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Old 2010-01-31, 22:33   Link #5881
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While I am more likely to believe allegations of Chinese espionage than not, part of me wonders whether Google has benefited from a cleverly planned public-relations ruse.

I've spoken to an Oracle engineer recently who echoed the opinions muttered by a few businessmen friends I know: Generally, they suspect that the real reason Google announced the alleged hacking attacks is to cover up its dismal performance in China despite years of operation. Other members here have raised similar suspicions, but what is striking to me is that few mainstream English-language news agencies have explored the angle.

In that light, it's interesting to read this analysis of Web-based business in China:

Searching for value: Baidu vs Tencent
By Sunita Sue Leng
The Edge Singapore (Jan 26)

I LOVE Google. I use it almost every day. I read the news, I look up stuff. For millions of Internet users in China, however, Google isn't the go-to search engine. For most of them, it's local portal Baidu. And guess what they look for? MP3 downloads.

Yes, music is what drives China's search-engine business. And that's largely because its Internet users are young. According to government data, 61.5 per cent of Web users are below the age of 29. They also don't have bucket loads of disposable income: About 42.5 per cent of users have a monthly income of 1,000 yuan (US$146.50) or less.

The Internet is a source of cheap entertainment for them. Sure, it's a window to a world not utterly controlled by the heavy hand of the state. But, for the bulk of China's 384 million Internet users, it's a window to listen to the latest Mando-pop or Lady Gaga hits.

Baidu understood that early on and that's a key reason it has thrived. Last year, it had 60.9 per cent of the market by revenue (three quarters, if measured by traffic). Google was second, with 31.8 per cent, according to Beijing-based consultancy Analysys International. That's a position it quickly built up in three years and that it is threatening to give up.

Who's the real winner?
...Whether Google goes or doesn't go, most analysts reckon Baidu will gain. If Google stays, it would be in a weakened position to negotiate prices with advertisers, who may prefer to channel their money to local search engines.

Since Google's shock announcement, several investment banks have upgraded their calls and target prices on Baidu, and the Nasdaq-listed company's share price rose to a one-year high of US$470.25 on Jan 15.

Just how much does Baidu stand to gain? First, it's worth remembering that about half of Google's China-derived revenues are spent on its international sites. If Google does indeed quit the market, these advertising dollars will likely continue to go to Google's international sites. That leaves the balance up for the taking, of which Baidu is expected to take 90 per cent, estimates Deutsche Bank.

That's because the other search players in China are puny. has about 1 per cent of the market, while Tencent Holdings, China's largest social-networking portal, has a mere 0.7 per cent. The rest is shared by online gaming operator Net and other smaller operators.

Tencent's game plan
...The search landscape is changing; competitors are beefing themselves up and new players are entering the fray. Alibaba, which owns Taobao, the largest e-shopping portal in China, is preparing to roll out its own search engine. Microsoft, which launched Bing in mid-2006, is stepping up its investments in China.

Tencent is ramping up the technology on its SoSo search engine. Sure, SoSo is tiny at the moment but, given Tencent's huge user base and enormous traffic, it can become a meaningful alternative to Baidu over time. Also, Tencent offers investors exposure to another Web offering that is growing explosively in China: online gaming.

...Last year, the value of China's search market was 7.15 billion yuan (US$1 billion), according to Analysys International. The market for online games was almost four times that, coming in at 26 billion yuan (US$3.8 billion). That market is forecast to swell further to 73 billion yuan (US$10.7 billion) by 2012.

Then, there's the profitability aspect. "On a per-user basis, online gaming is a higher-margin business," says Mr Shailesh Naik, chief executive of Matchmove Games, a Singapore-based online game service provider.

That's because search is a volume game, requiring massive server farms and powerful Web crawlers (computer programs that browse the Web) to deliver the best results. That costs money. In contrast, much of the investment with online games is upfront, at the design stage. For games created in-house, the margins can be extremely lucrative as volumes build up.
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Old 2010-02-01, 01:04   Link #5882
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Russian "PAK FA" Stealth Fighter makes first flight

YESYESYES they finally built it! I'm so happy!

Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
I usually don't say this, but your class are a bunch of idiots. I think I cried watching that movie.
Yeah, I really liked it as well. My class pisses me off sometimes.
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Old 2010-02-01, 02:00   Link #5883
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Generally, they suspect that the real reason Google announced the alleged hacking attacks is to cover up its dismal performance in China despite years of operation. Other members here have raised similar suspicions, but what is striking to me is that few mainstream English-language news agencies have explored the angle.
That's an interesting angle. But is Google's performance really that bad? If they had 32% of the Chinese internet-user-market, that's over 100 million users. Bigger than their user base in other country apart from the United States. Seems like a pretty valuable base to abandon.

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Old 2010-02-01, 02:35   Link #5884
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The attack was real.... and there have been multiple others on various high tech companies in the US and elsewhere that are originating out of China (according to the security and network admin group reports). That bit seems to have gotten trampled between the media and Chinese govt PR blowing all the smoke over the censorship angle.
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Old 2010-02-01, 15:37   Link #5885
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Aussie man convicted for Simpsons smut
Second Australian man convicted for Simpsons smut

A second Australian man has been convicted for possessing computer images of cartoon characters in explicit poses.

Kurt James Milner, 28, pleaded guilty to charges of possessing child exploitation material and using a carriage service to access child exploitation material. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for five years and must pay a $1,000 good behaviour bond. He was also put on the sex offenders register.

The images included characters from The Simpsons, The Powerpuff Girls and The Incredibles. Police searched Milners house after a tip-off, according to the Queensland Times.

The judge said the sentence was so harsh because it was Milners second offence.

Nor is Milner the first Antipodean to be convicted for having drawings which were considered child sex abuse images.

In 2008 the Supreme Court of New South Wales upheld the conviction on child pornography charges for a man caught with images of Lisa and Bart Simpson.

We can only hope Australian police don\'t ever see the logo for the London Olympics or someone is going to be in really big trouble.
Being put in the sex offenders register for possessing cartoon porn . . . DAMN Australia.
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Old 2010-02-01, 15:48   Link #5886
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Originally Posted by Theowne View Post
That's an interesting angle. But is Google's performance really that bad? If they had 32% of the Chinese internet-user-market, that's over 100 million users. Bigger than their user base in other country apart from the United States. Seems like a pretty valuable base to abandon.
i thought it was 20%?

anyway the current problem and in the foreseeable future is that China isn't going to allow google to get bigger. Remember last yr they had that news stuff on tv about google prompting sexual and deviant behavior. The Chinese government is not going to allow google to get big and will do whatever it takes to prompt Baidu and other domestic companies. Look at Yahoo and other Internet companies, they let foreign set everything up with the tech then strangle them with regulation until they sell out to a domestic company. Do you guys really think it is a coincidences that both Yahoo and Ebay couldn't stumble that badly in China?
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Old 2010-02-01, 16:24   Link #5887
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Oh the potential uses.....

Spoiler for Leading paragraph on Professor Rabier's work:

Actually, this is the first I've heard of It is an amusing site to browse.
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Old 2010-02-01, 17:34   Link #5888
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post

Oh the potential uses.....

Spoiler for Leading paragraph on Professor Rabier's work:

Actually, this is the first I've heard of It is an amusing site to browse.
I am not sure if I understand it right, but it looks like a final transformation to me (so to say). Under this assumption, it is not like the typical sponge that returns into its old shape when the forces are away. Instead it will stay compressed. This will make the shock absorbing usage only work once. The cool thing about it is, that it can compress along one axis (vector) without loosing the shape of the projection to this axis (vector). This makes it deform more stable than steel-wool or conrete steel, yet also less elastic/more fragile. It will still have considerable weight, so I am not sure if it will be implemented somewhere. The given examples seemed not very convincing to me.
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Old 2010-02-01, 19:10   Link #5889
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Sarah Palin's Sarah PAC Spent $63,000 On Copies Of 'Going Rogue'

Sarah PAC, Sarah Palin's political action committee, raised more than $1.4 million in the second-half of 2009, according to the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza. That figure brings the group's fundraising haul to $2.1 million for 2009. Cillizza reports:

...Sarah PAC and ended the year with $900,000 in the bank. She donated $64,600 to candidates and party committees.

That relatively high burn rate is due to an expansion of the organization's staff, according to those familiar with its operations. (Remember that with Palin out of office -- she resigned the governorship in July 2009 -- her PAC is her only political and policy vehicle.)

Beyond new staff and donations, what else is Sarah PAC spending money on? Books -- her own book -- according to ABC News:

The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate had her political organization spend more than $63,000 on what her reports describe as "books for fundraising donor fulfillment." The payments went to Harper Collins, her publisher, and in some instances to HSP Direct, a Virginia-based direct mail fundraising firm that serves a number of well-known conservative politicians and pundits.

Sarah PAC spent another $8,000 on colorful bookmarks designed by a Nashville-based event branding firm. And her committee paid her publisher $20,000 for what appears to have been the cost of sending her personal photographer and another aide along on her book tour.
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Old 2010-02-02, 01:15   Link #5890
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
This is common practice for authors to buy copies of their own books to get them topped on the New York Time's Bestseller list. James Fry of A thousand little pieces did the same. I'ts not all that suprising.
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Old 2010-02-02, 02:16   Link #5891
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Its simply a reason not to use the NYT "Bestseller" list as a meter for measuring *anything* about a book. Better off looking at the Amazon or Barnes&Noble numbers and extrapolating. There's also the "was it on sale?" or "heavily discounted" factors which can distort any useful measure.
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Old 2010-02-02, 03:32   Link #5892
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How The GOP Created The 'Deficit Crisis' Narrative And Everyone Else Bought In
Budget Sense and Nonsense

With the submission of the Obama administration's budget today, fiscal silly season is opening. President Obama already launched an opening salvo last week with his proposed freeze on non-security-related military spending, which amounts to a rounding error on the ten-year budget projections, which are themselves a rounding error on the long-term budget projections -- at a time when unemployment is running at 10.0 percent. Fortunately, there is a partial saving grace, which is that the freeze does not set in until fiscal year 2011 (which begins in October 2010), and in the meantime Obama has proposed $100 billion in tax cuts and government spending to create jobs. (Whether his proposals are the right way to spend $100 billion is a debate for another time.)

The midterm elections are looming already (note: do we have to be satisfied with a political system in which the legislature is preoccupied with upcoming elections half the time?), and the two big themes seem to be jobs and the deficit. With unemployment at levels not seen since the 1980s, it's obvious why jobs are on the political agenda. With the federal budget deficit at record (nominal) levels, it also seems obvious that the deficit should be on the agenda, but this is really an unfortunate artifact of our political system. A government deficit is the result of insufficient government saving, and a period of high unemployment is absolutely the worst time to increase government saving. The sensible solution would be to use the urgency we currently feel to put in place long-term fiscal solutions, but the political system can't handle that (see health care reform as Exhibit A). As a result, when deficits go up, we get lots of short-term politicking about the deficit-in Paul Krugman's words, the "march of the deficit peacocks."

On these two themes, the Democrats' message is that (a) they are fixing the economy (growth is back, they are doing something about jobs) and (b) they are serious about the deficit (bank tax, three-year freeze, health care reform, etc.). The Republicans' message is that (a) the Democrats have failed to fix the economy (unemployment is still high) and (b) the deficit is the Democrats' fault due to runaway government spending. While I have been extremely critical of the Obama administration for its generous policies toward large banks, which I believe have increased the risks facing the financial system in the future, otherwise they have taken, directionally, the right steps as far as jobs are concerned. And when it comes to long-term deficits, the Senate health care reform bill -- whose cost-cutting measures are based largely on proposals from the administration, particularly Peter Orszag -- is perhaps the biggest deficit-reduction bill of all time.

The Republicans, by contrast, are using their status as the party out of power to spout all sorts of nonsense when it comes to the deficit. Representative Paul Ryan was quoted by the New York Times calling the budget "nothing more than a plan for more of the same -- a very aggressive agenda of more government spending, more taxes, more deficits and more debt -- with just a few cosmetic budget maneuvers to give the illusion of restraint." To begin with, I can give him a pass for redundancy ("more deficits and more debt"), but complaining about "more taxes" and "more deficits" in the same sentence? Does Paul Ryan not know how a deficit is measured, or does he not know where government revenues come from? Logically speaking, it must be one or the other.

Speaking of taxes, how did we get into this deficit mess in the first place?


You've no doubt seen this chart from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities or something similar before, but that doesn't make it any less true. And what is it in the president's proposed budget that the Republicans are aiming at? The plan to let the Bush tax cuts lapse for people making more than $250,000 per year. In other words, the problem with the Obama budget is that the deficits are too high, and the solution is to cut taxes. Huh?

None of this is new, of course. Sam Stein pointed out the same issues in December. Yet since Ronald Reagan, a large proportion of the electorate has become wired to believe that deficits are always the product of excess government spending, so the facts bear repeating.

The fiscal situation is actually very simple. The budget was in surplus when President Clinton left office, although there was already the prospect of budget-busting Medicare deficits in the long-term future. The 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts and the unfunded Medicare prescription drug benefit created the large deficits of the Bush era. (The Iraq and Afghanistan wars didn't help, but it's not fair to blame those entirely on the Republicans; plenty of Democrats went along.) Then the financial crisis and the resulting recession blew a huge hole in government tax revenues, creating the current spike in deficits; that spike was exacerbated by the stimulus package, which most but not all economists would consider a sensible response to a major recession. (According to an earlier analysis by David Leonhardt, the projected average fiscal balance for the years 2009-2012 has changed, since Clinton left office, from an $846 billion surplus to a $1,215 billion deficit. The biggest lumps are $673 billion in Bush administration policies and $664 billion in the costs of the financial crisis and recession, including bailout costs.)

Yet somehow the Republicans have tried -- successfully! -- to spin our current and projected deficits as the result of "more government spending," putting the Democrats on the defensive. And unfortunately, the result is the Obama administration buying into the Republican attack line: that government spending must be reduced. How else to explain the three-year spending freeze, which is mainly symbolic and a little bit destructive? The bipartisan commission to reduce the deficit has a little more to recommend it, although I'm skeptical that it will achieve anything. The Republican position seems to be that the deficit commission is bad because -- wait for it -- it might increase taxes. Here's what the Wall Street Journal has to say:

"Republican leaders are under pressure from conservatives not to cooperate, due to concerns that the commission would recommend tax increases.

"'Look, I don't think anybody in the country thinks we have a problem because we tax too little, I think the problem is we spend too much,' Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said on CNN's 'State of the Union' on Sunday. 'So, I like the commission idea, just as I said a few months ago. I think a better way to do it is target spending.'

"Deficit hawks in both parties say the commission must be able to look at spending and revenue to make a dent in the deficit in the near term. But politically, its members could be boxed in. Not only are Republicans opposing tax increases, but they are also attacking Democrats for proposing cuts to Medicare."

So, let's recap. The medium-term deficit problem was created by Bush tax cuts and by an unfunded Bush-era expansion of Medicare. The long-term deficit problem is all about Medicare. Yet the only solution that Republicans can think of is reducing spending, but not Medicare spending. Of course, this shouldn't surprise us; Mitch McConnell gave us this, after all:*


But apparently the sharp political minds in the Obama administration have decided that this is the turf they have to fight on. Now it seems that instead of going back to Bill Clinton in 1995-1996, they are reaching all the way back to 1993, when Clinton, Rubin, et al. decided to kill the deficit monster first and worry about helping the poor and the middle class later. They did kill the deficit monster (OK, they just knocked it out for a decade), but then they lost Congress in 1994 and never got around to helping the poor and the middle class; by the time we got a president and Congress who might have tried, it became time to kill the deficit monster again.

The real solution to the deficit problem must fix the long-term Medicare problem. That means some combination of reducing the long-term cost of health care (which the administration tried mightily to do, so far unsuccessfully) and increasing funding (taxes). The idea that we can just spend less money on health care as health care costs increase (and with about 47 million Americans already uninsured) is patently ridiculous -- unless your goal is simply to let low- and middle-income seniors die. So the only important question is how to reduce Medicare spending or increase Medicare revenues. But with an opposition party ready to roll out its artillery at any mention of either Medicare cuts or tax increases, it's hard to see where a solution can come from.
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Old 2010-02-02, 14:20   Link #5893
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Large Portion Of GOP Thinks Obama Is Racist, Socialist, Non-U.S. Citizen: Poll

A new poll of more than 2,000 self-identified Republican voters illustrates the incredible paranoia enveloping the party and the intense pressure drawing lawmakers further and further away from political moderation.

The numbers speak for themselves -- a large portion of GOP voters think that President Obama is racist, socialist or a non-US citizen -- though, when considering them, it is important to note that a disproportionate percentage of respondents are from GOP strongholds in the South (42 percent) as opposed to the Northeast (11 percent). Also note that this is a poll of self-identified Republicans, which means that independent Tea Party types are not included.

Nevertheless here are some of the standout figures as provided by Daily Kos/Research 2000:

* 39 percent of Republicans believe Obama should be impeached, 29 percent are not sure, 32 percent said he should not be voted out of office.

* 36 percent of Republicans believe Obama was not born in the United States, 22 percent are not sure, 42 percent think he is a natural citizen.

* 31 percent of Republicans believe Obama is a "Racist who hates White people" -- the description once adopted by Fox News's Glenn Beck. 33 percent were not sure, and 36 percent said he was not a racist.

* 63 percent of Republicans think Obama is a socialist, 16 percent are not sure, 21 percent say he is not

* 24 percent of Republicans believe Obama wants "the terrorists to win," 33 percent aren't sure, 43 percent said he did not want the terrorist to win.

* 21 percent of Republicans believe ACORN stole the 2008 election, 55 percent are not sure, 24 percent said the community organizing group did not steal the election.

* 23 percent of Republicans believe that their state should secede from the United States, 19 percent aren't sure, 58 percent said no.

* 53 percent of Republicans said they believe Sarah Palin is more qualified to be president than Obama.

During his appearance at the House Republican retreat last Friday, Obama explained that it was hard to forge bipartisan consensus when lawmakers were trashing his health care bill as a "Bolshevik plot". These poll numbers show that the gulf preventing bipartisan consensus extends well beyond health care. How does a Republican lawmaker explain to his or her die-hard base that it is important to work on legislation with a racist, socialist president who is illegally holding office only because of the help of ACORN?

"This is why it's becoming impossible for elected Republicans to work with Democrats to improve our country," said Markos Moulitsas, founder and publisher of Daily Kos. "They are a party beholden to conspiracy theorists who don't even believe Obama was born in the United States, and already want to impeach him despite a glaring lack of scandal or wrongdoing. They think Obama is racist against white people and the second coming of Lenin. And if any of them stray and decide to do the right thing and try to work in a bipartisan fashion, they suffer primaries and attacks. Given what their base demands -- and this poll illustrates them perfectly -- it's no wonder the GOP is the party of no."

Mike Mullen Calls For Repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell': 'Right Thing To Do'

WASHINGTON — The military's top uniformed officer on Tuesday made an impassioned plea for allowing gays to serve openly in uniform, telling a Senate panel it was a matter of integrity and that it is wrong to force people to "lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."

The comments by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, set the stage for the Defense Department's yearlong study into how the ban can be repealed without causing a major upheaval in the military.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, appearing with Mullen before the Armed Services Committee, announced plans to loosen enforcement rules involving the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that has been in effect since 1993.

President Barack Obama has called for a repeal of the policy, although he did little in his first year in office to advance that goal. If he succeeds, it would mark the biggest shake up to military personnel policies since President Harry S. Truman's 1948 executive order integrating the services.

"No matter how I look at the issue," Mullen said, "I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens." Noting that he was speaking for himself and not for the other service chiefs, Mullen added: "For me, it comes down to integrity – theirs as individuals and ours as an institution."

Congress enacted the law that enshrined the "don't ask" policy, which was intended to soften the previous blanket prohibition on gays in the military. "Don't ask" says gays may serve so long as they kept their sexuality private. Gay rights organizations have called that an insult and have said it is a form of discrimination.

Repeal of the ban would require a new law passed by Congress. Gates and Mullen said their efforts are intended to make sure the Pentagon is ready when that time comes.

The hastily called session gave Obama high-level cover on a divisive social issue complicated by the strains on an all-volunteer military force of fighting two wars.
Story continues below

Gates, who says he is a Republican, is the only member of former President George W. Bush's Cabinet whom Obama asked to stay on. He has gained a reputation for candor and caution. Mullen's words were a forceful endorsement from a careful man, but his very appearance, starched uniform and four stars on view, spoke as loudly.

Gates drew unusually pointed and partisan criticism from Republicans on the panel for saying that the review will examine how, not whether, to repeal the ban.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the committee, icily told Gates he was disappointed in his position. In sharp questioning, McCain angrily suggested that the Pentagon was usurping Congress' job in rewriting the law should it choose to do so.

"Has this policy been ideal? No, it has not," McCain said. "But it has been effective."

Mullen looked pained when Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., suggested that Mullen had preordained the outcome of any study of the wisdom of repeal by signaling his own opposition to the ban.

"This is about leadership, and I take that very, very seriously," Mullen replied, tightlipped.

Several other Republicans sided with McCain, warning Mullen and Gates not to pursue a change at a time when the United States is fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and facing a continuing threat of terrorism. Democrats said they would back a change in policy.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and chairman of the committee, said a repeal of the law might be slipped into a broader military policy bill that authorizes defense spending.

Democratic Sen. Mark Udall said his Colorado constituents pride themselves on allowing others to live and let live.

"You don't have to be straight to shoot straight," said Udall, quoting libertarian Barry Goldwater.

Gates suggested that lawmakers keep the intensity of debate in check until the military can get a better handle on how to proceed. To sort out the details, Gates has turned to Pentagon counsel Jeh Johnson and Gen. Carter Ham, who leads Army forces in Europe.

"Keep the impact it will have on our forces firmly in mind," the secretary implored lawmakers

Mullen said it was his sense that rank-and-file troops would support the change.

"I have served with homosexuals since 1968," he said in response to questions from Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. "There are a number of things cumulatively that get me to this position."

Ham is a former enlisted infantryman who rose through the ranks to eventually command troops in northern Iraq in 2004 and hold senior positions within the Joint Staff. Recently, he helped conduct an investigation into the shootings by a soldier at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas.

As the Pentagon's top legal counsel, Johnson has played an integral role into the effort to try to close the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
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Old 2010-02-02, 14:50   Link #5894
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seems there's a concerted effort to drive foreign english teachers out of Korea...,4934857.story
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Old 2010-02-02, 15:01   Link #5895
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Originally Posted by mg1942 View Post
seems there's a concerted effort to drive foreign english teachers out of Korea...,4934857.story
Sounds like Korea has their own brand of idiot nationalist foreign-haters.

As far as the "robots teaching English" ... good luck with that but nothing quite beats having someone who actually grew up in the culture of the language you're studying.
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Old 2010-02-02, 15:04   Link #5896
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Iv seen these numbers as well and they are quite disturbing. Now im not saying i agree with everything that Dems do not even everything that Obama does. But this fear and conspiracy theories leaking out of their party is shameful. It only makes our government look like a bunch kids in a playpen fighting over toys and hyped on too much sugar. It actually makes me sad to see elected officials acting this way and what really pisses me off is this crap they keep perpetuating about Obama not being a citizen. I hate to say this but we know why they are stating this has any other prez in our history ever had his citizenship questions?

Even if you dont like Obama no one should wish for him fail. I hated Bush but i never wished for him fail because if he did it would affect normal citizens. If the Republicans want my vote EVER they have a lot of work to do to prove that they care about citizens not lining their own and their friends pocket with more money.
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Old 2010-02-02, 15:36   Link #5897
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Age: 60
Its the natural result of years of extreme disinformation ... and there's going to be a long time of "ya gets what ya reap" when a party has reformulated their entire core into the loony zone. The conservatives of the Ike/Goldwater/Buckley strains are literally without a party now.
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Old 2010-02-02, 16:40   Link #5898
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Large Portion Of GOP Thinks Obama Is Racist, Socialist, Non-U.S. Citizen: Poll

A third of these people think using birth control pills constitutes abortion (strange since the effect of birth control pills happens when the unfertilized egg drops), two-thirds believe that Christianity offers the only way to heaven, and nearly eighty percent believe "public school students [should] be taught that the book of Genesis in the Bible explains how God created the world."

Complete poll results
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Old 2010-02-02, 16:41   Link #5899
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go OBAMA!!!!! finally laying the smackdown and then going on to preform the most electrfying move in the GOP arena.

finally he comes out and just lays it on the table. and what a place to do it as well.
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Old 2010-02-02, 17:21   Link #5900
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bipartisan group of nine U.S. senators push for 9/11 trials in military court

Why is Obama trying to close GITMO again? Seems like GITMO was/is the ideal place to hold these guys AND the ideal place to place them on trial in a military court

WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - A bipartisan group of nine U.S. senators on Tuesday offered legislation to force special military trials for the accused Sept. 11, 2001, conspirators, further complicating President Barack Obama's bid to try them in a civilian court.

The Obama administration has been caught off guard by mounting bipartisan opposition to trying the self-professed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four others in a federal criminal court in lower Manhattan.

The nine senators argued against prosecuting the five men in a criminal court because they would receive full U.S. constitutional rights, and they could use the civilian trials to espouse their anti-American views.

They were also upset at the price tag, pegged at $200 million a year. Their legislation would bar funding for civilian trials.

"Civilian trials are unnecessarily dangerous, messy, confusing and expensive," Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters.

He argued that the five men, who are being held at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. military prison, are war criminals who should face military trials that would also ensure that no classified information would spill out.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the bill.

The Obama administration has maintained that most foreign terrorism suspects have been successfully prosecuted in federal criminal courts, but has agreed to reconsider holding the trials in Manhattan amid the security and cost concerns.


"I think it's pretty obvious they're not going to do it in New York but they have not signed off on it," said Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York. A Justice Department official said on Monday Manhattan was still a possibility.

The legislation is sponsored by six Republicans, along with Democrats Jim Webb and Blanche Lincoln and independent Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat who often votes with Democrats.

Lincoln is facing a tough re-election bid in her home state of Arkansas. Other terrorism-related trials may be held in Webb's home state of Virginia.

Graham did not detail how the bill's sponsors would pursue the measure in Congress. The Senate and House of Representatives are controlled by Obama's fellow Democrats, but Graham noted that some Democrats are backing the bill.

Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to prosecute the five accused Sept. 11 conspirators in a civilian court has turned into a political hot potato for the Obama administration. It has forced the White House and Justice Department to spend time and political capital to try to ensure that funding for the criminal trials is not blocked.

"I believe strongly in letting the Justice Department make prosecutorial decisions, and I support this administration's decision to try detainees in federal courts when appropriate," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Obama on Monday described the opposition to the criminal trial as "rank politics" because most prosecutions of foreign terrorism suspects during his Republican predecessor George W. Bush's administration were held in criminal courts.

"I hope and pray that the president will understand that as commander-in-chief he is pursuing a strategy that will weaken our national security. I do not question his motives, I question his judgment," Graham said, denying a political motive.

"It's really cost, I think it's also security and I think it's appropriateness, it's exactly what I hear from my constituency," Lincoln said. "These are criminals, they're war criminals and they need to be tried in the military courts."

Republican U.S. Representative Frank Wolf plans to introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. Similar efforts to force the trials into military court failed last year. (Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Will Dunham)

Last edited by mg1942; 2010-02-02 at 17:36.
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