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30151  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 16, 2004, 12:27:27 PM
Glad we agree on that!

This on Dan Rather:

http://www.lucianne.com/routine/images/09-16-04.jpg
30152  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 16, 2004, 11:24:17 AM
Woof Mig:

I can't get the video to open but this is horrendous:

"Americans must be able to trust the facts in political ads. Every voter has the right to truthful advertising.  Free speech is no defense to massive, purposeful fraud.

"You, the FCC, have an obligation to ensure that broadcast stations around the country do not transmit misleading, deceptive and fraudulent advertising.  

"We, the undersigned American citizens, demand that you require proof of fact before airing political advertisements.  Laws must change to protect our democracy. "

Said with love, but are you crazy?!?  You have to prove truth to a government agency before engaging in political speech?!?!?!?!?!?  Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Naderian, whatever-- this is profoundly ass-backwards.

McCain-Feingold is one of the most pernicious pieces of legislation to pass in a long, long time and shame on President Bush for signing it, and shame on the Supreme Court for upholding it.  Our First Amendment has taken a serious blow with this.
30153  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / UFC Letter. on: September 12, 2004, 06:52:25 PM
Woof Karrots:

  The starting impulse came from the UFC looking for something to give the winner of the second semi-finals a chance to rest before going in against the winner of the first semi-finals and who had had a chance to rest during the second semi-finals  huh

  In that the original impulse of the UFC was to be an infomercial for Gracie JJ, they were very much into something they could present as "style versus style" and someone had the idea to do the same things with martial arts weapons.  

They asked around and apparently everyone sent them to us.

Promoter Art Davie came over to my house and I showed him lots of fight footage.  He was VERY excited.  

We discussed various possibilities:

1) Top Dog vs Salty Dog;
2) Top Dog, Salty Dog, and I against three stick players from other groups;
3) Top Dog vs Salty Dog and Sled Dog versus me;
4) Top, Salty, and I against other weapons (e.g. a nun-chux group from France.)

These possibilities were discussed within the context of the gear that we currently use or no gear at all.

Art facillated amongst various concerns:

1) That no one would be in our league (I assured him that such was not the case, but he replied "You haven't seen the footage I've seen") and that the fights would be slaughters;
2) That if we fought amongst ourselves that the audience would doubt the integrity of the fight;
3) That someone would get killed;
4) That by putting us on, he would get the entire UFC shut down.

With regard to this last concern, at that point (this would be around UFC 2 or 3) and for much time thereafter the UFC had tremendous legal problems with various authorities.  

I remember much later when I was judge for UFC 10 that the location (Birmingham AL?) was a last minute substitution for NY (I think) because the authorities in NY had nixed it at the last minute.  It was like that for the UFC in those days-- they always had to have alternate venues.  Art told me that Ref. Big John McCarthy, who was also an LEO accustomed to testifying in court, saved the event more than once by impressing a judge with his presence-- the judge felt that this was a responsible man, capable of maintaining order in the cage (I've seen him deadlift 605 for 5 reps btw)

At the time that they approached us though, they were having tremendous problems with US Senator John McCain who saw the event as "human cockfighting" and was on a personal mission from God to stop it.  Thus the problem was federal, not a matter of finding a particular State in which to host an event.

And so he told us "Next time".  To make a long story short, each "next time" became another "next time".  Art and the rest of the crew at the UFC really wanted to do it, but then as the legal environment of the event became more secure, they didn't want to risk upsetting the apple cart by throwing us into the mix.  

Art broke the news to me that it wasn't going to happen.  I asked him for the letter which now graces our website and he graciously agreed.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
30154  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Los Angeles Filipino Festival on: September 12, 2004, 06:03:57 PM
We had plans to go this afternoon, but instead my son and I fell asleep on the sofa.
30155  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Howl of Respect to our Soldiers/Veterans on: September 11, 2004, 05:31:36 AM
Nice foto montage


http://www.clermontyellowribbon.com/untilthenflash.htm
30156  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / DB in the media on: September 10, 2004, 10:56:09 AM
http://www.worldblackbelt.com/pages/Aug04.25_FilipinoMA.asp?SID=7TQB54GCJE27176
30157  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Three years later , , , on: September 09, 2004, 11:57:09 PM
A Howl of Respect to All:

 It is natural to use anniversaries for taking stock of things and we approach the third anniversary of Flight 93.

  Those of you who read the WW3 thread know that from time to time I post things from www.stratfor.com   It is not cheap, but I recommend it highly.  What follows is one of their ongoing "freebies" that they use to show the level that they are at.

In my humble opinion, this is a superb analysis that all of us of all tendencies will find well worth the read.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
======================================

.................................................................

THE GEOPOLITICAL INTELLIGENCE REPORT

September 11: Three Years Later
September 9, 2004

By George Friedman

The U.S.-jihadist war is now nearly three years old. Like most
wars, its course has been an unfolding surprise. It is a war of
many parts -- some familiar, some unprecedented. Like all wars,
it has been filled with heroism, cowardice, lies, confusion and
grief. As usual, it appears to everyone that the levels of each
of these have been unprecedented. In truth, however, very little
about this war is unprecedented -- save that all wars are, by
definition, unprecedented. Only one thing is certain about this
war: Like all others, it will end. The issue on the table on the
third anniversary is: What is the current state of this war, and
how will it end?


The war was begun by al Qaeda, and therefore its state must be
viewed through al Qaeda's eyes. From that standpoint, the war is
not going well at all. Al Qaeda did not attack the United States
on Sept. 11 simply to kill Americans. Al Qaeda wanted to kill
Americans in order to achieve a political goal: the recreation of
at least part of the caliphate, an empire ruled by Islamic law
and feared and respected by the rest of the world.


Al Qaeda's view was that the real obstacles to such a caliphate
were the governments of Muslim countries. These governments
either were apostates, were corrupt or were so complicit with
Christian, Jewish or Hindu regimes that not only did they not
represent Islamic interests, but they had sold out the immediate
interests of their own people.


From al Qaeda's point of view, the power of these regimes resided
in their relationship with foreign powers. Moreover, the
perception of these foreign powers -- particularly the United
States, which had become the latest edition of Christianity's
leading foreign power -- was that they were irresistible. Muslim
countries had not defeated a Christian power in war for
centuries. Hatred ran deep, but so did impotence. Al Qaeda was
far less interested in increasing hatred of the United States
than in showing that the United States was vulnerable -- that it
could be defeated. Al Qaeda argued that the mujahideen had
demonstrated this in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, and
the Soviet Union collapsed as a result. If al Qaeda could
demonstrate America's vulnerability, a sense of confidence would
infuse the Islamic world and regimes would fall or change their
policies.


The Sept. 11 attacks were designed to demonstrate the
vulnerability of the United States. They also were designed to
entice the United States to wage multiple wars in the Islamic
world while pursuing al Qaeda directly and indirectly, further
opening the United States up to attack and attrition. Al Qaeda
did demonstrate American vulnerability, and the United States did
surge into the Muslim world. It did encounter resistance and took
casualties.


But al Qaeda completely failed to achieve its strategic goals.
There was no rising in the Islamic street. Not a single Muslim
regime fell. Not a single regime moved closer to al Qaeda's
position. Almost all Muslim regimes moved to closer cooperation
with the United States. Viewed through the lens of al Qaeda's
hopes and goals, therefore, the war so far has been a tremendous
failure. In various tapes and releases, al Qaeda officials --
including Osama bin Laden -- have expressed their frustration and
their commitment to continue the struggle. However, it is
essential to realize that from al Qaeda's strategic point of
view, the last three years have been a series of failures and
disappointments.


This is the objective reality. It is not the American perception.
The first reason for this perception gap is the definition the
administration has given the war: It is a war on terrorism. If
the goal of the war has been to deny al Qaeda strategic victory,
then the United States is winning the war. If, on the other hand,
the goal of the war is to protect the homeland against any
further attacks by al Qaeda or other groups, then that goal has
not been achieved.


Al Qaeda's primary operational capability is its ability to evade
U.S. intelligence capabilities. This is not a trivial capability.
Three years into the war, the precise shape and distribution of
al Qaeda and related organizations are still not transparent to
U.S. intelligence. However much more the United States knows
about al Qaeda, it does not appear that its abilities are
sufficient to guarantee the security of the United States or
allied countries against enemy attacks. There are too many
potential targets, and al Qaeda remains too invisible to
guarantee that.


Therefore, on a purely operational level, the United States does
not see itself as winning the war. During World War II, for
example -- by 1943 or even earlier -- the United States was
secure from German or Japanese attacks against the homeland. That
is not the case in this war. Therefore, there is an interesting
paradox built in. On the strategic side, al Qaeda is losing --
and thus the United States is winning -- the strategic war, and
this, of course, is the decisive sphere. On the operational side,
even though there has thus far been no repeat of the Sept. 11
attacks in the United States, the war is at a stalemate. Public
perception is more sensitive to the operational stalemate than to
the strategic success.


This has led to a crisis of confidence about the war that has
been compounded by a single campaign -- Iraq -- which has dwarfed
the general war in apparent importance. As readers of Stratfor
know, our view of the Iraq campaign has been that it was the
logical next step in the general war and that the Bush
administration knew that by February 2002, when it became
apparent that U.S. intelligence could not strike globally to
destroy al Qaeda. It has also been our view that the Iraq
campaign was marred by extremely poor intelligence and planning.
We have also argued that such failures are not only common in war
but inevitable, and that these failures, however egregious, were
to be expected.


We have also argued, and continue to be amazed, that the single
greatest failure of the Bush administration in this war has been
its inability to give a coherent explanation of why it invaded
Iraq. The public justification -- that Iraq had weapons of mass
destruction -- was patently absurd on its face. You do not invade
a country with a year's warning if you are really afraid of WMD.
The incoherence of the justification was self-evident prior to
the war, and the failure to find WMD was merely icing on the
cake. The consequence was a crisis of confidence that was a very
unlikely outcome after Sept. 11 and which the administration
built for itself. In other words, the decision to invade Iraq
was, from our point of view, inevitable following the failure of
the covert war. What was not inevitable was the catastrophic
failure to explain the invasion and the resulting crisis of
confidence.


The clearest explanation for this failure has to do with Saudi
Arabia and the U.S. relation to the kingdom -- a relationship
that goes far beyond the Bush family or either political party.
Saudi Arabia was one of the reasons for the invasion. The U.S.
intent was to frighten the Saudis into policy change,
demonstrating (a) that the Saudis were now surrounded by U.S.
troops and (b) that the United States was no longer influenced by
the Saudis. The goal was to force the Saudis to change their
behavior toward financing al Qaeda. Stating this goal publicly
would have destabilized the Saudi regime, however, and the United
States wanted policy change, not regime change. Therefore,
Washington preferred to appear the fool rather than destabilize
Saudi Arabia.


If this is the explanation -- and we emphatically do believe,
from all analysis and sources, that the administration did have a
much more sophisticated strategy in place on Iraq than it has
ever been able to enunciate -- then it was one with severe costs.
Apart from the specific failures in the war, the generation of a
massive crisis of confidence in the United States over the Iraq
campaign has become a strategic reality of the wider war. To the
extent that this is a war of perception -- and on some level, all
wars are -- the perception that the United States is deeply
divided is damaging. The actual debate is over the Iraq campaign
and not the war as a whole, but this has increasingly been lost
in the clamor. There is much more consensus on the war as a whole
than might appear.


Therefore, we can say that al Qaeda has failed to achieve its
strategic goals. At the same time, the United States is facing
its own strategic crisis. Since Vietnam, the fundamental question
has been whether the United States has sufficient will and
national unity to execute a long-term war. One of the purposes of
the Iraq invasion was to demonstrate American will. The errors in
what we might call information warfare -- or propaganda -- by the
Bush administration have generated severe doubts. The
administration's management of the situation has turned into a
strategic defeat -- although not a decisive one as yet.


Massive dissent about wars has been the norm in American history.
We tend to think of World War II as the norm, but, quite the
contrary, it was the exception. The Revolutionary War, Mexican
War, Civil War, Vietnam War and others all contained amazing
levels of rancor among the American public. The vilification
among the citizenry of Washington's generalship or Lincoln's
presidency during the action was quite amazing. Thus, it is not
the dissent that is startling, but the perception of U.S.
weakness that it generates in the Islamic world. And the
responsibility does not rest with the dissidents, but with the
president's failure to understand the strategic consequences of
public incoherence on policy issues. Keeping it simple works only
when the simple explanation is not too difficult to understand.


Let us therefore consider the salient points:


Al Qaeda has failed to reach its strategic goals.

The United States has not secured the homeland against attack.

There has been a major realignment in the Muslim world's
governments, due to U.S. politico-military operations that have
favored the United States.

There has been no mass uprising in the Islamic world as a result
of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Iraq campaign has involved massive failures, but the casualty
rate remains less than 2 percent of the total killed in Vietnam.
That places the problem in perspective. In addition, the
political situation is increasingly manageable in Iraq.

The strategic management of information operations has been the
major U.S. failure. It is serious enough to threaten the
strategic thrust of the war against al Qaeda. The inability to
provide a coherent explanation for Iraq has substantially harmed
the war effort.




At the same time, this should not be overestimated. It is
interesting to note the problem that John Kerry is having in
articulating his own challenge to the president over Iraq and the
war in general. He has three potential strategies:

Reject the war in general

Reject the Iraq campaign but embrace the rest of the war

Accept Iraq and the war and argue that he would be more competent
in executing both


Kerry vacillates between the last two positions for a reason. If
he takes the first position, he risks alienating the center,
where voters are uncomfortable with any anti-war position but
want superior leadership and execution. If he accepts the third
position, he can take the center but risks the possibility that
hard-core anti-war leftists will stay home on Election Day.
Therefore, he is avoiding a strategic decision between the last
two positions -- shifting tactically between the two, hoping to
bridge the gap. This is a difficult plan, but it seems the only
one open to him. It is also the factor that will limit the extent
of strategic damage stemming from Bush's presentation of the Iraq
campaign. Kerry won't be able to effectively exploit that damage
because of his own political problems.


Therefore, at this moment, we would argue that the war, on the
whole, is being won by the United States or, more precisely, is
being lost by al Qaeda. The purely military aspects of the war
are going better for the United States than is the politico-
military effort, primarily due to the complexity of coercing
allies without causing them public humiliation. But that is also
the weak point of the U.S. campaign and the point at which al
Qaeda will try to counterattack. That covert coercion could, al
Qaeda hopes, energize a political movement it is trying to
create.


The war is far from over. The snapshot of the moment does not
tell us what either side may do in the future. The United States
clearly intends to move into Pakistan to find bin Laden's command
center. Al Qaeda clearly intends to destabilize Saudi Arabia and
any other target of opportunity that might open up -- Pakistan or
Egypt. And in the end, as in all wars, there will be a
negotiation. It is impossible to really envision what that
negotiation would look like or who the parties would actually be,
but -- returning to the point that this war, like all others,
will end -- complete victory by either side is the least likely
scenario.


Whatever the outcome, this much must be understood. On Nov. 8,
the United States will have a president who will never again
stand for re-election. He may have the office for four more years
or for only two more months. In either case, we can expect that
an attempt at decisive action will occur. Win or lose, Bush will
be looking for his place in history. A Bush acting without
political constraints will be the wild card in the next phase of
the war.


(c) 2004 Strategic Forecasting, Inc. All rights reserved.

http://www.stratfor.com
30158  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Has anyone ever seen a real Kali fight? on: September 08, 2004, 01:05:59 AM
Rodger:

You seem to speak English very well, yet for some reason my words are not registering.

I make no claims concerning mother art or any of the rest of it.   Have you bothered to go back in the thread as I suggested so that you may have the proper context for my remarks, and thus for the remarks of Guro Inosanto?

"If the word, with the definition it has been given (not its muslim/arabic sounding cognate), does not exist in the Philippines now within a span of 50 to 100 years, we must hold this word (with its meaning) suspect."

Again, words offered in conversation seem to fail to register.  Are we to be dogs barking at each other across a fence or are we men communicating?  There is the Mirafuentes introduction, and there is Guro Inosanto's recounting of what he learned from Manong LaCoste.  If you think him a liar, then say so.  

grrrr,
Crafty Dog
30159  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Has anyone ever seen a real Kali fight? on: September 07, 2004, 11:59:38 PM
BEGIN

Who in FMA wants to categorize their art as sport? Kali, the mother art, and Arnis and Eskrima, her bastard Spanish children are all combative. However as time passed some of them became dance or sport.

I watched a dogbrothers movie and Leo Giron specifically expresses his interest in turning the art into a sport.

END

That would be the video "The Grandfathers Speak" with which we open the series "Dog Brothers Martial Arts".  My purpose was to begin the series showing respect to some of the grandfathers who brought the Art to us here in America.  

IIRC, we begin the video with GM Giron saying "Eskrima is the science of bolo knife fighting, but we use sticks so nobody gets killed."  

Again IIRC his comments about turning the Art into a sport were in the context of operating in America without getting shut down.  Few men appreciated the martial realities as deeply as GM Giron.

Forgive me the advertising, but I would not be worthy of my sobriquet if I failed to mention that we are in the process of converting our videos to DVD and look to have goodies in each DVD not present in the video version.  For the "Grandfathers" conversion I'm thinking to use a goodly portion of a 35 minute interview I did with GM Giron is his training hall in the basement of his house.

I admired this man greatly and treasure the occasions I had with him.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
30160  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Has anyone ever seen a real Kali fight? on: September 07, 2004, 07:32:29 PM
Woof Rodger:

Please forgive me but I have zero interest in investing more of my time with Guro Inosanto with this.  

My original post (please feel free to go back and find it and the surrounding posts as well) merely stated my understanding of where Guro Inosanto got his use of the term-- that it included Manong John LaCoste.  Manong LaCoste was a widely travelled man who lived until he was murdered in 1973 at the age of 89.  Figure out for yourself when he was born and contemplate how much language has changed since his youth in the various languages that he encountered in his travels and how little record there is of them during these years.  I am, ahem, only 52  shocked and I note that the terms of my youth have come and gone in a far more recorded time (our "revoultion" was televised after all) --and its groovy.  

I appreciate that for those who require definitive provable answers that this lack of certainty can be frustrating, but well, life can be like that.

If you ever meet Guro I. and wish to use your time with him discussing this further, then by all means be my guest.  

As for me, I'm out.  We use "Kali in America" and we do not do "propaganda".  

Have a nice day.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
30161  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Has anyone ever seen a real Kali fight? on: September 07, 2004, 05:00:31 PM
Woof All:

Back when in this thread I was posting about Guro Inosanto and Manong LaCoste and LaCoste as a source for him of Kali, I emailed him to correct me if I had misstated anything.  His reply, quoted here with permission:

BEGIN

Marc:
    Your reply is fine. Kali probably had many names in ancient times before the coming of the Spanish in the Philippines.  Such as Kalirogan. Kaliradman. Kali-Kali and Pagkalikali to name a few.

END

Woof,
Crafty Dog
30162  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / effectiveness on: September 05, 2004, 08:07:54 PM
Woof Zinja:

Your post resonates of many conversations I have had with my good friend Dogzilla, who as many of you may know, is a federal prison guard. His duties including running the kitchen (ex-USMarine chef with the motto of "Death from Within!") and cell extraction and similar duties.

Dogzilla would often come to class with questions that were "different". (e.g. "How would you fight a naked, very muscular 250lb man covered with soap who had a razor blade clenched between his teeth?")  I learned to answer "What happened at work today Mike?"  Some of the best learning I have had in my martial path was triggered by questions and conversations with him.

Mike too was concerned about going in to work after a Gathering.  Something as simple as a hearty shot to the thumb meant that operating keys was difficult for him.  Your point in this regard is appreciated and shared.

Although we seem to have a goodly following amongst prison guards wink and prison guards tend to have sufficient experience in the adrenal state  wink I think the bulk of our fighters are men who appreciate having a place to morally air it out in the adrenal state-- especially in the context of "No judges, no referees, no trophies , , , one rule only, be friends at the end of the day".

Concerning your point about intent on maintaining the range of the ASP:

1) Although many of our people enjoy working on closing technically I would like to point out that we do have plenty of people enter a fight with the mission of presenting the close as well, and, forgive me the advertisement, this too is part of DBMA

2) Any thing you would care to share from your experience in this regard?

In closing, I would express the thought people usually do not pause to imagine or appreciate what it takes to spend one's working day in the presence of darkness, and handling it from a place of light, and then going home to one's family as a sane person.   My humble thanks for what you do so that the rest of us do not have to face it.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
30163  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Homeland Security on: September 05, 2004, 12:33:35 PM
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/editorial/9576050.htm

Opinion

Posted on Sun, Sep. 05, 2004

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is no strategy for homeland security

by TIM PAWLENTY (governor of Minnesota)

When Zacarias Moussaoui was in Minnesota allegedly preparing to take part in the biggest terrorist attack in American history, he would have liked the protections given to him by city ordinances in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Minnesota's two largest cities prevent their police officers from inquiring about a person's immigration status. Police can't check to see if a visa is expired or if a person is in the United States illegally. Essentially, Minneapolis and St. Paul have taken a "don't ask, don't tell" approach that could impede our homeland security efforts.

Why would Minneapolis and St. Paul want to tie the hands of their police in protecting homeland security? With the threats that Sept. 11 made apparent to all Americans, why would city councils prevent their police officers from using all available legal means to protect their communities from terrorism? These are questions to which I'd like to hear some answers from the members of the Minneapolis and St. Paul city councils.

We are a country of immigrants, and immigration has contributed greatly to America's success. But immigration must be legal, reasonable and orderly. We cannot pretend there is no connection between illegal immigration and homeland security concerns.

Recently, in North Carolina, a police officer observed a man filming financial institutions and other nontourist structures. This was suspicious, but not necessarily illegal activity. The basis upon which the man could be detained and questioned was his immigration status, he was in the country illegally. His behavior and motives are now being reviewed for possible terrorism-related charges. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, city ordinance could have prevented that officer from taking action.

Minnesota has not been isolated from the war on terror. For a relatively small state in the middle of the country, we have had more than our fair share of terrorism-related arrests. Since 2001, five men from different countries ? all with connections to Minnesota ? were detained or arrested on suspicion of terrorism-related activities. This includes, for example, a Moroccan who lived in Minneapolis, who was indicted and later convicted of conspiring to provide material support or resources to terrorists, of fraud and of misusing documents.

The city councils argue that all residents should be able to seek the help of the police without fear their immigration status may become an issue. That concern, however, needs to be balanced against the need for increased vigilance to protect homeland security. That balancing can be accomplished without compromising public safety.

The ordinances in St. Paul and Minneapolis should be repealed. If the city councils are unwilling to take that action, they should at least be willing to grant police officers the option of questioning immigration status if there are concerns about homeland security.

The heart, soul and hope of America is reflected in the immigrants who come here to find a new life and new opportunity. Protecting our homeland does not oppress immigrants. It protects them ? and the freedom and opportunity for which they came. Our local law enforcement is the first line of defense in America's homeland security. Prohibiting them from using a critical public safety tool simply defies common sense.
30164  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / effectiveness on: September 03, 2004, 12:57:50 PM
HF:

No worries!  I have been meaning to make a substantive post on this thread because amongst the tangents some interesting points have been raised by you and others but to do so would take a stretch of time that I do not have at the moment.

For the moment I will say that we do have a tradition of pretty much allowing anything that someone is willing to go against, so your 2" sticks (A half dozen?  Are you an octopus?) no inherent problem that I can see.  We can discuss this more.

Again, no worries.

Crafty
30165  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Homeland Security on: September 03, 2004, 12:25:44 PM
Woof All:

Tiny, no nuisance at all.  We enjoy when people come to play.

Anyway, here's this.

Crafty
===========================

Quiet Investigation Centers on Al Qaeda Aide in New York
 A Pakistani American raised in Queens is telling authorities about plotting with top network members, court documents show.
 
 
By Josh Meyer, Greg Krikorian and William C. Rempel, Times Staff Writers


NEW YORK ? As President Bush touted his record in the war on terror Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, another front in the terrorism fight was playing out nearby in the federal holding cell of a Pakistani American named Mohammed Junaid Babar.

Babar, who grew up in Queens, is a cooperating witness in an unfolding investigation of what authorities say may be a New York-based "sleeper cell" involved in Al Qaeda efforts to launch attacks in the U.S., perhaps as the Nov. 2 election approaches.
   
 
The investigation remains nearly invisible to the public, and federal authorities and defense lawyers have refused to discuss it.

But unsealed court documents show that Babar, 29, has admitted meeting with senior Al Qaeda members in remote South Waziristan in Pakistan this year as part of a scheme to smuggle money, night-vision goggles and other equipment to the terrorist network.

On June 3, he secretly pleaded guilty to charges of providing material support to a terrorist organization and agreed to cooperate in ongoing investigations.

"I understood that the money and supplies that I had given to Al Qaeda was supposed to be used in Afghanistan against U.S. or international forces," Babar told the court.

Authorities believe three of the men Babar met with were involved in plotting attacks in London and perhaps the United States, using surveillance gathered during visits to New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., in 2000 and 2001.

Babar's case is by no means isolated. Court documents and interviews show that U.S. authorities are conducting at least a dozen significant investigations throughout the nation into suspected support cells or operational cells of Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and affiliate organizations.

These investigations ? and dozens of preliminary probes ? show the extent to which Al Qaeda maintains an active support network in the United States that is linked to its leaders on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, its global network of cells and potentially to ongoing plots here and overseas, according to senior U.S. counterterrorism officials.

During his acceptance speech Thursday night, President Bush said his administration's aggressive counterterrorism efforts had been successful in the three years since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Critics, however, say that at least some of the investigative activity unfairly targets innocent Muslims, and that all of the secret detentions, arrests and prosecutions have failed to uncover any proven terrorists in the United States.

Indeed, the Justice Department has had a mixed record in prosecuting alleged terrorism cell members in the United States; just this week, its first big terrorism conviction was thrown out of court by a federal judge in Detroit.

Such problems have raised questions about how successful the government has been in tracking terrorists, while skeptics ask if the terror threat is being hyped to bolster support for the Bush administration's hard-line approach.

Several U.S. counter-terrorism officials acknowledged that they had no hard evidence that Al Qaeda operatives were living in the U.S. and readying a terrorist attack. But the officials, who have tracked Al Qaeda in the United States and overseas, said they operated every day under the assumption that the terrorist network had not just sympathizers but one or more teams of attackers ready and waiting in the country.

One U.S. official, whose specialty is tracking Al Qaeda, said, "The difference between now and 9/11 is they are now in a rabbit hole. But are they still here? You bet."

Some of the investigations have been underway for months or even years. In others, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and other agencies are pursuing recent leads generated through electronic intercepts and the capture and interrogation of suspected terrorists overseas and a review of their computers, cellphones and paper documents.

Several of the investigations involve alleged terrorism cells in New York and northern New Jersey, where suspected Al Qaeda operatives have been under intermittent surveillance since the early 1990s.

One focuses on local supporters of prominent Yemeni cleric Mohammed al Hasan al-Moayad and an aide, Mohammed Mohsen Yahya Zayed, who authorities contend have used a Brooklyn-based mosque, ice cream parlor and other businesses to funnel $20 million to Al Qaeda overseas, court documents show.

New York area authorities also continue to investigate whether local sympathizers helped another prominent cleric, Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called blind sheik, communicate with leaders of an Egyptian-based terrorist organization while Abdel Rahman was imprisoned in Colorado. One U.S. postal employee is being prosecuted in that case.

Additional investigations in the New York region focus on other suspected Al Qaeda cells, as well as operatives believed to be providing clandestine support for alleged Al Qaeda affiliate groups such as Ansar al Islam and Egyptian Islamic Jihad as well as Hezbollah, a global terrorism network of its own, authorities said.

In Boston, authorities are investigating whether a Lebanese man who claims to have attended an Al Qaeda training camp is part of a larger sleeper cell in the region. Other probes focus on cities in Texas, Florida, Michigan and the Carolinas, authorities say.

And in California, authorities are pursuing leads that Al Qaeda is operating on both sides of the Mexican border, and that the group continues to be interested in launching attacks against high-profile targets in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In some cases, authorities are closely monitoring suspects, often using secret wiretaps and search warrants obtained through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to determine whether they are raising money, recruiting operatives or providing logistical aid to terrorist groups, or even playing operational roles in plots against U.S. targets.

Authorities are also investigating several dozen other individuals and groups that have no visible connections to known terrorists, including two young men of Pakistani descent who were arrested last week on suspicion of plotting a "holy war" rampage in New York City. Authorities said those plans included blowing up subway stations, police precincts and bridges.

Babar's case appeared to be unique, authorities said, in that he had admitted having personal contact with several high-ranking Al Qaeda members and playing a role in a plot by the group to blow up pubs, restaurants and train stations in London. Babar has admitted providing the London group ammonium nitrate and other materials to make bombs.

British authorities thwarted that alleged effort in March, arresting eight suspects. Authorities also seized 1,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate, a key ingredient in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and the bombing of two Bali discos two years ago.

Soon after the arrests, British authorities told their U.S. counterparts that Babar appeared to be a co-conspirator. He had already been placed on an FBI terrorism watch list, after a Canadian television program broadcast footage of him from Pakistan making inflammatory remarks.

Babar said he was a Muslim first, an American second, and that he wanted to fight with the Taliban against U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"I'm willing to kill Americans," he told the reporter on the program, even as he asserted that his mother had worked in one of the World Trade Center towers and barely escaped with her life on Sept. 11. He also said he would never return to New York.

But Babar did return to New York shortly after his meeting with Al Qaeda officials in Pakistan, and was put under surveillance. He was arrested April 10 by federal agents and local police as he drove to a taxi-driving class in Long Island City, Queens.

Babar began cooperating almost immediately, according to court records and interviews.

When visiting Pakistan, Babar said, he had brought cash, sleeping bags, waterproof socks and ponchos and other supplies for Al Qaeda operatives and their Taliban allies.

He also admitted participating in the London terrorism plots, and to personally setting up a "jihad training camp" in Pakistan and arranging lodging and transportation for recruits to attend.

Authorities say that while Babar was in Pakistan, he also met with key Al Qaeda operatives who conducted detailed surveillance of U.S. financial institutions for possible attack in 2000 and 2001.

Two of the operatives have since been arrested: suspected Al Qaeda communications specialist Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, in Pakistan, and a London-based operative who authorities said was sent by the network to the United States several years ago to facilitate terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

A third attendee, authorities believe, was Adnan El Shukrijumah, a trained pilot, accomplished bomb-maker and former South Florida resident. Shukrijumah, who remains a fugitive, has been identified by the FBI as the apparent mastermind of an Al Qaeda plot to launch a mass-casualty attack in the United States.

Authorities continue to "work" Babar to determine the extent of his relationship with those men and other Al Qaeda leaders, and to determine who else may have helped him funnel money and supplies to Al Qaeda.

They are seeking information about whether an attack was in the works, according to a source close to the investigation.

That source and others familiar with the case also confirmed that authorities were scrutinizing New York-based members of Al Muhajiroun, a religious group with ties to Babar that had been linked to Islamic extremism in other parts of the world.

"He's a true believer," one source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said of Babar.

The source said no one knew why Babar, who attended St. John's University in New York for a year, was so eager to help Al Qaeda.

Babar, who was being held without bail, faces up to 70 years in prison. No sentencing date was set because of his agreement to cooperate.
30166  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Libertarian themes on: September 03, 2004, 12:44:28 AM
U.S. Erred in Terror Convictions
The Justice Department admits possible criminal misconduct. Key charges may be dropped.
By Richard B. Schmitt, Times Staff Writer


WASHINGTON ? The Justice Department conceded Wednesday that in its zeal to win convictions in a terrorism case in Detroit last year, prosecutors engaged in "a pattern of mistakes and oversights" that may constitute criminal misconduct.

The case was the first major terrorism prosecution after the Sept. 11 attacks and had been hailed by U.S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft as an example of the government's successful campaign to disrupt terrorist "sleeper cells" in the country.

In its 60-page court-ordered filing, the Justice Department supports the Detroit defendants' request for a new trial and states that it will no longer pursue terrorism charges against them.

A ruling by the judge in the case could come as early as today.

The filing details a wide range of misdeeds, while offering a rare glimpse inside the government's war on terrorism. It includes allegations that the main prosecutor in the case ? Richard G. Convertino ? disregarded dissenting views from experts and suppressed or withheld evidence that might have been helpful to the defense.

Prosecutors accused four defendants, arrested in Detroit in a roundup of Arab immigrants a week after the Sept. 11 attacks, of conspiring to launch attacks in the United States, Jordan and Turkey.

Federal agents had been looking for another man when they went to a second-story apartment in the middle of the night and found the men, some of whom had worked at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. They were arrested and charged with canvassing the airport and other locations. In Washington, Ashcroft announced that federal officials believed that the men had prior knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks, a statement he later retracted.

In June 2003, a jury in Detroit convicted two of the men on charges including conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism. A third defendant was convicted of document fraud, and a fourth was acquitted. When problems in the case came to light last fall, Convertino, an assistant U.S. attorney in Detroit, was removed from the case. In February he sued the government, claiming that he was never given adequate support.

Among other findings, the report issued late Tuesday found that prosecutors had withheld a jailhouse letter discrediting the government's star witness and used a federal defendant in a separate cocaine case to translate sensitive audiotapes.

The report found that prosecutors had suppressed evidence supporting a defense position that sketches found in a day planner in the defendants' Detroit apartment were the doodlings of a mentally ill man ? rather than evidence that the defendants were casing possible terrorist targets, as the government asserted at trial.

And it also revealed that the department's public integrity section launched a criminal investigation into the handling of the case. A Justice Department spokesman declined to elaborate or say who was the target.

The findings come as vindication for defense lawyers who, throughout the case, had complained that the government withheld evidence and was not playing fairly.

The Justice Department's admissions present a counterpoint to claims by the Bush administration that it is winning the war on terrorism, which have been reverberating in speeches this week at the Republican National Convention in New York.

It also underscored the government's mixed success in prosecuting terrorism cases since Sept. 11. Although the Justice Department has won numerous highly publicized guilty pleas ? often by dropping the most serious charges ? it has been handed partial or outright defeats in major terrorism cases it has taken to trial. Most recently, a computer student in Boise, Idaho, was acquitted of federal charges that he used the Internet to raise money and recruit people for terrorist causes.

U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen is expected to rule as early as today on whether to order a new trial on document fraud charges alone. Defense lawyers are expected to seek a dismissal of all charges and the defendants' release.

"There is actual evidence that there was a deliberate withholding of evidence that is inconsistent with the government theory of terrorism and consistent with our defense, and that is a subversion of justice," said James Thomas, a Detroit lawyer who represents one of the defendants.

"That is not a way to win a war on terror. That is not what the Constitution is talking about. It certainly isn't the way that prosecutors should conduct business," he said.

A lawyer for Convertino strongly disputed that characterization. "Even if Rick was aware of the material that the government characterizes as disclosable to the defense, that material was insubstantial and cumulative and would not have encouraged the reasonable probability that a different verdict would have resulted after trial," attorney William Sullivan Jr. said.

"As with every other case he has prosecuted, Rick Convertino pursued this one fairly and justly, with the safety and security of his community uppermost in his mind in the wake of 9/11," Sullivan said.

The case began unraveling late last year after Rosen learned that prosecutors had not turned over to the defense a letter from a Detroit gang leader who was once held in the same prison as the star witness for the government. The letter suggested that the witness, Youssef Hmimssa, a former roommate of the defendants who had a history of credit card fraud, had lied to the FBI. Hmimssa testified that they were all Islamic fundamentalists involved in terrorist activities.

Convertino, a 14-year Justice Department veteran, became the target of an ethics investigation by the department's Office of Professional Responsibility. After being removed from the case, the prosecutor sued Ashcroft, saying the department had violated his rights and that he was a target of retaliation because he had complained internally that department red tape had hobbled the prosecution.

In its report, the Justice Department acknowledged that the letter about Hmimssa should have been turned over. But the inquiry also found additional evidence that the department now says should have been shared with the defense, and exposed deep differences of opinion within the government over the handling of evidence and testimony.

The report raised new doubts about a central piece of the government's case ? a day planner found in the defendants' apartment that the government said included surveillance sketches of a Turkish air base used by American fighter jets and a military hospital in Jordan.

The report said the government attempted to create the "false impression" at trial that "diplomatic red tape" prevented them from obtaining photos of the hospital to compare to the sketches. In fact, the report said, the facility bore little, if any resemblance to the sketches.

The report also found that a retired CIA officer, whom Convertino had consulted about the supposed air base sketch, told the prosecutor on numerous occasions that he did not believe the sketch "conveyed any useful information," and that the former officer believed "Convertino was shopping for an opinion consistent with his own."

The report also cast doubt on the testimony of an FBI supervisory agent in Detroit who said that a videotape found in the defendants' possession included "casing" shots of Las Vegas, Disneyland and New York.

The report found that the prosecutors had evidence that the Las Vegas office of the FBI disagreed with that view, but did not turn that information over to the court or the defense.

"In its best light, the record would show that the prosecution committed a pattern of mistakes and oversights that deprived the defendants of discoverable evidence (including impeachment material) and created a record filled with misleading inferences that such material did not exist," the department said in its memo. "Accordingly, the government believes that it should not prolong the resolution of this matter pursuing hearings it has no reasonable prospect of winning."
30167  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 03, 2004, 12:40:41 AM
Author unknown

I am John Kerry.

I was against the first Iraq war, I am against the second Iraq war, but I voted for it. Now I'm against it but I was for it. I support the UN.  I'm against terrorism and against the Iraq war. But I voted for the Iraq war.

So, I voted against the first war and supported the second war, wait...

I'm against gay marriage but for gay unions. I support gays but think the San Francisco mayor is wrong. I support gay marriages. No, wait, gay unions.

I'm Catholic. Wait, I'm Jewish. My granddad was Jewish. But I was raised
Catholic. What am I? I don't want to confuse people.

I am for abortions, but wait, I'm Catholic, and Catholics are pro-life. But I
might consider putting pro-life judges in office, but I'm not sure. I do know I voted for a pro-life judge once, but I stated that it was a mistake.

I hate the evil drug companies, and dub them like Frankenstein when I am hanging around Robert Kennedy, Jr. and the Natural Resources Defence Council. But when I am with Ron Reagan Jr. and Sarah Brady I say drug companies do too little R&D, because I favor tax-payer supported stem cell research and responsible cloning. But if Archbishop McCarren sees, or worse yet can hear me; then I am morally opposed to stem-cell research "on demand," and don't believe in cloning of non-consenting adults. I have never said that I believe that Canadians have the inalienable right to clone, but prefer that this whole matter be left up to the United Nations.

I went to Vietnam. But I was against Vietnam. I testified against fellow US
troops in Vietnam, threw my medals away and led others to do the same.  But I am a war hero.  Against the war.  I stated I threw my medals away then I threw my ribbons away.  I then revealed that I threw my ribbons away but not my medals, then lately I stated that I threw someone else's medals away and never threw anything of mine away. I believe ribbons and medals aren't the same thing.  Medals come with ribbons, so now I believe that ribbons and medals are the same thing besides the fact that ribbons are cloth and  medals are metal.

I wrote a book that pictured the US flag upside-down on its cover.  But now I fly and campaign in a plane with a large flag right-side up on it.  But
sometimes, we fly upside-down for fun.

I am for the common man, unlike Bush. I am against the rich. But my family is worth 700 million dollars has a jet and many SUVs. I am the common man.  I am against sending jobs overseas. My wife is a Heinz heir. Heinz has most of its factories offshore. I am against rewarding companies for exporting jobs as long as it is not Heinz.

I own $1 million in Wal-Mart stock. I believe Wal-Mart is evil by driving small business owners out of town. I am a capitalist and I own part of Wal-Mart but I am a good guy for small corporate America.

I own SUVs when I talk to my followers in Detroit, MI.  Teresa owns SUVs, I don't, when I talk to tree hugging followers. I have a campaign jet that gets .003 mpg, which is great fuel efficiency.

I am against making military service an issue in Presidential elections.  I
defended a draft dodger Clinton and stated that all serve in their own capacity whether they draft dodge or not. Did I mention, I served in Vietnam and am a hero?  Are you questioning my patriotism?  I served in Vietnam.  My opponent didn't.  I have three purple hearts!  I am a hero. I am qualified to run this country since I served.

I spent Christmas of 1968 in Cambodia, being shot at by the drunken
South Vietnamese and the Khmer Rouge, while President Nixon was lying to the country and saying that there were no troops in Cambodia. What's that you say, Nixon wasn't president in 1968, well it must have been some other President then. Who was that President with the a phony  Silver star [LBJ], it was probably him.  Are you sure the Khmer Rouge were not active until 1970, well I guess I must not have been there then. That's right I was actually in my base camp in Vietnam at least 55 miles from the Cambodian border and I spent the evening writing in my journal about being in Cambodia. I got confused after I said it so many times between 1968 and 1986. You can see now what living under Nixon did to all of us. When I went to Paris three times with Jane Fonda between 1970 and 1972  to meet with Lee Duc Tho, North Vietnam's foreign minister, we actually did not talk about politics. And also, that was probably not me but rather Roger Vadim who like me speaks fluent French and you can see why reporters for the Associated Press could get so confused.  But if it was me, I there on other business.

I am a real hero though, you just spend three minutes with the people who served with me and they will tell you. No, not those 200 plus veterans who served with me and say I lied, and not all those veterans that signed affadavits that say I am a phony, I mean just these 8 people that travel around with me as my band of brothers.

I am John Kerry.  I want to be your President.
30168  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Criminal Record Search Question on: September 02, 2004, 11:33:40 PM
Woof All:

Linda is right, my question is directed at criminal (both misdemeanor and felony) arrests and convictions, not credit histories.

In our mobile society it would be nice if one could find out the misdemeanors and/or felony arrests and/or convictions nationwide of a particular individual and not have to go through the tedium of searching all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, etc.

I have not had a chance yet to go through the resources so kindly provided already, so please forgive me if this is a question which, in effect, has already been answered:  Are there any particular sources for Virginia and Maryland? Or will I get these two states as part of the search on the previously mentioned sources?

TIA to all,
Crafty
30169  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Criminal Record Search Question on: September 02, 2004, 04:23:20 AM
Woof All:

Just a quick yip to say that I am following this thread with great interest and thank everyone for their participation.

Crafty Dog
30170  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / The future of DBMA on: September 02, 2004, 04:20:47 AM
Woof Myke

We're out on the fringes?  shocked  wink

Here's what I wrote for our Practitioner-Instructor Candidate Mini-Camp on Sept 18-19 (see Announcement at or near the top of this forum)

BEGIN

Dog Brothers Martial Arts has as its mission to help its people "Walk as a Warrior for all their days". In this system, a warrior is one for the length of his Life and each day is not only a celebration of the present, it is also a building block for the future.

In the Art of this, there are three basic stages: the Young Man, the Family Man, and...well let's call it the Free Man. Be clear that the system is very specifically for ALL: The Practitioner who stands ready without fail to step forward to Protect without notice is the greatest Warrior of all, whereas the Fighter may be but a young man on the path towards this further level. To be able to step forward without notice without fail for the length of one's life in the real world requires thought as to the substance, order and organization of one's training over time. DBMA is this.

In no order and leaving out for now their specific elaboration, the basic fighting areas of the system are:

1) Unarmed: "Kali Tudo"(tm) for 'The Cage' as well as 'The Street.'
2) Knife: Offense and defense
3) Stick: For street as well as Real Contact Stick Fighting.
4) Double stick: For street as well as RCSF
5) Staff/ Dos Manos: For street as well as RCSF

Note that there are "non-fighting" areas of the system as well.

The fighting of the system is tested principally in "Real Contact Stickfighting" at a "Dog Brothers' Gathering of the Pack". This fighting, which takes place in the Ritual Space, must then be understood in terms of the requirements of the Real World. For example, one of the reasons the double stick is cultivated in the ritual space is for its development of bilateralism-the ability to move in any direction with either side forward and to fluidly shift between the two-a skill needed for the realities of a multiple player world. Another example is that staff is emphasized so that one may improvise with all items in the environment requiring two hands.
This point is an important one in understanding the system: The skills that we choose to develop and test in the ritual space are chosen with the real world in mind. Furthermore, the extraordinary array of skills that can be brought to, tested and seasoned at a DB Gathering make it an ideal laboratory for cultivating not only these skills but the teaching and training methodology of the system itself as well.

The DBMA path is about more than fighting skill in a larger context. In no particular order, there are:

1) Hurting, Healing, Harmonizing.
2) Fit, Fun, and Functional.
3) Mind, Heart, and Balls
4) Territory, Hierarchy, Reproduction
5) Contact and Consciousness, Dichotomy and Transformation

END

Does this help?

Woof,
Guro Crafty

PS:  As for knife, we can work that next time we get together wink
30171  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politically (In)correct on: September 01, 2004, 08:15:32 PM
Party pooper Mr. Guest!  

Seriously, quite right and thank you.
30172  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politically (In)correct on: September 01, 2004, 12:09:11 PM
This is the message that the Pacific Palisades High School
(California) Staff voted unanimously to record on their school
telephone answering machine. This came about because they implemented a policy requiring students and parents to be responsible for their children's absences and missing homework. The school and teachers are being sued by parents who want their children's failing grades changed to passing grades even though those children were absent 15-30 times during the semester and did not complete
enough school work to pass their classes.


This is the actual answering machine message for the school:

"Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your
school.  In order to assist you in connecting the right staff member, please listen to all your options before making a selection:

"To lie about why your child is absent - Press 1

"To make excuses for why your child did not do his work- Press 2

"To complain about what we do - Press 3

"To swear at staff members - Press 4

"To ask why you didn't get information that was already enclosed in
your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you - Press 5

"If you want us to raise your child - Press 6

"If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone - Press 7

"To request another teacher for the third time this year- Press 8

"To complain about bus transportation - Press 9

"To complain about school lunches - Press 0

"If you realize this is the real world and your child must be
accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, homework, and that it's not the teachers' fault for your child's lack of effort: Hang up and have a nice day!"

 If you can read this thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English
thank a veteran.
30173  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Weird and/or silly on: September 01, 2004, 10:44:10 AM
Dog Bites Off N.M. Man's Genitals
 
 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A man whose genitals were bitten
off by a pit bull remained in serious condition
Tuesday, and the dog remained on the loose.
 
The man, who has not been identified, was attacked
Monday while walking the dog. When police arrived to
help, the man appeared disoriented and fled on foot
but police tracked him to a nearby park, said
Detective Jeff Arbogast of the Albuquerque Police
Department.
 
 The man was naked when found at the park, but it was
unclear at what point he had taken off his clothes.
Neighbors had seen him playing with the dog earlier
in the day.
 
 Arbogast said investigators do not know why the man
was naked, and remain uncertain about some
circumstances surrounding the attack.
 
 The brown pit bull remained missing Tuesday, and
police warned people who see it to stay away and
call animal control.
 
 A nearby elementary school was locked down following
the incident and parents were called to pick up
students who usually walk home.
 
 Shortly after the attack Monday, Gov. Bill
Richardson released a statement saying he would proposed
legislation next year aimed at holding owners of
dangerous dogs accountable for their pets.
30174  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Howl of Respect to our Soldiers/Veterans on: September 01, 2004, 02:08:09 AM
From an internet friend-- Crafty
============================

Moreover, I've attached a document with an article on pages 3 and 4 which includes a very brief discussion of the Bataan death march.  Had the author not escaped from the Japanese when taken prisoner as a boy in the Philippines, doubtless I would not be around today to write these words.  


(The document is the May 2003 issue of a newsletter produced by the Ramada Express Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, which is "proud to be the founder and Home of the American Heroes Veteran Program."  More at <<http://www.ramadaexpress.com/veterans.html>>, <<http://www.ramadaexpress.com/eagle.html>>, <<http://www.ramadaexpress.com/veterans-program.html>>, <<http://www.ramadaexpress.com/american-heroes.html>>, and <<http://www.ramadaexpress.com/american-heroes2.html>>.)


Back to the Japanese in WWII -- from <<http://history.acusd.edu/gen/st/~ehimchak/POWs.html>> (all bolding is my emphasis):  

"In World War II, they did not believe enemy POWs deserved humane treatment, and would not allow the ICRC to inspect the POW camps believing that they were only there on propaganda and spy missions. Their soldiers were taught that capture would bring dishonor to themselves and their families. This partially explains why percentage wise, so few Japanese were captured. They would rather die heroically than live in disgrace. By 1942 only a few thousand Japanese were in captivity versus over 200,000 Allied troops.

While the Allies believed Japan agreed to abide by the 1929 Geneva Convention, they in fact only agreed to do so as long as it did not interfere with their military policy. General Tojo Hideki, Japan's war minister and premier, said in 1942, POWs would be expected to do all that Japan's citizens were do to. In reality their treatment was much worse. POWs were subjected to strict discipline, arbitrary beatings, inadequate food and medicine, and executed if they tried to escape. The Japanese were not concerned about retribution to their own soldiers because they were considered non-persons, due to allowing themselves to be captured. When the Red Cross tried to publicize worldwide about the treatment POWs were receiving at the hands of the Japanese, they denied it. When the Japanese realized they were loosing the war, their abuse became worse and they murdered or caused the deaths of thousands of POWs. They did this because they knew liberation was near and they did not want the POWs to be liberated."
30175  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: August 31, 2004, 09:18:08 AM
Thanks for that one Dog Russ.

Changing gears, here's this on North Korea.
=================================

FIRST OF A SERIES
By Robert Windrem

NBC News Investigative ProducerJan. 15, 2003 - In the far north of North Korea, in remote locations not far from the borders with China and Russia, a gulag not unlike the worst labor camps built by Mao and Stalin in the last century holds some 200,000 men, women and children accused of political crimes. A month-long investigation by NBC News, including interviews with former prisoners, guards and U.S. and South Korean officials, revealed the horrifying conditions these people must endure ? conditions that shock even those North Koreans accustomed to the near-famine conditions of Kim Jong Il?s realm.
 
 
?It's one of the worst, if not the worst situation ? human rights abuse situation ? in the world today,? said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., who held hearings on the camps last year. ?There are very few places that could compete with the level of depravity, the harshness of this regime in North Korea toward its own people.?

Satellite photos provided by DigitalGlobe, which first appeared in the Far Eastern Economic Review, confirm the existence of the camps, and interviews with those who have been there and with U.S. officials who study the North suggest Brownback?s assessment may be conservative.

Among NBC News? findings:

At one camp, Camp 22 in Haengyong, some 50,000 prisoners toil each day in conditions that U.S. officials and former inmates say results in the death of 20 percent to 25 percent of the prison population every year.

Products made by prison laborers may wind up on U.S. store shelves, having been ?washed? first through Chinese companies that serve as intermediaries.

Entire families, including grandchildren, are incarcerated for even the most bland political statements.

Forced abortions are carried out on pregnant women so that another generation of political dissidents will be ?eradicated.?

Inmates are used as human guinea pigs for testing biological and chemical agents, according to both former inmates and U.S. officials.

Efforts by MSNBC.com to reach North Korean officials were unsuccessful. Messages left at the office of North Korea?s permanent representative to the United Nations went unanswered.

Eung Soo Han, a press officer at South Korea?s U.N. consulate, said: ?It is a very unfortunate situation, and our hearts go out to those who suffer. We hope North Korea will open up its country, and become more actively involved with the international community in order for the North Korean people to be lifted out of their difficult situation.?

Labor, death, abuse
NBC?s investigation revealed that North Korea?s State Security Agency maintains a dozen political prisons and about 30 forced labor and labor education camps, mainly in remote areas. The worst are in the country?s far Northeast. Some of them are gargantuan: At least two of the camps, Haengyong and Huaong, are larger in area than the District of Columbia, with Huaong being three times the size of the U.S. capital district.

Satellite photos provided by DigitalGlobe show several of the camps, including the notorious Haengyong, for the first time outside official circles. Plainly visible are acres upon acres of barracks, laid out in regimented military style. Surrounding each of them is 10-foot-high barbed-wire fencing along with land mines and man traps. There is even a battery of anti-aircraft guns to prevent a liberation by airborne troops.

Ahn Myong Chol, a guard at the camp (which is sometimes known as Hoeryong) from 1987 through 1994, examined the satellite photos of Camp 22 for NBC News. They were taken in April, eight years after he left. But he says little has changed. He was able to pick out the family quarters for prisoners, the work areas, the propaganda buildings.

Looking at the imagery, Ahn noted what happened in each building:

?This is the detention center,? he said. ?If someone goes inside this building, in three months he will be dead or disabled for life. In this corner they decided about the executions, who to execute and whether to make it public.

?This is the Kim Il Sung institute, a movie house for officers. Here is watchdog training. And guard training ground.?

Pointing to another spot, he said: ?This is the garbage pond where the two kids were killed when guard kicked them in pond.?

Another satellite photo shows a coal mine at the Chungbong camp where prisoners are worked to exhaustion in a giant pit.

?All of North Korea is a gulag,? said one senior U.S. official, noting that as many as 2 million people have died of starvation while Kim has amassed the world?s largest collection of Daffy Duck cartoons. ?It?s just that these people [in the camps] are treated the worst. No one knows for sure how many people are in the camps, but 200,000 is consistent with our best guess.

?We don?t have a breakdown, but there are large numbers of both women and children.?

Beyond the pale
It is the widespread jailing of political prisoners? families that makes North Korea unique, according to human rights advocates.

Under a directive issued by Kim?s father, North Korea?s founder, Kim Il Sung, three generations of a dissident?s family can be jailed simply on the basis of a denunciation.

NBC News interviewed two former prisoners and a former guard about conditions in the camps. The three spent their time at different camps. Their litany of camp brutalities is unmatched anywhere in the world, say human rights activists.

?Listening to their stories, it?s horrific,? said David Hawk, a veteran human rights campaigner and a consultant for the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. Hawk has interviewed many former prisoners in Seoul.

?It?s hard to do more than one or two a day because they?re just so painful to hear: horrific mistreatment - all sorts of suffering, beatings to death, executions.?

Kang Chol-Hwan is now a journalist with Chosun Ilbo, South Korea?s most important newspaper. His recent book, ?The Aquariums of Pyongyang,? is the first memoir of a North Korean political prisoner. For nearly a decade, he was imprisoned because his grandfather had made complimentary statements about Japanese capitalism. He was a 9-year-old when he arrived at the Yodok camp. His grandfather was never seen again, and prison conditions killed his father.

?When I was 10 years old,? Kang recalled, ?We were put to work digging clay and constructing a building. And there were dozens of kids, and while digging the ground, it collapsed. And they died. And the bodies were crushed flat. And they buried the kids secretly, without showing their parents, even though the parents came.?

The system appears to draw no distinction between those accused of the crime and their family members.

Soon Ok Lee, imprisoned for seven years at a camp near Kaechon in Pyungbuk province, described how the female relatives of male prisoners were treated.

?I was in prison from 1987 till January 1993,? she told NBC News in Seoul, where she now lives. ?[The women] were forced to abort their children. They put salty water into the pregnant women?s womb with a large syringe, in order to kill the baby even when the woman was 8 months or 9 months pregnant.

?And then, from time to time there a living infant is delivered. And then if someone delivers a live infant, then the guards kick the bloody baby and kill it. And I saw an infant who was crying with pain. I have to express this in words, that I witnessed such an inhumane hell.?

Testing on humans
Soon also spoke about the use of prisoners as guinea pigs, which a senior U.S. official describes as ?very plausible. We have heard similar reports.?

?I saw so many poor victims,? she said. ?Hundreds of people became victims of biochemical testing. I was imprisoned in 1987 and during the years of 1988 through ?93, when I was released, I saw the research supervisors ? they were enjoying the effect of biochemical weapons, effective beyond their expectations ? they were saying they were successful.?

She tearfully described how in one instance about 50 inmates were taken to an auditorium and given a piece of boiled cabbage to eat. Within a half hour, they began vomiting blood and quickly died.

 
A shot of the enormous Chunbong camp from space.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
?I saw that in 20 or 30 minutes they died like this in that place. Looking at that scene, I lost my mind. Was this reality or a nightmare? And then I screamed and was sent out of the auditorium.?

Prison guard Ahn?s memories are, like the others?, nothing short of gruesome. Every day, he said there were beatings and deaths.

?I heard many times that eyeballs were taken out by beating,? he recalled. ?And I saw that by beating the person the muscle was damaged and the bone was exposed, outside, and they put salt on the wounded part. At the beginning I was frightened when I witnessed it, but it was repeated again and again, so my feelings were paralyzed.?

Moreover, said Ahn, beating and killing prisoners was not only tolerated, it was encouraged and even rewarded.

?They trained me not to treat the prisoners as human beings. If someone is against socialism, if someone tries to escape from prison, then kill him,? Ahn said. ?If there?s a record of killing any escapee then the guard will be entitled to study in the college. Because of that some guards kill innocent people.?

President Bush told author and Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward last year that he was well aware of the camps and the atrocities. That, officials say, partly explains why Bush insisted on North Korea?s inclusion in the ?axis of evil? in his 2002 State of the Union address.

?I loathe Kim Jong Il,? Bush told Woodward during an interview for the author?s book ?Bush at War.? ?I?ve got a visceral reaction to this guy because he is starving his people. And I have seen intelligence of these prison camps ? they?re huge ? that he uses to break up families and to torture people.?

Brownback, a senator with a reputation as a human rights advocate, thinks that the prison camps and abuses have for too long taken a back seat to nuclear arms and other Korean issues.

?It seems that what happened is that there got to be a complex set of issues, and people said, ?Well OK, it?s about our relationship with China, it?s about the Korean Peninsula, it?s about this militaristic regime in North Korea that we don?t want to press too much because they may march across the border into South Korea.?

Brownback says the North?s nuclear program, its missile tests and generally unpredictable behavior has blurred a critical issue:

?I think people just got paralyzed to really put a focus on the human face of this suffering,? he said.

Lisa Myers, Rich Gardella and Judy Augsberger of NBC News and Michael Moran of MSNBC.com contributed to this report.
30176  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / FMA perspective on an odd paradox. on: August 30, 2004, 09:46:12 AM
Of course there are.
30177  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: August 30, 2004, 01:11:09 AM
A very long and thoughtful read:


http://www.commentarymagazine.com/podhoretz.htm
30178  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / FMA perspective on an odd paradox. on: August 29, 2004, 11:35:19 PM
If memory serves, Bruce Lee said the same thing.

Of course Tuhon Raf is leaving out the secret part  cheesy
30179  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Criminal Record Search Question on: August 29, 2004, 11:15:25 AM
Woof All:

Is it possible for a civilian to look up the arrest/conviction records of another individual?  If so, how?  Must it be done State by State, or is there a way of doing it nationally?

TIA,
Crafty Dog
30180  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / effectiveness on: August 26, 2004, 08:36:24 PM
Fighter:

Please forgive me, but would you please take a stab at rephrasing your question?  Your meaning is not entirely clear to me.

TIA,
Crafty Dog
30181  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Boxing Thread on: August 26, 2004, 12:21:48 PM
TELEVISION & RADIO
Boxing Shows' Breaks
'Champ' and 'Contender' are fighting each other in court, but they're both getting tax deals and disclosure waivers from the state.
 
By Scott Collins, Times Staff Writer


Anybody who wants to put on a professional boxing match in California has to navigate 128 pages of regulations, many of them designed to ensure the health and safety of boxers as well as to promote the integrity of the sport.

But when reality TV producers from Hollywood came calling earlier this year, state officials agreed to bend a couple of those rules.

The producers of Fox's "The Next Great Champ" and NBC's "The Contender," bitter rivals in most respects, had one thing in common: Both were so eager to keep their shows' outcomes under wraps prior to broadcast that they sought and received approval from boxing commissioners and the California attorney general's office to circumvent a state law requiring immediate public disclosure of bout results. Both series are counting on the secrecy to help them build dramatic suspense as they seek to find new champions from fields of unknown athletes.

What's more, both the "Champ" and "Contender" producers negotiated lower-than-normal state taxes on the license-fee payments mandated for boxing broadcasts. Representatives of both shows successfully argued that they should pay tax only on the portion of their shows actually devoted to boxing matches ? typically just a few minutes in each episode. Other promoters described this arrangement as highly unusual. In the case of "Champ," the amount and timing of the tax payments was sharply questioned by the then-chairman of the California Athletic Commission, which regulates boxing.

Although state boxing laws have entered into a bitter court fight between the two shows, the special deals given to both shows have remained out of public view until now.

Until recently, Hollywood's great boxing standoff had focused more on accusations of idea theft than on meeting state boxing standards. Executives from DreamWorks, which is producing "Contender" with reality guru Mark Burnett, and from NBC, which will air the show starting in November, have complained for months that "Champ" ripped off their concept.

Then last week, they filed an unfair business practices and fraud lawsuit against Fox Broadcasting in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that "Champ" broke state laws in a scramble to get on the air. A hearing on a request by DreamWorks and Burnett for a preliminary injunction against airing "Champ" ? which is slated to debut Sept. 7 ? is set for Friday.

In the brief history of reality shows, concepts have tended to pivot on questions of who gets voted off the island or receives the final rose. But in the case of "Champ" vs. "Contender," the producers have waded into the tough arena of a heavily regulated sport.

In agreeing to soften the public disclosure requirement ? which is designed chiefly to allow boxers to verify a prospective opponent's fight record before a match ? the commission granted the reality-show producers a break seldom if ever extended to other promoters, according to two former commission chairmen and two licensed California promoters contacted for this story.

But the former chairman said that the benefits the TV shows are expected to provide, in terms of state revenue and heightened exposure for boxing, make the trade-off worthwhile.

"This is where Hollywood and boxing cross paths," said Sanford L. Michelman, who served as a commissioner for four years, including a stint as chairman that ended Aug. 1 but included the time period in which the TV waiver deals were struck. "That's the first request [to change the public-records rule] I ever heard of when I was on the commission?. The whole reason is to protect the results of the show."

Commissioner John Frierson referred calls to the commission's general counsel; other commissioners could not be reached.

Michelman, an Encino attorney, said that commissioners agreed to delay the reporting requirements partly because they were concerned that the TV producers might shoot their productions in other states if their conditions were not met. While the delayed disclosure waivers seem unlikely to set off a wave of copycat requests, some say they might embolden boxing promoters to ask for special deals of their own. "It's definitely opening up a door," Michelman said.

University of San Diego law professor Robert Fellmeth, a boxing commissioner from 1976 to 1981, said officials inappropriately carved out a legal exemption for the Hollywood producers.

"This whole state is excessively star-struck," Fellmeth said. The main rationale of the boxing laws is to ensure that "matches are fair and the public is monitoring them, [and] that money does not unduly influence" the sport, he added. "Hollywood stardust does not trump the law."

"Outside of these reality shows, boxing is a great sport and if it begins to look like show business or wrestling, it takes away from boxing," said licensed promoter Ken Thompson.

As for the waivers, "why are they allowing them to do it, and not us as promoters?" said licensed promoter Ed Holmes.

Still, both promoters acknowledged that the shows could build exposure for boxing. And the shows aren't short on star power: "Champ" features boxing great Oscar De La Hoya; the host of "Contender" is Sylvester Stallone.

Patty Glaser, a lawyer representing "Champ" producer Endemol USA, confirmed that the producers had received permission to modify the public-disclosure requirements. DreamWorks spokesman Andy Spahn said that "Contender" also got the go-ahead from the athletic commission and the attorney general in late July to keep its bout results secret.

While both shows received waivers, paperwork reviewed by The Times applied only to "Champ." Efforts to obtain documents related to "Contender" were unsuccessful, though the waiver and the negotiated tax payment were confirmed by the show's producers.

In an interview Tuesday, Burnett said that the disclosure waiver was "appropriate" because the "Contender" boxers agreed not to fight again until after the show aired. That would prevent another fighter from being deceived about a boxer's record, he said.

As for whether the secrecy is designed to protect the show's ratings, Burnett replied: "Of course it is."

Dean Lohuis, acting executive director of the athletic commission, confirmed there was a disclosure agreement approved by the attorney general, but referred questions to Anita Scuri, the commission's counsel, who would not discuss the matter.

"Our official comment is 'no comment,' " said Karen Chappelle, the deputy attorney general who signed off on the disclosure deal. Spokesman Tom Dresslar of the attorney general's office in Sacramento also declined requests for comment.

The athletic commission, a unit of the state Department of Consumer Affairs, has regulated boxing in California since a voter initiative in 1924. The commission typically has seven members, but due to term expirations and a lack of recent appointments by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger there are currently only four commissioners.

The producers' dealings with the state might have escaped notice if not for the ongoing legal fight over "Champ."

In their suit filed Aug. 17, DreamWorks and Burnett claimed that Fox and Endemol, which is producing "Champ" with De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, are rushing "their ersatz copycat show to air no matter how many statutes and regulations need to be violated." The "Contender" side relied heavily on an Aug. 12 memo from Michelman that stated Endemol violated state rules because it undertook extensive promotional activities without a promoter's license. Michelman also wrote that Golden Boy failed to pay the required state tax for the "Champ" matches.

In an interview, Michelman said he raised the disclosure requirement with the "Champ" producers during a meeting June 11, two weeks before the producers held their first bout, but no consensus was reached. On July 26, he broached the subject again, telling the Endemol attorneys in a phone conversation that the commission would soon release the names of the "Champ" bout winners, according to Glaser.

This set off a flurry of negotiations between state officials and attorneys for the "Champ" producers. On July 28, Robert L. Shapiro, a law partner of Glaser's who rose to prominence as one of O.J. Simpson's lawyers, outlined the resulting agreement in a letter addressed to Michelman, Scuri and Chappelle.

To allay officials' safety concerns, Shapiro wrote, each boxer on "Champ" would sign a declaration promising not to fight in any match until after the show's finale was telecast. The document also featured a provision in which the boxers asked the commission to "keep all ? information confidential until the final episode of the series airs, and that it not be reported to the official registry of boxing commissions or to any other registry as may be required by" state and federal law.

The "Contender" producers reached a similar agreement with state officials shortly before starting production of their show last week, according to DreamWorks' Spahn. Both sets of producers also negotiated a favorable rate on state taxes applicable to boxing matches.

According to California law, boxing promoters are required to pay the state up to 5% of any revenue earned from the sale of broadcast or television rights. Because Fox is paying the "Champ" producers approximately $1.2 million for each episode ? for a total of either 10 or 11 episodes ? Michelman said the producers could have owed up to $600,000 in taxes.

The "Champ" producers did not share that view. According to Michelman, the producers insisted they pay tax only on those portions of the show that actually consisted of officiated boxing ? typically just a few minutes at the end of every program. The producers sent checks for $6,000 for each bout, although Michelman said that after he threatened to audit the producers' books, they raised that amount to $9,000. "Champ" producers paid the tax for a total of 13 bouts, or $117,000, according to Michelman.

In his Aug. 12 memo, Michelman criticized the "Champ" producers for not providing access to financial records and for failing to pay the taxes on time. But Glaser, Endemol's attorney, dismissed such complaints. "As I'm sure Mr. Michelman is aware, this was the boxing promoter's obligation, and it was paid in a timely manner by Golden Boy," Glaser said. The "Contender" side also negotiated a special rate, although the details remain unclear. Producer Burnett confirmed that the state agreed to tax "Contender" based on the number of minutes devoted to boxing matches, rather than the entire program length. DreamWorks declined to release the figure, and state officials would not comment. But given that NBC is believed to have paid DreamWorks and Burnett a license fee of more than $2 million for each of 16 episodes, the producers could have been on the hook for as much as $1.6 million in state taxes.

"The [final] number was one the athletic commission and the attorney general told us they were happy with," DreamWorks' Spahn said.
30182  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Howl of Respect to our Soldiers/Veterans on: August 26, 2004, 12:12:04 PM
Woof All:

FWIW IMHO what is happening now in Najaf could play a pivotal role in IIG establishing itself as a legitimate govt and thus as the mechanism through which the Iraq nation can plan and hold the elections which will return it to full sovereignty.

Our troops' courage, skill, professionalism and blood are what enable all this to happen.

My profound thanks and gratitude to them as I live a free, safe and happy day with my family and friends.

Crafty Dog
==================================

'We Have Been Fighting Nonstop'
Some of the most heated clashes in Najaf have shifted to the streets of the Old City.
 
By Edmund Sanders, Times Staff Writer


NAJAF, Iraq ? On the top floor of the "Apache Hilton" in downtown Najaf, U.S. Army sniper Paul Buki ended a 24-hour shift by collapsing into a pile of dust, bullet casings and empty military food packages.

From this penthouse perch in a half-built tourist hotel ? seized and nicknamed by U.S. troops ? the Army staff sergeant has an unobstructed view of Najaf's Old City, a historic district in Iraq's holiest city that over the last week has been transformed into a war zone.

     
 
 
   
     
 
With the gold-domed Imam Ali Mosque in the background, smoke and flames rose Tuesday from a building still burning more than 15 hours after the previous night's fighting. Two Apache helicopters swooped down through a deserted street and disappeared behind a three-story building. Mortar rounds, tank cannons and machine guns boomed and cracked throughout the day as U.S. forces battled followers of Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr.

"It's been intense here," said Buki, covered in a ghostly white dust after a night spent huddled behind a brick wall, firing at militants and reporting hostile positions from his fifth-floor lookout.

In the struggle to remove Sadr's militia from the mosque, some of the most heated clashes have shifted from the cemetery where major fighting began to a neighborhood of the Old City just south of the shrine.

"We have been fighting nonstop," said Lt. Col. Jim Rainey, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, whose 800 soldiers have been battling street by street to seize control of the area south and east of the mosque.

In the cramped ancient city, hand-to-hand combat has been unavoidable.

During a raid Monday, U.S. troops swarmed into the basement of a school building now occupied by the militia. The troops were unaware that the militia was using tunnels to move in and out.

Catching each other by surprise, a 240-pound Army sergeant, a native of Samoa, and a 130-pound militia member found themselves face to face, said Maj. Tim Karcher, operations officer of the unit.

"He beat the snot out of the guy," Karcher said.

But during the fight, another militia member tossed a grenade into the basement, killing a comrade and seriously injuring the sergeant, who was evacuated for treatment.

On average, Rainey said, his troops are attacked about three dozen times a day with mortar shells, small arms and rocket-propelled grenades.

"We see a lot of activity during the day," said 1st Lt. Jimmy Campbell, part of the scout platoon based in the commandeered hotel. Not long after he spoke, a militant sniper's bullet pinged into the lobby where troops were hanging out. It hit a wall.

"We're used to it," Campbell said with a shrug. "They never hit anything."

There are no showers and no chow hall. Soldiers eat MREs ? meals ready to eat ? and shower with bottles of water, heated by the 115-degree temperatures.

Out front is a sign, "Apache Hilton," hand-painted by Alpha Company, which inhabited the space before moving closer to the mosque a few days ago.

As Rainey moved his soldiers closer to the holy site, he noticed that the resistance increased. The artillery used in the mortar attacks went from 60-millimeter to 120-millimeter.

So far, no one in the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment has been killed in action.

The toll on the neighborhood, however, has been heavy.

It's unclear how many civilians have died; the military does not compile figures. Iraqi Health Ministry officials say dozens of civilians have been killed since the fighting in Najaf resumed nearly three weeks ago.

Though some areas of the city have returned to normal, residents in parts of the Old City say they live in fear. Sidewalks are covered with broken glass from storefront windows. The bombing has exposed interior walls of buildings. A traffic cop's stand lies toppled in the street.

Rainey said that U.S. troops had taken "excruciating pains" to avoid damaging civilian buildings but that it was unavoidable.

"It's like playing tackle football in a hallway," he said.

Over the last day, the militants' resistance appears to have waned, officials said.

U.S. troops were optimistic that Sadr's militia was starting to fold.

"They've stopped maneuvering on us," Karcher said. "We have to go out there and find them."

The militants' tactics are also growing more frantic, U.S. officials said.

Last weekend, militia fighters tied an explosive device to a donkey cart, shoved the donkey into the street and then used a long string to detonate the device from around the corner.

"It's a sign that they're getting more desperate," Karcher said.
30183  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Homeland Security on: August 26, 2004, 11:48:54 AM
Woof SBMig:

Thank you for that.  Interesting read.

Crafty Dog
30184  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: August 26, 2004, 09:21:46 AM
Woof Buzwardo:

My sense of it is that they have not personally seen much action.

Anyway, here's this from today:

Crafty
================

Geopolitical Diary: Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004


Events in An Najaf are moving to their logical conclusion. Grand Ayatollah
Ali al-Sistani has returned to Iraq and, in spite of recent heart treatment,
is showing remarkable resiliency -- and is leading a march on An Najaf
designed to bring a peaceful end to the rising of Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi
Army. That is what will happen, if all goes according to script.

We assume there to be a script since: (a) al-Sistani chose to go to London
for non-emergency surgery when the U.S. attack began; (b) was permitted to leave London as things moved to their climax (his plane could have been found to have serious engine problems just before takeoff); and (c) was cleared to land in Kuwait and drive back into Iraq. We would think that if the United States and Britain expected problems, they would have found ways of delaying his return.

The script is therefore that he will march to An Najaf, accept the return of
the Imam Ali shrine from al-Sadr, make a speech suitably condemning the United States for occupying Iraq and demanding its withdrawal from An Najaf and other cities -- and proceed to implement a deal giving his followers prominent roles throughout the Iraqi government. Obviously, things could go wrong. Al-Sistani could decide not to play according to the script; al-Sadr might decide it would be healthier for him to hold on to the An Najaf mosque; or uncontrolled violence could suddenly break out without any real planning. All of this is possible, but the most likely outcome is an end to the standoff and al-Sistani moving into closer collaboration with the Americans.

This leaves the Iranians in as bad a shape as they can be in Iraq, with all
of their plans shot to pieces -- and even their control over Iraqi Shia
gone. The Iranians clearly need to do something. This was obviously on the mind of the U.S. Air Force that, according to the Iranians at least, sent
aircraft into Iranian air space. According to an Iranian News Agency (IRNA) report, five U.S. aircraft penetrated Iranian air space on the night of Aug. 19. They came in over the southwestern border and circled the city of Khorramshahr for a while, flying at about 30,000 feet

We tend to believe the report. First, the specificity lends credence to it.
Second, the political environment of the past few weeks would make
Washington want to send a signal to the Iranian government to accept events in Iraq, as well as to signal the Iranians that continued development of Iranian nuclear weapons would lead to decisive air action. The IRNA report referenced the capture and release of some British sailors and the U.S. undoubtedly wanted to signal mutual danger. It is difficult to imagine a military purpose for a flight of five aircraft -- presumably fighters -- at 30,000 feet. The U.S. has better reconnaissance platforms that would fly at different altitudes. As for testing air defenses: If the Iranians can't see five aircraft at 30,000 feet, they certainly can't build a nuclear weapon.

This was a political demonstration and we suspect there have been others. It is interesting that the Iranians decided to publicize it when it became clear that al-Sistani was returning to Iraq, but not before. Iranian
diplomats started to speculate publicly -- at about the same time -- that
war could be closer than might be thought. The Iranians appear to be
signaling Washington back that they are not intimidated.

The question will be whether their lack of intimidation will cause them to
raise the pot in Iraq, or whether their calmness in the face of provocation
means they are about to toss their hand in. Either way, the next move comes out of Tehran.

Copyrights 2004 - Strategic Forecasting, Inc. All rights reserved.

http://www.stratfor.com
30185  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Homeland Security on: August 25, 2004, 06:13:39 PM
Woof SB Mig:

It looks very interesting, but would you please post it here?  I've found that signing up requires enabling cookies and tends to generate lots of spam.  TIA

Crafty Dog
30186  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Has anyone ever seen a real Kali fight? on: August 21, 2004, 01:18:03 AM
Woof All:



BEGIN

Guru Crafty,

To the best of your knowledge, did manong Juan LaCoste use 'Kali' for the art he practiced? or Did he just agree to 'Kali' when it was mentioned? manong Juan LaCoste was Bisaya, they say he was from Cebu, so the fact that he used 'Kali' for his art is very interesting.

In addition to the big 4 names above, Mr. Mirafuerte of the 1957 book and Mr. LaCoste, are two individuals that need to be looked into further.

END

You are right to use the phrase "To the best of your knowledge" when dealing with me.  I am a highly unreliable conduit of knowledge in these matters.  As I have related previously elsewhere, during one of the periodic outbreaks of the JKD wars back in the 1980s in a guest column to Inside Kung Fu, I got something wrong that led to a lot of heat on Guro I.  It was not until 3 or 4 years later that he gently said something in passing (said so gently I almost missed it) that led me to ask him a question that allowed him to set me straight.

You are also right to ask "Did he just agree to 'Kali' when it was mentioned?"   As a typical clueless American it has taken many years for me to begin to appreciate that there seems to be a cultural difference in Filipino and American culture when it comes to handling differences.  Often, the Filipino will 'agree' so as to be 'polite' and the American will openly state his difference.  Obviously, Filipinos will often disagree quite vigorously too and I readily admit to not having figured out criteria to predict whether the response will be polite pretense of agreement or passionate ire huh  

IIRC the order of Guro Inonsanto's studies, his studies with Manong LaCoste well preceded his training with Largusa and Villabrille.

IIRC Manong LaCoste, as I mentioned in a recent post here, was unusually well-travelled throughout the Philippine archipelago and was unusually diverse in his training-- including being accepted into training with Muslims in the south.  It was out of this diverse training that he came to use the world Kali with Guro Inosanto.

But PLEASE do not take my word for any of this.  Remember, I am a highly unreliable conduit.  Guro Inosanto is out there on seminars well over 40 weekends a year.  Why not ask him?  Do know however, that he can have both a highly developed sense of wanting people to feel at ease as well as a desire to avoid conflict in such matters with vexatious persons.  

Concerning the latter point, given what I have seen him deal with over the years, he has my understanding, my sympathy and my deepest respect.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
[/img]
30187  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / The future of DBMA on: August 20, 2004, 01:32:02 AM
Woof Myke:

Interesting question.  The shoots finish on Monday and I probably will want a couple of days to chill after that, so it may be a bit before I get to this.

Woof,
Guro Crafty
30188  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Has anyone ever seen a real Kali fight? on: August 20, 2004, 01:06:34 AM
BEGIN

I was at a seminar a few years ago conducted by a well respected practitioner and researcher in the FMA. We got talking about all the misconceptions surrounding the term "Kali" etc and he mentioned that he was told by another well known face in the art who was also close to John Lacoste and Dan Inosanto, that although they may have known each other for so many years, the time Inosanto spent under his tuition (sic) was minimal. I found this strange because Inosanto has always cited him as one of the biggest influences on his FMA, to such an extent that he named his system after him.

This is a question I've posted on another forum but without much response. Can anyone here shed some light on this contradiction?

END

Let's see: We have "Doug" (no last name) relaying hearsay from "a well respected practitioner and researcher in the FMA" who was relaying hearsay from "a well known face in the art".  huh  This sounds more like a children's game of "telephone" and  I confess that it eludes me why it should be taken seriously.  Tongue  If someone has something to say, he should be man enough to put his name to it.  

Crafty Dog
30189  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Has anyone ever seen a real Kali fight? on: August 19, 2004, 08:19:02 PM
Some interesting posts here and I will stand aside while the historians do their thing.  I would however like to address this point:

BEGIN

I'll leave it to Tuhon Raf's capable hands to speak for Sayoc, but concerning us this statement is not correct. We have NEVER used the NAME Kali in connection with assertions of "mother art".

Sorry, about that Guro Crafty... What I meant was that Dog Brothers got the term from two individuals, namely Dan Inosanto, who got it from Largusa and Villabrille, and also, GT Leo Gaje. And they're the ones who assert the 'mother art' rhetoric.

END

Guro Inosanto also received the term from Manong Juan LaCoste.  JLC was murdered in 1973 IIRC at the age of 89, which would mean he was born around 1884.  The story of his travels in the Philippines is fairly well known, and for him the term Kali was quite valid.  In that he was Guro Inosanto's principal FMA teacher, I would give him principal credit for Guro I's use of the term Kali.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
30190  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Weird and/or silly on: August 19, 2004, 12:57:12 PM
Bear guzzles 36 beers, passes out at campground
Thursday, August 19, 2004 Posted: 9:32 AM EDT (1332 GMT)

The bear used his claws and teeth to open the beer cans.
 

 
 
SEATTLE, Washington (Reuters) -- A black bear was found passed out at a campground in Washington state recently after guzzling down three dozen cans of a local beer, a campground worker said on Wednesday.

"We noticed a bear sleeping on the common lawn and wondered what was going on until we discovered that there were a lot of beer cans lying around," said Lisa Broxson, a worker at the Baker Lake Resort, 80 miles (129 kilometers) northeast of Seattle.

The hard-drinking bear, estimated to be about two years old, broke into campers' coolers and, using his claws and teeth to open the cans, swilled down the suds.

It turns out the bear was a bit of a beer sophisticate. He tried a mass-market Busch beer, but switched to Rainier Beer, a local ale, and stuck with it for his drinking binge.

Wildlife agents chased the bear away, but it returned the next day, said Broxson.

They set a trap using as bait some doughnuts, honey and two cans of Rainier Beer. It worked, and the bear was captured for relocation.
30191  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: August 19, 2004, 12:50:37 PM
Woof Buz:

Please excuse for stating the obvious, but have you gone to their website and surfed around? cheesy

yip!
Crafty

PS:  I too find them to be genuinely superior in their analysis and recommend signing up highly.  There is much, much more than what is posted here.
30192  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: August 19, 2004, 07:16:21 AM
REFER A FRIEND TO STRATFOR

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THE GEOPOLITICAL INTELLIGENCE REPORT

Redeployment and the Strategic Miscalculation
August 18, 2004

By George Friedman

On Aug. 16, U.S. President George W. Bush announced a global
redeployment of U.S. military forces. Bush said: "More of our
troops will be stationed and deployed from here at home. We'll
move some of our troops and capabilities to new locations, so
they can surge quickly to deal with unexpected threats. We'll
take advantage of 21st-century military technologies to rapidly
deploy increased combat power. The new plan will help us fight
and win these wars of the 21st century." On the surface, the
redeployment is important. There is a global war under way and
any redeployment of forces at this time matters. However, there
are other reasons why the redeployment is significant.


There are 1,425,687 men and women on active duty in the U.S.
armed forces. The redeployment of roughly 70,000 troops over a
period of 10 years -- or even in one year -- really doesn't
matter, even if most of them came from the U.S. Army, which
currently consists of almost 500,000 troops. The shift affects
roughly 10 percent of the standing Army, which is not trivial.
Neither is it decisive.


There are some important geopolitical implications that go beyond
the numbers. Germany is clearly being downgraded as a reliable
ally. The possible shift of U.S. naval headquarters from the
United Kingdom to Italy tightens relations with Italy -- and
focuses the Navy on the Mediterranean and away from the Atlantic.
Deploying U.S. troops to Romania and Bulgaria increases the U.S.
presence in southeastern Europe and improves access to the Middle
East. The reduction of forces on the Korean Peninsula is a
reminder to South Koreans to be careful what they wish for --
they might get it. Moving forces into Australia clearly signifies
the growing importance of the U.S.-Australian relationship for
the Pacific. Permanent bases in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and
Uzbekistan confirm an already existing relationship and emphasize
a further decline of the Russian sphere of influence in the
former Soviet Union.


But all of these things are relative and incremental. There
simply aren't that many forces moving around to tilt geopolitical
relationships in any fundamental way. Nor do the shifts
necessarily make as much sense as it might seem. Certainly there
is no longer a reason to base troops in Germany, but troops need
to be based somewhere. The idea that the strategic reserve should
reside in the continental United States is a defensible notion,
but not an obvious one. The major theaters of operation for the
United States are currently between the Mediterranean and the
Hindu Kush. Germany is a lot closer than the United States.


Post-Cold War Notions


In order to understand the thinking going on here, it is
important to understand a discussion that has been going on in
the defense community since the end of the Cold War. As U.S.
forces were reduced, the number of individual commitments of
troops did not decline. During the Clinton years, operations
ranged from Haiti to Kosovo to Iraq. The United States had to
find a way for a smaller force to compensate for its size by
increasing its tempo of operations and effectiveness.


Les Aspin, Bill Clinton's first defense secretary, conducted
something called the "Bottom-Up Review" that focused on this
question: How could the United States intervene in the Eastern
Hemisphere, in unpredictable theaters of operation, in a timely
fashion, with an effective force? During Desert Storm, it took
six months to deploy a force large enough to invade Kuwait. That
was too long -- and it took too long because the Army needed too
many tanks, troops and supplies to wage war. The question became
how to reduce the amount of forces needed to achieve the same
goals.


The answer for Aspin was to reduce the forces needed by
increasing lethality through technology. Increased dependence on
air power and increased lethality for Army equipment were
supposed to reduce the size of the force. That meant the force
could get there faster. Aviation, special operations and light
infantry became the darlings of the Defense Department. Armor and
artillery became the problem.


Aspin focused speed and lethality, on how fast the force could
get there and on how quickly it could destroy the enemy force.
The question of the occupation of the target country was
addressed only in terms of a concept called "Operations Other
Than War." Some operations were to be primarily humanitarian in
nature. Other operations would become humanitarian as soon as the
projection of decisive force was achieved. After that, forces
would shift to another task: nation-building. Haiti was a case of
nation-building from the get-go. Kosovo was a case of nation-
building after military victory.


Neither of them is a poster child for the idea of using the
military in operations other than war, and Bush sharply
criticized the Clinton people for squandering military resources
on non-military goals. Bush's argument was that nation-building
was difficult at best, that the military was not well-suited for
the task and that nation-building, while nice, was not a
fundamental American national interest in most cases.


It was an interesting debate that in retrospect missed the key
point -- by ignoring the fact that the occupation of a hostile
nation was in fact a military problem. Clinton assumed that once
troops were deployed and the enemy defeated, the occupation would
cease to be a combat problem. Bush argued that wasting troops on
non-combat problems was a mistake. Both missed the point that
after power projection and high-intensity conflict, you did not
necessarily enter a non-military phase. You could be entering a
third phase of the war: the occupation of a hostile country.


Afghanistan and Iraq were both cases in which the United States
occupied hostile territory. It does not take an entire country to
make that country hostile; a relatively small force can create a
hostile combat environment. Arguing about how big the opposition
might be is irrelevant. It is big enough in both countries that
U.S. forces are at war. And this brings us to the central
problem.


Rumsfeld and Aspin agreed on the fundamental premise: a smaller,
more agile force is better. They were both right, so long as the
focus is on power projection and the destruction of conventional
enemy forces. But when you shift to the occupation of a hostile
country, smaller size works against you and agility diminishes
radically in importance. The occupation of a country can be
enhanced only marginally by technology. Occupation requires a
force large enough to gain control of the country while waging
counterinsurgency operations. That represents a lot of boots on
the ground -- and a lot of tank treads.


Counting On Occupation


Now, it might be argued that occupation and counterinsurgency are
bad ideas. We are prepared to entertain that notion. What cannot
be debated is that the United States is currently engaged in two
campaigns -- Afghanistan and Iraq -- in which the occupation of
hostile territory is the mission. It is also possible that in
coming years, there will be more such operations. The problem is
that U.S. forces are not configured for the mission. The
institutional hostility toward a large army that permeated the
Defense Department under both Clinton and Bush has now started to
move to a crisis level -- and the Bush administration still has
not responded to it.


The administration has pointed out that it has hit its targets in
recruiting and retaining personnel since the beginning of the
Iraq war. In 2001, the recruiting goal for the Army was 75,800;
the National Guard was 60,252; and the reserve was 34,910. In
2002, the numbers were 79,500; 54,087; and 48,461. In 2003, the
goals were 73,800; 62,000; and 26,400. In 2004, they are 71,739;
56,000; and 21,200. In other words, recruiting for the active
Army and reserve stayed basically unchanged, while goals for the
National Guard declined. The United States is in a global war in
which two countries are currently being occupied and there has
been only a 30,000-man increase authorized by Congress.


Attempting to occupy two countries without massively increasing
the size of the Army is an extraordinary decision. But it is
completely understandable in terms of the Aspin-Rumsfeld view of
the military problem. Occupation of a large territory in the face
of hostile forces was not perceived to be a fundamental military
requirement. In part, this was because it was assumed the United
States would avoid such environments. But both Afghanistan and
Iraq were precisely this kind of environment, and prudent
military planning required that careful thought be given to the
manpower-intense mission of occupation. By the end of 2003, it
should have been clear that, like it or not, the United States
was in the occupation business. But the thinking that went on
before Iraq -- that as in Japan or Germany in World War II,
resistance would halt once the capital fell -- simply did not go
away. The obvious was not absorbed as a fact.


Instead, the Defense Department has resorted to stop-loss
strategies: preventing people from leaving when their terms of
service are up, calling up the Individual Ready Reserve and
exhausting the reserve and National Guard. Most importantly, it
has resorted to the only real solution available: insufficient
forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. It has tried to fill the gap with
contractors, which works to some extent; but the job of
occupation -- if it is to be undertaken at all -- is a job for
the Army, and there simply are not enough soldiers available. The
1st Marine Expeditionary Force, for example, is currently the
lead occupying force in the Anbar province in Iraq -- hardly the
"tip of the spear" combat force that the Marines are supposed to
be.


It is in this context that the order to redeploy 70,000 troops
should be read. First, it is an attempt to reshuffle the same
deck, when what is needed are more cards. Second, the pace of the
redeployments -- measured in years rather than weeks -- indicates
that the administration knows there is no real solution here --
or it indicates that the administration still doesn't appreciate
the urgency of the situation.


That the Army -- other services as well, but the Army is the key
here -- is at its limits has been obvious for months. What is
interesting to us is that the president, in his speech, continued
to focus on the first two missions (projection and destruction of
enemy forces) and still has not focused on the centrality of
combat in occupation zones. We don't have much of a force to
project at this point, so increasing the capability is not really
germane.


It is not something he wants to tackle now, but whoever becomes
president will be doing so. There are two options: The draft,
which will not produce the kind of force needed, or massive
increases in the size of the volunteer force using economic
incentives. Gen. Douglas MacArthur said we should never fight a
land war in Asia after Korea. Vietnam sort of confirmed that.
Whether anyone has noticed, we are in another land war in Asia
and in Asian wars, technology is great, but riflemen and tanks
are the foundation.


(c) 2004 Strategic Forecasting, Inc. All rights reserved.

http://www.stratfor.com
30193  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Has anyone ever seen a real Kali fight? on: August 19, 2004, 07:03:28 AM
Woof All:

BEGIN

"Even the people here in Dog Brothers and Sayoc Kali, both who use the title 'Kali' have ceased to use that slogan. Please read Tuhon Rafael's posts again, regarding the "mother art" propaganda."

END

I'll leave it to Tuhon Raf's capable hands to speak for Sayoc, but concerning us this statement is not correct.  We have NEVER used the NAME Kali in connection with assertions of mother art.

Concerning Indonesian origins of the term (or was it the Indonesian origins of the Art?) GM Largusa of Villabrille Kali asserts this in his appearance in our video "The Grandfathers Speak".

What do the scholars out there (this certainly excludes me) have to say about PG Sulite's words quoted above?  As a student of his I always found him to be thoughtful and precise with his words as well as his Art.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
30194  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / question about shipping costs on: August 18, 2004, 06:21:59 PM
Woof Thomas:

My wife Cindy is in charge of Reality and I'm in charge of Everything Else.  Your question falls under the heading of Reality and I've notified Cindy about your post here.  You might also reach her directly at info@dogbrothers.com

As for your question about evolutionary biology and evo-psychology, you are right that this is an area of great interest to me.  I am familiar with the Morris book, but prefer the works of Konrad Lorenz (after whom my son Conrad is named btw).  KL, a Nobel laureate was an Austrian Scientist who died about 10 years ago.  Thus his works are usually quite available in German.  First and foremost I would recommend "On Aggression" and also "Behind the Mirror" (the evolutionary building blocks of consciousness)  and "The Waning of Humanness" (written towards the end of his life delineating the bio underpinnings of problems normally seen in geo-political terms).  In addition to being a writer of science, he was also a fine story teller, see "Man Meets Dog" (Wonderful) "King Solomon's Ring".  

Also recommend is Richard (Robert?) Wright "The Moral Animal" and "Non-zero Sum; the logic of Human Destiny".  

There's many more, but this should suffice for a while.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
30195  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Has anyone ever seen a real Kali fight? on: August 18, 2004, 09:11:46 AM
And now, just to set EVERYBODY off, here's this from the mailing list, the Eskrima Digest:

==============

http://www.ugo.com/channels/filmtv/features/thechroniclesofriddick/vindiesel.
asp

From a Vin Diesel interview:

Q:  What is your Riddick workout?

VIN: The Riddick workout started before I went up there. I was training with a UFC guy, Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter. I got up there two months early and started training in a fighting style called Kali, which originated in Spain and was then brought to the Philippines by Spanish traders. It's a fighting style that's just now beginning to catch wind. It's a fighting style that calls for ambidextrous, two-handed fighting. And that's what we studied. I went up two months early to learn this fighting style.

Apparently Vin Diesel studied Kali De Leon (see a clip at
http://www.kalideleon.com/techniques.html, on the right
side, labelled "Guro Jun in Kali demo for Vin Diesel", so
he _should_ know better...

- Marko
30196  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Current Events: Philippines on: August 17, 2004, 03:36:57 AM
Philippines' Moro Rebels: Spreading the Word About Peace
August 16, 2004
Summary


Leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front are planning a massive information campaign in an effort to bring rank-and-file members on board for the ongoing peace process with the Philippine government. The campaign could mark the final stage of the insurrection on the southern island of Mindanao.


Analysis


The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) based on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao will conduct a massive information campaign to educate its 12,000 members about the ongoing peace process with Manila.


Rebel chiefs expect division in the ranks over the peace process and are trying to mitigate dissention before it boils over. This is one of the final steps before the MILF cuts a peace deal with the government -- and small bands of guerrillas break off to continue fighting for an independent Moro state.


The MILF will launch this campaign in September, just after a new round of peace talks with the government slated to begin in Malaysia in late August. The campaign, led by MILF peace negotiators, is expected to include some of the largest gatherings of MILF members in recent years.


The primary reason for the effort is that it allows the MILF leadership to get its message directly to the rank and file, since some guerrillas are based in remote areas far from rebel headquarters. This direct approach also allows the leadership to bypass regional commanders who might not be fully informed, or who might intentionally distort information or withhold it from the guerrillas under their command. Stratfor forecast that pieces of the MILF can be expected to break off when the rebels reach a peace accord with Manila. This effort, then, is the rebel leaders' last chance to clarify their position and close ranks before attempting to end the insurgency.


Rebel leaders are well aware that their regional commanders might not be fully on board the peace process. Some MILF commanders are accused of providing shelter to Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf militants within their camps. The information sessions likely will be used to definitively assess who is and is not "on board." After this assessment, MILF leaders will either take care of the problem internally or provide the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the adequate intelligence to get the job done.


The sessions also will demonstrate the rebels' good faith while negotiations continue. Rebels who reject a peace deal likely will attempt to derail the process, and the leadership will want to distance themselves from such elements.


The MILF insurrection appears to be entering its final stages. The rebel leadership is making internal and external preparations to reach a deal with Manila. All that remains to be seen is how extensive division runs within the rebel group.
30197  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Has anyone ever seen a real Kali fight? on: August 17, 2004, 03:28:29 AM
That's funny guest.

BEGIN
And every time Kali is introduced to non-Filipinos, it is with the propaganda that "it is the mother art". If you do not agree with this then try this little exercise: say a new student comes in and learns Kali from you, then after training, he asks you what Kali is and how it's different from Arnis and Eskrima. How do you explain Kali vis a vis Arnis and Eskrima? (there will always be this exotic element that Kali is Blade, Ancient, and the Mother of all art Filipino. then he asks what part of the Philippines it's from.)
END

I would certainly contest the assertion here about "EVERY time Kali is introduced".  Maybe its just that we may travel in different circles (and I travel more than most) but in fact I definitely doubt that its any more than a small minority of the time that one runs into this.  Most people I know think its simply uncool to talk that way.

As for what I say when someone asks me, I say that it seems to be a matter of baffling quasi-theological importance to some Filipinos and that I stay as far away from seeking to persuade anybody of anything as I can.   I say that some attack us for our use of the term, but that I receive the term from my teacher Guro Inosanto and I think it has merit.  

yip!
Crafty Dog
30198  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Has anyone ever seen a real Kali fight? on: August 16, 2004, 02:29:00 PM
BEGIN:

This is the old "Kali" propaganda, mostly due to Guro Inosanto's first book, in which he categorizes "Arnis in the North, Eskrima in the Middle, and Kali in the South of the Philippines". Firstly, the Kris, Kampilan, and Barong are Muslim weapons. Filipino muslims don't use Kali. But they do use Kuntaw and Silat, they also use Tausug specific, Maranao, Yakan, and Samal specific terms. But, no Kali as "the Ancient Filipino art".  

END

Umm, IIRC Guro Inosanto says nothing-- the essays therein quote his teachers.  This point has been made MANY times.

DBMA uses the term Kali.  We do not and have never made any claims about mother art, etc.   Those who continue to claim the term has NO validity need to address the Mirafuentes intro (1951? 1958?) to the Yambao book.

That said, the term has come to be a popular one here in the US-- usually without claims of mother art-hood etc.  Regardless of how the tempest of the historians amongst us (certainly not me) turns out, I suspect it will continue to be a popular term.  For the typical American mind the linguistic, tribal, cultural complexities of the Philippines are overwhelming and in the face of tremendous heated diversity amongst Filipinos for us to hold an opinion in these matters feels like it would be a matter of random and arbitrary choice.  

I'm going to the gym to work on my Kali outside diamond for MMA.

Woof to all,
Crafty Dog
30199  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / DB in the media on: August 14, 2004, 08:43:44 AM
Woof All:

We've recently gotten our hands on the article about us that appeared in Men's Fitness a few years ago.  

Here it is.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
==========================================

Iron John? Big wuss. Real me, say the Dog Brothers, beat the crap out of
each other with 30-inch clubs.

Underdog is flailing away at Dog Steve with a pair of 30-inch sticks before
the watchful eye of the Crafty Dog and his canine cohorts. "Stop backing
up!" Top Dog orders as Dog Steve charges forward, slashing his club at
Underdog, who is backpedaling furiously in an attempt to avoid massive head trauma, broken bones or a kidney-popping thrust into his bare body.

"Swing harder!" Crafty Dog barks as the two fighters crash together -
Underdog attempting to dig the end of his stick into his foe's exposed leg
even as Dog Steve tries to crush Underdog's larynx in a chokehold.

Imposing rattan sticks clack together, African drums beat a primal
counterpoint in the background, and the assembled crowd of 200 dog lovers woofs its approval. We're in the middle of a public park on a delightfully sunny California afternoon, watching two combatants trying to cave in each other's skulls. What could be better?

One man's cruelty to animals, after all, is another man's extreme sport. And things don't get much more extreme than Real Contact Stick-fighting, brought to you courtesy of the mangy Dog Brothers, a grassroots martial arts group whose biannual semipublic gatherings follow a Robert Bly kind of philosophy, bringing men together to rediscover their male energy through combat.

Except, as Crafty Dog puts it, "Bly was pussy-whipped. There isn't enough
testosterone in his stuff." Testosterone isn't a problem when fighting Dog
Brothers-style, except when you take a stick to the groin.

Sticking it out

In the bizarre m?lange of the martial arts world, stickfighting occupies a
particularly esoteric niche. For decades, it was practiced largely by
Filipinos, who originated and evolved the sport from their country's
traditional tribal warfare techniques. As any Filipino martial artist would
be proud to tell you, it was a stickfighter who offed Magellan when the
explorer made the mistake of visiting their islands on his world cruise.

But impaling people on sticks is a hard tourism sell. So in recent years the
Filipinos have modified their methods. The last public "death match" was
held in Hawaii in 1948. Since then, attempts have been made to turn
stickfighting into an internationally accepted martial art. Rules were drawn
up for competition, and the sport has gained a certain amount of acceptance in the United States, particularly in California. But tournament competition requires that fighters be heavily padded to prevent injury.

And if you're a Dog Brother, that just isn't any fun.

Years of the dog

The group's pedigree goes back to New York in the late 1970s, when a young student named Eric Knauss discovered Filipino stickfighting between classes at Columbia University. At 6[feet] 4[inches] and 215 pounds, Knauss had the size and instinct for combat. His instructors (Leo Gaje and Tom Bisio) trained him in hardcore stickfighting techniques and turned him loose. Knauss eventually moved to the West Coast, where he won numerous tournament championships and gained a reputation for insanity throughout California martial arts schools.

During what he calls his ronin, or wandering samurai phase, Knauss would
visit schools at random, humbly asking if they trained with weapons and
whether they'd like to do a little friendly sparring. Of course, his idea of
friendly sparring was to wear no protection save a light head guard, and to go at it until one man surrendered or was rendered senseless.

"I only had a few takers," Knauss says, still slightly surprised. "But there
were four or five who thought like I did in terms of getting to the core of
what really works in a fight. It wasn't until I met Marc Denny and he took
me to meet his teacher [the legendary Dan Inosanto] that we were really able to take root. That's how the Dog Brothers started."

But things didn't really get off the ground until 1988. Needing footage for
their first instructional video, a half-dozen combatants met for three days
of nonstop stickfighting in San Clemente, California's Rambless Park. Denny, a former attorney, showed up wearing cleats for traction on the grassy surface. Someone commented on what a crafty dog he was.

"I went home that night and picked up a Conan the Barbarian comic book," Denny says. "Conan was leading his band of mercenaries into battle, yelling, 'Come on, ye band of dog brothers!' It seemed like a natural name for us."

Denny, himself an Ivy League graduate and the group's guiding force,
remained the Crafty Dog. Knauss, the best fighter, was dubbed the Top Dog. There were Salty Dogs, Shark Dogs, Sled Dogs ... a whole litter of
stickfighting crazies who gained an underground cult following within the
martial arts world, though they avoided publicity for obvious legal and
practical reasons.

"Our mission has been to stay off the authorities' radar screens so we don't get shut down," Denny says.

Despite this, the Dog Brothers' videos, released through Panther
Productions, the world's largest distributor of martial arts videos, have
been wildly successful. The tapes blend instruction and fight footage and
have risen to No. 3 on the distributor's sales charts, mainly through word
of mouth.

And the word is that the Dog Brothers are some sick puppies.

Unchained melee

They have no rules in their matches except that fighters should remain
friends at the end of the day. Oh, yeah, and one more: Try not to put your opponents in the hospital.

The result of these "rules" is friendly, but rabidly intense, combat.

The scraps take place in a wide circle of grass in a quiet suburban park
within view of the ocean. The crowd is low-key and wildly diverse, a mix of tatted-up gangster lookalikes, a few groupies, serious martial artists,
yuppies young and old, towheaded little kids and their dogs. Stickfighting
the Dog Brothers way mixes grappling with technical stickwork; almost every match ends with both parties rolling around on the ground, looking to lock on a submission hold or rip off an opponent's protective mask and pound his face into Alpo.

The violence is incredible, but rarely personal. Fighters hug at the end of
their matches, and when one martial artist loses his composure and begins smashing his prone opponent with excessive vigor, several Dogs jump in to separate the two.

Restraint doesn't mean nonviolent, though. At the end of the group's May
gathering, the 20 participating fighters are covered with "stick hickeys" -
ugly red welts caused by rattan whacking flesh. Serious injuries have
occurred at past gatherings - a huge stick shot split one fighter's kneecap
in half in 1996 - but for the most part, fighters control themselves well
enough to prevent anyone from spending the night in the hospital.

When serious injuries occur, they're unusual and deeply regretted. Mike
Florimini, the Rain Dog, is still fighting despite his guilt over
kneecapping an opponent. "I was pretty upset by it," he says, "but we all
agree, it's what we can be in for."

Aggression lesson

As author Tom Wolfe observed about modern art, a martial art must have a "persuasive theory," a raison d'etre. In pursuit of a reason for
stickfighting's being, Denny incorporates a wide range of existential
justification into what could be construed as felonious assault with a
deadly weapon.

At the beginning of each gathering, he lectures the combatants on the
philosophical and anthropological implications of Real Contact
Stickfighting, quoting Nobel laureate Konrad Lorenz on the nature of
aggression.

"Any animal that has friendship has intraspecies aggression. The two go
hand-in-hand," Denny says. "Lorenz observed that there's an instinctual need to discharge this aggression. We do it in a ritual way."

Denny propounds the importance of this need for a form of ritual energy
discharge as he rails against the loss of traditional male-initiation rites
in modern American society. This could easily sound pompous, but the Dogs' sense of humor keeps things light. Consider their intellectual credo:
"Higher consciousness through harder contact."

"In a way, all we are is a bunch of kids meeting in the treehouse with our
nicknames and secret handshakes," Denny says. "Too many people in martial arts take themselves too seriously, anyway."

Ultimate dog fighting?

But others in the martial arts world take the Dog Brothers quite seriously.
Art Davie, former promoter of the Ultimate Fighting Championships, heard
about the group in 1995 and was interested in including a match on one of
his pay-per-view bloodfests. He went to the Dogs and watched some fights.

The baron of barbarism's reaction? "I thought these guys were stone crazy. They're beating each other with sticks!" What could be more telegenic?

"When I offered it to some cable outlets, they said, 'You want to show
what?"' Davie recalls. "I wanted to put it on TV, but we have enough trouble with bare-knuckle fights. All we need is to show 30 seconds of Eric Knauss beating on a guy like he's Rodney King and they'd run me out of town on a rail."

If the UFC is seen by some as a barbaric reversion to the age of Roman
gladiators, the Dog Brothers regress still further. Standing in a clearing
watching two men with sticks circle each other, a nearby percussionist
pounding out riffs on an African djembe drum, seems to transport you back in time: For a fleeting instant, you know what it was like 10,000 years ago, when sticks were the only weapon and the clan gathered to watch two warriors battle for land, a woman or tribal status.

Of course, the Dog Brothers could be seen as a bunch of macho lunatics -and they certainly are - but that perception would overlook something more vital. When they talk about stickfighting being a male-initiation rite in the traditional sense, a truly transforming experience, it's not some New Age con. The courage required to stand up to a 30-inch club (or sometimes two) whizzing at your head is a special commodity in modern society, where computer workstations are a bigger physical threat than a raiding tribe.

As the whipped author and poet Robert Bly pointed out in his book Iron John, the contemporary male seems to have lost contact with that sense of an inner wildman which keeps him strong yet avoids the pitfalls of macho cruelty. Though stickfighting probably isn't the most enlightened way of establishing inner strength, it's revealing that while stickfighting abides by neither rules nor referees, there are also no winners declared and no trophies awarded. Fighters show up merely to test themselves. For example, the Underdog is actually a 50-year-old, 145-pound supplicant named John Salter.

Salter, who was once owner of a medical-management company, picked up the sticks just three years ago without ever having been in a fistfight. Now, he's a combat fanatic.

"The idea is not to hurt people, but to prepare yourself on many levels. It
takes over your life, and it's a higher-quality life than I used to be
living. I will lose if I don't keep doing this," he says.

It's also telling that most of the crowd at the Dog Brothers' melees seems
able to connect with the group's philosophy. Like the fighters, the audience doesn't lust for blood - only for well-executed combat. In part to preserve this respectful atmosphere, the group is comfortable to stay underground.

"I think we've found our proper level," Denny says. "It would have been an experience to fight in the UFC, but the way we do it now feels right. If we fought in a competition, it would be hard to remain friends at the end of the day."

But for the voyeur, violence is often a drug. As people become inured to the bare-knuckle action of the UFC and its ilk, they'll eventually require a
stronger fix. Despite the resistance his tamer event has met from cable
providers, Davie insists that we'll eventually be able to tune in and see
weapons duels on television. One bare-knuckle television tournament, the
now-defunct World Combat Championships, wanted the Dog Brothers to compete and actually asked if they would fight without their head protection.

"I talked it over with Top Dog and Salty Dog," Denny says. "We said, 'If you can find the three of us opponents and meet our price, we'll do it. But it's going to be gory.'"

Ultimately, the WCC decided to pass, perhaps sensing that this was one idea best left to the dogs.

Writer Dog Mark Jacobs is a frequent contributor to Men's Fitness.

COPYRIGHT 1998 Weider Publications
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group
30200  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Current Events: Philippines on: August 13, 2004, 10:03:28 PM
Philippines: 17 Sentenced To Die
August 13, 2004
Seventeen members of Abu Sayyaf were sentenced to death in Manila on Aug. 13 for their roles in a series of kidnappings and murders in 2001. Four of the 17 are still at large. The militants were charged in the kidnapping and murder of three U.S. citizens and a group of Filipino resort workers from the Dos Palmas resort on the island of Palawan. The Dos Palmas incident was one of a series of kidnappings the group carried out on the Mindinao islands.

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