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24301  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science on: April 26, 2010, 10:46:50 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqwMzQiXlK0

See entry number 169 from July 2008
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1002.msg19722;topicseen#msg19722
24302  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Higher consciousness on: April 26, 2010, 12:27:47 AM
Read a book every day. Books are concentrated sources of wisdom. The more books you read, the more wisdom you expose yourself to. What are some books you can start reading to enrich yourself? Some books I’ve read and found useful are Think and Grow Rich, Who Moved My Cheese, 7 Habits, The Science of Getting Rich and Living the 80/20 Way. 

Learn a new language. Learning a language is a whole new skill altogether and the process of acquainting with a new language and culture is a totally a mind-opening experience.

Pick up a new hobby. Beyond just your usual favorite hobbies, is there something new you can pick up? Any new sport you can learn? Examples are fencing, golf, rock climbing, football, canoeing, or ice skating. Your new hobby can also be a recreational hobby; for example, pottery, Italian cooking, dancing, wine appreciation, web design, etc.  Learning something new requires you to stretch yourself in different aspects, whether physically, mentally or emotionally.

Take up a new course. Is there any new course you can join? Courses are a great way to gain new knowledge and skills. It doesn’t have to be a long-term course – seminars or workshops serve their purpose too. I’ve been to a few workshops and they have helped me gain new insights which I had not considered before.

Create an inspirational room. Your environment sets the mood and tone for you. If you are living in an inspirational environment, you are going to be inspired every day.

Overcome your fears. All of us have fears. Fear of uncertainty, fear of public speaking, fear of risk… All our fears  keep us in the same position and prevent us from growing. Recognize that your fears reflect areas where you can grow. I always think of fears as the compass for growth. If I have a fear about something, it represents something I’ve yet to address, and addressing it helps me to grow.

Level up your skills. If you have played video games especially RPGs, you’ll know the concept of leveling up – gaining experience so you can be better and stronger. As a blogger, I’m constantly leveling up my writing skills. As a speaker, I’m constantly leveling up my public engagement abilities. What skills can you level up?

Wake up early. Waking up early (say, 5-6am) has been acknowledged by many (Anthony Robbins, Robin Sharma, among other self-help gurus) to improve your productivity and your quality of life. I feel it’s because when you wake up early, your mindset is already set to continue the momentum and proactively live out the day. 

Have a weekly exercise routine. A better you starts with being in better physical shape. I personally make it a point to jog at least 3 times a week, at least 30 minutes each time. You may want to mix it up with jogging, gym lessons, and swimming for variation.

Start your life handbook. A life handbook is an idea I started 3 years ago. Basically, it’s a book which contains the essentials on how you can live your life to the fullest, such as your purpose, your values and goals. Sort of like your manual for your life. I started my life handbook since 2007 and it’s been a crucial enabler in my progress.

Write a letter to your future self. What do you see yourself as 5 years from now? Will you be the same? Different?  What kind of person will you be? Write a letter to your future self – 1 year from now will be a good start – and seal it. Make a date in your calendar to open it 1 year from now. Then start working to become the person you want to open that letter.

Get out of your comfort zone. Real growth comes with hard work and sweat. Being too comfortable doesn’t help us grow – it makes us stagnate. What is your comfort zone? Do you stay in most of the time? Do you keep to your own space when out with other people? Shake your routine up. Do something different. By exposing yourself to a new context, you’re literally growing as you learn to act in new circumstances.

Put someone up to a challenge. Competition is one of the best ways to grow. Set a challenge (weight loss, exercise, financial challenge, etc) and compete with an interested friend to see who achieves the target first. Through the process, both of you will gain more than if you were to set off on the target alone.

Identify your blind spots. Scientifically, blind spots refer to areas our eyes are not capable of seeing. In personal development terms, blind spots are things about ourselves we are unaware of. Discovering our blind spots help us discover our areas of improvement. One exercise I use to discover my blind spots is to identify all the things/events/people that trigger me in a day – trigger meaning making me feel annoyed/weird/affected. These represent my blind spots. 

Ask for feedback. As much as we try to improve, we will always have blind spots. Asking for feedback gives us an additional perspective. Some people to approach will be friends, family, colleagues, boss, or even acquaintances, since they will have no preset bias and can give their feedback objectively.

Stay focused with to-do lists. I start my day with a list of tasks I want to complete and this helps make me stay focused. In comparison, the days when I don’t do this end up being extremely unproductive. Since my work requires me to use my computer all the time, I use Free Sticky Notes to manage my to-do lists. It’s really simple to use and it’s a freeware.

Set Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs). I’m a big fan of setting BHAGs. BHAGs stretch you beyond your normal capacity since they are big and audacious – you wouldn’t think of attempting them normally. What are BHAGs you can embark on, which you’ll feel absolutely on top of the world once you complete them? Set them and start working on them.

Acknowledge your flaws. Everyone has flaws. What’s most important is to understand them, acknowledge them, and address them. What do you think are your flaws? What are the flaws you can work on now? How do you want to address them?

Get into action. The best way to learn and improve is to take action. What is something you have been meaning to do? How can you take action on it immediately? Waiting doesn’t get anything done. Taking action gives you immediate results to learn from.

Learn from people who inspire you. Think about people you admire. People who inspire you. These people reflect certain qualities you want to have for yourself too. What are the qualities in them you want to have for yourself? How can you acquire these qualities?

Quit a bad habit. Are there any bad habits you can lose? Oversleeping? Not exercising? Being late? Slouching? Nail biting? Smoking? Here’s some help on how you can quit a bad habit.

Cultivate a new habit. Some good new habits to cultivate include reading books (#1), waking up early (#8), exercising (#9), reading a new personal development article a day (#40) and meditating. Is there any other new habit you can cultivate to improve yourself?

Avoid negative people. As Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. Wherever we go, there are bound to be negative people. Don’t spend too much of your time around them if you feel they drag you down.

Learn to deal with difficult people. There are times when there are difficult people you can’t avoid, such as at your workplace, or when the person is part of your inner circle of contacts. Learn how to deal with them. These people management skills will go a long way in working with people in the future.

Learn from your friends. Everyone has amazing qualities in them. It’s up to how we want to tap into them. With all the friends who surround you, they are going to have things you can learn from. Try thinking of a good friend right now. Think about just one quality they have which you want to adopt. How can you learn from them and adopt this skill for yourself? Speak to them if you need to – for sure, they will be more than happy to help!

Start a journal. Journaling is a great way to gain better self-awareness. It’s a self-reflection process. As you write, clarify your thought process and read what you wrote from a third person’s perspective, you gain more insights about yourself. Your journal can be private or an online blog.

Start a blog about personal development. To help others grow, you need to first be walking the talk. There are expectations of you, both from yourself and from others, which you have to uphold.

Get a mentor or coach. There’s no faster way to improve than to have someone work with you on your goals. Many of my clients approach me to coach them in their goals and they achieve significantly more results than if they had worked alone.

Reduce the time you spend on chat programs. I realized having chat programs open at default result in a lot of wasted time. This time can be much better spent on other activities. The days when I don’t get on chat, I get a lot more done. I usually disable the auto start-up option in the chat programs and launch them when I do want to chat and really have the time for it.

Learn chess (or any strategy game). I found chess to be a terrific game to learn strategy and hone your brainpower. Not only do you have fun, you also get to exercise your analytical skills. You can also learn strategy from other board games or computer games, such as Othello, Chinese Chess, WarCraft, and so on.

Stop watching TV. I’ve not been watching TV for pretty much 4 years and it’s been a very liberating experience. I realized most of the programs and advertisements on mainstream TV are usually of a lower consciousness and not very empowering. In return, the time I’ve freed up from not watching TV is now constructively used for other purposes, such as connecting with close friends, doing work I enjoy, exercising, etc.

Start a 30-day challenge. Set a goal and give yourself 30 days to achieve this. Your goal can be to stick with a new habit or something you’ve always wanted to do but have not. 30 days is just enough time to strategize, plan, get into action, review and nail the goal.

Meditate. Meditation helps to calm you and be more conscious. I also realized that during the nights when I meditate (before I sleep), I need lesser sleep. The clutter clearing process is very liberating.

Join Toastmasters (Learn public speaking). Interestingly, public speaking is the #1 fear in the world, with #2 being death. After I started public speaking as a personal development speaker/trainer, I’ve learned a lot about how to communicate better, present myself, and engage people. Toastmasters is an international organization that trains people in public speaking. Check out the Toastmaster clubs nearest to you here.

Befriend top people in their fields. These people have achieved their results because they have the right attitudes, skill sets, and know-how. How better to learn than from the people who have been there and done that? Gain new insights from them on how you can improve and achieve the same results for yourself.

Let go of the past. Is there any grievance or unhappiness from the past which you have been holding on? If so, it’s time to let it go. Holding on to them prevents you from moving on and becoming a better person. Break away from the past, forgive yourself, and move on.

Start a business venture. Is there anything you have an interest in? Why not turn it into a venture and make money while learning at the same time? Starting a new venture requires you to be learn business management skills, develop business acumen, and have a competitive edge. The process equips you with many skills, such as self-discipline, leadership, organization, and management.

Show kindness to people around you. You can never be too kind to someone. In fact, most of us don’t show enough kindness to people around us. Being kind helps us to cultivate other qualities such as compassion, patience, and love. Start exuding more kindness to the people around you, and see how they react. Not only that, notice how you feel as you behave kindly to others. Chances are, you will feel even better than yourself.

Reach out to the people who hate you. If you ever stand for something, you are going to get haters. It’s easy to hate the people who hate us. It’s much more challenging to love them back. Being able to forgive, let go, and show love to these people requires magnanimity and an open heart. Is there anyone who dislikes or hates you in your life? If so, reach out to them. Show them love. Seek a resolution and get closure on past grievances. Even if they refuses to reciprocate, love them all the same. It’s much more liberating than to hate them back.

Take a break. Have you been working too hard? Self-improvement is also about recognizing our need to take a break to walk the longer mile ahead. Take some time off for yourself every week. Relax, rejuvenate and charge yourself up for what’s up ahead.

Read at least 1 personal development article a day. Some of my readers make it a point to read at least one personal development article every day, which I think is a great habit. 

Commit to your personal growth. Make the decision to commit to your personal growth and embrace yourself to a life-long journey of growth and change. Kick off your growth by picking a few of the steps above and working on them. The results might not be immediate, but I promise you that as long as you keep to it, you’ll start seeing positive changes in yourself and your life.
24303  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cruise missiles in a box, from Russia with love on: April 26, 2010, 12:10:33 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/7632543/A-cruise-missile-in-a-shipping-box-on-sale-to-rogue-bidders.html
A cruise missile in a shipping box on sale to rogue bidders
Defence experts are warning of a new danger of ballistic weapons proliferation after a Russian company started marketing a cruise missile that can be launched from a shipping container.

By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
Published: 6:30PM BST 25 Apr 2010

 Club - K container missile system. Stills from an animated film being used to market a missile system that allows cruise missles to be launched from a freight container. this can be loaded onto a lorry, ship, or train as desired tomove into position before launching missiles
It is feared that the covert Club-K missile attack system could prove "game-changing" in fighting wars with small countries, which would gain a remote capacity to mount multiple missiles on boats, trucks or railways.

Iran and Venezuela have already shown an interest in the Club-K Container Missile System which could allow them to carry out pre-emptive strikes from behind an enemy's missile defences.

Defence experts say the system is designed to be concealed as a standard 40ft shipping container that cannot be identified until it is activated. Priced at an estimated £10 million, each container is fitted with four cruise anti-ship or land attack missiles. The system represents an affordable "strategic level weapon".  Some experts believe that if Iraq had the Club-K system in 2003 it would have made it impossible for America to invade with any container ship in the Gulf a potential threat.
Club-K is being marketed at the Defence Services Asia exhibition in Malaysia this week.  Novator, the manufacturer, is an advanced missile specialist that would not have marketed the system without Moscow's approval. It has released an emotive marketing film complete with dramatic background music. It shows Club-K containers stowed on ships, trucks and trains as a neighbouring country prepares to invade with American style military equipment.  The enemy force is wiped out by the cruise missile counter attack. Russia has already prompted concern in Washington by selling Iran the sophisticated S-300 anti-aircraft missile system that would make targeting of Iranian nuclear facilities very difficult.

"This Club-K is game changing with the ability to wipe out an aircraft carrier 200 miles away. The threat is immense in that no one can tell how far deployed your missiles could be," said Robert Hewson, editor of Jane's Air-Launched Weapons, who first reported on the Club-K developments.

"What alerted me to this was that the Russians were advertising it at specific international defence event and they have marketed it very squarely at anyone under threat of action from the US."

Reuben Johnson, a Pentagon defence consultant, said the system would be a "real maritime fear for anyone with a waterfront".

"This is ballistic missile proliferation on a scale we have not seen before because now you cannot readily identify what's being used as a launcher because it's very carefully disguised.  Someone could sail off your shore looking innocuous then the next minute big explosions are going off at your military installations."
24304  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: April 25, 2010, 07:15:52 PM
As I understand the point of it, the purpose of the Draw Mohammed Day is that these two cartoonists do NOT stand alone.
24305  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Spring 2010 DB Tribal Gathering on: April 25, 2010, 09:29:33 AM
Some awesome fights yesterday and the prospect is for more of the same in a few hours.  cool
24306  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Darw Mohammed Day on: April 25, 2010, 09:28:24 AM
As it so often does "Day by day" leads the way with a practice run for "Draw Mohammed Day"

http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2010/04/25/
24307  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: April 25, 2010, 12:47:52 AM
"or , , , negotiate work papers to stay but preclude citizenship."

This might form the basis of a feasible compromise.
24308  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Everybody draw Mohammed Day on: April 25, 2010, 12:44:41 AM


http://www.mynorthwest.com/?nid=11&sid=313170
24309  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Case Study: A shooting in Philly on: April 25, 2010, 12:42:41 AM
Ah yes-- witnesses.  A point I picked up from Peyton Quinn several years ago was the importance of witness preparation e.g. choosing one's words wisely so as to pre-dispose witnesses to speak in your favor; e.g. "Leave me alone!" is better than "Fcuk off!"
24310  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Case Study: A shooting in Philly on: April 24, 2010, 10:37:46 AM
I like that formulation and articulation GM.
24311  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iran's Military Exercises on: April 23, 2010, 06:54:17 PM
Thursday, April 22, 2010   STRATFOR.COM  Diary Archives 

How Iran's Military Exercises Impact the U.S.
THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTIONARY GUARD CORPS (IRGC), Iran’s elite military force, will stage a three-day exercise involving land, air and sea forces beginning Thursday. The deputy commander of the IRGC, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, made the announcement on state television Wednesday. The Iranian maneuvers will specifically highlight Iran’s indigenous missile capability, allegedly testing new weapons. Meanwhile, in response to a widely publicized report from the U.S. Department of Defense that said an Iranian missile could strike the continental United States by 2015, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Iran had no plans to build a ballistic missile that could do so.

The exercises come at a time when the United States is rethinking its Iranian strategy; it faces a number of considerations that have it backing away from the potential of a military strike. First and foremost is the fact that Washington is preparing to exit Iraq and needs a sufficiently firm political compromise there to avoid a reversion to widespread sectarian violence, and preserve the regional balance of power. The Iranians, through their Shiite proxies in Iraq, have the capability to shatter any such compromise (though for their own regional ambitions would only do so as a last resort). A similar situation exists in Afghanistan. The United States is aware that its eventual withdrawal from Afghanistan is only politically feasible if it and the major neighboring powers — including Iran — make arrangements to prevent the country from relapsing into a haven for militants and a battleground for internal and external forces vying for influence.

Second, the American realization has been that striking Iran’s clandestine nuclear program would require better intelligence about the location and vulnerabilities of nuclear sites and unattainable levels of confidence in penetrating deeply buried and hardened facilities. More importantly, it would require managing the aftermath. To further deter an American attack, Iran has publicized its most critical retaliatory maneuver: deploying a variety of military tools to damage and threaten the Straits of Hormuz, through which about 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil supply passes.

“The exercises come at a time when the United States is rethinking its Iranian strategy.”
Oil shocks at a time of global economic fragility are not tolerable for the United States. While Washington continues to assess the complexities of an air campaign that could (with limited confidence in success) neutralize Iran’s threats to the Persian Gulf, Tehran maintains a spectrum of capabilities — including missiles, mines and swarms of small, fast attack craft — that could cause considerable damage to commercial traffic, and raise uncertainties to the point that oil prices would climb even if attacks on oil-carrying vessels were relatively ineffective. This in turn would negatively impact economies from Greece to Cambodia, and everywhere in between.

At the same time the United States is aware that Iran is a rational player. Tehran would not resort to an internecine option like attacking Hormuz (which would incidentally cut off Iran’s own imports, including gasoline) unless it was convinced that an American attack was inevitable and imminent. The Iranians also want to see U.S. forces withdraw from Iraq so that they can get on with the business of configuring Iraq’s political make-up to favor Tehran’s interests. By doing so, they would pre-empt the possible re-emergence of Persia’s historic fears of a powerful Mesopotamian foe.

At a time when the United States is debating Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities and urging unilateral and multilateral sanctions, and Iran is threatening to blast the global economic recovery, both sides have reasons to consider bargaining. Though Washington’s desire to leave the region and maintain a balance of power against Iran is contradictory, a deal could be struck in which the United States could get its withdrawal free of Iranian sabotage, and Iran could get greater regional influence — possibly even nuclear-armed status. But relations are fraught with distrust and neither side can afford to look weak. The Iranian exercises are meant to drive home the point for Washington that attacking Iran is a far too risky solution, and accommodation is a much better choice.

24312  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Washington: Consolidation of Power on: April 23, 2010, 06:15:21 PM
"The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position." --George Washington
24313  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Case Study: A shooting in Philly on: April 23, 2010, 06:12:39 PM
d) And, following up on c) of my previous post, what is one to do with/about a girlfriend/date who is instigating things?
24314  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Spring 2010 DB Tribal Gathering on: April 23, 2010, 03:13:47 PM
WOOF!

Tomorrow and Sunday the Adventure continues!

Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
Thomas Jefferson

"The greater the dichotomy, the profounder the transformation.  Higher Consciousness through Harder Contact!" (c dbi)

Crafty Dog
GF
24315  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: April 23, 2010, 02:59:28 PM
A very perceptive comment Rarick.  It tracks quite closely with a lot of the evolutionary biology/psychology based analysis of Konrad Lorenz (see thread dedicated to EB/EP/ and KL).  The human animal evolved in social units where all were known to all, yet in the nano-second of human history that is the city, city dwellers now operate much of their lives in the dynamic of the anonymous horde-- a dynamic for which our evolutionary history leaves us woefully underprepared.
24316  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iranian Quds Force in Vz. on: April 23, 2010, 11:54:25 AM
Iran: Quds Force in Venezuela
April 22, 2010 | 2253 GMT
 Text Resize:   



AFP/Getty Images
Iranian Revolutionary Guard special forces participate in military exercises in 2006Summary
A recently published U.S. Department of Defense report claims that members of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force (IRGC-QF) currently are operating in Venezuela. STRATFOR sources claim that the relatively limited number of IRGC-QF in Venezuela are focused on intelligence operations, paramilitary training for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and security assistance for the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Though the IRGC-QF presence brings certain benefits to the Venezuelan government, Chavez also has an interest in keeping their proxy militant focus on Colombia.

Analysis
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates submitted a report to Congress in April on the current and future military strategy of Iran. Included in the report is a claim that the Quds Force, the overseas operations arm of Iran’s elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has developed a significant presence in Latin America, particularly in Venezuela. STRATFOR sources connected to this Iranian military unit have confirmed a small but notable presence in Venezuela. Though IRGC-QF members in Venezuela are believed to be providing some security assistance to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan leader does not appear interested in incurring reprisals from the United States and is consequently trying to direct the anti-U.S. activities of the IRGC-QF toward neighboring Colombia.

As the Pentagon report states, IRGC-QF members usually are stationed in foreign embassies, charities and religious or cultural institutions as intelligence officers to develop ties with the Shiite diaspora and other potential allies. The U.S. military even has labeled incoming and outgoing Iranian ambassadors to Iraq as IRGC-QF members. On a more narrow scale, the IRGC-QF arms, funds and trains various paramilitary groups as an extension of Iran’s well-developed militant proxy arm. The IRGC-QF is believed to have worked with proxies to orchestrate major attacks against U.S. and U.S.-allied targets, including the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia and a number of insurgent attacks targeting U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. By keeping this elite unit in reserve in various pockets of the globe, Iran has the ability to carry out attacks under plausible deniability. The reality of Iran’s retaliatory options — made possible by the IRGC-QF — has factored heavily into U.S. war-gaming exercises against Iran.

Joined by their mutually hostile relationship with the United States, Iran and Venezuela have grown to be close allies in the past several years. A good portion of this relationship consists of rhetoric designed to grab the attention of Washington, but significant forms of cooperation do exist between the two countries. STRATFOR sources have indicated many of the inflated economic deals signed between Iran and Venezuela and the establishment of the Banco Internacional de Desarrollo (an Iranian banking subsidiary headquartered in Caracas) are designed to facilitate Iran’s money laundering efforts while providing the Venezuelan government with an additional source of illicit revenue.

The Iranian-Venezuelan relationship also extends into the militant proxy world. Though this information has not been confirmed, STRATFOR sources claim the current IRGC-QF presence in Venezuela is limited to roughly 300 members. This estimate could well be on the high side, considering the likelihood that it includes all IRGC-QF paramilitary trainers and personnel working under diplomatic, business and religious cover. Many of these IRGC-QF members are focused on developing relationships with Venezuelan youth of Arab origin, who are viewed as potential intelligence and militant recruits. Some of these recruits are brought to Iran for training, and STRATFOR sources claim that several Hezbollah trainers are included among the IRGC-QF personnel. However, these efforts remain limited given the relatively small size of the Shiite community in Venezuela, believed to be less than one percent of Venezuela’s Muslims, which comprise roughly four percent of the population.

A portion of IRGC-QF members are believed to interact with militants belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia’s largest paramilitary group. The Chavez government is widely believed to provide direct support for FARC rebels and smaller Colombian paramilitary groups, but the Venezuelan president also appears wary of the IRGC-QF interaction with these groups. A STRATFOR source has indicated that IRGC-QF links with FARC are designed to give Iran the option of targeting U.S. interests in Colombia should the need for retaliation arise (for example, in the event of a U.S. military strike on Iran). The source says the IRGC-QF does not have a presence in Colombia but supports FARC from the paramilitary group’s sanctuary along the Venezuelan border. While it remains highly doubtful that Iran would be able to exert the necessary influence over FARC to direct their attacks against U.S. targets, simply having FARC as the main culprit for attacks in Colombia could provide Iran with the plausible deniability it seeks in such attacks.

The Venezuelan government appears to be benefiting in part by hosting the IRGC-QF, but, like Iran, wants to ensure some level of plausible deniability. A STRATFOR source claims that some IRGC-QF members have been integrated into Venezuela’s National Guard and police force, where they provide assistance to the Chavez government in containing the opposition. IRGC-QF and Hezbollah personnel also are believed to be involved in irregular warfare training for some Venezuelan army units, in addition to FARC. Chavez has publicly endorsed the concept of “asymmetric warfare” in his restructuring of the Venezuelan army to guard against potential military threats from Colombia and the United States.

That said, Chavez also is wary of IRGC-QF activities directed at the United States. According to the source, Chavez has strongly cautioned Iran against allowing IRGC-QF to target U.S. interests in Venezuela itself. Despite his heated rhetoric against the United States, the Venezuelan president does not wish to invite a strong U.S. reprisal and would rather keep their militant focus on Venezuela’s main regional rival, Colombia.
24317  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Re: Venezuela Pol?tica on: April 23, 2010, 11:53:35 AM
Iran: Quds Force in Venezuela
April 22, 2010 | 2253 GMT
 Text Resize:   



AFP/Getty Images
Iranian Revolutionary Guard special forces participate in military exercises in 2006Summary
A recently published U.S. Department of Defense report claims that members of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force (IRGC-QF) currently are operating in Venezuela. STRATFOR sources claim that the relatively limited number of IRGC-QF in Venezuela are focused on intelligence operations, paramilitary training for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and security assistance for the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Though the IRGC-QF presence brings certain benefits to the Venezuelan government, Chavez also has an interest in keeping their proxy militant focus on Colombia.

Analysis
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates submitted a report to Congress in April on the current and future military strategy of Iran. Included in the report is a claim that the Quds Force, the overseas operations arm of Iran’s elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has developed a significant presence in Latin America, particularly in Venezuela. STRATFOR sources connected to this Iranian military unit have confirmed a small but notable presence in Venezuela. Though IRGC-QF members in Venezuela are believed to be providing some security assistance to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan leader does not appear interested in incurring reprisals from the United States and is consequently trying to direct the anti-U.S. activities of the IRGC-QF toward neighboring Colombia.

As the Pentagon report states, IRGC-QF members usually are stationed in foreign embassies, charities and religious or cultural institutions as intelligence officers to develop ties with the Shiite diaspora and other potential allies. The U.S. military even has labeled incoming and outgoing Iranian ambassadors to Iraq as IRGC-QF members. On a more narrow scale, the IRGC-QF arms, funds and trains various paramilitary groups as an extension of Iran’s well-developed militant proxy arm. The IRGC-QF is believed to have worked with proxies to orchestrate major attacks against U.S. and U.S.-allied targets, including the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia and a number of insurgent attacks targeting U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. By keeping this elite unit in reserve in various pockets of the globe, Iran has the ability to carry out attacks under plausible deniability. The reality of Iran’s retaliatory options — made possible by the IRGC-QF — has factored heavily into U.S. war-gaming exercises against Iran.

Joined by their mutually hostile relationship with the United States, Iran and Venezuela have grown to be close allies in the past several years. A good portion of this relationship consists of rhetoric designed to grab the attention of Washington, but significant forms of cooperation do exist between the two countries. STRATFOR sources have indicated many of the inflated economic deals signed between Iran and Venezuela and the establishment of the Banco Internacional de Desarrollo (an Iranian banking subsidiary headquartered in Caracas) are designed to facilitate Iran’s money laundering efforts while providing the Venezuelan government with an additional source of illicit revenue.

The Iranian-Venezuelan relationship also extends into the militant proxy world. Though this information has not been confirmed, STRATFOR sources claim the current IRGC-QF presence in Venezuela is limited to roughly 300 members. This estimate could well be on the high side, considering the likelihood that it includes all IRGC-QF paramilitary trainers and personnel working under diplomatic, business and religious cover. Many of these IRGC-QF members are focused on developing relationships with Venezuelan youth of Arab origin, who are viewed as potential intelligence and militant recruits. Some of these recruits are brought to Iran for training, and STRATFOR sources claim that several Hezbollah trainers are included among the IRGC-QF personnel. However, these efforts remain limited given the relatively small size of the Shiite community in Venezuela, believed to be less than one percent of Venezuela’s Muslims, which comprise roughly four percent of the population.

A portion of IRGC-QF members are believed to interact with militants belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia’s largest paramilitary group. The Chavez government is widely believed to provide direct support for FARC rebels and smaller Colombian paramilitary groups, but the Venezuelan president also appears wary of the IRGC-QF interaction with these groups. A STRATFOR source has indicated that IRGC-QF links with FARC are designed to give Iran the option of targeting U.S. interests in Colombia should the need for retaliation arise (for example, in the event of a U.S. military strike on Iran). The source says the IRGC-QF does not have a presence in Colombia but supports FARC from the paramilitary group’s sanctuary along the Venezuelan border. While it remains highly doubtful that Iran would be able to exert the necessary influence over FARC to direct their attacks against U.S. targets, simply having FARC as the main culprit for attacks in Colombia could provide Iran with the plausible deniability it seeks in such attacks.

The Venezuelan government appears to be benefiting in part by hosting the IRGC-QF, but, like Iran, wants to ensure some level of plausible deniability. A STRATFOR source claims that some IRGC-QF members have been integrated into Venezuela’s National Guard and police force, where they provide assistance to the Chavez government in containing the opposition. IRGC-QF and Hezbollah personnel also are believed to be involved in irregular warfare training for some Venezuelan army units, in addition to FARC. Chavez has publicly endorsed the concept of “asymmetric warfare” in his restructuring of the Venezuelan army to guard against potential military threats from Colombia and the United States.

That said, Chavez also is wary of IRGC-QF activities directed at the United States. According to the source, Chavez has strongly cautioned Iran against allowing IRGC-QF to target U.S. interests in Venezuela itself. Despite his heated rhetoric against the United States, the Venezuelan president does not wish to invite a strong U.S. reprisal and would rather keep their militant focus on Venezuela’s main regional rival, Colombia.
24318  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Case Study: A shooting in Philly on: April 22, 2010, 09:16:18 PM
a) The judge's reasoning seems quite specious to me.

b) One might note that carrying a gun while drinking might be a real poor idea

c) Reading between the lines, does anyone infer that the girlfriend instigated things?



24319  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / South Park censored on: April 22, 2010, 09:12:14 PM
Hat tip to GM on this:

Dhimmitude in corporate media:

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/04/22/comedy-central-censors-all-references-to-mohammed-on-south-park/comment-page-1/#comments
24320  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Spring 2010 DB Tribal Gathering on: April 22, 2010, 09:20:41 AM
Lonely and crew apparently have escaped from Europe and will be arriving today.  Tricky is brining 3 or 4 from the Vancouver clan.  The Tribe begins to gather.  THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES!

"Higher consciousness through harder contact"(c) !!!
24321  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST on: April 21, 2010, 08:14:08 PM
Great moment of baseball

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/7364830?fr=yvmtf
24322  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Case Study: A shooting in Philly on: April 21, 2010, 10:07:28 AM
Is this sound legal reasoning on the part of the judge?

"Despite arguments during the preliminary hearing from defense attorney Jack McMahon that Ung, 28, acted in self-defense after being confronted by four men, Philadelphia Municipal Judge David Shuter said his ruling was based on the number of bullets fired at vital body parts."
24323  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Tactical Gun Issues on: April 21, 2010, 08:07:45 AM
Woof All:

Kicking this thread off with something from Gabe Suarez:

TAC,
CD
===============
, , , The concern is that the good guy CCW taking out the tango might be misidentified by police and shot. Police shoot one of their own every 18 months around the nation so it is pretty likely.

Contributing factors seem to be as follows -

You are more likely to be mistakenly shot by police in areas where the carry of weapons by citizens is not common. Places like New York or Los Angeles immediately come to mind. The notion is only cops or criminals have guns.

You are more likely to be shot if the first thing the police see is the gun....specially if it is pointed in their direction.

You are more likely to be shot by police if when challenged, if challenged, you begin to turn toward them. This is problematic as it is a natural reaction to hearing a sound.

Solutions - Well clearly we will not stop carrying guns because of that risk, but it is infact a risk that cannot be ignored. The solutions seem to be in creating a moment of indecission for any responding officers about your misidentification as a bad guy. This is dangerous for them as hesitation kills, but from your perspective, hesitation also saves you by causing indecission.

First, forget low ready. Shoot the bad guy when you need to shoot him, and then do what you can to hide the image of the gun. That means you use Sul, or the Covered Sul we are now teaching as well. , , , (For those not familiar with this term, sul is a position wherein the gun hand point the gun downward, resting on the complementary hand, the palm of which is placed on the torso.  Although some gun people feel there are better alternatives for how to hold the gun while not aiming and shooting, sul does have the advantage of allowing one to turn to/through any direction without muzzle sweeping.  Here it is being offered as a way of lessening the visibility of your gun to someone just arriving.-- Crafty)  You can certainly still shoot additional bad guys if needed but it is not obvious.

Two, you do not need to cover the bad guy at gunpoint as you stand over him like TJ Hooker. Shoot what you need to shoot until you no longer need to shoot then haul ass to cover and hide.

If challenged, grip the barrel/slide of the pistol with your support hand and yell back loud as possible. "I am a good guy....I am a good guy. Don't Shoot. Don't Shoot" with an emphasis on DON'T. Raise your empty hand over your head and the barrel/slide gripped pistol in the other over your head. Alternatively you can also simply let the pistol fall.

Then do as you are told. It will all be sorted out, but you will be alive.
24324  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Jefferson: Construction of Constitution leads to blank paper on: April 21, 2010, 07:57:25 AM
"Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Wilson Nicholas, 1803


24325  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: April 21, 2010, 07:50:31 AM
In the article CCP posted it said:

"Most recently, we were warned that the FISA Court had somehow imposed a requirement that a warrant be obtained in order to intercept purely foreign telephone calls that were traveling through U.S. wires.  Anyone who understood the FISA law realized that this couldn’t possibly be right—and as Justice Department officials finally admitted under pressure, that wasn’t true either."

This "traveling through US wires" thing is something I have read and believed for several years.  Its been a lie?!?  angry angry angry  Does anyone have anything more on this?!?

=======
On the subject of the Constitution being "a living document", this seems pertinent to me:

"Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Wilson Nicholas, 1803


24326  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Glen Beck on: April 21, 2010, 07:43:38 AM
Exactly so.  Beck is consistently clear that he is not suitable material for being a candidate.  He is also consistently clear about religious tolerance and regularly uses a wonderful Ben Franklin quote about the American religion.

Nice show last night.  All last year the intro graphics for the show showed George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Luther King.  IMHO it is brilliant and profound to include MLK as a Founding Father (btw, I have done the same on our Founding Fathers thread on the SCH forum , , , great minds think alike  cheesy )

 One of the three guests last night was MLKing's niece.  The other two were Ted Nugent and, said with love, a pointy head Princeton professor.  Its a helluva a new coalition that Beck is building IMHO.  Beck's theme and closing riff about the Anvil of Truth and the Hammer of Non-violence (MLK and Ghandi) is well and wisely chosen.
24327  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stratfor: Super Shia Bloc forming? on: April 21, 2010, 07:34:05 AM
Tuesday, April 20, 2010   STRATFOR.COM  Diary Archives 

Considering a Possible Super Shia Bloc in Iraq
IRAQ SAW PERHAPS THE SINGLE BIGGEST potential speed bump yet since the March 7 parliamentary elections as the winners attempt to form a coalition government. By most measures, the Shia blocs of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law and the sectarian Iraqi National Alliance (which came in second and third in the polls, respectively) appear to be moving toward the formation of a “super Shia” bloc. The Kurdish bloc has pledged to join such an alliance. Taken as a whole, this presents the serious threat that Iraq’s Sunnis may again be politically marginalized.

A super Shia bloc could outmaneuver al-Iraqiya, the centrist, non-sectarian grouping led by former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. Al-Iraqiya had broad appeal across ethno-sectarian lines at the polls and won the most seats in the election. It was widely supported by the Sunnis, and so its success would bring them to the center of the political process, while its marginalization would risk another political disenfranchisement. In response to the prospects of the super Shia bloc, on Monday al-Iraqiya’s spokeswoman reportedly threatened to withdraw from “the entire political process, including withdrawal from the next Iraqi parliament, if some parliamentary blocs insist on concluding an alliance between them in an attempt to exclude or marginalize [al-Iraqiya].”

This may simply be political maneuvering, and al-Iraqiya is certainly not averse to a brinksmanship strategy if that is what it takes to ensure that it is brought into the ruling coalition. Parliamentary coalition building is often a particularly messy process, even in countries with a long history of it. In Baghdad, this is in many ways the first time it has ever been attempted; the Sunnis largely boycotted the 2005 polls. This led to their disenfranchisement and intensified the insurgency, but dramatically simplified the formation of a coalition government because an entire swath of the population was effectively uninvolved.

Al-Iraqiya could get shut out of the government. It could voluntarily choose to go into opposition. There is no shortage of potential scenarios in parliamentary coalition building, and the Iraqi case this year is particularly intricate.

“Iraq is moving from comparative post-election quietude into a phase of decisive maneuvering.”
The coalition-building process is the dynamic of central importance in Iraq right now. There is still room for all sides to maneuver, but as Iraq inches closer to a firm coalition, there will necessarily be winners and losers. There is little to suggest that the State of Law and Iraqi National Alliance blocs will not be able to agree upon the formation of a super Shia bloc, thus creating a sectarian Shia group rather than the more diverse al-Iraqiya, the single most powerful political entity in the country. With the Kurds’ imperative being to side with the winner, and having already pledged to join the super Shia bloc, al-Iraqiya getting shut out of the ruling coalition is a very real possibility.

And this strikes at the heart of the fate of Iraq. The Sunnis appeared to have made enormous political progress at the polls in March, compared to 2005. Now they face potentially being shut out of Iraqi politics yet again. The Sunnis in Iraq are fractious, and the downfall of al-Iraqiya would not necessarily lead to widespread violence. But the re-emergence of some levels of violence are certainly not outside the realm of possibility, even following the reported deaths of top al Qaeda leaders Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayub al-Masri in Iraq.

But Iraq’s fate is not the only issue in question. A super Shia bloc would provide Iran with substantial influence within the central government of Iraq — something the Turks, Saudis and other Arabs are aggressively attempting to counterbalance, namely by supporting al-Iraqiya. And they are not likely to take any potential marginalization of al-Iraqiya lightly either. After years of violence, most everyone in the region wants a more stable Iraq. But what sacrifices each player in the region is willing to make to facilitate Iraqi stability is another question entirely.

Meanwhile, the formation of the government and the durability of the fragile balance of power and hard-won stability in the country is of central importance for the looming U.S. drawdown of all combat troops, which would see current troop levels halved to 50,000 by the end of August. And even after that drawdown, the only thing that has counterbalanced Persian power in the region since 2003 has been the U.S. military. How Tehran will be managed, especially with what is sure to be a strong Shia presence in any governing coalition in Baghdad, remains an open question.

And so Iraq is moving from comparative post-election quietude into a phase of decisive maneuvering within the country and beyond that will define the existence of Iraq — and the wider region — for years to come.

24328  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Sand Dancer on: April 20, 2010, 05:34:42 PM


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6ZqKmaN2qw
24329  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Case Study: A shooting in Philly on: April 20, 2010, 04:26:49 PM
Posted on Sat, Apr. 17, 2010

Temple law student ordered to trial in shooting

By MENSAH M. DEAN
Philadelphia Daily News
deanm@phillynews.com 215-854-5949

Gerald Ung, the third-year Temple University law school student charged with shooting a Villanova University graduate five times in front of the Fox29 studios in January, must go to trial, a Philadelphia judge said yesterday.
Despite arguments during the preliminary hearing from defense attorney Jack McMahon that Ung, 28, acted in self-defense after being confronted by four men, Philadelphia Municipal Judge David Shuter said his ruling was based on the number of bullets fired at vital body parts.

Ung, out on bail, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, possession of an instrument of crime, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person in the shooting of Edward DiDonato Jr. at 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 17.

Shuter dismissed two additional gun charges because Ung had a valid handgun permit from his home state of Virginia. Ung has withdrawn from law school and returned to live with his family in Arlington, Va., until his legal case is completed, McMahon said.

DiDonato, 23, son of Center City lawyer Edward DiDonato Sr. and nephew of city Republican leader Michael Meehan, is being treated at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital for paralysis of the bowels, bladder, sexual organs and left foot, said Assistant District Attorney Jan McDermott.

"This is a situation where the gun changes everything. Certainly, there was alcohol involved; both sides were drinking that night. "What years ago may have ended in a fistfight," she added, "unfortunately ended in the paralysis of a 23-year-old kid," she said.

McMahon contended that Ung - who was with two Temple University doctoral-candidate friends - was the victim of drunken bullies at 4th and Market streets.

"Four guys are drunk and they think they can bully anybody they want, say whatever they want and do whatever they want," McMahon said.
"He did not pull out any gun for a long period of time until he was rushed at by another individual," McMahon added.

Just one witness was called to testify yesterday - Seth Webster, one of DiDonato's three friends present at the shooting. After leaving an Old City bar, his group stopped at 4th and Market, where one friend started doing pull-ups on scaffolding, he said.

Ung and a female and male friend soon approached, and the female friend started doing pull-ups as well, Webster said.

Ung became upset and heated words were exchanged, Webster said.

One of the men, Tom Kelly, tried to rush Ung, but the woman with Ung stepped between them and was bumped, Webster said.

At this, Webster testified, Ung pulled his gun, pointed it at Kelly and waved it at him and DiDonato while saying, "Back the f--- up."

DiDonato said, "Who you gonna shoot?" and moved toward Ung, Webster said.

When Ung kicked at DiDonato to keep him back, DiDonato grabbed at Ung's leg, said Webster. As he fell backward, Ung began firing, according to Webster, and fired several more shots from the ground. After DiDonato had fallen, Ung appeared in shock, knelt beside the fallen man, touched his leg and called 9-1-1 on his cell phone, said Webster, who also called.
24330  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Three reads from a different state of mind on: April 20, 2010, 04:15:34 PM
http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/samples/cam032/99088000.pdf

http://www.routledgestrategicstudies.com/books/Deterring-International-Terrorism-and-Rogue-States-isbn9780415771443

http://www.intelcenter.com/aqdocs.html
24331  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Dogs walk on sunshine on: April 20, 2010, 03:48:50 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=pkPNa4DBFHI
24332  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty in NYC 6/19-20 on: April 20, 2010, 11:45:33 AM
TTT
24333  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Fannie and Freddie on: April 20, 2010, 10:37:05 AM
By PETER J. WALLISON
Now that nearly all the TARP funds used to bail out Wall Street banks have been repaid, the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stand out as the source of the greatest taxpayer losses.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that, in the wake of the housing bubble and the unprecedented deflation in housing values that resulted, the government's cost to bail out Fannie and Freddie will eventually reach $381 billion. That estimate may be too optimistic.

Last Christmas Eve, Treasury removed the $400 billion cap on what the government might be required to invest in these two GSEs in the future, and this may tell the real story about the cost to taxpayers. In typical Washington fashion, everyone has amnesia about how this disaster occurred.

The story is all too familiar. Politicians in positions of authority today had an opportunity to prevent this fiasco but did nothing. Now—in the name of the taxpayers—they want more power, but they have never been called to account for their earlier failings.

One chapter in this story took place in July 2005, when the Senate Banking Committee, then controlled by the Republicans, adopted tough regulatory legislation for the GSEs on a party-line vote—all Republicans in favor, all Democrats opposed. The bill would have established a new regulator for Fannie and Freddie and given it authority to ensure that they maintained adequate capital, properly managed their interest rate risk, had adequate liquidity and reserves, and controlled their asset and investment portfolio growth.

These authorities were necessary to control the GSEs' risk-taking, but opposition by Fannie and Freddie—then the most politically powerful firms in the country—had consistently prevented reform.

The date of the Senate Banking Committee's action is important. It was in 2005 that the GSEs—which had been acquiring increasing numbers of subprime and Alt-A loans for many years in order to meet their HUD-imposed affordable housing requirements—accelerated the purchases that led to their 2008 insolvency. If legislation along the lines of the Senate committee's bill had been enacted in that year, many if not all the losses that Fannie and Freddie have suffered, and will suffer in the future, might have been avoided.

Why was there no action in the full Senate? As most Americans know today, it takes 60 votes to cut off debate in the Senate, and the Republicans had only 55. To close debate and proceed to the enactment of the committee-passed bill, the Republicans needed five Democrats to vote with them. But in a 45 member Democratic caucus that included Barack Obama and the current Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.), these votes could not be found.

Recently, President Obama has taken to accusing others of representing "special interests." In an April radio address he stated that his financial regulatory proposals were struggling in the Senate because "the financial industry and its powerful lobby have opposed modest safeguards against the kinds of reckless risks and bad practices that led to this very crisis."

He should know. As a senator, he was the third largest recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, behind only Sens. Chris Dodd and John Kerry.

With hypocrisy like this at the top, is it any wonder that nearly 80% of Americans, according to new Pew polling, don't trust the federal government or its ability to solve the country's problems?

Mr. Wallison is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
24334  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA versus Reality/Survival based skills on: April 20, 2010, 10:32:40 AM
IFWA: In Fight Weapon Access
24335  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: New to the forums.. on: April 20, 2010, 10:29:52 AM
Good to see you here BB  cool
24336  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Kali Tudo...hows it going in mma on: April 20, 2010, 10:29:12 AM
Posted by Minority of One on my FB page:

"People really need to get the Kali Tudo material if they haven't already. I've trained guys in MMA for a while now and have been in the martial arts for over 15 yrs......this Kali Tudo material is by far some of the most innovative stuff out right now in the MA world! It's open the doors of possibility and truly changes the game of fighting. Adding these concepts to my game has really caused new headaches for my sparring partners. "
24337  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Glen Beck on: April 20, 2010, 10:22:53 AM
As he did last night, Beck can look the camera in the eye and speak from the heart for an hour off the cuff.  Don't be fooled by his "regular Joe, self taught" spiel, IMHO the man actuall has a substantial grasp of quite a few issues and does a remarkable job of conveying complex issues to regular people. 

As for the religion thing, I think his larger point, made by being a bit ostentatious about it, is that we do better as individuals and as a people when we look to our spiritual values instead of our government for substance in how to live. 

I like Sarah and she certainly has the right enemies, but I doubt the intellectual heft or the life experiences to prepare for higher office.   Perhaps a term or two in the Senate could give her some more substance.
24338  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: April 20, 2010, 10:11:19 AM
It is not so much "his" point that I posted the piece for as for the reflections in us readers that it triggers.
24339  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Glen Beck on: April 20, 2010, 10:08:44 AM
What on earth is wrong with a prayer session?
24340  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: April 20, 2010, 10:07:37 AM
If I understand correctly the point is this: under the Davis Bacon Act, bids on government work required that contractors using non-union labor pay union scale on the work under that bid.  BO has now gone much further, and simply prevented non-union shops from bidding PERIOD, whether they pay union scale on the work or not.
24341  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / And you thought the Davis-Bacon Act was bad , , , on: April 19, 2010, 09:16:49 PM
Examiner Editorial
April 14, 2010
 

Barely 15 percent of all construction-industry workers in the United States are union members, while the remaining 85 percent are nonunion, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. So why has President Obama signed Executive Order 13502 directing federal agencies taking bids for government construction projects to accept only those from contractors who agree in advance to a project labor agreement that requires a union work force? Obama's new order applies to all federal construction projects with price tags of $25 million or more, and it means all such contracts will only be awarded to companies with unionized work forces.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Another-Obama-favor-for-unions-90776984.html#ixzz0lVrSfgDG

 
24342  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: April 19, 2010, 08:23:45 PM
He was a lefty-liberal-progressive.   rolleyes
24343  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Head Count for the Tribal Gathering on: April 19, 2010, 08:21:22 PM
20: Dog Mark O'Dell

21: Dog Mark Houston

22: Linda "Bitch" Matsumi
24344  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Spring 2010 DB Tribal Gathering on: April 19, 2010, 08:20:51 PM
Uh oh , , ,
24345  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Emergency Tips and Emergency Medicine on: April 19, 2010, 06:22:21 PM
Amen.
24346  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude on: April 19, 2010, 06:21:09 PM
Grateful for the sun that shone on me today as I swung my sledgehammer at the big tire.
24347  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A Jew in Prison on: April 19, 2010, 06:12:13 PM
http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2009/winter/a-jew-in-prison

A Jew in Prison
A Reflection on Anti-Semitism on the Yard

David Arenberg had everything going for him. He was smart, the son of a research scientist and a teacher. He graduated in 1980 from the elite University of Chicago with a degree in psychology, and went on to become a left-wing tenants' rights organizer in New York City for seven years. But in 1987, he suffered a "personal tragedy" and a "political defeat" that he doesn't want to discuss but that prompted him to leave his organizing work. Always a moderate drug user, he says, he began abusing cocaine and "generally living a seedy life." His brother tried to rescue him by recruiting him to run a small trucking company in a western state, and for a time Arenberg did all right. But despite that work, and later taking up tenants' rights once more, he continued his drug use and also adopted a new line of work — using computers to engage in sophisticated financial ripoffs. Arenberg was arrested and jailed briefly for forgery in 1996, but only became an even more active con man when he was released. Finally, in 2001, he was arrested for driving under the influence. The arrest led to more serious charges of fraud, forgery, identity theft and vehicle theft, culminating in consecutive sentences totaling more than 13 years. Today, with about four years left to serve, Arenberg, 53, is trying to sort his life out. He sent the Intelligence Report the following account of his experiences as a Jew in a state prison — a harrowing tale of surviving severe prejudice in an unforgiving environment, but also the story of a remarkable journey of self-discovery.

I am always the last person to eat. It's part of a compromise I worked out with the skinheads who run the western state prison complex where I am incarcerated. Under this compromise, I'm allowed to sit at the whites' tables, but only after the "heads," and then the "woods," and then the "lames" have eaten. I am lower on the totem pole than all of them, the untouchable. I should feel lucky I'm allowed to eat at the whites' tables at all.

Not that there's anywhere else I could eat. The prison yard is broken down into five distinct racial categories and segregation is strictly enforced. There are the "woods" (short for peckerwoods) that encompass the whites, the "kinfolk" (blacks), the "Raza" (American-born people of Mexican descent), the "paisas" (Mexico-born Mexicans), and the "chiefs" (American Indians). Under the strict rules that govern interracial relations, different races are allowed to play on the same sports teams but not play individual games (e.g., chess) together; they may be in each others' cubicles together if the situation warrants but not sit on each others' beds or watch each others' televisions. They may go to the same church services but not pray together. But if you accidentally break one of these rules, the consequences are usually pretty mild: you might get a talking to by one of the heads (who, of course, claims exemption from this rule himself), or at worst, a "chin check."

Eating with another race, however, is a different story. It is an inviolate rule that different races may not break bread together under any circumstances. Violating this rule leads to harsh consequences. If you eat at the same table as another race, you'll get beaten down. If you eat from the same tray as another race, you'll be put in the hospital. And if you eat from the same food item as another race, that is, after another race has already taken a bite of it, you can get killed. This is one area where even the heads don't have any play.

This makes it difficult for me, of course, to fit into the chow hall. Jews, as we all know, are not white but imposters who don white skin and hide inside it for the purpose of polluting and taking over the white race. The skinheads simply can't allow me to eat with them: that would make them traitors of the worst kind — race traitors! But my milky skin and pasty complexion, characteristic of the Eastern European Ashkenazi, make it impossible for me to eat with other races who don't understand the subtleties of my treachery and take me for just another wood. So the compromise is that I may sit at certain white tables after all the whites have finished eating. In exchange, I must do free legal work as directed by the heads (Jewish lawyers, even jailhouse lawyers, are hard to come by in prison) and remit to them a portion of the legal fees I collect from everyone else I do legal work for on the yard.

This compromise was brokered by the more "mainstream" Nazis on the yard, the Aryan Brotherhood. They became involved because when I first got here, one of the first cases I handled resulted in my getting a 21-year sentence for one of their members vacated. This gave me instant credibility: even if a "hands-off-the-Jew" policy could not be established, a "hands-off-the-Jewish-lawyer" policy could be and was. It was this factor, I think, more than any other, that has kept me safe here.

The Aryan Brotherhood (AB) is the political rival of the skinheads. They are the old guard, the white leadership that has run the yards for years. They control the drug markets, the poker tables, the tattoo shops. Their membership consists mostly of long-term inmates who have been on the yards for 15, 20, 25 years. Their average age is probably well over 40. By contrast, the skinheads have a much younger membership (albeit also with long-term sentences) that is rapidly advancing upon AB turf. So the AB's "defense" of me has a political component as well: I am the enemy of their enemy and therefore their friend. The AB understands that I provide a service they can exploit. But they also perceive the skinheads' hatred of me and realize they can use championing my cause to their advantage. So they allow me to stay on the yard, taking credit for my providing legal work and inadvertently discrediting the anti-Semitism of the skinheads in the process.

This was all allowed to happen because the AB, notwithstanding the swastikas, lightning bolts and KKK hoods tattooed on their arms and their vile racist rhetoric, are not fundamentally ideological. Their racism derives primarily from economic considerations: by enjoining the different races from trading with each other, they enforce their share of the highly lucrative drug market. The price of drugs on the yards is 10 times higher than it is on the street, and the AB is the largest single supplier, with drugs smuggled in not only by would-be recruits trying to "earn their ink" by getting their girlfriends to hide them in their body cavities when they come to visit, but by guards who are in their employ (and sometimes in their membership) as well. The Raza's drugs may be cheaper and better, but because of the segregation, they are not available to the woods.

The skinheads, by contrast, claim to be fundamentally ideological. They exist as a political entity dedicated, they say, to organizing to fight the big war, the race war, which will reassert white political dominance in the world. They therefore take the public position that they do not approve of drugs, and they try to foster the image that they are serious warriors, that they keep their minds clean and spirits pure by reading Nietzsche and Sun Tzu and Machiavelli, and that their bodies are highly trained fighting machines that will kill the enemy without a second thought. Every afternoon you can see them marching around the yard in locked step, their polished boots gleaming in the baking sun, with "SKINHEAD" tattooed on their foreheads and "SHAVED FOR WAR" carved on the backs of their skulls and encircling swastikas made up of interlocking axe handles. I used to wonder why skinheads made such a fuss over insisting that whites fold their clothes in a specific way and display them on their shelves. The party line is that we do this because other races look to us as setting the standard, and it is therefore our burden to do so. But I finally figured out the real reason: the skinheads want the whites to appear totally disciplined, a tight fighting unit ready to spring into war at the drop of a hat. Uniforms that are folded and pressed maintain this posture.

The skinheads are so ridiculous, both in the way they present themselves and in their social views, that it is easy to caricature and dismiss them. But that would be a mistake. The skinheads are the fastest growing segment of the prison population. If at one time they were a fringe group within prison, that is no longer the case.

I grew up in a Chicago suburb, Evanston, Ill., next door to Skokie, the infamous site of an attempted march by Nazis in the late 1970s through a city with a large Jewish population, including a high number of concentration camp survivors. Because Evanston and Skokie shared a high school, I knew many of these survivors, whose children were friends of mine. When the Nazis threatened to march, these were the people who were prepared to take their places on the front lines, baseball bats in hand, ready to meet the fascists. There is no question in my mind that the Nazis ultimately backed down at the last minute not because they were put off by the Skokie City Council when it hastily enacted an ordinance preventing the march, nor because the Anti-Defamation League made the Nazis "irrelevant" by advising people to ignore them, nor because the ACLU helped the Nazis "make their point" that free speech is allowed and this made the march moot. Rather, it was because they were afraid of the Jewish and other anti-fascist demonstrators who organized against them and made it clear that they were going to offer armed resistance. The Nazis knew that if they came to Skokie, no amount of police protection could keep them safe.

This was the climate I grew up in. My parents were left-liberals, one-time fellow travelers of the Communist Party who had become more conservative over the years but in whom political activism, especially against fascism, was instinctual. And it was one of their guiding principles that there is no debating with fascists. Fascists are not interested in ideas but in political power. So every time the Nazis did publicly organize since then, I was there to oppose them, not with the force of my intellect but with the strength of my fists.

But despite my lifelong opposition to Nazis, this opposition stemmed from political, not religious, considerations. I grew up with essentially no identity as a Jew. My father, while of German-Jewish origins (and a World War II vet), was a stone atheist and a scientist, and my mother, while being a little fuzzy on the God question, sided with my father in not providing my brother and me with any religious training. I did not attend shul on the high holidays or go to Hebrew school. Instead, I went to socialist summer camp where I was taught that the most important spiritual value is "thou shalt never cross a picket line."

Nor did the neighborhood I grew up in or the schools I went to do anything to confer a sense of Jewish identity on me. Although Evanston was not as heavily Jewish as Skokie, my neighborhood was at least a third Jewish and the high school even more so. But being immersed in a heavily Jewish environment did not have the effect of enhancing my identity as a Jew; if anything, it made being Jewish taken for granted and therefore largely irrelevant. Jews were everywhere and represented all perspectives. We were jocks and nerds, boozers and freaks, businessmen and scientists, Republicans and radicals. Our Jewishness was not a common denominator to us (because it was too common a denominator) and therefore being Jewish was no big deal.

Similarly, when I moved to New York City after college, I lived in a heavily Jewish city in which I was part of the majority. If it was something of a thrill to be living in a city where everything shut down on Yom Kippur, the main identity I felt as a Jew was no identity: being Jewish was as common and therefore as taken for granted as finding a taxicab on Fifth Avenue.

I suppose this paradoxical lack of a Jewish identity in people who live in an overwhelmingly Jewish environment is characteristic only of those for whom the environment is a privileged one. When Jews living together is a feature of their oppression rather than privilege, such as in the case of those who were forced to live in the shtetls of Russia or in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, Jewish identity becomes something that is not shunned but clung to. The practice of Judaism now becomes a raison d'etre, a thing which gives life meaning. If you are oppressed because of your race, religion or national origin, you seize that heritage as something bigger than yourself to give you the will to go on.

When I went to prison, it was the first time in my life that I really stood out as a Jew. Jews are virtually unheard of in the state prison system, and if going to prison was a cultural shock and eye-opening experience for me, meeting a Jew was a cultural shock and eye-opening experience for a good number of young men on the yard, some of whom had never traveled more than 50 miles from their backwoods homes. I suppose it should not have come as a surprise to me, then, that anti-Semitism would be so rampant. Nevertheless, I was shocked by the blatant hatred (and misperceptions) of Jews. All the old stereotypes — of Jews being stingy, greedy and dishonest, of Jews controlling the world's money supply, of Jews running the entertainment industry and establishing the cultural standards of the world (thus allowing the proliferation of homosexuality and interracial relationships); in short, all the old stereotypes about Jews which I never really believed existed — were in full force and effect on the yard. I have been able to remain safe, but only because I reached an accommodation with my Nazi tormentors limiting my presence and activities on the yard. But the bottom line is, I am, and will remain, a pariah.

Thus, it was precisely my own oppression by skinheads and others when I went to prison that has caused me to discover a Jewish identity and has allowed me to come into my own as a Jew. I had dealt with Nazis before, as I mentioned above, but only in the aggregate, when I was part of a large force opposing a clearly unwelcome and alien presence. But on the prison yards, if Nazis are not in the mainstream, certainly hatred of Jews is taken for granted. And for most of the time I have been in prison I have been the only Jew here. As a result, the isolation and extreme prejudice against Jews here has finally forced me to consider myself to be, for the first time in my life, fundamentally a Jew; that is, I am a Jew before I am a socialist, an activist, a lawyer, a convict or a musician.

When I first came to jail, I tried to hide my Judaism. I even thought about changing my name so it would sound less Jewish. Not any more! The oppression I suffered, the alienation and loneliness I felt, and the spiritual thirst that is starting to be quenched, have caused me to finally come into my own. I am a Jew! And this has become my fundamental defeat of the Nazis. Because I have finally come to this bone-deep understanding, I will walk out of the prison gates as a changed man, a man who has returned to the mark after having strayed for so many years. I will have finally come home.
24348  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Glen Beck on: April 19, 2010, 06:06:21 PM
Quite right Doug.  I have never heard GB's radio show and, having satellite TV, I record the show and fastforward through the commercials.

Like the Founding Fathers, like me, GB believes in a Creator.  As Ben Franklin said

"I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?" --Benjamin Franklin, To Colleagues at the Constitutional Convention

 Therefore I am unperturbed that this is part of GB's message; though I think he goes about it in a way that should not concern atheists as well.

Hannity I simply find to be a mediocrity.  He irritates me even when I agree with him.  I only watch him if there is something/someone I want to see e.g. Newt Gingrich. Perhaps my opinion of Savage is based upon too small a sample of airtime, but he struck me as a cranky guy past his prime , , , and his prime was never that good.  As for Marc Levin, I have seen some youtube clips wherein his comments are but semi-witty insults for the true believers; recently though someone forwarded a 70 minute speech he gave at the Reagan Library which I thought had intellectual heft.  Therefore at present I have him filed under "Need to know more about him".
24349  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH: White House courts US Muslims on: April 19, 2010, 11:27:53 AM

This is just the sort of subject matter where Pravda on the Hudson (POTH) can be at its most deceptive.  Still, the subject matter matters AND we do want good Muslim-Americans treated fairly.  Nonetheless, caveat lector-- its POTH at work:
====================

White House Quietly Courts Muslims in U.S.
By ANDREA ELLIOTT
Published: April 18, 2010
When President Obama took the stage in Cairo last June, promising a new relationship with the Islamic world, Muslims in America wondered only half-jokingly whether the overture included them. After all, Mr. Obama had kept his distance during the campaign, never visiting an American mosque and describing the false claim that he was Muslim as a “smear” on his Web site.

Tariq Ramadan, who was barred from the United States under President George W. Bush, spoke to a New York audience in April.
Nearly a year later, Mr. Obama has yet to set foot in an American mosque. And he still has not met with Muslim and Arab-American leaders. But less publicly, his administration has reached out to this politically isolated constituency in a sustained and widening effort that has left even skeptics surprised.

Muslim and Arab-American advocates have participated in policy discussions and received briefings from top White House aides and other officials on health care legislation, foreign policy, the economy, immigration and national security. They have met privately with a senior White House adviser, Valerie Jarrett, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to discuss civil liberties concerns and counterterrorism strategy.

The impact of this continuing dialogue is difficult to measure, but White House officials cited several recent government actions that were influenced, in part, by the discussions. The meeting with Ms. Napolitano was among many factors that contributed to the government’s decision this month to end a policy subjecting passengers from 14 countries, most of them Muslim, to additional scrutiny at airports, the officials said.

That emergency directive, enacted after a failed Dec. 25 bombing plot, has been replaced with a new set of intelligence-based protocols that law enforcement officials consider more effective.

Also this month, Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Muslim academic, visited the United States for the first time in six years after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reversed a decision by the Bush administration, which had barred Mr. Ramadan from entering the country, initially citing the U.S.A. Patriot Act. Mrs. Clinton also cleared the way for another well-known Muslim professor, Adam Habib, who had been denied entry under similar circumstances.

Arab-American and Muslim leaders said they had yet to see substantive changes on a variety of issues, including what they describe as excessive airport screening, policies that have chilled Muslim charitable giving and invasive F.B.I. surveillance guidelines. But they are encouraged by the extent of their consultation by the White House and governmental agencies.

“For the first time in eight years, we have the opportunity to meet, engage, discuss, disagree, but have an impact on policy,” said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute in Washington. “We’re being made to feel a part of that process and that there is somebody listening.”

In the post-9/11 era, Muslims and Arab-Americans have posed something of a conundrum for the government: they are seen as a political liability but also, increasingly, as an important partner in countering the threat of homegrown terrorism. Under President George W. Bush, leaders of these groups met with government representatives from time to time, but said they had limited interaction with senior officials. While Mr. Obama has yet to hold the kind of high-profile meeting that Muslims and Arab-Americans seek, there is a consensus among his policymakers that engagement is no longer optional.

The administration’s approach has been understated. Many meetings have been private; others were publicized only after the fact. A visit to New York University in February by John O. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, drew little news coverage, but caused a stir among Muslims around the country. Speaking to Muslim students, activists and others, Mr. Brennan acknowledged many of their grievances, including “surveillance that has been excessive,” “overinclusive no-fly lists” and “an unhelpful atmosphere around many Muslim charities.”

“These are challenges we face together as Americans,” said Mr. Brennan, who momentarily showed off his Arabic to hearty applause. He and other officials have made a point of disassociating Islam from terrorism in public comments, using the phrase “violent extremism” in place of words like “jihad” and “Islamic terrorism.”

While the administration’s solicitation of Muslims and Arab-Americans has drawn little fanfare, it has not escaped criticism. A small but vocal group of research analysts, bloggers and others complain that the government is reaching out to Muslim leaders and organizations with an Islamist agenda or ties to extremist groups abroad.

They point out that Ms. Jarrett gave the keynote address at the annual convention for the Islamic Society of North America. The group was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a Texas-based charity whose leaders were convicted in 2008 of funneling money to Hamas. The society denies any links to terrorism.

“I think dialogue is good, but it has to be with genuine moderates,” said Steven Emerson, a terrorism analyst who advises government officials. “These are the wrong groups to legitimize.” Mr. Emerson and others have also objected to the political appointments of several American Muslims, including Rashad Hussain.

In February, the president chose Mr. Hussain, a 31-year-old White House lawyer, to become the United States’ special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The position, a kind of ambassador at large to Muslim countries, was created by Mr. Bush. In a video address, Mr. Obama highlighted Mr. Hussain’s status as a “close and trusted member of my White House staff” and “a hafiz,” a person who has memorized the Koran.

Within days of the announcement, news reports surfaced about comments Mr. Hussain had made on a panel in 2004, while he was a student at Yale Law School, in which he referred to several domestic terrorism prosecutions as “politically motivated.” Among the cases he criticized was that of Sami Al-Arian, a former computer-science professor in Florida who pleaded guilty to aiding members of a Palestinian terrorist group.

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At first, the White House said Mr. Hussain did not recall making the comments, which had been removed from the Web version of a 2004 article published by a small Washington magazine. When Politico obtained a recording of the panel, Mr. Hussain acknowledged criticizing the prosecutions but said he believed the magazine quoted him inaccurately, prompting him to ask its editor to remove the comments. On Feb. 22, The Washington Examiner ran an editorial with the headline “Obama Selects a Voice of Radical Islam.”

Muslim leaders watched carefully as the story migrated to Fox News. They had grown accustomed to close scrutiny, many said in interviews, but were nonetheless surprised. In 2008, Mr. Hussain had co-authored a paper for the Brookings Institution arguing that the government should use the peaceful teachings of Islam to fight terrorism.
“Rashad Hussain is about as squeaky clean as you get,” said Representative Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat who is Muslim. Mr. Ellison and others wondered whether the administration would buckle under the pressure and were relieved when the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, defended Mr. Hussain.

“The fact that the president and the administration have appointed Muslims to positions and have stood by them when they’ve been attacked is the best we can hope for,” said Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America.

It was notably different during Mr. Obama’s run for office. In June 2008, volunteers of his campaign barred two Muslim women in headscarves from appearing behind Mr. Obama at a rally in Detroit, eliciting widespread criticism. The campaign promptly recruited Mazen Asbahi, a 36-year-old corporate lawyer and popular Muslim activist from Chicago, to become its liaison to Muslims and Arab-Americans.

Bloggers began researching Mr. Asbahi’s background. For a brief time in 2000, he had sat on the board of an Islamic investment fund, along with Sheikh Jamal Said, a Chicago imam who was later named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case. Mr. Asbahi said in an interview that he had left the board after three weeks because he wanted no association with the imam.

Shortly after his appointment to the Obama campaign, Mr. Asbahi said, a Wall Street Journal reporter began asking questions about his connection to the imam. Campaign officials became concerned that news coverage would give critics ammunition to link the imam to Mr. Obama, Mr. Asbahi recalled. On their recommendation, Mr. Asbahi agreed to resign from the campaign, he said.

He is still unsettled by the power of his detractors. “To be in the midst of this campaign of change and hope and to have it stripped away over nothing,” he said. “It hurts.”

From the moment Mr. Obama took office, he seemed eager to change the tenor of America’s relationship with Muslims worldwide. He gave his first interview to Al Arabiya, the Arabic-language television station based in Dubai. Muslims cautiously welcomed his ban on torture and his pledge to close Guantánamo within a year. In his Cairo address, he laid out his vision for “a new beginning” with Muslims: while America would continue to fight terrorism, he said, terrorism would no longer define America’s approach to Muslims.

Back at home, Muslim and Arab-American leaders remained skeptical. But they took note when, a few weeks later, Mohamed Magid, a prominent imam from Sterling, Va., and Rami Nashashibi, a Muslim activist from Chicago, joined the president at a White-House meeting about fatherhood. Also that month, Dr. Faisal Qazi, a board member of American Muslim Health Professionals, began meeting with administration officials to discuss health care reform.

The invitations were aimed at expanding the government’s relationship with Muslims and Arab-Americans to areas beyond security, said Mr. Hussain, the White House’s special envoy. Mr. Hussain began advising the president on issues related to Islam after joining the White House counsel’s office in January 2009. He helped draft Mr. Obama’s Cairo speech and accompanied him on the trip. “The president realizes that you cannot engage one-fourth of the world’s population based on the erroneous beliefs of a fringe few,” Mr. Hussain said.

Other government offices followed the lead of the White House. In October, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with Arab-Americans and Muslims in Dearborn, Mich., to discuss challenges facing small-business owners. Also last fall, Farah Pandith was sworn in as the State Department’s first special representative to Muslim communities. While Ms. Pandith works mostly with Muslims abroad, she said she had also consulted with American Muslims because Mrs. Clinton believes “they can add value overseas.”

Despite this, American actions abroad — including civilian deaths from drone strikes in Pakistan and the failure to close Guantánamo — have drawn the anger of Muslims and Arab-Americans.

Even though their involvement with the administration has broadened, they remain most concerned about security-related policies. In January, when the Department of Homeland Security hosted a two-day meeting with Muslim, Arab-American, South Asian and Sikh leaders, the group expressed concern about the emergency directive subjecting passengers from a group of Muslim countries to additional screening.

Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates, pointed out that the policy would never have caught the attempted shoe bomber Richard Reid, who is British. “It almost sends the signal that the government is going to treat nationals of powerless countries differently from countries that are powerful,” Ms. Khera recalled saying as community leaders around the table nodded their heads.

Ms. Napolitano, who sat with the group for more than an hour, committed to meeting with them more frequently. Ms. Khera said she left feeling somewhat hopeful.

“I think our message is finally starting to get through,” she said.
24350  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude on: April 19, 2010, 12:41:57 AM
Greatful for a lot of family time this past week.
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