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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Even POTH sees the US as losing on: Today at 01:26:12 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/30/world/united-states-russia-arctic-exploration.html?emc=edit_th_20150830&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Refugee cognitive dissonance on: Today at 01:23:31 PM
https://www.facebook.com/strawb31/videos/1011087625590347/
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Laser shoots down drone on: Today at 12:25:34 PM
http://www.nbcnews.com/video/boeings-laser-gun-shoots-down-drone-515266115812
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: Today at 12:24:09 PM
Oh.   embarassed  Good eye-- thanks for the back up.
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A good start on: Today at 12:12:00 PM
http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/ISIS-Threat/Report-ISIS-beheads-39-of-its-own-members-413697
6  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / AAR on MT Camp 8/21-23/15 on: Today at 02:03:16 AM
Pipes, Pistols, Blades & Boots - August 21 - 23, 2015 - Plains, Montana…

I can’t say enough positive things about this class.  It was an amazing experience, intellectually, physically and spiritually challenging and enriching.  Kudos to Marc Denny and Eric Pfleger, instructors par excellence, and all-around GREAT people.  It was truly an honor to receive the benefits of these guys’ vast experience and highly-advanced skills in close-quarters battle scenarios.  We began day one with live fire pistol drills, including techniques designed to facilitate retention when in close contact with an adversary, as well as positions of compromised access to the weapon.  This included techniques for deploying the weapon when in actual body contact with the adversary from various angles.  Later we moved on to using the pistol as an impact device in combination with live fire, and practiced inducing out-of-battery conditions, and learned how these might occur, as well as methods to quickly recognize and rectify these situations.

During the afternoon, Crafty gave us a thorough background regarding the use of short and improvised impact weapons deployed in various ways to most efficiently neutralize the adversary.  This included knives (folded), sticks, both rattan and padded, kubatons and other improvised weapons such as carabiners.  We practiced methodically and dynamically with hard but safe impact intensity, using both other students and Marc & Eric as coaches/sparring partners.  Roles were well-defined, and rough-and-tumble contact encouraged and employed smiley  Marc explained the finer points of weapon manipulation and defense against an aggressor, focusing on forcing the adversary into a physically-compromised and/or painful position and bringing him to the ground for final neutralization.  Marc repeatedly emphasized consistency across categories, explaining that the ingrained muscle memory motions of hand-to-hand should mirror those used when employing an weapons of any type.  As he told us: “In the adrenal state, you will do what you’ve trained.”

Day two began with advanced knife-fighting techniques, some innovative blade-retention and offensive maneuvers, basic stabs and cuts, and lots of drills resulting in training partners forced onto their backs on the ground.  “Higher consciousness through harder contact,” indeed!  Marc demonstrated along with Eric techniques to maneuver oneself into advantageous positions against adversaries, including behind them, and then to decisively end the fight. Blade edge position and corresponding techniques used with various knife holds were taught, emphasizing inflicting maximum target damage in the most efficient manner possible.  More stick and impact weapon drills followed, with continued coaching, correction and helpful suggestions from both Eric and Marc.  They were careful to make sure each student understood the techniques being taught, and could demonstrate them in practice with their training opponent.

During the afternoon of the second day, Eric moved into pistol-based weapon strips, disarms and retention drills.  We practiced both with training partners and impact dummies, learning how to smoothly transition from disarming the adversary to using the confiscated weapon as an impact device against the opponent.  This was done at very close range with many repetitions, ensuring that the techniques were well-understood and able to be executed properly with appropriate power and speed.  We also practiced groundwork, including engaging with the pistol from the ground and bringing adversaries to the ground along with us if disabled.

In the morning on day three, Eric gave us a thorough overview of improvised weapons that can be used when in confined and/or non-permissive environments.  Boots, gloves, striking devices, extricating oneself from constraints, and methods to deceive and surprise adversaries were covered.  Eric demonstrated the use of impact devices including saps, carabiners, and flashlights.  He also showed us an impressive and extensive array of extremely effective and non-obtrusive (stealth) items that can be easily carried and deployed when necessary without drawing prior attention to oneself.  We covered handling clothing interference and weapon snags upon drawing from concealment, including quickly clearing malfunctions and getting the pistol back into action while continually covering one’s adversary.  In addition, Eric demonstrated and we repeatedly practiced shooting through clothing safely when appropriate and necessary, including resolving resulting out-of-battery conditions smoothly and quickly.

The afternoon of the third day was spent working with Crafty and Eric to understand and employ Marc’s “dog-catcher” technique, as well as understand the evolution of this amazingly innovative and extremely effective maneuver.  Utilizing this technique against a knife-wielding adversary could very well give you the upper hand and save your life.  Living in times such as we are, all of the training we received may well be invaluable at some point when faced with a bad actor intent on inflicting maximum carnage.  Now more than ever - this material is important not only for law enforcement and military, but for the average citizen to master, as it becomes increasingly likely that the fight will come to you at some point.

All in all, an incredibly valuable and enjoyable time with great instructors, great food, great conversation and humor and physical surroundings of such majesty and beauty as to make our spirits soar to new heights.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Is Donald Trump lurking on this forum? on: August 29, 2015, 11:50:13 PM
http://www.americasfreedomfighters.com/2015/07/30/breaking-trump-just-announced-his-pick-for-attorney-general-this-is-huge/
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Obama's life insurance policy: Joe Biden on: August 29, 2015, 11:46:06 PM
http://therightscoop.com/marco-rubio-nails-joe-biden-on-little-known-osama-bin-laden-decision/
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Senator Marco Rubio on Biden on: August 29, 2015, 11:45:38 PM
http://therightscoop.com/marco-rubio-nails-joe-biden-on-little-known-osama-bin-laden-decision/
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Steyn on: August 29, 2015, 11:43:34 PM
http://www.steynonline.com/7138/hillary-is-deleting-herself
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 29, 2015, 08:29:18 PM
That is a good URL Obj.
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / FWIW, two rejoinders on: August 29, 2015, 07:45:35 PM
http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/06/22/mark-steyns-newest-attack-on-michael-mann-and-the-hockey-stick/

https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=scholarly+Journal+of+climate+science&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart&sa=X&ved=0CBsQgQMwAGoVChMIst_B_szPxwIVAfGACh1dkAiz
13  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fire Hydrant: Howls from Crafty Dog, Rules of the Road, etc on: August 29, 2015, 04:39:33 PM
A Sad Howl:

Cindy's best friend of 36 years, Teresa, just passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.  She was 57 and suddenly keeled over while having dinner with friends.  We are stunned and very sad. 

Cindy will be flying back to Virginia on Monday and returning on Friday so while she is gone Reality around here is being put on hold.
14  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DBMA Midwest Training Groups on: August 29, 2015, 04:37:30 PM
Taquee just sent us the photos from my Detroit seminar but it will take Cindy a while to get to them. (See Fire Hydrant thread)
15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: August 29, 2015, 11:40:12 AM
Too bad he didn't mention all her close family members who are part of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, but pretty funny nonetheless:

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/donald-trump-takes-aim-huma-abedin-perv-anthony-weiner-n418116?cid=sm_tw&hootPostID=c265eaee0df9ecf8638ec10a5c39c090
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 28, 2015, 09:35:24 PM
Just to be clear, unless things change I'd certainly vote for Trump over any of the Dems.  I'm just saying we need to see a lot more before putting our good name in his hands.
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iran may have built extension at disputed site: U.N. nuclear watchdog on: August 28, 2015, 09:30:29 PM


http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/27/us-iran-nuclear-iaea-idUSKCN0QW1M720150827
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Secret Witness: US supplied attackers with arms on: August 28, 2015, 05:35:42 PM
Obviously stories based upon anonymous witnesses must be handled with care:

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/08/27/exclusive-benghazi-witness-u-s-provided-arms-to-jihadists-who-killed-americans-in-911-attack/



19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Carly Fiorina on: August 28, 2015, 05:33:44 PM
Haven't had a chance to give a look, but this purports to be the definitive place to find CF's positions on pretty much everything:

https://www.carlyforpresident.com/answers/
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 28, 2015, 03:36:48 PM
Pat:

Of course you make good points in favor of Trump , , , AND there is good cause to be concerned.  Why is it he is getting a pass from some of us on Kelo or the small homeowner he bullied with his crony capitalist powers in Atlantic City, on having proposed a 14% wealth confiscation tax, pro-abortion, money to Hillary, and so much more?
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Debunking the Myth of Socialist Success in Scandanavia on: August 28, 2015, 03:33:22 PM
http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/21463-debunking-the-myth-of-socialist-success-in-scandinavia
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: August 28, 2015, 03:25:20 PM
Will has been a serious commentator on the scene for decades now.  IMHO he raises a number of fair points in this piece, whether one agrees with it or not.
23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: August 28, 2015, 03:21:46 PM
I agree.

That said, whatever is the true level, it is far less than the runaway inflation regularly predicted here for years.
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Who could have seen this coming? Price increases 2.0 on: August 28, 2015, 03:20:50 PM
"My expectation is that [rate increases] come in significantly lower than what's being requested," Barack Obama told a Nashville audience last month. After all, he promised ObamaCare would bend the cost curve down, right? And that it would save the typical family $2,500 a year in premiums, right? Wrong. So much for that. According to The Wall Street Journal, Tennessee Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak "answered [that question] on Friday by greenlighting the full 36.3% increase sought by the biggest health plan in the state, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. She said the insurer demonstrated the hefty increase for 2016 was needed to cover higher-than-expected claims from sick people who signed up for individual policies in the first two years of the Affordable Care Act." So, Madam Commissioner, you're telling us the Affordable Care Act isn't exactly, uh, Affordable? So far, Tennessee's rate increase is the highest approved this year, but two other states — North Carolina and Maryland — exceeded 30%, and half a dozen more were in double digits. Others, like Minnesota (seeking a whopping 54% hike), are yet to be determined. And lest anyone think higher premiums were paying for better coverage, most insurance carriers are also increasing deductibles and copays. Our own plan here in our humble shop now offers this wonderful trifecta of higher premiums, higher deductibles and higher copays. So we pay more up front, we pay more before we can receive care, and then we pay more when insurance finally does kick in. Remind us again how great ObamaCare is...
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Joseph Warren after the Battle of Lexington on: August 28, 2015, 03:18:39 PM
"Nevertheless, to the persecution and tyranny of his cruel ministry we will not tamely submit — appealing to Heaven for the justice of our cause, we determine to die or be free." —Joseph Warren, American account of the Battle of Lexington, 1775
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: August 28, 2015, 12:03:08 PM
OTOH "Trust me, I'm rich, I know how to get things done" is not too different from "Hope and Change".

Looks like he is beginning to flesh things out.
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: Can Trump Win? on: August 28, 2015, 10:43:32 AM
http://www.dickmorris.com/can-trump-win-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/?utm_source=dmreports&utm_medium=dmreports&utm_campaign=dmreports
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: August 28, 2015, 09:26:59 AM
I have heard but not yet verified that Trump speaks very highly of his sister who is both a federal judge and an aggro abortion supporter.

I wonder what kind of judges he would nominate for SCOTUS?
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: August 28, 2015, 09:15:00 AM
Here we get into David Gordon's distinction between making a profit and being a prophet.

I suspect and fear we will be proven right over time, but in the meantime we have left a lot of profit on the table.  Missing a near tripling of the DOW and NAZ is no small thing.  Looking in the rear view mirror, we see the near zero interest rate policies of the Fed puffing up the markets-- why did we not see this in advance?

Also, we were dead wrong about the Fed's injection of reserves into the banking system causing inflation.  Scott Grannis was right.

30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 28, 2015, 09:11:03 AM
Interesting.

This can be read in various ways, from alarming to encouraging.

Off the top of my head, making the case for encouraging it could be argued that without moving US rates, China lessens future leverage over the US.  Arguably China is peeing into the winds of reality here and that, as usually is the case, government interventions cannot command the vastness of currency markets.
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: August 28, 2015, 09:05:34 AM
Disagree.

Of course the other candidates would say the predictable things, but I think the case would be this:

It shows Trump can work with others and underlines the depth of the Rep bench.  Those who like those candidates but wonder about their completeness to be president (and IMHO that is many people) may well come to feel that Trump isn't so bad after all.   

Cruz as AG would be a truly inspired choice , , ,  Imagine him handling the illegal alien, 14th Amendment issues for Rep candidate Trump, or Ben Carson handling Obamacare replacement and race issues, and Fiorina getting in a cat fight with Hillary or Buffoon Joe.

32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Noonan: America is so in play on: August 28, 2015, 08:58:32 AM
So, more thoughts on Donald Trump’s candidacy, because I can’t stop being fascinated.

You know the latest numbers. Quinnipiac University’s poll this week has Mr. Trump at a hefty 28% nationally, up from 20% in July. Public Policy Polling has Mr. Trump leading all Republicans in New Hampshire with 35%. A Monmouth University poll has him at 30% in South Carolina, followed 15 points later by Ben Carson.

Here are some things I think are happening.

One is the deepening estrangement between the elites and the non-elites in America. This is the area in which Trumpism flourishes. We’ll talk about that deeper in.

Second, Mr. Trump’s support is not limited to Republicans, not by any means.

Third, the traditional mediating or guiding institutions within the Republican universe—its establishment, respected voices in conservative media, sober-minded state party officials—have little to no impact on Mr. Trump’s rise. Some say voices of authority should stand up to oppose him, which will lower his standing. But Republican powers don’t have that kind of juice anymore. Mr. Trump’s supporters aren’t just bucking a party, they’re bucking everything around, within and connected to it.

Since Mr. Trump announced I’ve worked or traveled in, among other places, Southern California, Connecticut, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey and New York’s Long Island. In all places I just talked to people. My biggest sense is that political professionals are going to have to rethink “the base,” reimagine it when they see it in their minds.

I’ve written before about an acquaintance—late 60s, northern Georgia, lives on Social Security, voted Obama in ’08, not partisan, watches Fox News, hates Wall Street and “the GOP establishment.” She continues to be so ardent for Mr. Trump that she not only watched his speech in Mobile, Ala., on live TV, she watched while excitedly texting with family members—middle-class, white, independent-minded—who were in the audience cheering. Is that “the Republican base”? I guess maybe it is, because she texted me Wednesday to say she’d just registered Republican. I asked if she’d ever been one before. Reply: “No, never!!!”

Something is going on, some tectonic plates are moving in interesting ways. My friend Cesar works the deli counter at my neighborhood grocery store. He is Dominican, an immigrant, early 50s, and listens most mornings to a local Hispanic radio station, La Mega, on 97.9 FM. Their morning show is the popular “El Vacilón de la Mañana,” and after the first GOP debate, Cesar told me, they opened the lines to call-ins, asking listeners (mostly Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican) for their impressions. More than half called in to say they were for Mr. Trump. Their praise, Cesar told me a few weeks ago, dumbfounded the hosts. I later spoke to one of them, who identified himself as D.J. New Era. He backed Cesar’s story. “We were very surprised,” at the Trump support, he said. Why? “It’s a Latin-based market!”

“He’s the man,” Cesar said of Mr. Trump. This week I went by and Cesar told me that after Mr. Trump threw Univision’s well-known anchor and immigration activist, Jorge Ramos, out of an Iowa news conference on Tuesday evening, the “El Vacilón” hosts again threw open the phone lines the following morning and were again surprised that the majority of callers backed not Mr. Ramos but Mr. Trump. Cesar, who I should probably note sees me, I sense, as a very nice establishment person who needs to get with the new reality, was delighted.

I said: Cesar, you’re supposed to be offended by Trump, he said Mexico is sending over criminals, he has been unfriendly, you’re an immigrant. Cesar shook his head: No, you have it wrong. Immigrants, he said, don’t like illegal immigration, and they’re with Mr. Trump on anchor babies. “They are coming in from other countries to give birth to take advantage of the system. We are saying that! When you come to this country, you pledge loyalty to the country that opened the doors to help you.”

He added, “We don’t bloc vote anymore.” The idea of a “Latin vote” is “disparate,” which he said generally translates as nonsense, but which he means as “bull----.”

He finished, on the subject of Jorge Ramos: “The elite have different notions from the grass-roots working people.”

OK. Old style: Jorge Ramos speaks for Hispanic America. New style: Jorge Ramos speaks for Jorge Ramos. Old style: If I’ve lost Walter Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America. New style: How touching that an American president once thought if you lost a newsman you’d lost a country.

It is noted that a poll this week said Hispanics are very much not for Donald Trump. Gallup had 65% with an unfavorable view of him, and only 14% favorable. Mr. Trump and Mr. Ramos actually got into that, when Mr. Ramos finally questioned him after being allowed back into the news conference. Mr. Trump countered with a recent Nevada poll that has him with a state lead of 28%—and he scored even higher with Nevada’s Hispanics, who gave him 31% support.

I will throw in here that almost wherever I’ve been this summer, I kept meeting immigrants who are or have grown conservative—more men than women, but women too.

America is so in play.

And: “the base” isn’t the limited, clichéd thing it once was, it’s becoming a big, broad jumble that few understand.
***

On the subject of elites, I spoke to Scott Miller, co-founder of the Sawyer Miller political-consulting firm, who is now a corporate consultant. He worked on the Ross Perot campaign in 1992 and knows something about outside challenges. He views the key political fact of our time as this: “Over 80% of the American people, across the board, believe an elite group of political incumbents, plus big business, big media, big banks, big unions and big special interests—the whole Washington political class—have rigged the system for the wealthy and connected.” It is “a remarkable moment,” he said. More than half of the American people believe “something has changed, our democracy is not like it used to be, people feel they no longer have a voice.”

Mr. Miller added: “People who work for a living are thinking this thing is broken, and that economic inequality is the result of the elite rigging the system for themselves. We’re seeing something big.”

Support for Mr. Trump is not, he said, limited to the GOP base: “The molecules are in motion.” I asked what he meant. He said bars of support are not solid, things are in motion as molecules are “before combustion, or before a branch breaks.”

I end with this. An odd thing, in my observation, is that deep down the elite themselves also think the game is rigged. They don’t disagree, and they don’t like what they see—corruption, shallowness and selfishness in the systems all around them. Their odd anguish is that they have no faith the American people can—or will—do anything to turn it around. They see the American voter as distracted, poorly educated, subject to emotional and personality-driven political adventures. They sometimes refer to “Jaywalking,” the old Jay Leno “Tonight Show” staple in which he walked outside the studio and asked the man on the street about history. What caused the American Civil War? Um, Hitler? When did it take place, roughly? Uh, 1958?

Both sides, the elites and the non-elites, sense that things are stuck.

The people hate the elites, which is not new, and very American. The elites have no faith in the people, which, actually, is new. Everything is stasis. Then Donald Trump comes, like a rock thrown through a showroom window, and the molecules start to move.
33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: August 28, 2015, 08:50:32 AM
Look everyone, this forum needs to remember all the times we have been wrong, even though they are far less than we have been right.

For example,

a) for years we have predicted mass inflation;
b) we missed a near tripling of the Dow, even as most of us rag on Wesbury and Grannis who essentially got it right

and, ahem,

c) though the predictions of doom may well ultimately prove to be right, years of price growth have been missed.

The search for Truth to which this forum is dedicated requires that we too continuously re-examine our premises and consider worthy points of view other than only ones with which we already agree.
34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Senator Marco Rubio on China on: August 28, 2015, 08:45:56 AM


    508
    335


How My Presidency Would Deal With China
Approaching Beijing on the basis of strength and example, not weakness and appeasement.
By Marco Rubio
Aug. 27, 2015 7:21 p.m. ET


Over the past week, we have been dealt a painful reminder of just how important U.S. policy toward China is in the 21st century. On Monday, due largely to a crash in China’s stock market, U.S. markets suffered their worst day in four years. Insecurity and anxiety about the future—already high for American families—climbed even higher. It was a jarring illustration of how globalization is changing the U.S. economy.

China presents both opportunities and challenges. Trade with its growing middle class has opened American businesses to hundreds of millions of new customers. But Beijing’s protectionist economic and trade policies increasingly endanger America’s financial well-being. China is also a rising threat to U.S. national security. Earlier this year, it was behind the largest cyberattack ever carried out against the United States.

President Obama has continued to appease China’s leaders despite their mounting aggression. In addition to his insufficient responses to economic and national-security concerns, he has ignored the Chinese government’s mass roundups of human-rights advocates, oppression of religious minorities, detention of political dissidents, ever-tightening controls on the Internet, and numerous other human-rights violations. He has hoped that being more friendly with China will make it more responsible. It hasn’t worked.

The U.S. must continue to pursue cooperation with China when possible, but we can no longer succumb to the illusion that more rounds of cordial dialogue with its rulers will effect a change of heart. That is why President Xi Jinping’s visit to Washington next week should not be canceled, but rather downgraded to a working visit from a state visit. This is an opportunity to speak bluntly to this authoritarian ruler and achieve meaningful progress, not to treat him to a state dinner.

If elected U.S. president next fall, I will approach China on the basis of strength and example, not weakness and appeasement.

My first goal will be to restore America’s strategic advantage in the Pacific. China has increased its defense spending by 10% this year, continuing a 20-year trend. We cannot continue to allow our military readiness to atrophy while China’s strengthens. My presidency will begin with an end to defense sequestration and a restoration of the Pentagon’s budget to its appropriate level. This will allow us to neutralize China’s rapidly growing capabilities in every strategic realm, including air, sea, ground, cyber space and even outer space.

Restoring America’s strategic strength in Asia will also require reinforcing ties with allies in the region. Under my presidency, the U.S. will conduct joint freedom of navigation exercises with these nations to challenge any Chinese attempts to close off international waters or airspace. And if China continues to use military force to advance its illegitimate territorial claims, as it has in the South China Sea and elsewhere, I will not hesitate to take action. I will also promote collaboration among our allies, as America cannot and need not bear the full burden of counterbalancing China’s power.

My second goal is protecting the U.S. economy. For years, China has subsidized exports, devalued its currency, restricted imports and stolen technology on a massive scale. As president, I would respond not through aggressive retaliation, which would hurt the U.S. as much as China, but by greater commitment and firmer insistence on free markets and free trade. This means immediately moving forward with the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade agreements.

I will also recognize that in the 21st century, national and economic security both depend on cybersecurity. No longer will China hack U.S. corporate or government servers with ease and without consequence.

The third goal concerns not just what Americans do, but who we are. Under my presidency, Beijing will not receive a free pass on human rights. I will instruct all U.S. officials meeting with their Chinese counterparts to demand the unconditional release of political prisoners. I will impose visa bans on Chinese officials who violate human rights. I will do all I can to empower Chinese citizens to breach what has been called the Great Firewall of China, and gain accurate news and information online about their country and the world.

Despite the challenges China poses to the U.S., we must never forget that the opportunities are even greater. The ability to trade, travel and innovate through cooperation and competition is greater than it has ever been.

But to achieve a new era of productive relations between our nations, America must stand on the side of the Chinese people rather than their autocratic rulers. Americans must elect a president willing to lead with strength and by example. A strong America—militarily, economically and morally—is the only path to lasting peace and partnership between the U.S. and China.

Mr. Rubio, a Republican U.S. senator from Florida, is running for his party’s presidential nomination.
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More voters than people on: August 28, 2015, 08:41:43 AM
http://freebeacon.com/issues/election-group-141-u-s-counties-have-more-registered-voters-than-people/
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-Russia on: August 28, 2015, 08:31:12 AM
Fair point.
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sec Def Ash Carter seeks alliance with high tech companies on: August 28, 2015, 08:30:46 AM
By Paul McLeary with Adam Rawnsley

#flex? Defense Secretary Ash Carter is back in Silicon Valley to sell his vision for a collaboration between fast-moving tech giants and the more “traditional” Pentagon bureaucracy. In his second trip there in four months, Carter will use a speech Friday afternoon to unveil the $171 million FlexTech Alliance award, a collaboration between a consortium of tech companies and the Pentagon whose goal is to produce flexible sensors that can be stretched over clothing or fitted on ships and airplanes.

Backed by 162 companies, universities, and research labs, the alliance includes names like Apple and Lockheed Martin and will be managed by the Air Force Research laboratory. Overall, it’ll receive $75 million in Defense Department funding over the next five years, along with $96 million from the civilian sector.

Carter has been pushing the nascent partnership with the tech world hard since assuming office in February. He last visited Silicon Valley in April, and addressed a conference of tech CEOs in Idaho in early July at The Allen & Co. conference, where he pitched a greater collaboration between the two. He has also put some roots down in the valley, having opened the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUX) at Moffet Field in San Jose, right next to a building owned by Google.
38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / STratfor: Did Iran just gift Saudis a terrorist? on: August 28, 2015, 08:15:40 AM
Second post of morning


 Did Iran Gift the Saudis a Terrorist Suspect?
Geopolitical Diary
August 27, 2015 | 21:18 GMT


Multiple sources, including CNN, AP and Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, reported Aug. 27 that Ahmed al-Mughassil was arrested in Beirut and transferred to Saudi Arabia. Al-Mughassil was identified in a 2001 U.S. Department of Justice indictment as the mastermind behind the Khobar Towers bombings, a 1996 attack against a Saudi housing complex where foreign military personnel lived. Nineteen U.S. servicemen were killed, and almost 500 were reported injured in the attack.

The details surrounding al-Mughassil's arrest are rather mysterious. Asharq Al-Awsat reported that al-Mughassil was actually arrested two weeks ago, after Saudi intelligence discovered he had traveled to Beirut from Iran and was in a southern Beirut neighborhood controlled by Hezbollah. CNN did not go so far, reporting merely that al-Mughassil had been "bundled into a plane" and taken to Saudi Arabia.

Stratfor sources have reported an additional detail not currently being covered in the mainstream media: that the Iranians, who had ostensibly provided al-Mughassil safe haven for years, informed the Lebanese Internal Security Forces of al-Mughassil's arrival in Beirut. Lebanon's security forces then picked up al-Mughassil at the Hezbollah-controlled airport and immediately turned him over to the Saudis on a private jet that was waiting for him. Though this account has not been confirmed, it fits within the larger realignment occurring across the region as a result of the U.S.-Iranian nuclear accord. For months, even years, leading up to the accord, Iran attempted to prod the Saudis into a diplomatic conversation, but the Saudis have thus far staunchly refused to participate. The rumors also come in the context of a great deal of diplomatic activity related to the Syrian civil war; both Iran and Saudi Arabia want to settle the conflict in a way that suits their respective, and divergent, interests.

When it occurred, the Khobar Towers bombing was not exactly a clear-cut case. A U.S. indictment claimed that evidence suggested covert Iranian involvement, but no Iranian officials were singled out. It was al-Mughassil, the leader of Hezbollah al-Hejaz (the Saudi faction of Hezbollah), who was identified as the plot's mastermind; numerous others were identified as being involved, many of whom the Saudis have already imprisoned. A U.S. federal judge even ruled in 2006 that Iran owed the families of 17 American victims of the bombings a total of $254 million.

However, history has cast some doubt over Iran's role in the attack. For one thing, Hezbollah al-Hejaz never actually claimed responsibility for the Khobar Towers bombing. Iran maintained that al Qaeda was the guilty party, and the Sept. 11 commission suggested an al Qaeda link. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry has also said in recent years that he believes al Qaeda, and not Iran, is to blame for the attack.

There has been no confirmation from the Saudi, Lebanese or U.S. governments that al-Mughassil has actually been detained; all reports have been from anonymous officials and confidential sources. But assuming that al-Mughassil has actually been arrested, perhaps the most confusing of the scant verifiable details available is that Lebanon was either actively or passively involved in offering al-Mughassil to the Saudis. Lebanon — the same country that passed a general amnesty law in 1991 giving sanctuary to figures such as Imad Mughniyah, Hassan Ezzeddine, Ali Atwa, Mohammed Ali Hammadi, and Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun — is not known for extraditing wanted individuals to foreign countries. In the past, Lebanon has not succumbed to U.S. pressure in similar circumstances, even when the United States demanded control over suspects in the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847.

It is even less clear why Iran would have decided to offer up al-Mughassil in the first place, if it was in fact Iran that informed the Saudis of al-Mughassil's movements. Is it a show of good faith to Saudi Arabia, an Iranian attempt to show that the Islamic republic is interested in at least partially mending ties with the kingdom? It could be, but offering up one militant who authored a bombing in 1996 is not likely to have much of an effect on the Saudi-Iranian relationship. Was it a low-stakes understanding reached between the Americans and the Iranians, a way for Iran to show it is willing to cooperate with the United States in limited ways outside the framework of the understanding reached on Tehran's nuclear program? There is no evidence to support such a theory, but, to a degree, it seems credible. Next week, Saudi King Salman is due to make his first visit to the United States since he ascended the throne. Washington will likely press Riyadh to hand over al-Mughassil. The Saudis, as they have with previous suspects tied even to the case, will likely refuse but will enjoy having something to hold over U.S. President Barack Obama.

Whatever the details, this much is clear: A well-known militant with a $5 million bounty on his head flew from his safe haven in Iran to Lebanon, a country known for harboring wanted suspects, and to territory controlled by Iranian-backed Hezbollah. After landing in Beirut, he was whisked away to Riyadh. Something in the geopolitical relationship between Iran, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia made this possible. And though we can not yet delineate the precise chronology of events or identify who is responsible for what, the strangeness of the events should give us pause and force us to reconsider what other previously held notions about the Middle East need re-evaluation or may be obsolete altogether.
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: August 28, 2015, 08:13:59 AM
A FB friend of dubious reliability who occasionally gets something right counters with this:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/esper-millennial-cooling-in-context.html
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: August 28, 2015, 08:01:29 AM
 Why Middle Eastern Conflicts Will Escalate
Analysis
August 28, 2015 | 09:15 GMT
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Summary

Editor's Note: This is the third installment of an occasional series on the evolving fortunes of the Middle East that Stratfor will be building upon periodically.

Tehran's competitors in the region will not sit idly by without attempting to curb the expansion of Iranian influence. This will not manifest in all-out warfare between the Middle East's most significant powers; Iran is not the only country well versed in the use of proxies. But the conflicts that are already raging in the region will continue unabated and likely only worsen. These clashes will occur on multiple fault lines: Sunni versus Shiite, for example, plus ethnic conflicts among Turks, Iranians, Arabs, Kurds, and other groups. The Iranian nuclear deal in the short term thus means more conflict, not less.

Analysis

Turkey

Stratfor has long predicted that the role of regional hegemon will eventually fall to Turkey, which boasts the largest economy in the Middle East and is strategically situated at the confluence of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, on the Sea of Marmara. It is not a coincidence that what is now the Turkish capital spent more than 1,500 years as the center of powerful empires, from 330 CE, when the Byzantine Empire was founded, until 1918, when the Ottoman Empire fell. 

Like the United States, Turkey has some converging interests with Iran; its rivalry with its neighbor to the east is not a zero-sum competition. For one, Turkey depends on Iranian oil, which in 2014 made up 26 percent of Turkey's oil imports. Lifting sanctions on Iran will offer Turkey's commercial class, which is hungry for the potential economic returns, ample opportunity to invest. Besides the economic links between the two powers, Tehran and Ankara also share some strategic interests. For example, both oppose the rise of an independent Kurdish state from the ashes of the Syrian civil war and the Iraqi conflict. While Tehran has at times offered military support to Kurds fending off the Islamic State in Iraq, Iran has a significant Kurdish population of its own, with estimates ranging anywhere from 6 million to 7 million people. Almost 15 percent of Turkey's population is Kurdish, and Ankara has had to contend with Kurdish insurgency since 1984.

More broadly, however, Turkey and Iran are natural competitors. And even though Kurdish containment is a common interest between the rivals, the Kurds are also a useful tool for each to undermine the other. Thus, Kurdistan is the natural battleground between Turkey and Iran, and the two powers will use factions against one another as their competition increases. And though Turkey is predominantly Sunni and Iran predominantly Shiite, it is important to note that Ankara and Tehran seek to establish dominance over a region that is predominantly Arab. For many Arabs, choosing between Turkish or Persian rule is like choosing between death by drowning or by immolation.

Turkey's relationship with the Islamic State is unclear; only in recent months has Turkey's policy toward the militant group changed from passive acquiescence to active disruption. This may be because Turkey feels that Islamic State is becoming a domestic threat, with cells and operatives located across the country. Ankara may also have grown weary and frustrated with the fact that the West looks more favorably upon the prospect of Kurdish independence when it hears and sees that the Kurds seem to be the most effective force fighting the Islamic State.

Turkey has been adamant about seeing the downfall of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, actively supplying and training militants to fight Damascus. Ankara regards the Levant as its own sphere of influence, and it does not look kindly upon Iranian attempts to expand in the region. The possibility that Turkey will take a more active role in Syria also cannot be dismissed, especially in light of recent reports that Turkey is considering moving its military into northern Syria to create a buffer zone that would prevent Syrian Kurdish expansion and significantly weaken the Islamic State, enabling Sunni insurgents to focus their resources on continuing the assault on the al Assad government.

Saudi Arabia

Unlike Turkey, Saudi Arabia has relatively few if any shared interests with Iran. The kingdom is an Arab, Sunni power, and the Wahhabism sect of Islam to which most Saudis subscribe views Shiites with deep suspicion. With a Shiite minority making up between 10 percent and 15 percent of its population, and with Iraq no longer a bulwark against Iran's ambitions, Saudi Arabia rightly sees itself on the front line of the conflict with Iran. That most of Saudi Arabia's Shiite population lives in close proximity to the country's massive oil fields, which are the source of Saudi wealth and power, makes the specter of Iranian expansion all the more alarming to Riyadh. As recently as 2011, Saudi Arabia sent troops into Bahrain to help put down unrest in the Sunni-ruled, Shiite-majority country, precisely because it feared Iran might use the situation to extend its reach in the Gulf.

Like Turkey, Saudi Arabia wants to see the downfall of the al Assad government, which would deal a crippling blow to Iranian influence in the region. For a time, the Saudis thought that the Islamic State could help them achieve that goal. That plan has backfired on Riyadh, as it must now deal with threats from both the Islamic State and al Qaeda. Still, Saudi Arabia continues to support other Sunni militants in Syria fighting against loyalist forces, and it, along with Jordan, is reportedly providing arms to Sunni tribes fighting in Iraq.

Unlike Turkey and Iran, Saudi Arabia has no immediate Kurdish problem, and Stratfor is already observing signs that the House of Saud will assist Kurdish elements in Iraq militarily. How far the Saudis will pursue this strategy, and which Kurdish factions the Saudis will support, is unclear. But the Iranians are already trying to provoke minority groups in Saudi Arabia, so the Saudis will likely at least attempt to embolden an autonomous Kurdistan capable of affecting regional economic and security issues — even though supporting the Kurds will mar Riyadh's relationship with Ankara. After all, though both are Sunni powers, Saudi Arabia has almost as little interest in seeing Turkey dominate the Middle East as it does Iran.

In 2014, Saudi Arabia did attempt to start a diplomatic dialogue with Iran, but this effort quickly deteriorated with the beginning of the conflict in Yemen. With Riyadh focused on battling the Shiites and the Islamic State in the rest of the region, it was caught off guard when Iranian-backed Houthi rebels made significant military gains in Yemen, at one point even capturing Sanaa, the capital. Saudi Arabia has since committed air and land power to the conflict, and by April 2015 the tide had begun to turn. Since the six world powers agreed to a nuclear deal with Iran, Saudi-backed anti-Houthi forces in Yemen have won major victories in the Gulf of Aden. These types of conflicts are already the norm across the region, and the rehabilitation of Iran's international image coupled with Tehran's desires to expand its domain will lead to more of the same.

Egypt

Egypt, like Saudi Arabia, is an Arab, Sunni power, but one whose ability to act is much more constrained than Turkey or Saudi Arabia. Still, Cairo is an important part of the balance of power that the United States is trying to establish in the Middle East, as evidenced by Washington's abrupt amnesia regarding the coup that ousted democratically-elected President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, as soon as Iranian-backed forces in Yemen reared their heads in 2014. In addition, from the U.S. perspective, the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979 remains one of the defining features of the region. Yet Egypt faces serious internal issues of its own, as it tries to roll back a subsidy regime, elect a parliament, contain social unrest, and manage multiple jihadist threats in the country, including disturbingly competent attacks in Cairo and the Sinai Peninsula. Despite this, Egyptian forces are also active in Yemen, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was in Russia this week to discuss economic ties and the situation in Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have increased cooperation in recent months and may try to pool their resources to protect the Arab heartland of the Middle East. A joint Arab defense force under development could easily become part of this plan and is one of Cairo's ways of attempting to maintain a prominent role in the regional alignment.

Overall, the Iran nuclear deal then will not mean less violence or war; it will mean more. The uprisings in the Arab world in 2011 created power vacuums across the region; proxies supported by outside powers, as well as local militias and groups, found new space in which to operate. Conflict in the region will become increasingly about Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt using various groups to compete against one other, rather than groups taking advantage of failed states to carve out small fiefdoms of power and responsibility for themselves.
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Krauthammer: Putin anally rapes Obama on: August 28, 2015, 07:56:34 AM
National Review

What Six Years of ‘Reset’ with Russia Have Wrought
By Charles Krauthammer — August 27, 2015

On September 5, 2014, Russian agents crossed into Estonia and kidnapped an Estonian security official. Last week, after a closed trial, Russia sentenced him to 15 years.
The reaction? The State Department issued a statement. The NATO secretary-general issued a tweet. Neither did anything. The European Union (reports the Wall Street Journal) said it was too early to discuss any possible action.

The timing of this brazen violation of NATO territory — two days after President Obama visited Estonia to symbolize America’s commitment to its security — is testimony to Vladimir Putin’s contempt for the American president. He knows Obama will do nothing. Why should he think otherwise?

Putin breaks the arms embargo to Iran by lifting the hold on selling it S-300 missiles. Obama responds by excusing him, saying it wasn’t technically illegal and adding, with a tip of the hat to Putin’s patience: “I’m frankly surprised that it held this long.”

Russia mousetraps Obama at the eleventh hour of the Iran negotiations, joining Iran in demanding that the conventional-weapons and ballistic-missile embargos be dropped. Obama caves.

Putin invades Ukraine, annexes Crimea, breaks two Minsk cease-fire agreements, and erases the Russia–Ukraine border. Obama’s response? Pinprick sanctions, empty threats, and a continuing refusal to supply Ukraine with defensive weaponry, lest he provoke Putin.

The East Europeans have noticed. In February, Lithuania decided to reinstate conscription, a move strategically insignificant — the Lithuanians couldn’t hold off the Russian army for a day — but highly symbolic. Eastern Europe has been begging NATO to station permanent bases on its territory as a tripwire guaranteeing a powerful NATO/U.S. response to any Russian aggression.

NATO has refused. Instead, Obama offered more military exercises in the Baltic States and Poland. And threw in an additional 250 tanks and armored vehicles, spread among seven allies.

It is true that Putin’s resentment over Russia’s lost empire long predates Obama. But for resentment to turn into revanchism — an active policy of reconquest — requires opportunity. Which is exactly what Obama’s “reset” policy has offered over the past six and a half years.

Since the end of World War II, Russia has known that what stands in the way of westward expansion was not Europe, living happily in decadent repose, but the United States as guarantor of Western security. Obama’s naïveté and ambivalence have put those guarantees in question.

It began with the reset button, ostentatiously offered less than two months after Obama’s swearing-in. Followed six months later by the unilateral American cancellation of the missile shield the Poles and the Czechs had agreed to install on their territory. Again, lest Putin be upset.

By 2012, a still clueless Obama mocked Mitt Romney for saying that Russia is “without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe,” quipping oh so cleverly: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” After all, he explained, “the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”

Turned out it was 2015 calling. Obama’s own top officials have been retroactively vindicating Romney. Last month, Obama’s choice for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff declared that “Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security.” Two weeks ago, the retiring Army chief of staff, Raymond Odierno, called Russia our “most dangerous” military threat. Obama’s own secretary of defense has gone one better: “Russia poses an existential threat to the United States.”

Turns out the Cold War is not over either. Putin is intent on reviving it. Helped immensely by Obama’s epic misjudgment of Russian intentions, the balance of power has shifted — and America’s allies feel it.

And not just the East Europeans. The president of Egypt, a country estranged from Russia for 40 years and our mainstay Arab ally in the Middle East, has twice visited Moscow within the last four months.

The Saudis, congenitally wary of Russia but shell-shocked by Obama’s grand nuclear capitulation to Iran that will make it the regional hegemon, are searching for alternatives, too. At a recent economic conference in St. Petersburg, the Saudis invited Putin to Riyadh and the Russians reciprocated by inviting the new King Salman to visit Czar Vladimir in Moscow.

Even Pakistan, a traditional Chinese ally and Russian adversary, is buying Mi-35 helicopters from Russia, which is building a natural-gas pipeline between Karachi and Lahore.
As John Kerry awaits his upcoming Nobel and Obama plans his presidential library (my suggestion: Havana), Putin is deciding how to best exploit the final 17 months of his Obama bonanza.

The world sees it. Obama doesn’t.

— Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2015 The Washington Post Writers Group
42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: August 28, 2015, 07:47:03 AM
"CD, What makes you think that he would not get the best for each area? That is what he says he would do, and I believe him there."

Forgive me, but that does not address my point-- which is the suggestion that Trump ANNOUNCE this NOW.  Reflect upon what the reaction to this might be in various quarters and amongst voters.
43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: August 28, 2015, 07:42:54 AM
Hey, I can take it , , , and dish it out too  wink
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Race andg ender motives of black reporter murderer sent down memory hole. on: August 28, 2015, 07:38:01 AM
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/27/suddenly-media-worried-over-reporting-race-based-motive-of-killer-of-white-reporters/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/27/report-lgbt-rainbow-hate-flag-found-in-wdbj-killers-apartment/
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / An unknown hero on: August 28, 2015, 07:30:45 AM
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152915440087959&set=o.244962995628283&type=1
46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: ISIS hacker killed by drone on: August 28, 2015, 07:23:34 AM

By
Margaret Coker in London,
Danny Yadron in San Francisco and
Damian Paletta in Washington
Aug. 27, 2015 7:36 p.m. ET
79 COMMENTS

U.S. and British officials decided earlier this year that a hacker needed to die.

Junaid Hussain, a British citizen in his early 20s, had risen fast to become a chief in Islamic State’s electronic army. One person familiar with the matter said he hacked dozens of U.S. military personnel and published personal and financial details online, including those of a general, for others to exploit.

He helped sharpen the terror group’s defense against Western surveillance and built hacking tools to penetrate computer systems, said people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Hussain was killed by a U.S. drone strike on Tuesday while he was in a car in Raqqa, Syria, U.S. officials said. That he was targeted directly shows the extent to which digital warfare has upset the balance of power on the modern battlefield.


Islamic State didn’t build a large cyber force like the U.S.’s National Security Agency or China’s People’s Liberation Army. Instead, it had people like Mr. Hussain, a convicted hacker whose suite of inexpensive digital tools threatened to wreak havoc on even the world’s most-powerful country. Islamic State communications described him as one of the group’s secret weapons, said one person who has seen them.

U.S. officials said they believe Mr. Hussain played an important role in recruiting two American Muslims to open fire in Garland, Texas, this spring on a contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. He also frequently hacked into U.S. service members’ Facebook accounts to determine personal details and future targets, one of the people familiar with the probe said.

“If you don’t have anybody who is kind of fluent in computer operations, you’ve got a problem,” said Michael Sulmeyer, a former cyberpolicy expert for the Pentagon now at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. “The ballgame is pretty much the coder or the individual.”

Mr. Hussain drew attention from U.S. and British intelligence and military agencies in part because of his efforts to recruit and incite violence, said one U.S. official. His importance to Islamic State made him a legitimate target, the official said. “Leadership: That is what gets our attention.”


Islamic State hasn’t confirmed Mr. Hussain’s death, as it sometimes does after operatives are killed in drone strikes. Eulogies from Islamic State supporters, including one man who like Mr. Hussain grew up in the West Midlands city of Birmingham, England, began trickling through Twitter on Thursday.

In the 14 months since Islamic State announced it had formed a caliphate, the group has carved out a state of sorts in Iraq and Syria. Since last fall, when U.S. officials began tracking Mr. Hussain, the terror network also started to strengthen its cyberwarfare capabilities, adopting cutting-edge encryption technology and boosting its attempts to recruit hackers to even the odds against major Western powers.

Mr. Hussain grew up a book-smart teenager, according to court records and several people familiar with his case. He was planning to study computer science.

Before graduating from high school, however, he joined a group of British teens in a hacking collective called Team Poison. Using the handle “Tr1ck,” Mr. Hussain claimed responsibility for hacking into the email account of an assistant to former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Mr. Blair’s personal details, including his National ID number, the equivalent of a Social Security number, were published online.

A British court found Mr. Hussain guilty and he served a prison sentence.

Birmingham police in July 2013 arrested him for involvement in a street fight. While awaiting trial, he fled to Syria, U.K. officials said. By January 2014, he was communicating online with other British Muslims about how to join Islamic State, according to court documents.

Once living in Islamic State territory, Mr. Hussain re-emerged with a new online persona: Abu Hussain al-Britaini.

U.S. officials began to view Mr. Hussain as a top threat because he was on the leading edge of Islamic State efforts to recruit in the U.S. He would post names, addresses and photos of U.S. troops on his Twitter feed and suggest followers find and kill the person. In several instances, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Defense Department set up 24-hour watches around targeted service members, a person familiar with the situation said.

Mr. Hussain developed a hacking tool, or malware, that could be used to spy on other machines, called a remote access Trojan, or RAT. He was training other Islamic State members in how to use hacker techniques, people familiar with the case said.

In at least one interaction, according to a Wall Street Journal review of online communications, he discussed the possibility of obtaining a zero-day exploit—hacker jargon for software that takes advantage of flaws in commercial software, such as Microsoft Word, unknown to that developer. Because they are unknown, they are almost impossible to stop.

Islamic State leaders have long communicated on a variety of platforms such as Facebook Inc. that U.S. officials can easily tap through court orders. Computer-security types such as Mr. Hussain, however, are notorious for being cautious with digital communications. After Mr. Hussain moved into a leadership role in the group’s so-called hacking division, Islamic State began ordering and teaching its commanders and followers to tighten its security awareness.

In December, Islamic State issued an order banning fighters from using devices equipped with location-tracking software, particularly Apple Inc. devices. By May, members were tweeting to throw out Samsung Galaxy smartphones as well.

This year, Islamic State officials started warning against using WhatsApp, the popular messaging app owned by Facebook, for fears it was being monitored. Officials said operatives should use one of several Western encrypted or hard-to-track messaging apps, such as Surespot, Telegram or Kik, according to security memos reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

In August, Islamic State supporters lighted up social media over an apparent cyber bombshell. IS Hacking Division claimed responsibility for hacking into the social-media accounts of hundreds of U.S. military members. The group published lists of 1,481 names, departments, email addresses, passwords and phone numbers, warning, “we are in your emails and computer systems, watching and recording your every move, we have your names and addresses, we are in your emails and social media accounts, we are extracting confidential data.”

The hacked list of U.S. military names was retweeted on Aug. 11 by @AbuHu55ain_911, the last known social-media profile on Twitter for Mr. Hussain.

That feed has since been deleted, as has the Twitter feed of his wife, a 45-year-old British onetime punk rocker named Sally Jones who converted to Islam and traveled to Syria to marry Mr. Hussain.

Mr. Hussain appears to have institutionalized Islamic State’s interest in fostering an electronic army. Supporters send daily entreaties to Muslims around the world to move to the caliphate. They also regularly make specialized recruitment drives. A list of needed professional skills published on Islamic State media outlets on Jan. 3 included hackers, “penetrators” and computer programmers.

—Julian E. Barnes in Brussels and Alexis Flynn in London contributed to this article.

Write to Margaret Coker at margaret.coker@wsj.com, Danny Yadron at danny.yadron@wsj.com and Damian Paletta at damian.paletta@wsj.com



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Justin Murray
Justin Murray 1 minute ago

We're losing the cyber war because government has the tendency to think "expensive and complicated" beats "accessible". Much like how the electronic music industry split between the expensive and difficult to use university synthesizers provided by government grants and the cheap one invented by Robert Moog that ended up winning, organizations like the NSA with billions for a budget don't understand that the cheap to free tools found on the Internet are far superior tools in cyber warfare than the expensive bureaucracies and tools they've purchased more for prestige purposes than functional.


Governments consistently lose asynchronous warfare with shoestring fighters because shoestring fighters have the incentive to find the best weapon. Governments only look for the most expensive.


The failings of America and why we will continue to lose this fight is because we spend too much on our security apparatus.
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Fred Smith
Fred Smith 6 minutes ago

New technology, meet old technology.  BOOM.
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Bradley S Armstrong
Bradley S Armstrong 13 minutes ago

He got the red white and blue screen of death.
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Keith Brainard
Keith Brainard 16 minutes ago

Kill him all you want, just don't waterboard him.



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47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CA's ten day wait period partially struck down on: August 28, 2015, 06:31:34 AM
http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=7b69d67922f8e32ca499bb6b7&id=86aa126d2c
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Corruption, Skullduggery, and Treason on: August 28, 2015, 06:30:39 AM
Thank you GM.
49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science and Military Issues on: August 27, 2015, 07:59:46 PM
It would appear we are rapidly closing in on the opening scenes of The Terminator.

In a related vein:

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=1932&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / An idea for The Donald on: August 27, 2015, 07:51:54 PM
Here is a thought:

Donald should announce that if elected he contemplates making Ted Cruz the Attorney General, Ben Carson the Sec of HHS to handle health care, and Carly Fiorina to something that calls upon her considerable talents.
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