Homicide spreads like infectious disease | MSUToday | Michigan State

Homicide moves through a city in a process similar to infectious disease, according to a new study that may give police a new tool in tracking and ultimately preventing murders.

Using Newark, N.J., as a pilot case, a team of Michigan State University researchers led by April Zeoli successfully applied public health tracking methods to the city’s 2,366 homicides between 1982 and 2008. They found the killings were not randomly located but instead followed a pattern, evolving from the city’s center and moving southward and westward over time.

Homicide spreads like infectious disease | MSUToday | Michigan State University

Is China trying to implode Japan’s economy?

The PRC’s high-profile, unyielding position on the Senkakus seems to reflect something other than reflexive nationalism, political weakness, or the blunderings of a disoriented and incapable elite. It appears that the Beijing leadership may have decided to edge beyond using the Senkaku dispute as a mere demonstration of its economic countermeasures to the US pivot into Asia, to thinking seriously about actually trying to kick a key prop out from under the US initiative – a vital, but weakened and vulnerable ally: Japan.

I previously argued that the PRC had decided that the best riposte to the
US/Japanese strategy of using maritime disputes to polarize East Asia diplomatically and militarily to China’s detriment was to eschew overt
government-ordered military or economic action – such as the counterproductive slowdown in rare earth exports to Japan during the 2010 Captain Zhan stand-off – in favor of “popular” but state-sanctioned economic retaliation against Japanese economic interests inside China.

There is every indication that this strategy is ongoing – and working.

Asia Times Online :: Is China trying to implode Japan’s economy?

Ecosystem Crises: How Flickering Predicts System Collapse | Sci-Tech | chinadaily.com.cn

They’ve applied a mathematical model to a real-world situation, Erhai Lake in China’s Yunnan province, to help prove a theory that suggests that an ecosystem “flickers”, or fluctuates dramatically between healthy and unhealthy states, shortly before its eventual collapse.

“We chose Erhai Lake for this study because we had a great deal of background information from previous studies and also knew that there were recent problems with water quality from 2000 onward that we could study in the context of critical transitions,” Professor John Dearing, head of Geography at the University of Southampton, told China Daily.

“We’ve worked at Erhai Lake since about 2001,” he said. “We wanted to prove that this ‘flickering’ occurs just ahead of a dramatic change in a system — be it a social, ecological or climatic one — and that this method could potentially be used to predict future critical changes in other impacted systems in the world around us.”

Chinese, UK scientists pioneer technique to predict ecosystem crises |Sci-Tech |chinadaily.com.cn

When a stable system is near collapse then small things can cause relatively large impacts – flickering. This indicates the system is at an inflection point. This continues for awhile then some small event causes a complete collapse.

We can see this flickering in the world today. The outsized Chinese reaction over the Japanese government’s purchase of the Senkaku Islands. The Russian threats of nuclear war over western interference in the Middle East. Those are just two of the latest examples indicating the current international order is at an inflection point – collapse is near.

Iran may quit anti-nuclear arms pact if attacked: envoy | Reuters

Any attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities may lead to it withdrawing from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a pact aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear arms, a senior Iranian official said on Friday.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, also suggested Iran in such a case could kick out IAEA inspectors and install its uranium enrichment centrifuges in “more secure” places.

Iran may quit anti-nuclear arms pact if attacked: envoy | Reuters

Deterrence and Nuclear Targeting in the 21st Century

The Obama Administration is apparently considering further reductions of U.S. nuclear forces based on the misguided notion that the world is safer when America adopts a nuclear deterrence posture based on a minimal level of effectiveness. In contrast, a sound targeting policy consistent with a “protect and defend” strategy for the U.S. and its allies and friends indicates that the U.S. should maintain approximately 2,700 to 3,000 operationally deployed warheads and be flexible enough to permit continuous updates. These numbers also assume that the U.S. will modernize its delivery systems and upgrade its command and control structure to meet counterforce targeting requirements. Increasing and maintaining the U.S. military’s asymmetric advantage will protect the ability of the U.S. to shape events, rather than be controlled by the wills of other nations.

Deterrence and Nuclear Targeting in the 21st Century

U.S. to oppose Russian plan to give U.N. control of Internet | Washington Free Beacon

The United States will seek to block an “alarming” Russian proposal to give a United Nations telecommunications group control over the Internet, a senior State Department official said on Thursday.

“We will actively oppose the Russian proposal,” Terry Kramer, head of the U.S. delegation to a U.N. conference in Dubai, told reporters.

U.S. to oppose Russian plan to give U.N. control of Internet | Washington Free Beacon

Somebody should tell the Russians to go to hell. Who do they think they are?

Egypt Islamists Hurriedly Approve New Constitution | TIME.com

Islamists approved a draft constitution for Egypt early Friday without the participation of liberal and Christian members, seeking to pre-empt a court ruling that could dissolve their panel with a rushed, marathon vote that further inflames the conflict between the opposition and President Mohammed Morsi.

The vote by the constituent assembly advanced a charter with an Islamist bent that rights experts say could give Muslim clerics oversight over legislation and bring restrictions on freedom of speech, women’s rights and other liberties.

The draft, which the assembly plans to deliver to the president Saturday, must be put to a nationwide referendum within 30 days. Morsi said Thursday it will be held “soon.”

Egypt Islamists Hurriedly Approve New Constitution | TIME.com

The Georgian Dream Is Turning Into a Nightmare

When Georgian President Mikheil Saakasvhili conceded defeat in parliamentary elections last month, he set an admirable and important precedent. Never before in the Caucasus, and only rarely in the post-Soviet space as a whole, had a leader transferred power peacefully following a democratic election. Long derided as an authoritarian by his domestic opponents, the Kremlin, and cynical naysayers in the West, Saakashvili put his country before his political career when he made way for the Georgian Dream coalition of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili to assume control of parliament. But, as they say, no good deed ever goes unpunished, and it appears that Saakashvili’s political adversaries are not holding up their end of the democratic bargain.

Georgian Dream Shows Its Dark Side – By James Kirchick | Foreign Policy

Chinese Plan To Board Ships In Disputed Waters – Business Insider

Starting January 1 police in the southern Chinese island province of Hainan will board ships which enter what China considers its territory in the South China Sea, Ben Blanchard and Manuel Mogato of Reuters report.

“Activities such as entering the island province’s waters without permission … and engaging in publicity that threatens national security are illegal,” the China Daily said. “If foreign ships or crew members violate regulations, Hainan police have the right to take over the ships or their communication systems.”

Chinese Plan To Board Ships In Disputed Waters – Business Insider

ASEAN chief voices alarm at China plan to board ships in disputed waters

China’s plan to board and search ships that illegally enter what it considers its territory in the disputed South China Sea could spark naval clashes and hurt the region’s economy, Southeast Asia’s top diplomat warned on Friday.

“The Chinese have painted themselves into a corner with the South China Sea issue by raising it to a fundamental issue of national sovereignty on a par with Tibet or Taiwan that makes compromise difficult,” Bitzinger said.

ASEAN chief voices alarm at China plan to board ships in disputed waters

China can pick and choose the vessels its wants to board. Slowly implementing this strategy now will allow China to escalate its ability in the future. That means US military vessels and non-compliant vessels from other countries (Philippines, Japan) will be at risk in the future.

China is taking us along a path to the unacceptable. We have now just entered the territory of unacceptable, and China is not likely to stop here. Making things worse is that Chinese leaders probably can’t stop and can’t back down due to the nationalistic sentiment of the Chinese people. The road ahead is looking more dangerous.

Could a Palestinian state put in a request to the International Criminal Court? | GlobalPost

On Thursday afternoon, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the Palestinian Authority as a “full nonmember observer state,” giving the Palestinians strong symbolic backing.

The Palestinians’ new status begs the question: Could Palestine use its new status to bring Israel in front of the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes?

However, in April, the ICC’s General Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said the court would not accept a Palestinian demand to investigate alleged war crimes by Israel, dating from 2002, until Palestine was recognized as a state by the UN General Assembly, according to Al Arabiya.

“In order to proceed we need the General Assembly of the UN accepting Palestine as an observer state. As soon as this is done we can proceed,” Ocampo told Al Arabiya.

Could a Palestinian state put in a request to the International Criminal Court? | GlobalPost

It now looks like the Palestinians will try to shaft the Israelis through the International Criminal Court. Can Israel just sit back and let this happen? Isn’t it time for Israel to terminate the Palestinian state and it’s little attack dog too – Gaza?

Where is the world headed? Well, we know it’s not headed for peace and tranquility. The Middle East is getting ready to blow up. On that good note let’s take a look at a verse from the Bible:

Isaiah 18:5 – For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches.

One possible interpretation: When the Palestinian state comes to fruition, then it will be cut off.

Granted that this verse is not exactly clear, so one cannot be sure it refers to the Palestinian state. However, I have long suspected that it might refer to the Palestinian state.

Isaiah 18 lays a foundation for what is come. The Palestinian state comes to fruition. Soon (within a few years) thereafter all of Israel’s immediate neighbors launch a devastating missile attack on Israel which includes chemical weapons. Israel responds with nuclear weapons and pretty much wipes out everybody.

Things are quiet for a short time. We move past summer and past winter, then something important happens. A very powerful friend of Israel’s is destroyed. The first verse tells us this, and the last verse gives us timing information. The timing is associated with the new Jewish temple that is being started on the Temple Mount. This friend brings gifts for the new temple.

The last verse must be timing information because, in all seriousness, who really cares about gifts being brought to the new temple? Do you care? I don’t care. When a great nation is going to be destroyed, what would you like to know? Would you like to know that this nation is nice enough to bring gifts to Israel, or would you like to know when this nation is going to get obliterated?