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22951  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: November 25, 2011, 02:46:25 PM
4th Generation nuclear war games with people who believe in death more than life. 

What could go wrong?
22952  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Gibson Guitar was set up on: November 25, 2011, 02:30:52 PM
On a sweltering day in August, federal agents raided the Tennessee factories of the storied Gibson Guitar Corp. The suggestion was that Gibson had violated the Lacey Act—a federal law designed to protect wildlife—by importing certain India ebony. The company has vehemently denied that suggestion and has yet to be charged. It is instead living in a state of harassed legal limbo.

Which, let's be clear, is exactly what its persecutors had planned all along. The untold story of Gibson is this: It was set up.

Most of the press coverage has implied that the company is the unfortunate victim of a well-meaning, if complicated, law. Stories note, in passing, that the Lacey Act was "expanded" in 2008, and that this has had "unintended consequences." Given Washington's reputation for ill-considered bills, this might make sense.

Only not in this case. The story here is about how a toxic alliance of ideological activists and trade protectionists deliberately set about creating a vague law, one designed to make an example out of companies (like Gibson) and thus chill imports—even legal ones.

The Lacey Act was passed in 1900 to stop trade in illegal wild game. Over the years it has expanded, and today it encompasses a range of endangered species. It requires American businesses to follow both U.S. and foreign law, though with most Lacey goods, this has been relatively clear. Think elephant tusks, tiger pelts or tropical birds.

That changed in 2007, when an alliance of environmentalists, labor unions and industry groups began pushing for Lacey to cover "plant and plant products" and related items. Congress had previously resisted such a broad definition for the simple reason that it would encompass timber products. Trees are ubiquitous, are transformed into thousands of byproducts, and pass through dozens of countries. Whereas even a small U.S. importer would know not to import a tiger skin, tracking a sliver of wood (now transformed into a toy, or an umbrella) through this maze of countries and manufacturing laws back to the tree it came from, would be impossible.

Furniture maker Ikea noted that even if it could comply with the change, the "administrative costs and record-keeping requirements" would cause furniture prices to "skyrocket." The wood chips that go into its particleboard alone could require tracking back and reporting on more than 100 different tree species.

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Painted guitars hang to dry after being lacquered at the Gibson Guitar Corp. factory in Nashville, Tenn.
.Which is exactly what the Lacey expanders wanted. The drive was headed up by a murky British green outfit called the Environmental Investigation Agency. The EIA is anti-logging, and, like most environmental groups, understands that the best way to force developing countries to "preserve" their natural resources is to dry up the market for their products. They would prefer that wood be sourced from the U.S. and Europe, where green groups have more influence over rules.

The EIA was joined by labor unions such as the Teamsters and industry groups such as the American Forest and Paper Association. As Mark Barford of the Memphis-based National Hardwood Lumber Association told one news outlet: "We need the protection of the Lacey Act. . . . Our small, little companies cannot compete with artificially low prices from wood that comes in illegally. . . . This is our Jobs Act."

While everyone can be against "illegal" wood, what this crew understood was that the complexity of complying with an expanded Lacey Act would discourage companies from importing even legal wood. They went to Sen. Ron Wyden, of the well-timbered Oregon, who dutifully introduced legislation.

Mr. Wyden cleverly attached it to the wildly popular 2008 farm bill, guaranteeing its passage. Even then, some lawmakers sought to ensure that companies weren't unfairly ensnared. In October 2008, Louisiana Sen. David Vitter sent a letter to the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division (whose career staff is notorious for pursuing a green agenda), asking it to clarify whether any companies acting in good faith would be granted some protection from the law. The division has never clarified.

And so Gibson has been trapped, as intended. The company, after all, is not accused of importing banned wood (say, Brazilian mahogany). The ebony it bought is legal and documented. The issue is whether Gibson ran afoul of a technical Indian law governing the export of finished wood products. The U.S. government's interpretation of Indian law suggests the wood Gibson imported wasn't finished enough. Got that?

The EIA, which helped author the Wyden legislation, happens to have spent years publicly targeting Gibson for buying foreign wood. Oh, to see the Justice Department's communications with outside groups.

Gibson was picked because it is famous and, sure enough, its travails have scared importers away from an array of foreign wood products. Tennessee Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Jim Cooper are now working to give companies some protection and reduce paperwork. On cue, the EIA is howling that Congress is "gutting" Lacey.

Congress would be better off doing just that—repealing the expansion in its entirety. The provision does nothing to stamp out illegal logging—the products from which were already clearly no-nos. This isn't environmental protection; it's hostage-taking.

22953  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty in Salt Lake City January 21-22 on: November 25, 2011, 02:16:54 PM
Bumping this to the top because it is my next seminar.
22954  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty in New Braunfels, TX Feb 3-5 on: November 25, 2011, 02:16:08 PM
Bumping this so that it will appear in approximate chronological order.
22955  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Cain on: November 25, 2011, 11:33:26 AM
I think a lot of people, including women, see through the politics of personal destruction at work against Cain.  IMHO his problem is he just does not seem fully ready for prime time on a number of issues, particularly foreign affairs.

His initial support was as the anti-Romney in the wake of Perry's collapse, which came in the wake of Bachman's collapse triggered by the contrast with Perry's executive experience and her own not-ready-for-prime-time comments.   

Now he is being measured by the standard being set by Newt, , , and an improving Romney.

Anyway, here's the profile on Cain from today's WSJ: 

By DOUGLAS A. BLACKMON And NEIL KING JR.
When Herman Cain entered Atlanta's Morehouse College in the fall of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. had just delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. During his first semester, four black girls were killed in a Birmingham, Ala., church bombing. Young African-Americans flocked to Dr. King's call for nonviolent action or its more radical offshoots.

 
ZumaPress
 
Herman Cain at Morehouse in 1966.
.Mr. Cain steered clear of the strife boiling around him. The son of a chauffeur to the former chairman of Coca-Cola Co., Mr. Cain pursued his own self-advancement with steady focus.

"I wasn't determined to make social change," Mr. Cain said in an interview. "I wanted to earn some change…I wanted to make some money."

Mr. Cain's plain-spoken charm has shaken up the Republican presidential nomination contest and pushed him high in the polls, a surprise success diminished only slightly by allegations of sexual harassment relating to his lobbying work in the 1990s. Yet for many, he remains an enigmatic figure defined by his time as a businessman and talk-radio host. Left unclear is how the events of his life shaped his political beliefs.

The answer, based on interviews with Mr. Cain and his classmates at the historically black Morehouse, can be found in a value system common among an older generation of African-Americans: work hard, seize every educational opportunity, always go to church, never get arrested and rely on no one but yourself.

Mr. Cain's closest brush with the turmoil of that era, based on his own recollection, was when he and a group of high-school friends almost refused an order to go the back of a bus, but ultimately complied.

 
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Mr. Cain with fellow high-school senior Martha Jones in 1963.
.For many who suffered some of the worst of the South's racial abuses, blocked economically by Jim Crow laws and excluded from the state Democratic parties in the region, that single-minded preoccupation with self-improvement was a defining characteristic.

Until the middle decades of the 20th century, African-Americans in the South who found ways to vote were generally aligned with the Republican Party—the party of Abraham Lincoln.

By the end of the 1960s, the vast majority of African-Americans had become committed Democrats in response to the national party's embrace of civil-rights legislation. But vestiges of the GOP tradition remained, especially in urban areas such as Atlanta.

"A lot of us in the South at the time were Republicans," said Ed Rutland, a classmate of Mr. Cain's. "My father was a Republican. In fact, I was a Republican."

 
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Mr. Cain at age 5 in Atlanta, where his family moved in the late 1940s.
.Mr. Cain's credo of self-determination is the core message of his campaign—a promise to solve the country's most complex problems with what he sees as uncomplicated common sense, such as his 9-9-9 tax plan. He believes that, with hard work, every person can become a "CEO of self" and achieve great personal wealth.

On the campaign trail, he has defied what he perceives as political correctness, sparring with critics who questioned his lack of involvement in civil rights and battling reports that he sexually harassed several women in the late 1990s, some of whom were employees. Giving no quarter, he has castigated his accusers and the journalists who dug into the claims.

"The media's rules say you have to act in a certain way," Mr. Cain wrote in a blog posting earlier this month, referring to how he had responded to the accusations. "I am well aware of these rules. And I refuse to play by them."

When asked during a lengthy interview in late October to describe his moment of political awakening, Mr. Cain turned the conversation to his economic aspirations. He was 16 years old and learned he would have to earn at least $10,000 a year to qualify for an American Express card.

 
Morehouse College archives
 
Mr. Cain in his college yearbook in 1965.
."And I remember thinking to myself, 'One day, I want to make $20,000 a year,'" he said. "So my goal materialistically was I wanted two American Express cards."

By his own account, Mr. Cain didn't formulate his political views until he was in his late 50s, after two decades working his way up the career ladder at Coca-Cola, Pillsbury Co. and Godfather's Pizza. From there he became a restaurant-industry lobbyist, a motivational speaker and a talk-radio host.

Mr. Cain said he can't recall being in discussions about civil-rights activities while at Morehouse, or attending sit-ins and demonstrations in Atlanta during his high-school and college years. The presidential contender said he can't remember whom he voted for in some presidential elections from the 1970s, and that he didn't register as a Republican for another three decades.

"I didn't even know what a conservative or liberal was," he said of his college years.

"Herman was a good student," said one of his classmates, William Howard, now a Baptist pastor in Newark, N.J. "But he was not particularly outspoken on any of the great issues that were confronting us at the time."

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Mr. Cain at Disney World in 1971.
.Both of Mr. Cain's parents left poor farms in the Tennessee and Georgia countryside at 18 years of age. His father, Luther Cain Jr., moved the family from Memphis to archly segregated Atlanta in the late 1940s, when Herman Cain was two years old.

His mother worked as a maid. His father got jobs as a janitor, a barber and finally as the driver and personal assistant to Robert W. Woodruff, the legendary Coca-Cola executive and one of the most powerful business figures in the South until his death in 1985.

That job changed the family's fortunes. It also had a formative impact on the young Herman Cain.

Mr. Woodruff periodically made gifts of cash and Coca-Cola stock to Luther Cain, who worked for the Coke magnate from the late 1950s until around the time of his own death in the 1970s. Breaking into a bass imitation of the CEO, Mr. Cain describes how the family got help paying for his college education: "Luther, I hear your son is over at Morehouse. Here's a little something to help you out with that tuition." Some close relatives of Mr. Woodruff said in interviews they are supporting Mr. Cain's presidential campaign.

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Close.Mr. Cain said Mr. Woodruff's wealth impressed on him how powerfully the free market rewards success. His dad's work as a well-paid servant also left its mark. "I wanted to be comfortable differently," he said. "That's what inspired me to make good grades. That's what inspired me to go to college."

During Mr. Cain's high-school years, Atlanta was ablaze with civil-rights demonstrations, the most dramatic of which were student marches and sit-ins aimed at desegregating lunch counters and department stores. Large numbers of young people were arrested, but Mr. Cain said his parents told him to stay away—guidance many young African-Americans got from their parents and teachers at the time.

In the city-bus incident, Mr. Cain recalls, he and some high-school friends were told by the driver to move to the back as white passengers piled aboard.

"We were just old enough to be belligerent enough to refuse," Mr. Cain said. "But we decided we didn't want to go to jail. One day we wanted to get a good job. We didn't want to give the cops an opportunity to shoot one of us saying we were being disorderly…So reluctantly we moved to the back of the bus."

By the time he was at Morehouse, Mr. Cain worried he might disappoint his father's boss. "Mr. Woodruff wouldn't have been too pleased if Luther's son was in jail because he was throwing bottles and demonstrating," he said.

Mr. Cain realized he had arrived less well equipped for college than many other students, despite having graduated second in his high-school class. He took remedial reading and worked weekends at an auto-repair shop and stocking shelves at a grocery store his dad opened as an investment. He earned a reputation as a striver who was sensitive about his economic status but largely indifferent to the civil-rights drama around him.

"Herman's thoughts were always about making himself better than he was," said Walter Burns, a classmate who is now a pastor at a Baptist church outside Atlanta. "He abhorred his economic station."

Roswell Jackson, a retired book salesman in Teaneck, N.J., and Mr. Cain's closest friend at Morehouse, recalls a man who was gregarious, friendly and a moderate drinker. "Herman would be among the first on the dance floor, whether he happened to be a good dancer or not," he said.

Some Morehouse graduates have criticized Mr. Cain for being disengaged from the civil-rights movement. Horace Bohannon Jr., who sometimes shared lecture notes with Mr. Cain as an underclassman and later became a follower of Stokely Carmichael and his "black power" movement, said he perceived in Mr. Cain a disdain for students who became more deeply involved in the turmoil of those days. "We were hellbent on changing this society and the structure of the South," he said. "There was sort of a resentment toward us by Herman."

But others from that era say that many students at the school focused on preparing for careers, and that some faculty members discouraged open participation in marches and similar activity.

"Most of the Morehouse fellows did not participate," said Wesley D. Clement, a classmate of Mr. Cain who is now an eye surgeon in Charlotte, N.C. "Your main target and goal was to prepare yourself for business and life. Not that we were ignorant of what was going on or didn't favor what was going on. But we were not involved in the things that some people would have called more radical at that time."

Mr. Cain said he was far from oblivious to the country's racial inequities and that without the civil-rights movement his career options would have been limited.

Mr. Cain avoided some of the most heated moments of the 1960s, and he said his recollections of that era are hazy. He said he doesn't recall being aware of Dr. King, a 1948 graduate of Morehouse, ever visiting the campus, including a convocation during Mr. Cain's senior year at which Dr. King was the featured speaker and the glee club performed. Mr. Cain sang baritone for the glee club all four years at Morehouse.

In his 2011 book, "This is Herman Cain!", the candidate appears to mix up facts relating to the desegregation of the universities of Georgia and Alabama. Mr. Cain also mistakenly said in the October interview that a high-profile protest against a restaurant owned by Lester Maddox, a white supremacist and later Georgia governor, occurred before he arrived on campus, rather than while he was there.

"All of that preceded me being in college," Mr. Cain said. "I never participated in anything like that."

A spokesman for Mr. Cain said later that Mr. Cain stands by his recollections.

After Morehouse, Mr. Cain took a job as a civilian ballistics analyst with the Navy. While working there, the federal government paid for him to pursue a graduate degree at Purdue University, where he earned a master's in computer science.

Five years after graduating, he returned to Atlanta and entered corporate life with a lower-management job his dad helped secure for him at Coca-Cola. Fearing he would forever be known there as the son of Mr. Woodruff's chauffeur, Mr. Cain followed his boss to a job at Pillsbury in 1978.

He was soon running a division of Burger King, then was put in charge of reviving Pillsbury's wobbly subsidiary, Godfather's Pizza, which he eventually went on to buy with a number of partners.

Mr. Cain was such a rarity as a black man in the upper echelons of the restaurant business that a 1989 article in Restaurant News called him "the Jackie Robinson of the food-service chain industry."

He said he drew few political interpretations from his career, except that his success demonstrated to him that racial barriers for African-Americans had largely fallen away. He regarded his achievements simply as proof of what personal focus and hard work could accomplish. "I was totally apolitical," he said.

That began to change when he was living in Omaha, Neb., where Godfather's is based. In 1988, Mr. Cain believed a push in Congress to raise the minimum wage imperiled his efforts to rescue the company. "I'm going, 'Wait a minute. I fixed all the stuff inside the company that I can fix, and now I'm going to get hit upside the head by the government?'" he said.

Then came 1994, the year after Democrats passed an income-tax surcharge to reduce the deficit. He says he was stunned when his personal tax bill increased. "It was just a sneak-a-tax,'" he said. "It only affected people of a certain category…That's why I became a conservative."

Mr. Cain said he remained a registered independent until three years later, when the late Republican leader Jack Kemp of New York invited him one afternoon to a political event at Sylvia's, the famed soul-food restaurant in Harlem.

When the group arrived, Mr. Cain said, "this big muscular black guy yelled, 'Black Republicans? You guys must be Uncle Toms.'"

"That statement haunted me for days," he said. As soon as he got back to Omaha, he registered as a Republican for the first time.

Write to Neil King Jr. at neil.king@wsj.com

22956  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: November 25, 2011, 10:46:23 AM
 The logic of Mutually Assured Destruction works with the Russians and Chinese.  I'm quite a bit less sure about that with the Ayatollahs and Mullahs see e.g. GM's post immediately prior to yours for but one example.

Agreed that Team Baraq is not likely to do anything about Pakistan, nor would your man Huntsman  tongue.  Newt just might though  grin  Agreed that little has been done (apart from here and the sources YA cites) to persuade and prepare the political will necessary to act viz Pakistan--indeed I have been arguing here for several years that our policy is incoherent-- my point was that we here are not being inconsistent with regard to this.
22957  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Guro Crafty in Madrid 4/2012 on: November 25, 2011, 08:51:33 AM
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=223064424431472&set=at.136788269725755.29021.100001837481412.576824802&type=1

El seminario se presentara' en espanol.
22958  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Guro Crafty in Madrid, Munich, Dublin, & Paris in April on: November 25, 2011, 08:50:15 AM
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=223064424431472&set=at.136788269725755.29021.100001837481412.576824802&type=1

The seminar will be presented in Spanish.
22959  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: November 25, 2011, 01:06:25 AM
Well, some of us here HAVE been discussing action against Pakistan.

As for the Norks, the answer is two fold, they are too hard a nut to crack and-- I am open to correction here-- they are not plotting to wipe out the Sorks or anyone else.
22960  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DBMA Winter Camp 2012 on: November 25, 2011, 01:00:51 AM
Ah hah!  It would appear that my wife has determined that the price of the Camp will be the same as last time  grin

http://dogbrothers.com/store/index.php?cPath=22&osCsid=52d75c900914b09c1b015668f9aef42a
22961  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DBMA Winter Camp 2012 on: November 24, 2011, 09:58:31 PM
Woof All:

As previously announced the DBMA Winter Camp will be an intensive in DBMA’s “Die Less Often” material (the interface of gun, knife, and empty hand) and the guest instructor will be Grandmaster Art Gonzalez of the legendary Stockton system  of Gilbert Tenio known as “Tenio Decuerdas”.  It will be held Friday through Sunday, February 17-19.  The thread of record on our public forum is http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=2246.0

What led me to GM Art was footage that was shared to me of him teaching.  Not only did the material seem quite good to me, a lot of it was based upon positions we seek and use in DBMA’s DLO material and it resonated with my sense of how real attacks can be.  After training with him for a couple of days my initial hunch was confirmed; there is good synergy with what we already have.  This is important.  It is not enough that material be good, it also needs to blend seamlessly or else one is left with a hodge-podge of techniques that may be individually good, but do not flow together well as a seamless whole.

There will be more info about GM Art after I come back from my business trip (I leave early on Saturday), but for now I would like to give a sense of what the Camp will be addressing.

As those of you who have explored our DLO material already know (and putting aside the gun vs. knife issues which were the principle focus of DLO 2), DLO starts with the Kali Fence, both mobile and close quarter.  Addressed as part of the overview of DLO-1, this was addressed in much greater detail in DLO-3.  We have the study of MUC (Managing Unknown Contacts) including cues of criminal assault and developing awareness of the legal environments in which we operate as well as the physical environment of a potential problem.   

With the mental clarity afforded from this material, we have initiation and interception techniques—and of course we have reaction techniques.

One of the most important of the reaction techniques is “the Dog Catcher”, which serves as a “pick up” to establish control of an attacking limb—without our needing to know if it is armed or not—and the matrix of options from there.  In DLO-1 and DLO-3 the Dog Catcher is shown against what we believe to be the most common of criminal knife assaults-- the “Prison Sewing Machine”-- be they of graduates of gangs and/or our prison system or simply emotionally enraged persons.

In our opinion, to be able to improve one’s odds against this sort of attack is a pretty good trick, but of course handling the basic hammer grip PSM is but the beginning.  There is also the “Ice Pick PSM”

Then, once the knife arm itself can be dealt with there are the additional layers of complexity that come from the use of the live hand (i.e. the hand without the knife).   The two principle modalities here are “push & poke” and “grab & stab”.  (Push & Poke is where the empty hand is used to push and disrupt in between the stabs of the PSM.  Grab & Stab is where the empty hand is used to grab the intended victim (often by the neck, but also by the clothing) to prevent his escape and to disrupt his balance and composure.)  As part of functionalizing the Dog Catcher for these additional and even more challenging levels, we will be showing how to test and adrenalize the Dog Catcher in the context of “Kali Tudo” ™-- which is our MMA subsystem, as well as the structure we call, with apologies to Charles Dickens, “The Arf-ful Dodger”.

I should mention that GM Art has some very interesting material to offer with regard to P&P and G&S; material which is well-grounded in the understanding of what he calls “the bad boys” really do.  More on this when I come back.

I should mention that we pride ourselves on our ability to teach to all levels.  Whether you are just beginning with this sort of thing, or whether you have been working with our material for a while now, I think you will find this camp fun, fresh, and functional.

Walking as warriors for all our days,
Guro Crafty/Marc
22962  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: How to topple the Ayatollah on: November 24, 2011, 09:07:40 PM

By JAMSHEED K. CHOKSY
Why, despite the growing danger posed by Iran's nuclear program, have the United States and other nations restricted themselves to negotiations, economic sanctions and electronic intrusions? None of those tactics has been particularly effective or produced enduring changes.

The main argument against military action is that it would set Iran's nuclear program back only a few years, and that Tehran would retaliate directly and via surrogates, drawing the U.S. into another unwinnable war. Many fear also that Iranians will rally behind their regime with nationalist fervor, dashing hope of regime change for decades and turning Iran's largely pro-Western population against the West once again, to the mullahs' great benefit.

These concerns are based on worst-case scenarios that assume Iran has the resources to rebuild quickly, to retaliate without being thwarted, and to get the average Iranian to rally behind a regime hated for its violent oppression of dissent, stifling social codes, economic failures and isolationist policies. Yet Iran's government is already weakened by very public infighting between its much disliked ruling factions.

We should not conclude that a nuclear Iran is inevitable. Instead we should think about another way of confronting the threat. The real goal of air strikes should be not only to target Iran's nuclear facilities but to cripple the ayatollahs' ability to protect themselves from popular overthrow.

The mass uprisings in 2009—known as the Green Revolution—have dissipated because few protesters saw any hope of mustering the force necessary to defeat the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Basij paramilitary forces who brutally enforce Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's authority. Yet dissatisfaction and resentment still run deep across all social groups and economic ranks, even among civil-service bureaucrats, rank-and-file military men, and elected officials.

This means Western air strikes should hit other military production facilities and the bases of the IRGC and Basij. A foreign takedown of those enforcers would give Iran's population the opportunity to rise again. As a popular Tehrani female rapper notes: "No regime can hang on through intimidation and violence. We are ready and waiting. The regime thinks it has put out the fire. We are the burning coals under the ashes."

The IRGC's claims that it can retaliate significantly are largely bluster. The Iranian Navy's fast boats and midget submarines in the Persian Gulf could be eliminated through pinpoint strikes, as could army artillery batteries along the Strait of Hormuz—thereby removing any threat to the region's maritime trade, including crude oil shipments.

While the nuclear program may not be completely destroyed, sufficient damage will occur so even facilities deep underground would require several years of restoration. Most importantly, once the power of the Basij and the IRGC to enforce the regime's will upon the people has been seriously compromised, it would not be surprising to see large segments of Iran's population casting off the theocratic yoke.

The Libyan rebellion's successful ouster of a 42-year dictatorial elite is but one example of successful regime change. Another is the ongoing attempt by Syrians to end a nearly half-century dictatorship. A few months ago, few would have believed those revolutions would occur. Moreover, an Iranian uprising will be directed against Islamists, not by them. Were Iran's theocrats gravely weakened or swept away, Iran's sponsorship of terrorists and dictatorships would come to a halt—making groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and leaders like Bashar al-Assad, Kim Jong Il and Hugo Chávez more vulnerable.

A new Iranian nation would require economic aid and political guidance—from the U.S. and Europe—to develop representational governance. That would be a worthwhile investment. Crucially, even if a post-theocratic Iranian state gradually rebuilds its military and resumes its nuclear program, the weapons would not be in the hands of a regime so hostile to much of the world.

Regime change remains the best option for defusing the ayatollahs' nuclear threat, and it can best be achieved by the Iranian people themselves. Disabling the theocracy's machinery of repression would leave it vulnerable to popular revolt. Through such decisive actions, the U.S. and its allies could help Iranians bring the populist uprising of 2009 to a fitting culmination.

Mr. Choksy is professor of Iranian studies, senior fellow of the Center on American and Global Security, and former director of the Middle Eastern studies program at Indiana University.

22963  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Glenn Hubbard on: November 24, 2011, 09:05:40 PM
By GLENN HUBBARD
After two months of talks, the super committee announced failure on Monday to agree on reducing federal deficits by $1.2 trillion over the next decade. But as the late economist Herb Stein once remarked: If something cannot go on forever, it won't. That applies to the mounting budget shortfalls. But how?

President Obama's answer is higher taxes. But he can't be serious. Just accommodating his spending plans over the next decade requires across-the-board tax increases of 20%. Over the next 25 years, taxes would need to rise across the board by 60%.

Instead, what is needed is spending reform that offers goals, specifics and ways to blend fiscal responsibility with modernizing government. This includes near-term action on discretionary spending and longer-term action to reform entitlements and reduce the growth of Social Security and Medicare. Then revenue contributions can be addressed in the context of tax reform.

The first goal is to reduce federal spending to a healthier 20% share of GDP from today's bloated 25% within a decade. A tall order, yes, given the profligacy of the last few years. But it can be accomplished by eliminating unnecessary federal programs, empowering states, and reforming and streamlining government.

The obvious place to begin is repealing ObamaCare and its expansion of spending. Programs like the federal Community Development Fund, which should fall under state and local or private responsibilities, can be axed. So can intercity and high-speed rail grants, which lack plans to make rail competitive, and duplicative education programs.

We should also let states experiment with alternatives to our current one-size-fits-all federal solution. The best example is Medicaid, which should be converted into a block grant. Replacing federal matching support with block grants eliminates state incentives to attract additional federal subsidies, while allowing states to manage Medicaid more efficiently. Federal Medicaid costs should be capped at growth of 1% over the inflation rate.

The federal work force can shrink through attrition, and employee compensation can be adjusted to private levels. We should cut costly applied research in fields such as renewable energy at the Department of Energy, focusing only on basic research. And the Davis-Bacon Act, which inflates the price of federal construction projects by requiring high-cost union labor, has to be repealed.

These three approaches would bring federal spending down to 20% of GDP. Yet as ambitious as they are, these won't solve our long-term budget problems, which reflect yawning deficits in Social Security and Medicare.

Regarding Social Security, the program first needs to be made solvent and sustainable over the long term. In particular, program outlays need to grow more slowly to allow for rising costs in health-care entitlements. Second, we must modernize Social Security by making it more effective in protecting low earners and more conducive to personal saving and the longer work lives needed in today's economy. These changes will require a strong minimum benefit, gradual increases in the retirement age, and slowing benefit growth for more affluent Americans.

As a pro-growth measure, we should also eliminate the Social Security payroll tax for all individuals age 62 and older to encourage individuals to keep working and to increase their attractiveness to employers. In that vein, we should also eliminate the retirement earnings test that reduces benefits for early retirees who continue to work.

Our long-term budget problems are dominated by Medicare's unfunded liabilities of tens of trillions of dollars. But changes must preserve Medicare's role of assisting lower- and moderate-income Americans. As with Social Security, Medicare's eligibility age should be increased gradually, and we should promote work by eliminating the Medicare payroll tax for individuals 62 or older.

A more modern version of traditional Medicare would replace Parts A, B and D with comprehensive benefits including coverage for catastrophic costs and prescription drugs. Simpler cost-sharing would be offered—with one deductible for inpatient and outpatient services and a common coinsurance rate for all services.

Medicare would be placed on a budget through premium support, which would let beneficiaries choose among competing health plans, much like federal employees do now. Subsidies would be larger for lower-income or higher-health-risk individuals. The annual growth would be determined by Congress along with other spending priorities.

And what about taxes? Incorporating revenue increases into forward-looking budget planning requires care. For the plan to be pro-growth, marginal tax rates must not be raised. That leaves base-broadening by reducing tax expenditures and tax preferences. With this in mind, Congress should agree on a revenue target for the decade, then deliver on this target via tax reform.

Merely extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts is not the most pro-growth policy. Fundamental tax reform need not be revenue-neutral, as the Bowles-Simpson Commission plan—which would raise net revenue through broadening the tax base—indicates. And reform can be progressive. But tax reform is important for ensuring that deficit reduction promotes economic growth as well as budget austerity.

It is unfortunate that many members of Congress and much of the public don't understand that America's fiscal problems can be solved almost entirely by altering the trajectory of government spending. President Obama's leadership failure here is obvious.

If something cannot go on forever, it will stop. But even with the super committee's failure we may be able to avoid a sudden, calamitous stop—and provide a government worthy of the 21st century for all Americans.

Mr. Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School, was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush.

22964  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Washington, Thanksgiving Proclamation 1789 on: November 24, 2011, 11:59:13 AM
"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors." --George Washington, Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1789
22965  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: November 24, 2011, 11:57:09 AM
Perhaps tis a moment of vanity and hubris combined, but IIRC twas me that came up with the term , , , or maybe I read it somewhere and forget that  cheesy

YA makes a very powerful point about the Pak army already being jihadi, including extreme elements.
22966  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Hamilton, NY Ratifying Convention 1788 on: November 23, 2011, 06:51:30 PM
"When you assemble from your several counties in the Legislature, were every member to be guided only by the apparent interest of his county, government would be impracticable. There must be a perpetual accomodation and sacrifice of local advantage to general expediency." --Alexander Hamilton, speech at the New York Ratifying Convention, 1788
22967  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The congnitive dissonance of the left on: November 23, 2011, 06:39:31 PM
"As for his medal, it seems a bit melodramatic.  He's 5'10" and 245lbs."

"she threatened a fellow officer with scissors and a spray bottle containing a caustic chemical,"

Some of you may remember Carl James from the tape six of the RCSFg series.  He was what we then regarded as an ancient 41 years old.  Carl served two tours of combat infantry in 'Nam, was a body guard and sparring partner to world boxing champion Alexis Arguello, and was the body guard who saved Larry Flynt's life when his psycho wife went after him with a knife.  Also, he worked the door in some of the more dangerous clubs of East Saint Louis.  In short, he was a man who had seen something of this world.

I remember that he told me the scariest thing for him was to break up two women fighting.  He said they were a combination of pyschol and feline eye scratching/gouging frenzy.  I wasn't there, but then neither were you JDN; put scissors in one's hands and a spray bottle with a caustic chemical, and a good hearty tackle seems well within the bounds of reason to me.
22968  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The History and Legacy of Thanksgiving on: November 23, 2011, 06:02:01 PM
The History and Legacy of Thanksgiving

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." —Psalm 100:4-5
Thanksgiving, as introduced by European explorers and settlers in the "New World," was a time set aside specifically for the purpose of giving thanks to our Creator for His manifold blessings.

The earliest record of a thanksgiving in America is 1541 by Spanish explorer Coronado at Palo Duro Canyon in what is now Texas. French Protestant colonists at Charlesfort (now Parris Island, South Carolina) held a thanksgiving service in 1564. In 1607, the Jamestown settlers held thanksgiving at Cape Henry, Virginia, and there are many other records of such hallowed observances.

The first call for an annual Thanksgiving was at Berkeley Plantation, Virginia, in 1619, when Captain John Woodlief and 38 settlers aboard the ship Margaret, proclaimed, "Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrivall at the place assigned for plantacion in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God."

The first "harvest feast," however, was at Plymouth Colony in 1621, followed by a greater combined feast of Thanksgiving in 1623. Due to the fact that most history books following the War Between the States were written by Northern historians, it is that iconic event which is most directly associated with the current traditions for our national Day of Thanksgiving.

President Ronald Reagan often cited the Pilgrims who celebrated the First Thanksgiving as our forebears who charted the path of American freedom. He made frequent reference to John Winthrop's "shining city upon a hill."

As Reagan explained, "The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we'd call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free."

Who were these "freedom men," and how did they eventually blaze the path of true liberty?

They were Calvinist Protestants who rejected the institutional Church of England, believing that worshipping God must originate freely in the individual soul, without coercion. Suffering persecution and imprisonment in England for their beliefs, a group of these separatists fled to Holland in 1608. There, they found spiritual liberty in the midst of a disjointed economy that failed to provide adequate compensation for their labors, and a dissolute, degraded, corrupt culture that tempted their children to stray from faith.

Determined to protect their families from such spiritual and cultural dangers, the Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on 6 September 1620, sailing for a new world that offered the promise of both civil and religious liberty. After an arduous journey, they dropped anchor off the coast of what is now Massachusetts.

On 11 December 1620, prior to disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they signed the Mayflower Compact, America's original document of civil government. It was the first to introduce self-government, and the foundation on which the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were built. Plymouth Colony's Governor, William Bradford, described the Compact as "a combination ... that when they came a shore they would use their owne libertie; for none had power to command them."

Upon landing, the Pilgrims conducted a prayer service and quickly turned to building shelters. They committed all their belongings to a "comone wealth." Under harrowing conditions, the colonists persisted through prayer and hard work, but the Winter of 1621 was devastating and only 53 of the original party survived.

However, with the help of the indigenous "Indians" in the region, the summer of 1621 was productive as recorded by Bradford in his diary: "They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to the proportion."

In addition to their regular expressions of reverence and thanksgiving to God, by the Autumn of 1621 the Pilgrims had enough produce to hold a three day "harvest feast." That feast was described in the journal of Edward Winslow: Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

Endeavoring to improve the production at Plymouth Plantation, in 1622 Bradford implemented a collectivist policy, which almost destroyed the rest of the Plymouth settlement.

Bradford wrote that to increase production, he allotted each family a plot of land, and mandated that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means" must be forfeited to a common storehouse in order that "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock."

In theory, Bradford thought the colony would thrive because each family would receive equal share of produce without regard to their contribution.

Unfortunately, then as always, collectivism only works in theory. It is antithetical to human nature, and destined to fail, as Plato's student Aristotle observed in 350BC: "That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it." But to this day, many still fail to grasp the "tragedy of the commons."

After abysmal results in 1622, Bradford realized that his collectivist plan had undermined the incentive to produce, noting that it "was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort." The women complained that being forced into servitude for others was "a kind of slavery," and some men had become "servants to the Indians" for a mere "capful of corn." Others had perished.

Bradford recorded in his journal that the Colony leaders "began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length after much debate of things, (I) (with the advice of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land."

They decided to trade their collectivist plan for a free market approach, and in 1623, Bradford wrote, "This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any other means the Governor or any other could use. ... Women went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn. Instead of famine now God gave them plenty and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many. ... Any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day."

Property ownership and families freely laboring on their own behalf replaced the "common store," but only after their ill-advised experiment with communism nearly wiped out the entire settlement.

The Colony celebrated a much greater Harvest and Thanksgiving Day in 1623.

After the Pilgrims were given liberty and incentive to be industrious, the Colony thrived, and by 1624, production was so abundant that the Colony exported corn back to England.

And for generations since, to the extent men have been set at perfect liberty to establish free enterprise, to produce goods and services without having profits seized for redistribution, our nation has thrived.

Liberty's BountyDuring the American Revolutionary War the Continental Congress designated days of thanksgiving each year. The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was made in 1777:

"FOR AS MUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success: It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these UNITED STATES to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for SOLEMN THANKSGIVING and PRAISE: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE: That it may please him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yield its Increase: To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.

Of that proclamation, Samuel Adams wrote to another Declaration signer, Richard Henry Lee, noting the specificity of the language that, "the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and join . . . their supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ."

In 1789, after adopting the Bill of Rights to our Constitution, among the first official acts of Congress was approving a motion for proclamation of a national day of thanksgiving, recommending that citizens gather together and give thanks to God for their new nation's blessings. George Washington issued that proclamation on October 3, 1789:

The first Thanksgiving Day designated by the United States of America was proclaimed by George Washington on October 3, 1789:

"Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

"Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

"And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

"Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789."

Then-governor Thomas Jefferson followed with this 1789 proclamation in Virginia: " appoint ... a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty God ... to [ask] Him that He would ... pour out His Holy Spirit on all ministers of the Gospel; that He would ... spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; and that He would establish these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue."

Governor John Hancock proclaimed, " appoint . . . a day of public thanksgiving and praise ... to render to God the tribute of praise for His unmerited goodness towards us ... [by giving to] us ... the Holy Scriptures which are able to enlighten and make us wise to eternal salvation. And [to] present our supplications ... that He would forgive our manifold sins and cause the benign religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be known, understood, and practiced among all the inhabitants of the earth."

Thanksgiving celebrations were irregularly proclaimed in the years that followed until the War Between the States. After 1863, presidents issued annual proclamations of Thanksgiving.

Norman Rockwell, 1943In 1941, with World War II on the horizon, the Senate and House approved the fourth Thursday of November as a National Day of Thanksgiving, perpetuating the observance annually.

Closing his farewell address in 1989, Ronald Reagan asked, "And how stands the city on this winter night?" Contemplating our blessings of liberty this Thanksgiving, more than two decades after President Reagan left office, how stands the city on our watch?

My fellow Patriots, never in the history of our country has there been such an acute, coordinated and vicious assault upon our rights and upon the forms of government established to protect those rights. From individuals, to state governments, to federal institutions initiated at the dawn of our Constitution, nothing, absolutely nothing, is sacred to the current liberal hegemony seeking to dispense with our Constitution.

But take heart, for as George Washington wrote in the darkest days of our American Revolution, "We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times."

Of such exertions, Washington wrote, "It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors."

So it is that on Thursday of this week, Thanksgiving Day, we are called to pause and take respite in order to acknowledge the divine intervention of our Creator throughout the history of this great nation; in order to recommit ourselves to obeisance of His will; in order to express our gratitude and give Him all thanks and praise for the bounty which He has bestowed the United States of America -- land of the free, home of the brave, that shining city on the hill; and in order to all the more humbly implore that He protect us and grant us much favor in our coming struggle to re-establish Rule of Law over rule of men.

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." (Psalm 100:4-5)

"America has much for which to be thankful. The unequaled freedom enjoyed by our citizens has provided a harvest of plenty to this Nation throughout its history. In keeping with America's heritage, one day each year is set aside for giving thanks to God for all of His blessings. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, cwe should reflect on the full meaning of this day as we enjoy the fellowship that is so much a part of the holiday festivities. Searching our hearts, we should ask what we can do as individuals to demonstrate our gratitude to God for all He has done. Such reflection can only add to the significance of this precious day of remembrance. Let us recommit ourselves to that devotion to God and family that has played such an important role in making this a great Nation, and which will be needed as a source of strength if we are to remain a great people." Ronald Wilson Reagan

This is the genuine spirit of Thanksgiving.

I humbly thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you as editor and publisher of The Patriot Post. On behalf of your Patriot team and our National Advisory Committee, I wish you a peaceful Thanksgiving, and God's blessings to you and your family.

If you have the means, please take a moment to promote Liberty by supporting our Patriot Annual Campaign today.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Libertas aut Mortis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, PatriotPost.US

Take the Thanksgiving Quiz

22969  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Some new clouds in the gathering storm on: November 23, 2011, 05:57:02 PM
http://www.investigativeproject.org/3293/iran-training-palestinians-with-new-missiles
22970  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The drones are coming! The drones are coming! on: November 23, 2011, 05:38:59 PM


http://www.investigativeproject.org/3297/israeli-drones-may-target-iranian-nuke-sites
22971  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Welcome to Belisaurius on: November 23, 2011, 05:31:13 PM
Woof All:

I would like for all of us to welcome my good friend with the sobriquet of "Belisaurius" (look it up cheesy) to our forum.

No doubt I will embarass the hell out of him by saying the following, but , , , too bad  grin :  

Bel has been of outstanding service to our nation, has a PhD in Decision Sciences (I think that means computer stuff undecided  cheesy) from Oxford and currently is a hedge fund trader and a college professor.  

The Adventure continues!
Marc
22972  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: November 23, 2011, 05:26:10 PM
BD:

Back during the summer I worked for the anti-trust division of the Federal Trade Commission (what a long strange trip my life has been!  cheesy ) I remember there was a case I had to research where Section 7 of the Clayton Act was used to undo a merger that had been accomplished some 50 or 60 years earlier (Dupont? GM?  I forget).  The key phrase was that "laches does not run against the government" or something like that.

I bring this up in light of your pointing out that the urban camping was not unknown previously and that therefore the government(s) in question could have passed legislation prior to OWS activities.  Be this as it may, this does not convert recent legislation into laws of attainder.  Yes?
22973  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The congnitive dissonance of the left on: November 23, 2011, 05:20:25 PM
That's a lot of meter maid! cheesy
22974  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: November 23, 2011, 05:15:34 PM
Lacking GM's extraordinary google fu skills I am unable to lay my hands on the data (NO sarcasm here whatsoever!) but I do have a clear sense of having seen data in a variety of sources that seemed reliable to me concerning the remarkable % of net GDP profits that came from the financial sector in the 1990s and 2000s.
22975  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prayer and Daily Expression of Gratitude on: November 23, 2011, 05:10:04 PM
"O great Creator of being! Grant us this our to perform our Art and perfect our lives!"

Jim Morrison
22976  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Euro data on the EU crisis on: November 23, 2011, 11:31:41 AM


From our Slovenian friend Andraz

http://www.voxeu.org/
 
hi Marc,
 
this is the website of the leading european financial think tank. It is quite technical at times, but basically covers everything EU at the moment of crisis.
22977  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The congnitive dissonance of the left on: November 23, 2011, 11:18:01 AM
Surrounding police and blocking their free movement is a big no no.
22978  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris on the debate: Newt won! on: November 23, 2011, 11:16:10 AM
Great debate last night-- great format, great questions, great performances by most of the candidates.  Perry is clearly in way over his head.

http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/
22979  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Armed illegals stalked Border Patrol on: November 23, 2011, 11:04:53 AM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/22/armed-illegals-stalked-border-patrol/?page=all#pagebreak
Armed illegals stalked Border Patrol
Mexicans were ‘patrolling’ when agent was slain, indictment says
By Jerry Seper
The Washington Times
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

SLAIN: Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry called out, “I’m hit,” after a bullet pierced his aorta. He died at the scene. (Associated Press)


 
Five illegal immigrants armed with at least two AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifles were hunting for U.S. Border Patrol agents near a desert watering hole known as Mesquite Seep just north of the Arizona-Mexico border when a firefight erupted and one U.S. agent was killed, records show.

A now-sealed federal grand jury indictmentin the death of Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terrysays the Mexican nationals were “patrolling” the rugged desert area of Peck Canyon at about 11:15 p.m. on Dec. 14 with the intent to “intentionally and forcibly assault” Border Patrol agents.

At least two of the Mexicans carried their assault rifles “at the ready position,” one of several details about the attack showing that Mexican smugglers are becoming more aggressive on the U.S. side of the border.

According to the indictment, the Mexicans were “patrolling the area in single-file formation” a dozen miles northwest of the border town of Nogales and — in the darkness of the Arizona night — opened fire on four Border Patrol agents after the agents identified themselves in Spanish as police officers.

Two AK-47 assault rifles found at the scene came from the failed Fast and Furious operation.

Using thermal binoculars, one of the agents determined that at least two of the Mexicans were carrying rifles, but according to an affidavit in the case by FBI agent Scott Hunter, when the Mexicans did not drop their weapons as ordered, two agents used their shotguns to fire “less than lethal” beanbags at them.

At least one of the Mexicans opened fire and, according to the affidavit, Terry, a 40-year-old former U.S. Marine, was shot in the back. A Border Patrol shooting-incident report said that Terry called out, “I’m hit,” and then fell to the ground, a bullet having pierced his aorta. “I can’t feel my legs,” Terry told one of the agents who cradled him. “I think I’m paralyzed.”

Bleeding profusely, he died at the scene.

After the initial shots, two agents returned fire, hitting Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, 33, in the abdomen and leg. The others fled. The FBI affidavit said Osorio-Arellanes admitted during an interview that all five of the Mexicans were armed.

Peck Canyon is a notorious drug-smuggling corridor.

Osorio-Arellanes initially was charged with illegal entry, but that case was dismissed when the indictment was handed up. It named Osorio-Arellanes on a charge of second-degree murder, but did not identify him as the likely shooter, saying only that Osorio-Arellanes and others whose names were blacked out “did unlawfully kill with malice aforethought United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry while Agent Terry was engaged in … his official duties.”

The indictment also noted that Osorio-Arellanes had been convicted in Phoenix in 2006 of felony aggravated assault, had been detained twice in 2010 as an illegal immigrant, and had been returned to Mexico repeatedly.

Bill Brooks, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s acting southwest border field branch chief, referred inquiries to the FBI, which is conducting the investigation. The FBI declined to comment.

The case against Osorio-Arellanes and others involved in the shooting has since been sealed, meaning that neither the public nor the media has access to any evidence, filings, rulings or arguments.

The U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego, which is prosecuting the case, would confirm only that it was sealed. Also sealed was the judge’s reason for sealing the case.

The indictment lists the names of other suspects in the shooting, but they are redacted.

In the Terry killing, two Romanian-built AK-47 assault rifles found at the scene were identified as having been purchased in a Glendale, Ariz., gun shop as part of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) failed Fast and Furious investigation.

A number of rank-and-file Border Patrol agents have questioned why the case has not gone to trial, nearly a year after Terry’s killing. Several also have concerns about the lack of transparency in the investigation, compounded now by the fact that the court case has been sealed.

Shawn P. Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents all 17,000 nonsupervisory agents, said it is rare for illegal immigrants or drug smugglers to engage agents in the desert, saying they usually “drop their loads and take off south.”

“The Brian Terry murder was a real wake-up call,” Mr. Moran said. “It emphasizes the failed state of security on the U.S. border, which poses more of a threat to us than either Iraq or Afghanistan. We have terrorism going on right on the other side of the fence, and we’re arming the drug cartels.

“My biggest fear is that someday a cartel member is going to go berserk, stick a rifle through the fence and kill as many Border Patrol agents as he can,” he said.

Mr. Moran said he understood the “rationale of working things up the food chain,” as suggested in the Fast and Furious probe, but had no idea how ATF planned to arrest cartel members who ultimately purchased the weapons since the agency lacks jurisdiction south of the border and never advised Mexican authorities about the operation.

“It was a ridiculous idea from the beginning, and it baffles us on how it was ever approved,” he said.

Mr. Moran also challenged the use of less-than-lethal s in the shooting incident, saying field agents have been “strong-armed” by the agency’s leadership to use nonlethal weapons. He said they were not appropriate for the incident in which Terry was killed.

“That was no place for beanbag rounds,” he said, noting that the encounter was at least 12 miles inside the U.S. and was carried out by armed men looking specifically to target Border Patrol agents.

CBP has said Terry and the agents with him carried fully loaded sidearms, along with two additional magazines, and were not under orders to use nonlethal ammunition first.

Mr. Moran, himself a veteran Border Patrol agent, said he also was “surprised” that the suspected Mexican gunmen were carrying their weapons at the ready position, meaning that the butts of the weapons were placed firmly in the pocket of the shoulder with the barrels pointed down at a 45-degree angle. He said this probably meant they had some level of military training.

More than 250 incursions by Mexican military personnel into the United States have been documented over the past several years.

The Border Patrol has warned agents in Arizona that many of the intruders were “trained to escape, evade and counter-ambush” if detected. The agency cautioned agents to keep “a low profile,” to use “cover and concealment” in approaching the Mexican units, to employ “shadows and camouflage” to conceal themselves and to “stay as quiet as possible.”

Several of the incursions occurred in the same area where Terry was killed, including a 2005 incident in which two agents were shot and wounded by assailants dressed in black commando-type clothing in what law-enforcement authorities said was a planned ambush. More than 50 rounds were fired at the agents after they spotted the suspected gunmen.

Many of the Mexican drug cartels use former Mexican soldiers, police and federal agents to protect drug loads headed into the U.S. Many cartel leaders also have targeted U.S. Border Patrol agents and state and local police, sometimes offering bounties of up to $50,000.
22980  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Armed illegals stalked Border Patrol on: November 23, 2011, 11:03:56 AM

Pasting this here from the Gun thread. 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/22/armed-illegals-stalked-border-patrol/?page=all#pagebreak

Armed illegals stalked Border Patrol

Mexicans were ‘patrolling’ when agent was slain, indictment says


 By Jerry Seper

-

The Washington Times

 Tuesday, November 22, 2011



SLAIN: Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry called out, “I’m hit,” after a bullet pierced his aorta. He died at the scene. (Associated Press)


 
Five illegal immigrants armed with at least two AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifles were hunting for U.S. Border Patrol agents near a desert watering hole known as Mesquite Seep just north of the Arizona-Mexico border when a firefight erupted and one U.S. agent was killed, records show.

A now-sealed federal grand jury indictmentin the death of Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terrysays the Mexican nationals were “patrolling” the rugged desert area of Peck Canyon at about 11:15 p.m. on Dec. 14 with the intent to “intentionally and forcibly assault” Border Patrol agents.

At least two of the Mexicans carried their assault rifles “at the ready position,” one of several details about the attack showing that Mexican smugglers are becoming more aggressive on the U.S. side of the border.

According to the indictment, the Mexicans were “patrolling the area in single-file formation” a dozen miles northwest of the border town of Nogales and — in the darkness of the Arizona night — opened fire on four Border Patrol agents after the agents identified themselves in Spanish as police officers.

Two AK-47 assault rifles found at the scene came from the failed Fast and Furious operation.

Using thermal binoculars, one of the agents determined that at least two of the Mexicans were carrying rifles, but according to an affidavit in the case by FBI agent Scott Hunter, when the Mexicans did not drop their weapons as ordered, two agents used their shotguns to fire “less than lethal” beanbags at them.

At least one of the Mexicans opened fire and, according to the affidavit, Terry, a 40-year-old former U.S. Marine, was shot in the back. A Border Patrol shooting-incident report said that Terry called out, “I’m hit,” and then fell to the ground, a bullet having pierced his aorta. “I can’t feel my legs,” Terry told one of the agents who cradled him. “I think I’m paralyzed.”

Bleeding profusely, he died at the scene.

After the initial shots, two agents returned fire, hitting Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, 33, in the abdomen and leg. The others fled. The FBI affidavit said Osorio-Arellanes admitted during an interview that all five of the Mexicans were armed.

Peck Canyon is a notorious drug-smuggling corridor.

Osorio-Arellanes initially was charged with illegal entry, but that case was dismissed when the indictment was handed up. It named Osorio-Arellanes on a charge of second-degree murder, but did not identify him as the likely shooter, saying only that Osorio-Arellanes and others whose names were blacked out “did unlawfully kill with malice aforethought United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry while Agent Terry was engaged in … his official duties.”

The indictment also noted that Osorio-Arellanes had been convicted in Phoenix in 2006 of felony aggravated assault, had been detained twice in 2010 as an illegal immigrant, and had been returned to Mexico repeatedly.

Bill Brooks, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s acting southwest border field branch chief, referred inquiries to the FBI, which is conducting the investigation. The FBI declined to comment.

The case against Osorio-Arellanes and others involved in the shooting has since been sealed, meaning that neither the public nor the media has access to any evidence, filings, rulings or arguments.

The U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego, which is prosecuting the case, would confirm only that it was sealed. Also sealed was the judge’s reason for sealing the case.

The indictment lists the names of other suspects in the shooting, but they are redacted.

In the Terry killing, two Romanian-built AK-47 assault rifles found at the scene were identified as having been purchased in a Glendale, Ariz., gun shop as part of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) failed Fast and Furious investigation.

A number of rank-and-file Border Patrol agents have questioned why the case has not gone to trial, nearly a year after Terry’s killing. Several also have concerns about the lack of transparency in the investigation, compounded now by the fact that the court case has been sealed.

Shawn P. Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents all 17,000 nonsupervisory agents, said it is rare for illegal immigrants or drug smugglers to engage agents in the desert, saying they usually “drop their loads and take off south.”

“The Brian Terry murder was a real wake-up call,” Mr. Moran said. “It emphasizes the failed state of security on the U.S. border, which poses more of a threat to us than either Iraq or Afghanistan. We have terrorism going on right on the other side of the fence, and we’re arming the drug cartels.

“My biggest fear is that someday a cartel member is going to go berserk, stick a rifle through the fence and kill as many Border Patrol agents as he can,” he said.

Mr. Moran said he understood the “rationale of working things up the food chain,” as suggested in the Fast and Furious probe, but had no idea how ATF planned to arrest cartel members who ultimately purchased the weapons since the agency lacks jurisdiction south of the border and never advised Mexican authorities about the operation.

“It was a ridiculous idea from the beginning, and it baffles us on how it was ever approved,” he said.

Mr. Moran also challenged the use of less-than-lethal s in the shooting incident, saying field agents have been “strong-armed” by the agency’s leadership to use nonlethal weapons. He said they were not appropriate for the incident in which Terry was killed.

“That was no place for beanbag rounds,” he said, noting that the encounter was at least 12 miles inside the U.S. and was carried out by armed men looking specifically to target Border Patrol agents.

CBP has said Terry and the agents with him carried fully loaded sidearms, along with two additional magazines, and were not under orders to use nonlethal ammunition first.

Mr. Moran, himself a veteran Border Patrol agent, said he also was “surprised” that the suspected Mexican gunmen were carrying their weapons at the ready position, meaning that the butts of the weapons were placed firmly in the pocket of the shoulder with the barrels pointed down at a 45-degree angle. He said this probably meant they had some level of military training.

More than 250 incursions by Mexican military personnel into the United States have been documented over the past several years.

The Border Patrol has warned agents in Arizona that many of the intruders were “trained to escape, evade and counter-ambush” if detected. The agency cautioned agents to keep “a low profile,” to use “cover and concealment” in approaching the Mexican units, to employ “shadows and camouflage” to conceal themselves and to “stay as quiet as possible.”

Several of the incursions occurred in the same area where Terry was killed, including a 2005 incident in which two agents were shot and wounded by assailants dressed in black commando-type clothing in what law-enforcement authorities said was a planned ambush. More than 50 rounds were fired at the agents after they spotted the suspected gunmen.

Many of the Mexican drug cartels use former Mexican soldiers, police and federal agents to protect drug loads headed into the U.S. Many cartel leaders also have targeted U.S. Border Patrol agents and state and local police, sometimes offering bounties of up to $50,000.

22981  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / KT version of the Dog Catcher on: November 23, 2011, 10:50:55 AM
A fine time was head this past weekend with Carlos and Pete in Chicago, and for those playing hooky from work, on Monday too.  Amongst the material taught was the unveiling of the Dog Catcher Game for Kali Tudo.  Up to now I have shown the DC only in the context of it as an anti-knife pick up.  The idea that it was also part of our Kali Tudo has always been there, but this is the first seminar where I have actually shown it.
22982  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The congnitive dissonance of the left on: November 23, 2011, 09:56:26 AM
a) I have seen apparently substantiated reports that the students had the police SURROUNDED and refused to budge.  Pepper spray seems like a pretty fg reasonable response to me!

b) As for the school president apologizing, , ,  any chance politics and cowardice played a role there?
22983  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: November 22, 2011, 05:33:54 PM
Ummm , , , nothing in there that I can see addressing the fact that after helping them drive out the Russian Empire and then leaving them alone that they gave sanctuary to AQ to attack us.  Nor is there anything about Pakistan or the greater realities of Afpakia.

Other than that , , ,
22984  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The congnitive dissonance of the left on: November 22, 2011, 05:16:31 PM
As best as I can tell in this case the question presented if whether the Campus Police needed to get permission from the President to follow the standard posted by GM.
22985  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / New flash! I disagree with the WSJ! on: November 22, 2011, 05:07:53 PM
Frankly I disagree with the snark of the following piece from the WSJ.

IMHO EPA's Jackson is correct that there is a proper function for government in bringing a calculus of the external diseconomies of pollution into business decisions.

============================================================================



Psychoanalysis is usually the wrong way to understand politics, but the Obama Administration may be reviving the field with its Freudian slips. The latest to land on the couch is Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson, who gave an unintentionally candid interview this weekend with Thalia Assuras of Energy Now News.

Ms. Jackson was asked about the EPA's regulatory boom and the resulting mass retirements of coal-fired power plants. She responded by claiming that "First off, EPA doesn't require shutting down of any plant," which is technically true: The EPA merely writes rules so stringent that those plants are no longer economic to operate.

When pressed, Ms. Jackson went on to say that "No, I can't say what a business will decide to do. Some businesses are investing in nuclear, some are looking at natural gas. There are states that are leading the way on solar or wind. . . . What EPA's role is to do is to level the playing field so that pollution costs are not exported to the population but rather companies have to look at the pollution potential of any fuel or any process or any plant or any utility when they're making their investment decisions." (Our emphasis.)

In fact, when Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970, its goal was clean air, not the industrial planning that Ms. Jackson's comments about "levelling the playing field" reveal. Under the law, the EPA is required to set source-specific standards depending on where the emissions come from—natural gas, coal or something else. It certainly doesn't contain a roving mandate for Ms. Jackson to guide investment decisions.

What Ms. Jackson really means is that she is trying to make coal—the workhorse of U.S. electric power—artificially more expensive. This is to serve her anticarbon goals, if not the consumers who will bear the costs and may suffer if the U.S. electric grid is compromised. But at least the EPA chief is finally admitting what she's up to.

22986  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Destapo de la corrupcion on: November 22, 2011, 04:55:59 PM
No tengo ningun opinion sobre lo siguiente.  

http://www.zetatijuana.com/2011/11/14/destapo-la-corrupcion/

Cabe mencionar que segun el episodio del momento de la revista "Proceso", la cual yo estaba leyendo durante mi reciente visita al DF, el recien fallado Secretaria de Gobernacion, Blake Mora, quien venia de BC, no buscaba subir a la presidencia sino regresar a ser Gobernador de BC. 

Dado las circunstancias de su muerte, la curiosa muerte de otro Secretaria de Gobernacion hace tres anos, y el despedido de dos Secretarias mas durante este sexenio, esa estrategica de Blake Mora es muy curiosa.

22987  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process on: November 22, 2011, 04:52:00 PM
Agreed.
22988  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hey ho! Hey ho! Holder has got to go! on: November 22, 2011, 04:51:08 PM
51 congressmen to Eric Holder: You must resign immediately

By Matthew Boyle - The Daily Caller 12:40 AM 11/18/2011


The surge in congressional calls for Attorney General Eric Holder’s immediate resignation has reached a new milestone: More than 50 members of Congress are now demanding Holder step down in the wake of Operation Fast and Furious.

The number of congressmen calling for Holder’s immediate resignation is now 51. New additions to that list include Republican Reps. Todd Akin and Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri, Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, Steven Palazzo of Mississippi and Jeff Duncan of South Carolina.

Rep. Westmoreland said Operation Fast and Furious was a disgrace to the American people and that Holder needs to resign immediately.

“Fast and Furious played fast and loose with the American public’s safety, leaving a U.S. Border patrol agent dead and DOJ-purchased guns in the hands of Mexican drug lords,” Westmoreland told The Daily Caller. “To say this program was a failure and an embarrassment to the U.S. justice system is an understatement.”

“No matter how many times the attorney general’s statement of when he was aware of Operation Fast and Furious changes — and it has changed almost daily — at the end of the day, he is the head of the Department of Justice and the buck stops with him,” said Westmoreland.

“It’s time for Mr. Holder to hold himself accountable,” he added.

On Thursday morning there were 46 congressmen demanding Holder’s resignation. Holder is currently on a taxpayer-subsidized junket in the Caribbean with his spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, who has repeatedly declined to answer questions about the increasing congressional disapproval of Holder’s job performance.

Akin and Luetkemeyer had not previously called for Holder’s immediate resignation, but cast doubts on the truthfulness of the attorney general’s testimony before Congress.

“Given Mr. Holder’s inconsistencies and general lack of compelling testimony before the Judiciary Committee on such a serious matter as the ‘fast and furious’ gun walking debacle, his resignation would go a long way to restoring credibility to the office he now holds,” Akin told TheDC.

The recent surge in calls for Holder’s resignation can be attributed to two factors. First, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, the third congressman to demand Holder step down, hosted a press conference on Tuesday to amplify calls for Holder’s resignation. Second, Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois is currently circulating a letter on Capitol Hill asking for Holder to resign or for Obama to fire him.

The Walsh letter, addressed to Obama, urges him to “hold attorney general Eric Holder accountable for Operation Fast and Furious” and “ask for his immediate resignation.”

The new congressmen demanding Holder step down now are also signatories to Walsh’s letter — which currently has 39 co-signers.

The White House and the Justice Department remain silent as pressure for Holder’s immediate resignation builds, which may be a sign that the Obama administration is prepared to force Holder out if it is politically necessary.
22989  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Conspiratorial tangent on: November 22, 2011, 11:37:46 AM
All the world over, Red is the color of the Left (as in Communist, as in deficit, as in losses) and Blue is the color of the Right.  When Reagan won the presidency, the states he won were shown in Blue.  When and why, and by whom was it decided to reverse this?
22990  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury on the downward revision to GDP growth on: November 22, 2011, 11:33:18 AM
Hard to argue with that!!!  shocked shocked shocked

On a much more mundane level, , ,

Real GDP was revised to a 2.0% annual growth rate in Q3 To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist
Robert Stein, CFA - Senior Economist
Date: 11/22/2011
Real GDP was revised to a 2.0% annual growth rate in Q3 from a prior estimate of 2.5%.  The consensus had expected GDP growth to remain unchanged at 2.5%.                             
Inventories were revised down the most, while net exports were revised up.
 
The largest positive contributions to the real GDP growth rate in Q3 were personal consumption and business investment in equipment/software.  By far the weakest component was inventories.
 
The GDP price index was unchanged at a 2.5% annual rate of change.  Nominal GDP growth – real GDP plus inflation – was revised down to a 4.6% annual rate from a prior estimate of 5.0%.   
 
Implications:  Real GDP growth in the third quarter was revised down, coming in at a 2% annual rate versus a consensus expected 2.5% rate.   Most major categories were only revised slightly, for example, revisions to personal consumption subtracted a tenth from GDP while trade added two tenths, but it was inventories that subtracted 0.5% from the original GDP estimate (now -1.6% versus -1.1% originally).  The composition of growth was more promising for the economy going forward. Inventories are at rock bottom levels.  Any boost will add to GDP in the quarters ahead.  If we exclude inventories, final sales grew at a robust 3.6% annual rate.  Net exports were revised up in Q3.  Business investment grew at a 14.8% rate in Q3, the fastest pace so far this year.  In other words, consumer and business spending is growing much faster than those who watch consumer and business confidence data think it will.  Nominal GDP (real growth plus inflation) grew at a 4.6% annual rate in Q3 and is up at a 4.4% rate in the past two years.  The Federal Reserve faces an uphill battle trying to justify another round of quantitative easing based on the growth rate of nominal GDP.  Even zero percent interest rates are inappropriate when nominal GDP growth is this high.  The most newsworthy part of today’s report is that corporate profits increased at an 8.5% annual rate in Q3 and are up 7.9% versus a year ago.  Most of the increase was due to domestic firms, not the rest of the world.  Profits are at an all-time record high and are the highest share of GDP since 1950.  The worst part of today’s report was an unexpected downward revision in wages and salaries in Q2 and Q3.  Slow growth in personal income probably reflects weak economic growth in the first half of the year, but bears watching if it persists into the fourth quarter.  In other news this morning, data on chain store sales show no let up by consumers.  Sales are up 2.8% from a year ago according to the International Council of Shopping Centers and 3.7% according to Redbook Research.  The Richmond Fed index, a measure of manufacturing in the mid-Atlantic increased to 0 in November from -6 in October.
22991  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: November 22, 2011, 11:24:02 AM
I just gave another $25 to Newt.
22992  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Re: Estudio: ?Que paso' aqui? on: November 22, 2011, 11:20:37 AM
a) Tengo entendido que eso tuvo lugar en Francia, y que el problema era que los ataquantes fueron muselmanes enojada con ella, tambien muselman, por estar con el, un cristiano.

b) Yo tambien me fijo en lo que se ve en los primeros segundos del clip.  Se ve que ese problema ya habia comenzado antes del clip.  Es posible que hubiera sido mejor que en vez de da la espalda y permitir que los malos perserguieran a la "pareja" haber tomado una actitud de defender su burbuja, posiblemente gritando por ayuda, que alguien lllamara a la policia, etc.
22993  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: November 22, 2011, 11:14:50 AM
You crack me up GM.

I would add that urban campers (a.k.a. the homeless) have presented similar issues when they settle in to a particular area.  The complexity of the human realities can be considerable.  What to tell a person who has no place to call his own?  OTOH a concentration of such people tends to establish a sense of territorial rights that utterly conflicts with the concept of public rights in the public space which they inhabit AND presents serious sanitation issues.  For example I remember reading in the LA Times (NOT a hardass right wing publication by any means!) that hosing down the homeless areas of the excrement etc. led to the detectable presence of human viruses in the ocean in the LA River, indeed well out into the ocean.  Imagine the health issues of the bacteria and viruses in the areas of their encampments.

OTOH OWS presents a much simpler questions in that the "urban camping" is entirely voluntary and these people DO have places of their own. 
22994  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: November 22, 2011, 11:07:47 AM
This idea of the "yetzer hara" reminds me a bit of Carl Jung's concept of "The Shadow"-- i.e. those parts of our self which we do our best to keep hidden from the light of day- and the view of others.  Indeed Jung's words open the first video/DVD we ever did "The idea is not to imagine figures of light, but to make the darkness conscious."
22995  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Energy issues on: November 22, 2011, 11:00:20 AM
There's a witticism about minds being made up despite the facts that comes to mind , , ,
22996  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Corrections and Prison on: November 22, 2011, 10:56:25 AM
That must be very disconcerting!

Sounds like she should have a gun and training with it.
22997  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / DBMA SP seminar in Chicago 3/30-4/1 on: November 22, 2011, 10:50:38 AM
At Pete Juska's school of course.

Details to follow.
22998  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty in Mexico City Nov 12-13 on: November 22, 2011, 10:49:42 AM
Seminar was held in a police station with pill boxes at the front door.  About 1/3 of the 40 in attendance were LEOs and private security.  Good times!

As always, thank you to Mauricio for making it all possible.  His students are coming along nicely.  He is doing good work for DBMA.
22999  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty in Chicago Nov 19-21 on: November 22, 2011, 10:47:32 AM
An outstanding time for three days of training with a really nice group of people in Chicago AND I got to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and three nephews.  Gratitude to Carlos and Pete for everything.
23000  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: O'Hanlon & Wolfowitz offer a strategy on: November 22, 2011, 10:41:25 AM
YA et al:

Thoughts on this?

Marc
======================

By MICHAEL O'HANLON AND PAUL WOLFOWITZ
The American debate on Afghanistan seems to be framed by two diametrically opposed definitions of success. One says that we have effectively won the war already—that the death of Osama bin Laden and the increase in targeted drone attacks have achieved the goal of preventing transnational terrorists from once again using sanctuaries in Afghanistan to attack the United States. The other view holds that success is impossible—that the goal of a stable Afghan government in control of its own territory is beyond our reach.

Both views lead to the same result: a premature abandonment of Afghanistan that could return it to the control of the Taliban and allow al Qaeda and other extremists to regain sanctuaries. Even targeted drone strikes would be much less effective without the human intelligence needed to support them.

But there is an alternative: the"Colombia standard" of success. It's probably unrealistic to think that the Afghan government can completely control Afghan territory by 2014 or even some later date. But, like the Colombian government, it could achieve success short of complete victory.

After decades of struggle against its armed insurgency, Colombia has substantially reduced the territory held by the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Fatality rates and kidnappings have been cut roughly in half over roughly a decade, and key FARC leaders have been killed. Assassinations of judges and other government officials were once frequent but now are much less so.

Crucially, nearly all of the fighting has been done by Colombian armed forces, with the U.S. providing advisers, intelligence and military equipment. Even today the homicide rate in Colombia remains high—much higher than violent civilian deaths in Afghanistan. But 10 years after Colombia seemed headed to collapse, it has achieved something that is widely regarded as a victory.

In Colombia's jungles as in Afghanistan's mountains, the guerillas can always find sanctuaries. Both countries' guerillas also enjoy sanctuaries across the border—and Pakistan probably gives more support to the Taliban than Venezuela gives the FARC. Guerilla movements that enjoy sanctuaries can never be completely defeated. But the important thing, from an American point of view, is that in Colombia it is Colombians, not Americans, who are fighting for their own country.

In Afghanistan our goal should be an Afghan government and security forces able to control the country's major cities and most of its territory with only modest outside help. Substantial territory, mostly in the rural South and East, would remain contested or even partly insurgent-controlled. But any large concentrations of extremists would be vulnerable to drone strikes or commando raids by Afghan and American forces. And over time, Afghan government forces could gradually reduce the remaining enemy strength.

A Colombia standard of success cannot be taken as an excuse for hasty withdrawal. For one thing, Afghanistan's security forces are two years away from being fully built. And while enemy-initiated violence is down about 25% from a year ago, and progress has been made in Helmand and Kandahar, additional American and NATO effort in the more densely populated East—as planned for 2012 and 2013—is needed before the Afghan army can take over primary responsibility. This may require keeping 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through the 2013 fighting season, before cutting forces further.

While Colombians deserve most of the credit for success, they depended on a long-term U.S. commitment that was limited in scale but not in time. Afghanistan will need that even more. With a desperately poor economy (one-sixteenth the size of Colombia's), Afghanistan cannot sustain the army it needs without help. The country will need some $3 billion annually in foreign military assistance for an extended period after 2014, as well as a continuing military presence in the range of 10,000 U.S. and other NATO troops in a supporting role.

A U.S.-led commitment to provide that funding in the future would help the current situation. Making clear that we will not abandon the country the way that we did after the defeat of the Soviets in 1989 would reassure our friends, discourage our enemies, and induce the Pakistanis to cooperate.


It would also give the U.S. valuable leverage in the current Afghan debate about post-2014 security arrangements. Instead of appearing as the supplicant—seeking to use Afghan territory for our own purposes—and allowing Afghan President Hamid Karzai to burnish his nationalist credentials by imposing conditions, we should make it clear that the help the Afghans need will be forthcoming, provided our conditions are met. One condition should be a process of consultation that extends beyond Mr. Karzai's hand-picked loya jirga.

We should certainly ask other countries to share the burden in both military and economic assistance, but the annual cost of this commitment would be roughly 10% of what we are currently expending—and Afghanistan's neighborhood remains central to American national security.

Even these costs would be too high if the cause were indeed lost. But success is possible if we think in terms of Colombia. Giving up now—or declaring victory prematurely—would be a grave mistake when, despite the challenges, three-fourths of Afghanistan is now reasonably secure and the Afghan armed forces are well over halfway toward achieving the capabilities they will need.

Our current exit strategy of reducing American troops to 68,000 by the end of next summer and transferring full security responsibility to Afghan forces by 2014 is working. In a war where the U.S. has demonstrated remarkable strategic patience, we need to stay patient and resolute.

Mr. O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, is co-author of its Afghanistan Index and author of "The Wounded Giant: America's Armed Forces in an Age of Austerity" (Penguin, 2011). Mr. Wolfowitz, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is a former U.S. deputy secretary of defense.
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