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24451  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Desalination plants stymied on: December 05, 2010, 12:15:06 PM
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/12/californians-need-water-but-desalination-projects-are-bogged-down.html
24452  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Knife Law on: December 05, 2010, 11:22:17 AM
This is from the NY Times (for which my nickname is Pravda On The Hudson: POTH) so caveat lector:
==============

PHOENIX — Arizona used to be a knife carrier’s nightmare, with a patchwork of local laws that forced those inclined to strap Buck knives or other sharp objects to their belts to tread carefully as they moved from Phoenix (no knives except pocketknives) to Tempe (no knives at all) to Tucson (no knives on library grounds).

D’Alton Holder, a longtime knife maker, said, “It’s ridiculous to talk about the size of the knife as if that makes a difference.”
But that changed earlier this year when Arizona made its Legislature the sole arbiter of knife regulations. And because of loose restrictions on weapons here, Arizona is now considered a knife carrier’s dream, a place where everything from a samurai sword to a switchblade can be carried without a quibble.

Arizona’s transformation, and the recent lifting of a ban on switchblades, stilettos, dirks and daggers in New Hampshire, has given new life to the knife rights lobby, the little-known cousin of the more politically potent gun rights movement. Its vision is a knife-friendly America, where blades are viewed not as ominous but as tools — the equivalent of sharp-edged screw drivers or hammers — that serve useful purposes and can save lives as well as take them.

Sure, knife fights and knife attacks are a concern. No knife-lover would ever deny that. In fact, Todd Rathner, the lobbyist for Knife Rights Inc., an advocacy group based in Arizona that is now in its third year, was mugged twice in New York City before moving to Tucson, once — “ironically,” he said — at knifepoint.

But the problem is with the knife wielder, not the knife itself, the knife lobby says, sounding very much like those who advocate for gun rights.

In fact, knife advocates contend that the Second Amendment applies to knives as well as guns. They focus their argument elsewhere, though, emphasizing that knives fill so many beneficial roles, from carving Thanksgiving turkeys to whittling, that they do not deserve the bad name they often get.

“People talk about how knives are dangerous, and then they go in the kitchen and they have 50 of them,” said D’Alton Holder, a veteran knife maker who lives in Wickenberg, Ariz. “It’s ridiculous to talk about the size of the knife as if that makes a difference. If you carry a machete that’s three feet long, it’s no more dangerous than any knife. You can do just as much damage with an inch-long blade, even a box cutter.”

As for the pocketknife he carries with him every day, Mr. Holder said: “I use it for everything — to clean my fingernails, to prune a tree or carve, even to eat dinner with. I never think about the knives that I carry or the knives that I make as weapons.”

Jennifer Coffey, the New Hampshire state representative who led the effort to overturn the state’s switchblade ban, is also an emergency medical technician who uses knives to extract people from vehicles after accidents. Even when switchblades were outlawed, there were exceptions for emergency workers and others who might use them on the job, but Ms. Coffey still considered the law outrageous.

“We had certain knives that were illegal, but I could walk down the street with a kitchen knife that I used to carve a turkey and that would be legal,” Ms. Coffey said. “I’d be more scared of a kitchen knife than a switchblade.”

She said switchblade bans were passed in the 1950s because of the menacing use of the knives in movies like “West Side Story” and “Rebel Without a Cause.” Her legislation drew the support of an array of knife-related entities: Knife Rights, a young upstart in knife advocacy; the American Knife and Tool Institute, a group based in Wyoming that represents knife manufacturers, sellers and owners; and publications like Blade, Cutlery News Journal and Knife World.

The effort to lift the ban on switchblades in New Hampshire even won the support of the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police.

==========



In Arizona, however, police groups were more circumspect about lifting all of the local knife laws. The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police opposed the move, saying local jurisdictions ought to set their own knife restrictions. The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association remained neutral.

In much of the country, especially in urban areas, knives are still viewed as weapons in need of tight control.
District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. of Manhattan announced in June that his office had pressured retail stores that were selling illegal knives to remove them from their shelves, forfeit profits from the knives made over the last four years and help finance a campaign to educate people against illegal knives.

“What makes these knives so dangerous is the ease with which they can be concealed and brandished,” Mr. Vance said of the illegal switchblades and gravity knives, which require a wrist flip to open instead of a switchblade’s spring, that were bought by undercover agents.

Mr. Vance’s offensive drew the ire of the American Knife and Tool Institute, which issued an “action alert” and offered to assist New York retailers and individuals charged with knife violations with their legal defenses.

The knife lobby similarly rose up in 2009 when the federal Customs and Border Protection agency issued a proposal that would have reclassified many pocketknives and pocket tools as switchblades and thus made them illegal for import or sale across state lines under the 1958 federal Switchblade Act. In the end, Congress intervened and blocked the change.

A case now unfolding in Seattle shows how volatile knives continue to be. A police officer there fatally shot a man in August after, the officer said, he ordered the man several times to drop a knife that he was carrying. But the legitimacy of the shooting has been questioned by the Police Department, partly because the knife, which had a three-inch blade, was found in a closed position near the body of the dead man, who had been using it to carve a piece of wood.

Knife advocates are hoping that, just as Arizona’s immigration law has led to a national debate on that topic, its move to end knife restrictions will lead more states to take up the cause.

“Arizona is now the model when it comes to knives,” said Mr. Rathner, who was a National Rifle Association lobbyist before he switched to knives. “We’re now going to be moving to other states, probably in the Rocky Mountains and the Southeast. There’s probably half a dozen or more places that are ripe for this.”

24453  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: December 05, 2010, 10:24:04 AM
Well, lets see if I can play a different tact here with a small thought experiment.

We had the Shoe Bomber and so now we take off our shoes.  We had the Undie Bomber and now we are either scanned by a scanner that claims to radiate only the skin or get our groins grabbed.  And a few months ago, Saudi Arabia had a bomber with a bomb us his anus explode himself in an attempt to kill a Saudi prince.

So, here's the question:  What do we do in the wake of such an attack in an airport or on an airplane in the US?  What security measures do we take?

24454  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: December 04, 2010, 03:22:54 PM
Good article.  Good comment.
24455  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: WHERE IS THE FOOTWORK!?! on: December 03, 2010, 09:30:06 PM
Poi Dog also applies it to good effect  grin
24456  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 5 quotes on: December 03, 2010, 09:28:09 PM
a) The price of freedom is infernal vigilantes

b) I'll keep my money, freedom, and guns. You keep the change.

c) Democracy has no convictions for which people would be willing to stake their lives."
Dr. Ernst Hanfstaengl

d) "Military power wins battles, but spiritual power wins wars."
Gen G.C. Marshall
       
e) "We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a
symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other."
Gen G.C. Marshall
24457  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hamas willing to accept Israel's right to exist?!? on: December 03, 2010, 03:05:52 PM


http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/hamas-vows-to-honor-palestinian-referendum-on-peace-with-israel-1.328234
24458  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: December 03, 2010, 02:53:37 PM
For the record, my idea of the national sales tax would be in lieu of all other taxes.  IMHO this would unleash an extraordinary surge in productivity and growth. 
24459  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chris Christie! on: December 03, 2010, 02:35:48 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn4_0IV0JME&feature=player_embedded
24460  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / This seems about right to me on: December 03, 2010, 01:46:00 PM
A resumption of six-party talks will not resolve the Korean crisis, as all parties have different goals, Vice President of Strategic Intelligence Rodger Baker says.

Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

Colin Chapman: North Asia remains on edge with no sign of an end to the tension after the attacks by North Korea just over a week ago. Welcome to agenda I’m Colin Chapman, and on the agenda next week is a significant tripartite meeting between Japan, South Korea and the United States, but the chances for any kind of solution to the crisis are not good. You can see the tactical details of the exchange of fire between North Korea and South Korea on our website, along with satellite imagery that we’ve obtained and military analysis. Joining me to discuss this is Rodger Baker. Rodger, what’s your analysis of where things stand now?

Rodger Baker: We’re at a very delicate position right now in Northeast Asia. Certainly, every side is making a case that none of them want war, none of them want this to escalate, and yet the South Koreans have a incentive to — if there’s another North Korean action — to respond extremely strongly. The North Koreans may have a sense that they need to show one more time that they’re tough. The Chinese are offering talks that they don’t nobody’s going to come to, so we’re at kind of an uncertain moments as we watch the situation unfold.

Colin Chapman: Yet some people are clutching at straws. For example, North Korea has hinted it might allow international investment in mining in its country, a strange step if you’re planning a major war.

Rodger Baker: One of the things they been watching it to see whether or not the North Korean behavior with the shelling of this island fits within their typical pattern of creating crises in order to head into negotiations, and this seemed a step beyond what they’ve normally done in the past. Yet in the background we’re seeing certain actions but that still fit in the old patterns. So we’ve seen regular inspection tours by Kim Jong Il and his son. We’ve also seen an announcement today by the North Koreans that they’ve upgraded to ministry status a natural resources department and that’s suggesting that they’re going ahead with earlier plans to expand foreign investment in mining and try to draw in other individuals and if you’re about to head into a war that’s probably not something you would be doing.

Colin Chapman: The key to all this is of course China, but as you’ve said yourself North Korea is a liability that China simply cannot abandon.

Rodger Baker: Certainly when you look at China’s relations with North Korea its been a bit contentious. The Chinese sometimes appear not to be able to control the North Koreans or they get drawn into situations of tension with their other neighbors or with the United States over North Korea. At the same time the Chinese are able to manipulate that. But in the end when you look at the Chinese, North Korea serves as a strategic buffer. North Korea presents effectively the United States from being able to place troops right along the Chinese border and so no matter what you hear from the Chinese talking about maybe supporting reunification or not supporting the North Koreans or standing back, in the end they’re going to ensure that something is that position whether it be North Korea ,whether it be a Chinese-run North Korea, that creates that sense of space so they can’t have the United States coming up against the Yalu River.

Colin Chapman: Did WikiLeaks come up with anything that might be relevant here?

Rodger Baker: Some of the things we’ve seen and what got a lot of play was the idea, for example, that the Chinese had considered letting the two Koreas and letting South Korea run that. It’s kind of a misrepresentation of the Chinese position. Certainly at times Chinese scholars or Chinese officials will say things like that and they say that to appease the South Koreans. They say that to let the United States think that they’re not offensive or they’re not out trying to be dominant in the region. But in general if you look at the Chinese position the Chinese now no less than in 1950 have an interest to prevent the United States from coming up to the Yalu River.

Colin Chapman: The date in the diary is this tripartite meeting between Japan and South Korea, and the United States but is there any real prospect that it could come up with any kind of solution?

Rodger Baker: The meeting between the United States and its two key Northeast Asian allies — Japan and South Korea — is probably not going to come up with some amazing new policy on North Korea or new way of resolving the situation. However the United States really feels it does need to demonstrate first and foremost its strong commitment to these allies, solidify that that military commitment as well as the political commitment and only then after talking with the three of them will the U.S. even begin to consider how it might go back into negotiations with North Korea and maybe allow China to facilitate those. So right now this is about the U.S. showing to its allies and showing to the region that the United States does give a strong defense commitment to countries that it works with.

Colin Chapman: I talked to three former envoys to Seoul this week and all of them agreed that South Korea had handled this in a pretty cool and sensible fashion, but they think the solution is now going to be the resumption of the six-party talks. Do you agree with that?

Rodger Baker: Well I think if you look at the six-party talks, its questionable whether the six-party talks or any other multilateral forum is going to resolve the situation and that’s because as you look at each of the players they don’t necessarily have the same end goal in mind. So for China, as we’ve noted, the Chinese are really not ultimately interested in a reunified Korea at least not one that would in any way be a potential challenger or competitor or be an ally to the United States. The South Koreans don’t necessarily want to rush reunification. The United States is not looking to get involved in either a conflict in the region or to abandon its position in the region and the Japanese are always cautious about the idea of a unified Korea as being really something that could that could challenge Japanese interests in the region. The Russians haven’t decided whether or not they’re getting back involved. The North Koreans certainly don’t want to become subservient to the South Koreans so we when look at the six-party talks, the six-party talks may be about stopping the North Koreans from having nuclear weapons but the North Koreans already have them. There is very little that the North Koreans would get in giving up a capability they already have. So I think if you look at the six-party talks in particular, the Chinese use the talks as a way to manage the situation but not as a way to resolve the situation. They use it to keep the other players in check, they use it to gain leverage over some of the other players, but in the end I don’t think we have anybody who’s actually expecting these talks, these negotiations, to resolve either the North Korean nuclear issue or the broader picture which is the division of the Korean Peninsula.

Colin Chapman: Rodger Baker there, ending this week’s Agenda. I’m Colin Chapman at STRATFOR, thanks for being with us today.

24461  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: December 03, 2010, 12:25:09 PM
National Sales Tax has considerable appeal to me.
24462  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Musings from an Indian friend on: December 03, 2010, 12:01:43 PM
about one month old:

Some random musings...paki perfidy always gets my goat!.


Have you ever wondered, why the US cannot control pak ?. The solution to pak problem is very simple, and the US could implement it in a minute. What is not said is the need of the US govt to keep India in check (to maintain balance of power between India and Pak). The pakis know this and they exploit it fully. If the US did not try to keep India down, the pak problem would go away very quickly. Every weapons shipment (free) to Pak is done with the ostensible aim to help fight the taliban, but in reality it is to keep India under control. All the US needs to do is stop financing pak and keep a watch on the nukes. Within a few months pak will collapse, the state will break into its provinces, Balochistan would be free, the durrand line will go away, Afghan-Pak problem will disappear, The kashmir problem would go away and peace will reign smiley). Yugoslavia is quite peaceful now...


Carrying on with the current policy is a setup for failure. The Americans are generally the most hated nationals in pak, we waste resources on a god forsaken land. Due to american support, the army steals all the money it can, with very little left to improve the infrastructure, education or the poor. Its only a matter of time when the peasant class rises against the feudal elites. The MQM party is proposing land reforms, though I expect the bill to not pass. In essence, american money makes it easy for the generals to steal even more. In reality, the beggar nation should not be spending on nukes. If pak has nukes, the US is fully to blame, because we turned a blind eye to the chinese, who gave them the technology.


However,  the US-India equation is changing. Instead of trying to check India wrt pak, the US now needs to checkmate China, for that reason the US is now supportive of India, which means that support to Pak must fade. I anticipate a harder line wrt to Pakiland, and improved relationship with India. This change seems to be happening. In Nov, Obama travels to India, many billion dollar deals will be signed, most related to weapons!. What is galling to americans is that Bush signed the nuclear deal with India, which has allowed many nations (France, Russia, canada etc) to sign nuclear power plant and uranium deals with India, but the US is still to bag a single deal!. This is because of Obama's insistence on technology denial to India under equal terms. The world is changing, and the Americans seem to be the last to realize it. When I talk to visiting Indians, the energy and enthusiasm regarding the future place of India in the comity of nations is palpable. In India, people ignore Pak needle pricks, and are now focussed on China. The thinking is that if a war can be avoided for one more decade, the economic progress will be sufficient to make any aggression by China very painful to them.
24463  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Die Less Often: Interface of Gun, Knife and Emtpy Hand on: December 03, 2010, 11:57:28 AM
Good thing the Dog Brother Martial Arts forum is part of spreading the word  wink
24464  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Why won't he call? Cell phones in prison on: December 03, 2010, 11:55:48 AM


latimes.com

Charles Manson had a cellphone? California prisons fight inmate cellphone proliferation

Contraband cellphones are burgeoning among prisoners, giving them the ability to arrange crimes on the outside. Even Charles Manson was caught with one. But it's not illegal for state prisoners to possess the devices.
By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times

5:41 PM PST, December 2, 2010

Reporting from Sacramento


Contraband cellphones are becoming so prevalent in California prisons that guards can't keep them out of the hands of the most notorious and violent inmates: Even Charles Manson, orchestrator of one of the most notorious killing rampages in U.S. history, was caught with an LG flip phone under his prison mattress.

Manson made calls and sent text messages to people in California, New Jersey, Florida and British Columbia before officers discovered the phone, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections.

Asked whether Manson had used the device to direct anyone to commit a crime or to leave a threatening message, Thornton said, "I don't know, but it's troubling that he had a cellphone since he's a person who got other people to murder on his behalf."

Although officials say inmates use smuggled cellphones for all manner of criminal activity, including running drug rings from behind bars, intimidating witnesses and planning escapes, it is not a crime to possess one in a California prison.

In August, President Obama signed a bill banning cellphones from federal prisons and making it a crime, punishable by up to a year in jail, to smuggle one in. That law does not apply to state institutions.

The proliferation of cellphones in California prisons has been exponential in recent years, authorities say. Guards found 1,400 in 2007, when the department began to keep records of confiscations. The number jumped to 6,995 in 2009 and stands at 8,675 so far this year.

The phones show up in minimum security work camps as well as in the most heavily guarded administrative segregation units — whose residents include gang leaders confined to their cells around the clock except for brief stints when they're allowed to pace around metal cages in the prison yards.

Prisoners and supplies coming into those units are searched, but inmates sometimes hide devices in their body cavities, officials said.

There have also been state-documented cases of guards bringing phones into prisons. An inspector general's report last year noted that the phones fetch up to $1,000 each and highlighted the case of a corrections officer who made $150,000 in a single year by supplying the devices to inmates. He was fired, the report said. Criminal charges were not an option.

Examples of inmates using phones to run criminal enterprises are not hard to find. In August, Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, now the governor-elect, trumpeted the arrest of 34 Nuestra Familia gang members in Visalia who had been following orders from incarcerated leaders.

Last month, two escapees from Folsom prison were recaptured after they disappeared from a minimum-security work detail. They used a contraband cellphone to arrange for a friend pick to them up, said warden Rick Hill.

Inmates also use the phones to contact each other. "We know they are communicating building to building to thwart our efforts to recover contraband," Hill said.

Prison administrators across the country have been asking for the authority to jam cellphone signals on prison grounds, but the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the nation's airwaves, has refused.

The politically powerful telecommunications industry lobby has argued that jamming is not precise enough, and legitimate customers trying to use their phones near prisons could also be denied service.

The industry is pushing a more expensive solution called "managed access," which would allow only calls from approved phones to transmit through towers near prisons. Calls from numbers not on the approved list would not go through.

Next year California officials will test such a system, similar to one begun in August near a Mississippi prison. Authorities in that state said the program blocked more than 216,000 unauthorized phone calls and text messages in the first month.

The system didn't cost taxpayers anything, said Mississippi prison spokeswoman Suzanne Singletary.

It was paid for by Global Tel Link, a national company that charges inmates to make calls from many state prisons, including those in Mississippi and California. Who will pay for California's pilot program has not been determined.

Prisoner-rights advocates argue that cellphones let prisoners avoid high fees for making collect calls from prison pay phones — the only allowed method of phone communication, with all calls monitored — and help them maintain crucial bonds with family and friends while they serve time.

But family contact can cut two ways, prison officials say. In September, an inmate at Avenal State Prison in Central California had been calling his 75-year-old mother to get her to collect drug debts owed by customers on the street. After guards found the phone, police raided the woman's La Puente home and found more than $24,000 cash, said Doug Snell, a corrections department spokesman.

The woman was arrested and charged with unauthorized communication with an inmate. A trial is pending.

In September, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have imposed a $5,000 fine on anyone caught giving a phone to a prisoner. In his veto message, Schwarzenegger complained that the bill did not make it a serious crime for a prisoner to possess a phone and did not include the threat of jail time for the smuggler.

"Signing this measure would mean that smuggling a can of beer into a prison carries with it a greater punishment than delivering a cellphone to the leader of a criminal street gang," Schwarzenegger wrote.

Sen. Alex Padilla (D- Pacoima), who sponsored the bill, SB 525, said he was caught between a governor who wants to put smugglers in prison and a Senate Public Safety Committee policy against adding new felonies to the state penal code for fear of exacerbating California's prison overcrowding.

Early this year, a panel of three federal judges ordered the state to reduce its prison population by some 46,000 inmates to alleviate the cramped conditions. Schwarzenegger appealed the decision; the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Tuesday.

"The fact that Charles Manson had a cellphone in prison is just further proof that the situation is out of control," a frustrated Padilla said last week. "I'm not giving up. Until we have a law on the books with real consequences, this will continue to be a danger."

State Sen. Mark Leno (D- San Francisco), who is chairman of the Senate Public Safety Committee and responsible for enforcing the policy against creating new felonies, said he's not opposed to creating a felony charge to deter people from smuggling phones into prison. But he warned that courts have ruled that the prison inmate population can't be increased, so some who are currently locked up in state facilities would have to be kept in county jails.

For now, the only recourse prison officials have when they find an inmate with a phone is to charge him or her with a violation of department policy.

Prison officials would not release the identities of any of the people Manson contacted. But the entertainment news show Inside Edition broadcast recordings of a voice, identified as Manson's, on March 23, 2009. Four days later, guards found a phone during a search of Manson's cell.

One of the clips features Manson's raspy, high-pitched voice singing, "I've seen the world spinning on fire, I've danced and sang in the devil's choir."

Manson, 76, who is technically eligible for parole but will almost certainly die in prison for ordering the ritualistic murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others in 1969, had 30 days added to his sentence after his phone was discovered.

"He was counseled and reprimanded, too," Thornton said.

jack.dolan@latimes.com

Copyright © 2010, Los Angeles Times

 

24465  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fair Tax on: December 03, 2010, 11:53:32 AM
Second post of day:

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds. – Samuel Adams

Weekly Feature

A bestselling book many FairTaxers have read is, “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Friedman. A simplistic description of its premise is that global commerce is advancing around the world faster than ever before with less boundaries every year due to technology and other factors. This trend points to the FairTax as a way for American businesses to remain competitive and the Made In America label to make a comeback. These same forces are changing the way you can promote the FairTax.

In the day and age of technology like Facebook, the Samuel Adams quote above just might be an understatement.

Technology has amplified the rate at which we impact the world around us.  Email, instant messaging, texting, cell phones, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have allowed us to connect with thousands of people at the speed of our fingers. With social networking sites we have far more instant connections than at any other time in our history.  The ease and simplicity of using these sites has never been greater. Now every day, regular people can have far greater impact than at any other time in our history. Samuel Adams would be excited!

For example, Facebook, the top daily website with over 500 million members, was directly responsible for at least one new co-sponsor of the FairTax bill last year in Indiana and likely more.

Here’s another lesson from our Indiana volunteer leaders: FairTax Indiana volunteers and supporters became “friends” with as many of the candidates as possible and posted FairTax information whenever it was necessary. They requested meetings with the candidates through Facebook connections and eventually 27 of the primary candidates committed to becoming a co-sponsor if elected. In total, at least one FairTax committed candidate ran in all 9 congressional races in the general election. This led to 6 FairTax committed candidates winning in the General Election on Nov 2nd!

Just last month, a polite Facebook contact turned into a FairTax.org spokesman being interviewed in front of millions of Fox Business Channel’s “Follow the Money” viewers. 

So when you send Congress a message to support the FairTax, send an e-card to your friends or yourself for forwarding or follow the FairTax on Twitter or Facebook, know your voice carries more impact than ever and our message is spreading. As always, local volunteers need old fashioned boots on the ground support as well.

Thank you!
 
FairTax in the News
FairTax would boost nation's economy – Wisconsin Rapids Tribune

As the 112th Congress approaches, so does the passage of the FairTax... Well-known people like Dave Ramsey and Chuck Norris back the FairTax. One of the most popular stars on YouTube, Philip DeFranco, has published a short video which includes promotion of the FairTax.

Last month, the CEO of Cisco and the president of Oracle Corporation penned a joint letter in the Wall Street Journal with a solution to our economic fatigue. Their common sense plea was to lower the U.S. tax rate for corporations wishing to bring their overseas earnings to the United States. The current rate of up to 35 percent strongly discourages re-investment in our nation and is opposite the policy of the rest of the developed world. They imagined a trillion dollars flooding into our nation and millions of Americans hired. They were ignored...

How to Straighten This Country Out - ThePilot.com

...First, do away with the IRS.

Replace it with the Fair Tax. Every Fair Tax proposal I've seen calls for lower-income citizens to receive advanced rebates to prevent further hardship on those folks until we can create higher-paying jobs for them. The Fair Tax would cause hundreds of companies to either open headquarters locations or move entirely to the U.S.

The result would be millions of new jobs, good jobs that would result in much higher revenues being collected from the Fair Tax. Employers would be competing for good workers, and the economy would explode with success...
 
24466  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Prone Subjects with hidden hands more dangerous than previously imagined on: December 03, 2010, 11:41:27 AM
www.ForceScienceNews.com
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Specifically:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lewinski stresses that "these are only tentative suggestions at this point. We are looking now to the training community for tactical strategies that can be tested with additional research."
 
24467  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury Data Watch on: December 03, 2010, 11:26:48 AM


Data Watch

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


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

Most key sub-indexes were higher in November, and all remain at levels indicating economic growth. The new orders index increased to 57.7 from 56.7, the employment index rose to 52.7 from 50.9, and the supplier deliveries index rose to 52.5 from 51.0. The business activity index fell to a still strong 57.0 from 58.4 last month.
 
The prices paid index fell to 63.2 in November from 68.3 in October.   
 
Implications:  The service sector rebound continues after the Summer swoon, with today’s report beating expectations for the third month in a row.  The ISM non-manufacturing index increased to 55.0 from 54.3 in October, showing that economic growth is continuing to accelerate into the end of the year. The most encouraging detail in the report was the employment index, which reached its highest level in over three years. The new orders index rose to 57.7 from 56.7 in October as well, which means the outlook for the service sector looks bright. On the inflation front, the prices paid index fell to 63.2 from 68.3 in October. Despite this drop, the index remains at elevated levels. In other recent news, automakers sold cars and light trucks at a 12.3 million annual rate in November.  This is faster than the 12.1 million the consensus expected and 13% higher than a year ago.  On the housing front, pending home sales – contracts on existing homes – soared 10.4% in October, the largest percentage increase for any month on record (dating back to 2001).  This suggests existing home sales, which are counted at closing, will rebound sharply in November.
24468  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Note the last paragraph on: December 03, 2010, 11:14:18 AM
Bomb Plot Foiled in Oregon
Patriot Post
Last Friday, federal agents foiled yet another terrorist plot -- the attempted bombing of a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a 19-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen born in Somalia, told FBI agents that his goal was to kill Americans as they celebrated the holidays. He believed he would be successful, he said, because no one would expect an attack in Oregon.

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

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

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

24469  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / No such luck on: December 03, 2010, 11:13:03 AM
Patriot Post

The Senate rejected an attempt to repeal a part of ObamaCare that will require nearly 40 million businesses to file tax forms in 2012 for every vendor that sells them $600 or more in goods. That mountain of paperwork will cost businesses -- especially small ones -- greatly, but it will raise an estimated $19 billion in tax revenue on underreported income over 10 years. Democrats couldn't figure out how to make up that revenue, and they thus defeated the repeal effort.
24470  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Feb 4-6: Guro Crafty in Chicago on: December 03, 2010, 10:52:22 AM

Date:  Feb. 4th - 6th

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

Location:  Chicago, IL

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

Woof All: 

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

TAC!
Guro Crafty

24471  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / IMF on: December 03, 2010, 10:48:24 AM
Glenn Beck last night said that the IMF gave/lent $1T each to Greece and Ireland.  In that 1/6th comes from the US taxpayer (Can you spell taxation without representation?) that works out to some $320B  shocked  angry angry angry
24472  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Death Panels? What Death Panels? on: December 03, 2010, 10:15:28 AM
From today's POTH:

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

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

24473  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DB Euro Gathering 8/13-14, 2010 on: December 03, 2010, 09:20:56 AM
For those of you who attended my seminar the day after the Gathering, Andraz assisted me by playing "Mongo" in my demonstration of the ideas being taught. wink
24474  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: WHERE IS THE FOOTWORK!?! on: December 03, 2010, 09:18:45 AM
In DBMA the foundational DVD for applied fighting footwork is "Dos Triques".  (Do we have a thread on the Dos Triques DVD?)

BTW, that's Porn Star Dog you see in most of the fight footage showing the DT material applied.
24475  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stratfor: US calls on China to rein in NK on: December 02, 2010, 11:35:14 PM
U.S. Calls On China to Rein in North Korea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24476  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: December 02, 2010, 08:14:16 PM
I think we have a thread with Corruption in the title.  Lets use that for replies to these posts.
24477  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Mismatched fighting scenarios -rcsf- on: December 02, 2010, 08:10:45 PM
Andraz:

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

CD
24478  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Andraz's questions on: December 02, 2010, 08:09:59 PM
Pasting here Andraz's post:

My first topic on here, hello everyone. 


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

wuff from Slovenia

Andraz
24479  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: WHERE IS THE FOOTWORK!?! on: December 02, 2010, 08:07:26 PM
Hit him harder with meaner sticks until he becomes motivated to evolve. cheesy
24480  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: December 02, 2010, 12:44:53 PM
Yes, but who gets to make the decisions matters quite a bit.

Changing subjects,

http://wikileaks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/12/01/welcome_to_wikileaked
24481  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sandler on: December 02, 2010, 12:40:57 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vrd9p47MPHg&feature=player_embedded
24482  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: December 02, 2010, 11:29:57 AM
IMHO GM most of us here are of above average IQ.  I'm even vain enough to include myself in that. smiley
24483  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: December 02, 2010, 11:19:05 AM
Thank you for that Rachel.

Anyone have the Adam Sandler version?
24484  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: December 02, 2010, 11:13:39 AM
Agreed.

Grannis does say that there will be some (i.e. too much) inflation.
24485  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty in Vancouver January 29-20 on: December 02, 2010, 11:12:35 AM
Amen to that about Tricky Dog and the Vancouver crew and other Canadian folks.  Also, Rob Crowley and some of the Seattle folks should be coming too  cool
24486  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Dan Inosanto on: December 02, 2010, 11:10:02 AM
I certainly would be nothing without my training and time with him.
24487  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: December 02, 2010, 04:34:45 AM
I too have a high opinion of Wesbury (and, in a similar vein, Scott Grannis) but find myself quite torn between Glenn Beck et al and them.  I recently signed up for missives from Wesbury and will be posting some of it here-- I think we need to stay in touch with intelligent non-apocalyptic lines of thought, even though we may disagree cheesy
24488  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: December 02, 2010, 04:31:06 AM
I read Baer's book several years ago and remember the passage about being ready to go on the coup.  Truly a moment of tragedy in that so much more tragedy could have been averted.  That said, a fair case can be made that the CIA has created a lot of problems with some of its unleashed forays.
24489  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Legal issues on: December 01, 2010, 11:12:24 PM
GM:

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

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

24490  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: December 01, 2010, 11:00:46 PM
I'm not seeing an ad hominem there at all; it seems like an analogy to me.

""Libertarians. Providing simplistic non-answers to complex problems since 1971!**"  While no doubt there are times that this is so, sometimes simplicity is the highest level.
24491  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: December 01, 2010, 08:06:58 PM
Yes, the difference being that intuitively it seems like something needs to be done about this SOB.  How do we go about that yet retain the ability to find out about nefarious deeds of our government?
24492  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Happy Hanukah! on: December 01, 2010, 05:57:27 PM
May we be the Macabees of our time!
24493  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: December 01, 2010, 05:55:50 PM
OK, that helps clarify things.  So, what do we do when our government is doing something secret/illegal/etc and doesn't want we the people to know about it?
24494  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ on: December 01, 2010, 03:00:17 PM
My apologies, I confess I have not enough time to read every thing you post embarassed

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

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

24495  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wesbury on: December 01, 2010, 02:57:06 PM
Non-farm productivity (output per hour) rose at a 2.3% annual rate in the third quarter To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist
Robert Stein, CFA - Senior Economist
Date: 12/1/2010


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

Real (inflation-adjusted) compensation per hour in the non-farm sector increased at a 0.8% annual rate in Q3 and is up 0.2% versus last year. Unit labor costs declined at a 0.1% rate in Q3 and are down 1.1% versus a year ago.
 
In the manufacturing sector, the Q3 growth rate for productivity (0.6%) was much lower than among non-farm businesses as a whole. Output grew faster in manufacturing but the growth of hours worked was higher as well, resulting in slower growth in output per hour. Real compensation (0.1%) was softer in manufacturing but unit labor costs (1.0%) were stronger than in the non-farm business sector, a function of slower productivity growth.
 
Implications:  Productivity growth was revised up for Q3, exactly as the consensus expected. This is a solid rebound from its decline in Q2, which had some analysts worried. Productivity has increased in six of the last seven quarters and we believe the trend will continue. In the past year, productivity has grown at a 2.5% annual rate despite the fact that hours worked have increased in each of those quarters as well.  Even as output rebounds, technology will continue to increase efficiency, allowing workers to do more per hour.  In other news this morning, the ADP Employment index, a measure of private-sector payrolls, increased 93,000 in November, the largest gain so far in the recovery.  In the past six months, on average, the ADP index has underestimated growth in the official Labor Department measure of private payrolls by 55,000.  It has a long way to go, but the recovery in the labor market is well underway. In other recent news, the Case-Shiller index, a measure of home prices in the 20 largest metro areas around the country, declined 0.8% in September (seasonally-adjusted), the third straight monthly decline.  However, smoothing out the upswing and downswing related to the homebuyer credit, national average prices are still up 0.6% versus a year ago.  Prices are still 3.2% above the bottom in May 2009 and we do not anticipate going below that level.
24496  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / RBCN on: December 01, 2010, 02:28:25 PM
Disclosure:  I have what is for me a fairly substantial position in RBCN (see my post of 11/22 fopr additional details):

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

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

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

24497  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Bilateralism on guitar on: December 01, 2010, 10:36:18 AM
Impressive display here of bilateralism on guitar

http://www.youtube.com/user/cleopatricxmusic#p/a/u/1/e_XLhaB7QDQ
24498  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH: Terror cases strain relations on: December 01, 2010, 10:23:07 AM
Its POTH, so caveat lector:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

24499  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / WSJ: The Right to be forgotten on: December 01, 2010, 10:15:46 AM
A EU official tries to articulate a right , , ,

By John W. Miller

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24500  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Legal issues on: December 01, 2010, 10:02:30 AM
Glad to have BD with us.

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

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


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