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THE MOST VICIOUS ELEMENT OF AMERICAN SOCIETY

Faithful readers know I regard our police forces as the worst humans on earth since the heyday of Nazi storm troopers. Prior to 1970, those who disagreed with me had a leg to stand on. Since then, that leg has been cut out from under them. For the last 43 years there is no respectable argument against me. I have posted several pieces on the subject, mainly in www.watching politics.com and today I resume the attack. Continue reading THE MOST VICIOUS ELEMENT OF AMERICAN SOCIETY

SCORECARD

MONDAY’S GAMES AND FROLICS

Boston Massacre 3 dead.
Kabul, Afghanistan – 24 dead.
Mogadishu, Somalia – 38 dead.
Combined all-star team in Iraq – 61 dead, 271 wounded.

The major leagues are tough and the Boston Marathon just doesn’t have what it takes to make the Big Time. However, our prayers and well-wishing thoughts go out to all the victims and their families and especially to Michelle Obama and her two kids, Sasha and Malia, as they busy themselves grieving as proxies for all America.
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OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO [BLAH, BLAH, BLAH]

Very shortly after the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers, aggressive comedians started to tell jokes about what had just happened. Their detractors groaned and and objected: “Too soon, too soon.” But was it too soon? Did we have to have a period of healing? I’m on the side of the comedians. It is never too soon. Nothing is better proof to the enemy of our so-called resilience than that we meet them so quickly and that we can stun them with our tough-minded responses.

Resilience can be shown in lots of ways. In my own feeble way it is via my strong objection to the saccharine sweetness of the Kenyan’s reassurance that we will get the evils-doers, make no mistake about that. In the meanwhile, he solemnly declared, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.

HOGWASH! Sickening hogwash. The word “will” can mean “resolve” or it can be used as a prediction. The president is either ignorant of the difference or chose to run roughshod over it. At best, he could have meant “We are resolved as a people to catch the freaks who blasted away at the Boston Marathon.” He did not have the guts to say that. No, indeed, he preferred “We WILL get the bad guys,” in the strongest sense of the term “will.” I coulld tolerate this standard obfuscation by the president had he not tagged on “…our prayers go out to all….” MINE DON’T. Millions of others join me. We don’t pray to a false SKYKING. We think that does more harm than good. Right or wrong, we deserve not to be ignored. When he is not mawkishly on parade, the president likes to proclaim there is plenty of room in a democracy for pluralistic values that include atheism. Every previous president was equally hypocritical. They are all false dogs.

The post-blast parade of VIPs straining to show they are the VIPS assaulted our intelligence and patience. Amazing to me is that Charles Schumer, the senator most passionate about being included in every photo shoot, was not there. Even he, for once, knew when to back off. A ton of others took their turns at the microphones to invoke God’s goodness. Other senators, other senators’ ex-sisters-in-law’s cousins, governors, et al, took a shot at the camera. Or course, forewarned is forearmed , so you can bet those cousins informed their ex-sisters-in-law that they were scheduled to have their three minutes of fame at whatever time they did manage to grab.
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BOMBS AWAY!

KOREAN MISSILES

Range

Hwasong 5 – 300 KM (apx 186 miles). Cannot reach Japan.

Hwasong 6 – 500 KM (about 310 miles)

Musudan – 3000 KM (10 x Hwasong 5′s 186 miles range – you do the math.)

Taepodong 1 – 2,500 KM Cannot reach Hawaii or Guam.

Taepodong 2 – 6,700 KM Could threaten northern Australia and Alaska. Cannot reach U.S. mainland.

Then, too, there is the new KN-08. Untested. Japanese press [Asahi Shimbun] says its accuracy is very suspect. The real reason North Korea has moved much of its military firepower to the east coast is not to have a better shot at South Korea but to ensure its missiles would not fall on its own soil.

North Korea’s longest range missiles could reach China and India but the Koreans are already getting on the nerves of their supposed allies, the Chinese, and Kim Jong Un is not so stupid as to want to antagonize them further by pointing out that China, too, is within range.

And let us not forget, there is no good reason to think any of these missiles work. They haven’t bee tested. You don’t go to war with weapons that don’t fire.
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CARDIOLOGISTS REBEL

Our guest columnist is John J. Pippen, the director of cardiovascular medicine at the renowned Cooper Clinic in Dallas. Here is a recent letter from him.
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There are many things wrong with the use of intimidation and violence in the critical debate over animal research. In addition to being anathema in our society, such tactics obscure important issues regarding animal experiments and human health.

I am a cardiologist and a former animal researcher. I stopped experimenting on animals after I came to doubt the medical value of such research. Today, a growing number of physicians, scientists and scientific agencies believe that moving to non-animal research and testing methods is critical to advancing human health.

Numerous reports confirm very poor correlations between animal research results and human results, and the research breakthroughs so optimistically reported in the media almost always fail in humans.

Examples abound. Every one of 197 human trials using 85 HIV/AIDS vaccines tested in animals has failed. More than 150 human stroke trials using treatments successful in animals have failed, as have at least two dozen animal diabetes cures. Vioxx was tested successfully in eight studies using six animal species, yet this anti-inflammatory medication may have caused the deaths of more Americans than the Vietnam War.

The monoclonal antibody TGN1412 was safe in monkeys at 500 times the dose tested in humans, yet all six British volunteers who received the drug in 2006 nearly died. Conversely, simple aspirin produces birth defects in at least seven animal species, yet is safe in human pregnancy. When even identical human twins have different disease susceptibilities, how can we think answers will be found in mice or monkeys?

The National Cancer Institute now uses panels of human cells and tissues to test treatments for cancer and HIV/AIDS, and to detect drug toxicities. And the National Research Council now recommends replacing animal toxicity testing with in vitro methods.

I can attest that animal research is inherently cruel. Animal protection laws do not mitigate this reality. Whether the debate involves humane issues or human benefits, the evidence confirms the need to replace animal experiments with more accurate human-specific methods. That’s the best way to make progress and improve health.
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A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON WORLD WAR TWO

70 years since Pearl Harbor attack
Seventy years have passed since Dec. 8, 1941 (Japan time), when more than 300 Japanese bombers, torpedo bombers and fighters from an aircraft carrier task force attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The attack exploded, sank or severely damaged five U.S. battleships, among other seacraft, and killed some 3,300 members of the U.S. Navy and Army.

The ensuing total war between Japan and the United States thus started, ending in August 1945 only after Japan suffered atomic bomb attacks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Tactically, the attack, was a success for Japan. But it was not necessarily a strategic success. Japan inflicted no damage to U.S. aircraft carriers, which would play a crucial role in naval operations in the Pacific. At the time of the attack, no U.S. aircraft carriers were in Pearl Harbor.

More importantly, the attack infuriated Americans, ending isolationist sentiments in the U.S. and uniting American opinions in favor of war against the Axis Powers.

Japan has been dogged by the accusation for decades that it carried out a “sneak attack” because Japanese Ambassador to Washington Kichisaburo Nomura and special envoy Saburo Kurusu handed Tokyo’s final memorandum addressed to the U.S. government to U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull about an hour after the Pearl Harbor attack.

In Japan, opinion persists that if the Japanese embassy staff in Washington had worked properly and the envoys had handed the memorandum to the U.S. in time, Japan would have been spared the stigma of having carried out a “sneak attack.”

But this view is not tenable because Japan’s final memorandum was not in the form of an ultimatum, which expresses the intention of entering into war. The memorandum only hinted that Japan would terminate negotiations with the U.S., as Mr. Takeo Iguchi, former Japanese ambassador to New Zealand and former professor at Tokai University, points out in his book “Demystifying Pearl Harbor — A New Perspective from Japan” (2010) and his interview with The Japan Times, which appeared Dec. 7, 1999.

Even if the final memorandum had been handed prior to the Pearl Harbor attack, it would still have infuriated the U.S. as well. Mr. Iguchi was in Washington as an 11-year-old at the time of the attack because his father was counselor at the Japanese embassy.

He found that the Japanese Foreign Ministry had written a draft dated Dec. 3, 1941, which would have served as a true ultimatum. Its concluding paragraph said: “The government of the United States of America has not shown even the slightest degree of sincerity in the current negotiations, and the Japanese government regrets to have to solemnly notify hereby your government that we are forced to terminate negotiations, recognizing that the continuation of talks will in no way contribute to the stability of East Asia, and that you will be held responsible for any and all the consequences that may arise in the future.”

The very last part of the paragraph was tantamount to a declaration of war.

But the last paragraph of the memorandum delivered to Hull was changed to: “The Japanese government regrets to have to notify hereby the American government that in view of the attitude of the American government, it cannot but consider that it is impossible to reach an agreement through further negotiations.”

On the strength of the text alteration and other evidence, Mr. Iguchi says that the Tokyo government and the Japanese military tried not only to deceive the U.S. but also to keep the Japanese embassy in the dark as to what Japan was plotting.

The view is often expressed that the U.S.’s economic squeeze on Japan — achieved through methods such as the decision to terminate the bilateral commerce and navigation treaty, the embargo of strategically important materials, and the freezing of Japanese assets in the U.S. — led Japan to carry out the Pearl Harbor attack. But a longer-range view should be taken.

The U.S. actions were in reaction to Japan’s military aggression against China, which had lasted for years, and Japan’s recent invasion of French Indochina. The nature of Japan’s war against China was such that Japan did not and could not declare war against China. This shows that Japan could not find a justifiable and convincing reason to declare war. Instead, Japan called the war a “holy war” to maintain the morale of Japanese soldiers.

It is symbolic that about one hour before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Army units landed in Kota Baharu, of British Malaya, and in Songkhla, in southern Thailand. Japan militarily occupied or carried out operations in Southeast Asia mainly in order to secure materials needed to conduct war against China and the U.S.

Many Japanese believed that after the Pearl Harbor attack, Japan’s war turned into a war to liberate Asian peoples from the European and North American colonial powers such as Britain, the Netherlands and the U.S. But the war was primarily over which side would gain hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region. Japan’s war not only caused some 3 million Japanese to die but also resulted in the death of several times more other Asian people.

Among the dead were people from Japanese colonies, Japan-occupied areas and Allied prisoners-of-war put to forced labor.

Japanese can learn an important lesson from the attitude of Mr. Masamichi Inoki, professor emeritus of political history at Kyoto University and former president of the Defense Academy. He strictly forbade his students from saying that Japan liberated Asian peoples through its war.

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TOO MANY DENTISTS, TOO FEW PHYSICIANS

The Japan Medical Association (JMA), once the most powerful lobby group with mighty political clout, still clings to its position of staunchly opposing any scheme to increase the number of doctors, in order to protect its own vested interests.

At a recent series of meetings of a study group sponsored by the health and welfare ministry, diametrically opposed views were expressed on whether the nation needs more doctors. Leading the proponents of increasing the number of medical students was Kozo Imai, head of the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Medical Science. He argued that unless drastic measures are taken, areas like Hokkaido will face an acute shortage of medical doctors.

Toshio Nakagawa, JMA vice president, countered by saying that a further increase in the number of doctors would force them into the same plight as dentists, whose incomes have been dwindling because there are too many dentists. With Prime Minister Mori throwing her support behind the JMA, it appeared as though a plan for new medical schools had hit a snag.

In Chiba, the number of physicians younger than 60 years of age per 1,000 residents 75 years of age or older stood at 14.08 in 2010. That is projected to dwindle to 8.05 in 2030. Comparable figures for Saitama are 13.30 and 6.77; Ibaraki’s numbers are 11.51 and 7.19. Tokyo has better ratios of 23.02 and 18.02. Having seen these numbers, one doctor lamented that unless the situation is rectified drastically, there would be an increasing number of elderly persons who wouldn’t receive medical treatment and would die in solitude.

Kanagawa Prefecture, with a population of 9.06 million, just south of Tokyo, also faces acute shortages. There are only four medical schools in the prefecture — the same number as in Fukushima Prefecture, which has fewer than 2 million people. The ratio of doctors for the population around Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture, is said to be lower than that of Egypt or Syria.

The once powerful JMA may well be headed toward its doomsday, in step with Japan’s deteriorating medical services.

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NOT THAT YOU CARE – NOR SHOULD YOU

The United States plans to keep its arsenal of chemical weapons for many years to come, as it seeks to extend the deadline set by the international Chemical Weapons Convention. The US has asked for a decade-long extension to the convention deadline which obliges signatory-states to dismantle their chemical weapons by the end of April 2012. Iran, as one of the main victims of chemical weapons, says the US will be found in non-compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention and has called on Washington to abide by international law.

Al Jazeera 2011-11-25: Security forces are said to have killed a senior military commander of India’s Maoist rebels in the country’s eastern jungle, the Indian government has said. Koteshwar Rao, known as Kishenji, had fought a three-year battle with the state governments of West Bengal and Jharkhand. According to the government, he was shot dead after a 30-minute gunfight in the Burisole forests of West Midnapore district, 10km from the Bengal-Jharkhand border. Kishenji was known to be the third in command of the Maoist guerrillas and would be the latest in a series of senior leaders of the movement..

New Zealand Herald 2011-11-23: International donors have been accused of turning a blind eye to the corrupt fire sale of the mineral wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo in advance of next week’s election in the blighted Central African nation. Documents disclosed by a British MP indicate that the DRC, one of the poorest countries in the world, has lost US$5.5 billion ($7.3 billion) in state assets in a series of secret mining deals.
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TO THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI

As the Libyan civil war enters its seventh month, a tipping point leading to the eventual collapse of Muammar Qaddafi’s embattled regime looks near. On August 16th a NATO spokesman declared that the colonel no longer had “an effective operational capability”. [The rebels] took control of most of Zawiya, a strategically vital port that is home to the last oil refinery still in the regime’s hands and straddles the road between Tripoli, the capital (30 miles away), and the Tunisian border. The rebels also seized Gharyan, a mainly Berber town 50 miles south of Tripoli that sits on the road to Algeria, a big source of arms for Colonel Qaddafi’s militias. Heavy fighting continued around Zlitan, where rebels advancing from Misrata had less success in breaking the resistance of loyalist forces.

One thing is certain: the rebels are getting stronger, while Colonel Qaddafi’s position is crumbling. It may be too soon to talk of an endgame. But the overthrow of the colonel’s 42-year-old regime is getting closer. It could happen quite quickly if the defection of his security chief, Nassr al-Mabrouk Abdullah, who arrived in Cairo on a private plane from Tunisia with nine family members on August 15th, is anything to go by.
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DEAR LORD, VENGEANCE IS OURS, NOT YOURS

When enough is not enough, as is the general rule of Japanese law, bleed ‘em good.

From The JapanTimes.com……………..The Japan Coast Guard plans to press an additional charge against an arrested Sea Shepherd Conservation Society member for inflicting injuries on Japanese whaling ship crew members in the Antarctic Ocean in February, sources said Thursday.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office plans to indict antiwhaling activist Peter Bethune, 44, from New Zealand as early as Friday when his detention expires, the sources said. Bethune has already been charged with trespassing aboard the Shonan Maru No. 2.

Bethune, who skippered Sea Shepherd’s high-tech speedboat the Ady Gil before the Shonan Maru chopped off its bow, causing it to sink in January, boarded the whaler on Feb. 15 from a jet ski. He had demanded compensation for the sinking of the Ady Gil. The Shonan Maru crew handed Bethune over to the coast guard after the vessel arrived in Tokyo on March 12.

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RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN MALAYSIA

Isn’t it time you abandoned your dogmatic tolerance of all religions? When will you stop with the nonsense of “different strokes for different folks” or less colorfully and with boring sobriety tell your friends “We don’t have a monopoly on truth or right and wrong, you know.”? Etc. It took me the greater part of my life to get free of this insanity.

You don’t have to have a monopoly on truth to recognize stupidity, viciousness and insanity when they stare you in the face and knock you to the ground. Malaysia is not a land of moderates, preaching one faith among others that you can take or leave exactly as you please. It is illegal to renounce the Muslim faith and you can be killed for it. You cannot testify in a court if you are not Muslim because your word is worthless. You cannot tell jokes or draw cartoons insulting the Prophet because your home will be burned down with you inside as a sweet collateral benefit.

If corruption is your thing, Malaysia may be a place to relocate to. Transparency International has this to say: “Corruption is marked in the police force; political corruption, particularly bribery and cronyism, is common in the ruling BN coalition. This may be changing under Abdullah’s leadership, however. In November 2004, for example, the UMNO suspended several of its members on charges of vote buying in party elections.” Oh, mighty Allah, you have taught us well and we shall do your bidding.