body~politic

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Henry David Thoreau

"...be not afflicted, my child, for who shall assign to thee what thou hast left undone?"

"...water is the only drink of a wise man..."

"...the heroic books, even if printed in the character of our mother tongue, will always be in a language dead to degenerate times..."



--Henry David Thoreau
WALDEN 1854

Friday, October 29, 2010

After New York Sell out, Rammstein May Tour U.S.

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wirestory?id=11950799&page=1

After New York Sell out, Rammstein May Tour U.S.


NASHVILLE (Billboard) - German goth/industrial band Rammstein has dreamed of playing Madison Square Garden for years.
But considering that the band hasn't performed in the United States since 2001 -- and that it's completely under the radar of the mainstream concert business -- conventional wisdom would say that landing a date at the storied arena would be one hell of a long shot.
Or maybe not. Not only is Rammstein booked for a December 11 show at the New York venue, the act sold out in about 30 minutes.
Rammstein will also play two sold-out nights December 6-7 at the 20,000-seat Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City before jetting up to Montreal for a December 9 gig at the 21,000-seat Center Bell hockey arena. It will also headline the annual Big Day Out festival in Australia in January.
The sellout at the Garden makes the prospect of a proper U.S. tour more intriguing, says Michael Arfin, the band's U.S. booking agent.
"The goal was to see what kind of demand there really is," he says. "It has been made really clear to us that thousands of people were unable to get tickets, and it's great to see that there is a market here for the band, and our goal is to build that."
Rammstein's biggest album here, 1998's "Sehnsucht," has sold 1.2 million units to date, while its last album, 2009's "Liebe Ist Fuer Alle Da," debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 and has sold 93,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Although Arfin initially thought a Garden show was beyond Rammstein's reach, he came around after watching the band succeed in other parts of the world. "There seems to be an underground growth here, the mystique grew quite a bit," he says. "The longer they were away, the more popular they became, and the more demand was created."
The band, which is known for its elaborate stage sets and pyrotechnics, went all in.
"One of the most interesting aspects about this is these guys themselves were willing to risk an incredible amount of money to bring 10 semis of gear over here for one show to try to present this production to the American audience," Arfin says. "They risked it, put it all on the line to try to do this, and we all succeeded."

Still, Arfin believes that Rammstein should proceed with caution in this country.
"There is a fine line on the appropriate play for the band, what makes sense and how to present them properly," he says. "The band needs to be seen in a certain setting, a certain type of venue, with their production. They're not coming over here to play a ballroom tour or secondary markets. Everything is planned very clearly with a long-term goal of how to get this to the next step."
Copyright 2010 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




'Sanity' supporters flocking to Washington

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/10/29/sanity.rally/

'Sanity' supporters flocking to Washington

By Ed Hornick, CNN
October 29, 2010 12:10 p.m. EDT
Click to play
'Sanity' front and center in Washington
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "Rally to Restore Sanity" takes places Saturday on the National Mall
  • Hosts are Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert
  • "It's going to shock, maybe not even just this world, other worlds," Stewart jokes
Don't miss live coverage of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's "Rally to Restore Sanity" and "March to Keep Fear Alive" tomorrow at 12 p.m. ET. Watch CNN.com/live or on your CNN App for the iPhone.
Washington (CNN) -- Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will hold the "Rally to Restore Sanity" and the "March to Keep Fear Alive" on the National Mall on Saturday, with thousands expected to flood in from across the country.

The event comes months after conservative Fox News host Glenn Beck held a "Rally to Restore Honor" in Washington, in which thousands of conservatives and Tea Party faithful attended.

While Stewart has insisted that the rally is not a result of Beck's march, the event's Web pages appear to copy the look of Beck's event, and many say it's a direct response to Beck's often-controversial comments.
The rallies are, in essence, an extension of both comedians' shows. "The Daily Show"  and "The Colbert Report" and routinely blast Republicans, Democrats and the media for hyper-partisan attacks and outrageous and inflammatory innuendo.

"Republicans love America. They just seem to hate about 50 percent of the people who live in it," Stewart said on CNN's "Larry King Live" last week. "Democrats, for their thing, it's always: They love this country, they just somehow wish it were a different country. With Democrats, it's like, 'America is the greatest country in the world. Have you seen Finland's health care system?'"

Stewart began the week in Washington, hosting his show from a downtown studio. He interviewed President Obama on Wednesday, grilling him on the upcoming election and why Democrats seem to be disenchanted with the administration.

Read more about the Stewart-Obama interview

Colbert recently blasted Sean Bielat, the Republican running against Democratic Rep. Barney Frank, and Ken Buck, the Republican running in Colorado's Senate race, for their views on gays and lesbians. Buck linked being gay to alcoholism while Bielat said that gays and lesbians shouldn't serve in the military, just as short people cannot.

Video: Stewart, Colbert get serious
RELATED TOPICS
In his typical deadpan shtick, Colbert said, "Sean Bielat and Ken Buck can't help being politically opportunistic election year gay-baiters. They were born that way."

Humor aside, Stewart said the rally is for people who are "tired of their reflection in the media as being a divided country and a country that's ideological and conflicted and fighting, this is for those people."

See Time's photo gallery of Stewart and Colbert

"It's going to shock, maybe not even just this world, other worlds," he joked. "Maybe aliens."
The rally's popularity has gone viral -- from Facebook pages to local rallies in cities across the country. Several groups, including the liberal media blog Huffington Post and even daytime talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, have offered to transport people to Washington for the event.

One of the many in the crowd will be Heidi Thomas, a soccer mom from West Virginia who is gathering some friends and heading to the rally.

"As soon as I heard about this, I knew I was going," she told CNN. "It was immediate. ... I got to the point where I was feeling very grumpy every night I'd go to bed because of the political tone and nature of the country right now."

Thomas said that after watching Stewart's show, she'd go to bed in a better mood, "because I'd feel like I wasn't going insane," adding that there were "actually sane people out there."

But things could turn to insanity when it comes to the bathroom situation.

Rally organizers are having trouble finding portable toilets for those attending, WTOP.com reports. Their event occurs the day before the Marine Corps Marathon, and organizers of that event have locked the 800 they have rented until Sunday morning.

Thomas is hopeful the rally will expose a segment of the population fed up with the political fringes.
"I think it's important to show that there is a majority or a lot of people who are feeling more moderate," she said. "It's just frustrating to me.

While Stewart says the rally won't be a partisan event, one media analyst wonders whether the rally will change Stewart from satirist to political activist.

"To me, the bottom-line question is this: Is this going to be a fun Saturday event with a lot of laughs?" said Howard Kurtz, host of CNN's Sunday program "Reliable Sources" and Washington bureau chief for The Daily Beast. "Or is it going to be something that, while wrapped in humor, is going to make a serious political point about folks in the middle -- moderates who are alienated ... by the partisan shouting on both sides?
"If that happens, Jon Stewart will have made a serious point while still having good fodder for 'The Daily Show.'"

CNN's Jason Hanna and Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.

3G mobile heads to Mount Everest; D.C. Metro still drops calls

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/blog-post/2010/10/3g_mobile_heads_to_mount_evere.html

3G mobile heads to Mount Everest; D.C. Metro still drops calls

height
The Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal. (Strdel/AFP/Getty Images)
Just in case you want to video call grandma to say hello when you finally reach the peak of Mount Everest, you're in luck! Now 3G mobile phone service has reached the top of the peak. Yes, we can hear you now, even from way up there.
A Nepalese telecom group Ncell, a subsidiary of Swedish phone giant TeliaSonera, says people can make video calls and surf the Internet on their mobile phones, thanks to a high-speed phone base station at an altitude of 17,000 feet near Gorakshep village in the Everest region. Ncell made the first video call Friday at 17,388 feet.
Previously, climbers had to rely on satellite phone calls to brag about their ascent.
About 1,400 climbers reach the summit each year. Almost 800,000 people ride the D.C. Metro every single day. I never, ever have 3G coverage when passing through downtown D.C. on the Red Line. Hello, Ncell? Can you help us out?
(Thanks, Justin!)

By Melissa Bell  | October 29, 2010; 10:14 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch


Microsoft shares gain on 52% profit jump

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/microsoft-share-rise-on-upbeat-results-2010-10-29?reflink=MW_news_stmp

Microsoft shares gain on 52% profit jump

 

By Benjamin Pimentel, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Shares of Microsoft Corp. edged higher Friday, a day after the software giant reported a 52% jump in profit, boosted by strong corporate spending as businesses upgraded their PC fleets.
Microsoft /quotes/comstock/15*!msft/quotes/nls/msft (MSFT 26.82, +0.54, +2.05%)  was up more than 1%, as analysts cited the company’s momentum based on the widespread adoption of the latest version of its Windows operating system and Office suite of tools.

Markets Hub: GDP: trick or treat?

Third-quarter GDP showed the economy expanded slightly more than it did in the second-quarter, but not enough to make lingering problems like high unemployment disappear. Kathleen Madigan, Eduardo Kaplan and Paul Vigna report.
“The PC cycle is on and Microsoft’s results show it,” Jefferies & Company analyst Katherine Egbert said in a note.
Deutsche Bank analyst Todd Raker said Microsoft’s results “exceeded expectations across all metrics,” adding in a note, “The performance in the quarter indicated a strong enterprise demand environment for Microsoft’s products.”
Microsoft reported a quarterly profit of $5.4 billion, or 62 cents a share, up from $3.6 billion, or 40 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The Redmond, Wash.-based company said revenue for the period ended in September rose 25% to $16.2 billion. Read “Microsoft joins streamlined earnings club.”
Analysts polled by FactSet Research had expected Microsoft to report first-quarter earnings of 55 cents a share and $15.8 billion in revenue.
Microsoft noted that its results reflect $1.47 billion in revenue that was deferred from the same period last year, due to a promotional program for Windows 7, which was released last October.
Benjamin Pimentel is a MarketWatch reporter based in San Francisco.

 

Top 10 time travelers

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2010/1028/Top-10-time-travelers/Donnie-Darko

Top 10 time travelers

Strictly speaking, we're all one-way time travelers: plodding forward through the progress of existence second-by-second. And thanks to special relativity, you could, in principle, skip ahead into the future by traveling at a very high speed relative to your contemporaries. But that, too, would be a one-way trip.
As for travel back in time? Some physicists cautiously speculate that it is possible, but only time will tell. In the meantime, here are our top ten favorite fictional time travelers.
- Eoin O'Carroll, CSMonitor.com

Adam Fields Productions/Flower Films/Gaylord Films/Pandora/Album/Newscom

10. Donnie Darko

Portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal, the title character of this 2001 indie thriller wakes up in the middle of the night on October 2, 1988, and, guided by a menacing looking giant rabbit named Frank, leaps backward in time 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. This eerie and engrossing film includes appearances by Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Noah Wyle, and yes, even Mike Dukakis.

Newscom

9. Bill & Ted

Guided by Rufus, a visitor from the year 2688, the two guitar-abusing slackers, portrayed by Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, step into their time-traveling phone booth to kidnap Socrates, Freud, Beethoven, Ghengis Khan, Joan of Arc, and Napoleon for their high-school history project. At the end of the film, Rufus explains to the audience that the two Great Ones "do get better." But this doesn't happen in time for the 1991 sequel.



SHNS photo by Phillip Caruso / Universal Studios, Inc./Newscom

8. James Cole

Played by Bruce Willis, James Cole, the protagonist of the 1995 film 12 Monkeys, is a prisoner in a subterranean post-apocalyptic future who is sent back to the 1990s to put a stop to the deadly bioplague that nearly wiped out humanity. Terry Gilliam's film, which also features Brad Pitt as a crazed animal-rights activist, is a remake of Chris Marker's 1962 short film La Jetée.



SHNS photo by Matt Groening/Comedy Central/Newscom

7. Philip J. Fry

We know what you're thinking: Futurama's everyman isn't technically a time traveler. He's just a guy who was cryogenically frozen for a thousand years. Ah, but in the 2001 episode "Roswell That Ends Well," he goes back to 1947, hooks up with his grandmother, Mildred, and becomes his own grandpa.



'Slaughterhouse-Five' author Kurt Vonnegut is seen in 2006 in Barnstable, Mass. (Edie Vonnegut/AP)

6. Billy Pilgrim

The protagonist of Kurt Vonnegut's 1969 novel Slaughterhouse-Five first became "unstuck in time" after being taken prisoner by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. He then begins to experience his whole life, from his birth to his own assasination, out of sequence. Along the way, he witnesses the bombing of Dresden (as did Vonnegut), survives a plane crash, and travels billions of light-years away to the planet Tralfamadore, where he falls in love with a pornographic actress. So it goes.


Zuma/Newscom

5. Ebenezer Scrooge

Scrooge isn't the first time traveler in literature. Stories of people leaping forward in time appear in both the Mahabarata and the Talmud, as well as in 15th century Japanese literature. One of the earliest instances of backward time travel was described in the 1733 science-fiction story 'Memoirs of the Twentieth Century,' by the Irish author Samuel Madden. But the tight-fisted businessman remains one of the most famous, shaping our modern conception of Chrismas and serving as a model for redemption.



Tom Baker appears as the Doctor in 1975. (Mirrorpix/Newscom)

4. Doctor Who

The title character of the world's most successful and longest-running television series skips through time in his TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space), time machine, which was designed to take any form but is stuck looking like a blue 1950s British police box. The Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, has been played by eleven actors since the series' start in 1963. He is currently portrayed by Matt Smith.

[c.s.l. #4...Really? /c.s.l.]


DP/Newscom

3. Spock

Every character in every permutation of the Star Trek franchise – from Kirk to Picard to the guy from Quantum Leap – eventually winds up in some sort of temporal anomaly. But does anyone do it with more grace and aplomb than the Enterprise's pointy-eared science officer? Memorably, Spock joined the rest of the crew in jetting back to 1986 in Star Trek IV, where he learns the joys of expressing himself with "colorful metaphors."
In the 2009 reboot, a Stoic and kindly Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, travels 129 years into the past, where he meets to his younger self, played by Zachary Quinto. "I would say 'live long and prosper,'" Nimoy's character says, "but that would seem self-serving."



ORION PICTURES/Album/Newscom

2. The Terminator

For Charlie Chaplin, it was the Little Tramp, for John Gielgud, it was Hamlet, and for Arnold Schwarzenegger, it's a leather-jacket-wearing cyborg assassin. And who knows? After the California governor's term ends in January, maybe he'll be back.



Universal Pic/ZUMA Press/Newscom

1. Dr. Emmett Brown

Who cares if he can't pronounce 'gigawatt' correctly? The man not only had the genius to come up with the flux capacitor, he also had the sense of style to put it into a DeLorean DMC-12. After all, it doesn't matter if the DeLorean Motor Company went out of business long ago...as long as you have a time machine.














Green Tea Vs. Coffee Century Old Debate Continues

http://www.amazing-green-tea.com/green-tea-vs-coffee.html

Green Tea Vs. Coffee
Century Old Debate Continues...

Green tea vs. coffee - which is better? An objective analysis of the pros and cons of these two most widely consumed beverages.
American poet Gary Snyder once famously said:
There are those who love to get dirty and fix things. They drink coffee at dawn, beer after work.
And those who stay clean, just appreciate things. At breakfast they have milk and juice at night.
There are those who do both, they drink tea.
Tea and coffee are two of the most widely consumed beverages, so they are often the subject of much comparison. Which is better? Here is my objective analysis.
Green Tea Vs. Coffee #1:
Health Benefits
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink. The potent antioxidants in green tea neutralize free radicals, protecting your body from their harmful effects.
Studies show that green tea has amazing protective effects for people who drink it regularly. For example, green tea may help prevent cancer, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and more.
For a complete list of green tea health benefits, see Green Tea Benefits: 16 Things That Make Miracles Possible.
Some green tea advocates treat coffee like it is the devil's drink. Guess what? Coffee has its own potent antioxidants and its own demonstrated health benefits.
Instead of catechins, coffee contains primarily chlorogenic acids. Some studies have found that coffee actually contains more antioxidants than green tea.
According to the Coffee Science Information Center, when it comes to beneficial phenolic acids, “Coffee, as well as black and green teas were the best source among beverages with coffee containing 97mg/100 g whilst teas contained 30-36 mg/100 g “.
Coffee has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of diabetes, Parkinson's, colon cancer, asthma and depression. However, green tea is also effective in preventing many of the same conditions, and probably more.
Green Tea Vs. Coffee #2:
Caffeine and Side Effects
In fact, many of the benefits of coffee come from caffeine, which green tea also contains, although in smaller amounts.
Too much caffeine can make you nervous and jittery. Green tea allows you to experience the benefits of caffeine, including the energy boost, without the jitters.
How can this be?
Theanine, an amino acid present in green tea but not in coffee, relaxes and soothes even as the caffeine lifts you up. Also, catechins,which act as powerful tea antioxidants, combine with caffeine in hot water to make it less active.
Overuse of coffee can cancel out many of its health benefits, causing irritability, anxiety and interrupting your sleep-a clear case of “too much of a good thing!”
Too much tea can have side effects, too, but since green tea has less caffeine than coffee, you have to drink more of it before these side effects become apparent.
As far as health benefits go, both beverages have benefits, but green tea has fewer side effects.
Green Tea Vs. Coffee #3:
Weight Loss
If you are looking for a weight loss drink, green tea is by far superior.
According to the Mayo Clinic, caffeine may act as a moderate appetite suppressant and increase the amount of fat you burn - but not enough to make you lose weight. Also, if you add milk and sugar to your cup of joe, you're adding calories.
Good quality green tea, on the other hand, is naturally sweet, so you don't need sugar.
Also, the potent combination of caffeine, theanine and EGCG is proven to promote weight loss. Green tea stimulates metabolism much more than coffee, since EGCG and caffeine work better together than they do individually.
Green Tea Vs. Coffee #4:
Gourmet Experience
Now, this is the point where people begin getting defensive. Which tastes better, a mug of rich coffee or a mug of fresh green tea? Honestly, it depends on what you like.
When it comes to offering a gourmet experience, both beverages can deliver if they are good quality. Rich, fragrant coffee actually has an aromatherapeutic effect. Researchers have found that simply smelling it reduces stress.
But good green tea has an enticing fragrance all its own, too. Both beverages have their own particular brewing rituals that enhance the gourmet experience. It just depends on which beverage you like best, and you can always drink both.
At least in the US, it may be easier to find gourmet coffee than it is to find gourmet tea. Several popular gourmet coffee shops ply their coffee beans in local grocery stores around the country.
If you go to a grocery store looking for green tea, all you are going to find is teabags.
Bagged green tea is like gas station coffee - it will do in a pinch, but if you have “gourmet” tastes you probably won't enjoy it.
So, if you are a gourmet coffee drinker who would like to start drinking green tea as a healthy addition to your diet, take the time to find some good loose leaf green tea first.
Back to Top of Green Tea Vs. Coffee
Back to Green Tea Main Page
Back to Amazing Green Tea Home

Taxation in Agriculture Chapter 19

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Taxation in Agriculture Chapter 19

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First, the total tax cost on corporate income will sometimes be lower than would be the case if the income were earned by an individual. Corporate Farming ...
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

More political ads paint China as benefiting from weak U.S. economy

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/28/AR2010102803256.html?hpid=topnews

More political ads paint China as benefiting from weak U.S. economy


Both Republicans and Democrats are slinging Chinese mud in ads this year. Scroll through the spots here.


Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 28, 2010; 11:41 AM 
 
DETROIT - It's 2030 in Beijing. A professor addresses a class of students. "Why do great nations fail?" he asks. "The Ancient Greeks, the Roman Empire, the British Empire, and the United States of America."

"They all make the same mistakes, turning their back on the principles that made them great," he says, speaking in a high-tech lecture hall festooned with portraits of Mao Zedong.

"America tried to spend and tax itself out of a great recession. . . . Of course, we owned most of their debt," he says with a chuckle, then turns more serious. "So now they work for us."
The class erupts in self-satisfied snickers.

Released last week, "the Chinese professor" is the latest and most inflammatory of a series of China-related advertisements appearing across the country. Feeding off the nationwide anxiety about high unemployment and deep worries about America's place in the world, the ad is part of a wave of campaign publicity that casts China as benefiting from America's slide.

More than a spasm of political season piling-on, the ads underscore a broader shift in American society toward a more fearful view of China. Inspired by China's rise and a perceived fall in the standing of the United States, the ads have historical parallels to the American reaction to Japan in the 1980s and to the Soviet threat.

"I get this sense that they're going to take over the world," said Christie Kemp, an accounting student in Farmington Hills, Mich., who used to work for a tool company that has since relocated to China. "They're just hungrier than we are. They want it more."

Polls by the Pew Global Research Center indicate that more Americans still have a generally favorable view of China - by 49 percent to 36 percent - than those who don't. But 47 percent of respondents view China's growing economy as a bad thing and 79 percent see its modernizing military as threat. On op-ed pages across the country, columnists criticize China for protecting its currency, continuing to jail a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, refusing to embrace stronger sanctions against Iran and angling to obtain Western technology.

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"Everybody's angry at China," said Bonnie S. Glaser, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Wasington think tank. "It's a free for all right now, and there's very few people defending them."
Hollywood portrayals of China have turned darker. In the "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," Chinese cash is perfidious. In this summer's "The Karate Kid," in which a laid-off Detroit autoworker heads to Beijing with her son, a Chinese bully terrorizes her son. And a remake of the 1984 cult classic "Red Dawn," about six American high school students who take on the Soviet Red Army, has the kids fighting the Chinese. (The film, which was due out this month, has yet to be released because its studio, MGM, is facing bankruptcy - prompting jokes about American economic impotence on blogs in China.)

"I worry about that movie," said Haipei Shue, president of the National Council of Chinese Americans, a Washington-based organization made up mostly of immigrants from mainland China. "How will the kids at my son's school look at him after they see it? And how will my son look at them? Maybe they can laugh it away, but it could be something that tips the balance."

Obama administration officials have responded to the worries about China by calling for a focus on renewal in the United States but also by toughening their tone toward Beijing.



More political ads paint China as benefiting from weak U.S. economy


Both Republicans and Democrats are slinging Chinese mud in ads this year. Scroll through the spots here.

"It is not China's fault that we went from having a budget surplus to being indebted with a trillion-dollar deficit," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in an interview last week with the historian Michael Beschloss. "Those are decisions we made through our political system. So we have to get our own house in order."

"It is heartbreaking to think that China would be the leader in clean-energy technology because we can't get our act together," she added. "If we stand on the sidelines and just complain and try to oppose whatever China is doing . . . and don't deal with our own issues at home, I don't know what the future will hold."
China has itself partially to blame for the change in America's view, analysts say. The Obama administration came to office with high expectations for the relationship. Clinton visited China on her first trip as secretary of state and intimated that the United States would play down human rights concerns because China's help on climate change and the global financial crisis was too important.
But China has not delivered on the administration's expectations. Despite intense U.S. pressure, it only allowed the value of its currency to rise about 3 percent against the dollar. While it voted for enhanced sanctions against Iran and North Korea, its enforcement of those efforts appears weak, according to U.S. officials and a recent report by the Congressional Research Service.

In Washington, the political shift away from China has been fast. Beijing didn't figure at all in the presidential election. But now even benign issues are fraught with problems when China is involved. Last month, when the Chinese manufacturer Anshan Iron and Steel announced plans to participate in the construction of a steel mill that would employ scores of Americans in Mississippi, 50 congressmen called for an investigation.

On Oct. 13, the Obama administration announced it would allow C-130 military transport planes to land in China to fight oil spills. Congressmen questioned whether the United States was moving toward lifting an arms embargo slapped on China since the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989. It wasn't.
On the campaign trail, both Democrats and Republicans are slinging Chinese mud. Currently, 250 ads targeting China are being aired in just under half of the 100 competitive districts, such as the battle for the Pennsylvania Senate seat between Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak. Sestak's ads come equipped with a gong and this line: "Pat Toomey - he's fighting for jobs . . . in China. Maybe he ought to run for Senate . . . in China."
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At a news conference last week, Illinois Democrat Alexi Giannoulias accused Republican Mark Kirk - both locked in a tight race for President Obama's old Senate seat - of "economic treason" for raising money from American businessmen based in China.

"It's not out of the norm for political ads to go looking for the straw man or the villain to generate an emotional response," said Evan Tracey, president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which studies trends in political ads. That was done with Mexico in the 1990s in ads opposing the North American Free Trade

Agreement as well as Japan in the 1980s. The problem, he noted, is that "political ads are the leading indicator of the next set of policies."

Michigan's governor, Jennifer Granholm, ran a successful ad in the 2006 campaign accusing her Republican rival of outsourcing jobs to China. Much to the chagrin of Michigan business leaders, she has skipped all of the state's trade delegations to China.

While the China scare-mongering has parallels with the backlash against Japan that occurred in the 1980s and early 1990s, the difference is that Japan was - and remains - an American ally, and it had powerful friends throughout the country who stood up for it. Japan also responded by investing hundreds of billions in the United States, which Chinese firms have yet to do.

In addition, corporate America, which used to be China's great booster in the once annual congressional debates on China's most-favored nation trading status, has effectively gone silent on the benefits of a strong relationship with Beijing. The reason is that many corporate leaders no longer believe that China, which is aggressively pursuing policies to acquire Western technology and compete with Western firms, is the land of opportunity that it once was.

The Chinese professor ad was made for Citizens Against Government Waste, an advocacy group that grew out of the Reagan administration's efforts to cut the federal budget. Tom Schatz, CAGW's president, stood by the ad and said it wasn't xenophobic. The ad takes aim at the Obama administration's stimulus program, but like the United States, China primed its economy with a massive stimulus package, too.
"The target isn't China - it's us," he said.

2 Teen Girls Executed by Somali Militant Group

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/10/28/teen-girls-executed-somali-militant-group/

2 Teen Girls Executed by Somali Militant Group

Published October 28, 2010
| Associated Press
MOGADISHU, Somalia — An Islamic group that controls much of southern Somalia executed two girls by firing squad, and hundreds of residents of a town were forced to view the spectacle.

Sheik Mohamed Ibrahim on Wednesday sentenced the girls to death in the town of Belet Weyne for spying for government soldiers fighting the Islamist group al-Shabab. The local al-Shabab administration appoints judges and the only needed qualifications are that the person must be a man who knows the Quran.

Al-Shabab is linked to Al Qaeda and has carried out several whippings, amputations and executions to enforce its own strict interpretation of Islam. This was the first public execution of girls in Belet Weyne, a western Somali town.

Abdiwali Aden, a witness, told The Associated Press by phone that al-Shabab militiamen had walked through Belet Weyne's streets, informing residents about the pending executions by loudspeaker and ordering everyone to attend.
Ayan Mohamed Jama, 18, and Huriyo Ibrahim, 15, were brought before hundreds of residents. Ten masked men opened fire Wednesday on the girls, who were blindfolded, soon after the sentencing. As the girls were shot, they shouted "There is no God but Allah," said a witness who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.
A woman fainted after she saw the girls being shot, said Da'ud Ahmed, another witness.

An al-Shabab official, Sheik Yusuf Ali Ugas, said the girls had admitted to spying. But Sadia Osman, who witnessed the execution, said one of the girls said she was innocent. Ugas also warned residents against using their mobile phones or cameras to document the execution, saying violates of his rule risked amputation.

Human Rights Watch said in an April report that al-Shabab imposes "unrelenting repression and brutality."
Al-Shabab, which vows allegiance to Al Qaeda and whose members include foreign fighters, controls large parts of southern Somalia and much of the capital, Mogadishu.

Somalia has not had an effective central government for 19 years. The U.N.-backed government controls only a few blocks of Mogadishu, while its allies control much of central Somalia.

David Bowie Is Very Disappointed in You!

http://www.davidbowieisverydisappointedinyou.com/

David Bowie Is Very Disappointed in You!
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You probably didn't know that David Bowie is very disappointed in you, but...now you do. And no, we don't know why.

China Lays Claim to Fastest Supercomputer Title

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=11991793

China Lays Claim to Fastest Supercomputer Title

China supercomputer could be world's fastest, beating out US machine


A leading Chinese research center has built the world's fastest supercomputer, an industry announcement said Thursday, underscoring the country's rise as a science and technology powerhouse.
The Tianhe-1 machine housed at the National Center for Supercomputing in the northern port city of Tianjin is capable of sustained computing of 2.507 petaflops, the equivalent of 2,507 trillion calculations, per second.
The announcement was posted Thursday on Chinese computer research websites. An official listing of the world's fastest supercomputers, the semiannual TOP500, is due to be issued Friday.
If verified, Tianhe-1 would be significantly faster than the current title holder, the U.S. Department of Energy's Cray XT5 Jaguar in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which topped the list issued in June at 1.75 petaflops per second.
"This new speed achieved by China means we may replace the U.S. to hold the new world record," Tianhe-1 Project Director Li Nan told state broadcaster CCTV in an interview.
Supercomputers are used for complex work such as modeling weather systems, simulating nuclear explosions and designing jetliners.
The announcement highlighted how China is leveraging rapid economic growth and sharp increases in research spending to join the United States, Europe and Japan in the global technology elite.
A 15-year government plan issued in 2006 promises support for areas ranging from computers to lasers to genetics.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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