keep flip flopping around without a clear policy, of course you're going to get into problems.

supporting democracy is a good idea - if you actually follow through with it all the way, and not just support "Elections" (democracy is a system, and holding regular elections is the final step in the process of creating democracy).
intervening in Humanitarian crisis is a good idea - provided you're willing to actually try and stay until the problem is SOLVED.
and the U.S would have a much greater effect in Afghanistan, or Iraq, or anywhere else its intervening in, if it made it clear that it won't be leaving until at least 2099 (if the bad guys know they just need to wait you out, you'll never win).

decide on ONE course of action, and follow it through.
That is why China is playing the "Not My Problem" card. When the whole world descends into chaos, they will be the only stable state. And people will flock to them thus giving them control over others.

Brilliant political move.
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Old 2011-01-31, 11:32   Link #11742
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bladeofdarkness View Post
did it ever occur to the writer that America's problem is that it can't seem to decide what it actually wants to do as a matter of policy, and then always act according to that policy ?
if you keep flip flopping around without a clear policy, of course you're going to get into problems.
The United States faces unique difficulties in trying to sustain any kind of policy, let alone foreign policy, for more than eight years — ironically because of a political system designed to prevent the long-term entrenchment of power necessary for sustaining prolonged change.

It's rather hard to think long term when politicians have to worry about elections every two years or so. Is it any wonder, therefore, that the US tends to focus more on short-term gains than long-term objectives, to the detriment of its own welfare as well as that of the world in which it is forced by historical circumstances to intervene?

That's not to say major things don't happen in the US, but rather that such initiatives are carried out more often by civil or private-sector movements than by political will. Government in the US is so endlessly complex that any kind of meaningful change more usually bubbles up from the grassroots level than by top-down directives. Which is great if creativity and innovation is what you want. It's not so great when long-term vision is what you'd rather have.

As for China, of all the things that could possibly happen, chaos is the one scenario that Beijing would want to avoid at all costs. So, yes, while the Chinese Communist Party loves to see the US distracted on multiple fronts, it is also savvy enough to understand that turbulence elsewhere around the world would eventually come back to bite China. Like all other self-interested countries, China is no more eager than others to see a collapse in world order.

Last edited by TinyRedLeaf; 2011-01-31 at 11:45.
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Old 2011-01-31, 12:37   Link #11743
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flying ^ View Post
I expect the Republican majority in the House to pass a variety of obnoxious legislation over the coming months to pander to their base. The attempted repeal of the health-care bill was just the opening salvo.

I also expect these bills to die a quiet, or perhaps not so quiet, death in the Democrat-controlled Senate. I also can't really see Obama signing a bill that would so undermine the "rape and incest" exclusion from abortion funding.

It's all about "symbolic politics."
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Old 2011-01-31, 12:50   Link #11744
bladeofdarkness
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
The United States faces unique difficulties in trying to sustain any kind of policy, let alone foreign policy, for more than eight years — ironically because of a political system designed to prevent the long-term entrenchment of power necessary for sustaining prolonged change.
nevermind 8 years.
how about maintaining a clear policy at any give time ?
supporting dictators and promoting democracy at the same time, is kinda counter productive.
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Old 2011-01-31, 13:15   Link #11745
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flying ^ View Post
And what did they get elected to do? Create jobs and fix the economy... someone needs to be driving around to all the idiots who voted for them and slap them repeatedly with a clue-stick. The only good thing here is that maybe the 'voting public' will finally understand that "time-out" for the GOP shouldn't have been called over yet.
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Old 2011-01-31, 13:20   Link #11746
Ithekro
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United States foreign policy at least use to have a consistant nature to it...help the enemy of my enemy. In the long Cold War the United States supported whoever they thought would be against the Soviet Union's interests...thus supporting both democracy and dictatorships at the same time. After the Cold War a bunch of those places turned against the hand that fed them, so to speak. The remaining policies post-Cold War have been a mix of keeping the region stable by supporting whoever is stable unless they are backed by someone that has become an enemy. This leads to a lot of problems since the changing world dynamic shifted who was allied to who and those we supported against the communists turn out to be not all that good either (shocker on the dictators,eh?).

Also setting up a dictator usually means you know who you will be dealing with for several decades as oppose to setting up a democratic system where the people might choose someone who is against you at any time. Irony abounds.
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Old 2011-01-31, 13:22   Link #11747
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bladeofdarkness View Post
nevermind 8 years.
how about maintaining a clear policy at any give time ?
supporting dictators and promoting democracy at the same time, is kinda counter productive.
Given the size of the United States government, I think it's difficult enough just to keep track of what everyone is doing, let alone try to maintain "clear" policy. And that's even before you take into account the "symbolic politics" that SeijiSensei just mentioned.

For a start, try thinking about the many possible stakeholders in the formation of US foreign policy, from the White House to the various intelligence agencies and the ever-present military-industrial complex, not to mention countless other lobby groups.

It's a motley crew. And you expect them all to sing the same tune? It's a tall order, even for much smaller states, let alone one as large as America.
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Old 2011-01-31, 13:45   Link #11748
AnimeFan188
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Engine on a chip promises to best the battery

"MIT researchers are putting a tiny gas-turbine engine inside a silicon chip about
the size of a quarter. The resulting device could run 10 times longer than a
battery of the same weight can, powering laptops, cell phones, radios and other
electronic devices."

See:

http://www.physorg.com/news77890657.html
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Old 2011-01-31, 16:15   Link #11749
Jinto
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I'ld be more interested in the efficiency of these devices. If it is better then fuel cells, then the development of mini powerplants using miniaturisation makes sense, otherwise not. Anyway it will be a good contribution (in terms of knowledge) to nano-mechanics. A very interesting field in my oppinion.
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Old 2011-01-31, 20:49   Link #11750
Ithekro
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Hmmm. So the new Federal Health Care is being considered unconstitutional.
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news...constitutional-

Probably because the justices think Congress overstepped their bounds. If this system was handed out at the State level if would likely pass without judicial comment. I'm guessing this is the Tenth Amendment being used.
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Old 2011-01-31, 22:21   Link #11751
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Egypt goes dark as last Internet company pulls the plug.

Egypt is now totally offline. Our thoughts go out to the brave Egyptian men and women, standing up to fight for their rights, liberties, and a better life. They were using social networking sites and twitter to organize protests, and the most recent one was a one-million man march on Cairo.

Viva la Revolution.
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Old 2011-01-31, 22:43   Link #11752
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Has the internet become a right? o.0 I guess I missed that.....I haven't been paying much attention to their 'protest' and such...but could someone fill me in? :S Why the sudden outburst to someone whose been in his position for years now..? o.o
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Old 2011-01-31, 23:46   Link #11753
ganbaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
The only good thing here is that maybe the 'voting public' will finally understand that "time-out" for the GOP shouldn't have been called over yet.
I fear than you have too much expectation for your fellow citizen; some didn't even realized than there was such ''time-out'' .
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Old 2011-02-01, 00:15   Link #11754
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jjo View Post
Has the internet become a right? o.0 I guess I missed that.....I haven't been paying much attention to their 'protest' and such...but could someone fill me in? :S Why the sudden outburst to someone whose been in his position for years now..? o.o
If you're referring to Egypt, the current ruler, Musabarak, is a dictator. After seeing the peasants successfully revolt in Tunsia against their own dictator, years of hatred at the corruption and brutality of the regime has erupted in Egypt. People are upset at rights, jobs, corruption, the silencing of opposition, the price of food, etc. They were using the internet to organize their protests on the fly, faster than he could send out the police to break them up (and then lately the army as well).

In response, he ordered the ISPs offline.

What you're seeing is a revolution in action, and so far it's just Tunsia and Egypt. If Egyptians are successful, some are predicting it will spread to much of the Arab world, as everyone follows suit. "Hey, Tunsia, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan got rid of all their crummy dictators... let's get rid of ours, too!" If so, it would mirror the fault of communist nations at the end of the cold war.

Oh, note that the US is trying to get an internet kill switch, too.
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Old 2011-02-01, 02:17   Link #11755
bladeofdarkness
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Oh, note that the US is trying to get an internet kill switch, too.
I honestly can't think of a stupider thing to do.

say that in the U.S, hundreds of thousends start protesting, and in response, the U.S gov, shuts down the internet.
they will then have to face around 20 MILLION protesters.
and the protest won't be about "Jobs, food, corruption" anymore, but rather "we want our internet back"

Quote:
What you're seeing is a revolution in action, and so far it's just Tunsia and Egypt. If Egyptians are successful, some are predicting it will spread to much of the Arab world, as everyone follows suit. "Hey, Tunsia, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan got rid of all their crummy dictators... let's get rid of ours, too!" If so, it would mirror the fault of communist nations at the end of the cold war.
pretty big IF there.
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Old 2011-02-01, 05:22   Link #11756
MrTerrorist
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Gun dealers sell pistols 'without background check'
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Old 2011-02-01, 06:36   Link #11757
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Some recent news in Japan:

Japanese powerbroker Ozawa indicted over scandal


Japan volcano blast smashes windows
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Old 2011-02-01, 06:50   Link #11758
ganbaru
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Pakistan court blocks handing over of U.S. "diplomat"
http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNew...7101FK20110201
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Old 2011-02-01, 07:37   Link #11759
SaintessHeart
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Allow me to spoil the Chinese New Year mood for our fellow forum members :

PMI surveys hint at deeper-seated inflation

Quote:
(Reuters) - Costs for Asian and European manufacturers jumped in January as firms ramped up production, surveys showed on Tuesday, the latest evidence of growing pressure on global inflation from food and fuel prices.

Inflation has rapidly hurtled to the top of the policy agenda around the globe, but in many cases it is not clear if rises in the cost of raw materials will lead to consumer price hikes that would force central banks to up interest rates soon.

Purchasing managers' indexes (PMIs) suggested both that the economic recovery was gaining momentum in Europe -- boosting demand for goods -- and also that firms have managed to pass on some of their increased costs to their customers.

For the 17-nation euro zone bloc, the PMI input price gauge jumped to its highest since the survey began in 1997, while across the channel in Britain there was substantial growth in both input costs and factory gate prices.

"The obvious culprits are food and energy prices," said Mark Miller, global macroeconomist at Lloyds Banking Group. "The increases in commodity prices that we have seen very recently are likely to persist."

Rising food and fuel prices have already hit poorer countries and are one of the factors behind massive anti-government protests in Egypt and in Tunisia, whose president was ousted last month.

The European data, compiled by Markit from comprehensive surveys of private sector business, are likely to add to speculation that central banks will soon have to raise the record low interest rates held in place since the global financial crisis set in.

BACK-TO-BACK

Input costs for Chinese manufacturers also rebounded in January, according to the official PMI. The comparable input price index for India rose for a seventh straight month, while factory gate prices were up for the fourth month in a row.

"This provides a further reason to think that headline inflation is likely to pick up in the next few months," said Brian Jackson, economist at Royal Bank of Canada in Hong Kong.

In South Korea, official data showed inflation rose above the central bank target to hit a three-month high of 4.1 percent. Manufacturing input prices as measured by the PMI soared to a nearly two-year high, boosting the case for an interest rate hike next week, which would mark a rare back-to-back streak.

In the euro zone, the European Central Bank is expected to leave rates on hold at their record low of 1.0 percent when it meets on Thursday. But there is growing speculation that the Governing Council will act sooner rather than later to quell rising prices.

Euro zone consumer prices rose 2.4 percent in January, well above the ECB's preferred two percent ceiling, data showed on Monday. And British inflation rose to 3.7 percent in December, almost twice the Bank of England's target.

While the world economy has begun improving it is beset by problems such as high unemployment and rising prices which could fuel crippling trade protectionism or even lead to war within nations, the head of the International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday.

GROWTH GROWS

Manufacturing activity in the euro zone accelerated in January, suggesting the sector is regaining momentum across the region, with the notable exception of battered Greece, while British growth was the fastest since records began in 1992.

But in China, tighter policy began to bite, producing a bigger-than-expected slowdown in manufacturing growth, though the country's factories were still well into expansionary territory.

China's official PMI fell to a five-month low in January, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said but analysts warned the results were likely distorted by a closure of factories ahead of China's Lunar New Year.

A separate PMI sponsored by HSBC pointed in the opposite direction, edging up in January and with a slight easing in input price inflation.

Taken together, the two surveys painted a picture of sticky inflation and a moderate slowdown in the world's second-largest economy after 10.3 percent growth last year, which was generating an inflation rate of 4.6 percent in December.

"This will only reinforce the overriding theme of policy tightening to contain inflationary pressures," said Charlie Lay, economist at Forecast PTE in Singapore.

So far, Chinese officials have moved tentatively on rates and the currency, and instead leaned heavily on administrative measures, raising banks' reserve requirements seven times since the start of last year and capping their lending, while also cracking down on property speculation.

The India PMI also edged up in January.

The Reserve Bank of India raised interest rates last week by a quarter of a percentage point to clamp down on resurgent inflation and warned of persistently higher food prices unless steps are taken to boost supplies.

The central bank has already raised policy rates seven times since March, saying the balance of risks had tilted toward stronger inflation and it was ready to respond if price pressures increased.
Factory and spending data support strong growth tone

Quote:
(Reuters) - Factory activity in the U.S. Midwest hit a 22-1/2 year high in January as orders surged and employment prospects brightened, providing a fresh signal that the economy would stay on a solid growth path this year.

Another report on Monday showed consumer spending ended 2010 on a firmer footing, a trend that economists expected to continue as the labor market recovery gains traction.

The upbeat data, which showed inflation largely under wraps, suggested the economy started the year with strong momentum. Stocks rose as investors set aside jitters over the unrest in Egypt and prices for U.S. government debt fell.

"The factory sector news is an important positive omen for the broader economy, because increased production will yield significant income generation, which in turn will fuel stronger household consumption," said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities in New York.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago said its barometer of Midwestern business rose to 68.8 in January, the highest since July 1988, from 66.8 in December.

Economists had expected the index to slip to 65.0. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the regional economy.

The jump reflected a surge in orders to their highest level in 27 years and the strongest reading in the employment component since May 1984 -- an encouraging outcome for a labor market whose recovery has lagged economic growth.

It suggested data on Tuesday could show a surprise rise in the Institute for Supply Management's index of national factory activity, whose expansion economists expected to have leveled off this month after recent strong gains.

SPENDING UP

Manufacturing has led the economy's recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s, but consumers are stepping up to the plate. They helped push the economy ahead at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter.

A report from the Commerce Department showed spending, which accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, increased 0.7 percent in December. That was the sixth straight monthly gain and added to November's 0.3 percent rise.

The higher spending outpaced the 0.4 percent gain in incomes, and savings dropped to $614.1 billion, the lowest level since March.

The spending figures were included in the government's fourth-quarter gross domestic product report on Friday, which showed spending grew at a brisk 4.4 percent pace in the final three months of 2010, the fastest in more than four years.

Economists expect spending to remain solid in the first quarter, bolstered by payroll tax reductions that were included in the $858 billion tax package enacted in December. An expected pick-up in the pace of the labor market's recovery and a rise in stock prices are also seen supporting spending.

"We will see a lot of consumers dip their toes back in the water and spend a little more freely than they did last year," said David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities International in New York.

The firmer spending tone was highlighted by Darden Restaurants Inc, owner of the popular Olive Garden and other restaurant chains. It forecast earnings for the current quarter and full year above Wall Street's view, citing improving sales.

Bank balance sheets are strengthening as well. A survey of senior loan officers by the Federal Reserve found banks growing more upbeat about the quality of their loan portfolios.

"Expectations were significantly more upbeat than in past years," the Fed said. "Moderate to large net fractions of banks reported that they expected improvements in delinquency and charge-off rates during 2011 in every major loan category.

Even as the economy picks up and commodity prices surge, underlying inflation remains muted, which should help the Federal Reserve complete its $600 billion bond-buying program as intended to foster recovery.

The Fed's preferred measure of consumer inflation -- the personal consumption expenditures price index, excluding food and energy -- was unchanged in December after edging up 0.1 percent in November.

In the 12 months through December, the core PCE index rose 0.7 percent, the smallest increase since records began in 1959, after increasing 0.8 percent in November. Even the headline PCE price index was up only a relatively modest 1.2 percent.

"The Fed will be prone to be more accommodative than restrictive," said Michelle Meyer, a senior economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York.
Low interest rates (lots of cheap credit result in easily available spending money)
+ oil scare due to Chaos in Egypt and Tunisia (rising oil prices)
+ Chinese factories closed down for one-month CNY (which leads to lower production and available supply of goods in market)
= inflation.

Spend that CNY money ASAP or invest it, because it is going to worth much, much less towards the middle of the year. I am betting that April is when the real change in prices due to lack of supply can be seen and felt. However, I think this could be weathered by

- eating out less often
- eating less processed food (cook yourself!)
- driving less
- staying at home more

Then again, the real hurt could be felt because there are plenty of elections around the world this year. I seriously wonder what the politicians are going to use to leverage against us to vote for them - oil prices, food prices or empty promises?
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-02-01, 11:35   Link #11760
AnimeFan188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bladeofdarkness View Post
I doubt Mubarak needs to send his own people to loot, as opportunistic bastards aren't hard to find .
and i REALLY doubt he'd send his own people to loot, while carrying business cards that say "I work for the government".
its more likely that those "reports" are being made by opposition siding media outlets.

the other option you mentioned is much more likely.
when the cops are away, the mice will play.
"Human Rights Watch confirmed several cases of undercover police loyal to
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's regime committing acts of violence and
looting in an attempt to stoke fear of instability as demonstrations grew stronger
Tuesday against the autocratic leader."

See:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...020100903.html
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