No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. And early in the twentieth century came the great disillusionment. H.G. Wells THE WAR OF THE WORLDS

To paraphrase Wells: across our own world, intellects ambitious and cool and unsympathetic, regard our nation with envious eyes, and slowly and surely draw their plans against us.

Their focus is on the President of the United States. Ruthless and ambitious men know the U.S. possesses great military and economic power. The question is whether or not we have the will to use it. And that question comes down to whether or not the President has the will to defend U.S. interests.

Eyes now are on Obama. How will he respond to challenges? The probing begins.

North Korea. and China. and Iran. and Taliban.

In Revolutionary-Era republicanism, the ideology that informed the Revolution, Articles of Confederation, and Constitution, the most precious of all things in this world was Liberty. In the view of the Founders, Liberty was rare in history, and constantly threatened. The threats to Liberty could be categorized as tyranny (the arbitrary and unjust power of some over others), anarchy (when everyone acts according to his or her passions then no one is free), and foreign domination (which would mean the end of community self-rule). Of course as some of you have already seen, anarchy was regarded as a temporary condition that would lead to the tyranny of the strong. And foreign domination is simply tyranny by outsiders.

Our economic policy is threatening our liberty by inviting foreign domination.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Sunday urged China to keep buying US debt as she wrapped up her first overseas trip, during which she agreed to work closely with Beijing on the financial crisis.

Clinton made the plea shortly before leaving China, the final stop on a four-nation Asian tour that also took her to Japan, Indonesia and South Korea, where she worked the crowds to try to restore America's standing abroad.

In Beijing, she called on authorities in Beijing to continue buying US Treasuries, saying it would help jumpstart the flagging US economy and stimulate imports of Chinese goods.

"By continuing to support American Treasury instruments the Chinese are recognising our interconnection. We are truly going to rise or fall together," Clinton said at the US embassy here.

Clinton had sought to focus on economic and environmental issues in Beijing, saying Washington's concerns about the human rights situation in China should not be a distraction from those vital matters.

Full story linked by Drudge from Breitbart.

It is not difficult to imagine a future scenario in which China threatens to stop buying U.S. Treasury notes, and to dump the ones it now holds, unless the U.S. act in certain ways. We are giving them a lot of leverage.

To those who say that China would never harm our economy because we are such a good customer I have three responses: (1) the Chinese leadership does not have to face the voters, and could decide that long-term strategic gain would be worth short-term econmic pain; (2) lots of history results from "Oh sh*t, that's not how I wanted that to turn out." One can imagine Chinese leadership making the threat quietly, assuming we would cave quickly, we don't, a secret game of chicken ensues, word leaks out and our markets go in a nosedive; (3) France was Germany's leading trade partner in 1938.
My word-a-day of forgotten English give me wolfshead for Jan 31.

Citing older dictionaries, the word is defined as "An outlaw, meaning a person who might be killed with impugnity, like a wolf," and "In old English Law, a cry for the pursuit of an outlaw as one to be hunted down like a wolf; an outlaw. Originally found in the phrase 'to cry world's head.'"

Most of us have seen the old Westerns with the "Wanted Dead or Alive" posters.

In earlier posts I have argued that we need to go back to treating outlaws like outlaws: in relation to piracy, in our rules of engagement, and on the feasibility of the U.S. acting in the world according to modern concepts of criminal rights.
Instapundit links to an article in The Times of India concerning a recent speech by the Dalai Lama. The article cocludes

He said that the only way to tackle terrorism is through prevention. The head of the Tibetan government-in-exile left the audience stunned when he said "I love President George W Bush." He went on to add how he and the US President instantly struck a chord in their first meeting unlike politicians who take a while to develop close ties.

This quote is starting to circulate in the blogosphere, but before we get too excited, check out this summary of the speech from the official website of the Dalai Lama

Responding to a question on the application of non-violence in tackling terror, the Dalai Lama said hope lay in preventing it in the future. He said those indulging in terrorist acts could not be termed mad people as some were very educated. He said such people harboured strong ill-feeling and hatred due to many reasons, some of which could be centuries old.

Referring to 9/11, the Dalai Lama said he told President George Bush that while he regarded the U.S. President as a nice person, he stood opposed to Mr. Bush’s policies. He said he had suggested to Mr. Bush that instead of spending billion of dollars in launching the war, the world would have been a much different place had these funds been utilised to spread education and health care.

Preventing terrorism for the Dalai Lama appears to be a matter of raising children who do not hate.
From The Sun (UK) linked from Drudge:

At least 40 al-Qaeda fanatics died horribly after being struck down with the disease that devastated Europe in the Middle Ages.

Full Story.

My rejoicing is tempered by a question: Any possibility that Al Qaeda might include The Plague among its bioweapons or their development?

Samuel Phillips Huntington has died. He was a great asset to liberty and scholarship, a Harvard professor, and the author of The Soldier and the State, The Crisis of Democracy and The Clash of Civilizations, among others. Brits at Their Best has a tribute and links.
Photognome sends this link on China's cyber-espionage.

A congressionally created commission has warned that China is stealing vast amounts of sensitive information from government and corporate computer networks in the U.S., including those of the nation's top defense contractors. This theft is part of China's preparation to outmaneuver the U.S. electronically in any future conflict, according to the bipartisan U.S.-China Economic & Security Review Commission.

Somebody remind me again, why do we trade with these b*********?
We have mentioned before that according to Islamic understanding, Obama was born a Muslim since his father was Muslim. Becoming Christian made him an apostate, subject to the death penalty anywhere sharia law prevails.

Al Qaeda Calls Obama an Apostate.

Zawahiri also criticised Mr Obama - whose father is Muslim - for betraying the Islamic world.

"You were born to a Muslim father, but you chose to stand in the ranks of the enemies of the Muslims, and pray the prayer of the Jews, although you claim to be Christian, in order to climb the rungs of leadership in America," he said.

Mr Obama was not an "honourable black American" like Malcolm X, he said, but an "abeed al-beit" - a word that translates as house slave but was rendered "house negro" in the message's English subtitles.

I recall that bin Laden also used the term "slave" to refer to blacks.
Drudge today has lots of news about pirates, mostly operating out of Somalia.

A few thoughts.

1. More and more shipping in the world is done under Third-World flags--Liberia, for example--in order to avoid the wage and health & safety regulations, and taxes, of First-World Nations. My first reaction is to let the companies reap the harvest they sowed. If you chose to register your vessel in a small, back-water nation, then let the Liberian Navy rescue your ship. You deliberately chose not to pay taxes to support things like a military navy, so why should we rescue you?

2. Many First-World nations, such as Canada and many European countries, have chosen to diminish their military capabilities in order to maintain their elaborate social-welfare systems. Why should they be able to count on the U.S. Navy to police the seas while not maintaining the strength to protect their own interests. My second reaction is to let the nation whose cargo it is go get their ship.

3. Somalia is no longer a country. It is a bit of territory without an effectively functioning government. We probably need to bring back Teddy Roosevelt's doctrine that the civilized nations of the world bear a responsibility to maintain order. But, and this is my third thought, doing something about Somalia should not be a U.S. responsibility. Give Multilateralism a chance. Force the U.N. to demonstrate whether it is useful or not. If not, evict it from New York and let the U.S. partner up with nations of similar interests and values.

4. Pirates should not be treated as domestic criminals. They have declared war on the rest of the world. Bring back the old meaning of the word "outlaw," one who has placed himself outside the protection of the law. My fourth thought is that upon capture pirates should be hung from the neck until dead without delay. No trials. And, like in the Old West where "ride with outlaws, hang with outlaws" was the motto; Sail with pirates, hang with pirates.

5. As a corollary, pirate ships should be sunk without remorse. Recently a British frigate launched Royal Marines in inflatable boats to capture a pirate ship. The pirates opened fire on the Marines who returned fire, killing a few pirates without suffering casualties themselves, and capturing the remaining pirates. My fifth thought is that those Royal Marines, and others like them, should not have been put at risk. If you are sure it's a pirate ship, blow it away.

p.s. If I were Obama, and wanted to get my bona fides early at low cost, I'd go aggressive, sink some pirate ships and shell some havens.
forwarded from photognome

Somebody remind me, why do we buy stuff from these guys?

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 17 Nov 2008
Source: Epoch Times [edited]

Clenbuterol food poisoning was reported in Jiaxing City, Zhejiang
Province. Since 10 Nov 2008, 70 employees of the Zhongmao Plastics
Products company in Jiaxing have been diagnosed. A pork dish served at
the Zhongmao cafeteria lunch meal was identified as the source.

A Chinese hospital doctor, Hao Jun (alias), confirmed to The Epoch
Times that the patients shared similar and obvious symptoms:
palpitation, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, chest tightness, uneasiness,
shaking, trembling, weakness, and instability.

Hao said, "Some patients have been seen at the hospital. More than 20
patients suffered from severe poisoning. Others were seen at other
hospitals. Most patients have been released. Those who were in
critical condition have also been stabilized, although the side
effects are yet to be observed."

Dr. Hao Jun indicated that clenbuterol is an asthma medicine. It will
speed up the catabolism of fat in pigs if used in pig feed. It will
also enhance the lean meat and muscle in pigs. It is heat stable and
will not decompose until it's heated to over 172 C. Therefore, cooking
will not eliminate clenbuterol toxicity. It will accumulate in the
human body through ingestion. Long term consumption will lead to
malignant tumors and pose particular danger to patients who have high
blood pressure or diabetes. If the intake is excessive, the poisoning
can be life-threatening.

Dr. Hao mentioned that because one of his relatives owns a pig feed
company, he was made aware of the "secret" about pig feed additives.
Clenbuterol added to feed will not only shorten the growth time but
also increase the sale price. Growth hormone is also added. Poison
chemicals such as arsenic have also been added to enhance the redness
and shine of the pork skin and hair. Some might even add tranquilizers
or sleeping pills to make pigs sleep. Long term consumption of pork
adulterated with these feeds might lead to retardation. The hormones
and chemicals could also endanger lives and lead to many illnesses.

"It is not realistic to expect the public [to] be cautious. The
critical point is the monitoring mechanism of the government," Dr. Hao
expressed, "The government's response has always been the same: "The
case is being investigated, and sanction is warranted." However, it
always ends with no action. Therefore, those who committed the crime
have nothing to fear. I believe there's some sort of collusion and
conflict of interest between the business and the officials."

Pork containing clenbuterol often has a bright red skin with very little fat.

According to partial data, since 1998, there have been at least 18
clenbuterol food poisoning cases in China. More than 1700 people have
been poisoned, with one confirmed death.

Between 8-18 Oct 2008, there were 3 food poisonings confirmed caused
by clenbuterol in pork meals in Guangdong Province.

During September 2006, a series of food borne illnesses occurred in
Shanghai and sickened more than 300 people. These were confirmed to be
related to meals with pork or pig intestines containing clenbuterol.
In June of the same year, employees of a hotel in Foshan suffered from
clenbuterol food poisoning. Also, hundreds of workers in a glass
factory in Guangdong Province were poisoned by meals containing
clenbuterol in May 2006.

Hao Jun emphasized, "Considering the infant formula food borne illness
[melamine poisoning], and the massive incidences of poor food quality
and safety, problems in China's processed foods are increasingly

[Byline: Xin Fei]

-- Communicated by: HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail

[It is well known that clenbuterol is a metabolic stimulator resulting
in a lower fat level. It is illegal to use in livestock in the US.

Clenbuterol is also used as a bronchodilator in human patients and
illegally used as a weight loss stimulant in humans.

Although the mechanism is not understood, clenbuterol in swine can and
does seem to cause problems in humans. - Mod.TG]

[ProMED-mail would like to thank Dr. Angela Huang
for submitting a similar article translated
from Chinese.

In a report on food safety by the Institute for Agricultural Sciences
of Viet Nam, discusses the use of beta agonists in swine feed. This
document mentions that only a small amount of clenbuterol is excreted
and metabolized, with the majority of the drug remaining in muscles
and organs (liver and kidney). Humans, when using food processed from
these animals show the same manifestations as if they had directly
inhaled a treatment dose of clenbuterol with increased heart rate
leading to coronary arteriectasia (arterial distension) ,
bronchoectasia (irreversible local bronchial dilitation), and a
concommitant stimulation of insulin release and glycolysis.

Symptoms compatible with the description provided in the above

Of note, a similar incident occurred in Hong Kong in 1998 involving 9
people eating pork lungs that were found to have concentrations of
clenbuterol ranging between 1 and 24 micrograms per kilogram. (see
Pork, contaminated, clenbuterol - China (Hong Kong) 19980505.0876).

For a map of China, see

For the interactive HealthMap/ProMED map of China with links to other
recent ProMED postings on events in China and neighboring countries,
see .

selected references:

1 Martinez-Navarro JF, Food poisoning related to consumption of
illicit beta-agonist in liver, Lancet 336 (1990), p. 1311.

2. Brambilla G, Loizzo A, Fontana L et al., Food poisoning following
consumption of clenbuterol-treated veal in Italy, J Am Med Assoc 278
(1997), p. 635.

3 Brambilla G, Cenci T, Franconi F., Clinical and pharmacological
profile in a clembuterol epidemic poisoning of contaminated beef meat
in Italy, Toxicol Lett 114 (2000), pp. 47–53.

4. Ramos F, silveira I, Silva JM, Barbosa J, Cruz C, Martins J, Neves
C, Alves C.Proposed guidelines for clenbuterol food poisoning. Am J
Med. 1 September 2004. 117(5): 362-362
- Mod.MPP]