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23551  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: May 14-15: "Dog Brothers Tribal Gathering of the Pack" on: May 19, 2011, 10:48:32 AM
Forgive the moment of advertising, but  , , , ahem , , , there is training available in the Hermosa Beach area too  grin
23552  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment on: May 19, 2011, 12:52:26 AM
"I can't for the life of me think of a good reason to take away a right to protect oneself against an unlawful entry, no matter who is doing the entering."

23553  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: May 19, 2011, 12:44:20 AM
Well, to be precise, it did rather well for a while in the mid-90s , , , thanks to Newt and the "Contract with America".
23554  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Head injury/brain damage/concussion in boxing, kickboxing, football, etc: on: May 18, 2011, 08:53:29 PM
Thank you very much for the info Doug!
23555  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: May 18, 2011, 08:48:17 PM
", , , freeloaders who are both rich AND poor. , , , We need a level playing field.  One in which we don't get people cheating from whatever socioeconomic class they are from."

Quite right, and quite right that the Reps don't get it.

23556  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 18, 2011, 10:16:47 AM
This could also belong in the Budget thread.

Maybe I am missing something, but IIRC all spending bills must originate in the House of Representataives-- which is controlled by the Republicans.  So why don't they just pass spending bills as they see fit and leave it to the Senate and BO to take the blame for not passisng it?

23557  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: May 18, 2011, 10:11:42 AM
This seems to me to be a very pertinent and troubling question.
23558  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Newt tries walking it back on: May 18, 2011, 10:10:19 AM
May 18 , 2011· Vol. 6, No.20   
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
I Signed the Pledge To Repeal Obamacare,
Have You?

by Newt Gingrich

Yesterday in Mason City, Iowa, I signed the Obamacare Repeal Pledge, sponsored by the Independent Women’s Voice and American Majority Action.  Obamacare is such a massive and complex power grab of a law that there are countless specific reasons to oppose the law.

But as I was signing the repeal pledge, I reflected upon three big reasons that Obamacare must be repealed:

It’s Unconstitutional.  Period. As Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has argued, if the federal government has the power to force you to purchase a product or service, there is no end to its power. 

As I argue in my forthcoming book, A Nation Like No Other: Why American Exceptionalism Matters and show in Callista's and my documentary, A City Upon a Hill: The Spirit of American Exceptionalism, Obamacare’s mandate to purchase health insurance is an assault on our country’s founding principles of limited, clearly delineated federal powers and an erosion of the rule of law.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution clearly spells out the powers of the federal government.  When the Democratic Congress passed Obamacare, the bill’s supporters argued that the individual mandate was constitutionally justified under the Commerce Clause, a provision that gives Congress the power to “regulate Commerce…among the several States.”

This is a gross misinterpretation of the Commerce Clause.  The Founders designed this clause to prevent American states from imposing tariffs on each other or engaging in other restrictive trade practices that would hamper the economy.  But in the last century, big government advocates have misused this stipulation to justify federal regulation of energy, trucking, financial services, and other assorted activities. 

Obamacare takes this overly-broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause to an absurd extreme.  If the federal government can force us to buy health insurance, what is stopping it from forcing us to buy other products? 

This is why dozens of state attorneys general have filed suit against Obamacare, charging that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

A Corrupt, Bureaucratic Power Grab

Aside from this mammoth expansion of federal power, Obamacare also violates the rule of law by granting vast discretion to administrative agencies.  In fact, Obamacare grants 1,968 new powers to government agencies and bureaucrats, most of them to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who administers Obamacare.  You can see all these powers spelled out on a massive wall chart at healthtransformation.net.

 

This discretionary power wielded by unelected bureaucrats presents an enormous danger for corruption.  Indeed, we have already seen how they can be abused.

Obamacare empowers the Secretary of HHS to issue waivers that exempt companies and organizations from the law’s many expensive and onerous requirements.  To date, HHS has issued over a thousand waivers, including ones to Big Labor and other powerful supporters of the Democratic Party.  This is all profoundly unfair to the millions of small businesses who lack the money and resources to influence Washington.

Yesterday, a report emerged that showed nearly 20% of the new waivers issued by HHS are in Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district.

This arbitrary “rule by waiver” is a fundamental violation of the rule of law. In fact, it absolutely negates the rule of law, replacing it with the rule of HHS Secretary Sebelius, Obama, and the Democratic Party.

The Wrong Model

Finally, Obamacare’s big government model, with its mandates, new bureaucracies and regulations, is simply the wrong way to lower costs and achieve better health outcomes.  It is Washington centered instead of individually centered.

The current market for health care is broken because consumers do not shop based on price and quality.  We have to redesign the system into one that responds to these downward cost pressures, like every other functioning market does. 

We can’t do that by empowering bureaucrats and lawyers.  Instead, you need to empower patients with access to quality information, including the real costs of the care they receive and give them the freedom to choose their providers based on that knowledge. 

This will create a true healthcare marketplace where providers compete to provide the best care at the lowest cost.  In this free market model, the 71 million baby boomers entering retirement would represent a boom, not bust, for healthcare.

Will You Sign the Pledge? 

The Obamacare Repeal Pledge is not just for lawmakers and candidates. 

There is a space for citizens to sign as well to show support for repealing Obamacare.

So will you sign the pledge?  Click here to sign.

Your Friend,

 

Newt
23559  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: May 18, 2011, 10:02:40 AM
Dang JDN, you sure ate your Wheaties this morning! grin
23560  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Security for AF bomber program on: May 17, 2011, 01:27:25 PM


Interesting blog post on the security costs for the $50B Air Force
bomber program -- estimated to be $8B.  This isn't all computer
security, but the original article specifically calls out Chinese
computer espionage as a primary threat.
http://taosecurity.blogspot.com/2011/04/apt-drives-up-bomber-cost.html
23561  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Chinese hacking; chains of evidence on: May 17, 2011, 01:26:02 PM


WikiLeaks cable about Chinese hacking of U.S. networks:
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/04/wikileaks_cable.html

Increasingly, chains of evidence include software steps.  It's not just
the RIAA suing people -- and getting it wrong -- based on automatic
systems to detect and identify file sharers.  It's forensic programs
used to collect and analyze data from computers and smart phones.  It's
audit logs saved and stored by ISPs and websites.  It's location data
from cell phones.  It's e-mails and IMs and comments posted to social
networking sites.  It's tallies from digital voting machines.  It's
images and meta-data from surveillance cameras.  The list goes on and
on.  We in the security field know the risks associated with trusting
digital data, but this evidence is routinely assumed by courts to be
accurate.  Sergey Bratus is starting to look at this problem.  His
paper, written with Ashlyn Lembree and Anna Shubina, is "Software on the
Witness Stand: What Should it Take for Us to Trust it?."
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/04/software_as_evi.html
23562  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) & the 4th Amendment on: May 17, 2011, 01:22:55 PM
Hmmm , , , lets see.  I am on the can and someone knocks on the door shouting "Police!".  I flush the toilet to go answer the door, but whoops! no need!  They have kicked in the door and are in my house.  For the sake of argument, lets say they are undercover.  What could go wrong here?  What remedy?  Apparently my flushing the toilet is now  , , , probable cause?  Indeed any hurried noises (e.g. a naked woman looking to clother herself quickly) are now probable cause?

Call 911 to verify that the folks on the other side of the door are police.  Is this really a serious suggestion?  Have you ever tried calling 911?  I did once to report some bangers breaking into a car.  By the time the brain dead moron answering the phone allowed me to give the facts, the bangers were gone.  Here, just how long is it going to take the person answering the call to confirm or deny those guys at my door. Somehow I seriously doubt it will be timely enough so as to be meaningful , , ,
23563  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The Dishonest Minority on: May 17, 2011, 01:08:55 PM

      Status Report: "The Dishonest Minority"



Three months ago, I announced that I was writing a book on why security
exists in human societies.  This is basically the book's thesis statement:

     All complex systems contain parasites.  In any system of
     cooperative behavior, an uncooperative strategy will be effective
     -- and the system will tolerate the uncooperatives -- as long as
     they're not too numerous or too effective. Thus, as a species
     evolves cooperative behavior, it also evolves a dishonest minority
     that takes advantage of the honest majority.  If individuals
     within a species have the ability to switch strategies, the
     dishonest minority will never be reduced to zero.  As a result,
     the species simultaneously evolves two things: 1) security systems
     to protect itself from this dishonest minority, and 2) deception
     systems to successfully be parasitic.

     Humans evolved along this path.  The basic mechanism can be
     modeled simply.  It is in our collective group interest for
     everyone to cooperate. It is in any given individual's short-term
     self-interest not to cooperate: to defect, in game theory terms.
     But if everyone defects, society falls apart.  To ensure
     widespread cooperation and minimal defection, we collectively
     implement a variety of societal security systems.

     Two of these systems evolved in prehistory: morals and reputation.
     Two others evolved as our social groups became larger and more
     formal: laws and technical security systems.  What these security
     systems do, effectively, is give individuals incentives to act in
     the group interest.  But none of these systems, with the possible
     exception of some fanciful science-fiction technologies, can ever
     bring that dishonest minority down to zero.

     In complex modern societies, many complications intrude on this
     simple model of societal security. Decisions to cooperate or
     defect are often made by groups of people -- governments,
     corporations, and so on -- and there are important differences
     because of dynamics inside and outside the groups. Much of our
     societal security is delegated -- to the police, for example --
     and becomes institutionalized; the dynamics of this are also
     important.

     Power struggles over who controls the mechanisms of societal
     security are inherent: "group interest" rapidly devolves to "the
     king's interest."  Societal security can become a tool for those
     in power to remain in power, with the definition of "honest
     majority" being simply the people who follow the rules.

     The term "dishonest minority" is not a moral judgment; it simply
     describes the minority who does not follow societal norm.  Since
     many societal norms are in fact immoral, sometimes the dishonest
     minority serves as a catalyst for social change.  Societies
     without a reservoir of people who don't follow the rules lack an
     important mechanism for societal evolution.  Vibrant societies
     need a dishonest minority; if society makes its dishonest minority
     too small, it stifles dissent as well as common crime.

At this point, I have most of a first draft: 75,000 words.  The
tentative title is still "The Dishonest Minority: Security and its Role
in Modern Society."  I have signed a contract with Wiley to deliver a
final manuscript in November for February 2012 publication.  Writing a
book is a process of exploration for me, and the final book will
certainly be a little different -- and maybe even very different -- from
what I wrote above.  But that's where I am today.

And it's why my other writings -- and the issues of Crypto-Gram --
continue to be sparse.

Lots of comments -- over 200 -- to the blog post.  Please comment there;
I want the feedback.
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/02/societal_securi.html
23564  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Things seem to have changed a bit , , , on: May 17, 2011, 12:33:50 PM


"[The President] is the dignified, but accountable magistrate of a free and great people. The tenure of his office, it is true, is not hereditary; nor is it for life: but still it is a tenure of the noblest kind: by being the man of the people, he is invested; by continuing to be the man of the people, his investiture will be voluntarily, and cheerfully, and honourably renewed." --James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791


23565  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury: Industrial Production on: May 17, 2011, 11:50:53 AM
Industrial production was unchanged in April To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist
Robert Stein, CFA - Senior Economist
Date: 5/17/2011


Industrial production was unchanged in April, coming in below the consensus expected gain of 0.4%. Including revisions to prior months, production declined 0.5%. Production is up 5.0% in the past year.

Manufacturing, which excludes mining/utilities, was down 0.4% in April. Including downward revisions to prior months, manufacturing fell 1.1%. The decline in April was due to auto production, which dropped 8.9%. Non-auto manufacturing increased 0.2%. Auto production is up 8.3% versus a year ago while non-auto manufacturing has risen 4.5%.
 
The production of high-tech equipment increased 2.3% in April and is up 13.6% versus a year ago.
 
Overall capacity utilization declined slightly to 76.9% in April. Manufacturing capacity use declined to 74.4%.
 
Implications:  Industrial production took a breather in April coming in unchanged, which was below the consensus expected gain of 0.4%. While mining and utility production both increased for the second straight month, manufacturing declined 0.4%. However, all of the drop in manufacturing was due to a 8.9% decline in auto production.  Given temporary shortages of parts related to the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear/electricity problems in Japan, some US automakers are shifting their traditional summer shutdowns into the spring. As a result, auto production will slip in Q2 and then surge sharply again in Q3. So for the next few months, we will continue to focus on manufacturing excluding autos in order to figure out the underlying trend.   This measure of output was up 0.2% in April and is up 4.5% versus last year, so no problems there. High tech equipment continues to grow, up 2.3% in April and, despite downward revisions for prior months, up at a 23.1% annual rate in the past six months.  Production is going to continue to move higher and will likely keep being led by business equipment.  Inventories are low, corporate profits are at a record high and so is cash on the balance sheets of non-financial companies.  In other recent news on the manufacturing sector, the Empire State index, a measure of manufacturing activity in New York, declined to a still solid +11.9 in May from +19.6 in April, suggesting continued growth in the factory sector, but not quite as quickly as earlier this spring.
23566  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Housing starts drop-- due to tornadoes? on: May 17, 2011, 11:43:24 AM
Housing starts dropped 10.6% in April To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist
Robert Stein, CFA - Senior Economist
Date: 5/17/2011


Housing starts dropped 10.6% in April to 523,000 units at an annual rate. They were also revised up by 6.6% in March, but are still down 23.9% versus a year ago.

The drop in April was mostly due to a 24.7% fall in multi-family starts (which are very volatile from month to month). Still, multi-family starts are 6.6% higher than a year ago. Single-family starts fell 5.1% in April and are down 30.4% versus a year ago.
 
Starts plummeted in the South, declined in the Northeast, but were up in the Midwest and West.
 
New building permits fell 4.0% in April to a 551,000 annual rate and were revised down by 3.3% in March.  Permits are down 12.8% versus a year ago with permits for single-family units down 18.6%.
 
Implications:  Housing starts fell 10.6% in April, coming in well below consensus expectations.  The number of homes under construction also fell to the lowest level on record (dating back to 1970). However, it appears the drop in starts in April was primarily due to an unusually violent tornado season. On net, all of the drop happened in the South. Outside that one region, starts were up 5.5%. In addition, two-thirds of the decline in starts was in multi-family units, which are volatile from month to month. In other words, with the drop in starts in April concentrated in one weather-ravaged region and primarily due to the more volatile component of home building, today’s report does not signal a future downward trend. Instead, we anticipate a significant rebound sometime in the next couple of months. Multi-family building has been generally moving up since late 2009 and, with the ongoing shift toward renting over owning, that trend should re-assert itself. Meanwhile, the South is still suffering, now with floods. But the impact of these disasters should clear by June. Also, not every aspect of home building is suffering. Completions increased 4.1% in April and yet are still at a low enough level so that builders can continue to work off the large excess inventory of homes. In fact, the pace of home building is still so low that inventory reduction will continue at a robust pace even as home building begins its long-term recovery later this year.
23567  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / fed court ruling on claim to CCW right; George MAson, co-author of the 2d Amndmt on: May 17, 2011, 10:36:02 AM

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/05/16/federal-judge-rules-calif-gun-advocates/?test=latestnews

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

I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them. -- George Mason, coauthor of the 2nd Amendment.
23568  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Dog Brothers Tribe on: May 17, 2011, 10:08:15 AM
Woof C-Mighty Dog:

Very helpful- thank you!  

I've moved things around a bit.

Crafty Dog
GF

DOG BROTHERS:

Randall "Wolf Dog" Gregory
Mark "Beowolf" Houston
Rene "Growling Dog" Cocolo
Tyler "Dirty Dog" Morin
Heiko "Crossover Dog" Zauske
Detlef "Sinatra Dog" Theim

CANDIDATE DOG BROTHERS:

Chris "C-Lazy Dog" Goard
Patrick "C-Green Mountain Dog" Gagnon
Shawn "C- (TBA) Dog" Zirger
Thomas "C-Gong Fu Dog" Holtmann
Yutthana Toki  C-"Mighty Dog" Tokijkla

DOGS:

"Dog" Roy Starr
"Dog" Don Rammel
"Dog" Terry Crutcher
23569  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Madison 1790 on: May 17, 2011, 09:58:26 AM
"Nothing is so contagious as opinion, especially on questions which, being susceptible of very different glosses, beget in the mind a distrust of itself." --James Madison, letter to Benjamin Rush, 1790

"[The President] is the dignified, but accountable magistrate of a free and great people. The tenure of his office, it is true, is not hereditary; nor is it for life: but still it is a tenure of the noblest kind: by being the man of the people, he is invested; by continuing to be the man of the people, his investiture will be voluntarily, and cheerfully, and honourably renewed." --James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791




23570  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: May 16, 2011, 09:03:18 PM
I'm rich!!! My truck is 21 years old!!!
23571  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Dog Brothers Tribe on: May 16, 2011, 08:15:21 PM
Randall "Wolf Dog" Gregory
23572  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: May 16, 2011, 12:47:46 PM
Although I certainly agree with the point about the hypocrisy of POTH (Pravda on the Hudson) I will say that I am troubled by the holding of
"AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion", but that is a subject for the legal issues thread.
23573  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: May 14-15: "Dog Brothers Tribal Gathering of the Pack" on: May 16, 2011, 12:40:03 PM
Thank you.

Right now, I think we are all deep in the Altered Space that cames after such experiences.

The Adventure continues!
23574  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mark Alexander's Patriot Post on: May 16, 2011, 12:36:40 PM
The Foundation
"Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, conforming, as I doubt not you will do, to our established rules." --Thomas Jefferson

Political Futures

Obama thinks immigration policy is a laughing matter"
  • bama's most recent invitation to civil discourse -- on immigration -- came just 11 minutes after he accused opponents of moving the goal posts on border enforcement. 'Maybe they'll need a moat,' he said sarcastically. 'Maybe they want alligators in the moat.' Nice touch. Looks like the Tucson truce -- no demonization, no cross-hairs metaphors -- is officially over. After all, the Republicans want to kill off the elderly, throw the disabled in the snow and watch alligators lunch on illegal immigrants. The El Paso speech is notable not for breaking any new ground on immigration, but for perfectly illustrating Obama's political style: the professorial, almost therapeutic, invitation to civil discourse, wrapped around the basest of rhetorical devices -- charges of malice compounded with accusations of bad faith. 'They'll never be satisfied,' said Obama about border control. 'And I understand that. That's politics.' ... There is zero chance of any immigration legislation passing Congress in the next two years. El Paso was simply an attempt to gin up the Hispanic vote as part of an openly political two-city, three-event campaign swing in preparation for 2012. ... [F]or Obama, immigration reform is not about legislation, it's about re-election. If I may quote the president: I understand that. That's politics." --columnist Charles Krauthammer

Government
"[T]he federal government expects to collect $2.2 trillion in revenue this year. The problem is that it wants to spend $3.8 trillion. You can do a lot with $2.2 trillion. You can fund Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, debt service, unemployment, welfare, and national defense at their 2008 levels. My recollection of 2008 is that it was not exactly a time of Spartan fiscal discipline. Funding the majority of the federal government at 2008 levels is not 'default.' It's not anything like default. It's not in the same category of things, events, or concepts as default. ... We like to think that the American people are on our side when it comes to the size and scope of government, but they aren't. Reforming entitlements is still going to be hard. Even reforming stupid spending is going to be hard: We all had a good laugh at Harry Reid's federally subsidized cowboy poetry festival, but there are a million morsels of pork just like it, not to mention big non-pork spending that has to be addressed, too. And now, with a weak economy and a gloomy near-term outlook, conservatives are stuck doing the job we really should have done back in 1994-2000. But it's not going to get any easier. But on the debt ceiling? Let them sweat." --columnist Kevin D. Williamson


Liberty
"One of the shameful hallmarks of a dictatorship is the restriction of movement -- telling citizens or groups they cannot travel or relocate freely. We are now witnessing a shocking example of that dictatorial practice at the hands of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is insisting that a major U.S. employer may not move some of its operations from one state to another because to do so might somehow violate workers' rights. The case in point involves famed aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, which is building a second assembly line for its new 787 jetliners in South Carolina. That's a no-no, says the NLRB. ... The NLRB has filed a complaint against Boeing, a firm headquartered in Chicago, for daring to choose where they may locate one of their plants. In this case, Boeing is being told it cannot make the move on the specious grounds that the move constitutes an unfair labor practice. The unfair labor practice? South Carolina has a state right-to-work law, which ensures employees the right to either join a union or not to join a union as they see fit. Imagine that, a law that allows a worker to choose whether or not to join a union! ... When a federal agency takes it into its grubby hands to dictate where a firm may locate some of its facilities America stands at the dividing line between freedom and tyranny." --columnist Michael Reagan

Opinion in Brief
"[T]he Obama administration is gutsily punishing right-to-work states -- even states that merely require secret ballots in order to obviate coercion by union thugs. What are Americans supposed to do to earn money? Obama doesn't care: Ordinary Americans are irrelevant to the Democrats' electoral ambitions -- they exist only to justify the hiring of more government workers. The Democrats have now officially abandoned working-class Americans. Obama is doing what's in his and his party's self-interest, rather than concerning himself with the mass of American citizens. He is using his executive authority to reward gays, illegal aliens, do-nothing government employees, far-left union bosses, abortion industry executives and global warming kooks. Are you on that list of Obama's friends? Democrats blithely act as if big labor, pro-illegal-immigration, pro-government union policies combined with massive government red tape and huge socialist programs will have no effect on jobs. They incessantly repeat 'gutsy call' for 'you'd have to have been brain-dead not to make the call to kill bin Laden,' hoping the Democratic Party will suddenly seem macho. Then, after a few weeks of robotically chanting 'gutsy call,' they can get back to their true passion -- destroying jobs -- at which point they will robotically chant Bush's name to explain why millions of Americans have lost their jobs under Obama. How gutsy." --columnist Ann Coulter

The Gipper
"Without timely expression and emphatic endorsement, our own belief in the principles of human freedom and representative government must eventually atrophy and wither." --Ronald Reagan

Re: The Left
"For a week people have been asking, 'Why won't the president release Osama bin Laden's photo?' That's the wrong question. We should be asking, 'Why was Barack Obama in such a hurry to tell us bin Laden was dead?' The White House says the information in bin Laden's compound is the equivalent of a 'small college library,' potentially containing incalculably valuable and unique data on al-Qaeda operations, personnel and methods. ... I'm no expert on such matters -- though I've talked to several about this -- but even a casual World War II buff can understand that the shelf life of actionable intelligence would be extended if we hadn't told the whole world, and al-Qaeda in particular, that we had it. It's a bit like racing to the microphones to announce you've stolen the other team's playbook even before you've had a chance to use the information in the big game. But that's exactly what President Obama did. ... t seems that the White House planned to crow as soon as possible. Why? Nobody I've talked to can think of a reason that doesn't have to do with politics or hubris." --columnist Jonah Goldberg


 

For the Record
"When you look at other countries and the history of the world in general, we are all just amazingly, unbelievably wealthy in this country. We have technology and opportunities that are insane; we can't even comprehend how well off we are compared to people who used to have to live in huts and fight for every meal. When you look at it objectively, every one of us in this country is a billionaire. And what did we do to earn all this incredible wealth? For most of us, the answer is: absolutely nothing. We were just born with it. So we take it for granted. And we demand even more. There is another type of rich person, though -- the working rich. The people who create. These are the people who made all the benefits we enjoy in society today. Thanks to their creativity and initiative, we have all the technological marvels we enjoy today. Because of their hard work, we have all these companies that give us cushy 9-to-5 jobs where we earn sums of money most of the world couldn't even imagine possessing. And are we thankful? Do we say, 'Thank you, rich people, for making all these things so we can benefit from them. I can't even believe how simple and easy my life is because of you'? No, we demand more from them, because we're the idle rich, and we think the working rich owe us everything." --columnist Frank J. Fleming

Faith & Family
"Robert Woodson would probably wince if you called him a 'community organizer.' That's because for the last 30 years as president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, he has not spent time organizing the poor around ineffective government programs and other addictions; he has been helping them become self-sufficient. 'You can't learn anything by studying failure,' he says. 'If you want to learn anything, you must study the successful.' ... Woodson, who is African-American, as were all of those I met, tells me 'Every black community going back to 1784 had welfare based on morals.' The last 40 years, he says, have transformed the way we look at poverty: 'Until 1965, 80 percent of black families had two parents in the home. The '60s destroyed all that.' ... He is emphatic about what he says and he produces success when so many other programs fail: 'Faith in God transforms the inside and that faith transforms the outside.' ... Republicans could win over the votes of many of the poor who think their future lies with Democrats. It doesn't, not if Democrats continue to spend money on failed programs that have no power to change lives. This will require Republicans getting out of their comfort zones and hanging out with people who not only have found hope, but who can communicate hope to others." --columnist Cal Thomas

23575  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Scott Grannis & Brian Wesbury on: May 16, 2011, 11:56:26 AM
As always, and as a balance to the doom and gloom tendencies around here, Scott Grannis is always a worthy read:

http://scottgrannis.blogspot.com/
===========================

Public Policy Looking Better To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist
Robert Stein, CFA - Senior Economist
Date: 5/16/2011


We think there are five (5) reasons to be bullish about the US economy. First, monetary policy is loose and likely to remain so. Second, the financial panic is over, thanks to the end of overly-strict mark-to-market accounting rules. Third, technological advances continue to boost productivity growth. Fourth, our free market economy is incredibly resilient, much more so than the pessimists believe. And fifth, the policy environment is improving.

Despite what Ben Bernanke might say (that quantitative easing lifted stock prices), we think the 15% total return in the S&P 500 since late last year has more to do with a positive shift in government policy. Not only were the lower Bush-era tax rates extended for two years, but lawmakers are becoming even more serious about cutting spending.
 
The debate over the 2011 budget, which resulted in some very slight reductions in spending, is over. But now a more serious fight about the “debt ceiling” is taking shape. We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves; after all we are dealing with politicians here. But, it appears that we can expect some modest, but noticeable, reductions in the size of government in the years ahead.
 
Our “most likely” outcome (about 50%) from this political wrangling expects the path of discretionary spending to be lowered and that entitlements would be tinkered with. We would be moving in the right direction, but the Congress would “kick the can” of major entitlement reform down the road for another time. This would be good for markets, but it would not be a watershed moment.
 
The next most likely outcome (about 30%) would be “market neutral.” In this scenario, Congress caves on the debt ceiling and we see little more than token measures to improve the long-term fiscal outlook. In this scenario, the stock market treads water.
 
There is obviously a small chance (make it 5%) that the Congress goes back on a spending binge and doesn’t cut spending at all. It seems impossible, but it is Congress.
 
The final option, and the one that intrigues us most, is the still small, but growing, possibility of a major breakthrough – a watershed moment – on the US’s long-term entitlement problems. To be careful, we would put relatively low odds (say 15%) on this scenario. But if it does happen the positive effect on the stock market could be huge, rivaling the impact on the markets of the change in policy direction that resulted from the 1994 election.
 
One reason we are intrigued by this option is how fast the political landscape has changed. On April 21, 2011, when Brian Wesbury wrote this very short piece for National Review Online (link here), he was among a small minority who thought using the “debt ceiling” as a political tool to force spending cuts was a wise, or even doable, thing. Even last Monday morning, when Brian participated in this press conference (see C-Span coverage here), the  conventional wisdom, even among those who advocate for smaller government, was that the debt limit would have to be raised regardless of whether significant policy improvements could be achieved.
 
Congressional leaders were scared about using the debt ceiling as a political tool and many of them were angry with members of the Tea Party and other members of Congress who stood firm.   But in just a few short days, many of these same congressional leaders are saying they won’t support lifting the debt limit unless trillions are cut from the budget. In other words, the odds of some very significant cuts in government spending are growing.
 
The political battles of the next decade are going to be fierce. And the outcomes of those battles will have major implications for the long-term growth path of the economy and financial markets. The sooner and more favorably those battles get resolved the longer and stronger the current bull market will be.
23576  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Remembering Ramadi on: May 16, 2011, 11:37:24 AM
By LAWRENCE F. KAPLAN
Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

When death came to Ramadi, it came, as any unwanted guest, to stay. It took a bleached, sand-blown landscape and flooded it red. It seized one Army brigade after another, gutting the ranks so deeply that, between my embeds with the First Armored Division's First Brigade Combat Team (1/1) in Iraq, it carved in granite a quarter of the names in my email inbox. It claimed so many lives and mangled so many others that, even now, on what ought to be the eve of the team's fifth anniversary reunion, the brigade's commander, then-Col. Sean MacFarland, cannot tote them up.

So, no, Brig. Gen. MacFarland's decision to call off the reunion celebration did not astound me. With nearly 100 of his soldiers killed and 500 wounded in eight months, I didn't know how many would (or could) summon the will for a jamboree to cast a glance backward. Instead, from his living room on the bank of the Missouri River, Brig. Gen. MacFarland and I—soldier and civilian, the neatly-ordered student of logic and the disheveled embodiment of what he defends—hold a micro-reunion.

Vacations, kids, work: Brig Gen. MacFarland credits his bare list of RSVPs to the routines that saddle us all. I pin the blame on what is being celebrated. That is, we pick up our argument where we left it five years ago. Not even the 7,000 miles that separate America and Iraq can measure the distance between us, or between the officer corps and the country it serves. In Iraq, the U.S. mission entailed complex operational schemes and thorny moral dilemmas. In the journalist's notebook, the U.S. mission required easy certainties and narrative simplicity.

Where I saw only mayhem in Ramadi, Col. MacFarland saw method and a path forward. One day, as we visited a local sheikh, the sheikh's radio crackled with panicked tribesmen under siege. "We'll bring in air," Col. MacFarland assured the sheikh, who was so busy shouting and being shouted at that it wasn't clear he actually heard the lanky, soft-spoken colonel. "So, um, get your men inside."

Antennae relayed a flurry of coordinates; one of the F-18s on station above Ramadi banked toward the insurgents. Problem solved. Later that day, Col. MacFarland told me he viewed the battle in the way of a mathematical equation: "Within its chaos there can be order," the historian Clayton Newell writes of the paradox of war. And, indeed, by "flipping" Ramadi's tribes, erecting small combat outposts, and otherwise anticipating the tenets of counterinsurgency that Gen. David Petraeus would later enshrine in official policy, 1/1 transformed a blasted shell into a place that bustled with the everyday vibrancy of a living community.

To assert that the outstanding officer can mitigate the chaos of war, however, is not to assert that he can mitigate its horror. Instead, Ramadi's horrors multiplied in direct proportion to the clarity of 1/1's advance.

On my first day back in Iraq, 1/1's public affairs officer and a young captain I admired were killed by a fuel-enhanced IED. Every day supplied a new variation—a marine shot in the neck, a soldier burned alive in his tank, a pilot disemboweled and set alight. Yet even as he devised tomorrow's plans on his color-coded tribal map, Col. MacFarland banished from brigade headquarters photos of yesterday's dead.

Serene in the conviction that Col. MacFarland cared more about victory than about its cost, I soon learned that my biases had things backward. At the landing zone where he loaded body-bags onto helicopters, the colonel was spotted one night behind a stack of medical kits, sobbing into his shirt sleeve. Toward the end of the deployment, one of the brigade's officers told me, he sensed that Col. MacFarland wanted to climb into a body bag.

At his promotion ceremony years later, it became clear what a steep price had been exacted by the tension between battlefield gain and human loss, between his steely command persona and his genuinely warm persona. Quietly and haltingly, Col. MacFarland confessed to the audience that "the many shattered bodies and shattered lives that made victory in Ramadi possible" had led him to ask himself if he was worthy of this honor. "I am not."

Back in Kansas, Brig. Gen. MacFarland says that, with the brigade's achievement now well-chronicled, the unpleasant images have become cloudy and flickering. "I have to believe all of it meant something," he says. "When my son-in-law, serving in southern Iraq, tells me he's bored, that means something."

And the reunion he put so much effort into assembling? The notion that the exquisite sensitivities of men who paint skulls on their tank turrets keep them home-bound seems far-fetched: Soldiers regard themselves as agents, not victims. So, yes, they're busy making other plans, mapping the routes to amusement parks and camp sites. Like Sean MacFarland, I have to believe this. And that, on this reunion day, even the dead have plans.

Mr. Kaplan is a contributing editor at the New Republic and a visiting professor at the U.S. Army War College.

23577  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 16, 2011, 11:17:26 AM
Bush 1 lost because of Perot.
23578  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: May 16, 2011, 11:09:17 AM
My strong support of Newt in 2008 is of record around here, as are my increasing expressions of doubt this time around.  THIS I think is a fatal blow to any remaining willingness on my part to consider him seriously.
23579  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Dog Brothers 2011 Tribal Gathering on: May 16, 2011, 10:13:23 AM
Given two days of outstanding fighting it is no surprise that there were several ascensions, indeed more names than I can remember.  Here are the few that I do remember off the top of my head.  If I failed to mention you, please email me and I will put things right

New Dog Brothers:

Mark "Beowulf" Houston
Rene "Growling Dog" Houston
Tyler "Dirty Dog" Morin

New Candidate Dog Brothers

Thomas "C-Gong Fu" Holtman

23580  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: May 14-15: "Dog Brothers Tribal Gathering of the Pack" on: May 15, 2011, 09:51:08 PM
Leaving now for the Pier.  Cell is 310-738-1044.
23581  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: May 14-15: "Dog Brothers Tribal Gathering of the Pack" on: May 15, 2011, 09:32:45 PM
And thank you for your outstanding expression today; a true pleasure to watch.
23582  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: May 14-15: "Dog Brothers Tribal Gathering of the Pack" on: May 15, 2011, 09:16:13 PM
OK, just stay there.

Everyone else, meet at the Hermosa Beach pier at 20:00 and we can walk over to La Playita from there.
23583  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: May 14-15: "Dog Brothers Tribal Gathering of the Pack" on: May 15, 2011, 06:55:09 PM
Dinner at 20:00.

Location will be announced here, but first I have to confer with Pretty Kitty who is out at the moment.
23584  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: May 15, 2011, 12:20:04 PM
Yes.

Of course the practical course of action will often be exactly as you describe, but the conceptual foundations must be those of a free people.  So, the question remains:  Do you recognize the RIGHT to self-defense against authority?
23585  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 15, 2011, 12:17:17 PM
In the big picture and Cain's capable hands I think this sort of hateful nonsense will help the cause of Freedom.
23586  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / UAE building private army with Blackwater on: May 15, 2011, 11:04:41 AM


The complete article can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/world/middleeast/15prince.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print

May 14, 2011
Secret Desert Force Set Up by Blackwater’s Founder
By MARK MAZZETTI and EMILY B. HAGER

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Late one night last November, a plane carrying dozens of Colombian men touched down in this glittering seaside capital. Whisked through customs by an Emirati intelligence officer, the group boarded an unmarked bus and drove roughly 20 miles to a windswept military complex in the desert sand.

The Colombians had entered the United Arab Emirates posing as construction workers. In fact, they were soldiers for a secret American-led mercenary army being built by Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide, with $529 million from the oil-soaked sheikdom.

Mr. Prince, who resettled here last year after his security business faced mounting legal problems in the United States, was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E., according to former employees on the project, American officials and corporate documents obtained by The New York Times.

The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts, the documents show. Such troops could be deployed if the Emirates faced unrest in their crowded labor camps or were challenged by pro-democracy protests like those sweeping the Arab world this year.

The U.A.E.’s rulers, viewing their own military as inadequate, also hope that the troops could blunt the regional aggression of Iran, the country’s biggest foe, the former employees said. The training camp, located on a sprawling Emirati base called Zayed Military City, is hidden behind concrete walls laced with barbed wire. Photographs show rows of identical yellow temporary buildings, used for barracks and mess halls, and a motor pool, which houses Humvees and fuel trucks. The Colombians, along with South African and other foreign troops, are trained by retired American soldiers and veterans of the German and British special operations units and the French Foreign Legion, according to the former employees and American officials.

In outsourcing critical parts of their defense to mercenaries — the soldiers of choice for medieval kings, Italian Renaissance dukes and African dictators — the Emiratis have begun a new era in the boom in wartime contracting that began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. And by relying on a force largely created by Americans, they have introduced a volatile element in an already combustible region where the United States is widely viewed with suspicion.

The United Arab Emirates — an autocracy with the sheen of a progressive, modern state — are closely allied with the United States, and American officials indicated that the battalion program had some support in Washington.

“The gulf countries, and the U.A.E. in particular, don’t have a lot of military experience. It would make sense if they looked outside their borders for help,” said one Obama administration official who knew of the operation. “They might want to show that they are not to be messed with.”

Still, it is not clear whether the project has the United States’ official blessing. Legal experts and government officials said some of those involved with the battalion might be breaking federal laws that prohibit American citizens from training foreign troops if they did not secure a license from the State Department.

Mark C. Toner, a spokesman for the department, would not confirm whether Mr. Prince’s company had obtained such a license, but he said the department was investigating to see if the training effort was in violation of American laws. Mr. Toner pointed out that Blackwater (which renamed itself Xe Services ) paid $42 million in fines last year for training foreign troops in Jordan and other countries over the years.

The U.A.E.’s ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, declined to comment for this article. A spokesman for Mr. Prince also did not comment.

For Mr. Prince, the foreign battalion is a bold attempt at reinvention. He is hoping to build an empire in the desert, far from the trial lawyers, Congressional investigators and Justice Department officials he is convinced worked in league to portray Blackwater as reckless. He sold the company last year, but in April, a federal appeals court reopened the case against four Blackwater guards accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007.

To help fulfill his ambitions, Mr. Prince’s new company, Reflex Responses, obtained another multimillion-dollar contract to protect a string of planned nuclear power plants and to provide cybersecurity. He hopes to earn billions more, the former employees said, by assembling additional battalions of Latin American troops for the Emiratis and opening a giant complex where his company can train troops for other governments.

Knowing that his ventures are magnets for controversy, Mr. Prince has masked his involvement with the mercenary battalion. His name is not included on contracts and most other corporate documents, and company insiders have at times tried to hide his identity by referring to him by the code name “Kingfish.” But three former employees, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements, and two people involved in security contracting described Mr. Prince’s central role.

The former employees said that in recruiting the Colombians and others from halfway around the world, Mr. Prince’s subordinates were following his strict rule: hire no Muslims.

Muslim soldiers, Mr. Prince warned, could not be counted on to kill fellow Muslims.

A Lucrative Deal

Last spring, as waiters in the lobby of the Park Arjaan by Rotana Hotel passed by carrying cups of Turkish coffee, a small team of Blackwater and American military veterans huddled over plans for the foreign battalion. Armed with a black suitcase stuffed with several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of dirhams, the local currency, they began paying the first bills.

The company, often called R2, was licensed last March with 51 percent local ownership, a typical arrangement in the Emirates. It received about $21 million in start-up capital from the U.A.E., the former employees said.

Mr. Prince made the deal with Sheik Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates. The two men had known each other for several years, and it was the prince’s idea to build a foreign commando force for his country.

Savvy and pro-Western, the prince was educated at the Sandhurst military academy in Britain and formed close ties with American military officials. He is also one of the region’s staunchest hawks on Iran and is skeptical that his giant neighbor across the Strait of Hormuz will give up its nuclear program.

“He sees the logic of war dominating the region, and this thinking explains his near-obsessive efforts to build up his armed forces,” said a November 2009 cable from the American Embassy in Abu Dhabi that was obtained by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

For Mr. Prince, a 41-year-old former member of the Navy Seals, the battalion was an opportunity to turn vision into reality. At Blackwater, which had collected billions of dollars in security contracts from the United States government, he had hoped to build an army for hire that could be deployed to crisis zones in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He even had proposed that the Central Intelligence Agency use his company for special operations missions around the globe, but to no avail. In Abu Dhabi, which he praised in an Emirati newspaper interview last year for its “pro-business” climate, he got another chance.

Mr. Prince’s exploits, both real and rumored, are the subject of fevered discussions in the private security world. He has worked with the Emirati government on various ventures in the past year, including an operation using South African mercenaries to train Somalis to fight pirates. There was talk, too, that he was hatching a scheme last year to cap the Icelandic volcano then spewing ash across Northern Europe.

The team in the hotel lobby was led by Ricky Chambers, known as C. T., a former agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who had worked for Mr. Prince for years; most recently, he had run a program training Afghan troops for a Blackwater subsidiary called Paravant.

He was among the half-dozen or so Americans who would serve as top managers of the project, receiving nearly $300,000 in annual compensation. Mr. Chambers and Mr. Prince soon began quietly luring American contractors from Afghanistan, Iraq and other danger spots with pay packages that topped out at more than $200,000 a year, according to a budget document. Many of those who signed on as trainers — which eventually included more than 40 veteran American, European and South African commandos — did not know of Mr. Prince’s involvement, the former employees said.

Mr. Chambers did not respond to requests for comment.

He and Mr. Prince also began looking for soldiers. They lined up Thor Global Enterprises, a company on the Caribbean island of Tortola specializing in “placing foreign servicemen in private security positions overseas,” according to a contract signed last May. The recruits would be paid about $150 a day.

Within months, large tracts of desert were bulldozed and barracks constructed. The Emirates were to provide weapons and equipment for the mercenary force, supplying everything from M-16 rifles to mortars, Leatherman knives to Land Rovers. They agreed to buy parachutes, motorcycles, rucksacks — and 24,000 pairs of socks.

To keep a low profile, Mr. Prince rarely visited the camp or a cluster of luxury villas near the Abu Dhabi airport, where R2 executives and Emirati military officers fine-tune the training schedules and arrange weapons deliveries for the battalion, former employees said. He would show up, they said, in an office suite at the DAS Tower — a skyscraper just steps from Abu Dhabi’s Corniche beach, where sunbathers lounge as cigarette boats and water scooters whiz by. Staff members there manage a number of companies that the former employees say are carrying out secret work for the Emirati government.

Emirati law prohibits disclosure of incorporation records for businesses, which typically list company officers, but it does require them to post company names on offices and storefronts. Over the past year, the sign outside the suite has changed at least twice — it now says Assurance Management Consulting.

While the documents — including contracts, budget sheets and blueprints — obtained by The Times do not mention Mr. Prince, the former employees said he negotiated the U.A.E. deal. Corporate documents describe the battalion’s possible tasks: intelligence gathering, urban combat, the securing of nuclear and radioactive materials, humanitarian missions and special operations “to destroy enemy personnel and equipment.”

One document describes “crowd-control operations” where the crowd “is not armed with firearms but does pose a risk using improvised weapons (clubs and stones).”

People involved in the project and American officials said that the Emiratis were interested in deploying the battalion to respond to terrorist attacks and put down uprisings inside the country’s sprawling labor camps, which house the Pakistanis, Filipinos and other foreigners who make up the bulk of the country’s work force. The foreign military force was planned months before the so-called Arab Spring revolts that many experts believe are unlikely to spread to the U.A.E. Iran was a particular concern.

An Eye on Iran

Although there was no expectation that the mercenary troops would be used for a stealth attack on Iran, Emirati officials talked of using them for a possible maritime and air assault to reclaim a chain of islands, mostly uninhabited, in the Persian Gulf that are the subject of a dispute between Iran and the U.A.E., the former employees said. Iran has sent military forces to at least one of the islands, Abu Musa, and Emirati officials have long been eager to retake the islands and tap their potential oil reserves.

The Emirates have a small military that includes army, air force and naval units as well as a small special operations contingent, which served in Afghanistan, but over all, their forces are considered inexperienced.

In recent years, the Emirati government has showered American defense companies with billions of dollars to help strengthen the country’s security. A company run by Richard A. Clarke, a former counterterrorism adviser during the Clinton and Bush administrations, has won several lucrative contracts to advise the U.A.E. on how to protect its infrastructure.

Some security consultants believe that Mr. Prince’s efforts to bolster the Emirates’ defenses against an Iranian threat might yield some benefits for the American government, which shares the U.A.E.’s concern about creeping Iranian influence in the region.

“As much as Erik Prince is a pariah in the United States, he may be just what the doctor ordered in the U.A.E.,” said an American security consultant with knowledge of R2’s work.

The contract includes a one-paragraph legal and ethics policy noting that R2 should institute accountability and disciplinary procedures. “The overall goal,” the contract states, “is to ensure that the team members supporting this effort continuously cast the program in a professional and moral light that will hold up to a level of media scrutiny.”

But former employees said that R2’s leaders never directly grappled with some fundamental questions about the operation. International laws governing private armies and mercenaries are murky, but would the Americans overseeing the training of a foreign army on foreign soil be breaking United States law?

Susan Kovarovics, an international trade lawyer who advises companies about export controls, said that because Reflex Responses was an Emirati company it might not need State Department authorization for its activities.

But she said that any Americans working on the project might run legal risks if they did not get government approval to participate in training the foreign troops.

Basic operational issues, too, were not addressed, the former employees said. What were the battalion’s rules of engagement? What if civilians were killed during an operation? And could a Latin American commando force deployed in the Middle East really be kept a secret?

Imported Soldiers

The first waves of mercenaries began arriving last summer. Among them was a 13-year veteran of Colombia’s National Police force named Calixto Rincón, 42, who joined the operation with hopes of providing for his family and seeing a new part of the world.

“We were practically an army for the Emirates,” Mr. Rincón, now back in Bogotá, Colombia, said in an interview. “They wanted people who had a lot of experience in countries with conflicts, like Colombia.”

Mr. Rincón’s visa carried a special stamp from the U.A.E. military intelligence branch, which is overseeing the entire project, that allowed him to move through customs and immigration without being questioned.

He soon found himself in the midst of the camp’s daily routines, which mirrored those of American military training. “We would get up at 5 a.m. and we would start physical exercises,” Mr. Rincón said. His assignment included manual labor at the expanding complex, he said. Other former employees said the troops — outfitted in Emirati military uniforms — were split into companies to work on basic infantry maneuvers, learn navigation skills and practice sniper training.

R2 spends roughly $9 million per month maintaining the battalion, which includes expenditures for employee salaries, ammunition and wages for dozens of domestic workers who cook meals, wash clothes and clean the camp, a former employee said. Mr. Rincón said that he and his companions never wanted for anything, and that their American leaders even arranged to have a chef travel from Colombia to make traditional soups.

But the secrecy of the project has sometimes created a prisonlike environment. “We didn’t have permission to even look through the door,” Mr. Rincón said. “We were only allowed outside for our morning jog, and all we could see was sand everywhere.”

The Emirates wanted the troops to be ready to deploy just weeks after stepping off the plane, but it quickly became clear that the Colombians’ military skills fell far below expectations. “Some of these kids couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn,” said a former employee. Other recruits admitted to never having fired a weapon.

Rethinking Roles

As a result, the veteran American and foreign commandos training the battalion have had to rethink their roles. They had planned to act only as “advisers” during missions — meaning they would not fire weapons — but over time, they realized that they would have to fight side by side with their troops, former officials said.

Making matters worse, the recruitment pipeline began drying up. Former employees said that Thor struggled to sign up, and keep, enough men on the ground. Mr. Rincón developed a hernia and was forced to return to Colombia, while others were dismissed from the program for drug use or poor conduct.

And R2’s own corporate leadership has also been in flux. Mr. Chambers, who helped develop the project, left after several months. A handful of other top executives, some of them former Blackwater employees, have been hired, then fired within weeks.

To bolster the force, R2 recruited a platoon of South African mercenaries, including some veterans of Executive Outcomes, a South African company notorious for staging coup attempts or suppressing rebellions against African strongmen in the 1990s. The platoon was to function as a quick-reaction force, American officials and former employees said, and began training for a practice mission: a terrorist attack on the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, the world’s tallest building. They would secure the situation before quietly handing over control to Emirati troops.

But by last November, the battalion was officially behind schedule. The original goal was for the 800-man force to be ready by March 31; recently, former employees said, the battalion’s size was reduced to about 580 men.

Emirati military officials had promised that if this first battalion was a success, they would pay for an entire brigade of several thousand men. The new contracts would be worth billions, and would help with Mr. Prince’s next big project: a desert training complex for foreign troops patterned after Blackwater’s compound in Moyock, N.C. But before moving ahead, U.A.E. military officials have insisted that the battalion prove itself in a “real world mission.”

That has yet to happen. So far, the Latin American troops have been taken off the base only to shop and for occasional entertainment.

On a recent spring night though, after months stationed in the desert, they boarded an unmarked bus and were driven to hotels in central Dubai, a former employee said. There, some R2 executives had arranged for them to spend the evening with prostitutes.

Mark Mazzetti reported from Abu Dhabi and Washington, and Emily B. Hager from New York. Jenny Carolina González and Simon Romero contributed reporting from Bogotá, Colombia. Kitty Bennett contributed research from Washington.
23587  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WaPo: The ten year saga of the hunt for OBL on: May 15, 2011, 10:54:06 AM
A friend forwards to me:

"I don't agree with all of the spin, but this is a very interesting 
account of how the ten year hunt was conducted. Too long to attach 
the full text, unfortunately."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/projects/osama-hunt/index.html
23588  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 15, 2011, 10:50:37 AM
JDN raises a fair point here, though he substantially understates Cain's track record as Doug points out.

I certainly have had nowhere near the exposure to Cain necessary for me to form any sort of opinion of substance, but I do admit to being chuckled at the idea of two black men running for the Presidency with one of them apparently a genuine sincere man of Tea Party proclivities.    What a great way to neuter Democratoc race-baiting!!! afro
23589  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: May 15, 2011, 10:42:17 AM
No surprise that GM would see this as he does  grin

As best as I can tell with the facts here (domestic dispute, only husband spoke up that all was alright) a good case can be made for legal entry, so the court's apparent holding seems unnecessary and perhaps overbroad.

Readily granted, the exercise of this right presents profound risks and serious problems in the real world.

That said, on the whole, there have gotten to be a rather extraordinary amount of people's home being forcefully entered by the police in our society, often by no-knock warrants, SWAT teams and so forth.  There were and are good reasons for the Common Law being as it has been for 900 years.  The theoretical remedy proferred seems , , , theoretical indeed and rather contrary to the spirit of a free people.

Perhaps we can begin the conversation by asking if there is a right to self-defense when being assaulted by a policeman?  GM?
23590  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / DBMA's Snake Range on: May 15, 2011, 10:32:09 AM

Snake Range
written by Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny
(Copyright Dog Brothers Inc.  If you wish to share, please direct people here and do not post elsewhere)


As Juan Matus has pointed out, seeing what is not there as well as what is powerful--in life as well as in stickfighting. I often see doubt or the “BS alert” expression in people’s faces when they hear that Snake Range, the first range of DBMA, is defined as “before contact is made”. To most people, if no hitting is going on, then nothing of importance is going on. Yet the idea of Snake Range is that what is done in the absence of hitting in order to define the moment of impact (and its continuation) is one of the most important parts of fighting.


So what are the elements of the Snake in DBMA? First there is “the skill of moving your stick to protect your hand, hide your intent, create your opening, and mask your initiation.” Second, there is the analysis of your opponent’s psychological type. Third, and closely related, there is the analysis of his strucure which we call “The Theory of Chambers”. Fourth, there is a specific theory of footwork. Fifth, there is using this range to AVOID contact, which includes both ST. FOOM (an acronym for “stay the fornicate off of me”) and the specific footwork theory for avoiding engagement. And sixth, there is the theory of the skirmish (multiple versus one, and many versus many where numbers may or may not be equal)

The first element we will leave for another day. For now we will note that Top Dog’s distinctive circling of the stick we call “the clock” and that a fighter seaoned in the Attacking Block Drills will be able to use a Upward 8 in a similar manner.

Lets turn to psychological types and games that one should recognize in Snake Range. Here, in no particular order, are some examples:

a) "Mongo" (after the Alex Karras character in Mel Brooks's "Blazing Saddles":  Mongo looks to smash anything and every thing that comes at him.

b) The Stalker: he lumbers after you, often with step and slide footwork.

c) The Evader: evades and looks to counter hit

d) The Blocking Counter Hitter: he presses forward and looks to counter hit after blocking your strike.

e) The Posturer:  he doesn’t really want to fight. Typically Posturers strut and posture just out of reach in the hopes you will overextend yourself due to impatience.

f) The Salesman:  uses the stick deceptively hoping to trick you into exposing yourself.

g) Three Card Monte:  a variation of the salesman done with double stick. It mixes the chambers of each stick (e.g. holds one high and one low) and tries to hit you with the one at which you’re not looking.

h) The Speed Merchant: not much power, but he scores and moves.

i) The Troglodyte: doesn’t care much if you hit him, he’s going to hit you.

j) The Linebacker: comes after you like a linebacker blitzing a quarterback. He wants to crash and take it to the ground.

There’s more of course and these types can be combined. For example, a swatter can be a stalker or he can be a retreater.

 

The Theory of Chambers is the analysis of the physical structure of the man in front of you. From where does he throw? Some examples:

a) From above the forehand shoulder is “the Caveman”.

b) Does he finish this swing with his elbow in centerline? Then he is “elbow fulcrum”.

c) A “backander” prefers to throw from the backhand side.

d) A “slapper” has bad form and tends to swing horizontally.

e) “Off-lead” is a righty with the left foot forward or vice versa.

f) Low Chamber is a low forehand position. This sometimes is in an off-lead.

g) Siniwali Caveman is with the caveman strike in the rear, and the front stick is a jabbing/shielding position (a.k.a. “paw and pow”).

h) Double Caveman is with each stick above its respective shoulder.

i) False lead is left shoulder and right foot forward, right stick in right hand or vice versa.

These are but some examples. For each of these structures you want to know what are the strengths and weaknesses and have solutions.

In addition to the snakey stick, there is also “the snaky foot”, which of course is an oxymoron because snakes don’t have feet?but never mind that. There is a specific theory of footwork for this distance which we will leave for another day.

And in the street you may not want to engage and may want to keep the jackal(s) away. ST. FOOM is moving your feet and swinging your stick so as to create a bubble around yourself into which no one wants to step.

And the Skirmish is all the skills you need for multipe situations. This is more tactics and strategy than particular technique. Technical competence is already assumed, thus it is usually covered later in the training. If you can’t fight one, you may not be ready to think about fighting more than one.

All of these are elements of Snake Range in Dog Brothers Martial Arts.

Woof,

Guro Crafty
23591  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Indiana: No right to resist illegal police entry on: May 15, 2011, 09:16:33 AM


http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_ec169697-a19e-525f-a532-81b3df229697.html
Court: No right to resist illegal cop entry into home
Story Discussion By Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 | Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 3:56 pm | (239) Comments

PDF: Supreme Court ruling in Barnes v. State

INDIANAPOLIS | Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.

In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.

"We believe ... a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," David said. "We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest."

David said a person arrested following an unlawful entry by police still can be released on bail and has plenty of opportunities to protest the illegal entry through the court system.

The court's decision stems from a Vanderburgh County case in which police were called to investigate a husband and wife arguing outside their apartment.

When the couple went back inside their apartment, the husband told police they were not needed and blocked the doorway so they could not enter. When an officer entered anyway, the husband shoved the officer against a wall. A second officer then used a stun gun on the husband and arrested him.

Professor Ivan Bodensteiner, of Valparaiso University School of Law, said the court's decision is consistent with the idea of preventing violence.

"It's not surprising that they would say there's no right to beat the hell out of the officer," Bodensteiner said. "(The court is saying) we would rather opt on the side of saying if the police act wrongfully in entering your house your remedy is under law, to bring a civil action against the officer."

Justice Robert Rucker, a Gary native, and Justice Brent Dickson, a Hobart native, dissented from the ruling, saying the court's decision runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"In my view the majority sweeps with far too broad a brush by essentially telling Indiana citizens that government agents may now enter their homes illegally -- that is, without the necessity of a warrant, consent or exigent circumstances," Rucker said. "I disagree."

Rucker and Dickson suggested if the court had limited its permission for police entry to domestic violence situations they would have supported the ruling.

But Dickson said, "The wholesale abrogation of the historic right of a person to reasonably resist unlawful police entry into his dwelling is unwarranted and unnecessarily broad."

This is the second major Indiana Supreme Court ruling this week involving police entry into a home.

On Tuesday, the court said police serving a warrant may enter a home without knocking if officers decide circumstances justify it. Prior to that ruling, police serving a warrant would have to obtain a judge's permission to enter without knocking.


Copyright 2011 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


23592  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: May 15, 2011, 09:02:16 AM
"Let's keep this , , , discussion alive beyond the crisis."

Yes!
23593  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: May 15, 2011, 09:01:03 AM
Mundell, with very good reason, was the darling of the editorial page of the WSJ in its mighty heyday in the 1980s and '90s and was a huge influence on Jude Wanniski in writing his seminal book "The Way the World Works".

That said,

a) He's saying fed policies have strengthened the dollar?!?
b) Now that we are more than 1/3 the way through the year, how is his prediction of growth rate doing?
23594  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Nullification by the States on: May 15, 2011, 08:56:17 AM
http://mises.org/daily/4811


Nullification: What You'll Never Learn in School

Mises Daily: Friday, October 29, 2010 by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Having just finished a course on the New Deal for the Mises Academy, I'm now offering one on state nullification, the subject of my most recent book. I thought my New Deal course covered issues and sources left out of the typical classroom, but in that respect this course has that one beat.

Nullification is the Jeffersonian idea that the states of the American Union must judge the constitutionality of the acts of their agent, the federal government, since no impartial arbiter between them exists. When the federal government exercises a particularly dangerous power not delegated to it, the states must refuse to allow its enforcement within their borders.

I can hear people saying that such a response doesn't go nearly far enough. No argument there. The trouble with nullification is not that it is too "extreme," as the enforcers of opinion would say, but that it is too timid. But it gets people thinking in terms of resistance, which has to be a good thing, and it defies the unexamined premise of the entire political spectrum, according to which society must be organized with a single, irresistible power center issuing infallible commands from the top.

That's at least a pretty good start.

The course, Nullification: A Jeffersonian Bulwark Against Tyranny, will cover the basics, to be sure, and after the first week everyone will be well-grounded in the relevant issues. But then I want to dig into the primary sources. I want to examine the long-forgotten debates on this subject in detail. In particular, we'll study the exchanges between Daniel Webster and Robert Hayne, Andrew Jackson and Littleton Waller Tazewell, and Joseph Story and Abel Upshur.

Hardly anyone, including graduate students in American history, has actually read these texts as opposed to just knowing of their existence — and if my own experience at Columbia University is any indication, even that is more than some grad students know.

The various commissars who have taken it upon themselves to ensure that no one strays from officially approved opinion — or to appropriately scold anyone who in fact does so — have become apoplectic at the return of nullification. I confess to taking mischievous delight in this. They are accustomed to setting the terms of debate. They are not used to seeing people promote ideas of their own.

And the commissars have not read these sources, either. But you will. You will know the arguments of both sides inside and out.

You will also enjoy the discussions that ensue at the end of each lecture. You can sign off whenever you like, of course, but during the course I just completed on the New Deal I stayed around for an hour and a half to two extra hours answering questions and directing discussion, and then shooting the breeze about anything people wanted to discuss. We had a great time. As always, the lectures are available for viewing, along with a full transcript of the chat box, for people who cannot watch them live.

I understand the impatience that many of us feel regarding nullification, particularly the complaints that

the Constitution per se isn't what matters anyway; what matters is freedom; and
the states are no angels, either.
These criticisms are by no means misplaced. But nullification remains a useful quiver in the liberty arsenal all the same. As I've said, it gets people thinking in healthy ways. And it can be employed for good purposes, as when the Principles of '98 (as the ideas culminating in nullification came to be known) were cited on behalf of free speech and free trade, and against unconstitutional searches and seizures, military conscription, and fugitive-slave laws. In our own day, Janet Napolitano said the reason the Real ID Act failed was that the states refused to cooperate in its enforcement.

And the states are indeed rotten, too — which is why we may as well put them to some good use by pursuing nullification. Liberty is more likely to have room to flourish in a world of many competing jurisdictions rather than under a single, irresistible jurisdiction.

In short, this course will introduce you to a chapter of American history that has fallen down the memory hole but which is much too interesting and valuable to leave down there. In the process of pulling it out, you'll acquire a much deeper understanding of American history.

I hope you'll join me.

Here is the Mises Institute's Jeffrey Tucker interviewing me on the subject: [see this link for the video interview]

23595  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 15, 2011, 08:52:49 AM
Also, something that caught my attention recently about Cain was some footage of President Clinton (not the current one, the one from the 90s) doing some "meet with and answer questions of real live citizens sort of thing" and there was Cain, questioning him about Hillary Care which was then a heated issue. (1993?)  Cain was , , , drum roll please , , , abely , , , rim shot , , , questioning the President with some follow up questions that were pointed without being disrespectful. 
23596  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Grandchildren of Nazis delve into past on: May 15, 2011, 08:48:18 AM
Very good conversation going on this thread and I hope to contribute to it in the next few days.  In the meantime here is this interesting article:

German grandchildren of Nazis delve into past
By KIRSTEN GRIESHABER, Associated Press

Saturday, May 14, 2011

   
(05-14) 12:23 PDT BERLIN, Germany (AP) --

Rainer Hoess was 12 years old when he found out his grandfather was one of the worst mass murderers in history.

The gardener at his boarding school, an Auschwitz survivor, beat him black and blue after hearing he was the grandson of Rudolf Hoess, commandant of the death camp synonymous with the Holocaust.

"He beat me, because he projected on me all the horror he went through," Rainer Hoess said, with a shrug and a helpless smile. "Once a Hoess, always a Hoess. Whether you're the grandfather or the grandson — guilty is guilty."

Germans have for decades confronted the Nazi era head-on, paying billions in compensation, meticulously teaching Third Reich history in school, and building memorials to victims. The conviction Thursday in Munich of retired Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk on charges he was a guard at the Sobibor Nazi death camp drives home how the Holocaust is still very much at the forefront of the German psyche.

But most Germans have skirted their own possible family involvement in Nazi atrocities. Now, more than 65 years after the end of Hitler's regime, an increasing number of Germans are trying to pierce the family secrets.

Some, like Hoess, have launched an obsessive solitary search. Others seek help from seminars and workshops that have sprung up across Germany to provide research guidance and psychological support.

"From the outside, the third generation has had it all — prosperity, access to education, peace and stability," said Sabine Bode, who has written books on how the Holocaust weighs on German families today. "Yet they grew up with a lot of unspoken secrets, felt the silent burdens in their families that were often paired with a lack of emotional warmth and vague anxieties."

Like others, Hoess had to overcome fierce resistance within his own family, who preferred that he "not poke around in the past." Undeterred, he spent lonely hours at archives and on the Internet researching his grandfather.

Rudolf Hoess was in charge of Auschwitz from May 1940 to November 1943. He came back to Auschwitz for a short stint in 1944, to oversee the murder of some 400,000 Hungarian Jews in the camp's gas chambers within less than two months.

The commandant lived in a luxurious mansion at Auschwitz with his wife and five children — among them Hans-Rudolf, the father of Rainer. Only 150 meters (yards) away the crematories' chimneys were blowing out the ashes of the dead day and night.

After the war, Hoess went into hiding on a farm in northern Germany; he was eventually captured and hanged in 1947, in front of his former home on the grounds of Auschwitz.

"When I investigate and read about my grandfather's crimes, it tears me apart every single time," Hoess said during a recent interview at his home in a little Black Forest village.

As a young man, he said, he tried twice to kill himself. He has suffered three heart attacks in recent years as well as asthma, which he says gets worse when he digs into his family's Nazi past.

Today, Hoess says, he no longer feels guilty, but the burden of the past weighs on him at all times.

"My grandfather was a mass murderer — something that I can only be ashamed and sad about," said the 45-year-old chef and father of two boys and two girls. "However, I do not want to close my eyes and pretend nothing ever happened, like the rest of my family still does ... I want to stop the curse that's been haunting my family ever since, for the sake of myself and that of my own children."

Hoess is no longer in contact with his father, brother, aunts and cousins, who all call him a traitor. Strangers often look at him with distrust when he tells them about his grandfather — "as if I could have inherited his evil."

Despite such reactions, descendants of Nazis — from high-ranking officials to lowly foot soldiers — are increasingly trying to find out what their families did between 1933 to 1945.

"The Nazis — the first generation — were too ashamed to talk about the crimes they committed and covered everything up. The second generation often had trouble personally confronting their Nazi parents. So now it is up to the grandchildren to lift the curses off their families," said Bode.

It was only during her university years — reading books about the Holocaust — that Ursula Boger found out her grandfather was the most dreaded torturer at Auschwitz.

"I felt numb for days after I read about what he did," recalled Boger, a shy, soft-spoken woman who lives near Freiburg in southwestern Germany. "For many years I was ashamed to tell anybody about him, but then I realized that my own silence was eating me up from inside."

Her grandfather, Wilhelm Boger, invented the so-called Boger swing at Auschwitz — an iron bar that hung on chains from the ceiling. Boger would force naked inmates to bend over the bar and beat their genitals until they fainted or died.

Boger, 41, said it took her several years of therapy and group seminars to begin to come to terms with the fact her grandfather was a monster.

"I felt guilty, even though I hadn't committed a crime myself, felt like I had to do only good things at all times to make up for his evil," she said.

Like Hoess, Boger never personally met her grandfather, who died in prison in 1977. After her father died five years ago, she found old letters from her grandfather begging to see his grandchildren in prison — something that never happened.

"It all just doesn't go together," Boger said. "He is the man who killed a little boy with an apple who came in on a transport to Auschwitz, by smashing his head against a wall until he was dead, and then picked up and ate that apple.

"At the same time, he put a picture of myself as a little girl over his bed in prison. How am I supposed to come to terms with this?"

Tanja Hetzer, a therapist in Berlin, helps clients dealing with issues related to their family's Nazi past. While there are no studies or statistics, she said, many cases indicate that descendants of families who have never dealt with their Nazi family history suffer more from depression, burnout and addiction, in particular alcoholism.

In one prominent case, Bettina Goering, the grandniece of Hermann Goering, one of the country's leading Nazis and the head of the Luftwaffe air force, said in an Israeli TV documentary that she decided to be sterilized at age 30 "because I was afraid to bear another such monster."

Some grandchildren of Nazis find a measure of catharsis in confronting the past.

Alexandra Senfft is the granddaughter of Hanns Elard Ludin, Hitler's Slovakia envoy who was involved in the deportation of almost 70,000 Jews. After Ludin was hanged in 1947, his widow raised the children in the belief their father was "a good Nazi."

In her book, "The Pain of Silence," Senfft describes how a web of lies burdened her family over decades, especially her mother, who was 14 years old when her beloved father was hanged.

"It was unbearable at times to work on this book, it brought up fears and pain, but at the same time I got a lot out of writing it all down," Senfft, a lively 49-year-old, explained during an interview at a Berlin coffee shop.

"If I had continued to remain oblivious and silent about my grandfather's crimes, I would have become complicit myself, perhaps without even being aware of it."

Senfft said she also wrote the book so her children could be free of guilt and shame, and that confronting family pasts is essential for the health of German society as a whole so that history does not repeat itself.

These days Rainer Hoess lectures schoolchildren about the Nazi era and anti-Semitism. A few months ago, he visited Auschwitz for the first time and met a group of Israeli students.

That day was "probably the most difficult and intense day in my life," Hoess said, but it was also liberating because he realized that the third generation of Jews after the Holocaust did not hold him responsible. One Israeli girl even gave him a little shell with a blue Star of David painted on it, which he now wears around his neck on a black leather necklace at all times.

Hoess was embroiled in controversy in 2009 when Israeli media reported he tried to sell some of his grandfather's possessions to Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Memorial. But email correspondence seen by the AP backs up Hoess' assertion that he would have been just as willing to donate the items. Hoess eventually donated everything he owned from his grandfather — including a trunk, letters and a cigar cutter — to the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich.

Hoess acknowledges that his grandfather will probably never stop haunting him. After his visit to Auschwitz, he met Jozef Paczynski, a Polish camp survivor and the former barber of Commandant Hoess.

"Somehow, subconsciously, I was hoping that maybe he would tell me one positive story about my grandfather, something that shows that he wasn't all evil after all, that there was some goodness in him," Hoess confided.

Paczynski asked Hoess to get up and walk across the room — then told him: "You look exactly like your grandfather."


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2011/05/14/international/i014751D83.DTL
23597  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: May 15, 2011, 12:34:36 AM
Tax increases now, spending cuts many years from now.  Charlie Brown as the kicker and Lucy as the football holder , , ,
23598  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 15, 2011, 12:32:49 AM
Up from the memory hole-- BO's Senate win was against lst minute stand-in and carpetbagger to Illinois, Alan Keyes.

At the moment I am delighted to see Cain in there aggressively speaking Tea Party themes effectively and aggressively.  It is very much to the good; amongst other things it will make it harder for the Dems to racebait the eventual Republican nominee I think.  Cain might make a good VP candidate , , ,
23599  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: May 14-15: "Dog Brothers Tribal Gathering of the Pack" on: May 15, 2011, 12:23:59 AM
11:00 tomorrow (Sunday) at the same location.


Tennessee Dog is in  cool
23600  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: May 14-15: "Dog Brothers Tribal Gathering of the Pack" on: May 14, 2011, 05:59:40 PM
Great day today DBs cool

Dinner at Akbar's at 19:30 (free standing building in a parking lot at the NW corner of Aviation Bl and Prospect Ave).

TAC!
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