Dog Brothers Public Forum

HOME | PUBLIC FORUM | MEMBERS FORUM | INSTRUCTORS FORUM | TRIBE FORUM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 06, 2016, 04:21:08 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
98745 Posts in 2346 Topics by 1082 Members
Latest Member: James
* Home Help Search Login Register
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 ... 470 471 [472] 473 474 ... 764
23551  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Prone Subjects with hidden hands more dangerous than previously imagined on: December 03, 2010, 11:41:27 AM
www.ForceScienceNews.com
 

New Force Science study results: Prone suspects with hidden hands more dangerous than imagined
The latest study by the Force Science Institute has produced 2 surprising findings of importance to trainers, street officers, and police attorneys:

1. Some suspects lying flat with hands hidden under chest or waist can produce and fire a gun at an approaching officer faster than any human being on earth can react to defend himself;

2. The angle sometimes advocated as the safest for approaching a prone subject appears, in fact, to be potentially the most dangerous.

In testing 5 different angles of weapon exposure and attack, FSI researchers discovered that the overall average time that elapses between the instant a prone suspect's first movement can be seen and the discharge of his pointed weapon is less than 2/3 of a second.

One subject in one of the firing postures monitored was able to move so fast that the gun in his hand could not be detected until the moment it discharged. The fastest subjects produced the weapon from under their chest and fired it upward and ahead--the line of approach taught by some trainers as being the most protective for officers.

One trainer who witnessed the testing exclaimed: "Wow! I knew suspects could be fast, but I didn't know they could be that fast!"

"This study is the first of its kind," lead researcher Dr. Bill Lewinski told Force Science News, "and it scientifically establishes that the desperate urgency officers often feel to control a prone subject's hands is fully justified.

"If hidden hands are not controlled immediately and the suspect is armed and decides to shoot, an officer is likely faced with an insurmountable challenge to react fast enough to prevent what could be a fatal attack."

RESEARCH MOTIVATION. Common street sense dictates that a live suspect lying on his belly with 1 or both hands hidden under his body poses a potential threat because of his possible access to a concealed weapon. However, Lewinski points out, "all training and tactics for dealing with this real-life field problem have been based on anecdotal experience, impulse, and supposition, not on any scientific foundation."

Moreover, in recent years a number of controversial, high-profile encounters have been captured on news video, showing officers using what appeared to be extraordinary force to expose downed suspects' hidden hands during capture and arrest.

"Media critics and other civilians, including jurors and force review board members, seemed unable to understand the officers' sense of urgency in some of these cases," says Lewinski, FSI's executive director. "Strikes with batons or flashlights delivered by officers trying to gain control of resistant suspects' hands were sometimes interpreted as malicious outbreaks of rage and vindictiveness.

"It became clear that we needed to scientifically explore the threat level presented by prone suspects with hidden hands because of the significant legal, training, and survival implications inherent in this subject."

Sgt. Craig Allen of the Hillsboro (OR) PD, the on-site coordinator for the resulting FSI study, put it this way: "Let's have the facts. Once we know for certain what we're dealing with, we can understand, explain, and train."

TESTING SET-UP. After some preliminary testing at FSI headquarters in Minnesota and at the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to refine methods, Lewinski and his research crew last February performed a 4-day series of rigorous experiments in Oregon with the help of Hillsboro PD's training unit.

One at a time, 39 volunteers--a mixture of male and female LEOs and college students, ranging in age from 19 to 32 and with varied fitness and agility levels--proned out on mats on the floor of a vacant commercial building. Each held a .22-cal., J-frame S&W revolver loaded with black-powder blanks under their chest or waist.

Each volunteer fired 25 rounds, producing the gun and shooting 1 round as fast as possible 5 different times in each of 5 different directions: from the chest up and ahead, to the left rear, and to the right rear, and from waist level to the left rear and to the right rear. Each was told to shoot as if trying to hit an officer center-mass approaching from those various directions at a distance of about 10 feet.

Three high-definition video cameras positioned at 3 different angles filmed the action. These time-coded tapes were then synced and meticulously analyzed under the direction of safety-management researcher and doctoral candidate Madeleine Gonin at the Ergonomics Laboratory at Indiana University.

Some of the participants were also filmed by the Canadian Discovery Channel. CLICK HERE to watch the clip."Each of the subjects moved in a somewhat different way, depending on what seemed most natural and fastest to them," Lewinski says.

SURPRISING FINDINGS. From Gonin's analysis of various elements in nearly a gigabyte of video footage, 2 measurements are the most significant, Lewinski explains.

One is the amount of time that elapses from the moment a subject starts his or her first, detectable pre-attack movement (usually a shifting of feet or hips) until the gun discharges. The other is the time from when any part of the gun is first visible until it fires; that is, from the time "something" from under the suspect's body--not even yet identifiable as a weapon--is first captured in a camera frame.

"All the time lapses recorded are startlingly fast--much faster than we imagined before the experiments," Lewinski says.

Specifically:

 

CLICK HERE to see these findings presented in a bar graph format.

DISTURBING INTERPRETATION. "It's important for officers to know how quickly an attack can unfold, because in terms of reaction time to sudden threats, a targeted officer is very likely to be significantly behind the curve," Lewinski says. "This is consistent with findings from other Force Science time-and-motion studies."

He points to the fastest times in which the research subjects were able to fire after some part of their gun first became visible. For some, there was no time gap; the gun could not be seen until it discharged. At most, only 1/10 of a second elapsed. Even the averages, lengthened by inclusion of the slowest shooters, ranged between ¼ second and less than half a second.

"There is not a human being in the world who can react before the discharge in those time frames, even if they are expecting a threat and have their gun up and ready!" Lewinski declares. "Even before the object coming into view can be recognized as a gun, a shot is off."

Nor can an approaching officer expect to be alerted by a suspect's pre-attack movement in time to preempt the threat. Even the slowest average time from initial movement to discharge is less than ¾ second. "Seeing a suspect's feet or hips start to shift to provide a physical base for bringing a gun out is of virtually no value in a swift attack," Lewinski says. "There's not enough time to comprehend what's happening and react."

Most surprising, Lewinski says, were the results when test subjects produced a gun from under their chest and fired to the front and up at about a 45-degree angle.

"Some trainers and officers believe that approaching a downed suspect toward the head provides the least vulnerability because lifting the torso up to shoot takes more effort," Lewinski says. "But ironically the fastest shooting times were achieved by subjects attacking toward that direction. In reality, the chest can be lifted and a gun pushed out with very little dynamic movement.

"Average times both from motion to discharge (0.52 seconds) and from appearance to discharge (0.25 seconds) are lowest in that position. And in the worst case from an officer's perspective, the gun is not at all visible until the instant it fires (0.00 seconds)."

LEGAL & TRAINING IMPLICATIONS. The scientific documentation of how quickly deadly threats can materialize from prone suspects could be helpful in explaining to force reviewers why officers sometimes feel compelled to use vigorous physical tactics in gaining control of hidden hands, Lewinski believes.

The legal impact will be discussed in greater detail by Capt. Scott Sargent of the LAPD, an attorney and certified Force Science Analyst, as part of an official paper on the study to be published by the researchers in a peer-reviewed professional journal. We'll advise you when this is available, expected to be in spring 2011.

As to tactical training implications, Lewinski shares a couple of preliminary observations:

1. In parsing the study data, it appears that prone suspects tend to be slowest in delivering gunfire when they are shooting toward the rear on the side opposite their gun hand. Thus in this study, in which most participants were right-handed, the slowest time averages from motion or weapon appearance to discharge occurred when subjects were shooting to the left rear with a gun hidden at waist level.

"This is because they had to turn more to free the gun arm from under their body," Lewinski explains. "Some subjects, in fact, had to roll almost onto their back before being able to shoot. Consequently, approaching toward a prone suspect's feet may be marginally safer--if anything can be considered safe in coming up to a downed suspect whose hands are hidden."

2. Keeping the suspect uncertain as to the approaching officer's location may be the best tactic for buying reaction time or forestalling an attempted attack.

"This may require deviation from the normal contact/cover approach," Lewinski explains. "The contact officer, who normally would be giving commands, can remain silent while the cover officer, ideally behind some protective barrier, issues verbal directions. This may allow for a stealthier approach by the contact officer and put the element of surprise more in that officer's favor.

"The less information the suspect can gather about the officer's location and angle, the slower he's likely to be in getting on target."

Lewinski stresses that "these are only tentative suggestions at this point. We are looking now to the training community for tactical strategies that can be tested with additional research."
 
23552  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury Data Watch on: December 03, 2010, 11:26:48 AM


Data Watch

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The ISM non-manufacturing index rose to 55.0 in November To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist
Robert Stein, CFA - Senior Economist
Date: 12/3/2010


The ISM non-manufacturing composite index rose to 55.0 in November from 54.3 in October, beating the consensus expected gain to 54.8. (Levels above 50 signal expansion; levels below 50 signal contraction.)

Most key sub-indexes were higher in November, and all remain at levels indicating economic growth. The new orders index increased to 57.7 from 56.7, the employment index rose to 52.7 from 50.9, and the supplier deliveries index rose to 52.5 from 51.0. The business activity index fell to a still strong 57.0 from 58.4 last month.
 
The prices paid index fell to 63.2 in November from 68.3 in October.   
 
Implications:  The service sector rebound continues after the Summer swoon, with today’s report beating expectations for the third month in a row.  The ISM non-manufacturing index increased to 55.0 from 54.3 in October, showing that economic growth is continuing to accelerate into the end of the year. The most encouraging detail in the report was the employment index, which reached its highest level in over three years. The new orders index rose to 57.7 from 56.7 in October as well, which means the outlook for the service sector looks bright. On the inflation front, the prices paid index fell to 63.2 from 68.3 in October. Despite this drop, the index remains at elevated levels. In other recent news, automakers sold cars and light trucks at a 12.3 million annual rate in November.  This is faster than the 12.1 million the consensus expected and 13% higher than a year ago.  On the housing front, pending home sales – contracts on existing homes – soared 10.4% in October, the largest percentage increase for any month on record (dating back to 2001).  This suggests existing home sales, which are counted at closing, will rebound sharply in November.
23553  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Note the last paragraph on: December 03, 2010, 11:14:18 AM
Bomb Plot Foiled in Oregon
Patriot Post
Last Friday, federal agents foiled yet another terrorist plot -- the attempted bombing of a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a 19-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen born in Somalia, told FBI agents that his goal was to kill Americans as they celebrated the holidays. He believed he would be successful, he said, because no one would expect an attack in Oregon.

Mohamud first appeared on the anti-terror radar after exchanging emails with an "unindicted associate" in northwest Pakistan, a known terrorist breeding ground. After expressing his desire to engage in "violent jihad," Mohamud was approached by FBI agents posing as terrorists. Over the next several months, Mohamud plotted with them, even mailing them materials from which they were to assemble the bomb. Recorded conversations show that Mohamud was given more than one chance to back out, but he refused, saying that he had been planning this since he was 15 and that "it's gonna be fireworks ... a spectacular show."

On the day of the ceremony, Mohamud parked a van loaded with what he believed to be explosives at the site and then went to a nearby train station, where he twice attempted to detonate the device with a mobile phone. As agents surrounded him, Mohamud kicked them, screaming "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is great). He's been charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Despite the incredible work of our law enforcement agencies, we are often merely putting out fires instead of dealing with the larger issue. On the same day as the thwarted attack, U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis released evidence that three major Islamic organizations are -- surprise! -- fronts for the terrorist group Hamas. Solis' 20-page ruling in the 2008 Holy Land Terror trial, which had been sealed until last week, reveals that the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have direct financial ties to suicide bombers working for Hamas. The ISNA, NAIT and CAIR maintain offices around the U.S., lobby Congress on Muslim-related issues, and are considered charitable organizations (and therefore tax exempt) by the IRS.

23554  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / No such luck on: December 03, 2010, 11:13:03 AM
Patriot Post

The Senate rejected an attempt to repeal a part of ObamaCare that will require nearly 40 million businesses to file tax forms in 2012 for every vendor that sells them $600 or more in goods. That mountain of paperwork will cost businesses -- especially small ones -- greatly, but it will raise an estimated $19 billion in tax revenue on underreported income over 10 years. Democrats couldn't figure out how to make up that revenue, and they thus defeated the repeal effort.
23555  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Feb 4-6: Guro Crafty in Chicago on: December 03, 2010, 10:52:22 AM

Date:  Feb. 4th - 6th

Dog Brothers Martial Arts School Program - Seminar and Padded weapons
tournament.
Adults and kid's seminars and divisions in the tournament.

Location:  Chicago, IL

Contact:
petejuska@sbcglobal.net
===============

Woof All: 

This is the first seminar of the Dog Brothers Martial Arts School Program.  A formal announcement should be out in the next week or two.

TAC!
Guro Crafty

23556  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / IMF on: December 03, 2010, 10:48:24 AM
Glenn Beck last night said that the IMF gave/lent $1T each to Greece and Ireland.  In that 1/6th comes from the US taxpayer (Can you spell taxation without representation?) that works out to some $320B  shocked  angry angry angry
23557  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Death Panels? What Death Panels? on: December 03, 2010, 10:15:28 AM
From today's POTH:

Arizona Cuts Financing for Transplant Patients
By MARC LACEY
Budget cuts ended payments for certain transplants, a decision that amounts to a death sentence for some patients.

No apologies to Sarah Palin were to be found in the article.

23558  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DB Euro Gathering 8/13-14, 2010 on: December 03, 2010, 09:20:56 AM
For those of you who attended my seminar the day after the Gathering, Andraz assisted me by playing "Mongo" in my demonstration of the ideas being taught. wink
23559  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: WHERE IS THE FOOTWORK!?! on: December 03, 2010, 09:18:45 AM
In DBMA the foundational DVD for applied fighting footwork is "Dos Triques".  (Do we have a thread on the Dos Triques DVD?)

BTW, that's Porn Star Dog you see in most of the fight footage showing the DT material applied.
23560  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stratfor: US calls on China to rein in NK on: December 02, 2010, 11:35:14 PM
U.S. Calls On China to Rein in North Korea

U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen called on Wednesday for China to “step up” its efforts in handling of the latest crisis on the Korean Peninsula in a speech at the Center for American Progress. Mullen specifically dismissed China’s offer to host a new round of consultations among the six parties involved in Korean peninsular affairs, saying that to do so would merely reward North Korea for its “provocative and destabilizing” behavior. His comments echoed rejections of China’s offer by the South Koreans, Japanese and even the North Koreans.

The situation on the peninsula remains edgy. Washington and Seoul have concluded military exercises, only to declare they will hold more. South Korea warned of further attacks and North Korea persisted in defiant statements and actions, yet again advertising its ongoing uranium enrichment. Meanwhile, the flurry of crisis diplomacy continues. South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung Hwan met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, while China allegedly prepares to send State Councilor and top foreign policy expert Dai Bingguo to North Korea, possibly for a meeting with Dear Leader Kim Jong Il. The United States, South Korea and Japan have scheduled a trilateral meeting in a week’s time to unite their positions.

The spotlight fell on China almost immediately after North Korea fired artillery shells at South Korean-controlled Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23. Mullen and other American leaders called upon China to act “responsibly,” and the Korean and Japanese presidents did the same. Needless to say, Beijing is North Korea’s primary supporter through economic, military and political relations, and Beijing has often shielded Pyongyang from international criticisms and sanctions through its seat on the United Nations Security Council. China received Kim twice this year, a year commemorating the 60th anniversary of their alliance since Chinese intervention into war on the North’s behalf in 1950.

” The question is whether the North meets preconditions acceptable to the United States and its allies, or whether they can be assured in some substantial way that those conditions will be met.”
But the focus falls on China not only because of its direct leverage over the North. It also does so because of perceptions among foreign powers, intensifying over the past year, that China is becoming increasingly hard-headed and aggressive in managing its foreign policy across its periphery and beyond. One of the signal examples of this tendency was Beijing’s staunch defense of North Korea after the sinking of the ChonAn in March, which caused the United States to balk in making shows of alliance strength throughout the region. South Korea, the United States and even Japan have a firm interest in preventing China from exercising the same amount of control over the aftermath of the latest incident, for fear that it should be further emboldened. They see this repeat offense by North Korea as a crucial test of whether they can still shape the way China interacts with the international community, or whether Beijing has, in effect, become unresponsive to its obligations to them.

But Beijing is being asked to compromise on a subject it considers essential for its strategic well being. North Korea is a buffer zone that China fought to gain in 1950, and has maintained despite numerous North Korean-engineered crises. Nor does China consider any alternative scenario attractive — previously, China suffered invasion and humiliation at the hands of the Japanese through this very route into the Chinese heartland. Putting pressure on the North runs extreme risks for the regime’s stability, either collapse with dire ramifications on the Chinese border provinces, or capitulation that could bring the American alliance to China’s border. Better to keep the North standing and isolated and require that foreign powers seek redress for their qualms through China.

Yet, keeping a leash on North Korea is difficult. Pyongyang is demanding direct talks with the Americans on forging a peace treaty to replace the 1954 armistice, and has called attention to the disputed maritime border, where violence has occurred for years. It’s an effort to raise awareness of its grievances, to show that conditions will never be stable or secure on the line without a peace treaty, and to avoid having to discuss its nuclear program. The United States and its partners have refuted the concept of a peace treaty or other arrangement without first addressing the nuclear weapons program, but the North replies by ratcheting up the tension.

Therefore, North Korea has become a liability that the Chinese cannot abandon. The result is a test of Beijing’s much-vaunted assertiveness in foreign affairs. If it refuses to yield, it makes itself more conspicuous as an abettor of North Korea’s belligerence and invites greater pressure from foreign powers that are becoming more and more distrustful of how Beijing intends to wield its growing international influence. Yet, if Beijing backs down, and agrees to provide token participation in pressuring the North, it risks either succeeding and precipitating dramatic change on the peninsula or miscalculating and watching in dismay as its inch of lost North Korean leverage turns into a mile. And at this point, backing down will also risk appearing weak in front of its increasingly nationalistic domestic audience.

The six parties involved in peninsular stability are still committed to holding negotiations. The question is whether the North meets preconditions acceptable to the United States and its allies, or whether they can be assured in some substantial way that those conditions will be met. If China is not seen nudging North Korea in this direction, or is seen as obstructing it, then it risks attracting increased negative attention to itself and even getting sidelined in the event that a breakthrough between North Korea and the United States occurs. Tellingly, Russia has reiterated its condemnation of Pyongyang’s attack, leaving China with less cover in the event that it does not shift to a position that is more accommodating toward American and South Korean demands.

23561  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: December 02, 2010, 08:14:16 PM
I think we have a thread with Corruption in the title.  Lets use that for replies to these posts.
23562  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Mismatched fighting scenarios -rcsf- on: December 02, 2010, 08:10:45 PM
Andraz:

I've taken the liberty of pasting your post on an existing thread on this subject.

CD
23563  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Andraz's questions on: December 02, 2010, 08:09:59 PM
Pasting here Andraz's post:

My first topic on here, hello everyone. 


Here is some food for thought, would appreciate your guys' input. Its a part of my discussion with guro Crafty.

We were doing alot of multiple opponent strategies lately, and I noticed that alot of people have serious problems attacking/defending/working in pairs or more. Of course the easiest and fastest method is the ole throw down kick the shit out version, but we put ALOT of attenuation to the use of force continuum for officials, and law for civilians (fighting is not self defense) so that comes out of the question. Anything with more "damage control" not to mention "professionalism" is downright hard. People stumble upon each other, get in the way, hit one another, just general chaos, most of the times even worse than a trained man working alone.

Thats why we do, what I call MMFS-mismatched fighting scenarios.


Participants work in pairs, trios, against mismatched, sometimes also uneven odds. They also get a goal to work towards to, so its not just random brawling. Some short examples are, to put a person in handcuffs within 2 minutes, or to guard a vip person behind them as best as they can against more attackers....etc. even if they are failing, point is to instill the correct focus, mindset of working against all odds. Safety equipment protocols are same as for Gatherings. Other "tools" include, backpack, staff, all types of stick, belt with buckle, suitcase, knife and improvised weapons of all sorts, even a chair.

The "beauty" of it is you cannot rely on your regular gameplan, like, I dont know, going to the ground, breaking the distance, going to clinch and work from there etc... because you never know in which type of situation you are going to start the fights (because untill the whistle is blown you dont know which weapon you are going to be given) and there are ALWAYS more people around, so you have to constantly adapt.


That in mind what are your thoughts (or experiences if you have ever done anything similar?) with doing theset types of mismatched scenarios for our RCSF dog brothers gatherings ?? Say 3 on 1, solo has staff + backup knife in holster, trio-one empty hand, other short stick, third some other instrument, maybe sports bag or something like that. Or other combinations, 4 on 2, etc... basically the strenght in numbers must balance out in lack of firepower.

Like I said, some food for thought, would love to get some feedback on that.


Actually, we have one such event coming up on monday, so I will try to put up pics and videos as soon as they are available.

wuff from Slovenia

Andraz
23564  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: WHERE IS THE FOOTWORK!?! on: December 02, 2010, 08:07:26 PM
Hit him harder with meaner sticks until he becomes motivated to evolve. cheesy
23565  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: December 02, 2010, 12:44:53 PM
Yes, but who gets to make the decisions matters quite a bit.

Changing subjects,

http://wikileaks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/12/01/welcome_to_wikileaked
23566  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sandler on: December 02, 2010, 12:40:57 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vrd9p47MPHg&feature=player_embedded
23567  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: December 02, 2010, 11:29:57 AM
IMHO GM most of us here are of above average IQ.  I'm even vain enough to include myself in that. smiley
23568  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: December 02, 2010, 11:19:05 AM
Thank you for that Rachel.

Anyone have the Adam Sandler version?
23569  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: December 02, 2010, 11:13:39 AM
Agreed.

Grannis does say that there will be some (i.e. too much) inflation.
23570  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty in Vancouver January 29-20 on: December 02, 2010, 11:12:35 AM
Amen to that about Tricky Dog and the Vancouver crew and other Canadian folks.  Also, Rob Crowley and some of the Seattle folks should be coming too  cool
23571  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Dan Inosanto on: December 02, 2010, 11:10:02 AM
I certainly would be nothing without my training and time with him.
23572  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: December 02, 2010, 04:34:45 AM
I too have a high opinion of Wesbury (and, in a similar vein, Scott Grannis) but find myself quite torn between Glenn Beck et al and them.  I recently signed up for missives from Wesbury and will be posting some of it here-- I think we need to stay in touch with intelligent non-apocalyptic lines of thought, even though we may disagree cheesy
23573  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: December 02, 2010, 04:31:06 AM
I read Baer's book several years ago and remember the passage about being ready to go on the coup.  Truly a moment of tragedy in that so much more tragedy could have been averted.  That said, a fair case can be made that the CIA has created a lot of problems with some of its unleashed forays.
23574  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Legal issues on: December 01, 2010, 11:12:24 PM
GM:

a) If you have a chance, would you please post your relevant posts here on the Evolutionary Psychology/Biology thread as well?  I am familiar with some of them, but others are new to me.

b) I will take a stab at offering an example:  Eskimos.  Also, if I have a chance I will check some resource materials (e.g. R. Wright's "Non-zero Sum, the logic of human destiny") concerning the Native Americans of the Northwest before the white man came.

23575  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: December 01, 2010, 11:00:46 PM
I'm not seeing an ad hominem there at all; it seems like an analogy to me.

""Libertarians. Providing simplistic non-answers to complex problems since 1971!**"  While no doubt there are times that this is so, sometimes simplicity is the highest level.
23576  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: December 01, 2010, 08:06:58 PM
Yes, the difference being that intuitively it seems like something needs to be done about this SOB.  How do we go about that yet retain the ability to find out about nefarious deeds of our government?
23577  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Happy Hanukah! on: December 01, 2010, 05:57:27 PM
May we be the Macabees of our time!
23578  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: December 01, 2010, 05:55:50 PM
OK, that helps clarify things.  So, what do we do when our government is doing something secret/illegal/etc and doesn't want we the people to know about it?
23579  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ on: December 01, 2010, 03:00:17 PM
My apologies, I confess I have not enough time to read every thing you post embarassed

Here's the WSJ's take on all this:

"Regarding the latest WikiLeaks dump of U.S. secrets ... [it] does less immediate harm than the previous leaks did to the lives of Afghans and Iraqis who have cooperated with us on the battlefield, but it certainly will damage U.S. foreign policy. In most cases, of course, the leaks merely pull back the curtain on disputes and the character of global leaders that are already widely known. That the Turkish government of the AK Party is an unreliable ally, or is chock full of Islamists, will not surprise anyone who's been paying attention. The private rage of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak against Iraqi democracy is also no shocker; a modern Pharaoh doesn't like the voter precedent. Yet in some cases the damage will be real because effective policy often requires secrecy about detail. Foreign officials will only speak candidly to U.S. emissaries if they believe their words won't be splashed all over the world's front pages. ... One lesson is that it is much harder to keep secrets in the Internet age, so our government is going to have to learn to keep fewer secrets and confine them to fewer people. It is amazing to discover that so many thousands of cables might have been accessible by Private First Class Bradley Manning, who is suspected of being the main source for the Wikileaks documents. The bureaucratic excuse is that the government was trying to encourage more cross-agency cooperation post-9/11, but why does an Army private need access to the details of a conversation between Yemen's dictator and General David Petraeus? ... If [Julian Assange] were exposing Chinese or Russian secrets, he would already have died at the hands of some unknown assailant. As a foreigner (Australian citizen) engaged in hostile acts against the U.S., Mr. Assange is certainly not protected from U.S. reprisal under the laws of war. ... For all of his self-justification as an agent of 'pure' transparency, Mr. Assange is not serving the interest of free societies. His mass, indiscriminate exposure of anything labeled secret that he can lay his hands on is a hostile act against a democracy that is fighting a war against forces bent on killing innocents. Surely, the U.S. government can do more to stop him than send a stiff letter." --The Wall Street Journal

23580  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury on: December 01, 2010, 02:57:06 PM
Non-farm productivity (output per hour) rose at a 2.3% annual rate in the third quarter To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist
Robert Stein, CFA - Senior Economist
Date: 12/1/2010


Non-farm productivity (output per hour) rose at a 2.3% annual rate in the third quarter and is up 2.5% versus last year.

Real (inflation-adjusted) compensation per hour in the non-farm sector increased at a 0.8% annual rate in Q3 and is up 0.2% versus last year. Unit labor costs declined at a 0.1% rate in Q3 and are down 1.1% versus a year ago.
 
In the manufacturing sector, the Q3 growth rate for productivity (0.6%) was much lower than among non-farm businesses as a whole. Output grew faster in manufacturing but the growth of hours worked was higher as well, resulting in slower growth in output per hour. Real compensation (0.1%) was softer in manufacturing but unit labor costs (1.0%) were stronger than in the non-farm business sector, a function of slower productivity growth.
 
Implications:  Productivity growth was revised up for Q3, exactly as the consensus expected. This is a solid rebound from its decline in Q2, which had some analysts worried. Productivity has increased in six of the last seven quarters and we believe the trend will continue. In the past year, productivity has grown at a 2.5% annual rate despite the fact that hours worked have increased in each of those quarters as well.  Even as output rebounds, technology will continue to increase efficiency, allowing workers to do more per hour.  In other news this morning, the ADP Employment index, a measure of private-sector payrolls, increased 93,000 in November, the largest gain so far in the recovery.  In the past six months, on average, the ADP index has underestimated growth in the official Labor Department measure of private payrolls by 55,000.  It has a long way to go, but the recovery in the labor market is well underway. In other recent news, the Case-Shiller index, a measure of home prices in the 20 largest metro areas around the country, declined 0.8% in September (seasonally-adjusted), the third straight monthly decline.  However, smoothing out the upswing and downswing related to the homebuyer credit, national average prices are still up 0.6% versus a year ago.  Prices are still 3.2% above the bottom in May 2009 and we do not anticipate going below that level.
23581  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / RBCN on: December 01, 2010, 02:28:25 PM
Disclosure:  I have what is for me a fairly substantial position in RBCN (see my post of 11/22 fopr additional details):

Kaufman Bros initiates coverage of Rubicon/RBCN with a target of $30.

Firm believes:
1) Industry overcapacity concerns are unwarranted.
2) Nearly 60% of the float in shares are short the stock, which represents nearly 15 days to cover and could be subject to a (short) squeeze.

According to Kaufman Bros, the large short interest appears to be almost exclusively hinged on potential oversupply in LED chips, particularly for LED TVs. Firm believes this concern is largely overblown as it is already being reflected in early retail reports post-Black Friday. Even more importantly, the shorts likely miss the advent of the general lighting cycle ramp in LEDs.

23582  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Bilateralism on guitar on: December 01, 2010, 10:36:18 AM
Impressive display here of bilateralism on guitar

http://www.youtube.com/user/cleopatricxmusic#p/a/u/1/e_XLhaB7QDQ
23583  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH: Terror cases strain relations on: December 01, 2010, 10:23:07 AM
Its POTH, so caveat lector:

Terror Cases Strain Ties With Some Who Can Help
By WILLIAM YARDLEY and JESSE McKINLEY
Published: November 30, 2010
 
PORTLAND, Ore. — The arrest in a plot to bomb a popular Christmas tree-lighting ceremony here has renewed focus on the crucial but often fragile relationship that many Muslim communities have with federal law enforcement agencies.

Many Muslim leaders nationwide say they are committed to working with the authorities to fight terrorist threats and applauded the work in Portland. But some say cases like the one in Oregon, in which undercover agents said they helped a teenager plan the attack, risk undermining the trust of Muslim communities that federal agents say is essential to doing their jobs.
The failed Portland plot is one of several recent cases, from California to Washington, D.C., in which undercover agents helped suspects pursue terrorist plans. Some Muslims say the government appears to be enabling and even sensationalizing threats that can lead to backlashes against Muslim communities.

On Sunday, a mosque in Corvallis, Ore., was firebombed. It had been attended by the Portland suspect, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, a naturalized American citizen from Somalia.

“Unlike the so-called plot at Pioneer Square, that was a real terrorist attack, against a house of worship,” said a man who attends the Islamic Center of Portland and Masjed As-Saber, another mosque where Mr. Mohamud worshiped.

“What the F.B.I. did can be seen in Corvallis,” the man said, one of several people who spoke with a reporter but refused to give their names out of concern that they would bring negative attention to the mosque.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. defended the Oregon investigation and others this week as part of what he called a “forward-leaning way” that law enforcement is “trying to find people who are bound and determined to harm Americans and American interests around the world.”

Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said law enforcement was going too far.

“ ‘Forward-leaning’ seems to be basically if someone has not crossed the bridge, we will push them forward, we will tip them over the edge,” he said. “And that is not how a government should be treating its citizens.”

“My worry would be that the F.B.I. is pushing to a point where it becomes difficult to trust the F.B.I.,” said Mr. Ayloush, who added that he was a graduate of an F.B.I. Citizens’ Academy. “When people start doubting, then they might feel like, ‘Well, maybe it might make things worse if I call,’ and we don’t want this.”

Amid the tension, Muslim leaders say their communities are doing more than ever to help in investigations — a fact they say is overlooked by many Americans.

A November report by the Muslim Public Affairs Council said Muslim communities had helped law enforcement agencies foil almost 4 of every 10 Qaeda-related terrorism plots since the Sept. 11 attacks. The report is based on information the group draws from news media accounts, affidavits, academic studies and other sources.

“There is an enormous countertrend that has emerged within the last few years,” said Alejandro Beutel, the author of the report. “People are saying: ‘This is a serious issue, and we are dealing with this. We are not tolerating this.’ ”

Even as federal law enforcement officials have been criticized, they say their investigations have been strengthened by their outreach efforts and good relations with Muslims, including here in Oregon.

Leaders of mosques, including those attended by Mr. Mohamud, regularly attend meetings with law enforcement officials. And Mr. Mohamud’s father, Osman Barre, provided information before his son’s arrest about his increasing radicalization, officials have said.

Dwight C. Holton, the United States attorney for Oregon, said he would travel to Washington next week to meet with Mr. Holder to discuss Oregon’s participation in a new Justice Department program called Enhanced Muslim Community Outreach.

“The minute I heard about this program, I signed Oregon up,” Mr. Holton said, adding that the meeting was scheduled before Mr. Mohamud’s arrest. “It’s so important to do this outreach, and this program will allow us to do even more work, to do more face-to-face meetings with not just the community leaders but with members of the community.”

The events in Oregon have put many Muslims in unexpected and uncomfortable roles.

Shahriar Ahmed is a jovial 55-year-old engineer and a self-described member of a group of “nerdy folks” with postgraduate degrees living in suburban Portland. He is also the president of his local mosque, Bilal Masjid, with skills that he said leaned more toward fund-raising than faith-building.

“I’m not a theologian by trade,” said Mr. Ahmed, who knows only enough Arabic to get through his prayers. “I’m just good at begging for money.”

But with the arrest of Mr. Mohamud and then the fire in Corvallis, Mr. Ahmed has been fielding questions on topics ranging from Islam in general to how the aftermath could affect worshipers at his mosque. For him, the broader questions are not necessarily the most pressing.

“My 11-year-old son started crying in the back of the car,” Mr. Ahmed said, recalling a conversation about the fire. “I could not make him stop. He was saying: ‘Is our mosque going to get burned? Is our mosque going to get burned?’ ”


Colin Miner contributed reporting from Portland, Ore.; Isolde Raftery from Eugene, Ore.; and Malia Wollan from San Francisco.

23584  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / WSJ: The Right to be forgotten on: December 01, 2010, 10:15:46 AM
A EU official tries to articulate a right , , ,

By John W. Miller

Senior European Union officials campaigned publicly for the first time Tuesday for an online “right to be forgotten.” Viviane Reding, EU commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, introduced the idea earlier this month. Her proposed rules, which now face 12 to 18 months of debate before they can become EU law, would force companies like Facebook to offer users the right to permanently delete photos, contact info and messages posted on websites.

She was the keynote speaker on Tuesday morning at the 2010 European Data Protection and Privacy Conference.

Welcoming “an opportunity to explain this publicly for the first time,” Mrs. Reding, rather unusually for a European politician, invoked the Almighty: “God forgives and forgets, but the web never does.”

That should change, she said. “There are great sites where you can share information with friends, but it may be one day that you don’t want to share that information any more.”

Privacy lawyers say they aren’t so sure the EU is on firm legal ground. “If you voluntarily give information to a private company, it’s pretty clear they own that information,” says a senior partner at a major U.S. law firm.

“We still need to work out the details, but I support the right to be forgotten,” said Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Article 29 Working Party, an alliance of national data supervisors. “Personally, I’ve done things, we’ve all done things we’d like to be forgotten.”

Like Mrs. Reding, he also argued the philosophical: “One of the most fundamental things in human life is to grow, to change, to be an individual, to remove the stamp that defines you.”

23585  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Legal issues on: December 01, 2010, 10:02:30 AM
Glad to have BD with us.

"when elected judges are more likely to execute than non-elected judges, then there is no equal protection of the laws, and that IS unconstitutional."

The inference being that electing judges is to blame?  Can we not equally say that unelected judges abusing the power which is in their hands to insert their own opinions are the unconstitutional ones?


23586  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: December 01, 2010, 08:57:19 AM
OK, so conspiracy can be the basis, but what then of things that we WANT revealed?  Governments often lie and coverup, and that includes ours.  Is stamping everything "secret" and prosecuting whistle blowers and their publishers the solution for The State in covering up?
23587  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: November 30, 2010, 11:03:26 PM
Rachel:

Several points in there that are as excellent as they are overlooked , , , and obivous-- which did not prevent me from missing them until I read this. 
23588  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: November 30, 2010, 10:54:11 PM
Yes, there are-- and IIRC the Pentagon Papers decision of the Supreme Court says that those that publish cannot be punished-- only those that violated their duty by giving them the secret material can be prosecuted.    So, question presented:  What is to be done with Assange?
23589  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 30, 2010, 10:51:55 PM
That seems reasoned to me.
23590  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Portland wannabe on: November 30, 2010, 06:06:37 PM
Worth noting is that the Portland wannabe was first brought to the FBI's attention by his father.
23591  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Govt Motors on: November 30, 2010, 06:05:27 PM
Craig Coffey, a retiree in Nevada who invested $55,000 in bonds in the old GM that are now worthless, was outraged that the union is on its way to recovering all its money before investors get even a cent of compensation.

Mr. Coffey has had to make ends meet by finding odd jobs, which can be difficult in the hard-hit Las Vegas area. He said it wasn't only the union that benefited from getting full repayment to its pension trust fund under the White House bankruptcy plan.

"That was a way for the government to avoid having the liability put on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation," he said. Bankruptcy courts often discharge corporate pension obligations to the government insurance fund.

 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

GM's union recovering after stock sale

Taxpayers and investors not as fortunate as UAW
By Patrice Hill

-The Washington Times

7:24 p.m., Thursday, November 25, 2010

General Motors Co.'s recent stock offering was staged to start paying back the government for its $50 billion bailout, but one group made out much better than the taxpayers or other investors: the company's union.

Thanks to a generous share of GM stock obtained in the company's 2009 bankruptcy settlement, the United Auto Workers is well on its way to recouping the billions of dollars GM owed it — putting it far ahead of taxpayers who have recouped only about 30 percent of their investment and further still ahead of investors in the old GM who have received nothing.

The boon for the union fits the pattern established when the White House pushed GM into bankruptcy and steered it through the courts in a way that consistently put the interests of the union ahead of many suppliers, dealers and investors — stakeholders that ordinarily would have fared as well or better under the bankruptcy laws.

"Priority one was serving the interests of the UAW" when the White House's auto task force engineered the bankruptcy, said Glenn Reynolds, an analyst at CreditSights. The stock offering served to show once again how the White House has handsomely rewarded its political allies, he said.

The union's health care and pension trust fund earned $3.4 billion through the sale of one-third of its shares in GM last week. Analysts estimate that it would break even if it sells the remaining two-thirds of its shares at an average price of $36 — close to where the stock traded shortly after the offering hit the market. GM shares closed at $33.45 on Wednesday.

For taxpayers to break even, by contrast, the stock would have to rise to at least $52 and by some estimates as high as $103 — levels that would take years to achieve.

In any event, after selling one-third of its shares last week, the U.S. Treasury has agreed not to sell any more of its GM stock for another six months, while the union fund is free to keep selling its shares.

Through the offering, the Treasury recouped $13.7 billion of its $49.5 billion cash infusion in GM, with another $1.8 billion possible by the end of the year. GM is repaying another $9.5 billion in loans from the Treasury, but that still leaves taxpayers a long way from breaking even.

Union claims ordinarily do not receive such special treatment in bankruptcies.

The generous share of GM stock given to the union trust fund under the White House deal puts it not only ahead of the Treasury but on a par with secured creditors such as banks, which normally receive the most favorable treatment from bankruptcy courts.

Perhaps the biggest losers are the investors in the old GM. None of the bankrupt company's previous stockholders got any money, while the claims of thousands of investors who purchased the company's bonds are still being kicked around in a Manhattan bankruptcy court.

"It gives outraged flashbacks to the old GM bondholders," who remain mired in the bankruptcy proceedings and are unlikely to recover more than 30 percent of their investments, Mr. Reynolds said.

He compared the deal to the corrupt crony capitalism in Russia under President Vladimir Putin.

The White House "took a page out of the Putin political asset reallocation and reward system" when it engineered the deal, he said.

Mr. Reynolds also described the White House deal as a combination of "Boss Tweed on steroids" and "Hugo Chavez on meds," as far as the bondholders are concerned.

Craig Coffey, a retiree in Nevada who invested $55,000 in bonds in the old GM that are now worthless, was outraged that the union is on its way to recovering all its money before investors get even a cent of compensation.

"We just sat and watched [the stock offering]. We got nothing," he said. "Screwed again."

Mr. Coffey has had to make ends meet by finding odd jobs, which can be difficult in the hard-hit Las Vegas area. He said it wasn't only the union that benefited from getting full repayment to its pension trust fund under the White House bankruptcy plan.

"That was a way for the government to avoid having the liability put on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation," he said. Bankruptcy courts often discharge corporate pension obligations to the government insurance fund.

"They dodged a bullet there and pushed it back to the union," Mr. Coffey said. "Now, they've made them whole and screwed the bondholders."

Steve Rattner, the White House auto czar who engineered the deal, repeated the position he took throughout the bankruptcy — that the bondholders would have ended up with nothing if the government hadn't intervened.

"I think everybody was treated fairly," he told Bloomberg News last week. "If we had not saved General Motors, those bonds would be worth exactly zero."

UAW President Bob King celebrated the success of the stock offering last week. "We know that for the long-term viability and success of our membership, General Motors has to be successful," he said.

He hinted that the union in the next round of collective bargaining that begins next summer may seek to recoup still more of the concessions it made in bankruptcy, given GM's growing profitability.

"The best outcome is a successful GM that then shares fairly with our membership," he said.

John Paul McDuffie, a professor at the Wharton School of Business, said the full funding of the union's pension and health care trust fund through the bankruptcy process represents progress because it helped solve one of most "persistent and difficult" bones of contention between GM and its union.

GM and the UAW had been at loggerheads for years over how to deal with GM's so-called "legacy" costs — funding the generous worker health care and retirement benefits it promised in earlier eras.

The bankruptcy settlement enabled GM to proceed with a hard-won 2007 plan it negotiated with the union to spin off those huge liabilities and let them be funded in the future by the trust fund that received the stock.

Mr. McDuffie said the bankruptcy also proved useful in forcing the company to learn to survive in turbulent times.

© Copyright 2010 The Washington Times, LLC

 
23592  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wikileaks on: November 30, 2010, 03:12:35 PM
This piece faces questions that must be asked. 

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/11/30/yes-wikileaks-terrorist-organization-time-act/

Whether it addresses the matter of the law of unintended consequences is another matter. 
23593  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Health and Healing on: November 30, 2010, 08:42:49 AM
NY Times on Accupuncture

By GREG BISHOP
Published: November 29, 2010
 
Stretched out on a massage table in his Long Island City condominium, Jets fullback Tony Richardson closed his eyes. Over the next hour, he groaned and grimaced and eventually fell asleep, as Lisa Ripi, the traveling N.F.L. acupuncturist, went to work.

Lisa Ripi, working with the Jets’ Tony Richardson, is gone 20 days each month, working abut 96 hours a week as the N.F.L.’s traveling acupuncturist.
The Jets’ Tony Richardson finds acupuncture uncomfortable but said it made an immediate 10 percent difference.
Ripi poked and prodded Richardson on a recent Tuesday, using blue and pink needles, until his body resembled a road map marked with 120 destinations. “SportsCenter” provided mood music. Afterward, Richardson said his soreness had mostly vanished.

“They always tell me I’m their little secret,” Ripi said. “I feel like the little mouse who takes the thorns out of their feet.”

Professional football players partake in a violent game, and as the season progresses, they spend more time in training rooms than on practice fields. They visit chiropractors and massage therapists, practice yoga, undergo electronic stimulation and nap in hyperbaric chambers.

Yet relatively few receive acupuncture, which brings smiles to the faces of Ripi’s clients. They remain fiercely territorial. They fight over Fridays because it is closest to their games. They accuse one another of hogging, or trying to steal her.

All swear by Ripi’s technique, which she described as closer to Japanese-style acupuncture than to traditional Chinese methods. She focuses less on established points and more on sore areas, using needles to increase blood flow, relaxing muscles tightened in the weight room.

Players say her sessions are their most important treatment. They feel more loose, more flexible. Richardson finds acupuncture uncomfortable but said it made an immediate 10 percent difference. For sculptured bodies tuned like racecars, 10 percent constitutes a significant improvement.

As Pittsburgh linebacker James Farrior said: “I’m not the same if I don’t have it. It’s like getting the game plan. You can’t go into the week without either one.”

Ripi, 46, travels at least 20 days each month during the season, treating 40 players on five teams (the Ripi Division: Jets, Giants, Steelers, Bengals and Dolphins). She flies to Miami on Sunday, Pittsburgh on Monday, New York on Tuesday, Cincinnati on Wednesday, back to Pittsburgh on Thursday and back to New York on Friday. She works 96 hours a week and naps mostly on airplanes. By Friday, even her assistant sends “hate texts,” Ripi said.

In 13 years of working with N.F.L. players, Ripi said proudly, she never missed an appointment. She did miss dozens of holidays, did have three marriages end in divorce, did make abundantly clear her first priority.

“Think of the impact she has every Sunday,” Richardson said. “And it’s funny, because she’s not really a football fan, or really recognized. But we know her importance.”

Raised in a traditional Italian family on Long Island, Ripi lived in a healthy household, at the directive of her father, John: no white bread, no soda and an abundance of vitamins.

Ripi took a winding path into acupuncture: art school, aerobics instruction, massage therapy and body building, in which she qualified for several national competitions. Despite standing 5 feet 3 inches, she squatted and dead-lifted 250 pounds.

In 1996, a friend suggested that acupuncture would alleviate Ripi’s shoulder pain, and after two sessions, it disappeared. So Ripi went to school for acupuncture and Chinese pharmacology and finished the five-year program in four years.

Soon after, while visiting another friend in Costa Rica, Ripi met the actor Woody Harrelson, who asked for treatment “posthaste,” she said. She slipped a business card into Harrelson’s luggage, which led to two years of traveling with and treating him, and to other celebrity clients like the singer Mariah Carey.

Back in New York in March 1998, Ripi was referred to Jumbo Elliott, an injured offensive tackle for the Jets. She knew nothing about football and assumed Elliott was a body builder until she saw his Jets memorabilia. He later offered to take her to training camp and introduce her to his teammates.

She met her core group of clients that summer in Hempstead, N.Y., and as the players switched teams — Farrior to Pittsburgh and Chad Pennington to Miami — her business and travel expanded.

Players require individualized treatment. Steelers linebacker James Harrison takes more than 300 needles, and Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora begs for fewer than 40. Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis hates needles and grips the table as if under attack.

Ripi views the players more as brothers than clients. She saw the world with Cincinnati linebacker Dhani Jones for his Travel Channel show. She stores tables at the players’ houses; travels to training camps, Super Bowls and Pro Bowls; works every Christmas and Thanksgiving. Ripi’s services are not cheap. She charges $220 for one treatment or $1,200 each day, and expenses.

She spends roughly 12 hours each Thursday treating at least 10 players at Farrior’s house, where the Steelers hold their men’s “spa night” featuring acupuncture. Ripi cooks dinner for them, and they play cards while they wait turns. She starts with nose tackle Casey Hampton at 3:30 p.m. and finishes with Harrison roughly 12 hours later.

Ripi can tell the position each plays simply on the location of the pain: wide receiver (legs, shoulders), offensive lineman (elbows, back), quarterback (throwing shoulder), defensive lineman (back), running back (hamstring).

On Sundays, she sometimes watches football. But Ripi’s clients often face one another, prompting conflicting emotions, especially when a defensive client mauls an offensive client, and she ponders how she will treat the resulting pain.

Depending on their tolerance (or honesty), players described acupuncture as painful, slightly painful or not painful; as a pinch or a burning sensation. They said the groin and the back of the knee hurt the most. Jets offensive tackle Damien Woody said, “She’s kind of lethal with it.”

Ripi performs a combination of massage with acupuncture to relax players and find sore spots and trigger points. She does use established points, too, to increase the flow of what she called stuck blood. This season, Revis went to Ripi for his injured hamstring, and she stuck one needle atop his head.

“She might hit a nerve, and you might get a zap,” Jones said. “Or she’ll put one in your groin, and pain might shoot into the big toe.”

Recently, Deadspin reported that Ripi oversaw the Jets’ massage therapist program when two therapists were sent inappropriate text messages from the former quarterback Brett Favre. The Web site said Ripi urged the therapists to remain silent. Ripi declined to comment on the report, but she is considering hiring a lawyer. (She does not oversee the massage program.)

Her clients wonder why most teams ignore less traditional methods like acupuncture, with all that they invest in healing players’ battered bodies. Farrior, wearing his team president hat, said he would require it.

Ripi says that more teams and athletes across all sports will eventually turn to acupuncture. Her clients do not seem so sure. Some teams do not even have massage therapists or nutritionists on staff, Jones said. But Ripi has faith because she still treats retired players, because even front-office types like Bill Parcells tried her table, because, she insisted, acupuncture works.

John Ripi described his daughter as softhearted and giving, and over the years, he learned to accept her absence at family gatherings. He came to understand how all the dots connected, from Harrelson in the jungle, to Thursday nights at Farrior’s house, to a life spent healing football players without fanfare.

“I take what I do seriously,” Ripi said. “It’s a euphoric, spontaneous feeling. They come first. Before anything. Before me.”

With that, Ripi went home to pack. The traveling N.F.L. acupuncturist had a flight to catch.
23594  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gore- ethanol a mistake on: November 30, 2010, 08:22:06 AM
http://townhall.com/columnists/DebraJSaunders/2010/11/30/you_can_stop_paying_for_al_gores_mistake/page/full/

In Greece earlier this month, Al Gore made a startling admission: "First-generation ethanol, I think, was a mistake." Unfortunately, Americans have Gore to thank for ethanol subsidies. In 1994, then-Vice President Gore ended a 50-50 tie in the Senate by voting in favor of an ethanol tax credit that added almost $5 billion to the federal deficit last year. And that number doesn't factor the many ways in which corn-based ethanol mandates drive up the price of food and livestock feed.

Sure, he meant well, but as Reuters reported, Gore also said, "One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president."

In sum, Gore demonstrated that politicians are lousy at figuring out which alternative fuels make the most sense. Now even enviros like Friends of the Earth have come to believe that "large-scale agro-fuels" are "ecologically unsustainable and inefficient." That's a polite way of saying that producers need to burn through a boatload of fossil fuels to make ethanol.

Gore also showed that most D.C. politicians can't be trusted to put America's interests before those of Iowa farmers. But there is one pursuit in which homo electus excels: spending other people's money.

Beware politicians when they promise you "the jobs of the future." Last week, the Washington Post ran a story about a federal grant program in Florida designed to retrain the unemployed for jobs in the growing clean-energy sector. Except clean tech isn't growing as promised. Officials told the Post that three-quarters of their first 100 graduates haven't had a single job offer.

In May, President Obama came to a Fremont, Calif., solar plant where he announced, "The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra." This month, Solyndra announced it was canceling its expansion plans. The announcement came after voters rewarded the green lobby by defeating Proposition 23 -- which would have postponed California's landmark greenhouse gas reduction law AB32 -- because voters bought the green-jobs promise.

Back to Gore. There is a movement in Washington to end Gore's mistake. Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina have proposed ending the 45-cent-per-gallon subsidy on corn ethanol, which is set to expire on Dec. 31 unless Congress extends it.

As DeMint explained in an e-mail to the Washington Post's Greg Sargent, "Government mandates and tax subsidies for ethanol have led to decreased gas mileage, adversely effected the environment and increased food prices. Washington must stop picking winners and losers in the market, and instead allow Americans to make choices for themselves."

That's what free-market types who oppose corporate welfare -- like me -- have been saying for years.

So the question is: Will this new batch of Republicans have the intestinal fortitude to buck the farm lobby and agribusiness by weaning them from the public teat? Or are they no better than the farm-lobby-pandering Al Gore?
23595  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 30, 2010, 08:01:07 AM
Apparently amongst the Wili-leak revelations is that China was transhipping Nork nuke and missile tech to Iran.

What conclusions should be drawn from this for US foreign policy and what specific actions should be taken?
23596  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 29, 2010, 05:29:43 PM
The last sentence there is a point worth noting.
23597  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury: It is a self-sustaining recovery on: November 29, 2010, 11:54:14 AM
This is a very different take than much of what is posted around here, but Brian Wesbury is a superb supply side economist with an outstanding record with his predictions.

It's a Self-Sustaining Recovery
Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist
Robert Stein, CFA - Senior Economist
Date: 11/29/2010


In the four months between June and October, retail sales surged 10.2% at an annual rate and are up 7.3% over the past 12 months. Still, consumers get no respect from the majority of analysts and economists, who during the summer and early fall, could not stop talking about a double dip recession.

But instead of going wobbly, consumers seem to be standing strong. ComScore says online sales versus last year were up 28% on Thanksgiving Day, 9% on Black Friday, and 13% so far in November. Coremetrics, another online data gatherer, reports sales from Thanksgiving Day thru Saturday are up 14%. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported 8.7% more people visited stores this year versus last year and the average shopper spent 6.4% more than a year ago.
 
The only report that was “remotely negative” came from ShopperTrak (and its network of 70,000 US malls) – sales were up 0.3% versus a year ago. However, the ShopperTrak data have a weakness - free-standing big box stores are not classified as malls. Clearly, this could lead to underestimating sales.
 
Meanwhile, more data is coming this week. Car and light truck sales probably totaled more than 12-million at an annual rate for the second month in a row – the fastest pace since September 2008, except for during “cash-for clunkers.”
 
This is not just “pent-up demand.” Nor is it a “new normal.” The surge in consumer spending has its roots in improving fundamentals. Private sector wages and salaries are up 4% in the past year and small business income is up 5.8%. Productivity is boosting incomes for workers and companies.
 
In addition, the jobs picture is steadily getting brighter, with private sector payrolls up an average of 106,000 per month over the past six months. At 407,000, initial jobless claims have fallen to their lowest level in years, which points to continued improvement in payroll growth.
 
Meanwhile, consumers are still paying down debts, but they are doing it more slowly, leaving more money to spend than a year ago. And the share of after-tax earnings that households need to service their debts and make other recurring payments (rent, car leases, property taxes, etc.) has fallen below its long-run average and will soon be back to 1995 levels.
 
As we have said over-and-over again, things are far from perfect. Unemployment is still too high, government growth is creating uncertainty, the financial situation in Europe seems precarious, and fear seems to be an investment strategy. Nonetheless, a self-sustaining recovery is underway.
 
The Fed is easy, productivity is strong, the “panic” is over, and government policy (in the US and abroad) has taken a turn for the better. As a result, economic growth will surprise to the upside. As this strength becomes more self evident, confidence in equity markets will grow. Look out above.
23598  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: The Emperor's Nuclear Clothes on: November 29, 2010, 10:56:55 AM
By STEPHEN PETER ROSEN
Enough is enough. Every day, the events of the real world reveal that the American foreign policy establishment is wearing nothing but the emperor's new clothes—policies that make proper people murmur "how Nobel-worthy" while looking around to see if anyone else notices something odd.

Respectable wise men, in and out of government, talk of the importance of arms control and a nuclear-free world, when the reality is that Iran, North Korea and other countries have made the acquisition of nuclear weapons their highest priority. The government of Russia has committed itself to a military posture in which tactical nuclear weapons play a larger role in war fighting and war termination.

The bitter truth is that a world with fewer nuclear weapons really is in the interest of the United States. That is why it won't happen: Too many countries believe that a nuclear-free world will leave the conventional military superiority of the U.S. unchallengeable.

View Full Image

David Gothard
 .The wise men call on China to help us restrain the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran, while the Chinese official press praises North Korea for its toughness after its artillery attacks. American officials piously intone that we will not reward bad behavior. They point to the deployment of carrier forces that everyone knows are determined not to fire one round in anger. Meanwhile, the U.S. government prepares the ground for new rounds of talks in which rewards for North Korea will be carefully discussed.

The relative decline and overextension of American military power makes the prospect of using military power against U.S. allies increasingly a matter of "It just might work," rather than "Don't even think about it." American allies must, as reasonable men and women, consider whether to strike out on their own, either by increasing their own military power or by seeking accommodations with those who oppose the U.S.

So what is to be done? We have no good options, we are told, with the subtext being "Get used to North Korean and Iranian nuclear weapons." But we do have options.

In the near term, we must allow our allies to acquire the weapons they need for their own defense. The U.S. government should reverse its decision not to sell F-22s to Japan. It should aid the expansion of the Japanese submarine force by transferring relevant military technologies, and it also should encourage Japanese production of anti-missile interceptors for foreign sale.

If we deploy American military power, we must do it like we mean it. If North Korea and Iran want nuclear weapons, and China does nothing to stop them, we can reintroduce tactical nuclear weapons onto American aircraft carriers and attack submarines in the Pacific. We should put on round-the-clock shifts the production lines of weapons that would be needed in the event of war with Iran or North Korea (such as the long-range version of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile).

The U.S. can also ask the United Nations for a resolution authorizing air strikes against North Korea in the event of any future attack on the people or territory of South Korea or Japan. China will then stand up and be counted on one side or the other.

Such measures would provide some immediate reassurance to our allies that we will fight if we must, if they are attacked again. Of course, they won't make the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs go away. To deal with those, we must have a longer-term program.

The U.S. will need offensive as well as defensive forces that can thwart foreign aggression, even though aggressors have nuclear weapons. This is neither impossible nor paradoxical. Countries have defeated the U.S. since we developed nuclear weapons. Israel has been attacked repeatedly even though it has had nuclear weapons since 1967. What is very hard, and may be impossible, is to get other countries to allow the U.S. military to use bases on their territory when their enemies have nuclear weapons and they do not.

Over the next 10 years, the U.S. needs to increase its ability to conduct non-nuclear war from undersea, from ships out of range of missile attack, and from bases on American soil by means of long-range missiles and aircraft, manned or unmanned. The U.S. must be able to use cyber warfare and other unconventional means, and to defend itself from retaliatory attacks in kind. The U.S. military must also be prepared to operate in an environment in which other countries have used nuclear weapons. This means having not only missile defenses, but also protection against the electromagnetic pulses generated by nuclear weapons, which can paralyze modern electronics.

This will not be cheap, but it will be less expensive if we help our democratic allies arm themselves—by transferring technologies to them, by working with them, and by encouraging them to help each other.

This isn't a recipe for World War III with China or anybody else. It is a realistic response to a world in which countries are developing nuclear weapons not to fight other countries but to coerce them. Our goal should be a world in which countries can live peacefully without fear of being coerced militarily. It is an old-school response that doesn't seek war, but that also doesn't aspire to utopian goals.

Mr. Rosen is professor of national security and military affairs at Harvard.

23599  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Reagan on: November 29, 2010, 10:51:44 AM
"We warned of things to come, of the danger inherent in unwarranted government involvement in things not its proper province. What we warned against has come to pass. And today more than two-thirds of our citizens are telling us, and each other, that social engineering by the federal government has failed. The Great Society is great only in power, in size and in cost. And so are the problems it set out to solve. Freedom has been diminished and we stand on the brink of economic ruin. Our task now is not to sell a philosophy, but to make the majority of Americans, who already share that philosophy, see that modern conservatism offers them a political home. We are not a cult, we are members of a majority. Let's act and talk like it. The job is ours and the job must be done. If not by us, who? If not now, when?" --Ronald Reagan

23600  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nigel Farage on: November 28, 2010, 06:48:29 PM
Euro Parliament rants

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dranqFntNgo&feature=related

And from last year

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFXSj5WofYA&feature=related
Pages: 1 ... 470 471 [472] 473 474 ... 764
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!