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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: December 19, 2014, 11:22:31 PM
Oy vey.  She was distinctly unimpressive when she ran here in CA (Senate IIRC).  This is a non-event.
2  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / DBMA DVD "Guro Crafty's Stick Grappling" on: December 19, 2014, 11:21:09 PM
Woof All:

Major DVD shoot on Wednesday with Guro Fu Dog, Guro Beowulf, Black Tag Dog Antone, and C-Catch Dog. This project is really gathering momentum.

Outline of material shot so far. This may well be a double disc or more.

*Review of entry to Clinch and the Rico Game;
*When the angle of the Rico is lost, taking to Close Guard and why unlike unarmed, Close Stick Guard is very aggressive, what each man is looking to do and to avoid;
*Mid Guard, Long Guard, Guard Dog, and the Ass Backwards Game
*Bando Python Mount Game with Stick
*Combat Base vs. Standing: the Fire Hydrant Game, the Mullet

Upon reviewing my notes I see I forgot to cover the ground version of the Rico Game (this one is one of my favorites) so there will be one more minor shoot and production will be done. Then it will be time to edit. Remember, “It’s Dog Brothers Martial Arts. If you see it taught, you see it fought.”

The Adventure continues!
Guro Crafty
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: CUBA on: December 19, 2014, 07:29:03 PM
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: December 19, 2014, 07:13:32 PM
Obj:  That would go better on the Cuba thread I'm thinking , , ,

Doug, GM:  Thanks for the follow up.  It would appear that though the judge is correct, his words are but dicta on a question not truly before him.
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary straddles futures, , , commodity futures that is. on: December 19, 2014, 06:59:29 PM
Thanks for finding the info on Kathleen Wiley.

Also, amongst our long and still very incomplete list is the $97,000 made from $3,000 in commodities futures matter.  There was a very long and very serious piece on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal written by the man who was the IRS's attorney for tax fraud in commodities futures at the time.  I WOULD TRULY LOVE TO GET MY HAND'S ON THIS PIECE.  IT IS VERY POWERFUL.

Working from memory, the gist of it was this:

It occurred while Hillary's husband was running for governor of Arkansas.  This was the late 70s and the top tax rate was 70%.  In this environment it made sense to play lots of games to minimize taxes.  One of them was called a "straddle" which meant that the high income earner bought both buy and sell futures.  Why?  Wouldn't the gain on one offset the loss on the other?  Yes, BUT the losing trade would be taken in December (offsetting income tax to be paid by the following April 15, whereas the gain would be taken in January, with the tax thereon not to be paid by the April 15th of the following year.  In other words the 70% that was to be paid in taxes was availble from making money for 15 months.

This is the sort of nonsense to which the Regan tax rate cuts effectively put an end.

In Hillary's case in went like this:

She purchased her initial contracts (i.e.made her initial bets) in chicken feed grain without actually meeting SEC requirements for this high risk sort of investment at a brokerage firm that also represented Tyson Foods, the largest employer in the state of Arkansas.  Her bets were in very short term trades (30 days or less).  Coincidentally, the reporting requirements for this sort of trade were essentially non-existant and the federal commission in charge of this sort of things was notorious for usually being asleep at the switch anyway.   However, in a rare moment of being awake, the commission had charged the brokerage firm in question with allocating winning and losing contracts at the end of the day.   In the course of a few months Hillary, an attorney (focused at servicing banks IIRC) had miraculously profited in trading short term chicken feed contracts (an area of obvious expertise for Tyson Foods) over 3,000% (double check my math here!).  Her miraculous run came to an end shortly before Bill was elected governor.

Translating this into ordinary English:   

Tyson Foods, the largest employer in the State of Arkansas, funnelled $97,000 (laundered too!) into the pocket of the wife of the next governor via winning and losing trades that were allocated at the end of the day by a small brokerage firm that was not likely to turn down this request from its largest client.
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: December 19, 2014, 11:52:17 AM
Would love to have your thoughts on the Cuba thread on the Noonan piece I posted there.
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Elizabeth "Forked Tongue" Warren, Fauxcahontas, Harvard's first woman of color on: December 19, 2014, 11:51:00 AM
Spelling corrected.

BTW, would someone please find and post the info on some consumer agency that was created with its own source of funding (i.e. uncontrolled by Congress) and Obama had her as acting head to set it up but with some fictitious title because Congress would not approve her nomination?
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Noonan on Obama's opening with Cuba on: December 19, 2014, 05:39:46 AM

Peggy Noonan

 Dec. 18, 2014 6:49 p.m. ET

If a change in policy is in the American national interest, then it is a good idea. If it is not, then it is a bad idea, and something we should not do.

In another era that would be so obvious as not to bear repeating. But seeing to our national interests (just as we expect other nations to see to theirs) has been rather lost along the way by our leaders the past dozen years, and now sounds almost touchingly quaint.

But with that guiding principle, some questions on establishing new and closer ties with Cuba:

Was it ever in our nation’s interests to have, 90 miles off our shore, an avowed and active enemy?
Is it now in our nation’s interests to have, 90 miles off our shore, an avowed and active enemy?
Is it in the national interest to attempt to change this circumstance, if only gradually and hopefully, but with a sense that breaking the status quo might yield rewards?

Yes. If the new policy succeeds and leaves an old foe less active and avowed we will be better off, and it’s always possible, life being surprising, that we’ll be much better off. If the policy fails we’ll be no worse off than we were and can revert back to the old order, yanking out our embassy and re-erecting old barriers.

Great nations are like people. We get in habits of affection and enmity. What is needed is a practice of detached realism. Sometimes those for whom you have affection are disappointing. Sometimes those toward whom you feel enmity are, you realize, an essentially defeated foe, and a new attitude might be constructive. The key is to keep eyes sharp for changed situations, and adapt.

Fidel Castro is a bad man who took an almost-paradise and turned it into a floating prison. In replacing a dictatorship whose corruption was happily leavened by incompetence, he created a communist totalitarian state that made everything in his country worse. He robbed it of wealth, beauty and potential freedom. He was also a thorn and a threat to the United States, which he hated and moved against in myriad ways. He did all this for more than half a century.

Soon he will die, and his brother supposedly has taken his place. That is a changed situation.
Normalizing relations with Cuba will not, as Sen. Marco Rubio passionately put it in these pages, grant the Castro regime “legitimacy.”

Nothing can grant it legitimacy.

Fidel Castro ruined his country for a dead ideology and the whole world knows it. It may be closer to the truth to see the Castro brothers’ eagerness for normalization as an admission that they’re run out their string. They’ve lost everything that kept them alive, from the Soviet Union to once-oil-rich Venezuela. The Castro government is stuck. Their economy is nothing. They have no strength. They enjoy vestigial respect from certain quarters, but only vestigial. They’ve lost and they know it.
So why not move now?

Nothing magical will immediately follow normalization. The Castro brothers will not say, “I can’t believe it, free markets and democracy really are better, I had no idea!” Nothing will make Cuba democratic overnight. But American involvement and presence—American tourists and businessmen, American diplomats, American money, American ways and technology—will likely in time have a freeing effect. With increased contact a certain amount of good feeling will build. And that could make Cuba, within a generation or even less, a friend.
And that would be good for the American national interest, because it’s better to have a friend 90 miles away than an active and avowed enemy.

The opening to Cuba may also spark a re-Christianizing effect among a people who’ve been denied freedom of religious worship for generations. That would be good too, for them and us.
There is no reason to believe increased engagement between America and Cuba would encourage a post-Castro government to be more antagonistic or aggressive toward the U.S. More movement and commerce, including media presence, will not give that government more motive to embarrass itself by abusing and oppressing its people. As for the military, it wouldn’t be long, with lifted embargoes, before captains in the Cuban army found out what managers in the new Hilton were making, and jumped into hotel services.
With a real opening, including lifted embargoes, all the pressure year by year would be toward more back-and-forth, greater prosperity, and more freedom squeaking in by Internet and television.

In a rising Cuba all the pressure will be toward freedom. It will not be toward dictatorship.

In America, attention has rightly been paid to the Cuban-Americans of Florida and their reaction. They were cruelly displaced by the communist regime and forced to flee Cuba. They lost everything, came here penniless, and through gifts and guts rose to economic and political power. The oldest, who came in 1960, feel bitterness—and are loyal to that bitterness. Their children, a little less so, and the next generation less still. Because everything changes. You can’t let a foreign policy be governed by bitterness even when that bitterness is legitimate. Advice to the U.S. government: Attempt in time to create some kind of U.S.-Cuban framework whereby those whose property was expropriated can reclaim it.

President Obama’s opening seems so far cleverly done and well wired. He has major cover from the involvement of the most popular pope in recorded history, and also from the government of Canada, an ever-popular country whose prime minister, the sturdy, steady Stephen Harper , is the most quietly effective head of government in the Northern Hemisphere.
It is to be stipulated that the particulars of the deal will prove, on inspection, to be unimpressive, because Mr Obama was the negotiator. Fair enough, but he said when he first ran for president, in 2008, that he hoped for a new kind of engagement with Cuba, and he is producing it.

Something to watch out for: When an administration goes all in on a controversial policy it tends to spend most of its follow-up time not making sure the policy works but proving, through occasionally specious data and assertions, that it was the right policy. All who judge how the new opening proceeds will have to factor that in and see past it.

A closing note: I always thought, life often being unfair, that Fidel Castro would die the death of a happy monster, old, in bed, a cigar jutting out from the pillows, a brandy on the bedside table. My dream the past few years was that this tranquil end would be disturbed by this scene: American tourists jumping up and down outside his window, snapping pictures on their smartphones. American tourists flooding the island, befriending his people, doing business with them, showing in their attitude and through a million conversations which system is, actually, preferable. Castro sees them through the window. He grits his teeth so hard the cigar snaps off. Money and sentiment defeat his life’s work. He leaves the world knowing that in history’s great game, he lost.
Open the doors, let America flood the zone and snap those pictures. “Fidel! Look this way!” Snap. Flash. Gone.
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iraqi PM Abadi writes in WSJ on: December 19, 2014, 05:36:37 AM
second post

Haider al-Abadi
 Dec. 18, 2014 6:46 p.m. ET


Iraqis are fighting back against the transnational terrorists on the battlefront and on the home front. As we move forward to free every inch of our territory and every segment of our citizenry from ISIS—known in Iraq by its Arabic acronym Daesh—we are also addressing the discontents that give rise to terrorism.
While military action is essential to expel ISIS from the land that we love, there can be no lasting victory without governmental reform, national reconciliation, and economic and social reconstruction. Exclusion breeds extremism, so our new government includes Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, as well as representatives of the major political parties. In order to root out terrorism and its causes, we are determined to ensure that every ethnic group, every region and every religious confession feels that it has a stake in Iraq’s survival and success.

Our government just approved a long-sought, long-term agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government. This historic understanding states that Iraqi oil belongs to all Iraqis. It provides for fair sharing of oil revenues, as well as sharing the resources and responsibilities to defend and serve all our people. As we confront our common enemy, we want to fight alongside our Kurdish brothers. This agreement provides them with the weapons and support they need.
We are restoring relationships with the Sunni tribes that are based in areas now under ISIS domination. These tribes are being armed and are currently fighting alongside Iraqi security forces.
Because Iraqis need to put the past behind us, we are amending the Accountability and Justice Law, which will provide relief from de-Baathification that took place after the fall of Saddam and his Baathist Party. Our goal is to ease the reintegration into society of a large number of former government employees who haven’t committed crimes against the Iraqi people.
Because every citizen must have confidence in our system of justice, I have signed a decree requiring our security forces and the Ministry of Justice to safeguard the constitutional and human rights of the detainees in Iraqi jails. There will be a central record for all detainees, including the reason for their arrests and the timeline for their trials.

As we rebuild our security forces, we are combating corruption, incompetence and fragmentation. We have removed about two-dozen generals, as well as 24 officers of the Ministry of Interior. There will be no more “ghost soldiers” on the payroll, no more corrupt commanding officers and no more battalions who flee from the battlefields.
We are establishing a national guard that will fight alongside the Iraqi army. And we fully support efforts to train and equip the Kurdish forces to ensure that they can work seamlessly with the Iraqi Security Forces.

We are working with the U.S. and our international partners to train and equip tribal fighters who are currently fighting alongside Iraqi security forces. Where possible, some individuals from these groups will be integrated into the Iraqi Security Forces or the national guard.

In order to guarantee respect for the rule of law, we are bringing all armed groups under state control. No armed groups or militias will work outside or parallel to the Iraqi Security Forces, and no arms will be permitted outside the control of the government.

With support from the international coalition and closer coordination with the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, the Iraqi Security Forces and their partners are pushing forward, recapturing strategic roads and other locations and liberating entire towns.
Iraqis are doing our part to defeat the best-funded, best-equipped, and best-organized terrorists on Earth. But the challenge is greater than any country can answer alone.
We need air support, training and armaments for Iraq’s security forces. We need our neighbors and allies to stop the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq. And we need the international community, through its financial institutions, to freeze the funding of ISIS.
We also need the international community to help us assist the two million refugees within our borders who have been displaced by the terrorism of ISIS and the civil war in Syria. With winter approaching, they need humanitarian aid, as will the residents of the areas that we are liberating from Daesh.
Only by rebuilding a secure and stable Iraq can we defeat the terrorists who draw upon discontent and feed on failure. Just as ISIS is the international community’s common enemy, defeating violent extremism, on the battlefield and the home front, must be our common endeavor.

Mr. Abadi is the prime minister of Iraq.
10  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Majia Soderholm on Maestro Sonny Umpad, deception, and related matters on: December 19, 2014, 05:29:35 AM

From our good friend Maija Soderholm
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US backs successful Kurd mission on: December 19, 2014, 05:22:38 AM
12  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Maija S's new book on Maestro Sonny Umpad on: December 19, 2014, 05:08:36 AM
13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sen. Rand Paul: Opening up Cuba probably a good idea on: December 19, 2014, 04:59:19 AM
14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rand Paul: Opening up Cuba probably a good idea on: December 19, 2014, 04:58:34 AM
15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NASA's builds and mothballs $349 project on: December 19, 2014, 04:57:15 AM
NASA's Monumental Waste
NASA once put a man on the moon just seven years after setting out to do so. The space agency enjoyed glorious triumphs and persevered through tragic disasters over the years, but we've never seen anything quite like this. The Washington Post reports, "In June, NASA finished work on a huge construction project here in Mississippi: a $349 million laboratory tower, designed to test a new rocket engine in a chamber that mimicked the vacuum of space. Then, NASA did something odd. As soon as the work was done, it shut the tower down. The project was officially 'mothballed' -- closed up and left empty -- without ever being used. ... The reason for the shutdown: The new tower -- called the A-3 test stand -- was useless. Just as expected. The rocket program it was designed for had been canceled in 2010." So how did this happen? "[A]t first, cautious NASA bureaucrats didn't want to stop the construction on their own authority. And then Congress -- at the urging of a senator from Mississippi -- swooped in and ordered the agency to finish the tower, no matter what. The result was that NASA spent four more years building something it didn't need. Now, the agency will spend about $700,000 a year to maintain it in disuse." A grossly over-budget monument to nothing now stands in Mississippi as a sad reminder that money without proper vision is a terrible waste. More...
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments on: December 19, 2014, 04:55:06 AM
Ain't that cute , , , angry
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Jefferson 1775 on: December 19, 2014, 04:54:21 AM
"It behooves you, therefore, to think and act for yourself and your people. The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail." --Thomas Jefferson, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, 1775
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: December 19, 2014, 04:36:39 AM
Of course I get the point but sorry gents, but I find myself sideways to your logic here.

PS:  It definitely irks me when a cashier asks me for a donation.  I don't go shopping to get guilt tripped.

19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: December 19, 2014, 04:34:02 AM
I can't blame Bill for straying, after all, look at Hillary (and Huma Abedin).  As the joke goes, Bill and Hillary met when they were dating the same girl in law school.

That said, the examples listed are far from complete; missing are some of the most sordid:

a) Paula Jones, a state employee brought to Governor Clinton's presence by a state trooper;

b) I forget her name (Juanita Broderick or something like that) but she was a big fundraiser and her husband worked for Bill.  Something had happened and she was afraid for her husband's job and she came to the White House to plead for it.  Working from memory, she has formally stated that Clinton pushed her up against the wall and forcefully groped her.  Turns out that while she was there, her husband was commiting suicide.

c) there's plenty more.
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Elizabeth "Forked Tonge" Warren, Fauxcahontas, Harvard's first woman of color on: December 19, 2014, 04:27:50 AM
Doug, I hope I do not intrude on your naming of this thread too much with my addition to EW's name , , ,
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sen.Ted Cruz replies on those nominations blamed on him on: December 19, 2014, 04:25:37 AM
Ted Cruz was on Bret Baier's Special Report, Tuesday I think it was, and I must say I was quite impressed, perhaps the best I have ever seen Cruz.  Perhaps someone can find a clip?

With regard to the question we are discussing at the moment, Cruz said the assertion that he was responsible for scores of nominations going through was false, Reid et al would simply have done it anyway a day or two later.  Thus, it would appear my criticism above may have been misplaced.

What Really Happened This Weekend

Why I tried to block Obama’s amnesty.


December 16, 2014

For the past week, Sen. Harry Reid has worked hard to prevent a vote on President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty. Finally, after considerable turmoil this weekend, we were able to force a vote.

Only one month ago President Obama announced amnesty for roughly five million people here illegally. He did so in defiance of the manifest will of the voters; as he rightly noted, his “policies were on the ballot all across the country.” And the people voted overwhelmingly against amnesty.

Amnesty is wrong, and it is unfair. It’s unfair to millions of legal immigrants, to the 92 million Americans who are currently not in the labor force, and to minority communities across the nation struggling with record unemployment.

Even more troubling was how the amnesty was decreed: by executive fiat, directly contrary to federal immigration law and to the Constitution. The former prohibits issuing work authorizations to those here illegally, and the latter prohibits the president from ignoring federal laws passed by Congress.

If a president can defy federal law, it renders useless the checks and balances in our Constitution. And it sets the stage for presidents to ignore any other laws (tax, labor, environmental) with which they might disagree.

If Congress does nothing in response, we acquiesce to this constitutional crisis.

Late Thursday night, the House passed the so-called “CRomnibus,” funding the federal government to the tune of $1.1 trillion.

That’s what’s publicly known. Now let me tell you some of what happened behind closed doors.

Within hours, I joined a handful of other senators in going to leadership and affirmatively offering to cooperate to facilitate a quick vote on the CRomnibus—that very evening, we suggested—in exchange for a simple up or down vote on defunding executive amnesty.

Republican leadership told us we would likely get our vote. All day Friday, they told us the same thing. Then, late Friday night, Harry Reid apparently changed his mind, and we were told there would be no vote on amnesty.

At that point, I supported an objection to delaying the CRomnibus vote any further. We used the leverage we have under the rules to try to force our vote.

Harry Reid responded in anger. He forced the Senate to come back Saturday and spend the entire day casting procedural votes to move forward a series of Obama nominations.

Some critics have disingenuously suggested that, by fighting on amnesty, we somehow facilitated these Obama nominations. That’s nonsense; Harry Reid had announced a week earlier he was going to force through every one of these bad nominations—from an unqualified and extreme surgeon general to the new head of immigration enforcement who has pledged to uphold Obama’s amnesty—and there is no doubt he would have done the exact same thing on Monday and Tuesday, with the very same result.

An hour into our Saturday session, I offered to Reid yet again to take up the CRomnibus immediately, vote on amnesty, and then finish it. He accepted my offer, but then the other Senate Democrats vetoed his agreement.

Finally, late Saturday night, the Democrats relented, and we forced a vote on the constitutionality of executive amnesty. Had we acquiesced, had we waited until Monday, Reid could have held the floor and blocked the vote.

So what was accomplished? First, every single Senate Democrat is now on the record in support of President Obama’s illegal amnesty. No fewer than a dozen Democrats had previously criticized that amnesty; now their positions are unambiguous for the voters.

That matters, as we discovered this past November.

Second, 22 Republicans voted in support of my constitutional point of order. This comprised a majority of the Republicans voting, and (not coincidentally) most of the Republicans up for reelection in 2016.

This puts a stake in the ground: That we will defend the Constitution.

Some have attacked the vote because not every Republican stood together. That’s true, because leadership did not want to fight this fight right now and urged Members to oppose.

But the substantive disagreement is overstated. A number of Republicans had a good-faith disagreement with the procedural vehicle we used to force the vote. They argued that Obama’s amnesty is unconstitutional, but the bill funding it is not.

It would have been much better if all 45 Republicans had stood together. For that reason, we had preferred another procedural vehicle—a straight up or down vote on defunding amnesty—but Reid had blocked that. So this was the only tool remaining. This was the only way to get a vote.

And the procedural disagreement on the vehicle masks the breadth of the substantive opposition of Republican Members to executive amnesty.

Republican leaders have promised that the CRomnibus was part of a broader plan to force a fight to stop executive amnesty in January or February. I very much hope we come through on that promise.

And if we do indeed stand united against amnesty sixty days from now—if we follow through on our commitments—none will celebrate, and praise leadership, more than I will.

But we need action, not just words. We need resolve.

And one of the most significant benefits of the fight this weekend was that almost every Republican—those who voted with us and those who voted against us—has once again gone to the press expressly agreeing that Obama’s amnesty is unconstitutional.

We should build on that, stand together in the new Republican Senate, and honor those commitments. If we are going to defend the Constitution, we must respond decisively to this constitutional crisis.

Ted Cruz is a U.S. senator from Texas.

Read more:
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Not likely to appear in any of the Pravdas on: December 19, 2014, 04:18:31 AM

Click here to watch: New Video Sheds Light on What is Really Going on in The Golan Heights

Vice News, a generally anti-Israel media outlet, couldn't help but notice the miracle work Israel is doing in the Golan Heights. The Israeli army is shown providing medical assistance to wounded Syrian rebels in a new video issued Wednesday by Vice News. In the video, military medics in the Golan Heights are seen tending to three Syrians in a military ambulance, assessing their condition and providing initial treatment before moving them to a hospital. The soldiers collect the injured men under cover of night as they are transferred to Israeli hands from across the border. They suffer from various injuries apparently sustained in fighting with the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and appear to be in some pain. The Israeli medical staff seem to do their best to make the three comfortable as they try to identify their injuries and their causes. One is said to have been shot, another possibly hit by shrapnel.

Watch Here

It is unclear which rebel group the three men belong to, and Vice reporter Simon Ostrovsky notes that they could very well be members of organizations hostile to Israel, such as the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front. Reports recently presented to the United Nations Security Council have revealed numerous interactions between Israeli troops and rebel groups on the Israel-Syrian border over the past year and a half. UN observers in the Golan Heights meticulously detailed instances of contact between IDF soldiers and rebels, including Syrians being sent into Israel for medical treatment, and the transfer of items and containers, according to records maintained by the UN disengagement force in the Golan demilitarized zone. Most of the dispatches report on cross-border incidents, though several also detail numbers of people sent from Syrian fighting into Israel for medical treatment. “During periods of heavy engagement with Syrian forces, [rebel groups] transferred 89 wounded persons across the ceasefire line to the IDF,” a May 2014 dispatch reads, adding later that “the IDF handed 19 treated and two deceased individuals” back to the insurgents. On another occasion, also dated May 2014, UN monitors observed IDF troops “handing over two boxes to armed members of the opposition” on the Syrian side. The reports use “armed members of the opposition” as a blanket term to describe rebel and jihadi groups operating against the Syrian government. A June 2013 memorandum notes that Israel’s “Liaison Officer informed UNDOF that the IDF had provided emergency medical treatment to 20 armed members of the opposition, all of whom had been returned to the Syrian side.” Israel has accepted Syrians for medical treatment for years, setting up a field hospital next to the DMZ, and transferring more seriously injured patients to other medical facilities in the north of the country. Since last year, more than 700 wounded Syrians have been treated in Israeli hospitals via the Syria-Israel border crossing. Israeli officials have in the past refused to identify who they treat and whether they are regime forces, rebels or civilians. UNDOF has patrolled the buffer zone between Syria and Israel since 1974, a year after the Yom Kippur War, helping to maintain a ceasefire between the two countries.
23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fed judge rules Obama Amnesty EO unc'l on: December 16, 2014, 09:17:16 PM

Looking for a more serious source's coverage of this.
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Madison: The encroaching nature of power on: December 16, 2014, 11:45:18 AM
"It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it. After discriminating, therefore, in theory, the several classes of power, as they may in their nature be legislative, executive, or judiciary, the next and most difficult task is to provide some practical security for each, against the invasion of the others." --James Madison, Federalist No. 48, 1788
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: December 16, 2014, 10:22:52 AM
Well, I'm thinking having 9 more Rep senators would have made for different results overall.
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: Latino vote less dangerous to Reps than feared on: December 16, 2014, 08:27:31 AM
The Emerging Latino Divide
Published on on December 15, 2014
Tear up the textbooks, a new pattern may be emerging among Latino voters.  The conventional wisdom -- that Hispanics habitually vote Democrat over the immigration issue -- may be obsolete.
Gallup found that support for President Obama's amnesty order was primarily among the foreign born population -- whether Latino or not.  Hispanics born in the United States only backed the amnesty plan by 51-42.  Latinos born outside the U.S. backed it by 75-17.  (Non-Hispanics born outside the U.S. backed Obama's plan by 60-32).
Since only one-quarter of Hispanic voters are foreign born, this finding is electrifying!  It means that the knee jerk approval Democrats are expecting from the Latino community may not be forthcoming, particularly not in sufficient numbers to offset the backlash among non-Hispanic voters.
But the longer term political and social implications of this fissure in the Latino community, based on place of birth, are even more important.  Political science experts have long wondered if the rapidly growing Latino population would auger in a permanent Democratic majority.  When black and Latino voters reach one-third of the electorate combined (they are now one-quarter), will that cause Republican extinction?
Certainly if Hispanic voters follow African-American voting patterns it would spell bad -- and possibly fatal -- news for the GOP.  But the Gallup data suggest that Latinos are assimilating politically into the larger population and, unlike blacks, abandoning race consciousness in their voting patterns.  Like German-Americans, Italian-Americans, and Irish-Americans, they are mirroring national public opinion in their thinking rather than sticking with their ethnic orientation.
This birthplace gap in the Latino vote may help explain the 13 point gain by Republicans among Latino voters in the 2014 elections.  While Democrats still won Hispanics 2:1, they did not win by the 3:1 margin that Obama tallied in 2012.
For decades, politicians spoke of the gender gap in voting patterns before they realized that pro-Democratic voting patterns were largely concentrated among unmarried women.  It was more of a marriage gap than a gender gap.
So, with outspoken Latino advocacy groups urging immigration amnesty at the top of their lungs, the compliant and complacent media have assumed that they speak for all Latinos.  But they don't. While foreign-born Hispanics account for half of the U.S. Latino population, they are only one -quarter of the citizens and, perhaps, an even smaller share of the electorate.
So Republicans should not fear increases in the Latino population as much as they do.  In the second generation, the children of our new neighbors, show the classical signs of healthy assimilation.
27  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Re: Guro Crafty en Espanol en "Budo" on: December 16, 2014, 08:25:38 AM

Creo que aparezco comenzando en la pagina 28.
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH love fest with Warren on: December 16, 2014, 08:04:58 AM
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH says recovery begins to spread to middle class on: December 16, 2014, 08:01:34 AM
30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / POTH: Robots taking more and more human jobs on: December 16, 2014, 07:58:54 AM
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH: New detention center presented as deterrent on: December 16, 2014, 07:57:12 AM
32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iran's president sees a nuke deal coming soon on: December 16, 2014, 07:54:09 AM
33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH: New premier narrows divide on: December 16, 2014, 07:52:40 AM
34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH: CIA chose interrogation techniques very quickly on: December 16, 2014, 07:51:03 AM
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: December 16, 2014, 12:58:07 AM
Michael Brown is a real common name.  How do we know this is the same guy?  I'm not familiar with the website.
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: December 16, 2014, 12:07:00 AM
I'm still hearing he got played by Dingy Harry and now a bunch of nominations have gone through thanks to his (Cruz's) move.
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: December 15, 2014, 11:37:48 PM
Maybe I am missing something but it would appear the Stupid Party is at it again, letting Forked Tongue Warren stand alone against the economic fascism of the taxpayers guaranteeing Wall Street's gambling with derivatives again.   This should be our issue as well!!! angry
38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: December 15, 2014, 11:35:36 PM
Good post grin
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Worm mind, robot body on: December 15, 2014, 06:41:26 PM 
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ummmm , , , Teddy? on: December 15, 2014, 06:35:01 PM 
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Oil/gold ratio on: December 15, 2014, 04:38:44 PM
Oil Price: Looks Reasonable To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist
Robert Stein, Deputy Chief Economist
Date: 12/15/2014

A former economic colleague, and mentor, used to say: “In the Bible, it says an ounce of gold will buy a fine suit of clothing.” We have read the Bible, and we haven’t found this, although there could be some high-powered math, using talents, cubits, frankincense and myrrh that make it true.

Nonetheless, the point stands – over long periods of time, relative value remains somewhat constant. Gold is trading at $1,210/oz. today and that’s about the cost of a fine suit.
There are suits that cost more, and less, but, well, you get the point.

The reason we bring this up, is that the same “relative price relationship” should hold true for other commodities over time. The gold-oil ratio (using West Texas Intermediate crude prices) has averaged 15.8 over the past 30 years – meaning one ounce of gold would buy 15.8 barrels of oil.

In 2005, the ratio reached a low of 6.7; in 1986, it hit a high of 30.1. From 1990-1999 oil prices averaged $19.70/bbl and gold prices averaged $351/oz – a ratio of 17.8. Today, oil is $57/bbl and gold is $1,210/oz., meaning an ounce of gold will buy 21.2 barrels of oil.

In other words, relative to history, either oil is cheap or gold is expensive. Looking at other commodity price relationships, like silver, shows the same thing. One interesting fact is that in the past 30 years, the CPI is up 126%, while oil is up 116%, showing that, right now, with oil prices down almost $50 from their recent peak, oil has risen about the same as a broad basket of consumer goods.

This doesn’t mean that oil prices can’t fall further. After all, markets do what markets do. What it does mean is that the recent collapse in oil prices is not a sign of broad deflation. It is result of a shift in the “oil supply curve” to the right, due to new technologies in energy – horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Remember, the supply curve slopes upward from the lower left to the upper right. When a new technology increases supply at any price, like the invention of the tractor did with crops, the entire supply curve shifts. When this happens, output rises and prices fall, unless there is a shift in demand.

These days, two things are happening to keep a lid on demand. First, developing economies, like China and Russia are experiencing slower growth. Second, new technologies – like LED lighting, more efficient computer chips and less waste in office buildings, homes and manufacturing – are reducing energy consumption. For example, an iPad uses $1.36 of electricity every year, while a desktop computer uses $30 of electricity per year.

So, a right-ward shift in the supply curve is occurring at the same time demand is falling short of what was previously expected. In other words, the decline in oil prices is due to macro-economic forces, and those forces are mostly good, not bad. As a result, the drop in oil prices is a good sign, not one that indicates economic problems. The drop in stock prices last week, if it was based on the idea that falling oil prices are a negative thing, is temporary.

More importantly, most relative price indicators suggest the oil price decline has gone too far. Using the current price of gold, a barrel of oil is fairly valued near $77. Alternatively, comparing oil to multiple different prices, including a fine suit of clothing, oil is fairly valued somewhere between $55 and $70/bbl.

Bottom line: stocks and oil have fallen too much. Stocks should rebound soon and, barring a collapse in gold, we look for stability and then rising prices for oil in the years ahead.
42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH: Israeli nat. gas offers lifeline for peace? on: December 15, 2014, 11:55:34 AM
43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury: Grannis and I were right, you DBMA guys were wrong on: December 14, 2014, 02:37:14 PM

Monday Morning Outlook
The Myth of QE: Why Rates Are Headed Higher To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist
Robert Stein, Deputy Chief Economist
Date: 12/8/2014

It’s a myth; an abused narrative. Those who disagree are called economic heretics. What are we talking about? The idea that Quantitative Easing (QE) drives interest rates down. This myth has a fervent following even though virtually no evidence supports it. 

Yes, the Federal Reserve has done a massive amount of QE. And, yes, interest rates have been low. But, correlation does not equal causation. Just look at Europe, where the European Central Bank (ECB) has allowed its balance sheet to contract in recent years – Quantitative Tightening. Yet, interest rates are even lower than they are in the U.S. Not just German and French 10-year bond yields, but Italian and Spanish as well.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen understood this back in December 2008, when she said, “As Japan found during its quantitative easing program, increasing the size of the monetary base above levels needed to provide ample liquidity to the banking system had no discernible economic effects aside from those associated with communicating the Bank of Japan’s commitment to the zero interest rate policy.”

In other words, by ending QE, the Fed is implicitly ending its commitment to low rates. As a result, the 2-year Treasury yield has jumped from 0.31% in mid-October to 0.64%. Not because of tapering, but because rate hikes are now expected.

There is no mystery here. QE signals a low interest rate policy. In Europe, the ECB keeps threatening to start QE again, which is the same thing as saying don’t expect rate hikes.

It’s the promise to hold interest rates low that matters, not the actual bond buying. When the Fed (or any central bank) indicates it will hold overnight rates at zero for one year, then 1-year yields will be close to zero. The same holds true if the promise is for two years.

In other words, QE is just another version of “forward guidance.” As that guidance shifts, interest rates will rise. That’s happening in the U.S. right now.

Since mid-October, the Fed has increased its holdings of bonds with 1 to 5-year maturities by $58 billion. At the same time it has decreased its holdings of Treasury bonds with maturities five years and longer by $52 billion.

Nonetheless, the 2-year Treasury bond yield is soaring, while the 10-year Treasury bond yield has remained stubbornly stable. The yield curve is flattening – exactly the opposite result that supporters of QE have claimed would happen.

It’s a magic elixir. In Europe, by not doing enough QE, the ECB is supposedly causing deflation, which, in turn, holds bond yields down. In the U.S., QE itself was supposedly holding interest rates down. In Japan, interest rates were already low, and QE was supposed to boost growth, but instead a renewed recession is underway. It’s the Wizard of Oz. Please don’t look behind the curtain.

What does all this mean? Well, first it means QE isn’t magical. We do not believe QE boosted economic activity or equity values in the US, nor did it keep interest rates down. All it did was boost bank holdings of excess reserves.

This is why tapering has not hurt the U.S. economy or equities. Job growth has accelerated, GDP, too, and the stock market has reached record highs.

What’s missing from just about every conversation about central banks is their inability to offset the damage done by excessive taxes, government spending, or regulation. Europe and Japan will continue to underperform the U.S. as long as their governments spend more as a share of GDP.

The bottom line: The U.S. has turned the corner. Government policy is headed in a better direction, growth is picking up and interest rates are now headed higher, probably for quite some time. But, it’s not because QE is over, it’s because the Fed can no longer justify a zero percent overnight interest rate. “Forward guidance” is kaput. That means higher interest rates are on their way.
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Congress secretly OKs NSA spying domestic criminal cases on: December 14, 2014, 09:21:48 AM
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Crimson Permanent Assurance on: December 13, 2014, 07:36:59 PM
46  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Graham vs. Connor on: December 13, 2014, 12:25:22 PM
47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: December 13, 2014, 10:36:48 AM
Thank you Doug.
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: December 12, 2014, 07:44:48 PM
Looking for a post along the lines of "What if the Palestinians had chosen peace?" but not finding it so far.
49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: December 12, 2014, 11:41:30 AM
"Crafty, her separation of these events is technically valid"

How , , , Clintonesque of her  cheesy

"but her effort to merge them is pathological IMHO."

I would say it is amorally purposeful.

"It took me multiple readings of this to see that separation as she stood over the caskets from Benghazi."

Precisely her intention I suspect.

"She reportedly told the victims families, we will get the people responsible for this video. No separation there."

EXACLTY SO!!!  I have hammered this point for quite some time now.


"If this isn't smoking gun material,"

It is.

"it is at least a peak into a character flaw you wouldn't want (again) in a President."

EXACTLY SO.  For me, this is the ideal point o the spear to use on her with regard to Benghazi.

50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / PPI declines .2% in November on: December 12, 2014, 11:37:26 AM
The Producer Price Index (PPI) declined 0.2% in November To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist
Robert Stein, CFA - Dep. Chief Economist
Date: 12/12/2014

The Producer Price Index (PPI) declined 0.2% in November, coming in below the consensus expected decline of 0.1%.  Producer prices are up 1.4% versus a year ago.
Energy and food prices led the index lower, down 3.1% and 0.2% respectively.  Producer prices excluding food and energy were unchanged in November (-0.1% among just goods).
In the past year, prices for services are up 1.9%, while prices for goods are up 0.4%. Private capital equipment prices rose 0.2% in November and are up 1.4% in the past year.
Prices for intermediate processed goods declined 1.0% in November, and are down 0.3% versus a year ago.  Prices for intermediate unprocessed goods fell 1.3% in November, and are down 1.7% versus a year ago.
Implications:  Still no sign of inflation in producer prices. After a surprise to the upside in October, producer prices declined 0.2% in November coming in slightly lower than the consensus expected. The decline in overall producer prices was all due to the goods sector, where prices fell 0.7%, primarily due to energy. Energy prices fell 3.1% in November and are down 6.7% in the past three months (-24% at an annual rate), a testament to fracking and horizontal drilling. Although energy prices have dropped further in December and may decline into early 2015, that trend won’t last forever. As a result, our forecast is that the US suffers neither hyperinflation nor deflation for the next few years. Instead, it’s going to be a slow slog upward for inflation. Prices further back in the production pipeline (intermediate demand) show that it will take a while for inflation to move up. Prices for intermediate processed goods are down 0.3% in the past year while prices for unprocessed goods are down 1.7%. Regardless, with the labor market improving rapidly now that extended unemployment benefits are done, the Fed is still on track to start raising rates around the middle of next year. These rate hikes will not hurt the economy; monetary policy will still be loose and will likely remain that way for the first couple of years of higher short-term rates. Counterintuitively, higher short term rates may boost lending as potential borrowers hurry up their plans to avoid even higher interest rates further down the road. In other words, the Plow Horse economy won’t stop when the Fed shifts gears.
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