FBI: Burgeoning Ethnic Gangs Behind up to 80% of US Crime

FBI: Burgeoning Ethnic Gangs Behind up to 80% of

US Crime

More news stories on Crime

Kevin Johnson, USA Today, January 29, 2009

Criminal gangs in the USA have swelled to an estimated 1 million members responsible for up to 80% of crimes in communities across the nation, according to a gang threat assessment compiled by federal officials.

The major findings in a report by the Justice Department’s National Gang Intelligence Center, which has not been publicly released, conclude gangs are the “primary retail-level distributors of most illicit drugs” and several are “capable” of competing with major U.S.-based Mexican drug-trafficking organizations.

“A rising number of U.S.-based gangs are seemingly intent on developing working relationships” with U.S. and foreign drug-trafficking organizations and other criminal groups to “gain direct access to foreign sources of illicit drugs,” the report concludes.

The gang population estimate is up 200,000 since 2005.

{snip}

‘Growing threat’ on the move

The report says about 900,000 gang members live “within local communities across the country,” and about 147,000 are in U.S. prisons or jails.

{snip}

Among the report’s other findings:

oLast year, 58% of state and local law enforcement agencies reported that criminal gangs were active in their jurisdictions, up from 45% in 2004.

oMore gangs use the Internet, including encrypted e-mail, to recruit and to communicate with associates throughout the U.S. and other countries.

oGangs, including outlaw motorcycle groups, “pose a growing threat” to law enforcement authorities along the U.S.-Canadian border. The U.S. groups are cooperating with Canadian gangs in various criminal enterprises, including drug smuggling.

Assistant FBI Director Kenneth Kaiser, the bureau’s criminal division chief, says gangs have largely followed the migration paths of immigrant laborers.

{snip}

MS-13 far-flung from L.A. incubator

One group that continues to spread despite law enforcement efforts is the violent Salvadoran gang known as MS-13.

{snip}

Kaiser says the street gang is in 42 states, up from 33 in 2005. “Enforcement efforts have been effective to a certain extent, but they (gang members) keep moving,” he says.

{snip}

Among law enforcement efforts:

{snip}

Davidson County, Tenn., Sheriff Daron Hall, whose jurisdiction includes Nashville, says MS-13 started growing there about five years ago, corresponding with an influx of immigrant labor.

Last April, county officials began checking the immigration status of all arrestees. “We know we have removed about 100 gang members, including MS-13,” to U.S. authorities for deportation, Hall says.

{snip}

Escorza [Aaron Escorza, chief of the FBI’s MS-13 National Gang Task Force] says a “revolving door” on the border has kept the gang’s numbers steady—about 10,000 in the U.S.—even as many illegal immigrant members are deported.

The FBI, which has two agents in El Salvador to help identify and track members in Central America and the United States, plans to dispatch four more agents to Guatemala and Honduras, Escorza says.

{snip}

Original article

(Posted on January 30, 2009)


Comments

Another reason to stop the illegal aliens from getting in. Every American you talk to wants to lock the borders, yet our government turns a deaf ear and panders to the liberals and big business.

Posted by Anonymous at 5:22 PM on January 30


If each and every county in each and every State and Commonwealth would check the immigration status of each and every arrestee, and actually send off those who are illegal for deportation, then the immigration problem in this Country will be lessened considerably.

Of course, liberals (and false-hearted “conservatives”) will never let this happen, and that is the true tragedy in this story.

Posted by SouthernJew at 5:37 PM on January 30


While I don’t doubt that street gangs are a big problem, I doubt the notion that 80% of all crimes in the U.S. are linked to gangs. In order to arrive at that figure, they have to have a very generous definition of a gang-linkable crime. For instance, if you’re jacked at gunpoint for money so that the robber can buy dope from a gang, I wouldn’t consider it a gang crime, but it seems that the FBI does. Also, there is the question of what is and is not a gang, and what is and is not a gang member. Both definitions are very malleable, and if you’re someone who makes a living in the business (or rather, the hustle) of gang mitigation and prevention, you have much the incentive to fudge the statistics for the worse.

Posted by Question Diversity at 6:05 PM on January 30


(Criminal gangs in the USA have swelled to an estimated 1 million members responsible for up to 80% of crimes in communities across the nation, according to a gang threat assessment compiled by federal officials.)

What they don’t tell you is that this is how Diversity
and Multiculturalism “enrich” us. We would not have
any of this riff raff, had it not been for the 1965
Immigration Act. The Act that Teddy Kennedy said would
not alter our national landscape, or bring in endless
hordes of third worlders. As we see Teddy sure was
wrong and a liar.

Posted by Dr. Caligari at 6:42 PM on January 30


Of course it stands to reason, the vast majority of gang members are either Mexican (Hispanic), or Black. Which means police are not permitted to use racial profiling to question a suspicious looking character, his pockets bulging with drugs or stolen loot.

What a pity we can’t follow the example of some third-world countries… and simply EXECUTE drug traffickers on the spot. Saving Americans a lot of grief, a lot of wasted money that would have to be spent on a lengthy trial. With the perps usually getting little more than a figurative slap on the wrist.

Oh, sorry, I just realized my error. I’ve been ASSURED on a local TV news blogsite, Mexicans and Blacks collectively are no more prone to crime and criminal acts than Whites. No matter how the news stories seem to indicate the opposite.

Posted by Fed Up at 7:25 PM on January 30


FBI Director Robert Mueller believes all one million Hispanic gang members are white, unless one Aztec kills another Aztec. At that point, the dead Aztec suddenly becomes Hispanic, dying at the hands of a racist white.
Meuller also recently broke off group hugs with CAIR after coming to the conclusion that Muslims believe in Jihad against infidels. He’s still seaching for those elusive “moderate” Muslims with which he can do further outreach.

Posted by Nordic at 7:28 PM on January 30


This actually made the MSM as I am guessing all here realize. I do think that this is the first glimmer of reality that has made it through the MSM filter. Apparently, it is becoming more difficult to deny or hide the facts out there.

Posted by Whiteplight at 7:38 PM on January 30


80% seems a little high. I assume that plenty in the FBI can’t think out of the box.(I’d hope for the opposite.) It’s easier to go after those criminals that can be labeled as gang members.

(An older male friend suggested to me that the FBI is big on hiring more special agents right now. He knows of my interest in cultures, religions, and the Middle East. If I didn’t understand what I did, with my being physically in shape and intelligent, I might be interested.—Bigger government on the rise./Anyone and everyone running rampant in/out/across this country.—
No thanks, I want no part.— It seems so easy to get a job with these types of organizations these days.)

Posted by 24/7 at 8:18 PM on January 30


Gangs………..Diversity in motion. The epitome of toxic ignorance. When you can’t join anything else to find a sense of belonging, join a gang and make Rangle and Conyers day. They got to have the very ignorant to continue and insure their massive, govt. pay-day.

Posted by jman at 8:20 PM on January 30

Hate Hypocrisy – Hate Crimes: The Importance of Lady Justice’s Blindfold

Hate Hypocrisy

By Ian Jobling • 1/29/09

The Brussels Journal just published a nice overview of European double standards in the enforcement of hate speech laws.

Last Friday, in a speech at the Islamic University of Rotterdam, Khalid Yasin, a radical Muslim leader, said that Geert Wilders “should be flogged for his crimes.” While Mr. Wilders is critical of the Koran he has never advocated flogging Muslims. Nevertheless, Mr. Wilders is being prosecuted and Mr. Yasin is not. Why? Is it because people such as Mr. Wilders, Mrs. Winter, Mr. Vanneste, Mrs. Bardot, though voicing strong opinions, never commit violence, while Muslims extremists threaten to kill everyone who opposes them and are consequently feared by the European authorities? Perhaps.

Hate Crimes: The Importance of Lady Justice’s Blindfold

lady-justice.jpg

The introduction of hate crime legislation brings a subjective element into the legal system. Where typically Lady Justice is blind and only takes objective facts into consideration, disregarding the position and the opinions of those committing the crimes, she may now apply the law unequally and selectively. Our societies subsequently risk losing an important principle of Western law, viz. equality under the law. Europe has already gone further down this road than America, but the U.S. is following fast in Europe’s tracks.

“If I talked about Muslims the way their holy book talks about me, I’d be arrested for hate speech,” Pat Condell, a British stand-up comedian, says in a youtube video released earlier this week. Mr. Condell, though a comedian by profession, is not joking. He knows how two years ago a British television crew which went undercover in British mosques and taped sermons inciting to violence against non-Muslims, was itself charged by the police and Crown Prosecution Service for “stirring up racial hatred” against Muslims, while the preachers were left undisturbed. According to the police and the public prosecutor the words of the preachers had been “taken out of context,” while the “context” of the makers of the television program was filled in by their accusers: their aim was said to be to stir up anti-Muslim feelings among the public.

Prosecutors and judges are no longer interested in what actually and objectively happened. Instead they focus on the intentions which they claim motivated those who acted. No longer is Lady Justice blind to anything except the facts; she is blind to the facts, but claims to be a clairvoyant about everything else.

Last week , the White House website announced that President Obama and Vice President Biden intend to “strengthen federal hate crimes legislation, expand hate crimes protection by passing the Matthew Shepard Act, and reinvigorate enforcement at the Department of Justice’s Criminal Section.” In the past, Europe was in the habit of imitating bad American examples (never the good ones). Now it seems the policies of “Change” in the U.S. mean that America will imitate Europe’s bad examples.

The “Matthew Shepard Act,” or “House Resolution 1592,” is named after Matthew Shepard, a young homosexual who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in 1998 by two heterosexual men near Laramie, Wyoming. Apparently the two men killed Mr. Shepard because they “hated” their victim for his homosexuality. Though the murderers were each punished with two consecutive life sentences, the fact that they “hated” their victim was not taken into account when the court decided the sentence. This caused much indignation among homosexual activists who argue that people who commit a crime out of “hate” should be punished more severely than those who do not.

Taking “hate” into account, however, brings a subjective element into the equation, allowing different punishments to be applied for exactly the same criminal acts. It is possible to objectively prove that someone has kidnapped, tortured and subsequently assassinated a victim, but is it also possible to prove that these acts constitute a worse crime if the perpetrator “hates” the victim (or the group he belongs to) than if the latter is totally indifferent towards the victim and only acts for the pleasure of torturing and killing a human being? If Matthew Shepard’s killers had randomly picked him, because they wanted to kidnap, torture and murder someone – anyone – for the sheer fun of it, would they somehow have been less criminal? This is a question which Lady Justice does not normally need to consider, until hate crime legislation is introduced.

In Europe, where citizens lack the protection of a First Amendment, hate crime legislation is used to punish citizens for the expression of negative opinions concerning minority groups. In Europe the concept of hate crimes make sense because hate crimes are crimes of opinion and sentiment. Unlike America, Europe criminalizes opinions and sentiments. However, in the United States, with its First Amendment, it is difficult to see what purpose hate crime legislation can serve. The Matthew Shepard Act contains a “Rule of Construction” explicitly stating that “Nothing in this Act… shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

Hence, it is hard to see what the use of introducing hate crime legislation in America can be, unless one deliberately wants to bring in a subjective element into the legal system which abolishes the old principle of equal treatment before the law and which justifies arbitrary actions on the part of the authorities. This is exactly what has happened across the Atlantic. In Europe, hate crime legislation has been used to silence people with opinions that do not conform with official state policies. These include celebrities, children and even elected politicians speaking on behalf of their electorate.

One of the famous victims of hate crime legislation in Europe is Brigitte Bardot. Last June the former sex symbol, once considered to be the very icon of France, was given a two-month suspended prison sentence and fined €15,000 by a court in Paris. Mrs. Bardot was convicted for “instigation of hatred” towards the Muslim community because in December 2006 she had sent a letter to Nicolas Sarkozy, then the Interior Minister of France, to demand that Muslims anaesthesize animals before slaughtering them. In the letter she said, referring to Muslims, that she was “fed up with being under the thumb of this population which is destroying us, destroying our country and imposing its habits.” Harboring and expressing such sentiments is a crime in France.

Dieudonné M’Bala is one of France’s new icons. He is a French comedian who is known for his anti-Semitism. Mr. M’Bala claims Jews are “a mafia that controls everything in France” and harbors feelings about  Jews which are similar Mrs. Bardot’s feelings about Muslims: France is under the thumb of the Jews, who are destroying it and imposing their values. In 2004 Mr. M’Bala was taken to court in Paris for violating French laws against incitation to racial or religious hatred, but the court ruled that he was not violating the law. Why did Mrs. Bardot get a suspended prison sentence and a fine of €15,000, while Mr. B’Bala went free? Because Mrs. Bardot and Mr. M’Bala are no longer equal under the law.

In October 2006 Codie Stott, a 14-year-old schoolgirl from Salford, England, was arrested for racism and spent three-and-a-half hours in police custody because she had refused to study with a group of five Asian pupils who did not speak English. When the Asians began talking in Urdu, Codie went to speak to the teacher. “I said ‘I’m not being funny, but can I change groups because I can’t understand them?’ But the teacher started shouting and screaming, saying ‘It’s racist, you’re going to get done by the police’.” A complaint was made to the police and Codie was placed under arrest. She was not prosecuted as she was too young, but the experience was traumatic for the young girl. The same applies to Jamie Bauld from Cumbernauld, Scotland, an 18-year-boy with Down’s syndrome and the mental age of a five-year-old. In September 2007 he was charged with “racial assault” after he had pushed an Asian girl on the playground.

Hate crime legislation is used to silence the famous and the innocent, but also the people’s democratically elected representatives. In January 2007 Christian Vanneste, a member of the French Parliament, was convicted by the Court of Appeal of Douai because two years earlier during a debate in the parliament and afterwards on television he had said that “homosexual behavior endangers the survival of humanity” and that “heterosexuality is morally superior to homosexuality.” Mr. Vanneste, a member of the governing UMP party of President Sarkozy, was fined €3,000. The Court also ordered him to pay €3,500 in damages to each of the three homosexual activist organizations that had taken him to court, plus the expense of publishing the verdict in three newspapers. The three organizations welcomed the court ruling, saying that it “aims to punish homophobic comments which should be fought because they inspire and legitimize verbal and physical attacks.”

Last week Susanne Winter, an elected member of the Austrian Parliament, was convicted by a court in Graz to a suspended jail sentence of three months and a fine of €24,000 for “inciting racial hatred and degradation of religious symbols and religious agitation.” At a meeting of the Austrian Freedom Party FPÖ in January 2008, Mrs. Winter had said that the prophet Muhammad was “a child molester” since he married a six-year-old girl, and that he was “a warlord” who had written the Koran during “epileptic fits.” She had also said that Islam is “a totalitarian system of domination that should be cast back to its birthplace on the other side of the Mediterranean” and warned for “a Muslim immigration tsunami,” stating that “in 20 or 30 years, half the population of Austria will be Muslim” if the present immigration policies continue.

Following these remarks, Muslim extremists threatened to kill Mrs. Winter, who was subsequently placed under police protection. This did not persuade the judge, Christoph Lichtenberg, to be more lenient. He told Mrs. Winter: “You have only one goal: to gain votes by a despicable method, by appealing to xenophobic feelings.” Judge Lichtenberg said a severe punishment was asked for in order to prevent Mrs. Winter from voicing similar opinions during her next election campaign.

Also last week, the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, decided to prosecute Geert Wilders, an elected member of the Dutch Parliament, for “the instigation of hatred against Muslims” as the producer of Fitna, a short documentary about the Koran. In his movie, which can be seen here, Mr Wilders says that the Koran calls for violence against Jews and other non-Muslims. Mr. Wilders lives under constant police protection following death threats from Koran readers.

A few weeks earlier, on 3 January, Harry van Bommel, a Socialist member of the Dutch Parliament, took part in a demonstration during which he called for an “intifada” against Israel and marched with demonstrators who were shouting “Jews to the gas.” Will Mr. van Bommel, like Mr. Wilders, be charged with incitement to racial hatred? Will he be given the same treatment as Mr. Wilders? Considering that equality under the law is no longer guaranteed, this is far from certain. Indeed, while Mr. Wilders will be prosecuted, Mr. van Bommel is likely to go free.

One noticeable fact in hate crime prosecutions is that those prosecuted are often members of European majority groups, such as heterosexuals, non-Muslims or non-Socialists. Hate speech, racial slurs or religious insults directed against a majority group do not seem to be as equally punishable under hate crimes legislation as those directed against minorities. Unlike Susanne Winter, Alfred Hrdlicka, an Austrian “artist,” who last year depicted Jesus and his apostles engaging in homosexual acts of sodomy during the Last Supper, has not been indicted, let alone sentenced. Depicting Jesus sodomizing his apostles is not considered to be a “degradation of religious symbols” in Austria, but referring to the historic fact that Muhammad married a six-year old girl is.

Last Friday, in a speech at the Islamic University of Rotterdam, Khalid Yasin, a radical Muslim leader, said that Geert Wilders “should be flogged for his crimes.” While Mr. Wilders is critical of the Koran he has never advocated flogging Muslims. Nevertheless, Mr. Wilders is being prosecuted and Mr. Yasin is not. Why? Why do the British police arrest 14-year old children, such as Codie Stott, but do they not take action against Muslims such as Anjem Choudary who said in a television interview that anyone who insults Islam deserves “capital punishment”?

Is it because people such as Mr. Wilders, Mrs. Winter, Mr. Vanneste, Mrs. Bardot, though voicing strong opinions, never commit violence, while Muslims extremists threaten to kill everyone who opposes them and are consequently feared by the European authorities? Perhaps. Is it because members of majority groups are prosecuted for hate crimes, but hardly ever members of minority groups? Perhaps. In 2006, a heterosexual man in Belgium lodged a complaint against a media campaign that used the slogan “Dirty Heterosexual.” The Belgian government’s anti-racism and anti-discrimination body rejected the complaint, arguing that “stigmatization of a majority is impossible. Discrimination is something which by definition can affect only minorities.”

Whatever the reason, however, it is clear that with the introduction of hate crime legislation Europe’s citizens are no longer equal under the law. Some are harassed, prosecuted and sentenced, while others are not. Everyone who cares about freedom and democracy should demand that the law treats citizens equally, that Lady Justice does not discriminate, that she will again be blindfolded, so that Mr. Wilders is treated the same as Mr. van Bommel, Mrs. Bardot the same as Mr. M’Bala, Mrs. Winter the same as Mr. Hrdlicka, so that children and people with Down’s syndrome are left in peace, and so that people are judged not by how they feel toward each other but by the way they treat each other.

The Swarming of Kirsten Gillibrand

The Swarming of Kirsten Gillibrand

By Ian Jobling • 1/29/09

Newly appointed New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is getting swarmed by a stinging cloud of immigration lawyers, Hispanic politicians, journalists, and pressure groups who are riled up over her moderately conservative record on immigration issues in the House. She’s already beginning to weaken and compromise:

In Washington on Tuesday, the new senator elaborated, saying, “I don’t support amnesty because I don’t think it will work.” … But she suggested one alternative might be to allow consecutive five-year work visas, with the ability to apply for permanent residency at the end.

I’m not sure how her compromise is really different from an amnesty. Anyway, if you’re a New Yorker, or even just an American, you should call her office at (202) 224-4451 and tell her you admire her previous record on immigration—she doesn’t have an e-mail contact page yet.

“I think she needs to be educated, frankly,” oozes one smug diversity snob. He needs to get himself educated here.

This swarming confirms a theory I’ve long held about why the House has been so much stronger on immigration issues than the Senate or the Presidency. The higher you move in the ranks of political power, the more attention you attract from liberal pressure groups. They can’t keep 435 House representatives in line, so they focus on those higher up the food chain. Whatever the reason, Gillibrand just stepped into a noxious hornet’s nest, and she needs to hear from us white Americans to keep her from going wobbly.

Obama’s Signs and Signals

Obama’s Signs and Signals

by Dymphna

Obama signingRemember the Big Deal recently when O’Bama signed his long-awaited executive order, the one about the closing of Guantanamo’s prison for terrorists?

Turns out that no one wants the inmates, so he may have trouble emptying out the place. Alcatraz would be perfect, but the Speaker of the House, the Hon’bl Nancy Pelosi, says no way, José. Alcatraz is in her district, which is filled with enough America haters as it is. Besides the fact that The Rock is a tourist site now, the place would probably never meet the code for “humane” treatment.

For that matter, they’re going to have trouble finding any place as luxe as Gitmo for our detainees.

At the time of the signing there was also a lot of ballyhoo because the president was also closing those evil black sites where newly captured terrorists are held until they can be sent on to other destinations. You know, those evil dark places that flourished under the evil, dark Bush.

Ummm…turns out the Big Deal executive order has at least one embroidered loophole, to wit:
- – - - – - – - -

“The terms ‘detention facilities’ and ‘detention facility’ in section 4(a) of this order do not refer to facilities used only to hold people on a short-term, transitory basis.”

The Washington Times has the exclusive on this story. It will probably stay “exclusive” as the MSM is not going to tarnish any of O’Bama’s haloes if it can be avoided:

The provision illustrates that the president’s order to shutter foreign-based prisons, known as black sites, is not airtight and that the Central Intelligence Agency still has options if it wants to hold terrorist suspects for several days at a time.

Current and former U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition that they aren’t identified because of the sensitivity of the subject, said such temporary facilities around the world will remain open, giving the administration the opportunity to seize and hold assumed terrorists.

The detentions would be temporary. Suspects either would be brought later to the United States for trial or sent to other countries where they are wanted and can face trial.

The exception is evidence that the new administration, while announcing an end to many elements of the Bush “war on terror,” is leaving itself wiggle room to continue some of its predecessor’s practices regarding terrorist suspects.

There will be enough “wiggle room” behind that curtain for Obama to appear to “change” any number of rules while everything stays in place, just as it always has.The main difference is how the media will play this. Obama may be the One, but the press are The Ones in Charge; it’s been that way since Nixon. The MSM is impervious to “change”, especially now that they have their man into the Oval Office. Keeping his halo burnished is the job of the hour. Just as they ignored the positive things that Bush did in office, they will ignore or play down the O’s wiggling and back-stepping.

So we still have the CIA black holes. We still have Gitmo. We still have a bloated, corrupt government. The Imperial Congress continues to bloviate while the country rolls over and goes back to sleep – as more and more of the unemployed are doing. What’s the point of getting up when the job opportunities are shrinking faster than cotton clothing from China?

Helle Dale, from the Heritage Foundation, had these observations about appearances vs. reality:

…President Obama’s announcement…has been greeted here and abroad with jubilation, every bit as much as if the gates of the detention center had been permanently shut, chained and padlocked.

[…]

European leaders lost no time claiming the credit for Mr. Obama’s decision. Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said that closing Guantanamo is a move “which Spain and Europe have demanded.” So did German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who told the BBC: “Germany belongs to the group of countries like the UK who demanded closure of Guantanamo. It’s a question of credibility. Its closure is necessary for the USA, especially if the U.S. wants to restore its credibility in the Middle East and in the Arab world.” At least Mr. Steinmeier offered to help with the detainees (an offer that was notably never extended to the Bush administration)…

Dale notes that O has a steep learning curve when it comes to looking “presidential” now that he’s gotten his wish. For sure, Bill Clinton would have done his homework on this situation rather than show up for the event looking so clueless. But then, Clinton was actually a policy wonk. Somehow, that doesn’t appear to be Obama’s strong suit:

It is not very clear, though, how much the president is in command of his own policy. During Friday’s signing ceremony, Mr. Obama appeared not to know that he would be signing four separate orders and had to refer repeatedly to White House Legal Counsel Greg Craig for answers to questions from the media. Nor was he able to answer a question about the future of the detainees. For the Obama White House, closing Gitmo is essentially a symbolic action.

Symbolism is the essence of Obama. His political philosophy is such a shallow pool that it would take very little heat or light to transform it into a puddle. However, heat and light is not going to be supplied by anyone currently on watch. He will sail his little boat and the press in the pool will treat it as though he were walking on water.

What a situation: our Leader is a useful idiot. I fear that we may deserve him.

Shari’a vs. Civilization

Shari’a vs. Civilization

by Baron Bodissey

Welcome Dharmaveer to the Counterjihad blogosphere.

Regular readers know that Gates of Vienna urges an alliance among Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Taoists, atheists, and indeed any group of people that doesn’t believe in Allah or Mohammed.

India is a natural ally in the struggle against the Great Jihad, because it has been on the receiving end of the greatest abominations ever dealt out to the infidels by Islam. It has the world’s largest Muslim minority — somewhere between 140 and 165 million followers of the Prophet, depending on whose figures you use — and experiences horrific Muslim terrorist attacks almost daily, of which the recent Mumbai atrocity is simply the most well-known.

Dharmaveer has this to say about himself and his blog, “Thoughts of a nationalist Indian”:

I am a software engineer in Bangalore, India. I have been studying Islam for the past 8 years, and have thoroughly read the Kuran, the 4 canonical Hadiths, the Sirah, and various other books of Islamic jurisprudence such as Umdat al Salik etc. I have literally spend hours daily for these past years learning about Islam. Following suggestions from many friends, and after the Mumbai Jihadi attacks, I decided to make this blog to share ideas about the unique threat we Hindus face from radical Islam and its core ideology of Jihad upon kafirs.

I want to also use this blog to build bridges with the West, which faces the same assault we Hindus do. Hindu and Western civilization cherish the same ideal of freedom, a fact that contributes to the success of Hindus in Western countries. We must stand together to protect this ideal, else we will surely perish together.

And he explains his blogging pseudonym thusly:

This blog is dedicated to Sambhaji — the oldest son of Shivaji — who was given the title of “Dharmaveer” for refusing to convert to Islam after being scientifically tortured for over 20 days by Aurangzeb.

He died a Hindu.

With Dharmaveer’s kind permission, I reproduce one of his recent posts below:

Shari’a vs. Civilization

Modern civilisation is based upon a few axioms. These are held as self-evident, and while not every society has been able to arrive at successful practice of them, most would agree with them in principle. These are:

1. Equality of all human beings in the eyes of the law. In particular, men and women are equal in the eyes of the law, and members of all religious groups are equal in the eyes of the law.
2. Freedom of beliefs in general, and religion in particular. A person is free to choose his beliefs, including her/his faith and the manner of her/his worship.
3. Freedom of expression and freedom to dissent. Freedom to intellectually scrutinize any doctrine, including a religious one.
4. Belief in democracy as the ideal mode of governance.

Once again, while no society has arrived at this perfect ideal in practise, most modern nations would agree to all four points in principle.

- – - - – - – - -

But not Islam. Not Shari’a. Islamic law (Shari’a) is categorically and emphatically opposed to ALL 4 axioms of modern civilization. Let us inspect each one in turn.

1. Shari’a law denies equality to women and to non-Muslims. Both the Kuran and Hadith — the foundations of Shari’a law — assert that women are inferior to men, and this is reflected in Shari’a law. In particular, the testimony of a woman is worth only half of a man in a Shari’a court.

Similarly, since the Kuran and Hadith assert that “unbelievers” are not the equal of Muslims in any manner, the testimony of a non-Muslim is worth only half of a Muslim.

Once again, this is not just the case with “radical Islamists”, but has been agreed upon by all 4 schools of Sunni jurisprudence (Hanafi, Shafi, Hanbali, Maliki) since their beginning.

2. While Islam exhorts all Muslims to wage continuous war (Jihad) upon non-Muslims in order to expand the Islamic state, Shari’a law does not allow any Muslim to leave his faith. This includes someone who may have originally been of a different faith before converting to Islam, and now wants to return to her/his original faith. The penalty for a Muslim who leaves Islam is death, according to all 4 schools of Sunni jurisprudence. This is based on numerous Hadith where either Muhammad directly says that those who leave Islam must be killed, or his close companions bear witness to him having said so. In several Hadith, this sentence is actually carried out (i.e., a former Muslim is put to death, and this is recorded in the Hadith). Indeed, there is a Hadith which records the execution of such a person (who was originally Jewish, became Muslim, and reverted to Judaism).

Shari’a law also does not give non-Muslims the right to build or repair their places of worship. It does not allow idol worship as a means of worship, and generally approves of the demolition of the temples of anyone it considers “polytheist” or “idolator”. This has been used to justify the destruction of literally thousands of Hindu temples all over India during the years of Islamic rule. Even today, strict implementations of shari’a law demolish idols, such as the Taliban’s destruction of the centuries old Bamiyan Buddhas.

3. Shari’a does not allow any sort of open discussion of Islam. Islam is held to be a doctrine straight from Allah, binding upon humans for all time and in all places. Hence, criticism of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad is punishable by death. This is part of law even in countries that do not have full fledged Shari’a law, such as Pakistan. Under Pakistan’s Tauheen-e-rasool (literally “disrespect of Prophet”) act, any criticism of Muhammad is punishable with death.

4. Shari’a is a strict alternative to democracy. In other words, Shari’a posits itself as a political system, and does not recognize the legitimacy of any other political system such as democracy. Every single school of Islamic jurisprudence says governance by Shari’a is the only acceptable form of Islamic government. Indeed, bringing about such governance by Shari’a law is considered the ultimate goal of the Muslim “umma” (Muslim nation). Democracy is categorically rejected as an acceptable system of governance. Almost every Islamist writing pours scorn on democracy and secularism as “western inventions” that are “contaminating the Muslim ummah.”

So Islamic Shari’a law is opposed to all four basic axioms of modern civilization as we know it. It is not a coincidence that Islamic societies “look very different” from free societies. I have not even gone into issues such as barbarity of punishments (such as stoning to death, chopping limbs etc. which are imposed under Shari’a law). I am speaking simply of the basic axioms that underlie modern human civilization and society and which mankind has generally come to agree upon, with the one exception of Islam. Islam rejects all these axioms. To accept any imposition of Shari’a law, no matter how “harmless” it is deliberately made to appear, would be tantamount to rolling back centuries of human civilisational progress. I particularly appeal to British readers of this blog to understand that by allowing even a mild form of Shari’a, they are allowing the imposition of a system that does not accept women and non-Muslims as complete human beings and forever relegates them to a status between human and animal. Is this what Britain stands for these days? I am appalled. Please, my British readers, raise your voices now.

What I have written here is not something our venal politicians will openly state. But these are the issues we face today. In India, as evidenced by the Shah Bano case, politicians are only too eager to please their Muslim vote banks by allowing limited forms of Shari’a. Shari’a law might soon be allowed in limited form in Britain — a startling new story in Europe’s lack of will to stand up to this civilisational assault. The Indian media, in a characteristically spineless display, did not give any coverage to the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) posters saying “No to democracy, No to secularism, Yes to Shari’a” which appeared in many Muslim localities of cities including Mumbai. Make no mistake — rejection of democracy and secularism, and their replacement by Shari’a, is core to Islamist teaching. It is up to honest intellectuals to inform the public about what Shari’a means.

It means the end of civilization as we know it.

“Thoughts of a nationalist Indian” will be added to our blogroll as soon as I get my act together and update our template.

The Threat of Islam in Flanders

The Threat of Islam in Flanders

by Baron Bodissey

According to the researchers, the so-called “negative” picture of the Flemish people about Islam is due to a lack of knowledge about Islam. But the reverse is true! The Fleming knows more than enough about the nature and practice of Islam to judge it with common sense. — Filip Dewinter

Multicultural indoctrination is not working, at least in Flanders.

Despite forty years of non-stop propaganda in the media, the schools, and the universities, despite the best efforts of all the cultural enrichers and diversity consultants, the residents of Flanders remain remarkably — dare I say atavistically? — racist and Islamophobic.

It really is time to abolish the Flemish people and elect a new one.

Our Flemish correspondent VH has compiled and translated a series of articles concerning a recent survey that reveals just how Islamophobic the Flemings are. Make sure you scroll down and read the eminently sensible quotes from Filip Dewinter. At the end of this series VH includes his own commentary.

First, from Het Laaste Nieuws:

Almost half of the Flemings consider Islam a threat

Almost half of the Flemish electorate has a very negative view of Islam and Muslims. No less than 46 percent of the Flemish electorate believes that Islam is not a contribution to the European culture. Barely 18 percent think that on the contrary it is a contribution.

Even more voters (48 percent) believe that Islamic values are a threat to Europe, and 37 percent are of the opinion that most Muslims have no respect for European culture and lifestyle.

Research

This is apparent from a research conducted by the Institute for Social and Political Opinion Research [Instituut voor Sociaal en Politiek Opinieonderzoek, ISPO] of the Catholic University (KU) in Leuven, Flanders [pdf can be downloaded here]. The ISPO team, led by Jaak Billiet and Marc Swyngedouw, asked 1,084 Flemish voters between September 2007 and January 2008 for their voting behavior. In the margins of this study they also measured the concept of “Islamophobia”, or the negative attitude towards Islam.

Flemish survey- – - - – - – - -
From De Standaard:

The strongest statement — Islamic history and culture are more violent than other cultures — is accepted by nearly 42 percent of the respondents, while only 21 percent do not agree with this argument.

When it comes to family life, is 81 per cent of the Flemish voters are of the opinion that Muslim men dominate their women too much. Just 3.5 percent of the respondents do not agree with that and 15 percent hold an intermediate position. On questions with a focus on school performance and authoritarian upbringing, only half state they have no idea.

The researchers also investigated the attitude of the voters opposed to the wearing of head scarves in public functions. This debate evolved in the run-up to the elections of 2007 after intense discussions. Among other things, the headscarf was banned in Antwerp, for officials with a visible public role.. A majority (53 percent) support the measure and apparently believe that Muslim women in public positions should not wear the headscarf. 35 percent have no problem with that.

The attitude of the Flemish voters towards Islam is more negative then the attitude towards ethnic minorities. The ISPO examined the attitude towards these minorities or migrants since 1991. The feelings of economic rivalry have continuously declined since then.

The investigation of 2007 shows that half of the voters are of the opinion that immigrants do not threaten the employment situation. At the same time, 40 percent of respondents do believe that ethnic minorities do not contribute to the prosperity of our country.

New immigration is not enthusiastically welcomed: 38 percent of the voters are for, but 47 percent are opposed to this, even if it would help to solve labor shortages. Flemish minister-president Kris Peeters (CD&V, Christian Democrats) announced last week that Flanders should by 2020 become one of the wealthiest regions [he does not say “countries”]. “There will, however, be a need for foreign workers to achieve that,” Swyngedouw continues, “If you see how negative the attitude is against foreigners, you’re stuck with a big problem.” According to Swyngedouw, the Flemings fear a new type of immigrants: the highly skilled: “The immigrants who are already are here are not wanted by the Flemings, and the new immigrants are seen as a competition on the labor market. “

The feelings of cultural threat decreased since 1991, as did the feelings of economic competition. But since the turn of the millennium, they began to rise again. The attacks of September 11, 2001 in the U.S. were clearly a turning point.

Today, 43 percent of Flemish voters are of the opinion that migrants are a threat to our culture and customs. A third of the electorate does not agree with that. The lifestyle of ethnic minorities is seen as incompatible with the Western European way of life by 41%.

Young people from 18 to 34 years are the most positive towards immigrants, the elderly the most negative. Especially those older than 55 show a rise of a strongly negative attitude. It is noteworthy that education has only a small effect on the feelings towards ethnic minorities. When it comes to Islamophobia, education still plays a role. Voters with tertiary education have a much less negative view of Islam than voters who only have a primary education. [emphasis added]

Finally, the researchers tried to assess the attitude of Flemish voters towards racist remarks. Only a tiny majority believes that a speaker at a public meeting or on television should be stopped when he utters racist speech. 45 percent believe that such a speaker must be able to say what he or she wants.

An article by Vlaams Belang concerning this report:

“Negative attitude of the Flemish towards Islam has nothing to do with Islamophobia but everything with common sense”

“Stirring up opinions of the Flemish on Islamophobia lead to politically-correct thinking and revisionism”

A few days ago, the results of a survey by the Institute for Social and Political survey of the KU Leuven were published. In the period between September 2007 and January 2008, 1084 voters were questioned about their voting behavior and their attitude towards Islam. The survey shows that about half of the Flemish voters have a “negative” view of Islam. 45% of the Flemings see Islam as a threat, 42% think their culture is violent and more than 80% find that Muslim men dominate their women.

Filip Dewinter believes that “the Muslim-critical attitude of majority of Flemings in respect to Islam is immediately branded by researchers and the media as ‘Islamophobia’. The fact that half of the Flemish consider the Islam as a threat has nothing to do with the so-called Islamophobic attitude of the Flemish and everything to do with Islam itself.” Islam is rightly regarded by the average Fleming as a totalitarian political ideology that stands at odds with our Western freedoms, standards, and values. The demonizing of a majority of the Flemings for their views on Islam will lead to politically-correct thinking and censorship. That any form of criticism of Islam is dismissed as Islamophobia means yet another victory for radical Islam.

According to the researchers, the so-called “negative” picture of the Flemish people about Islam is due to a lack of knowledge about Islam. But the reverse is true! The Fleming knows more than enough about the nature and practice of Islam to judge it with common sense. Filip Dewinter is satisfied. Though, and pleasantly surprised by the Islam-critical attitude of the Flemish population. Filip Dewinter: “Congratulations to everyone who despite the political-correct dictatorship dares to freely express his views about Islam. The stigmatization of all those who hold a critical view on Islam is yet another attempt to enforce politically-correct group-think on the man in the street. If Islamophobia means that one is critical of Islam, then I think it is the duty of every person to be Islamophobic. If Islamophobia means that one sees the Islam as a threat, than it is the duty of every person to be Islamophobic. The political ideology of Islam and radical Islam are indeed a threat to our Flemish and European cultural identity and identity. May Europe never be Eurabia!”

During the Question Hour today in the Flemish parliament, Filip Dewinter will interrogate the Flemish Minister of Integration, Marino Keulen [Open VLD, Flemish Liberals] about this study.

An interview with Filip Dewinter about the report:

Almost half of the Flemish are of the opinion that Islam does not contribute to European culture. Almost half of the Flemings consider Islamic values to be a threat to our society and finds Islamic culture violent. A research of the KU Leuven [Catholic University Leuven] pointed out earlier this week that we do not have a high esteem for Islam. Politicians reacted with shock to this “Islamophobia”.

Filip Dewinter (Flemish Interest) on the contrary expresses delight “My congratulations to everyone who, despite the politically-correct group-think, the intimidation and the brainwashing is yet resilient enough to continue not only to understand the violent nature of Islam but also to express that. The figures show that the population has not yet been fully affected by the multicultural virus.”

A number of politicians want to take action, you will find that not necessary?

“Absolutely not. We should just take into account the conviction of the Flemings. Politicians always give the same answer: indoctrination and re-education. They believe that the Fleming has insufficient knowledge on Islam. The opposite is true. The population is simply right.

“Politicians are profiling themselves too much as do-gooders. They immediately want to make the man in the street feel guilty. The adaptation of the law is the next step. Instantly, Islamophobia is a crime. It is surely impossible to label every form of criticism of Islam as Islamophobia. That way they kill any debate.”

Flemings are especially critical towards extreme manifestations of this religion.

“That is a misconception. Islam simply is unable to adapt to Western values: then it would not be Islam anymore. Look, cultural Muslims constitute the overwhelming majority here. For them the Islam is no more than a perception the passed on through family traditions.. They are not consistent experience religion consistently. Immediately they are not real Muslims. The radical Muslims, about 10 to 20 percent, are in charge. They bring the political ideology into practice. We have nothing against Muslims, but do so against their political ideology. This ideology is at odds with Western freedoms, standards and values. The Flemish government is by taking its stance, protecting radical Muslims.”

To you, Islamophobia is a form of good citizenship.

“Definitely. At least as long as Islamophobia means that one sees the Islam as a threat. It is about time that Flemish minister Marino Keulen [Open VLD, Flemish Liberals] understands this. Unfortunately, he persists in anger. With the recognition of Islam as a religion in Flanders he cooperates with the building of a social grouping, a Muslim pillar.”

Quote from an article by Yves Weinberger in Joods Actueel:

…If there is Islamophobia today in our Western world, then that is primarily because of the impotence of the Muslim world in adapting to modernity. A part of the Muslim world is dropping back into fundamentalism in which all blame is shifted onto Israel and the West. Although hundreds of millions of people are having a hard time on our planet, it is quite striking that Muslim militias are responsible for the bulk of the terror. And what do the moderate Muslims and the theologians say? They remain silent! Still no reason to be somewhat Islamophobic? Anyone who has seen the demonstrations of the AEL [Arab European League] and their ilk is aware of how the hatred against Jews in general, the West, and the US is being orchestrated. It was significant to see the clerico-fascist Islamists and atheist communists hand in hand and to hear slogans like “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.

VH offers his own opinion:

A serious point of criticism of the report might be that the hosts, the Flemings are being researched for their attitude to colonizers they never asked for, and without researching the colonizers first. Just a thought: half your neighborhood is suddenly (within a few decades) flooded with Muslims who are in no way planning to join in or respect you or your culture and country, and then a research group comes to your house to see what is wrong with you and to count your books: “The participation in voluntary work — to have a socially wide life-style — and a broad knowledge (expressed in book ownership) have mitigating effects on both the negative attitudes towards minorities and the negative attitude towards Islam.” [p.20]

The immigrants should apologize to the Flemings for this harassment, pay back the damage and promise to behave from now on or leave, and take all those appeasing big mouth dhimmi politicians with them.

Why Was There No Chinese Newton?

Why Was There No Chinese Newton?

To my essay Western Civilization and Socratic Dialogue, Dymphna of the Gates of Vienna blog wrote a comment about Greek vs. Chinese ways of thinking. This is an interesting subject which I will explore further here, with an emphasis on mathematical astronomy. The Danish nobleman and astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546–1601), born in Scania or Skåne in southern Sweden, then a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, from 1600 until his death in 1601 was assisted by theGerman mathematical astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571–1630), who published his Astronomia nova in 1609 with calculations of the elliptical orbit of Mars based on Brahe’s careful observations. The English scholar Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1726) has no equal in the history of science, with the possible exception of Albert Einstein. Yet even he did not work in isolation.

Here is The Oxford Guide to the History of Physics and Astronomy, page 227:

“In 1679, Newton learned of Robert Hooke’s idea that orbital or curved motion could be explained by a combination of a linear inertial component along the orbit’s tangent and a continual falling inward toward the center. Newton wrote that he had never before heard of this ‘hypothesis.’ But he perceived a connection between Hooke’s suggestion and Johannes Kepler’s law of areas, and showed that they implied that the tendency toward the center in planetary elliptical orbits must vary as the inverse square of the distance from the Sun. He informed no one about this great breakthrough. In 1684 Newton received a visit from Edmond Halley, who asked for help in solving a problem that had stumped everyone in London: the force that produces planetary elliptical orbits. Newton replied that he had already solved it. He wrote up his solution in a little tract called De motu. While revising and expanding it, he discovered that the same force that keeps the planets in orbit must cause perturbations in the orbital motions of other planets, the key to the great principle and law of universal gravitation….In 1687 he published his resulting masterpiece, Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy).”

Kepler’s laws, which helped pave the way for Newton’s Principia, were developed in the early 1600s based on Brahe’s naked-eye observations. Just a few decades earlier, Copernicus had placed the Sun at the center of the Solar System instead of the Earth. Ptolemaic astronomy had thus been superseded in Europe even before the introduction of the telescope. It is interesting to contrast this with Muslims, who had the same Ptolemaic and Greek starting point during the Middle Ages, yet nevertheless did not produce a similar breakthrough.

Could something like the Principia have been produced in China? Here is Science and Technology in World History by James E. McClellan and Harold Dorn, page 132-133:

“Although weak in astronomical theory, given the charge to search for heavenly omens, Chinese astronomers became acute observers….who produced systematic star charts and catalogues. Chinese astronomers recorded 1,600 observations of solar and lunar eclipses from 720 BCE, and developed a limited ability to predict eclipses. They registered seventy-five novas and supernovas (or ‘guest’ stars) between 352 BCE and 1604 CE, including the exploding star of 1054 (now the Crab Nebula), visible even in the daytime but apparently not noticed by Islamic or European astronomers. With comets a portent of disaster, Chinese astronomers carefully logged twenty-two centuries of cometary observations from 613 BCE to 1621 CE, including the viewing of Halley’s comet every 76 years from 240 BCE. Observations of sunspots (observed through dust storms) date from 28 BCE. Chinese astronomers knew the 26,000-year cycle of the precession of the equinoxes. Like the astronomers of the other Eastern civilizations, but unlike the Greeks, they did not develop explanatory models for planetary motion. They mastered planetary periods without speculating about orbits. Government officials also systematically collected weather data.”

The comet we know as Halley’s Comet had been spotted many times before the great English astronomer Edmond Halley (1656–1742), but it was not recognized as a periodic comet until eighteenth century Europe, which is significant. The Chinese had apparently never calculated the orbits of either Halley’s Comet or other comets which they had observed. They had a large mass of observational data, yet never used it to deduct mathematical theories about the movement of planets and comets similar to what Kepler, Newton and others did in Europe. Newton’s Principia was written a few generations after the introduction of the telescope, which makes it seductively simple to believe that the theory of universal gravity was somehow the logical conclusion of telescopic astronomy. Yet this is not at all the case.

What would have happened if the telescope had been invented in China? Would we then have had a Chinese Newton? This is impossible to say for certain, of course, but I doubt it. Chinese culture never placed much emphasis on law, either in human form, as in secular Roman law, natural law or divine law. If the Chinese had invented the telescope, I suspect they would have used it to study comets, craters on the Moon etc., which would clearly have been valuable, no doubt. Any culture that used telescopes would have generated new knowledge with the device, but not necessarily a law of universal gravity. McClellan and Dorn, page 259:

“Newton’s celestial mechanics hinges on the case of the earth’s moon. This case and the case of the great comet of 1680 were the only ones that Newton used to back up his celestial mechanics, for they were the only instances where he had adequate data. With regard to the moon, Newton knew the rough distance between it and the earth (60 Earth radii). He knew the time of its orbit (one month). From that he could calculate the force holding the moon in orbit. In an elegant bit of calculation, using Galileo’s law of falling bodies, Newton demonstrated conclusively that the force responsible for the fall of bodies at the surface of the earth – the earth’s gravity – is the very same force holding the moon in its orbit and that gravity varies inversely as the square of the distance from the center of the earth. In proving this one exquisite caseNewton united the heavens and the earth and closed the door on now-stale cosmological debates going back to Copernicus and Aristotle. In proving this and the comet case, Newton simultaneously opened the door on a whole new world of problems to solve.”

In his excellent book Cosmos, John North points out that in China, where astronomy was intimately connected with government and civil administration, interest in cosmological matters was not markedly scientific in the Western sense of the word and did not develop any great deductive system of a character such as we meet in Aristotle or Ptolemy. Page 136:

“The great scholar we know as Confucius (551 BC-478 BC) did nothing to help this situation – if in fact it needed help. Primarily a political reformer who wished to ensure that the human world mirrored the harmony of the natural world, he wrote a chapter on their relation, but it was soon lost, and a number of stories told of him give him a reputation for having no great interest in the heavens as such….The all-pervading Chinese view of nature as animistic, as inhabited by spirits or souls, gave to their astronomy a character not unknown in the West, but at a scholarly level made it markedly less well structured. At a concrete level, we come across such Chinese doctrines as that there is a cock in the Sun and a hare in the Moon – the hare sitting under a tree, pounding medicines in a mortar, and so forth. At a more abstract level there is the notorious all-encompassing doctrine of the yin and the yang, a form of cosmology that is to Aristotelian thinking as yin is to yang.”

He adds on page 139 that “Unlike Platonic and Aristotelian thought, Chinese thought was not overtly philosophical, but rather, it was historical. Joseph Needham, a well-known authority on the history of science in China, has suggested that the reason for this is that Chinese religion had no lawgiver in human guise, so that the Chinese did not naturally think in terms of laws of nature.”

Naturally occurring regularities and phenomena could be observed, of course, but the Chinese did not generally deduct universal natural laws from them, possibly because their view of nature was that reality is too subtle to be encoded in general, mathematical principles. In European astronomy phenomena such as comets, novae and sunspots that did not readily lend themselves to treatment in terms of laws were taken far less seriously than those that were. The history-conscious Chinese, on the other hand, kept detailed and plentiful records of all such phenomena, records which still remain a valuable source of astronomical information.

Su Sung’s (1020-1101 AD) astronomical water clock was an impressive mechanical device by eleventh century standards, and his work included a star map based on a new survey of the heavens, the oldest printed star map ever recorded. The Chinese could clearly produce talented individuals, but their work was often not followed up. The Imperial bureaucracy was hampered by many obstacles to the free and unfettered pursuit of scientific knowledge, especially due to excessive secrecy and regulation in the study of mathematics and astronomy. By making this study a state secret, Chinese authorities drastically reduced the number of scholars who could, legitimately or otherwise, study astronomy. This restriction greatly reduced the availability of the best and latest astronomical instruments and observational data. The Rise of Early Modern Science, second edition, by Toby E. Huff, page 313:

“The fact remains that virtually every move made by the astronomical staff had to be approved by the emperor before anything could be done, before modifications in instrumentation or traditional recoding procedures could be put into effect. It is not surprising, therefore, that despite the existence of a bureau of astronomers staffed by superior Muslim astronomers (since 1368), Arab astronomy (based as it was on Euclid and Ptolemy) had no major impact on Chinese astronomy, so that three hundred years later when the Jesuits arrived in China, it appeared that Chinese astronomy had never had any contact with Euclid’s geometry and Ptolemy’s Almagest. Moreover, contrary to Needham’s arguments, more recent students of Chinese astronomy suggest that Chinese astronomy was perhaps not as advanced as Needham suggested and that ‘Chinese astronomers, many of them brilliant men by any standards, continued to think in flat-earth terms until the seventeenth century.’ If we consider the study of mathematics, in which the metaphysical implications of abstract thought may be less obvious to outsiders and which may therefore give scholars more freedom of thought, we encounter an institutional structure equally detrimental to the advancement of science.”

Astronomy in the Islamic world stagnated and never fully managed to leave behind its Ptolemaic structure, as Europeans eventually did, but Muslims were familiar with Greek knowledge and geometry which the Chinese apparently failed to adopt during the Mongol period. The sphericity of the Earth had been known to the ancient Greeks since at least the time of Aristotle in the fourth century BC and was never seriously questioned among those who were influenced by Greek knowledge in the Middle East, in Europe and to some extent in India. The myth that medieval European scholars believed in a flat Earth is of modern origin.

Mesopotamian mathematical astronomy reached India during the Persian conquests of northwest India by the fifth century BC, along with alphabetic writing systems. Contact with Greek astronomy came after Alexander the Great’s conquests of the same region and through trade contact between Romans and western India during the first and second centuries AD. This was the period after Hipparchus but before Ptolemy, so the Greek astronomy used in India was not that of Ptolemy. Indians were clearly influenced by spherical trigonometry in the Greek fashion as well as by Babylonian material, but the Indian tradition was far from a passive science. Here is Victor J. Katz in A History of Mathematics, second edition, page 196:

“The Chinese emperors, like rulers elsewhere, had always been interested in problems of the calendar, that is, in predicting various celestial events such as eclipses. Unfortunately, Chinese astronomers were not very successful in predicting eclipses because they did not fully understand the motions of the sun and moon. Indian astronomers, because of Greek influence in the creation of a geometrical model, were more successful. Thus in the eighth century, when Buddhism was strong in both India and China and there were many reciprocal visits of Buddhist monks, the Chinese emperors of the Tang dynasty brought in Indian scholars as well to provide a new expertise….In 724, the State Astronomical Bureau of the Tang dynasty began an extensive program of field research…These observations were then analyzed by the chief astronomer, Yi Xing (683-727), himself a Buddhist monk. Yi Xing’s goals was to use these and other observations, as well as various interpolation techniques, to calculate the length of such shadows, the duration of daylight and night, and the occurrence of eclipses, whatever the position of the observer. (Yi Xing was not aware of the sphericity of the earth and therefore could not make use of the classic Greek model.)”

I have consulted a number of balanced, scholarly works, and even a rather pro-Chinese book such as A Cultural History of Modern Science in China by Benjamin A. Elman admits that Chinese scholars still believed in a flat Earth in the seventeenth century AD, when European Jesuits missionaries introduced new mathematical and geographical knowledge to China:

“For instance, the first translated edition of Matteo Ricci’s map of the world (mappa mundi), which was produced with the help of Chinese converts, was printed in 1584. A flattened sphere projection with parallel latitudes and curving longitudes, Ricci’s world map went through eight editions between 1584 and 1608. The third edition was entitled the Complete Map of the Myriad Countries on the Earth and printed in 1602 with the help of Li Zhizao. The map showed the Chinese for the first time the exact location of Europe. In addition, Ricci’s maps contained technical lessons for Chinese geographers: (1) how cartographers could localize places by means of circles of latitude and longitude; (2) many geographical terms and names, including Chinese terms for Europe, Asia, America, and Africa (which were Ricci’s invention); (3) the most recent discoveries by European explorers; (4) the existence of five terrestrial continents surrounded by large oceans; (5) the sphericity of the earth; and (6) five geographical zones and their location from north to south on the earth, that is, the Arctic and Antarctic circles, and the temperate, tropical, and subtropical zones.”

Japan received much scientific and technological information from China and with Korean immigrants during the sixth, seventh and eighth centuries AD. Until contact with Europeans, Japanese astronomy was based almost entirely on that of the Koreans and the Chinese. They borrowed institutional patterns from China, but these did not fit Japan equally well and the knowledge of astronomy and calendar-making became increasingly hereditary, which depressed scientific standards. They also took over some of China’s flaws, for instance with ranking astrology and divination higher in the scale of human wisdom than calendar-making and what we would consider serious mathematical astronomy.

The Chinese mathematical tradition was significant (certainly better than the non-existent Roman one), but less influential than the Indian one. I would be tempted to say that China was a hardware civilization whereas India was a software civilization. The truth is that given the size of their economy and population, the Chinese were weaker in mathematics than might have been expected if you believe in an economic explanation for scientific advances. The Japanese and Korean mathematical traditions were again largely dependent upon the Chinese one. Given the level of technological sophistication these nations have shown and the talent they have demonstrated in using mathematics, they have contributed surprisingly little to developing mathematics, whereas the European contribution to global mathematics is greatly disproportionate. This proves that although some minimum level of wealth is a necessary cause for the growth of science (extremely poor people concentrate on surviving, not on inventing calculus or comparative linguistics), it is by no means a sufficient one.

From the fourteenth until the twentieth century, almost all important global advances in mathematics were European. I would be tempted to say that European leadership was stronger in mathematics than in almost any other scholarly discipline. Perhaps the simplest explanation for why the Scientific Revolution happened in Europe is because the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics, as Galileo once famously stated, and Europeans did more than any other civilization to develop or discover the vocabulary of this language.

The introduction of the telescope was a major watershed in the history of astronomy, but we should remember that it alone did not create modern astronomy. The birth of astrophysics in the late nineteenth century came through the combination of the telescope with photography and spectroscopy, all inventions that were exclusively made in Europe. Spectroscopy could not be developed until chemistry as a scientific discipline had been formed, which only happened in Europe. New fuels, engines and materials later made space travel possible. Asian rockets were powered by gunpowder and weighed a couple of kilograms at most. They could not have challenged the Earth’s gravity and explored the Solar System. The Saturn V rocket that launched Apollo 11 on its journey to the Moon in 1969 used liquid hydrogen and oxygen, elements which had been discovered in Europe. The very concept of gravity, too, was developed only in Europe. The exploration of the Solar System and the universe at large was to an overwhelming degree made possible by a single civilization alone, the Western one.

Globalism vs. Ethnonationalism

Globalism vs. Ethnonationalism

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Standing before the Siegessaule, the Victory Column that commemorates Prussia’s triumphs over Denmark, Austria and France in the wars that birthed the Second Reich, Barack Obama declared himself a “citizen of the world” and spoke of “a world that stands as one.”

Globalists rejoiced. And the election of this son of a white teenager from Kansas and a black academic from Kenya is said to have ushered us into the new “post-racial” age.

Are we deluding ourselves? Worldwide, the mightiest force of the 20th century, ethnonationalism—that creator and destroyer of nations and empires; that enduring drive of peoples for a nation-state where their faith and culture is dominant and their race or tribe is supreme—seems more manifest than ever.

Vote Reflects Racial Divide ran the banner in The Washington Times over Tuesday’s story datelined, “Santa Cruz, Bolivia.” It began:

“The Bolivian vote to approve a new constitution backed by leftist President Evo Morales reflected racial divisions between the nation’s Indian majority and those with European ancestry.

Provinces where mestizo and Europeans predominate voted down the constitution. But it carried with huge majorities the Indian tribes of the western highlands, for this constitution is about group rights.

In 2005, Morales came to office resolved to redistribute wealth and power away from Europeans to his own Aymara tribe and other “indigenous peoples” he contends were robbed by the Europeans who began to arrive 500 years ago, in the time of Columbus.

Pizarro’s victory over the Incan Empire is to be overturned.

According to Article 190 of the new constitution, Bolivia’s 36 Indian areas are authorized to “exercise their jurisdictional functions through their own principles, values, culture, norms and procedures.”

Tribal law is to become provincial law, and national law.

Gov. Mario Cossio of Tarija, which voted no, says the new constitution will create a “totalitarian regime,” controlled through an “ethnically based bureaucracy.” To which Morales replies, “Original Bolivians who have been here for a thousand years are many but poor. Recently arrived Bolivians are few but rich.”

Bolivia is Balkanizing, dividing up and being divided on the lines of tribe, race and class. And, hailed by Hugo Chavez, Morales’ Bolivia is not the only place where the claims of ethnicity, tribe and race are conquering the forces of universalism and globalism.

After a disputed election in Kenya, the Kikyu were subjected to ethnic cleansing and massacres by Luo. In Zimbabwe, white farmers are being dispossessed due to their ancestry. In Sri Lanka, the Tamil rebellion against the ruling Sinhalese—to create a Tamil nation, a war that has cost tens of thousands of lives—appears lost, for now.

In Vladimir Putin’s time, Russians have crushed Chechens, confronted Estonians over Russian military graves and war memorials, collided with Ukrainians over the Crimea and bloodied up the Georgians.

Beijing crushes the Uighurs who want their own East Turkestan and Tibetans who seek autonomy, flooding both lands with Han Chinese.

In Europe, populist anti-immigrant parties, alarmed at a loss of national identities, are striding toward respectability and power. The Vlaams Belang, seeking independence for Flanders, is the biggest party in the Belgian parliament. The Peoples Party and Freedom Party are now Austria’s second and third most popular. The Swiss People’s Party of Christoph Blocher is the largest in Bern. In France, the National Front humiliated the government this week, winning over half the vote in a suburb of Marseilles.

All are unabashedly ethnonationalist. Writes British diplomat Sir Christopher Meyer, “It is useless to say that nationalism and ethnic tribalism have no place in the international relations of the 21st century.”[ A return to 1815 is the way forward for Europe, London Times, September 2, 2008]

Meanwhile, global institutions, the United Nations, IMF and European Union, have lost their luster. Czechs—whose president, Vaclav Klaus, regards the EU as a prison house of nations—hold the EU presidency. When the financial crisis hit, Irish, Brits and Germans rushed to bail out their own banks, as did Americans, who rescued Ford, Chrysler and GM, leaving Toyota, Hyundai and Honda twisting in the wind.

This is economic nationalism.

Inside Ehud Olmert’s cabinet, a rising star is Avigdor Lieberman. What Lieberman’s “merry men” advocate, writes the American Prospect, is “ethnic cleansing: As the creepy name (which translates into ‘Our Home Is Israel’) suggests, Yisrael Beiteinu believes the million-plus Arab citizens of Israel must be expelled.

Barack won the African-American vote 97 percent to 3 percent over John McCain, and 90 percent to 10 percent over Hillary Clinton in the later primaries. McCain ran stronger than George W. Bush only in Appalachia, the laager of the Scots-Irish.

In Jerry Z. Muller’s Us and Them: The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism, in Foreign Affairs, his thesis is summarized:

“Americans generally belittle the role of ethnic nationalism in politics. But … it corresponds to some enduring propensities of the human spirit. It is galvanized by modernization, and … it will drive global politics for generations to come. Once ethnic nationalism has captured the imagination of groups in a multiethnic society, ethnic disaggregation or partition is often the least bad answer.”

Disaggregation or partition, the man said.

Are we really in a post-racial America, or is our multicultural multiethnic America, too, destined for Balkanization and break-up? 

The MexiChurian Candidate (And President) Remembered—Billions For Africa, But Not One Cent For Border Security

The MexiChurian Candidate (And President) Remembered—Billions For Africa, But Not One Cent For Border Security

By Brenda Walker

[Previously by Brenda Walker, The MexiChurian Candidate?, September 15, 2004]

For a man who sought to define himself as the national security President and protector of America, George W. Bush often put foreign interests—mainly those of Mexico—over the well being of the United States. Bush was certainly the best friend Mexico ever had in the White House.

Perhaps Bush’s conflicting loyalties show the genius of the human mind for convenient compartmentalization. Certainly the recent trend in the Presidency has been to think globally rather than nationally. A new extreme occurred when then-Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama declared himself to be a Citizen of the World in Berlin.

More and more, White House occupants see themselves as High Poobah of the Planet, rather than the American people’s elected President. They certainly want to be seen as first among equals by their peer group of other national leaders.

I wrote about the first Bush term in my 2004 VDARE.com article, The Mexichurian Candidate?, partially to investigate whether I could find a single case of his choosing the interests of Americans over Mexicans. I couldn’t identify a single one—not the water debt, nor an objection to dangerous NAFTA trucking and no concern for secure identification.

Little has changed since then.

In 2006, GWB had his usual celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the White House for his Mexican friends, and remarked, Cinco de Mayo is a day of special pride for citizens of Mexico, but it is, as well, for Americans.” What a bizarre mental gyration, even for a politician.

In the same year, a 2004 campaign video [WATCH] came to be widely viewed on YouTube where Bush expressed sentiments that many restrictionists would consider reconquista–that to Mexicans, the border crossed them.

There was a noticeable uptick in workplace enforcement during the Bush administration’s final year. But Department of Homeland Security honcho Michael Chertoff himself explained why he pursued a crackdown strategy: “Americans will soon say, ‘OK, it’s now time to allow more legal immigrants in… Ultimately, we’re going to have to go back to Congress and ask for comprehensive immigration reform.” [Chertoff to renew push on workers, By Nicole Gaouette, LA Times, Oct 24, 2008]

Other good news was polluted as well.

Bush’s sentence commutation of imprisoned Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean on his last full day in office (Jan 19) was long advocated by many citizens. But it came with more than one bitter pill. Bush could have freed the men immediately, but instead left them in prison until March 20.

Worse, Bush allowed Mexico City to play the US Justice Department like its private mariachi band regarding the case.

A top Mexican official recently admitted meddling. Carlos Rico, the assistant foreign minister for North American affairs, stated, “The political maneuvering [of Americans] was stronger than the efforts of the Mexican government,” [Bush commutes sentences of Border Patrol agents, By Todd J. Gillman And Laura Isensee, Dallas Morning News, Jan 20, 2009].

A Jan 19 radio interview on the John and Ken radio show with Congressmen Ed Royce and Ted Poe noted the disinformation that came from the executive branch to steer Congress the wrong way when it first began to investigate the case for possible malfeasance. Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner lied to concerned members of Congress, telling them that Compean and Ramos were bad cops who wanted to kill a Mexican on the day of the shooting.

Rep John Culberson (R-TX) later nailed Skinner during a hearing on another matter, forcing the IG to admit his wrongdoing under oath. A press release from the Congressman’s office dated Feb 7, 2007, stated:

“Richard Skinner admitted yesterday under oath that his top deputies gave Members of Congress false information painting Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean as rogue cops who were not in fear for their lives and who were ‘out to shoot Mexicans’.

“In my opinion, this false information was given to Members of Congress to throw us off the scent and cover-up what appears to be an unjust criminal prosecution of two U.S. law enforcement officers whose job was protecting our country’s borders from criminals and terrorists.

Rather than being rogue cops, Ramos and Compean insisted on a trial instead of a plea deal because they wanted to be completely exonerated.

That strategy might have worked out if the Justice Department hadn’t worked so hard to railroad them. After the 2005 shooting, the Justice Department sent agents to Mexico to find the butt-shot drug smuggler Aldrete-Davila to recruit him to testify, and agreed after he was offered a border-crossing card—which he used to smuggling in more dope!

Justice was further thwarted when the jury was not permitted to hear that Davila was a major drug smuggler—he swore that he brought a single load across to help out his poor sick mother.

The defense was not allowed to present evidence that the border near the shooting was a dangerous area, where a lot of armed smugglers passed through. The whole trial was a travesty, a “grotesque injustice” in the words of Rep Culberson.

It’s hard not to conclude that Bush went along with the ruination of the lives and careers of two decent border officers to please his friends in Mexico City and at the same time show the border remained open for illegal business. Whether Bush worked against American security out of his dumb Mexophilia or for nefarious reasons is more vexing.

There’s also clear evidence of Mexican meddling in the case of Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez of Edwards County Texas who was similarly railroaded into jail for doing his job.

While on duty, Hernandez investigated a truck filled with illegal alien smugglers which had run a red light, and whose passengers then attempted to run him down.

Hernandez then shot out the tires as the drug smugglers tried to escape and one of the passengers was slightly injured by flying debris. Mexico’s consular office insisted that the Justice Department prosecute Deputy Hernandez for performing law enforcement against Mexicans. Bush complied.

Photos of Gilmer’s return to his home of Rocksprings, Texas, after his release from 10 months in jail show the town’s high regard for the man: FreeGilmer.com.

Mexican meddling in American sovereignty and internal affairs is a common event.

If the Democrats had wanted, they could have easily accused of Bush having a Mexican Watergate over all the judicial misbehavior in the prosecutions against border officers. But the Dems probably figured that Bush was destroying his legacy well enough on his own. A Congressional inquiry is unlikely so we will never learn how dirty it can be at the top.

Another morally repugnant legal case was Bush’s support for Mexico and the International Court against justice for the American families of two teenaged girls raped and murdered in 1993.

Friends Jennifer Erdman and Elizabeth Pena were brutally tortured and killed as part of a gang initiation. Instead of properly acceding, as a member of the Executive branch, to the Texas court’s conviction and sentence of death for murderer Jose Medellin, Bush challenged the separation of powers and national sovereignty by ordering a review of the case.

Mexico had decided at a late date that Medellin’s right to consult with the local Mexican consulate had been neglected, and that should allow him yet another reprieve.

As the Governor of Texas, Bush had overseen 152 executions. But when Mexico City threw a hissy fit over one of its citizens, Bush took the side of the killer against the long-suffering families of the girls.

Fortunately, the Supreme Court eventually set justice back on course, and Medellin was executed last August 5. Getting justice in America shouldn’t be so hard.

In the larger political arena, Presidente Bush exposed his sovereignty dissolution agenda in his stealthy efforts to arrange the North American Union, an additional scheme to benefit Mexico and harm Americans. The plan for more “integrated” economies would include lots of US taxpayer money invested in Mexican infrastructure (despite the fact that Mexico is a wealthy country, consistently ranking around #14 in world GDP).

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Bush sent our troops into Afghanistan to take out dangerous jihadist training camps. However, FBI reports in 2005 of at least one narco training camp in Mexico brought no attention whatsoever from the White House.

Eight years of Bush permissiveness toward Mexico has left it a national security disaster for America that President Barack Obama will have to face.

As we bid a fond, none-too-soon farewell to Bush, it should be noted that his preference for non-American do-gooder activities also extended to Africa.

Bush happily signed onto the anti-AIDS campaign espoused by entertainers like Bono. If the United States were flush with cash rather than trillions of dollars in debt, and if all citizens had reasonable access to healthcare, a tax expenditure of $48 billion for African AIDS treatment might be almost tolerable.

As perhaps the most grandiose expression of his compassionate conservatism, the President acted like Mr. Generous and the taxpayers were stuck with the hefty tab: U.S. triples AIDS, malaria, TB funds for Africa [Agence France-Press, July 30, 2008].

“President George W. Bush on Wednesday signed legislation tripling funds to fight the killer diseases of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in the world’s poorest countries, mainly in Africa.

“Congress approved a package earlier this month which lifted funding for the five-year program from 15 billion dollars, set in 2003, to the 48 billion dollars signed into law by Bush.

“The U.S. president had called during a trip to Africa in February for Congress to double funding for the program to 30 billion dollars, but the final sum was much larger.”

Millions of Americans have no healthcare, but the Bush and Congress have given $48 billion in medical aid to Africa.

What’s wrong with this picture? Everything.

Bush should have spent the citizens’ money on the American people when there is so much need at home for healthcare.

If the President wanted to raise funds from the private sector for AIDS treatment in Africa to impress Bono with his generosity, fine.

But it was wrong for Bush to direct taxpayer funds on do-gooder foreign projects to spiff up his image when he has indebted the country for trillions of dollars with nothing to show for it.

And if misplaced generosity with money borrowed from an unfriendly communist country isn’t bad enough, some of the expensive AIDS drugs are being stolen from sick people: Getting high on HIV drugs in S Africa [BBC Dec 8 2008].

“Anti-retroviral drugs used to treat HIV/Aids are being bought and smoked by teenagers in South Africa to get high.

“Reports suggest that the drugs are being sold by patients and even healthcare staff for money.

“Schoolchildren have been spotted smoking the drugs, which are ground into powder and sometimes mixed with painkillers or marijuana.”

Anyway, as James Madison remarked in 1794, Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”

Some conservatives are singing Bush’s praises because there have been no more terror attacks after 9/11, while most Americans believed that there would be.

True enough, but he has managed to shred the conservative movement with his taxpayer-funded “compassion” and stunning over-spending ($5 trillion worth of additional debt). Not to mention his acquiescence to Mexican and foreign interests, which has been excessive and relentless.

At least Obama had the honesty to declare himself a one-worlder, as one expects of a far left politician. Bush has been slyer, wrapping himself in the flag when it suited him but he has undermined the sovereignty and Constitution he swore to defend.

Good-bye and good riddance.

Nuclear Fusion-fission Hybrid Could Contribute To Carbon-free Energy Future

Nuclear Fusion-fission Hybrid Could Contribute To Carbon-free Energy Future

ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2009) — Physicists at The University of Texas at Austin have designed a new system that, when fully developed, would use fusion to eliminate most of the transuranic waste produced by nuclear power plants.


The invention could help combat global warming by making nuclear power cleaner and thus a more viable replacement of carbon-heavy energy sources, such as coal.

“We have created a way to use fusion to relatively inexpensively destroy the waste from nuclear fission,” says Mike Kotschenreuther, senior research scientist with the Institute for Fusion Studies (IFS) and Department of Physics. “Our waste destruction system, we believe, will allow nuclear power-a low carbon source of energy-to take its place in helping us combat global warming.”

Toxic nuclear waste is stored at sites around the U.S. Debate surrounds the construction of a large-scale geological storage site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which many maintain is costly and dangerous. The storage capacity of Yucca Mountain, which is not expected to open until 2020, is set at 77,000 tons. The amount of nuclear waste generated by the U.S. will exceed this amount by 2010.

The physicists’ new invention could drastically decrease the need for any additional or expanded geological repositories.

“Most people cite nuclear waste as the main reason they oppose nuclear fission as a source of power,” says Swadesh Mahajan, senior research scientist.

The scientists propose destroying the waste using a fusion-fission hybrid reactor, the centerpiece of which is a high power Compact Fusion Neutron Source (CFNS) made possible by a crucial invention.

The CFNS would provide abundant neutrons through fusion to a surrounding fission blanket that uses transuranic waste as nuclear fuel. The fusion-produced neutrons augment the fission reaction, imparting efficiency and stability to the waste incineration process.

Kotschenreuther, Mahajan and Prashant Valanju, of the IFS, and Erich Schneider of the Department of Mechanical Engineering report their new system for nuclear waste destruction in the journal Fusion Engineering and Design.

There are more than 100 fission reactors, called “light water reactors” (LWRs), producing power in the United States. The nuclear waste from these reactors is stored and not reprocessed. (Some other countries, such as France and Japan, do reprocess the waste.)

The scientists’ waste destruction system would work in two major steps.

First, 75 percent of the original reactor waste is destroyed in standard, relatively inexpensive LWRs. This step produces energy, but it does not destroy highly radiotoxic, transuranic, long-lived waste, what the scientists call “sludge.”

In the second step, the sludge would be destroyed in a CFNS-based fusion-fission hybrid. The hybrid’s potential lies in its ability to burn this hazardous sludge, which cannot be stably burnt in conventional systems.

“To burn this really hard to burn sludge, you really need to hit it with a sledgehammer, and that’s what we have invented here,” says Kotschenreuther.

One hybrid would be needed to destroy the waste produced by 10 to 15 LWRs.

The process would ultimately reduce the transuranic waste from the original fission reactors by up to 99 percent. Burning that waste also produces energy.

The CFNS is designed to be no larger than a small room, and much fewer of the devices would be needed compared to other schemes that are being investigated for similar processes. In combination with the substantial decrease in the need for geological storage, the CFNS-enabled waste-destruction system would be much cheaper and faster than other routes, say the scientists.

The CFNS is based on a tokamak, which is a machine with a “magnetic bottle” that is highly successful in confining high temperature (more than 100 million degrees Celsius) fusion plasmas for sufficiently long times.

The crucial invention that would pave the way for a CFNS is called the Super X Divertor. The Super X Divertor is designed to handle the enormous heat and particle fluxes peculiar to compact devices; it would enable the CFNS to safely produce large amounts of neutrons without destroying the system.

“The intense heat generated in a nuclear fusion device can literally destroy the walls of the machine,” says research scientist Valanju, “and that is the thing that has been holding back a highly compact source of nuclear fusion.”

Valanju says a fusion-fission hybrid reactor has been an idea in the physics community for a long time.

“It’s always been known that fusion is good at producing neutrons and fission is good at making energy,” he says. “Now, we have shown that we can get fusion to produce a lot of neutrons in a small space.”

Producing an abundant and clean source of “pure fusion energy” continues to be a goal for fusion researchers. But the physicists say that harnessing the other product of fusion-neutrons-can be achieved in the near term.

In moving their hybrid from concept into production, the scientists hope to make nuclear energy a more viable alternative to coal and oil while waiting for renewables like solar and pure fusion to ramp up.

“The hybrid we designed should be viewed as a bridge technology,” says Mahajan. “Through the hybrid, we can bring fusion via neutrons to the service of the energy sector today. We can hopefully make a major contribution to the carbon-free mix dictated by the 2050 time scale set by global warming scientists.”

The scientists say their Super X Divertor invention has already gained acceptance in the fusion community. Several groups are considering implemented the Super X Divertor on their machines, including the MAST tokamak in the United Kingdom, and the DIIID (General Atomics) and NSTX (Princeton University) in the U.S. Next steps will include performing extended simulations, transforming the concept into an engineering project, and seeking funding for building a prototype.


Adapted from materials provided by University of Texas at Austin, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

This illustration shows how a compact fusion-fission hybrid would fit into a nuclear fuel cycle. The fusion-fission hybrid can use fusion reactions to burn nuclear waste as fuel (people are shown for scale). It would produce energy and could be used to help destroy the most toxic, long-lived waste from nuclear power. The hybrid would be made possible by a crucial invention from physicists at the University of Texas at Austin called the Super X Divertor. (Credit: Angela Wong)

Fidel Castro demands Obama return Guantanamo base

Fidel Castro demands Obama return Guantanamo base


By Marc FrankPosted 2009/01/29 at 11:36 pm EST

HAVANA, Jan. 29, 2009 (Reuters) — Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro demanded on Thursday that President Barack Obama return the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo to Cuba without conditions, and he accused the new U.S. leader of supporting “Israeli genocide” against Palestinians.


Castro, who had recently praised Obama as “honest” and “noble”, lashed out at his administration for stating that Washington will not return Guantanamo if it has any military use for the United States and without concessions in return.

“Maintaining a military base in Cuba against the will of the people violates the most elemental principles of international law,” Castro wrote in a column posted on the government-run website http://www.cubadebate.cu.

“Not respecting Cuba’s will is an arrogant act and an abuse of immense power against a little country,” Castro said, resorting to a charge he has leveled against the 10 previous U.S. presidents since he came to power in a 1959 revolution.

Cuba indefinitely leased Guantanamo to the United States in 1903 after the United States occupied the country during the 1898 Spanish-American War. Castro charges that the base at the south-eastern tip of Cuba was taken over illegally.

Earlier on Thursday, Washington’s loudest critic in Latin America, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, also urged Obama to return the Guantanamo base, after applauding his decision to close the prison camp for terrorism suspects there.

“Now he should return Guantanamo and Guantanamo Bay to the Cubans because that is Cuban territory,” Chavez, Cuba’s closest ally, said in a speech in Brazil.

Fidel Castro has been seen only in a few videos and photos since undergoing intestinal surgery in July 2006 from which he never fully recovered.

But he has maintained a public profile through his writings and meetings with visiting foreign leaders, and he is believed to retain an important political role behind the scenes.

His brother Raul Castro provisionally took power after the surgery, then officially became president in February.

Obama has said he wants to move toward normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations but would not eliminate the 46-year-old U.S. trade embargo against the communist-led island without political reforms.

Until Thursday’s column, the Castro brothers had praised Obama and held back direct criticism of his administration.

Fidel Castro on Thursday also attacked Obama for supporting Israel‘s invasion of Gaza.

“It is the way our friend Obama has fallen into sharing Israel’s genocide against Palestinians,” Castro wrote in his column called “Deciphering the thought of the new U.S. president.”

Fidel’s utopian failure

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Anti-Racist Activist Mugged by Black Man

Anti-Racist Activist Mugged by Black Man


The Right Perspective, January 27, 2009

A white professor and anti-racist activist has been savagely beaten by an African-American man on the streets of Washington, DC just days before the inauguration of Barack Obama.

62-year old JoAnne Silver Jones was mugged on Jan. 16 while on her way to see her adopted daughter. Jones was beat on her head, arms and hands with a brick by her African-American male assailant during the attack, according to long-time friend Patricia Romney. “He beat her face so badly that she was unable to open her eyes, and one eye socket was torn by the blows,” she said.

Jones is an associate professor in the School of Human Services at Springfield College and director of the social work program. She has co-authored a paper titled, “Feminist Strategies for Teaching About Oppression” and was involved with “cross-cultural issues” including a 1999 incident at Amherst Regional High School where Puerto Rican students protested the school’s production of “West Side Story”.

Jones is still recovering at George Washington University Hospital after undergoing surgery on her skull and eye, but may be released this weekend, Romney said. “She can walk a little but is nauseous and headachy,” she said. “She’s a tough cookie, but this is totally traumatizing. It’s going to be a long way back.” Jones will need additional surgery on both hands, which are still bandaged from her elbows to her fingertips.

Romney said she is struck by what she termed the “paradox of it all”—a white anti-racism activist, the first African-American president and a mugger identified as African-American. To test Jones’ brain, doctors asked her the name of the new president, and she answered correctly. “This won’t shake any of her political activism,” Romney said of Jones. “She’s clear about what the issues are. This won’t sway her desire to keep fighting for social justice.”

Jones’ spouse Deborah King will be nursing her back to health. Jones’ assailant remains at large.

Original article

(Posted on January 29, 2009)


Comments

Romney said she is struck by what she termed the “paradox of it all”—a white anti-racism activist, the first African-American president and a mugger identified as African-American.

And she expected what, exactly? A Dutchman?

Lots of people are totally clueless. Some are totally hopeless as well.

Posted by BW Sam at 5:57 PM on January 29


Of course this won’t sway her commitment to “social justice.” Before the brick even connected with her face, she’d already convinced herself that it was our racist society that had compelled her assailant to attack her.

Posted by Lothrop Stoddard at 6:03 PM on January 29


“Romney said she is struck by what she termed the “paradox of it all”—a white anti-racism activist, the first African-American president and a mugger identified as African-American.”

There’s no paradox here at all. Blacks attack whites because they are white. It doesn’t matter if the white is a neo-Marxist (‘anti-racist’) or a Klansman. The only fools who don’t get that are such white neo-Marxists. What his comes down to is simply another white lesbian taking chances in a dangerous neighborhood because she thinks black criminals are her ‘allies.’ And no – she will not learn anything from this incident at all.

Posted by Civilized Neighbor at 6:12 PM on January 29


What’s really sad is that people like this will most likely not change their beliefs. Even when presented with incontrovertible facts or becoming a victim themselves, the liberal will usually refuse to see the truth. I guess the humiliation of having been duped or feeling like a fool is greater than their survival instinct.

Posted by idareya at 6:25 PM on January 29


Some people simply cannot be taught. How can she be a professor and learn nothing from her incident?

When we as whites act like this, we deserve to lose our place in history.

Posted by Douglas at 6:45 PM on January 29


There really is no logical comment a reasonable person can make about people like Ms.Silver Jones. Not really. “NOT” being able to relate to someone who writes academic papers with titles like,”Feminist Strategies for Teaching about Oppression”,is, for most folks—about as natural as a babys smile. It just can’t be done.

In any case I sincerely hope Ms.Silver Jones recovers without too much pain from her brutally inflicted wounds.

Posted by Bobby at 6:48 PM on January 29


What number are we up to when counting the number of ‘anti-racists’ assaulted by their protected class heroes? I’m sorry, but I can’t count that high.

This story is run of the mill now, but the line which stands out most (IMO) is:

[JoAnne Silver] Jones’ spouse Deborah King will be nursing her back to health.

Spouse???
Aww, how cute. We’ve reached such a level of depravity in this once-great country, that this sentence is written with the same nonchalance as if they were writing about a ten-year old stealing a piece of bubble gum from a candy store (except candy stores don’t exist anymore)…

Posted by Mike B. at 6:51 PM on January 29


Wow. I have to remind myself that I’ve performed all kinds of ideological gymnastics myself to avoid the truth about black criminality, even after several assaults and a home invasion. It wasn’t until I spent a few years working in the low-income housing industry that I realized what a complete crock white guilt is. I think it arises from the noblest of intentions but after over 40 years of whites bending over backwards to accommodate blacks only to see each generation turn out more savage than the last it’s obviously a bottomless pit. I wish Ms. Jones the best but doubt she’ll see the light even after this. A friend of mine, brilliant guy, was beaten mercilessly outside his house by a pack of blacks for asking them to move out of the way so that he could pull into his driveway. His take on the situation? “Poverty makes people angry”. Funny, I’ve been at or near the poverty level for a long time now, but I’ve never taken to beating people half to death because of it. Must be a white thing.

Posted by Anonymous at 6:53 PM on January 29


“This won’t shake any of her political activism,” Romney said of Jones. “She’s clear about what the issues are. This won’t sway her desire to keep fighting for social justice.”

How can you reason with people who deny reality?

This woman has a ‘Jesus Complex’. She wants to suffer and sacrifice herself for the alleged salvation of womankind.

Posted by sbuffalonative at 6:53 PM on January 29


I’m not struck by the “paradox of it all,” Miss Romney. In fact, knowing blacks the way I do, it’s perfectly consistent behavior, that they trash the very same people that think they’re doing them favors. The black thugs think of white panderers as weak, and therefore prey.

Posted by Question Diversity at 6:54 PM on January 29


Joanne (Silver) Jones just recieved her Degree in The Reality Of Black Culture and Behaviour, from the (University Of Diversity)

I wonder if she will go for her PhD. in African Americanism?
I wonder if they catch him IF she will offer the poor soul a room in her home and the keys to her car?

Because she of all people should know White Racism is what drove this fine young man to such violence.

Posted by Bruno at 6:57 PM on January 29


If this hasn’t changed her mind what would it take to shatter her liberal worldview? I wonder…

Posted by Tiffany Epiphany at 7:00 PM on January 29


“She has co-authored a paper titled, “Feminist Strategies for Teaching About Oppression” and was involved with “cross-cultural issues” including a 1999 incident at Amherst Regional High School where Puerto Rican students protested the school’s production of “West Side Story”.

Expecting someone who is so obviously mentally disturbed to somehow come to her senses all at once just doesn’t work that way. She’s one of many whites who are no more than damaged goods, and if she is to realize any return to normalcy she needs literally years of intense psychotherapy, and even at that, unfortunately, she still probably won’t recover.

Out of X number of whites in the US, many of them are going to be as ill as she is. Unless dramatic advancements are made in the area of mental health, we just have to work around people like her.

Posted by Robert Kelly at 7:00 PM on January 29


Perhaps the feminist activist theoreticians should always travel in groups when they go about their business in “the real world”

Ronald

Posted by Ronald at 7:06 PM on January 29


We just found the 2009 winner for the “Amy Biehl” award!

Romney said she is struck by what she termed the “paradox of it all”—a white anti-racism activist, the first African-American president and a mugger identified as African-American.

Most white liberals delude themselves into believing that their “colour-blindess”, exclusivity by dating non-whites, donating to “La Raza” or any “ethnic” charity or even having insert-minority-here friends is some magical barrier that prevents them from being mugged, raped, killed etc by non-whites.
Case in Point: 50+ white “sexpert” (who wrote a newspaper paean on why she “exclusively dates” black men now) is not only mugged by her black boytoy, but the surrounding blacks don’t lift a finger to help!

“This won’t sway her desire to keep fighting for social justice.”

I suppose she’ll apologise to the black criminal, as her white skin incited the poor fellow to “avenge the wrongs the White Man…” etc etc.

Posted by Obscuratus at 7:08 PM on January 29


I wonder why she was beaten so savagely? Was the assailant just a masochist (even more so than usual, that is)? Or did she resist handing over her purse because she couldn’t believe that a noble, oppressed black man would really take money from her? Maybe she thought he would be able to read the “goodness in her heart” and realize that she wasn’t one of those “racist” white people and so didn’t deserve to have her money taken? In other words, fantasy land all the way.

This incident may not “shake any of her political activism,” but I’ll bet she will be a little more careful about walking alone in certain cities from now on. Her kind of “political activism” is one of the things that led to our cities being so unsafe in the first place.

Posted by Tim in Indiana at 7:09 PM on January 29


Of course this “incident” won’t change her outlook on race, to be an anti-white liberal you must disregard reality in the first place. I imagine she will just project that a rich white republican attacked her.

Posted by Eric at 7:16 PM on January 29


Well isn’t that special? A gay social work prof is nearly killed by a black and she probably won’t admonish him because he is black.

Ideals are fine as long as you don’t get hurt for them. Remember the human shields in Iraq before shock and awe? When they found out it was actually going to be dangerous they wanted to leave.

Posted by Flytrap at 7:22 PM on January 29


This would be front page news if a white skinhead did this to a black woman on the “Chosen One’s” inauguration. I can just see CNN and Nancy Grace tripping over themselves asking for the public’s assistance in hunting down the evil white supremacist. BTW, do you think hate crime charges would ever be filed against this black mugger if it was ever caught?

Posted by Colonel Taylor at 7:23 PM on January 29


You see, people, there is no convincing them.

Liberals will literally “take a beating”, and still will declare their solidarity with the black man. The Music Videos blacks produce showing innocent whites being murdered in their homes don’t sway them. The rap lyrics talking (and I use that word loosely) about killing whites doesn’t sway them. Statistics about black on white crime doesn’t sway them. Even being personally beaten and their bones broken does not sway them.

We are going this one alone…

Posted by Gun Runner at 7:32 PM on January 29


She’s probably not all that interested in finding her assailant, but by gum, she’s sticking to her commitment to social injustice.
How about the injustice to the society that is in danger of an attack by her assailant as long as he remains at large?
Nothing about that in the article.

Posted by Camp Freddy at 7:32 PM on January 29


Though tragic, this is only a setback. She’ll be back at work in no time. There is plenty of work still to be done hating on the white man.

Posted by Anonymous at 7:39 PM on January 29


This is an amazing story, that fills my heart with joy. I hope she had an “eye-opening” experience (pun intended) with this extra dose of “brotherhood”. I hope her “WIFE”, is able to talk some sense into her, as she begins her lengthy journey of rehabilitation.

Posted by Boss at 7:41 PM on January 29


This woman does not realize it but as time goes by she will find that her health may never be the same. There will probably be complications and permanent problems. She can act brave now but when the reality of permanent pain and effects finaly comes about she will slowly start to hate those she now claims to want to help.

Posted by Superwhite at 8:00 PM on January 29


Of course she won’t harbor any hard feelings about the race of her attacker, but very likely she’ll focus her rage on his gender.

Posted by Fritz at 8:05 PM on January 29


I don’t quite get it… Just WHAT “social justice” is she fighting for? I’m in my mid-50s now, and have spent my entire adult life at the butt-end of affirmative action, watching less qualified women and minorities get chosen over white males for anything and everything.

As far as I’ve ever been able to determine, the source of black people’s plight in American society lies in black behavior… as demonstrated PERFECTLY by this woman’s assailant.

Posted by generalquagmyer at 8:39 PM on January 29


I went to school in a black neighborhood and this is not a representation of the majority of blacks. I enjoyed being their as did other whites and hispanics.

Although some do get very out of hand:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8W272Zp5I4

Even some famous ones:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97VoDCWCToU

The above is not my attempt to expose them as racist because they are not.

Posted by rational thinker. at 8:43 PM on January 29


This story is further proof that the fanatical idealogues running
this country cannot be reasoned with. White people should have no sympathy whatsoever for this racial renegade who promotes genocidal policies against our people.

Posted by Tom in MI at 8:43 PM on January 29


Sad story. But I’m sure she will love blacks even more for having beaten her almost to death. They will be even more precious & darling to her if she is permanently damaged. What else can she do but love them more? Seriously.

Posted by JustPlainMean at 8:56 PM on January 29

Hill Republican: Stimulus Aids Illegal Immigrants

Hill Republican: Stimulus Aids Illegal Immigrants


Julie Hirschfeld Davis, AP, January 29, 2009

The $800 billion-plus economic stimulus measure making its way through Congress could steer government checks to illegal immigrants, a top Republican congressional official asserted Thursday.

The legislation, which would send tax credits of $500 per worker and $1,000 per couple, expressly disqualifies nonresident aliens, but it would allow people who don’t have Social Security numbers to be eligible for the checks.

Undocumented immigrants who are not eligible for a Social Security number can file tax returns with an alternative number. A House-passed version of the economic recovery bill and one making its way through the Senate would allow anyone with such a number, called an individual taxpayer identification number, to qualify for the tax credits.

{snip}

Original article

(Posted on January 29, 2009)


Comments

I don’t understand. Why on earth would you not have a SSN unless you are not a US citzen? Can anyone answer that question?

This stimulus bill is putting an enormous amount of debt on each and every tax paying American. It is absolutely ludicrous that anyone who cannot prove that they are a citizen of this country would be eligible for any tax credit.

Posted by Anonymous at 6:48 PM on January 29


I believe all Republican and eleven Democrat representatives voted against this. Let’s see how the Senate votes tomorrow.

Posted by gee vee at 8:19 PM on January 29


And could anyone, except for a member of congress, be so completely clueless that they couldn’t see this coming from a mile away?

Republicans and democrats are equally responsible for their total failure to defend this nation from invasion and to secure the border. Now they pretend to be surprised that illegals have found they can manipulate those very same republicans and democrats so as to get their illegal hands into the public treasury? Gimme a break. Any outrage rings hollow when millions upon millions have been getting away with it for a very long time, and continue to do so. Every. Single. Day.

Some will be receiving bailout money, be ‘stimulated’ or rescued, and someone else is going to get the bill. White Americans are going to learn which group they fall into, real soon. So if worse is better, then the stimulus bill will put the pedal to the metal making it so. Better stock up on popcorn, the fireworks can’t be far behind.

Posted by Edward at 8:43 PM on January 29

China Loses Faith in Dollar

China Loses Faith in Dollar
Wednesday January 26, 4:37 pm ET
By Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press Writer
China Has Lost Faith in Stability of U.S. Dollar, Top Chinese Economist
Says at World Forum
http://e-watchman.co.uk/media/dollar-death-spiral.jpg
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) -- China has lost faith in the stability of the
U.S. dollar and its first priority is to broaden the exchange rate for
its currency from the dollar to a more flexible basket of currencies, a
top Chinese economist said Wednesday at the World Economic Forum.

Gulf States Creep Away From Plunging Dollar

              Surging inflation likely to
              lead decision to drop greenback peg after Greenspan's encouragement

Gulf States are set to follow former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan’s advice and dump their dollar peg following a benchmark meeting tomorrow, with analysts predicting a slow but deliberate creep away from the greenback rather than an imminent decoupling, a move that could have devastating consequences for the American economy.

Pricing assets in accordance with the plunging dollar has caused crippling inflation in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who are laboring under rates of 14 percent and 10 percent respectively, leading Merrill Lynch to predict that Gulf states would revalue their currencies relative to the dollar or de-peg.

“Pressure is mounting on central banks in the Gulf to fight surging inflation when they meet on Wednesday by severing the link between their currencies and the tumbling US dollar,” reports the London Times today.

Deutsche Bank also predicts that Qatar and the UAE will follow Kuwait’s example and ditch the dollar peg at some point this year.

“The currency peg with the dollar worked well while both economies were moving in the same direction. Now, these two economic blocks are moving in completely opposite directions and it no longer makes sense,” Zahed Chowdhury, head of Middle East research in Dubai for Deutsche Bank, said.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_wFWqWIH-WFU/R0K1tTTr3XI/AAAAAAAAC28/SQVoHcVHxTA/s320/100_dollar_bill_fire_hc.gif

It’s no secret that the dollar is on a downward spiral. Its value is dropping, and the Fed isn’t doing a whole lot to change that. As a result, a number of countries are considering a shift away from the dollar to preserve their assets. These are seven of the countries currently considering a move from the dollar, and how they’ll have an effect on its value and the US economy.

Saudi Arabia: The Telegraph reports that for the first time, Saudi Arabia has refused to cut interest rates along with the US Federal Reserve. This is seen as a signal that a break from the dollar currency peg is imminent. The kingdom is taking “appropriate measures” to protect itself from letting the dollar cause problems for their own economy. They’re concerned about the threat of inflation and don’t want to deal with “recessionary conditions” in the US. Hans Redeker of BNP Paribas believes this creates a “very dangerous situation for the dollar,” as Saudi Arabia alone has management of $800 billion. Experts fear that a break from the dollar in Saudi Arabia could set off a “stampede” from the dollar in the Middle East, a region that manages $3,500 billion.

South Korea: In 2005, Korea announced its intention to shift its investments to currencies of countries other than the US. Although they’re simply making plans to diversify for the future, that doesn’t mean a large dollar drop isn’t in the works. There are whispers that the Bank of Korea is planning on selling $1 billion US bonds in the near future, after a $100 million sale this past August.

China: After already dropping the dollar peg in 2005, China has more trouble up its sleeve. Currently, China is threatening a “nuclear option” of huge dollar liquidation in response to possible trade sanctions intended to force a yuan revaluation. Although China “doesn’t want any undesirable phenomenon in the global financial order,” their large sum of US dollars does serve as a “bargaining chip.” As we’ve noted in the past, China has the power to take the wind out of the dollar.

Venezuela: Venezuela holds little loyalty to the dollar. In fact, they’ve shown overt disapproval, choosing to establish barter deals for oil. These barter deals, established under Hugo Chavez, allow Venezuela to trade oil with 12 Latin American countries and Cuba without using the dollar, shorting the US its usual subsidy. Chavez is not shy about this decision, and has publicly encouraged others to adopt similar arrangements. In 2000, Chavez recommended to OPEC that they “take advantage of high-tech electronic barter and bi-lateral exchanges of its oil with its developing country customers,” or in other words, stop using the dollar, or even the euro, for oil transactions. In September, Chavez instructed Venezuela’s state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA to change its dollar investments to euros and other currencies in order to mitigate risk.

Sudan: Sudan is, once again, planning to convert its dollar holdings to the euro and other currencies. Additionally, they’ve recommended to commercial banks, government departments, and private businesses to do the same. In 1997, the Central Bank of Sudan made a similar recommendation in reaction to US sactions from former President Clinton, but the implementation failed. This time around, 31 Sudanese companies have become subject to sanctions, preventing them from doing trade or financial transactions with the US. Officially, the sanctions are reported to have little effect, but there are indications that the economy is suffering due to these restrictions. A decision to move Sudan away from the dollar is intended to allow the country to work around these sanctions as well as any implemented in the future. However, a Khartoum committee recently concluded that proposals for a reduced dependence on the dollar are “not feasible.” Regardless, it is clear that Sudan’s intent is to attempt a break from the dollar in the future.

Iran: Iran is perhaps the most likely candidate for an imminent abandonment of the dollar. Recently, Iran requested that its shipments to Japan be traded for yen instead of dollars. Further, Iran has plans in the works to create an open commodity exchange called the Iran Oil Bourse. This exchange would make it possible to trade oil and gas in non-dollar currencies, the euro in particular. Athough the oil bourse has missed at least three of its announced opening dates, it serves to make clear Iran’s intentions for the dollar. As of October 2007, Iran receives non-dollar currencies for 85% of its oil exports, and has plans to move the remaining 15% to currencies like the United Arab Emirates dirham.

Russia: Iran is not alone in its desire to establish an alternative to trading oil and other commodities in dollars. In 2006, Russian President Vladmir Putin expressed interest in establishing a Russian stock exchange which would allow “oil, gas, and other goods to be paid for in Roubles.” Russia’s intentions are no secret–in the past, they’ve made it clear that they’re wary of holding too many dollar reserves. In 2004, Russian central bank First Deputy Chairmain Alexei Ulyukayev remarked, “Most of our reserves are in dollars, and that’s a cause for concern.” He went on to explain that, after considering the dollar’s rate against the euro, Russia is “discussing the possibility of changing the reserve structure.” Then in 2005, Russia put an end to its dollar peg, opting instead to move towards a euro alignment. They’ve discussed pricing oil in euros, a move that could provide a large shift away from the dollar and towards the euro, as Russia is the world’s second-largest oil exporter.

What does this all mean?

Countries are growing weary of losing money on the falling dollar. Many of them want to protect their financial interests, and a number of them want to end the US oversight that comes with using the dollar. Although it’s not clear how many of these countries will actually follow through on an abandonment of the dollar, it is clear that its status as a world currency is in trouble.

Obviously, an abandonment of the dollar is bad news for the currency. Simply put, as demand lessens, its value drops. Additionally, the revenue generated from the use of the dollar will be sorely missed if it’s lost. The dollar’s status as a cheaply-produced US export is a vital part of our economy. Losing this status could rock the financial lives of both Americans and the worldwide economy.

Record number standing in unemployment lines

Record number standing in unemployment lines

Initial jobless claims rise 3,000 to 588,000; continuing claims hit 4.78 million

By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch
Last update: 11:14 a.m. EST Jan. 29, 2009
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Unemployment lines stretched to the longest on record, the Labor Department reported Thursday, a sign that the U.S. labor market continues to worsen.
Continuing jobless claims rose by 159,000 in the week ended Jan. 17 to a seasonally adjusted 4.78 million, the most since the government’s records began in 1967. That is the same week that the government surveyed hundreds of thousands of workplaces and households to gather information for the January employment report.
Meanwhile, the number of new claims for state unemployment benefits also increased, up 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 588,000 in the week ended Jan. 24. This put the number just 1,000 below the 26-year high for initial claims set a month ago. Read the full report.
Meanwhile, the four-week average of new claims rose by 24,250 to 542,500. The four-week average draws the attention of economists and investors because it smoothes out distortions caused by bad weather, strikes or the timing of holidays.
“We see no chance of this picture changing in the foreseeable future,” wrote Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for High Frequency Economics. “We expect net job losses of about 3 million through the first half of this year.”
Initial claims represent job destruction, while the level of continuing claims indicates how hard or easy it is for displaced workers to find new employment. The claims data show that businesses are laying off workers at a rapid pace and that finding a replacement job is proving ever harder for those who’ve lost work.
Compared with the same week a year ago, first-time jobless claims are up about 63%, while continuing claims are up 71%. The data come from state unemployment offices’ reports based on actual filings, not a statistical sample.
Anecdotal evidence also points to higher joblessness. Major companies have been announcing layoffs, totaling more than 100,000 just this week alone. Those layoffs will actually take several months to play out.
The insured unemployment rate, representing the proportion of covered workers who are receiving benefits, rose to 3.6%, the highest in 25 years.
In December, 524,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were lost, capping the worst year for U.S. job losses since 1945. The payroll figures for January will be reported on Feb. 6, with economists currently expecting a loss of at least 500,000 for what would be the third consecutive month.
Mike Englund, chief economist for Action Economics, lowered his January payroll estimate to a loss of 550,000. He expects the unemployment rate to rise to 7.5% from 7.2% in December.
Typically, unemployment benefits run out after 26 weeks for those who are eligible. A total of 1.72 million people were collecting benefits under a federal program that extends unemployment benefits for an extra 13 weeks. The stimulus bill winding through Congress would extend that program further.
Benefits are generally available for those who lose their full-time job through no fault of their own. Those who exhaust their unemployment benefits are still counted as unemployed if they are actively looking for work.
In a separate report Thursday, the Commerce Department said orders for durable goods fell 2.6% in December after a downwardly revised 3.7% decline in November. See full story.
In another report, the Commerce Department said sales of new homes plunged nearly 15% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 331,000, the lowest on record. See full story. End of Story