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23351  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Limited Government on: June 12, 2009, 02:56:22 PM
I agree that we need something for what you want to address here , , , Are you aware of this thread?
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1850.0

@All:

Should I bring it over to this forum?
23352  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nuke expert missing on: June 12, 2009, 02:52:39 PM
Top nuclear expert missing in India

One of India's leading nuclear scientists has gone missing in mysterious circumstances provoking fears he has been kidnapped for classified information

By Barney Henderson in Mumbai
Published: 5:13PM BST 12 Jun 2009

Lokanathan Mahalingam had access to some of the country's most sensitive nuclear information and the government has ordered an inquiry into his disappearance.

Mr Mahalingam, 47, worked at the Kaiga Atomic Power Station in Karnataka, close to Project Seabird, a major military base.

He went for a walk early on Monday morning and has not been seen since.

Authorities are not yet sure whether his disappearance poses a security threat and the Indian Intelligence Bureau is investigating whether he has been eaten by leopards, committed suicide, disappeared wilfully or been kidnapped.

Colleagues said that Mr Mahalingam, who works in the simulator training division of the nuclear power plant, is an introvert with few friends but no enemies.

A manhunt is under way in the 1000 acres of dense forest of the Western Ghats that surrounds the Kaiga plant.

Police played down the threat to classified information, but they have not ruled out the possibility that Mr Mahalingam has been kidnapped by a group attempting to sabotage the plant.

Five years ago, a heavily armed gang attempted to kidnap an official from India's Nuclear Power Corporation in the same forest, but he managed to escape.

"The investigation is being handled at a very high level due to the sensitive nature of the case," an investigating officer said. "At the moment it is a complete mystery and we are looking at every possibility.

"There are man-eating leopards in the jungle so that is a possibility and we are of course looking into whether he has been kidnapped too. There are four separate teams searching for clues and we hope to make a breakthrough soon."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-in-India.html
23353  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / BO seeks to end run second via treaty on: June 12, 2009, 03:30:04 AM
and inform foreign govts of US gun owners to boot!

http://wearechangecoloradosprings.org/blog/?p=594
23354  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Services for Tony Adams on: June 12, 2009, 03:17:40 AM
Services for Tony Adams
Sunday June 14, 2009
11:00 am
Royal Palm Beach
DIRECTIONS
Take 110 Freeway South Until it Ends on "Gaffey Street"
in San Pedro
Exit Left onto Gaffey Street
Follow Gaffey Street till it ends and veers right at Paseo
Del Mar
Turn onto Paseo Del Mar and Travel about a Mile and a
Half till you see an Entry Point to White Point / Royal
Palms (There's a Guard Shack there and Gate).
Pay for Parking and Proceed all the way Down the Hill.
When you reach the Bottom - Turn Right and Park all the
way at the end.
Remembering Tony Adams
For further information please contact:
Zeke Rodriguez
zekeiii@hotmail.com
23355  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: U.S. Census 2010 on: June 11, 2009, 06:11:48 PM
This is highly significant -- and very Alinskyesque.

Remember the one Republican that BO was going to appoint to his cabinet would normally have been in charge of the census, but part of the deal was that he would not be.  The BO White House is determined to take this over from its usual bureaucratic bailiwick.
23356  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rove on: June 11, 2009, 03:36:53 PM
By KARL ROVE

It was a sobering breakfast with one of the smartest Republicans on Capitol Hill. We can fix a lot of bad stuff President Barack Obama might do, he told me. But if Mr. Obama signs into law a "public option," government-run insurance program as part of health-care reform we won't be able to undo the damage.

I'd go the Republican member of Congress one further: If Democrats enact a public-option health-insurance program, America is on the way to becoming a European-style welfare state. To prevent this from happening, there are five arguments Republicans must make.

 
The first is it's unnecessary. Advocates say a government-run insurance program is needed to provide competition for private health insurance. But 1,300 companies sell health insurance plans. That's competition enough. The results of robust private competition to provide the Medicare drug benefit underscore this. When it was approved, the Congressional Budget Office estimated it would cost $74 billion a year by 2008. Nearly 100 providers deliver the drug benefit, competing on better benefits, more choices, and lower prices. So the actual cost was $44 billion in 2008 -- nearly 41% less than predicted. No government plan was needed to guarantee competition's benefits.

Second, a public option will undercut private insurers and pass the tab to taxpayers and health providers just as it does in existing government-run programs. For example, Medicare pays hospitals 71% and doctors 81% of what private insurers pay.

Who covers the rest? Government passes the bill for the outstanding balance to providers and families not covered by government programs. This cost-shifting amounts to a forced subsidy. Families pay about $1,800 more a year for someone else's health care as a result, according to a recent study by Milliman Inc. It's also why many doctors limit how many Medicare patients they take: They can afford only so much charity care.

Fixing prices at less than market rates will continue under any public option. Sen. Edward Kennedy's proposal, for example, has Washington paying providers what Medicare does plus 10%. That will lead to health providers offering less care.

Third, government-run health insurance would crater the private insurance market, forcing most Americans onto the government plan. The Lewin Group estimates 70% of people with private insurance -- 120 million Americans -- will quickly lose what they now get from private companies and be forced onto the government-run rolls as businesses decide it is more cost-effective for them to drop coverage. They'd be happy to shift some of the expense -- and all of the administration headaches -- to Washington. And once the private insurance market has been dismantled it will be gone.

Fourth, the public option is far too expensive. The cost of Medicare -- the purest form of a government-run "public choice" for seniors -- will start exceeding its payroll-tax "trust fund" in 2017. The Obama administration estimates its health reforms will cost as much as $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. It is no coincidence the Obama budget nearly triples the national debt over that same period.

Medicare and Medicaid cost much more than estimated when they were adopted. One reason is there's no competition for these government-run insurance programs. In the same way, Americans can expect a public option to cost far more than the Obama administration's rosy estimates.

Fifth, the public option puts government firmly in the middle of the relationship between patients and their doctors. If you think insurance companies are bad, imagine what happens when government is the insurance carrier, with little or no competition and no concern you'll change to another company.

In other words, the public option is just phony. It's a bait-and-switch tactic meant to reassure people that the president's goals are less radical than they are. Mr. Obama's real aim, as some candid Democrats admit, is a single-payer, government-run health-care system.

Health care desperately needs far-reaching reforms that put patients and their doctors in charge, bring the benefits of competition and market forces to bear, and ensure access to affordable and portable health care for every American. Republicans have plans to achieve this, and they must make their case for reform in every available forum.

Defeating the public option should be a top priority for the GOP this year. Otherwise, our nation will be changed in damaging ways almost impossible to reverse.

Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
23357  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Reality of the street...interface with the law on: June 11, 2009, 12:17:09 PM
Apparently my pasting missed giving the author's name.  embarassed  It is Darren Laur. 

23358  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A rare spontaneous moment on MSNBC on: June 11, 2009, 11:17:18 AM


http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f28_1244651491
23359  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Col. Brooks on: June 11, 2009, 10:32:14 AM
"Under all those disadvantages no men ever show more spirit or prudence than ours. In my opinion nothing but virtue has kept our army together through this campaign."

--Colonel John Brooks, letter to a friend, January 5, 1778
23360  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NYT US Commander in Afg given more leeway on: June 11, 2009, 08:28:33 AM


U.S. Commander in Afghanistan Is Given More Leeway
By THOM SHANKER and ERIC SCHMITT
Published: June 10, 2009

WASHINGTON — The new American commander in Afghanistan has been given carte blanche to handpick a dream team of subordinates, including many Special Operations veterans, as he moves to carry out an ambitious new strategy that envisions stepped-up attacks on Taliban fighters and narcotics networks.

lThe extraordinary leeway granted the commander, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, underscores a view within the administration that the war in Afghanistan has for too long been given low priority and needs to be the focus of a sustained, high-level effort.

General McChrystal is assembling a corps of 400 officers and soldiers who will rotate between the United States and Afghanistan for a minimum of three years. That kind of commitment to one theater of combat is unknown in the military today outside Special Operations, but reflects an approach being imported by General McChrystal, who spent five years in charge of secret commando teams in Iraq and Afghanistan.

With his promotion approved by the Senate late on Wednesday, General McChrystal and senior members of his command team were scheduled to fly from Washington within hours of the vote, stopping in two European capitals to confer with allies before landing in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

General McChrystal’s confirmation came only after the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, went to the floor to make an impassioned plea for Republicans to allow the action to proceed, fearing that political infighting would delay approval of the appointment. He told of a phone call on Wednesday from Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Mr. Reid said that Admiral Mullen had told him that there was a sense of urgency that General McChrystal be able to go to Afghanistan that very night. He said that according to Admiral Mullen, “McChrystal is literally waiting by an airplane” to go to Afghanistan as the new commander.

Almost a dozen senior military officers provided details about General McChrystal’s plans in interviews after his nomination. The officers insisted on anonymity because of the sensitivity of the effort, and insisted that their comments not be used until the Senate vote, so as not to preempt lawmakers.

For the first time, the American commander in Afghanistan will have a three-star deputy. Picked for the job of running day-to-day combat operations was Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, who has commanded troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Generals McChrystal and Rodriguez have been colleagues and friends for more than 30 years, beginning when both were Ranger company commanders as young captains.

General McChrystal also has picked the senior intelligence adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Maj. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, to join him in Kabul as director of intelligence there. In Washington, Brig. Gen. Scott Miller, a longtime Special Operations officer now assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff but who had served previously under General McChrystal, is now organizing a new Pakistan-Afghanistan Coordination Cell.

Admiral Mullen said that he personally told General McChrystal that “he could have his pick from the Joint Staff. His job, the mission he’s going to command, is that important. Afghanistan is the main effort right now.”

Just how this new team will grapple with the increasingly violent Taliban militancy in Afghanistan is unclear, although General McChrystal has said he will focus on classic counterinsurgency techniques, in particular protecting the population.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has asked General McChrystal to report back within 60 days of taking command with an assessment of the mission and plans for carrying out President Obama’s new strategy.

“Success will be difficult to define but will come in reduction in I.E.D.’s, reduction in poppy, more interdiction of Taliban crossing the border, some anticorruption arrests/exiles, and greater civilian effort possible as a result of a reduction in the threat,” said Maj. Gen. Peter Gilchrist, a retired British officer and a former deputy commander of allied forces in Afghanistan who praised General McChrystal’s appointment.

At the Pentagon, under General McChrystal’s direction, a large area of the Defense Department’s underground, round-the-clock emergency operations facility — called the National Military Command Center — has already been shifted to the Afghan war effort.

The makeover in the American military command is not the only major set of personnel changes in Afghanistan.

The Obama administration has surrounded the new United States ambassador to Kabul, Karl W. Eikenberry, a recently retired three-star Army general, with three former ambassadors to bolster diplomatic efforts in the country.

Francis J. Ricciardone Jr., a former ambassador to Egypt and the Philippines, has been tapped as General Eikenberry’s deputy. Earl Anthony Wayne, a former ambassador to Argentina, is heading up economic development initiatives in the embassy. Joseph A. Mussomeli, the former ambassador to Cambodia, will be an assistant ambassador in Kabul.

As director of intelligence on the Joint Staff, General Flynn holds a position, called the J-2, that has often been a springboard to a senior executive position across the alphabet soup of American intelligence agencies. But General Flynn, who was General McChrystal’s intelligence boss at the Joint Special Operations Command, has chosen to return to the combat zone.

In a sign of the importance being given to explaining the new strategy to Afghans, across the region and the world, General McChrystal will also be taking the first flag officer to serve as chief of public affairs and communications for the military in Afghanistan.

Rear Adm. Gregory J. Smith, who has served as director of communications and spokesman in Iraq during the troop increase under Gen. David H. Petraeus, had been scheduled to retire this summer. But officials said he received a personal request from Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to serve in the same capacity for General McChrystal.

David M. Herszenhorn contributed reporting from New York, and Richard A. Oppel Jr. from Austin, Tex.
23361  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Cues on: June 11, 2009, 08:17:27 AM
Ritualized Combat:


Ritualized Combat was termed by a police trainer by the name of Roland Ouellette. Basically, these "body language signs" are rituals that the human body will, in most cases, go through just prior, during, and after a physical confrontation ( not so different from the animal kingdom). These signs are important, why?, because they are really good warning signals to let you know what your potential attacker may be contemplating, even though he may not be “verbally” communicating this fact to you. Ritualized Combative signs have been both scientifically and empirically researched in such fields as “Human Performance” and “Neuro Linguistic Psychology.” Here in Canada, I have used “Ritualized Combative Signs” successfully in the Courts during expert testimony in Self-Defense cases. I also possess hundreds of hours of videotape of actual street fights, and when reviewed both in real time and in slow motion, everyone of the Ritualized Combative signs that I share in my articles and training, are seen prior, during, and after these fights. This is why I believe that all in the self-protection field should know about “Ritualized Combat”. So what are these signs?


Assault Not Imminent But Possible:

- Head, neck, shoulders go back (person making themselves look bigger)
- Face is red, twitching, jerking
- Lips pushed forward bearing teeth (you see the same things in dogs before attack)
- Breathing is fast and shallow (oxygenating the body preparing for fight, flight, hyper vigilance)
- Beads of sweat appear about the face/neck
- Thousand mile glare
- Exaggerated movements
- Finger pointing/ head pecking
- Totally ignores you
- Gives you excessive attention during normal conversation such as direct uninterrupted eye contact
- Goes from totally un-cooperative to totally cooperative ( people do not go from hot to cold they de-escalate over time)
- Acts stoned or drunk
- Directs anger towards other inanimate items such as tables, chairs, walls



If you find yourself confronted by a subject presenting these signs, awareness/self protection strategies should go up, and distance should be created. Your body language should be assertive but not threatening and don’t be afraid to allow the person to vent verbally.


Assault Is Imminent:


- face goes from red to white ( during a physical confrontation the blood will leave the surface of the body and pool to the big muscles and internal organs of the body needed for survival) In my job as a police officer I see this all the time and when I do one of two things are going to happen, the suspect is either going to fight or run
- Lips tighten over teeth
- Breathing is fast and deep
- Change of stance, their body blades and shoulder drops
- Hands closed into a fist (not uncommon to see the whites of knuckles due to hands being so tight)
- Bobbing up and down or rocking back and forth on feet (this is the bodies way to hide/ mask the initial movement of a first strike)
- Target glace (here you will see your opponent look to where he is going to hit, or where he is going to run/escape)
- Putting head and shin down (body wants to protect the airway, this action does so to a degree)
- Eye brows brought forward into a frown( again the body wants to naturally protect the visual system, this action does so to a degree)
- Stops all movements/ freezes in place
- Dropping center or lowering of body (no different that a cat or dog getting ready to pounce)
- Shedding cloths ( very common, you will see your attacker take his hat, coat, shirt, or bag off just prior to the assault)
- One syllable replies ( go from full sentences to one syllable replies….. reptilian brain is clicking in)


In this group of signs, you have about 1-1.5 seconds to act before your attacker either attacks or runs. If walking and talking your way out is inappropriate or unreasonable, then I teach “First Strike” philosophy, and continue on with a compound attack until your attacker is no longer a risk.


In both the Assault not Imminent and Assault Imminent phases, I do teach my students ( in some situations) to bring to the attention of the attacker what they are seeing why:

1) The attacker may not know what they are doing. A lot of these signs are autonomic in nature, meaning they happen without conscious thought.
2) The bigger reason, I believe, is for this purpose; most attackers will only attack you when they believe that they have the element of surprise. By sharing with them what you see, you take this primary tactic away from them.

IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE TIMES WHEN YOU SHOULD NOT LET THE PERSON KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SEEING, THUS USING THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE!!!!!!!!!!


If you have been able to deescalate the situation you have found yourself in, non-verbally, verbally or physically, also look for these Ritualized Combat signs that are good indicators to let you know that your opponent is no longer thinking about fighting:


Signs Of Submission:

- Putting hands up in front of body with palms facing out…. ( universal sign for stop stay back)
- Face returns to normal skin tone and color
- shaking hand. (almost as if the person has Alzheimer’s disease…. This shaking can be slight to extreme ….. bodies natural way to burn out the adrenalin, nor-adrenalin, epinephrine that it dumped into the body for fight, flight, hypervigilance but was not used)
- turning of back with their hands covering their head ( ensure you can see their hands if not create distance NOW)
- backing off
- bowing of head and lowering of eyes
- verbal tone, volume, rate, slows back to normal / full sentences once again
- falling to the ground almost in a fetal position
- grooming gestures ( this one is weird but you will see it time and time again… person will adjust their clothing, play with their hair/mustache/beard, pick lint of their body….. you see this in cat and dogs after they fight and then groom themselves)


In all of the above noted signs, don’t just look for one, but rather clusters of two or more. If you see one and know what to look for, you will see others guaranteed. As a police officer who has been involved in many physical encounters, I can share with you and others that “Ritualized Combat” is a tool that you can use to your advantage. Many of my students , who are not police officers, who have found themselves in ‘situations” have also echoed the tactical benefit of such knowledge. One should also remember that a skilled attacker “may” be able to mask some of these signs, so never drop you guard and fall into a false sense of confidence !!!!!! Also remember that if the voice and body don’t match, always believe the body because the voice can LIE !!!!!! If your attacker is verbalizing the fact that he doesn’t want to fight, but yet he is showing Ritualized Combative signs that show otherwise, he’s a LLPOF ( liar, liar pants on fire)


Some people who don’t know about Ritualized Combat, call it “gut instinct/intuition” They are right !!!!!! The reason it is a “gut instinct/intuition” rather than a known empirical thing, is because no one has explained to them what “Ritualized Combat” is. What is happening in the “gut/ instinct” group, is that their “sub-conscious/reptilian brain” is picking up on these signs (rather than the conscious critical mind), thus turning on the warning bells. Some listen (the more experience), but most do not. Why can I say this, I am also a certified hypnotherapist and working towards my masters in Neuro Linguistic Psychology.
23362  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Pre-emption in NY law on: June 11, 2009, 07:59:14 AM


"Initial aggressor” means the person who first attacks or threatens to attack; that is, the first person who uses or threatens the imminent use of offensive physical force. The actual striking of the first blow or inflicting of the first wound, however, does not necessarily determine who was the initial aggressor.

A person who reasonably believes that another is about to use physical force upon him/her need not wait until he/she is struck or wounded. He/she may, in such circumstances, be the first to use physical force, so long as he/she reasonably believed it was about to be used against him/her or someone else.



(Quote from:
http://www.nycourts.gov/cji/1-...n.Physical_Force.pdf
JUSTIFICATION: USE OF PHYSICAL FORCE IN DEFENSE OF A PERSON
PENAL LAW 35.15 (Effective Sept. 1, 1980) )
23363  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: June 11, 2009, 12:08:19 AM
GM:

My informed friend responds to your question:

Marc

"What of a High Energy Radio Frequency burst directed to the "fly by wire"  system?"

"Electrical and Avionics systems must all test a series of “HIRF” tests: High Intensity Radio Frequency.  Components are put in a sealed room and blasted with a wide range of frequencies and the whole aircraft is subjected to a system test which I believe is conducted in an empty hangar with lots of antennas pumping electromagnetic energy around.  And there are also lightning tests, direct hits to boxes, and direct hits to larger subassemblies including cable assemblies.  At least that was the protocol years ago.  I am sure it is more thorough now.  It is one reason why these things cost so much."
23364  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pigs fly; LA Times supports incorporating the 2d! on: June 10, 2009, 04:40:59 PM

A legal shootout over the right to own a gun

Conflicting court opinions gun may result in linking the 2nd Amendment with the 14th.

June 10, 2009

Two federal appeals court opinions -- one signed by Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor -- have created a quandary for those who cherish the protections of the Bill of Rights and also believe in meaningful gun control. But the way out of the dilemma is not to urge the high court to pick and choose which constitutional rights are protected against state and local laws.

Among the charges leveled by some conservatives against Sotomayor is that she has been insufficiently protective of the 2nd Amendment, which says that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Exhibit A was the judge's role in a decision by the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the constitutionality of a New York state law banning the possession of nunchucks.

Sotomayor and two other judges ruled that the 2nd Amendment applies only to the federal government, a long-standing view that the Supreme Court didn't address when it struck down a gun control law in Washington, D.C., last year. In legal jargon, the high court hasn't explicitly "incorporated” the 2nd Amendment in the 14th Amendment, which protects "liberty" against state interference. Other amendments long have been incorporated, making it possible to sue the states for violating many of the protections of the Bill of Rights.

Using the 2nd Circuit decision to portray Sotomayor as an opponent of gun rights became harder last week when two of the nation's most prominent conservative judges issued an opinion espousing the same view. The opinion for a three-judge panel of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was written by Judge Frank Easterbrook, a President Reagan appointee. The justices may soon address the incorporation question in order to resolve a conflict between the position taken by the 2nd and 7th circuits and the opposite view adopted by the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

It's tempting for supporters of gun control -- including this page -- to hope that the high court will rule that the 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to the states. That would be a mistake and would give aid and comfort to conservative legal thinkers, among them Justice Clarence Thomas, who have questioned the incorporation doctrine.

We were disappointed last year when the Supreme Court ruled that the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right, giving short shrift to the first part of the amendment, which refers to "a well-regulated militia." But we also believe the court has been right to use the doctrine of incorporation to bind states to the most important protections of the Bill of Rights. If those vital provisions are to be incorporated in the 14th Amendment, so should the right to keep and bear arms.
23365  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The second, the fourteenth, & incorporation on: June 10, 2009, 03:10:13 PM
See entry #16 for a fascinating piece on these issues:

http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1850.0
23366  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rev. Wright on: June 10, 2009, 11:30:06 AM
GM's post moved here

dailypress.com/news/dp-local_wright_0610jun10,0,7603283.story

dailypress.com

Rev. Wright says he doesn't regret severed relationship with president

By DAVID SQUIRES

247-4639

June 10, 2009

HAMPTON –


The Rev. Jeremiah Wright says he does not feel any regrets over his severed relationship with President Barack Obama, a former member of the Chicago church in which Wright was the longtime pastor.

Wright also said that he had not spoken to his former church member since Obama became president, implying that the White House won't allow Obama to talk to him. He did not indicate whether he had tried to reach Obama.

"Regret for what... that the media went back five, seven, 10 years and spent $4,000 buying 20 years worth of sermons to hear what I've been preaching for 20 years?

"Regret for preaching like I've been preaching for 50 years? Absolutely none," Wright said.

Wright said that when he went to the polls, he did not hold any grudge against Obama.

"Of course I voted for him; he's my son. I'm proud of him," Wright said. "I've got five biological kids. They all make mistakes and bad choices. I haven't stopped loving any of them.

"He made mistakes. He made bad choices. I've got kids who listen to their friends. He listened to those around him. I did not disown him."

Asked if he had spoken to the President, Wright said: "Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office. ...

"They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. ... I said from the beginning: He's a politician; I'm a pastor. He's got to do what politicians do."

Wright also said Obama should have sent a U.S. delegation to the World Conference on Racism held recently in Geneva, Switzerland, but that the president did not do so for fear of offending Jews and Israel.

"Ethic cleansing is going on in Gaza. Ethnic cleansing of the Zionist is a sin and a crime against humanity, and they don't want Barack talking like that because that's anti-Israel," Wright said.

Wright is in Hampton this week attending Hampton University's 95th Annual Ministers Conference. The son of a pastor, Wright said he has attended the conference since he was a child – though he was not spotted at the conference in 2008 during the heat of the debate over comments he made that many in the media branded racially divisive.

Perhaps without the Wright controversy, the issue of race might not have become a part of the 2008 Presidential campaign.

After the initial rounds of the controversy, Obama made his famous speech in Philadelphia on race relations, in which he said he could no more disown Wright than his own grandmother.

But the issue heated up after more comments by Wright at the National Press Club and from other controversial speakers at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Obama eventually distanced himself from the church.
23367  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 10, 2009, 11:25:36 AM
Yes, please!
23368  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stratfor: The settlements and the future of US-Isreali relations on: June 10, 2009, 08:49:45 AM
WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS AND THE FUTURE OF U.S.-ISRAELI RELATIONS

By George Friedman

Amid the rhetoric of U.S. President Barack Obama's speech June 4 in Cairo, there was one substantial indication of change, not in the U.S. relationship to the Islamic world but in the U.S. relationship to Israel. This shift actually emerged prior to the speech, and the speech merely touched on it. But it is not a minor change and it must not be underestimated. It has every opportunity of growing into a major breach between Israel and the United States.

The immediate issue concerns Israeli settlements on the West Bank. The United States has long expressed opposition to increasing settlements but has not moved much beyond rhetoric. Certainly the continued expansion and development of new settlements on the West Bank did not cause prior administrations to shift their policies toward Israel. And while the Israelis have occasionally modified their policies, they have continued to build settlements. The basic understanding between the two sides has been that the United States would oppose settlements formally but that this would not evolve into a fundamental disagreement.

The United States has clearly decided to change the game. Obama has said that, "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to stop building new settlements, but not to halt what he called the "natural growth" of existing settlements.

Obama has positioned the settlement issue in such a way that it would be difficult for him to back down. He has repeated it several times, including in his speech to the Islamic world. It is an issue on which he is simply following the formal positions of prior administrations. It is an issue on which prior Israeli governments made commitments. What Obama has done is restated formal U.S. policy, on which there are prior Israeli agreements, and demanded Israeli compliance. Given his initiative in the Islamic world, Obama, having elevated the issue to this level, is going to have problems backing off.

Obama is also aware that Netanyahu is not in a political position to comply with the demand, even if he were inclined to. Netanyahu is leading a patchwork coalition in which support from the right is critical. For the Israeli right, settling in what it calls Samaria and Judea is a fundamental principle on which it cannot bend. Unlike Ariel Sharon, a man of the right who was politically powerful, Netanyahu is a man of the right who is politically weak. Netanyahu gave all he could give on this issue when he said there would be no new settlements created. Netanyahu doesn't have the political ability to give Obama what he is demanding. Netanyahu is locked into place, unless he wants to try to restructure his Cabinet or persuade people like Avigdor Lieberman, his right-wing foreign minister, to change their fundamental view of the world.

Therefore, Obama has decided to create a crisis with Israel. He has chosen a subject on which Republican and Democratic administrations have had the same formal position. He has also picked a subject that does not affect Israeli national security in any immediate sense (he has not made demands for changes of policy toward Gaza, for example). Obama struck at an issue where he had precedent on his side, and where Israel's immediate safety is not at stake. He also picked an issue on which he would have substantial support in the United States, and he has done this to have a symbolic showdown with Israel. The more Netanyahu resists, the more Obama gets what he wants.

Obama's read of the Arab-Israeli situation is that it is not insoluble. He believes in the two-state solution, for better or worse. In order to institute the two-state solution, Obama must establish the principle that the West Bank is Palestinian territory by right and not Israeli territory on which the Israelis might make concessions. The settlements issue is fundamental to establishing this principle. Israel has previously agreed both to the two-state solution and to not expanding settlements. If Obama can force Netanyahu to concede on the settlements issue, then he will break the back of the Israeli right and open the door to a rightist-negotiated settlement of the two-state solution.

In the course of all of this, Obama is opening doors in the Islamic world a little wider by demonstrating that the United States is prepared to force Israel to make concessions. By subtext, he wants to drive home the idea that Israel does not control U.S. policy but that, in fact, Israel and the United States are two separate countries with different and sometimes conflicting views. Obama wouldn't mind an open battle on the settlements one bit.

For Netanyahu, this is the worst terrain on which to fight. If he could have gotten Obama to attack by demanding that Israel not respond to missiles launched from Gaza or Lebanon, Netanyahu would have had the upper hand in the United States. Israel has support in the United States and in Congress, and any action that would appear to leave Israel's security at risk would trigger an instant strengthening of that support.

But there is not much support in the United States for settlements on the West Bank. This is not a subject around which Israel's supporters are going to rally very intensely, in large part because there is substantial support for a two-state solution and very little understanding or sympathy for the historic claim of Jews to Judea and Samaria. Obama has picked a topic on which he has political room for maneuver and on which Netanyahu is politically locked in.

Given that, the question is where Obama is going with this. From Obama's point of view, he wins no matter what Netanyahu decides to do. If Netanyahu gives in, then he has established the principle that the United States can demand concessions from a Likud-controlled government in Israel and get them. There will be more demands. If Netanyahu doesn't give in, Obama can create a split with Israel over the one issue he can get public support for in the United States (a halt to settlement expansion in the West Bank), and use that split as a lever with Islamic states.

Thus, the question is what Netanyahu is going to do. His best move is to say that this is just a disagreement between friends and assume that the rest of the U.S.-Israeli relationship is intact, from aid to technology transfer to intelligence sharing. That's where Obama is going to have to make his decision. He has elevated the issue to the forefront of U.S.-Israeli relations. The Israelis have refused to comply. If Obama proceeds with the relationship as if nothing has happened, then he is back where he began.

Obama did not start this confrontation to wind up there. He calculated carefully when he raised this issue and knew perfectly well that Netanyahu couldn't make concessions on it, so he had to have known that he was going to come to this point. Obviously, he could have made this confrontation as a part of his initiative to the Islamic world. But it is unlikely that he saw that initiative as ending with the speech, and he understands that, for the Islamic world, his relation to Israel is important. Even Islamic countries not warmly inclined toward Palestinians, like Jordan or Egypt, don't want the United States to back off on this issue.

Netanyahu has argued in the past that Israel's relationship to the United States was not as important to Israel as it once was. U.S. aid as a percentage of Israel's gross domestic product has plunged. Israel is not facing powerful states, and it is not facing a situation like 1973, when Israeli survival depended on aid being rushed in from the United States. The technology transfer now runs both ways, and the United States relies on Israeli intelligence quite a bit. In other words, over the past generation, Israel has moved from a dependent relationship with the United States to one of mutual dependence.

This is very much Netanyahu's point of view, and from this point of view follows the idea that he might simply say no to the United States on the settlements issue and live easily with the consequences. The weakness in this argument is that, while Israel does not now face strategic issues it can't handle, it could in the future. Indeed, while Netanyahu is urging action on Iran, he knows that action is impossible without U.S. involvement.

This leads to a political problem. As much as the right would like to blow off the United States, the center and the left would be appalled. For Israel, the United States has been the centerpiece of the national psyche since 1967. A breach with the United States would create a massive crisis on the left and could well bring the government down if Ehud Barak and his Labor Party, for example, bolted from the ruling coalition. Netanyahu's problem is the problem Israel has continually had. It is a politically fragmented country, and there is never an Israeli government that does not consist of fragments. A government that contains Lieberman and Barak is not one likely to be able to make bold moves.

It is therefore difficult to see how Netanyahu can both deal with Obama and hold his government together. It is even harder to see how Obama can reduce the pressure. Indeed, we would expect to see him increase the pressure by suspending minor exchanges and programs. Obama is playing to the Israeli center and left, who would oppose any breach with the United States.

Obama has the strong hand and the options. Netanyahu has the weak hand and fewer options. It is hard to see how he will solve the problem. And that's what Obama wants. He wants Netanyahu struggling with the problem. In the end, he wants Netanyahu to fold on the settlements issue and keep on folding until he presides over a political settlement with the Palestinians. Obama wants Netanyahu and the right to be responsible for the agreement, as Menachem Begin was responsible for the treaty with Egypt and withdrawal from the Sinai.

We find it difficult to imagine how a two-state solution would work, but that concept is at the heart of U.S. policy and Obama wants the victory. He has put into motion processes to create that solution, first of all, by backing Netanyahu into a corner. Left out of Obama's equation is the Palestinian interest, willingness and ability to reach a treaty with Israel, but from Obama's point of view, if the Palestinians reject or undermine an agreement, he will still have leverage in the Islamic world. Right now, given Iraq and Afghanistan, that is where he wants leverage, and backing Netanyahu into a corner is more important than where it all leads in the end.


This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to www.stratfor.com.

Copyright 2009 Stratfor.
23369  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Maybe not , , , on: June 10, 2009, 08:24:44 AM
GM:

I was intrigued enough by your previous post to share it with someone with a background in aviation far deeper than his humble reply here indicates.  Here is what he said:

"Hack into an aircraft fly by wire system?  Seems damn near impossible, and it would become immediately obvious to the computer system provoking an alarm and disabling of functions to maintain safety.  It seems highly unlikely and very difficult for one to plant a software bomb and not have it detected.  Even with my little airplane with FAA approved electronic flight controls, the self check routine takes two minutes after start up, and the number of errors the system can detect is in the hundreds.

Unlike our home computers running an operating system upon which are operated the various programs we use, control systems are their own operating systems constantly doing only the tasks they are assigned, continuously and without interruption.  In that respect they are very stripped down.  They also have many levels of internal checking, and if something wrong is detected, various levels of isolation and shutdown are automatically invoked. 

My money is on an in flight break-up due to the strong turbulence and up and down drafts that were apparently present.  The impact of turbulence may have been worsened if the pitot tube (velocity sensing instrument) problem that has been mentioned by Airbus was in play.  It would make it more likely for the crew to fly at a higher than planned airspeed which worsens the impact of turbulence.   These folks may have been recipients of some really bad weather luck.  Occasionally, like rogue waves in the ocean, the atmosphere generates something truly ugly, of only for a moment.

Big thunderstorms break up big and little airplanes and have done for decades.  The survival rate for a plane penetrating a big thunderstorm is better than 99%, but the chances of a bad outcome are still lousy compared to the risks we take elsewhere.  Thunderstorms are to be avoided.
23370  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / James Wilson: The Object of government on: June 10, 2009, 08:19:56 AM
"Government, in my humble opinion, should be formed to secure and to enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government, which has not this in view, as its principal object, is not a government of the legitimate kind."

--James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1790
23371  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: June 09, 2009, 06:31:17 PM
The Humor/WTF? thread on the SCE forum would have worked too, but not worth the bother to change it  cheesy

I'm having a hard time picturing how the goose allowed itself to get grabbed , , ,
23372  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Newsweek editor: BO is like God on: June 09, 2009, 06:13:26 PM

http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/20...s-sort-of-god/
23373  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: June 09, 2009, 06:02:35 PM
Before BBG gets to this, if I may respond as an Angeleno who was born and raised in NYC?

Los Angeles is a reallly, really spread out area.  To use a train of some sort means having to get to the train station and having to do something to get to one's actual destination after getting off the train at the other end.  Bottom line, the trains lose money.  LOTS of money.  Rail does not make sense-- but it does cost billions and billions of dollars, not that we have gotten around yet to paying for it , , , 

Not speaking from specific knowledge, but my sense of things is that the city's bus system is an economic clusterfcuk.  Yet for some strange reason (e.g. public union objections  angry ) the city vociferously opposes jitneys.

Even in the Boston-NY-Philadelphia-DC corredor, AMTRAK is a multi-billion dollar annual drain on the public coffers , , , what a bargain price for having gotten Joe Biden from home to the Senate all these years , , ,

DC's metro train system was built with the taxes of the nation.  Why?

23374  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Emergency Tips and Emergency Medicine on: June 09, 2009, 01:24:30 PM
Items for knife and gun wounds.  I also have some burn gel (think car crash). 

Also, I think in terms of what can go wrong here in LA.   An accident shutting down a freeway trapping me or my family for hours.  An earthquake, a terrorist event, etc.   So I have some cheapie bright ponchos to keep the kids visible at night.  Some Zone bars. Chem lights.  A strong flashlight.  A back up hand generated flashlight.  Some basic tools.  Large roll of duct tape.  Some high strength rope.  A folding shovel.  A siphon.  Jumper cables.
23375  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Dog Brothers Team Kali Tudo on: June 09, 2009, 01:18:13 PM
An awesome day.

Deep work on the application of Dodger Dracula on the Half Carrot.  I'm really liking this material a lot.  Seems to be particularly useful for the shorter man against the taller man.
23376  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stratfor: Iran's system approaching an impasse on: June 09, 2009, 08:32:24 AM
Geopolitical Diary: Iran's Political System Approaching Impasse
June 8, 2009

The last debate in Iran’s first-ever televised series of presidential candidate debates will take place on Monday. The debates among candidates seeking election on June 12 have been marked by vicious attacks from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — not only against his main challenger, former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, but also against several other key figures within the Iranian political establishment. They include Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the regime’s second most influential leader (after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei). The president has made several serious charges against his opponents, laying bare the extent of the rifts within the state.

Ahmadinejad claimed to have evidence that Rafsanjani (a former two-term president who currently heads Iran’s two most powerful institutions) and his family accumulated their wealth illegally, and that Rafsanjani had conspired with an Arab state to undermine Ahmadinejad’s government. He went so far as to accuse Mousavi’s wife (an intellectual and dean of a university), who has been at the forefront of her husband’s campaign, of securing her academic credentials through inappropriate or illegal means. The situation is serious enough that Khamenei, who had supported Ahmadinejad in his bid for a second term, criticized the president, saying, “One doesn’t like to see a nominee, for the sake of proving himself, seeking to negate somebody else. I have no problem with debate, dialogue and criticism, but these debates must take place within a religious framework.”

From Khamenei’s point of view, the polarization of state and society in the run-up to the election makes it all the more difficult to manage the rival factions, as he has done for the past two decades.

Undoubtedly, this is shaping up to be the most important presidential election in Iran’s history, especially because it is a bellwether of what is happening at a higher level: a potential unraveling of the political system that has been in place since Iran’s 1979 revolution. As we have noted previously, the cohesiveness of the Iranian state has been deteriorating, with a rift between the president’s ultra-conservative camp and the pragmatic conservative camp led by Rafsanjani. The United States’ offer of rapprochement has made the situation even more urgent, as Tehran needs to arrive at an internal consensus on the direction of foreign policy and seek economic rehabilitation.

Ahmadinejad’s policies have been exacerbated divisions that have long existed, especially since the 1989 death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Until fairly recently, his successor, Khamenei, kept this internal dissent contained by balancing between different factions that have controlled various state institutions. During Ahmadinejad’s presidency, the internal struggle has shifted: Where it once was a matter of the policy preferences of rival camps within a conservative-dominated political establishment, it has become a situation in which the nature of the Islamic republic’s political system is in question.

Because he is the first Iranian president who is not also a cleric, Ahmadinejad sought to strengthen his position by claiming that his policies were guided by the highly revered and hidden 12th imam of the Shia, the Mahdi. This claim has unnerved the clerics: It undermines their privileged position, not only in the Iranian political system but also in religious terms. The implication of this is that if laypeople have access to the messiah, there is no need for them to rely on clerics — who historically have had tremendous influence among the masses.

Meanwhile, the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is emerging as a powerful player in Iran, currently second only to the clerics. But as the clerical community becomes marred by internal disagreements and the aging ayatollahs who founded the republic anticipate the day when they will be succeeded by a second generation, the IRGC is very likely to emerge as the most powerful force within the state. The ayatollahs have used their religious position to control the ideological force; if they should become weaker, the non-clerical politicians and technocrats will have a tough time dealing with the IRGC.

The first step in the trajectory of Iran will become evident with the outcome of the June 12 election. But regardless of who wins, the Islamic republic is reaching a point where the political system, facing a great deal of stress and strain, is likely to evolve into something else. It is too early to predict the exact outcome of this struggle, but what is clear is that the clerics are under pressure from many sides.
23377  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What BO forgot to mention on: June 09, 2009, 08:21:16 AM
By ANDRÉ ACIMAN
Published: June 8, 2009

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S speech to the Islamic world was a groundbreaking event. Never before has a young, dynamic American president, beloved both by his countrymen and the nations of the world, extended so timely and eager a hand to a part of the globe that, recently, had seen fewer and fewer reasons to trust us or to wish us well.

As important, Mr. Obama did not mince words. Never before has a president gone over to the Arab world and broadcast its flaws so loudly and clearly: extremism, nuclear weapons programs and a faltering record in human rights, education and economic development — the Arab world gets no passing grades in any of these domains. Mr. Obama even found a moment to mention the plight of Egypt’s harassed Coptic community and to criticize the new wave of Holocaust deniers. And to show he was not playing favorites, he put the Israelis on notice: no more settlements in the occupied territories. He spoke about the suffering of Palestinians. This was no wilting olive branch.

And yet, for all the president’s talk of “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world” and shared “principles of justice and progress,” neither he nor anyone around him, and certainly no one in the audience, bothered to notice one small detail missing from the speech: he forgot me.

The president never said a word about me. Or, for that matter, about any of the other 800,000 or so Jews born in the Middle East who fled the Arab and Muslim world or who were summarily expelled for being Jewish in the 20th century. With all his references to the history of Islam and to its (questionable) “proud tradition of tolerance” of other faiths, Mr. Obama never said anything about those Jews whose ancestors had been living in Arab lands long before the advent of Islam but were its first victims once rampant nationalism swept over the Arab world.

Nor did he bother to mention that with this flight and expulsion, Jewish assets were — let’s call it by its proper name — looted. Mr. Obama never mentioned the belongings I still own in Egypt and will never recover. My mother’s house, my father’s factory, our life in Egypt, our friends, our books, our cars, my bicycle. We are, each one of us, not just defined by the arrangement of protein molecules in our cells, but also by the things we call our own. Take away our things and something in us dies. Losing his wealth, his home, the life he had built, killed my father. He didn’t die right away; it took four decades of exile to finish him off.

Mr. Obama had harsh things to say to the Arab world about its treatment of women. And he said much about America’s debt to Islam. But he failed to remind the Egyptians in his audience that until 50 years ago a strong and vibrant Jewish community thrived in their midst. Or that many of Egypt’s finest hospitals and other institutions were founded and financed by Jews. It is a shame that he did not remind the Egyptians in the audience of this, because, in most cases — and especially among those younger than 50 — their memory banks have been conveniently expunged of deadweight and guilt. They have no recollections of Jews.

In Alexandria, my birthplace and my home, all streets bearing Jewish names have been renamed. A few years ago, the Library of Alexandria put on display an Arabic translation of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” perhaps the most anti-Semitic piece of prose ever written. Today, for the record, there are perhaps four Jews left in Alexandria.

When the last Jew dies, the temples and religious artifacts and books that were the property of what was once probably the wealthiest Jewish community on the Mediterranean will go to the Egyptian government — not to me, or to my children, or to any of the numberless descendants of Egyptian Jews.

It is strange that our president, a man so versed in history and so committed to the truth, should have omitted mentioning the Jews of Egypt. He either forgot, or just didn’t know, or just thought it wasn’t expedient or appropriate for this venue. But for him to speak in Cairo of a shared effort “to find common ground ... and to respect the dignity of all human beings” without mentioning people in my position would be like his speaking to the residents of Berlin about the future of Germany and forgetting to mention a small detail called World War II.

André Aciman, a professor of comparative literature at the City University of New York Graduate Center, is the author of the memoir “Out of Egypt.”
23378  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774 on: June 09, 2009, 08:03:44 AM
"A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate."

--Thomas Jefferson, Rights of British America, 1774
23379  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: June 08, 2009, 08:14:09 PM
You live in the San Fernando Valley-- which for many months of the year, is A LOT hotter than 82 degrees.  How do you handle this?

23380  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Robert Wright: The Evolution of God on: June 08, 2009, 08:04:59 PM
WSJ
By GREGG EASTERBROOK
On any list of nonfiction authors that many people may not know but should, Robert Wright would rank high. Among his books are "The Moral Animal" (1994), which argues that natural selection rewards principled behavior and is gradually improving human ethics; and "Nonzero" (2000), which argues that history is moving in a positive direction: Social, political and economic forces, the book said, can operate in a "nonzero" rather than a "zero sum" way. In short, it is not necessary for A to gain at the expense of B; rather, both can gain.

Now Mr. Wright completes the circle by finding roughly the same promising trend in higher affairs. "The Evolution of God" -- really about religion rather than the divine -- supposes that, for all their faults, the monotheistic faiths have prospered because they encourage people to get along.


 Mr. Wright begins "The Evolution of God" by wondering not whether faiths are true but why they proliferated in early society. His conclusion is that the initial impulse of faith was the self-interest of its administrative class. "Whenever people sense the presence of a puzzling and momentous force," he writes, "they want to believe there is a way to comprehend it. If you can convince them you're the key to comprehension, you can reach great stature." Shamans pretended to understand nature, the leading mystery of ancient days. But the claim was just a way for them to earn a living, Mr. Wright asserts; surely few shamans actually believed that they knew why storms came or disease struck.

What is the contemporary equivalent to the tribal shaman? Stockbrokers. Like shamans, stockbrokers claim the ability to augur hidden forces -- and, like shamans, Mr. Wright says, their advice is almost always worthless. In general, customers (ancient farmers needing rain, modern investors) want to believe that someone has secret, mystic knowledge of a powerful unknown (the natural world, Wall Street). Like investment advisers today, mediums of the far past claimed mystic knowledge and charged for it. In some old tribal cultures, Mr. Wright adds, the word shaman meant roughly "politician." Angling for religious power was thus essentially the same as angling for tribal leadership.

The Evolution of God
By Robert Wright
(Little, Brown, 567 pages, $25.99)
This, Mr. Wright infers, is how most religion began. Not exactly a glorious moment of revelation upon a mountaintop. Is the theory persuasive? Mr. Wright is prone to supposing that strong conclusions regarding precivilization can be drawn from the writings of anthropologists. Maybe anthropology is correct at times, but the field is chronically speculative and inferential -- building theories of history on it may be building on sand. For instance, Mr. Wright finds it significant that the earliest Buryat and Inuit cultures, in Siberia and the Arctic, viewed shamans as we now view politicians. But the Inuit also believed that their society was descended from invincible giants. Roll such points together and you have -- I am not sure what.

The closer Mr. Wright's analysis draws to the Common Era, the more forceful it becomes. The most striking contention in "The Evolution of God" concerns St. Paul, Christianity's first administrative leader. Ancient religions died off, Mr. Wright claims, because they were designed for specific ethnic groups and possessed no appeal outside them. Judaism spoke to those born into the faith, limiting its potential scope. Paul wanted Christianity to become a global faith, appealing to anyone from any land or ethnic group. So he offered something no faith had offered to that point -- universal brotherhood. Did Jesus intend to start a new, broader-based religion? That's hardly clear -- Christ never used the word "Christian" or instructed his disciples to promote a new faith. Paul, by contrast, actively wished to start a cross-borders, proselytizing system of belief. His innovation, according to Mr. Wright, was to realize that the promise of brotherhood could appeal to the whole world -- and as a Roman citizen, Paul thought in whole-world terms.

"The Evolution of God" goes on to analyze the spread of Christianity -- and, later, Islam -- in language that at times strains to sound of the moment: Had Pauline thinking failed, Mr. Wright observes, "another version of Christianity probably would have prevailed, a version featuring the doctrine of interethnic amity, the doctrine that realized the network externalities offered by the open platform of the Roman Empire."

But there is no doubt that Paul's core idea of brotherhood-based faith, intended to overcome delineations between people and groups, was a tremendous success in historical terms. Centuries later, Islam would emphasize some of the same qualities as early Christianity, especially the embrace of anyone from any nation. Broadly, Mr. Wright argues that religions act fierce or nationalistic when adherents feel threatened. But "when a religious group senses an auspicious non-zero-sum relationship with another group, it is more likely to create tolerant scriptures or find tolerance in existing scriptures." As the world grows ever more interdependent, this sentiment is an especially propitious one.

In the course of a long work ostensibly about God, Mr. Wright never tells the reader whether he believes that a supreme being exists. After extended hemming and hawing on this essential point, he proffers only that a person who accepts God as actual is "not necessarily crazy." Talk about praising with faint damnation! But taken together, "The Moral Animal," "Nonzero" and "The Evolution of God" represent a powerful addition to modern thought. If biology, culture and faith all seek a better world, maybe there is hope.

Mr. Easterbrook is the author of "The Progress Paradox" and the forthcoming "Sonic Boom," about the accelerating pace of economic change.

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A15
23381  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: June 08, 2009, 07:12:56 PM
Maybe the Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when money and property were part of the qualifications to vote!  cheesy

@JDN:  If you take the next step and realize that money is property too, a blazing glory of comprehension will be yours  cheesy grin
23382  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: June 08, 2009, 07:09:45 PM
"If im going to be forced to pay for their health care they should atleast do their part to lighten my load.  Same goes for smokers and alcoholics, dont ask me to pay for the health care of those who do not care enough about themselves to take care of themselves."

The logic of "if you are going to make me pay, then , , , the State and I own your *ss and get to tell you what to do" makes me really, really, really leery.



FWIW, IMHO the idea of the Canadian system prohibiting people seeking out private sector options is, in the deepest and truest sense of the word, a form of slavery.
23383  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: June 08, 2009, 06:56:14 PM
Shaggy:

Please email Cindy and me at info@dogbrothers.com and if Cindy does not have the answer I will forward you it to our webmaster for a solution.

BTW, what you have going has really got me thinking about all this.  Glad to see you here.



23384  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Rest in Peace on: June 08, 2009, 06:53:18 PM
http://inosanto.com/?p=1163 on Tony Adams
23385  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSH: Brain drain? No, brain stoppage. on: June 08, 2009, 06:41:28 PM
From the WSJ:

By EDWARD ALDEN
Log onto the Web site of the U.S. Consulate in Chennai and you will see a snapshot of what visa processing is doing to the competitiveness of American companies and research institutions. Click on the link to "Case Status Report," and there is a list of hundreds of visa applications from Indians who await processing. The oldest dates back to 2005, and dozens of others have been pending for a year or more while Washington plods through security background checks.

In recent months I have been in contact with many individuals caught in this Kafkaesque bureaucracy. Most are scientists and engineers who have earned advanced degrees from U.S. universities and are (or were) working for American companies in Silicon Valley, Wall Street and other centers of the U.S. economy.

One had been a researcher at Intel on the latest generation of chip designs; he'd won a national prize for his Ph.D. dissertation for outstanding research in electronic and photonic materials. Another had lived in the U.S. for more than a decade and was doing post-doctoral research at Emory University on vaccine immunology. Still another was a quantitative analyst for a U.S. hedge fund.

Yet when they returned to India -- to attend a brother's wedding or visit a dying parent or simply take a vacation -- they were informed that they could not come back until the U.S. government had done a security screening. Many arrived in India with only a suitcase. By the time I heard of their stories they had been forced to abandon apartments, cars and families in the U.S. while they waited to hear from the State Department.

Of all the initiatives undertaken in the name of homeland security after 9/11, the visa screening requirements for foreign scientists and engineers have probably done the most lasting damage to America's economy -- particularly in the cutting-edge technology fields that are vital to our economic leadership and national security.

The U.S. scientific enterprise depends enormously on talented foreigners. Foreign students and researchers, especially from India and China, comprise more than half of the scientific researchers in the U.S. They earn 40% of the Ph.D.s in science and engineering, and 65% of the computer science doctorates. If we drive them away, the companies that depend on such expertise will leave with them, taking thousands of other jobs that would have been filled by Americans.

Last week, in an encouraging sign that Washington has started to recognize the damage, the Obama administration pledged to throw enough resources at the problem to reduce the months-long screening to no more than two weeks in most cases. With the improvements that have been made in terrorist watch lists and other security screening tools, a decision on whether a visa applicant -- especially one already living and working here -- poses a threat should not take months.

Equally encouraging, the administration's top officials appear to have recognized the importance of the problem. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her commencement speech at New York University last month to pledge that she would "streamline the visa process, particularly for science and technology students, so that even more qualified students will come here." Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has promised a renewed effort to secure the country's borders "without cutting off legitimate trade and tourism."

A lot of ground has been lost in the past eight years, however. While foreign student applications were up sharply in 2007 and 2008 and have finally surpassed their pre-9/11 levels, the U.S. largely missed out on the biggest boom ever in students studying abroad, especially at the graduate level. Other countries have competed aggressively for those students while the U.S. made it so difficult to come here that many opted not to. Foreign student enrollment is about 25% below what it would have been had pre-9/11 trends continued.

While the pledge to speed up security reviews is encouraging, the administration needs to take a more comprehensive look at the impact of post-9/11 visa and travel restrictions. Do we really need, for instance, to do in-person interviews of everyone who seeks a visa, even if they have already been interviewed for visas in the past, and we already have their fingerprints on U.S. government databases? That only wastes scarce consular resources on low-risk travelers. Is it necessary to pull all male travelers from Muslim countries into the long humiliation of secondary screening at the airport, even those who are frequent visitors well-known to U.S. officials? It is time to reassert some common sense.

When the Department of Homeland Security was created in 2003, it set out to build a "smart border," one that would keep out terrorists, criminals and others who would harm the U.S. without driving away the tourists, students, businessmen and skilled employees the country needs. It was the right goal, but too often the government forgot the "smart" part and simply layered on more onerous security measures. The U.S. economy has suffered unnecessary damage. The administration's move last week on visas needs to be the first of many steps to get back on a smarter path.

Mr. Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, is the author of "The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration and Security Since 9/11" (HarperCollins, 2008).

23386  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Mudd under the bus with regret on: June 08, 2009, 04:48:43 PM
President Obama and CIA Director Leon Panetta have been at pains to say they don't want to punish intelligence officials and agents who had a role in "enhanced interrogation" after 9/11. But tell that to Philip Mudd, who withdrew his nomination late Friday to be the intelligence chief at the Homeland Security Department under pressure from Democrats in Congress.

Mr. Mudd is a well-regarded career intelligence officer who has worked in senior positions at the FBI and CIA, including deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Mr. Obama nominated him on May 4 amid fulsome praise from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. But in a statement issued by the White House on the eve of a late spring weekend, Mr. Mudd said he was withdrawing so as not to become "a distraction to the president and his vital agenda."

The truth is that he risked being a distraction to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrats, who suddenly don't want to talk about what they knew about the interrogation techniques they once endorsed and long funded but now denounce. So Ms. Pelosi doesn't have to answer any questions about her changing claims about her CIA briefings, but a foot soldier like Mr. Mudd who did what his country asked him to do to keep the country safe is blackballed.

The White House said Mr. Obama accepted Mr. Mudd's withdrawal "with sadness and regret," but it's clear the President wasn't willing to fight for him. The message that will be heard loud and clear across the intelligence services is that you better not take any risks to keep America safe, because if you get into political trouble Mr. Obama will throw you over the side, albeit with "regret."
23387  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A hint of testosterone?!? on: June 08, 2009, 09:07:49 AM
NYT

U.S. Weighs Intercepting North Korean Shipments
Published: June 7, 2009
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration signaled Sunday that it was seeking a way to interdict, possibly with China’s help, North Korean sea and air shipments suspected of carrying weapons or nuclear technology.


The administration also said it was examining whether there was a legal basis to reverse former President George W. Bush’s decision last year to remove the North from a list of states that sponsor terrorism.

The reference to interdictions — preferably at ports or airfields in countries like China, but possibly involving riskier confrontations on the high seas — was made by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. She was the highest-ranking official to talk publicly about such a potentially provocative step as a response to North Korea’s second nuclear test, conducted two weeks ago.

While Mrs. Clinton did not specifically mention assistance from China, other administration officials have been pressing Beijing to take such action under Chinese law.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Mrs. Clinton said the United States feared that if the test and other recent actions by North Korea did not lead to “strong action,” there was a risk of “an arms race in Northeast Asia” — an oblique reference to the concern that Japan would reverse its long-held ban against developing nuclear weapons.

So far it is not clear how far the Chinese are willing to go to aid the United States in stopping North Korea’s profitable trade in arms, the isolated country’s most profitable export. But the American focus on interdiction demonstrates a new and potentially far tougher approach to North Korea than both President Clinton and Mr. Bush, in his second term, took as they tried unsuccessfully to reach deals that would ultimately lead North Korea to dismantle its nuclear arsenal.

Mr. Obama, aides say, has decided that he will not offer North Korea new incentives to dismantle the nuclear complex at Yongbyon that the North previously promised to abandon.

“I’m tired of buying the same horse twice,” Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates said last week while touring an antimissile site in Alaska that the Bush administration built to demonstrate its preparedness to destroy North Korean missiles headed toward the United States. (So far, the North Koreans have not successfully tested a missile of sufficient range to reach the United States, though there is evidence that they may be preparing for another test of their long-range Taepodong-2 missile.)

In France on Saturday, Mr. Obama referred to the same string of broken deals, telling reporters, “I don’t think there should be an assumption that we will simply continue down a path in which North Korea is constantly destabilizing the region and we just react in the same ways.” He added, “We are not intending to continue a policy of rewarding provocation.”

While Mr. Obama was in the Middle East and Europe last week, several senior officials said the president’s national security team had all but set aside the central assumption that guided American policy toward North Korea over the past 16 years and two presidencies: that the North would be willing to ultimately abandon its small arsenal of nuclear weapons in return for some combination of oil, nuclear power plants, money, food and guarantees that the United States would not topple its government, the world’s last Stalinesque regime.

Now, after examining the still-inconclusive evidence about the results of North Korea’s second nuclear test, the administration has come to different conclusions: that Pyonyang’s top priority is to be recognized as a nuclear state, that it is unwilling to bargain away its weapons and that it sees tests as a way to help sell its nuclear technology.

“This entirely changes the dynamic of how you deal with them,” a senior national security aide said.

While Mr. Obama is willing to reopen the six-party talks that Mr. Bush began — the other participants are Japan, South Korea, Russia and China — he has no intention, aides say, of offering new incentives to get the North to fulfill agreements from 1994, 2005 and 2008; all were recently renounced.

“Clinton bought it once, Bush bought it again, and we’re not going to buy it a third time,” one of Mr. Obama’s chief strategists said last week, referring to the Yongbyon plant, where the North reprocesses spent nuclear fuel into bomb-grade plutonium.

While some officials privately acknowledged that they would still like to roll back what one called North Korea’s “rudimentary” nuclear capacity, a more realistic goal is to stop the country from devising a small weapon deliverable on a short-, medium- or long-range missile.

In conducting any interdictions, the United States could risk open confrontation with North Korea. That prospect — and the likelihood of escalating conflict if the North resisted an inspection — is why China has balked at American proposals for a resolution by the United Nations Security Council that would explicitly allow interceptions at sea. A previous Security Council resolution, passed after the North’s first nuclear test, in 2006, allowed interdictions “consistent with international law.” But that term was never defined, and few of the provisions were enforced.

North Korea has repeatedly said it would regard any interdiction as an act of war, and officials in Washington have been trying to find ways to stop the shipments without a conflict. Late last week, James B. Steinberg, the deputy secretary of state, visited Beijing with a delegation of American officials, seeking ideas from China about sanctions, including financial pressure, that might force North Korea to change direction.

“The Chinese face a dilemma that they have always faced,” a senior administration official said. “They don’t want North Korea to become a full nuclear weapons state. But they don’t want to cause the state to collapse.” They have been walking a fine line, the official said, taking a tough position against the North of late, but unwilling to publicly embrace steps that would put China in America’s camp.

To counter the Chinese concern, Mr. Steinberg and his delegation argued to the Chinese that failing to crack down on North Korea would prompt reactions that Beijing would find deeply unsettling, including a greater American military presence in the region and more calls in Japan for that country to develop its own weapons.

Mrs. Clinton seemed to reflect this concern in the interview on Sunday. “We will do everything we can to both interdict it and prevent it and shut off their flow of money,” she said. “If we do not take significant and effective action against the North Koreans now, we’ll spark an arms race in Northeast Asia. I don’t think anybody wants to see that.”

While Mrs. Clinton also said the State Department was examining whether North Korea should be placed back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, she acknowledged that there was a legal process for it. “Obviously we would want to see recent evidence of their support for international terrorism,” she said.

That evidence may be hard to come by. While North Korea has engaged in missile sales, it has not been linked to terrorism activity for many years. And North Korea’s restoration to the list would be largely symbolic, because it already faces numerous economic sanctions.
23388  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The second and the fourteenth on: June 08, 2009, 08:26:13 AM
Pasted here from the Legal Issues thread on P&R forum:

June 08, 2009, 4:00 a.m.

Bill of Rights, Inc.
Could a Second Amendment case establish Fourteenth Amendment originalism?

By Will Haun

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided McDonald v. City of Chicago, a challenge to Chicago’s gun ban. The case has major implications for protecting gun rights at the state level, but its importance goes further than that. Depending on what the Supreme Court does, it could make originalism — relying on the text of the Constitution and its amendments as they were understood when enacted — the accepted standard for interpreting the Bill of Rights, rather than the whims of a handful of justices.

The plaintiff’s case in McDonald is based on the Second Amendment, but also on the Fourteenth. Last year, in Heller v. District of Columbia, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own firearms against infringement by the federal government. But can a state or local government infringe that right? This question hinges on the constitutional principle of “incorporation” — the notion that the Fourteenth Amendment makes the states subject to the Bill of Rights.

When it was enacted in 1791, the Bill of Rights applied to the federal government only. Individual states could (and did) restrict free speech, for example, or have an established church. The states were beholden only to their own laws and constitutions and to certain provisions in Article I of the U.S. Constitution. After the Civil War, as Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002), “the Fourteenth Amendment fundamentally restructured the relationship between individuals and the States and ensured that States would not deprive citizens of liberty without due process of law.” But what “liberty” was included in this guarantee, and what was meant by “due process”?

The full text of the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment reads:

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Ringing phrases, to be sure, but somewhat short on specifics. In fact, the meaning of every major clause in the first section is disputed, and has been since the amendment’s enactment in 1868.

Case law provides little clarity. The first major Supreme Court decision to grapple with these questions came in the Slaughterhouse cases of 1873, but — to quote Justice Thomas again, this time from his dissent in Saenz v. Roe (1999) — that decision “all but read the Privileges or Immunities Clause out of the Constitution.”  By adopting a narrow interpretation of the clause, the Court gave states wide latitude to enact laws they thought were necessary.

Towards the end of the 19th century, however, as various reform movements took hold, restrictive state laws came to be seen as an obstacle to progress.  So the justices eventually concluded, as Prof. James W. Ely of Vanderbilt Law School notes, “that the Fourteenth Amendment did confer a national standard of rights against the states.” But instead of reviving the “privileges or immunities” clause to enforce this standard (and thus reversing Slaughterhouse), they seized upon the “due process” clause.

That clause may simply seem to restate the Fifth Amendment requirement guaranteeing an individual’s right to a day in court and the protections of the legal process, this time applying it to the states as well as the federal government. That’s the way many modern originalists understand the clause. But as reform took hold, courts began interpreting it to mean that states had no power to deprive citizens of important rights, whether or not those rights were mentioned in the Constitution. The judges themselves would decide what rights fell under the clause’s protection. They called this doctrine “substantive due process” to distinguish it from the traditional day-in-court meaning, which came to be called “procedural due process.”

At first, substantive due process was used mostly to reverse state encroachments on economic choices, like freedom of contract. If a baker wanted to work 70 or 80 hours a week, no one could stop him. But as the doctrine evolved, justices used it to incorporate selective provisions of the Bill of Rights, making them enforceable against state governments (the Second Amendment, among other provisions, was excluded for various reasons).  And as the 20th century wore on, these two trends diverged: Economic regulation became popular among the progressives on the Court, while regulation of individuals’ “private” conduct became even less so. The justices modified the doctrine to fit their new preferences.

The result, Ely notes, was to create “an artificial division between economic rights, which the pro–New Deal court wanted to reject, and personal rights, which they wanted to expand to mean virtually anything.” Since the 1940s, the concept of substantive due process has been greatly expanded by the Court, not just to protect the Bill of Rights from abridgment by state action, but to create rights to privacy and abortion, a “wall of separation” between church and state, and many other inventions of the Warren and Berger Courts.

Many originalists, such as David Forte, co-editor of The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, have rightly argued that “due process was never meant to have a substantive meaning,” but merely a judicial one. This argument provides the basis for many conservatives and originalists to stand against the whole principle of incorporation. In a strict interpretation of this view, Chicago is entitled to restrict gun rights, since the Second Amendment (and the rest of the Bill of Rights) does not apply to it.

To parry this objection, the briefs in McDonald that argue for incorporation rely on recent scholarship that justifies incorporation on originalist grounds. Prof. Michael Kent Curtis, of Wake Forest School of Law, who worked on an amicus brief in McDonald, used the broad text of the Fourteenth Amendment, statements made in the 39th Congress (which passed the amendment), and the legal theories of its sponsors to conclude in his 1990 book No State Shall Abridge: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights that incorporation through the “privileges or immunities” clause was part of the amendment’s intent.

Other originalists, such as Jim Bond, professor emeritus at Seattle University School of Law, have questioned how widespread the agreement on incorporation was, especially in the southern-state ratifying conventions that meticulously reviewed the amendment before passing it. But there is still good reason to believe, as Forte says, that some “federal package of rights is protected by the privileges or immunities clause.”

Exactly what rights are included in that package is unclear, but the connection of incorporation with the “privileges or immunities” clause provides another weapon for civil-liberties lawyers. That explains why both the progressive Constitutional Accountability Center (a “living Constitution” advocate) and the libertarian Institute for Justice filed amicus briefs in McDonald v. Chicago in favor of incorporating the Second Amendment. In a case of politics making strange bedfellows, the amicus briefs put those two groups on the same side as the National Rifle Association, which is co-plaintiff with McDonald.

In a decision delivered earlier this week, the Seventh Circuit upheld Chicago’s ban on firearms, but the decision left the merits of incorporation through the “privileges or immunities” clause to the Supreme Court. Alan Gura, arguing on behalf of the NRA and McDonald, anticipated this; he noted in oral arguments that his side intends to “preserve this argument for the upper [Supreme] Court.” (Gura was also the lawyer for the plaintiff in Heller v. D.C.)

Assuming the Supreme Court agrees to review McDonald, its decision could send shock waves through constitutional law. If the “privileges or immunities” clause becomes the new justification for incorporating the Bill of Rights into state law, the days of “substantive due process,” and all the judicial overreaching it has brought, could be numbered. Still, the fact that some liberals support this interpretation is worrisome. Would it merely substitute a new all-purpose tool for legislating from the bench in place of the old one?

Not necessarily. Basing decisions on the text-based “privileges or immunities” clause, rather than the judge-created doctrine of “substantive due process,” would naturally lend itself to the increased use of originalist analysis of the Fourteenth Amendment. The focus of inquiry would be, in Forte’s words, “what could have been reasonably understood to be the ‘Privileges or Immunities’ of Federal Citizenship by the amendment’s framers” — limiting the ability of future justices to “find” new “rights” protected by it. So no matter how the incorporation debate shakes out, an endorsement of originalism would be a victory for conservatives who prize intellectual honesty in constitutional interpretation.

Seemingly aware of these implications, the Left is trying to preserve the contrivances of “substantive due process” in an originalist guise. They want to define “privileges” and “immunities” as broadly as possible, to include what Doug Kendall of the Constitutional Accountability Center calls “very important progressive values,” such as abortion rights and same-sex marriage. The goal is to continue expanding “individual rights” while permitting restriction of property rights and economic freedoms.  So if the Supreme Court decides in McDonald’s favor, it could end the controversy over gun rights but begin a host of new battles in other areas.

Yet Robert Levy, chairman of the Cato Institute, is not afraid of opening a can of worms. He says that libertarians see McDonald as an opportunity “to resurrect economic liberties suspended by the Court under the post–New Deal version of substantive due process.” Conservatives should see this case as a rare opportunity to base any incorporation of the Bill of Rights on originalist grounds — an opportunity they should waste no time in seizing, for it may not come again.

— Will Haun is a recent graduate of American University and is policy chairman of the Young Conservative Coalition. He is interning at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies this summer before beginning law school at Catholic University this fall.

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NjM5ODQ5NGE5MGYxOTY4ZjdlMDMzMGU2NzZlMjI2NDM=
23389  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / This seems like an interesting site on: June 08, 2009, 07:46:01 AM
Haven't had a chance to check it out properly yet, but it seems promising.  Any comments?

http://www.wikihow.com/Do-Basic-First-Aid
23390  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Amazing gaming technology on: June 08, 2009, 07:28:42 AM
Amazing gaming technology:

http://dvice.com/archives/2009/06/microsoft-unvei-1.php

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/e3-09-lionhead-milo/50015
23391  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Dog Brothers Team Kali Tudo on: June 07, 2009, 11:51:57 PM
Looking forward to pairing Poi Dog and Kevin tomorrow  cool
23392  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / asst sec of DHS 2 on: June 07, 2009, 11:49:43 PM
second post

Obama Appoints Devout Muslim to Homeland Security Post
 

Our Islamic loving President Obama has appointed Arif Alikhan a devout Sunni Muslim to assistant secretary for the Office of Policy Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Alikhan was instrumental in taking down the LA Police Department's plan to monitor it's Muslim community.

Hat tip to Atlas Shrugs.



Arif Alikhan Moves from LA Mayor’s Office to DHS
By SUNITA SOHRABJI

Arif Alikhan, currently deputy mayor for the city of Los Angeles, was appointed Apr. 24 as assistant secretary for the Office of Policy Development at the Department of Homeland Security.

Alikhan’s appointment was announced alongside David Heyman’s nomination to the post of assistant secretary for policy at the department. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano noted Heyman and Alikhan’s “broad and impressive array of experience in national security, emergency preparedness and counterterrorism.”

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also hailed Alikhan’s appointment at DHS. “Arif Alikhan has been instrumental in advancing my administration’s central priorities of preparing Los Angeles to respond to natural disasters and against the threat of terrorism, increasing public safety and putting 1,000 new LAPD officers on our streets,” said the mayor in a press statement.

In a telephone interview, Alikhan told India-West that he has no start date yet for his new role, as he is still looking for a home in Washington, D.C., and wrapping up at the L.A. mayor’s office. His appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

The Canadian-born Alikhan, who grew up in Southern California, said he spoke to Napolitano briefly before the appointment was made. “She said she was very happy I was coming on board,” said the 1993 Loyola law school graduate, adding that he was “very impressed” by Napolitano and her accomplishments.

First on the agenda at DHS will be learning the priorities of the department, said Alikhan, adding that he wanted the directives for his new post to come from within the administration.

Alikhan has served as L.A.’s deputy mayor of homeland security and public safety since November 2006. Of his tenure there, Alikhan said he was most proud of his gang reduction strategies, and working with the city’s fire department on issues of discrimination.

Alikhan also secured over $400 million in homeland security and public safety grants for the Los Angeles area, and helped to revamp the city’s emergency procedures. He served as a key aide to Villaraigosa during times of brush and wild fires, and during a Metrolink train crash last September, which killed more than 15 people.

Before joining Villaraigosa’s administration, Alikhan served for nine years as a senior official at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he oversaw a national computer hacking and intellectual property program. He also served as a key advisor on intellectual property and cybercrime at the U.S. Attorney’s office in both Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

In 2004, Alikhan received an award from the DOJ for “Superior Performance in a Management and Supervisory Role.” He has also received several awards from law enforcement agencies.

“We are very proud of Arif Alikhan for his appointment,” said Pankit Doshi, co-president of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California. “His uncompromising dedication to the Los Angeles community is second to none. This honor is a testament to his abilities and dedication.” “Arif has been a very good friend to SABA-SC and a role model to South Asian American lawyers throughout the country,” echoed SABA-SC co-president Paul Saghera, noting that Alikhan is a current SABA-SC member and the 2007 recipient of the SABA-SC Foundation Trailblazer Award for his contributions to the South Asian legal community.

Alikhan began his legal career as a judicial law clerk to U.S. District Judge Ronald Lew in Los Angeles. He then joined the firm of Irell and Manella, where he handled civil and white-collar criminal defense cases. He graduated cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in 1990, with a degree in social ecology and an emphasis in criminal justice, criminology and legal studies.

Parents Mir Farooq and Rafat Alikhan, originally from Hyderabad, now live in Diamond Bar, Calif., while brother Zafar Alikhan, an urban planner, lives in Denver, Colorado.

http://islaminaction08.blogspot.com/...muslim-to.html
23393  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Our new Asst Sec. of DHS on: June 07, 2009, 11:43:09 PM
http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/a...etary-dhs.html

OBAMA APPOINTMENT: Arif Alikhan, Asst Secretary DHS

Arif Alikhan, currently deputy mayor for the city of Los Angeles, was appointed as assistant secretary for the Office of Policy Development at the Department of Homeland Security.

Muslim Democrats welcome Alikhan’s appointment

At a banquet/fundraiser for the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California last weekend, the first speaker was Arif Alikhan (Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles - in charge of public safety for the city). He bid farewell, as he is going to take a post as Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security. Arif Alikhan is a devout Sunni and the son of Pakistani immigrants (here).

....speakers included Arif Ali Khan, the former Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles. He bid the attendees farewell as he prepared to leave the Los Angeles area for Washington, D. C. There he will serve as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Professor Agha Saeed of the American Muslim Task Force (AMT) spoke of the aftermath of 9/11 and the struggle of the Muslim Community against the pervasive atmosphere of Islamophobia and hatred. It was a struggle against the tide - a very strong tide - to prevent Muslims in America from being marginalized and silenced.

Professor Saeed ....issued five demands from Muslims to the Department of Justice. These demands included a cessation to the infiltration by spies of mosques and an end to the introduction of agents provocateur. In addition there was to be a cessation of attempts to undermine Muslim groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

This is where Alikhan spoke? He was comfortable with this terror talk?

Why Alikhan? DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano noted Alikhan’s “broad and impressive array of experience in national security, emergency preparedness and counterterrorism.” I am not sure what she is talking about (neither is she, I am sure.)
Arif Alikhan was appointed Deputy Mayor of LA - picked from relative obscurity.

He began his career seven years ago, when he took a job with the Department of Justice hunting down computer hackers, crooks who were selling merchandise on Ebay at rock-bottom prices. In his former position as an assistant US attorney, Alikhan consistently did his work accurately and silently, never producing any headlines. But then he suddenly became one of the most important men in Los Angeles, America's second-largest city after New York.

He took the position of Deputy Mayor in November 2006. The year that the Congress went Democrat and history and America took a disastrous turn. How does an obscure bureaucrat a and devout Muslim come to the position of Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles - in charge of public safety for the city? And now Assistant Secretary to DHS?

Un-indicted co-conspirator CAIR was thrilled at the appointment:
CAIR-LA Congratulates Calif. Muslim Appointed to DHS Post , Arif Alikhan will serve as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development




(LOS ANGELES, CA., 5/6/09) - The Greater Los Angeles Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today congratulated Arif Alikhan on his recent appointment as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

"Congratulations to Mr. Ali Khan on this well-deserved appointment," said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. "Mr. Alikhan's new position reflects his and the community's dedication to helping preserve the security of our country. The American Muslim community can be proud of him."

In the past few weeks, American Muslim leaders have been urging the Obama administration to be inclusive and to reflect the diversity of our nation as he selects the most qualified public servants to fill important positions.

Back in 2007, Alikhan was instrumental in removing the Muslim terror tracking plan in LA.
The controversial Muslim 'Mapping' Plan of the Los Angeles Police Department is now "dead on arrival" according to Chief William Bratton.
"It is over and not just put on the side," said Chief Bratton in a meeting with the Muslim leadership of Southern California on Thursday, November 15th. The meeting was moderated by Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles, Arif Alikhan and attended by Deputy Chief Mike Downing.
Chief Bratton acknowledged the hurt and offense caused to Muslims and agreed to send a letter to the Muslim community announcing the official termination of the 'mapping' plan.
A major reason for the termination of the 'mapping' plan was the Muslim community's vociferous opposition and active civic engagement in making themselves heard beyond Los Angeles. Muslim organizations demonstrated a strong unity of purpose and message on the issue of 'mapping' that led to a position of strength for Muslims in the meeting. Those involved in the initial phases of this controversy were the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and Muslim Advocates.
Today, the people of Los Angeles spoke and the City of Los Angeles listened to the collective voice for justice and civil rights.
23394  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: June 07, 2009, 10:28:26 PM
ROTFLMAO.
23395  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: June 07, 2009, 01:29:01 PM
I figure he'd be stupid if he didn't-- and the Secret Service derelict in its duty.
23396  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: June 07, 2009, 10:16:46 AM
Well, obviously there is a riff here based on His Glibness bowing to the Saudi king and for what the spontaneousness of the gesture reveals about what is in his heart-- which is manifested in the nature of his coverage.  We are in agreement about the nature of the coverage  grin
23397  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: June 07, 2009, 08:48:52 AM
For some reason I always liked Arlovski.  The loss to Fedor was a heartbreaker, but arguably could be blamed on his doing a flying leap chin first into Fedor's big right.  However, with this loss it appears to be time to consider moving on.
23398  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 07, 2009, 08:42:33 AM
Thank you Rachel.  You are quite a well-read woman!!!

Of the two entries I liked http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicomachean_Ethics a bit more.
23399  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Brian Williams bows to King Obama on: June 07, 2009, 08:33:35 AM
Brian Williams bows to King Obama

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/06/04/meghan-mccain-accuses-brian-williams-of-bowing-to-president-ob/?icid=main|htmlws-main|dl7|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.politicsdaily.com%2F2009%2F06%2F04%2Fmeghan-mccain-accuses-brian-williams-of-bowing-to-president-ob%2F
23400  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Rest in Peace on: June 07, 2009, 01:24:13 AM
I am informed through multiple sources that highly regarded and well-liked savateur of the Inosanto Tribe Tony Adams has committed suicide.  cry

I saw him at the IAMA last Saturday.  I do not claim to have known him well, but always liked him a lot.  We chatted a bit about some new ideas I was working on in my Kali Tudo.  I cannot claim that I was alert enough to have spotted anything unusual-- maybe he seemed a little down, but nothing that really caught my attention.

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