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51  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: May 11, 2012, 07:36:43 PM
Woof,
 Why that's just crazy conspiracy talk!  cheesy
                        P.C.
52  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self-Defense Law on: May 11, 2012, 07:34:19 PM
Woof,
 Not sure that the punishment fits the crime here.


 By Gil Aegerter, msnbc.com
Marissa Alexander, whose case brought allegations that Florida's Stand Your Ground law is being unfairly applied, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday after being convicted of three counts of aggravated assault after firing a warning shot during a dispute with her husband.

Alexander, 31, claimed she fired a shot from a handgun into the wall to protect herself during a confrontation with her husband, who she said had abused her, WJXT reported. Two children were with him when she fired a shot in his direction, and she was charged with three counts of aggravated assault.

 Her attorneys claimed self-defense and cited the state's Stand Your Ground law, which gives people some protection from prosecution for using potentially deadly force in cases in which they feel their life is threatened. The law came under nationwide scrutiny during the Trayvon Martin case, when neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot an unarmed teen and authorities waited weeks before charging him.

                                               P.C.
53  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Honeybees healing prostate cancer? on: May 05, 2012, 10:24:50 PM
Woof,
 Hopeful treatment for Prostate Cancer.

Honeybees Prevents Spread Of Prostate Cancer
By: Jennifer Hong
05/05/2012 08:34 PM ET

Tweet22There’s a lot of exciting news coming from the University of Chicago where researchers found that a compound made in honeybees and hives seems to stop the spread of prostate cancer cells in mice.


The compound, called caffeic acid phenethyl ester or CAPE, is made from propolis, the resin honeybees use to patch holes in their hives. The product has been known and used for centuries as a natural remedy for teeth and skin, as well as a defense against viruses and bacteria.

When the researchers fed CAPE to mice that had early stages of the human form of prostate cancer, it seemed to stop the cancer in its tracks.

“Their tumors simply stopped growing,” said Richard Jones, the study’s author and a cancer researcher at the University of Chicago. “When we stopped feeding the mice CAPE, their tumors returned.”

After six weeks, the tumors in mice eating CAPE were 50 percent smaller than the tumors in mice not getting the compound, whose tumors kept growing unchecked.  The CAPE mice also didn’t lose any weight during the treatment, which researchers said indicated that the compound was not overly toxic.

The researchers said the compound didn’t kill the cancer, but it appeared to stop the growth of the cancer cells by masking their ability to use a system of signals to detect nutrition. If cells don’t sense the presence of the food they need, such as glucose, they will stop growing.

The study was only in mice, and the compound has not yet been tested in human cancer patients. But Jones said the cell pathways targeted by CAPE are found in all mammal cells. He said he is hopeful that CAPE will prove useful against cancer in humans, most likely in combination with other available cancer therapies.

                                           P.C.

54  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: May 05, 2012, 10:21:39 PM
Woof,
 Hopeful treatment for Prostate Cancer.

Honeybees Prevents Spread Of Prostate Cancer
By: Jennifer Hong
05/05/2012 08:34 PM ET

Tweet22There’s a lot of exciting news coming from the University of Chicago where researchers found that a compound made in honeybees and hives seems to stop the spread of prostate cancer cells in mice.


The compound, called caffeic acid phenethyl ester or CAPE, is made from propolis, the resin honeybees use to patch holes in their hives. The product has been known and used for centuries as a natural remedy for teeth and skin, as well as a defense against viruses and bacteria.

When the researchers fed CAPE to mice that had early stages of the human form of prostate cancer, it seemed to stop the cancer in its tracks.

“Their tumors simply stopped growing,” said Richard Jones, the study’s author and a cancer researcher at the University of Chicago. “When we stopped feeding the mice CAPE, their tumors returned.”

After six weeks, the tumors in mice eating CAPE were 50 percent smaller than the tumors in mice not getting the compound, whose tumors kept growing unchecked.  The CAPE mice also didn’t lose any weight during the treatment, which researchers said indicated that the compound was not overly toxic.

The researchers said the compound didn’t kill the cancer, but it appeared to stop the growth of the cancer cells by masking their ability to use a system of signals to detect nutrition. If cells don’t sense the presence of the food they need, such as glucose, they will stop growing.

The study was only in mice, and the compound has not yet been tested in human cancer patients. But Jones said the cell pathways targeted by CAPE are found in all mammal cells. He said he is hopeful that CAPE will prove useful against cancer in humans, most likely in combination with other available cancer therapies.

                                                      P.C.

55  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The First Amendment & Free Speech on: May 05, 2012, 06:57:34 PM
Woof,
 Cyber law is just starting.

 
 
Presented By  "Liking" Something on Facebook Not Protected by First Amendment
 FacebookTweet  Share  Print article  Share on emailEmail article  Comments Connor Simpson 571 Views 3:30 PM ET
It should go without saying that you should be careful of what you "like" on Facebook. You should try not to "like" anything embarrassing or incriminating, lest it come back to bite you. A judge has ruled that "liking" something on Facebook doesn't protect you under the First Amendment, which is bad news for at least one man in Virginia.

Six people sued Sheriff B. J. Roberts in Hampton, Virginia after he fired them. They say they were fired for supporting his opponent in his bid to be reelected, which would be a violation of their First Amendment rights. One of the six fired, Daniel Ray Carter, "liked" the Facebook page of Roberts' opponent. Roberts claims they were either fired for poor performance, or because supporting his opponent "hindered the harmony and efficiency of the office."

Judge Raymond A. Jackson acknowledged that other cases involving written messages on Facebook protected the speaker with the First Amendment, clicking the "like" button is different and doesn't warrant protection.

A lawyer for the defense has already said they'll appeal the decision. This seems to be similar to the debate over whether or not Retweets are endorsements on Twitter, which leads to a lot of journalists including lines like "RTs do not equal endorsements" in their bio. Not everyone agrees the endorsement is necessary, and the debate can get a little ridiculous. The notion of a "like" implies an endorsement, but it's also the only way to subscribe to the updates from a particular page. Hopefully this won't lead to people writing that "Likes don't equal endorsements" in their profiles.

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments or send an email to the author at connorbsimpson@gmail.com. You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.

Topics: First Amendment, Facebook
                                                                           P.C.
56  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / American Rhetoric: on: May 03, 2012, 12:58:52 AM
To start this thread off:

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.americanrhetoric.com%2Ftop100speechesall.html&h=IAQEcTf9WAQG029tGG2J4iO17jXVhkEbnEOxKSQ1kSrGA5Q

                          P.C.
57  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Be On The Lookout on: March 02, 2012, 03:36:53 AM

  Fugitive charged in $2 million armored vehicle heist
By Margaret Harding and Jason Cato, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Photos
click to enlarge
 
How it happened
J.C. Schisler | Tribune-Review

 
Kenneth John Konias Jr.

Related Articles
Suspect's family suggested for reality TV show in 2005


About the writer
Margaret Harding is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review staff writer and can be reached at 412-380-8519 or via e-mail.


A Dravosburg man killed his fellow security guard, stole more than $2 million from their armored vehicle after picking up money at a casino, visited his parents' home, then took off, authorities said on Wednesday.

"Our belief is that he planned to rob the company, and if he had to kill a guard, he planned to do that," said Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. "He shot the guy from close range in the back of the head. That's pretty cold-blooded."

As the manhunt continued, Pittsburgh police charged Kenneth J. Konias Jr., 22, with homicide, robbery and theft in the heist and killing of armored truck guard Michael Haines, 31, of East McKeesport.

Shortly after the slaying, Konias phoned a friend and admitted he killed someone, saying he had enough money so they could both live the rest of their lives without working, the criminal complaint states.

"Konias made statements such as, 'My life is over.'... Witness No. 1 then said to Konias, 'What? Did you kill someone?' ... Konias was silent for several seconds and then he answered, 'Yes,' " according to the complaint.

Konias tried to persuade the friend to run off with him and asked about the extradition laws of Mexico and Canada, the complaint states. The person refused to go with Konias, and the conversation ended.

Detectives pieced together a timeline of the whereabouts of the Garda Cash Logistics truck using video surveillance, Zappala said during a news conference with police. The truck left the Garda facility on 33rd Street in the Strip District at 7:52 a.m. Tuesday and stopped at Rivers Casino on the North Shore to pick up money at 8:47 a.m.

A spokesman for Rivers would not say how much money was transferred.

The truck made several stops before video surveillance put the vehicle at the Home Depot in Ross between 12:51 p.m. and 12:55 p.m.

A witness saw the truck stopped along the mall driveway, heard what appeared to be a gunshot coming from inside and saw the truck speed away toward McKnight Road, the complaint states.

The truck was captured on video near 31st Street about 1:23 p.m. Konias appeared on video at 1:26 p.m., running near the Garda facility, where his Ford Explorer with a Pennsylvania license plate of GZW-4572 was parked.

Because he was empty-handed in the video, police are trying to figure out whether he stopped and stashed the money somewhere. One investigator estimated the money would fill two trash bags.

Police and Garda employees found Haines' body in the locked truck parked beneath the 31st Street Bridge at 3:44 p.m.

City auto squad detectives were driving along 31st Street on an unrelated investigation and observed several Garda employees near the truck. When they stopped to see if anything was wrong and identified themselves as police officers, a Garda manager asked for help.

The detectives saw blood dripping from a truck door to the ground and found Haines' body slumped in the cargo area with his duty handgun missing.

Detectives are reviewing the videos to see whether they can determine when Haines was last seen alive, city police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki said.

The FBI is doing an audit to learn how much money is missing, but investigators put it at more than $2 million.

Police found Konias' uniform jacket with blood on it hanging on a coat hook when they searched the home he shares with his parents. Kenneth Konias Sr. told police his son walked in, hung up the jacket, went upstairs for about three minutes and then left, the complaint states.

"We don't know anything," said Konias' mother, Renee. She declined further comment.

Police recovered Konias' cell phone when a "Good Samaritan" heard it ringing while stopped along Route 51 and picked it up with the intention of returning it to police. Detectives were on the other end of the line.

Konias could be armed with three semi-automatic guns, including one he took from Haines, police said.

"Mr. Konias is considered to be armed and dangerous," Zappala said, adding that this could be a death penalty case.

Police do not believe Haines, who worked for Garda for about three months, was in on the plan, Zappala said.

"All the evidence indicates the deceased is a straight-arrow guy," he said.

There was no answer at Haines' home. A neighbor said the victim lived with roommates.

Garda has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of Konias, who worked for the company for about a year, Zappala said. The company declined comment, and police would not discuss the company's security procedures.

Industry "best practices" call for crews on the street to report back to headquarters, said Jim McGuffey, an armored car and security management expert in Bluffton, S.C. The frequency can depend on company policy, the amount of money being collected and road distance traveled, he said.

Generally, on a two-man crew, the driver remains inside the vehicle at each stop while the "guard" or "messenger" in the back goes inside to make the pick-up, said McGuffey, who operates A.C.E. Security Consultants.

Nationwide, there were 47 armored car robberies in 2010, and 21 such robberies through June 30, 2011, according to FBI statistics. Both Zappala and Stangrecki said they couldn't recall a previous armored vehicle heist in Pittsburgh.

"You never know what could happen," McGuffey said. "But their largest concern is on the street with unknown variables," not with their partners.

Notable armored vehicle robberies

March 11, 1927

Six members of Pittsburgh's infamous Flatheads Gang, led by Paul Jaworski, committed the first U.S. armored car robbery. The crew used dynamite to blow up a road in what now is Bethel Park to knock off two armored cars from the Brink's Express Co., which were delivering payroll for the Pittsburgh Terminal Coal Co. The gang stole more than $103,000.

March 7, 1979

Two men robbed a Purolator armored truck outside Pittsburgh National Bank in New Kensington and made off with nearly $700,000. A New Kensington man was convicted, while federal authorities said a Swissvale man believed to be involved in the crime was killed by an organized crime member.

March 17, 1982

A Purolator armored truck carrying $2.5 million was robbed in Brentwood. An FBI agent testified in a separate trial that two men associated with the Pittsburgh mafia bragged to an associate about being involved in the heist.

Oct. 4, 2007

A gunman shot and killed two retired city police officers working for Loomis armored truck company as they removed deposits from a Wachovia Bank ATM in northeast Philadelphia. The gunman shot at another armored truck guard before fleeing with a bag of checks and cash deposits.

March 15, 2011

A gunman fatally shot a Garda armored truck guard during a robbery outside an Atlanta grocery store. FBI agents in Georgia linked the suspects in that case to more than a half-dozen other armored car robberies there.

Source: Tribune-Review research

Staff writers Michael Hasch and Eric Slagle contributed to this report.

 If you go to this page there is a photo of the suspect with the article.
       
    www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_784238.html
                                             
                                                       P.C.
58  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Giving, charity, tithing on: February 26, 2012, 03:39:41 AM
Marine credits karma for $2.9 million jackpot
Below:
 
  LAS VEGAS — Marine Cpl. Alexander Degenhardt is crediting karma for landing a $2.9 million progressive slot jackpot in Las Vegas.
 
Degenhardt was accepted as a bone marrow donor to an anonymous patient only a couple of days before hitting the jackpot Sunday at the Bellagio, the Las Vegas Sun reported (http://bit.ly/ABQ02J).

"They asked me if I was sure I wanted to go through with it because it's kind of painful, but what's a little pain if it will save someone's life?" Degenhardt said. "I look at this jackpot as kind of good karma for that."

Degenhardt, 26, said he plans to continue his career with the Marines and go through with the bone marrow donation, which is expected to occur in the next six months after extensive testing.

He and several fellow Marines had flown to Las Vegas from Washington, D.C., where he's stationed, for a week of training at Nellis Air Force Base. He said he decided to kill a couple of hours before the return flight by playing the penny slot, which takes bets from 40 cents to $2, at the Bellagio. He landed the jackpot about 10 minutes later.

"I figured I'd just go lose $100 real quick," he said. "I was overwhelmed and in shock. It's something you always want to happen, but when it does happen you don't believe it."

Degenhardt, who will receive about $100,000 a year over 20 years, said he plans to first help his pregnant sister and his mother catch up on bills.

He decided to buy some clothes after the jackpot — at a thrift store, where he buys all of his clothes. He said he won't part with his car that has rolled up some 250,000 miles, either.

"I plan to keep driving it until I can't anymore," he told the Sun. "No sense in wasting money. I'm really pretty thrifty."

The Bally Technologies' Money Vault slot machine at the Bellagio is linked with casinos across Nevada. It was the second largest jackpot ever for Bally, which makes the machines and pays out the jackpots.

___

Information from: Las Vegas Sun, http://www.lasvegassun.com

                                    P.C. grin
59  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / PA judge allows battery by Muslim for insulting Mohammed on: February 24, 2012, 09:38:01 PM
   Penn Judge: Muslims Allowed to Attack People for Insulting Mohammad
By Mark Whittington
PostsWebsiteBy Mark Whittington | Yahoo! Contributor Network – 6 COMMENTARY | Jonathon Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, reports on a disturbing case in which a state judge in Pennsylvania threw out an assault case involving a Muslim attacking an atheist for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

Judge Mark Martin, an Iraq war veteran and a convert to Islam, threw the case out in what appears to be an invocation of Sharia law.

The incident occurred at the Mechanicsburg, Pa., Halloween parade where Ernie Perce, an atheist activist, marched as a zombie Muhammad. Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim, attacked Perce, and he was arrested by police.

Judge Martin threw the case out on the grounds that Elbayomy was obligated to attack Perce because of his culture and religion. Judge Martin stated that the First Amendment of the Constitution does not permit people to provoke other people. He also called Perce, the plaintiff in the case, a "doofus." In effect, Perce was the perpetrator of the assault, in Judge Martin's view, and Elbayomy the innocent. The Sharia law that the Muslim attacker followed trumped the First Amendment.

Words almost fail.

The Washington Post recently reported on an appeals court decision to maintain an injunction to stop the implementation of an amendment to the Oklahoma state constitution that bans the use of Sharia law in state courts. The excuse the court gave was that there was no documented case of Sharia law being invoked in an American court. Judge Martin would seem to have provided that example, which should provide fodder for the argument as the case goes through the federal courts.

The text of the First Amendment could not be clearer. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof-" It does not say "unless somebody, especially a Muslim, is angered." Indeed Judge Martin specifically decided to respect the establishment of a religion, in this case Islam.

That Judge Martin should be removed from the bench and severely sanctioned goes almost without saying. He clearly had no business hearing the case in the first place, since he seems to carry an emotional bias. He also needs to retake a constitutional law course. Otherwise, a real can of worms has been opened up, permitting violence against people exercising free speech.

It should be noted that another atheist, dressed as a Zombie Pope, was marching beside the Zombie Muhammad. No outraged Catholics attacked him.

                                           P.C.

60  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science and Military Issues on: February 24, 2012, 09:31:24 PM
  The United States Navy launched an advanced tactical satellite today (Feb. 24), lofting to orbit the first spacecraft in a new communications constellation that should provide a big upgrade for American troops.

The Mobile User Objective System-1 (MUOS-1) satellite blasted off at 5:15 p.m. EST (2215 GMT) today, riding an Atlas 5 rocket into the skies above Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station after an eight-day delay. The satellite was supposed to launch last week, but strong upper-level winds and thick clouds caused scrubs on both Feb. 16 and Feb. 17.

MUOS-1 will settle into a geostationary orbit above the Pacific Ocean, then undergo about six months of checkouts and tests before becoming operational, Navy officials have said.

The four-satellite MUOS constellation is designed to augment and eventually replace the current network that helps American warfighters around the globe communicate and coordinate. [Photos: Launch of Navy's MUOS-1 Satellite]

"MUOS will greatly enhance the capabilities of the warfighter to communicate on the move," said Mark Pasquale, vice president and MUOS program manager at Lockheed Martin, in a statement. Lockheed Martin is building the MUOS satellites for the U.S. military.

"The system will provide military users 16 times the communications capacity of existing satellites, including simultaneous voice, video and data capability enhancements, and we look forward to achieving mission success for our customer," Pasquale added.

Today's liftoff marked the 200th launch for the Centaur upper stage, which is part of the Atlas 5 rocket. The Centaur first lifted off the pad back in 1962; in the years since, it has helped launch many spacecraft, including NASA's Voyager and Viking probes in the 1970s and the Curiosity Mars rover this past November.


A big communications boost

The U.S. military currently relies on a constellation of satellites called UHF Follow-On, or UFO, for much of its communications needs. However, this network is aging, and two of the satellites stopped working several years ago, bringing the number of functional spacecraft down to eight.

Further, the military's demand for communications capacity is on the rise, due largely to a sharp increase in the use of unmanned aircraft. The MUOS network is an attempt to boost that capacity, and to shift the burden away from the deteriorating UFO system.

When it's complete, the MUOS constellation will consist of four active satellites, plus one orbiting spare. Each MUOS satellite will carry two payloads — one similar to the UFO payload (to provide links to currently deployed user terminals), and a new digital payload that will boost communications capacity significantly.

"Utilizing commercial 3G cell phone and satellite technology, MUOS will provide mobile warfighters point-to-point and netted communications services at enhanced data rates and priority-based access to on-demand voice, video and data transfers," Lockheed Martin officials wrote in a recent statement.

A few years away

It will be a few years before American warfighters can take full advantage of the MUOS network.

For starters, MUOS-1 has to undergo that six-month checkout period. And engineers still haven't finished the software that will allow users to communicate with MUOS-1's digital payload, so the satellite will likely use its UFO-like payload exclusively for a spell after coming online.

Further, it will take a while to complete the MUOS constellation. MUOS-2 is scheduled for launch in July 2013, with MUOS-3, 4 and the spare perhaps following at roughly one-year intervals, officials have said.

Lockheed Martin won a $2.1 billion Navy contract to build MUOS-1, MUOS-2 and associated ground control architecture back in September 2004. The Navy later exercised an option to build three more MUOS spacecraft.

                                      P.C.
61  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Quotes of note: on: February 19, 2012, 09:40:45 PM


 "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."
                                     Henry David Thoreau
 
62  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Quotes of note: on: February 19, 2012, 09:36:24 PM


  "He who has a why to live can bear almost any how."
                   Friedrich Nietzsche
63  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Mountain Man hunt on: February 17, 2012, 10:18:12 PM
By BRIAN SKOLOFF, PAUL FOY
 
updated 2/17/2012 3:06:00 PM ET 2012-02-17T20:06:00
Print Font: +-SALT LAKE CITY — He's eluded authorities for more than five years, a mountain man who roams the wilderness of southern Utah, breaking into remote cabins in winter, living in luxury off hot food, alcohol and coffee before stealing provisions and vanishing into the woods.

Investigators have clawed for clues, scouring cabins for fingerprints that match no one and chasing reports of brief encounters only to come up short, always a step behind the mysterious recluse.

They've found abandoned camps, dozens of guns, high-end outdoor gear stolen from the homes and trash strewn around the forest floor.

But the man authorities say is armed and dangerous and responsible for more than two dozen burglaries has continued to outrun the law across a swath of mountains not far from Zion National Park. He's roamed across 1,000 square miles of rugged wilderness where snow can pile 10 feet deep in winter.

And while there have been no violent confrontations, detectives say he's a time bomb. Lately he has been leaving the cabins in disarray and riddled with bullets after defacing religious icons, and a recent note left behind in one cabin warned, "Get off my mountain."

"You wouldn't want to come across that guy," said Iron County Det. Jody Edwards, who has been working the case since 2007.

Theories about his identity have ranged from two separate men on the FBI's Most Wanted List — one sought for the 2004 killing of an armored-truck guard in Phoenix, another for killing his wife and two children in Arizona. Some have also speculated the man may be a castaway from the nearby compounds of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the polygamous sect run by jailed leader Warren Jeffs.


 AP
This undated photo provided by the Iron County Sheriff's Office shows a remote camp littered with supplies and trash in the southern Utah wildness near Zion National Park. Authorities believe the camp was left behind by a suspect in more than two dozen burglaries of mountain cabins over an area of roughly 1,000 square miles for the past five years.
 
The FBI recently discounted the theory that the man was the fugitive sought in the armored-truck guard killing after authorities got the first pictures of him from a motion-triggered surveillance camera outside a cabin. The photos showing a sandy-haired man in camouflage on snowshoes, a rifle slung over his shoulder, were taken sometime in December.

"We believe that is not Jason Derek Brown," FBI special agent Manuel Johnson told The Associated Press.

Edwards wasn't so quick to rule out the possibility, given the close resemblance to the 42-year-old Brown, who was raised Mormon and is a highly educated, well-traveled avid outdoorsman.

Johnson said the FBI has considered the possibility that the cabin burglar may be Robert William Fisher, described as a survivalist, hunter and angler who authorities say killed his family then blew up their house in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2001. However, at 50 years old, Johnson is doubtful it's the man in the surveillance photos, who appears much younger.

..So while detectives believe they are getting close, buoyed by the recent photos, the shadowy survivalist remains an enigma. No missing person report appears to fit, and fingerprints lifted from cabins have yielded no match.

'I don't think this guy is normal'
Meanwhile, cabin owners are growing more frightened by the day and are left wondering who might be sleeping in their beds this winter.

"He's scaring the daylights out of cabin owners. Now everyone's packing guns," said Jud Hendrickson, a 62-year-old mortgage advisor from nearby St. George who keeps a trailer in the area.

In November 2010, Bruce Stucki, another cabin owner, said a burglar broke into his cabin through a narrow window, pried open a gun case with a crowbar and laid out the weapons but took none. At a nearby cabin, the man reportedly took only the grips from gun handles.

"He could stand in the trees and pop you off and no one would know who killed you," Stucki said.

Some cabins he has left tidy and clean, while others he has practically destroyed, even defecating in one in a pan on the floor.

"He should know he's being followed, but I don't think this guy is normal in any way," said Stucki, who, like many cabin owners, has a lot of his own theories.

"He's anti-religious, waiting for the mothership to come in," Stucki speculated.

.Investigators say they have found several of the man's unattended summer camps, what they initially thought were left behind by "doomsday" believers preparing for some sort of apocalypse because of the remote locations and supplies like weapons, radios, batteries, dehydrated food and camping gear.

Stocked with guns
Edwards said two camps found a few years ago were stocked with 19 guns. One of the camps also had a copy of Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild," a book about a young man who died after wandering into the Alaskan wilderness to live alone off the land.

The cabin burglar has managed to avoid being seen all but twice over the years, each time retreating into the forest.

In recent weeks, it took detectives an entire day to reach a remote cabin after getting a report that lights had been seen on inside overnight. It turned out they were solar-powered lights on the porch, and the cabin was empty — another dead-end.

The coffee and alcohol the survivalist favors plays into some cabin owners' assessment that he could be a castaway from the nearby twin towns of Hildale or Colorado City on the Utah-Arizona border. The so-called lost boys are said to be regularly booted from the polygamous sect there by elders looking to increase their marriage opportunities with young women.

Unlike members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which discourages consumption of alcohol and coffee, many of the Mormon fundamentalists imbibe.

Detectives aren't sharing their latest assessments but "we've got a lot of leads" from the surveillance photos, Edwards said. "I would say we're very close to making a positive ID on him. We just got to catch this guy."

To cabin owners in southern Utah, he remains a spooky and menacing figure.

"We feel like we're being subject to terrorism by this guy," Hendrickson said. "My wife says flat-out she's not going back to our trailer until they catch him."

                                                          P.c.
64  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Internet and related technology on: February 17, 2012, 12:49:30 AM
....FBI could take down Internet for millions on March 8
By Andrew Couts | Digital Trends – 12 hrs ago....EmailNew: Now the email button gives you a quick and easy way to start a conversation.

Share18Print......
The Federal Bureau of Investigation may soon be forced to shut down a number of key Domain Name System (DNS) servers, which would cut Internet access for millions of Web users around the world, reports BetaBeat. The DNS servers were installed by the FBI last year, in an effort to stop the spread of a piece of malware known as DNSCharger Trojan. But the court order that allowed the set up of the replacement servers expires on March 8.

In November of last year, authorities arrested six men in Estonia for the creation and spread of DNSCharger, which reconfigures infected computers’ Internet settings, and re-routes users to websites that contain malware, or other illegal sites. DNSCharger also blocks access to websites that might offer solutions for how to rid the computer of its worm, and often comes bundled with other types of malicious software.

By the time the FBI stepped in, DNSCharger had taken over computers in more than 100 countries, including half-a-million computers in the US alone. To help eradicate the widespread malware, the FBI replaced infected servers with new, clean servers, which gave companies and individuals with infected computers time to clean DNSCharger off their machines.

Unfortunately, DNSCharger is still running on computers “at half of the Fortune 500 companies,” and at “27 out of 55 major government entities,” reports cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs. These computers rely on the FBI-installed DNS servers to access the Web. But if the court order is not extended, the FBI will be legally required to remove the clean servers, which would cut off the Internet for users still infected with DNSCharger.

Companies or other agencies that are unsure whether their systems are infected with DNSCharger can get free assistance here. And private users can find out if they are infected using instructions provided here.

[Image via Maxim Tupikov/Shutterstock]

This article was originally posted on Digital Trends

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                                           P.C.

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65  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / EUROPEAN MUSIC LOVERS!!! on: February 07, 2012, 03:10:36 AM
Woof,
 O.K. for all you guys in Europe, listen up. There is this awesome all girl band that is touring Switzerland, Germany, and the U.K. They are a tribute band for AC/DC, did I mention they are awesome? Anyway if you get the chance check them out and pass the word around, they are really great people and want you to send them friend request's via Facebook, they are known as the Backnblack Chicks.  https://www.facebook.com/backnblackgirls  

                                  P.C.
66  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: January 29, 2012, 12:22:01 PM
Woof,
 Oh that war is so yesterday, out of sight and out of mind. Sure, a few million unarmed civilians will ultimately be slaughtered because Obama wanted to make his "anti war", "peace at any cost" base happy by surrendering Iraq just before an election, but it will be spread out over the next ten to twenty years, so no one will really notice, and those deaths really don't count anyway since a real war has troops on both sides. It's the same logic used by the Left during Vietnam. Bygones.
                                                                              P..C.
67  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / 33,000 year old dog! on: January 25, 2012, 01:30:45 PM
WOOF,


http://earthsky.org/biodiversity/ancient-dog-skull-suggests-weve-lived-with-dogs-for-33000-years

Ancient dog skull suggests we’ve lived with dogs for 33,000 years
 
Image Credit: Nikolai D. Ovodov
   
A dog skull unearthed in a Siberian cave suggests that modern dogs may be descended from multiple ancestors.
 
 
 
A dog skull unearthed in a Siberian cave presents some of the oldest known evidence of dog domestication and suggests modern dogs may be descended from multiple ancestors.


A St. Bernard sure does look different from a dachshund ... and new evidence suggests that today's dogs might have originated from more than one ancient ancestor, contrary to what some DNA evidence previously has indicated. Photo credit: Soggydan
The ancient skull, preserved in a cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia for 33,000 years, presents some of the oldest known evidence of dog domestication and, together with equally ancient dog remains from a cave in Belgium, indicates that domestication of dogs may have occurred repeatedly in different geographic locations rather than with a single domestication event.

Wild dogs didn’t go extinct in East Africa after all

In other words, today’s dogs might have originated from more than one ancient ancestor, contrary to what some DNA evidence previously has indicated.


'wolves have long thin snouts and their teeth are not crowded,' said Hodgins. Photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar
Greg Hodgins, a researcher at the University of Arizona’s Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory is co-author of the study that reported the find. He said:

Both the Belgian find and the Siberian find are domesticated species based on morphological characteristics. Essentially, wolves have long thin snouts and their teeth are not crowded, and domestication results in this shortening of the snout and widening of the jaws and crowding of the teeth.

The Altai Mountain skull is extraordinarily well preserved, said Hodgins, enabling scientists to make multiple measurements of the skull, teeth and mandibles that might not be possible on less well-preserved remains. Hodgins said:

The argument that it is domesticated is pretty solid. What’s interesting is that it doesn’t appear to be an ancestor of modern dogs.

The researchers used radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the Siberian skull. They determined that the Siberian skull predates the last great ice age, which occurred between 26,000 and 19,000 years ago. Because the ice sheets severely disrupted life for humans and animals during this time, Hodgins believes neither the Belgian nor the Siberian lineages survived the severe conditions.


Image Credit: Nikolai D. Ovodov
However, the two skulls indicate that the domestication of dogs by humans occurred repeatedly throughout early human history at different geographical locations, which could mean that modern dogs have multiple ancestors rather than a single common ancestor. Hodgins said:

Typically we think of domestication as being cows, sheep and goats, things that produce food through meat or secondary agricultural products such as milk, cheese and wool and things like that.

Those are different relationships than humans may have with dogs. The dogs are not necessarily providing products or meat. They are probably providing protection, companionship and perhaps helping on the hunt. And it’s really interesting that this appears to have happened first out of all human relationships with animals.

Bottom line: A dog skull, preserved in a cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia for 33,000 years, presents some of the oldest known evidence of dog domestication and, together with equally ancient dog remains from a cave in Belgium, indicates that domestication of dogs may have occurred repeatedly in different geographic locations rather than with a single domestication event.

                        P.C.
68  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self Defense with Pistols on: January 19, 2012, 04:10:42 PM
Woof,
 Let's see what happens in real, real life not faked real life...

<iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Blq_a_lqDBs?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/g1zZGe3f0mc?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/P6pYEJhIFxQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/oPYu4Mu2dto?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/tiiQQP4-Ijw?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

                                    P.C. grin
69  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self Defense with Pistols on: January 19, 2012, 03:53:12 PM
Woof,
 You will find that this so called study was prepared by the Violence Policy Center AKA Handgun Control Inc.  tongue They have been distorting crime statistics and misleading the American public with false studies like this one and spread by the Liberal gun hating media for years.

                                   P.C.
70  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Government form required for free speech! on: January 14, 2012, 11:49:16 PM
Woof,
 I wonder if the Founding Fathers, intended us to report to the government how often we exercised any of our rights? A Federal Judge has ruled that the government can force gun store owners to report  anyone that buys more than one gun at a time to them. So does this mean that on a whim of government intrusion into the lives of law abiding citizens, that they can now require us to fill out a form and turn it in to them anytime we go to church more than once a week, or say something negative about the government more than twice in the same day? If it applies to the Second Amendment it applies to all of them.
 We the People, need to wake up and understand that the attacks on the Second Amendment, are attacks on all of our rights protected by the Constitution.
                                                        P.C.
71  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Exercise any right more than once then fill out a government form. on: January 14, 2012, 11:42:32 PM
Woof,
 If our government can force a gun store to report to them, the name and address of someone who has gone through the background check, and legally purchase a weapon, when they buy more than one gun at a time, doesn't that set the prescient that anytime we exercise any of our rights that the government could force us to report that activity to them? If you say more than one prayer a day? Go to church more than once a week? Say something negative about the government more than twice a day?
 Just trying to figure out the ramifications of a Federal Judge saying the government can do exactly that, because if it applies to the Second Amendment it applies to all.
                                                 P.C.
72  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: January 14, 2012, 08:24:40 AM
Woof,
 The payoff for sacrificing a Border Patrol Agent.


   U.S. judge backs multiple rifle sales reporting
By Jeremy Pelofsky | Reuters – 15 hrs ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Friday refused to block new federal rules requiring gun dealers in four states bordering Mexico to report the sales of multiple semi-automatic rifles, a victory for the Obama administration.
The administration issued the reporting requirements last year despite opposition from the gun industry as part of a stepped-up effort to clamp down on the weapons flowing across the border to violent drug cartels in Mexico.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ordered more than 8,000 gun dealers in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California to report the sale within five business days of two or more semiautomatic rifles to the same person.
That also includes rifles with a caliber greater than .22 and with the ability to accept a detachable magazine.
Mexican officials have complained bitterly about guns illegally coming from the United States. Tens of thousands of Mexicans have died in the drug wars since 2006 when the government there decided to take on the cartels.
Judge Rosemary Collyer, appointed to the bench by Republican President George W. Bush, found that the ATF's requirement was sufficiently narrowly tailored and that it was rational by focusing on the states that border Mexico.
"Congress has effected a delicate balance between ATF's regulation of firearms and the right to privacy held by lawful firearms owners," Collyer wrote in a 21-page ruling. The ATF's reporting requirement "did not disturb that balance."
Gun dealers backed by the National Rifle Association, a powerful lobbying organization, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation challenged the requirements arguing that it would effectively require national registration of firearms sales, which they said the ATF was not authorized to do.
The gun industry has also said that the rules will have no impact on the cartels but rather burden law-abiding retailers and that the reporting requirement was overly burdensome.
"If President (Barack) Obama gets a second term, I think law-abiding gun owners are going to see a lot more of it," Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, told Reuters.
"These drug cartels ... rape, they rob, they murder they throw people into lions' pits, they're not going to be deterred by a form. That must be some form," he said. The groups plan to appeal the ruling.
Some 36,000 reports of multiple handgun sales were made from the four border states in fiscal 2010, according to the ATF.
The decision came as the ATF has been under scrutiny in recent months after a sting operation to track guns being smuggled to Mexican cartels went awry.
(Reporting By Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by Will Dunham)

                                                    P.C.
73  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self Defense with Pistols on: January 12, 2012, 09:08:49 PM
Woof,
 Uzi. It's good to know what you might come up against out there.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/s30IjVts73M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

                              P.C.
74  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Troops urinate on dead Taliban on: January 12, 2012, 09:43:54 AM
Woof,
 This will bring our troops home. Not a good day for America if it proves to be a legitimate video.




<iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/F6lR3ZGFwvI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

                                              P.C.
75  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Cop involved shooting on: January 06, 2012, 06:00:47 PM
Woof,
 Brave little lady here boys.

<iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8xM_PiWZN-E?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

                                             P.C.
76  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA: How to fight the taller fighter? on: January 06, 2012, 10:51:37 AM
Woof bjung,
 When it comes to entries for your attacks against people that have reach on you, the same basic ones you have in your arsenal to use against any fighter can apply but you will need to train your timing and put an emphasis on covering more ground to close the distance because you will be launching your attack from farther away than you are used to.
 Another point to bring out with that is that in this case the guy's only advantage isn't just his reach, he can F'in fight at a high level in all the modes allowed. His clinch skills as Guro Craftydog pointed out are really good so when you manage to get in on him where his reach is neutralized he can still own your ass. tongue So, you have to closely study a fighter like this then find and exploit any weakness you can come up with, as well as build a strategy that address's all his strength's not just the first one to present itself. So, let's assume you make your attack entry and do neutralize his reach, you might even land your punch but if he ties you up you're still dead. So, you need to neutralize his clinch and for that you will want to develop entries that give you his back instead of falling into his clutches going up the middle or you want to train your clinch skills to a level higher than his. This is where the complexity of fighting becomes obvious. Of course here on this public forum I don't want to go into greater detail than that. wink
                                                      P.C.      
77  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pictures from Iraq on: January 05, 2012, 11:39:16 PM
1 of 13 photos

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/dozens-dead-in-iraq-bomb-attacks-1325774158-slideshow/iraqi-security-forces-people-seen-smashed-glass-damaged-photo-130300744.html#


Scores killed in Iraq bombings targeting Shiites
By ADAM SCHRECK | AP – 9 hrs ago
Article: Timeline: Deadliest attacks in Iraq in last year
16 hrs ago
BAGHDAD (AP) — An apparently coordinated wave of bombings targeting Shiite Muslims killed at least 78 people in Iraq on Thursday, the second large-scale assault by militants since U.S. forces pulled out last month.
The attacks, which bore the hallmarks of Sunni insurgents, come ahead of a Shiite holy day that draws hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from across Iraq, raising fears of a deepening of sectarian bloodshed. Rifts along the country's Sunni-Shiite faultline just a few years ago pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war.
The bombings in Baghdad and outside the southern city of Nasiriyah appeared to be the deadliest in Iraq in more than a year.
Thursday's blasts occurred at a particularly unstable time for Iraq's fledgling democracy. A broad-based unity government designed to include the country's main factions is mired in a political crisis pitting politicians from the Shiite majority now in power against the Sunni minority, which reigned supreme under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.
Some Iraqis blame that political discord for the lethal strikes.
"We hold the government responsible for these attacks. They (the politicians) are bickering over their seats and these poor people are killed in these blasts," said Baghdad resident Ali Qassim not long after the first bomb went off.
The attacks began during Baghdad's morning rush hour when explosions struck the capital's largest Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City and another district that contains a Shiite shrine, killing at least 30 people, according to police.
Several hours later, a suicide attack hit pilgrims heading to the Shiite holy city of Karbala, killing 48, police said. The explosions took place near Nasiriyah, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad.
Hospital officials confirmed the causalities. Authorities spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release figures of the dead and wounded, who numbered more than 100.
The blasts occurred in the run-up to Arbaeen, a holy day that marks the end of 40 days of mourning following the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, a revered Shiite figure. During this time, Shiite pilgrims — many on foot — make their way across Iraq to Karbala, south of Baghdad.

Baghdad military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said the aim of the attacks is "to create turmoil among the Iraqi people." He said it was too early to say who was behind the bombings.
Coordinated attacks aimed at Shiites are a tactic frequently used by Sunni insurgents.
The last U.S. combat troops left Iraq on Dec. 18, ending a nearly nine-year war. Many Iraqis worry that a resurgence of Sunni and Shiite militancy could follow the Americans' withdrawal. In 2006, a Sunni attack on a Shiite shrine triggered a wave of sectarian violence that pushed the country to the brink of civil war.
"People have real fears that the cycle of violence might be revived in this country," said Tariq Annad, a 52-year-old government employee in Sadr City, after Thursday's bombings.
Attacks on Wednesday targeted the homes of police officers and a member of a government-allied militia. Those strikes, in the cities of Baqouba and Abu Ghraib outside Baghdad, killed four people, including two children, officials said.
Two weeks earlier, militants killed at least 69 people as a wave of bombs ripped through mostly Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad. An al-Qaida front group in Iraq claimed responsibility.
Iraq's political mess is providing further ammunition for extremists.
Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government issued an arrest warrant for the country's top Sunni politician last month. The Sunni official, Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, is holed up in Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish region in the north — effectively out of reach of state security forces.
Al-Maliki's main political rival, the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc, is boycotting parliament sessions and Cabinet meetings to protest what its members say are efforts by the government to consolidate power.
Gala Riani, a Middle East analyst at IHS Global Insight, said the political storm feeds into Sunni fears they could be marginalized by the Shiite-dominated government — worries that Sunni militants are trying to exploit.
"The political crisis has set up a perfect scenario for Sunni militants to re-establish themselves," she said. "It's very sectarian in nature and gives them fuel for their fire."
While the political showdown appears far from being resolved, there are tentative signs of progress.
Al-Maliki met Thursday with the Sunni speaker of parliament, Osama al-Nujaifi, a member of al-Hashemi's Iraqiya party. In televised comments afterward, they described the talks as positive and said they will work to find a way out of the crisis.
Earlier, both men condemned Thursday's bombings.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also denounced the "terrorist violence" in Iraq and called the attacks "desperate attempts by the same kind of folk who've been active in Iraq trying to turn back the clock."
Britain's Foreign Office minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Alistair Burt, urged Iraq's leaders to renew their efforts to break the political impasse.
Meanwhile, six Iraqiya lawmakers broke ranks with their party over the boycott by attending a parliament session. Ahmed al-Jubouri, one of the Iraqiya lawmakers who participated, said he did so to "encourage all blocs to sit together and open dialogue."
___
Associated Press writers Sameer N. Yacoub, Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Mazin Yahya in Baghdad, and David Stringer in London contributed to this report.
                             
 
                                                   P.C.
78  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA: How to fight the taller fighter? on: January 04, 2012, 01:04:42 PM
Woof,
 One thing that people in general do is match punch for punch or kick for kick, target for target. In other words if someone is throwing kicks you tend to throw kicks back, if they punch you punch. If they are aiming for your head you tend to aim back at their head and so on. In a mismatch where the other guy has reach on you, you definitely don't want to be in a boxing match with him so you should learn kicks at close range and don't be a head hunter with them. Keep your arms up for blocks and don't even think about punching. When he throws the punch you throw the kick into his ribs with the shin kick in tight or in the legs if allowed. If he's kicking you want to move into his kicks, get pass them and punch. If he's in the motion of kicking, his punch reach advantage is of no consequence in that moment. Now, I'm talking for MMA sport; street is much the same but fighting dirty can take away even more advantage.
                                    P.C.
79  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: December 28, 2011, 11:56:45 AM
Woof,
 I wonder why Iran is so huffy here lately?


U.S. Fifth Fleet says won't allow disruption in Hormuz
 DUBAI (Reuters) - The U.S. Fifth Fleet said on Wednesday it will not allow any disruption of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, after Iran threatened to stop ships moving through the strategic oil route.

"The free flow of goods and services through the Strait of Hormuz is vital to regional and global prosperity," a spokesperson for the Bahrain-based fleet said in a written response to queries from Reuters about the possibility of Iran trying to close the waterway.

"Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations; any disruption will not be tolerated."

Asked whether it was taking specific measures in response to the threat to close the Strait, the fleet said it "maintains a robust presence in the region to deter or counter destabilizing activities," without providing further detail.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Andrew Hammond; Writing by Joseph Logan; Editing by Louise Ireland)

                               P.C.
80  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: December 27, 2011, 12:03:12 PM
Woof,
 And that's exactly what most people miss when these idiot's call for more gun control; they don't enforce the one's we already have. tongue They are actually making the case for why citizens need conceal carry permits!
                      P.C.
81  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: December 27, 2011, 11:07:10 AM
Woof,
 My, what a FAIR AND BALANCED piece of crap journalism that was. In their defense however, if they had given the number of lives saved and crimes prevented by conceal carry permit holder's it would have been a very one sided story the other way. cheesy
                         P.C.
82  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: December 26, 2011, 08:15:43 AM
Woof,
 Regardless of what has passed in Iraq, the cost in lives, money and time, the mistakes made, any moral obligation and so on, the troops are no longer there now. However, that doesn't mean that Iraq just dropped off the face of the planet. There are still going to be consequences to be paid for those troops not being there and it's going to continue to cost us lives, money and time, the difference being that we are going to have much less control of a continuing situation and there is no telling what the future cost's will be. People are acting like we can just wash our hands of it and walk away, that is simply not the case.
                                                                 P.C.
83  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Russian spy joins missile firm on: December 24, 2011, 04:42:47 AM
Report: Russian spy chief joins nuclear missile firm
General ran secretive military intelligence service which boasts agents across the globe

By Guy Faulconbridge
 
MOSCOW — Russia's military intelligence chief has left his post at the helm of the country's biggest spying agency to join a company that develops nuclear missiles, Kommersant newspaper reported on Saturday.

Citing sources, Kommersant said General Alexander Shlyakhturov, who was appointed by President Dmitry Medvedev in April 2009, had left his role as head of GRU military intelligence service to head the board of OAO Korporatsiya MIT.
Known by its Russian acronym GRU, the military intelligence service has agents spread across the globe. It is so secretive that it does not have a spokesman or website. The Defense Ministry declined to comment.

Story: Who owns 69 Patriot missiles seized in Finland?

Kommersant did not give a reason for Shlyakhturov's departure from GRU and it was not immediately clear if he had resigned or was merely being moved to keep a closer eye on the development of Russia's nuclear missiles, the cornerstone of Russia's defense capability.

Quality concerns

The failed launch of a military satellite which crashed into Siberia on Friday and a host of failures with a new generation, submarine-launched Bulava missile, has stoked concerns within the military about the quality of Russia's strategic missiles.
OAO Korporatsiya MIT develops missiles including the Bulava, which Russia test-fired successfully on Friday . Half of previous trials have failed.

The top brass of GRU has opposed Kremlin-backed military reforms in the past, leading to the dismissal of Shlyakhturov's predecessor, General Valentin Korabelnikov.  However, Shlyakhturov is seen as an ally of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who has cut servicemen and reorganized the command structure of the armed forces.  The spy service, created in 1918 under revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky, answers to the chief of the general staff, one of the three people who control Russia's portable nuclear arsenal.  Unlike the Soviet-era KGB secret police, GRU was not split up when the Soviet Union collapsed.

                                             P.C.
84  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: December 24, 2011, 04:39:56 AM
Woof,
 If he runs, it will almost guarantee four more for BO. tongue
                                   P.C.
85  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / U.S. citizens killed on: December 24, 2011, 04:37:54 AM
  US mom, 2 daughters killed in Mexico attacks
Buses were targeted in apparent violent robbery spree, officials say

A group of five gunmen attacked three buses in Mexico's Gulf coast state of Veracruz on Thursday, killing a total of seven passengers in what authorities said appeared to be a violent robbery spree.
The Americans killed were a mother and her two daughters who were returning to visit relatives in the region, known as the Huasteca, said an official in the neighboring state of Hidalgo, where the mother was born.
Hidalgo state regional assistant secretary Jorge Rocha identified the dead U.S. mother as Maria Sanchez Hernandez, 39, of Fort Worth, Texas, and the daughters as Karla, 19, and Cristina, 13. Rocha said all three held dual U.S.-Mexican citizenship. A 14-year-old Mexican nephew traveling with the three was also killed.
A U.S. Embassy official confirmed the women's nationalities, but could offer no information on their ages or hometowns. The official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name, said consular authorities were offering assistance to the victims' relatives.
Story: Mexico disbands entire police force in top port of Veracruz
While funeral plans were unclear, Rocha said Sanchez Hernandez's mother wants her daughter to be buried in Mexico.
Three other Mexican citizens were killed in the Thursday attacks on the three buses.

The five gunmen who allegedly carried out the attacks were later killed by soldiers.
Earlier in their spree, the gunmen shot to death three people and killed a fourth with grenade in the nearby town of El Higo, Veracruz.
'Exercise caution'
On Thursday, the U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros, a Mexican border city north of where the attacks occurred, said in a statement that "several vehicles," including the buses, were attacked, but did not specify what the other vehicles were.
The consulate urged Americans to "exercise caution" when traveling in Veracruz, and "avoid intercity road travel at night."
While the specific area where the Thursday attacks occurred is not frequented by foreign travelers, other parts of the Huasteca — a hilly, verdant area on the Gulf coast — are popular among Mexican tourists and some foreigners.
Story: Mexico makes huge meth precursor chemicals seizure
The attack occurred near the border with the state of Tamaulipas, an area that has been the scene of bloody battles between the Zetas and Gulf drug cartels.
Meanwhile, the tortured bodies of 10 people were found in northern Veracruz, local media reported Friday, as attacks in the region intensify between the rival cartels.
In September, 35 bodies were dumped along a downtown highway in the Veracruz city of Boca del Rio.
More than 45,000 people have been killed in cartel-related violence since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006.

                                      P.C.
86  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Update on coma patient on: December 24, 2011, 03:29:21 AM

Arizona coma patient now speaking, walking
By TERRY TANG | AP – 5 hrs ago
PHOENIX (AP) — It will be a special Christmas for the family of a 21-year-old University of Arizona student who was nearly taken off life support before awaking from a coma.
Sam Schmid was walking and speaking Friday at a Phoenix hospital. Dressed in a T-shirt, shorts and sneakers, he was able to use a walker and talk in brief sentences.
"Right now, I'm feeling all right ... except for the rehabilitation, I'm feeling pretty good," Schmid said.
Doctors at Barrow Neurological Institute say Schmid has a long recovery ahead of him to regain full speech, balance and memory abilities.
Schmid was involved in an Oct. 19 car crash in Tucson that left him with a brain aneurysm, among other life-threatening injuries. Because of the complexity of his brain injury, Schmid was flown to Phoenix.
He underwent surgery performed by Dr. Robert Spetzler. With no responsive signs, staff discussed taking Schmid off life support.
"They never approached me to say would I donate his organs," said Susan Regan, Schmid's mother. "The people that were surrounding us were just asking about Sam, his quality of life, what would Sam want if we had to come to a difficult decision."
Spetzler said Schmid was never officially classified as a potential organ donor. And after an MRI scan showed he wasn't at a point of no hope of survival, Spetzler recommended keeping him alive for one more week.
Then on Oct. 24, Schmid shocked doctors by following commands to hold up two fingers.
"It may not seem like a lot to you," Spetzler said. "It's an incredible loop to show brain ability. That was like fireworks going off."
Since then, Schmid has been spending his days in physical rehabilitation. Dr. Christina Kwasnica, who is overseeing Schmid's rehabilitation, said he has gone from practicing sitting in a chair to doing rehab three hours a day. She described his recovery so far as amazing but hesitated to make any predictions of what "normal" would be for him.
"It's so early in Sam's injury. We have no idea where the ceiling is," Kwasnica said.
While he will be able to spend Christmas day with family in Phoenix, Schmid will not officially be released until next week. His brother, John, based in Tucson, will relocate to Phoenix so Schmid can continue rehabilitation on an out-patient basis.
Schmid, who is a business major and was coaching basketball at a University of Arizona recreation center, is holding onto the belief that he can get back to what his life was like before the accident.
"I see myself leaving the house, going to school, work, basic things like that," Schmid said. "I just want my life to be what it used to be."

                                           P.C.
87  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Russia pops cork on nuke's on: December 24, 2011, 03:25:19 AM
Russia test-fires two new nuclear missiles
Reuters – 12 hrs ago

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia successfully tested on Friday its two new Bulava intercontinental missiles, which experienced several failures in the past.
The Defence Ministry said the 12-meter-long Bulava, or Mace, which Moscow aims to make the cornerstone of its nuclear arsenal, was fired from a submarine in the Arctic White Sea and hit the target, a designated polygon, on Kamchatka peninsula in Russia's far east.
"The launch was carried out from (the submarine in) submerged position in the White Sea," ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov was quoted by state-run RIA news agency as saying. "Its warheads reached the polygon (target) on time."
The missiles carry dummies rather than nuclear warheads as Russia is a signatory of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) which bans all nuclear explosions.
The Bulava had failed half of its previous trials, calling into question the expensive missile program. The previous launch in June from the same submarine was a success though.
A Bulava missile weighs 36.8 tonnes and can travel a distance of 8,000 km (5,000) miles carrying 6-10 nuclear warheads, which would deliver an impact of up to 100 times the atomic blast that devastated Hiroshima in 1945.
(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Matthew Jones)

                                      P.C.
88  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump and 2012 Presidential on: December 24, 2011, 03:23:08 AM
NEW YORK (AP) — Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has changed his voter registration in New York state from Republican to unaffiliated.
A spokesman for Trump says the businessman and television host changed his affiliation to preserve his option to seek the presidency in 2012.
Special Counsel Michael Cohen said Friday that Trump could enter the race if Republicans fail to nominate a candidate who can defeat President Barack Obama.
He said Trump probably would use his substantial wealth to even the playing field with Obama's re-election campaign.
Cohen said Trump's commitment to hosting TV's "The Apprentice" will keep him from doing anything until May, when the show's season wraps up.
He said Trump filed his voter registration paperwork Thursday.

                             P.C.
89  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Meth Chem's from China on: December 24, 2011, 03:21:12 AM
Mexico seizes 229 tons of precursor chemicals
By eec-kac | AP – 5 hrs ago
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico said Friday that it seized 229 metric tons of precursor chemicals used to make methamphetamine, the third such huge seizure this month at the Pacific port of Lazaro Cardenas, all of which were bound for a port in Guatemala.
The seizure bringing to over 534 tons the amount of meth chemicals detected at Lazaro Cardenas in less than a month.
Authorities announced on Dec. 19 that they had found almost 100 metric tons of methylamine at the port, and earlier said that 205 tons of the chemical had been found there over several days in early December.
Experts familiar with meth production call it a huge amount of raw material, noting that under some production methods, precursor chemicals can yield about half their weight in uncut meth.
The Attorney General's Office said the most recent seizure was found in 1,600 drums, and had been shipped from Shanghai, China.
All three shipments originated in China and were destined for Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, authorities said.
The office has not indicated which cartels may have been moving the chemicals, but U.S. officials have noted that the Sinaloa cartel, Mexico's most powerful, has moved into meth production on an industrial scale.
Sinaloa also has operations in Guatemala, and given recent busts by the Mexican army of huge meth processing facilities in Mexico, the gang may have decided to move some production to Guatemala.
Lazaro Cardenas is located in the western Michoacan state, which is dominated by the Knights Templar cartel and previously by the La Familia gang.
However, a series of arrests, deaths and infighting may have weakened those gangs' ability to engage in massive meth production.
Also Friday, the attorney general's office in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz reported that it had found ten bodies in an area along the border with the neighboring state of Tamaulipas. The office said investigators were alerted to the bodies by a tip, and are working to identify them and the cause of death.
The area has been the scene of bloody battles between the Gulf and Zetas cartels.

                                     P..C
90  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: December 24, 2011, 03:00:58 AM
Woof,
 HA! cheesy
           P.C.
91  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: December 23, 2011, 04:28:15 PM
Woof,
 Just one good gun control law could put an end to the gangs? Where do I sign up! tongue What an unmitigated piece of sh#t work that was.
                                                             P.C.
92  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: December 23, 2011, 04:44:17 AM
Times Topic: Mexican Drug Trafficking

  The police force in the port city of Veracruz was dissolved on Wednesday, and Mexican officials sent the navy in to patrol. The Veracruz State government said the decision was part of an effort to root out police corruption and start over in the state’s largest city. A state spokeswoman, Gina Dominguez, said 800 police officers and 300 administrative employees were laid off. She told reporters that the former officers could apply for jobs in a state police force but would have to meet stricter standards. Thirty-five bodies were dumped in Veracruz in one of the worst gang attacks of Mexico’s drug war. The Mexican Army has taken over police operations several times, notably in the border city of Ciudad Juárez. But Veracruz is the first state to disband a large police department and use marines for law enforcement.

A version of this brief appeared in print on December 22, 2011, on page A15 of the New York edition with the headline: Mexico: City Police Force Disbanded.
 
                                                       P.C.                                             
93  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: December 22, 2011, 06:46:19 PM
Thursday, Dec 22 2011 12AM Secret talks with Taliban reach critical juncture as U.S. considers transfer of Gitmo prisoners to Afghan custodyU.S. officials held meeting with Haqqani network
Currently, fewer than 20 Afghan citizens detained at Guantanamo Bay
'End conditions' they want Taliban to embrace include renouncing violence, breaking with al-Qaeda, and respecting Afghan constitution
Senior Taliban official denies meetings occurred

By Reuters Reporter

After ten months of secret dialogue with Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents, stakes could not be higher.
Senior U.S. officials say the talks have reached a critical juncture and they will soon know whether a breakthrough is possible, leading to peace talks whose ultimate goal is to end the Afghan war.
Failure would likely condemn Afghanistan to continued conflict, perhaps even civil war, after Nato troops finish turning security over to Afghan president Hamid Karzai's weak government by the end of 2014.
 Negotiations: The U.S. has been in talks with the Taliban for ten months to release Afghan detainees at Guantanamo Bay
Success would mean a political end to the war and the possibility that parts of the Taliban - some hardliners seem likely to reject the talks - could be reconciled.
The effort is now at a pivot point.
As part of the accelerating, high-stakes diplomacy, Reuters has learned, the United States is considering the transfer of an unspecified number of Taliban prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay military prison into Afghan government custody.
It has asked representatives of the Taliban to match that confidence-building measure with some of their own. Those could include a denunciation of international terrorism and a public willingness to enter formal political talks with the government headed by Mr Karzai.

 More...'I pray he didn't lay down his life for nothing': First and last U.S. soldiers killed at war remembered as last troops withdraw from Iraq
Over and out: Soldiers cheer as America closes the gates on Iraq
The $4 MILLION vacation: Separate flights, luxury accommodation and plenty of golf... the price of Obama’s annual Hawaiian holiday soars

The officials acknowledged that the Afghanistan diplomacy, which has reached a delicate stage in recent weeks, remains a long shot. Among the complications: U.S. troops are drawing down and will be mostly gone by the end of 2014, potentially reducing the incentive for the Taliban to negotiate.
Still, the senior officials, all of whom insisted on anonymity to share new details of the mostly secret effort, suggested it has been a much larger piece of President Barack Obama's Afghanistan policy than is publicly known.
U.S. officials have held about half a dozen meetings with their insurgent contacts, mostly in Germany and Doha with representatives of Mullah Omar, leader of the Taliban's Quetta Shura, the officials said.
 In talks: According to senior U.S. officials, has been one talk with a member from the Haqqani group, who was responsible for a deadly attack in Kabul this fall
'We imagine that we're on the edge of passing into the next phase. Which is actually deciding that we've got a viable channel and being in a position to deliver' on mutual confidence-building measures, said a senior U.S. official.
While some U.S.-Taliban contacts have been previously reported, the extent of the underlying diplomacy and the possible prisoner transfer have not been made public until now.
There are slightly fewer than 20 Afghan citizens at Guantanamo, according to various accountings. It is not known which ones might be transferred, nor what assurances the White House has that the Karzai government would keep them in its custody.
SENIOR TALIBAN COMMANDER DENIES SECRET TALKS WITH U.S.
A senior Afghan Taliban commander on Monday denied that the group held secret talks with U.S. officials which had reached a turning point.
'How can talks be at a critical point when they have not even started,' the commander told Reuters by telephone.
The Taliban have publicly maintained they will not enter into any negotiations while foreign troops are in Afghanistan, so even if they are participating, they might be reluctant to admit that.
Commanders might also worry about morale among fighters on the ground, if their believed their leaders were in talks.

'Our position on talks remains the same. All occupying forces have to leave Afghanistan.

'Then we can talk,' said the commander from an undisclosed location.

Guantanamo detainees have been released to foreign governments - and sometimes set free by them - before. But the transfer as part of a diplomatic negotiation appears unprecedented.
The reconciliation effort, which has already faced setbacks including a supposed Taliban envoy who turned out to be an imposter, faces hurdles on multiple fronts, the U.S. officials acknowledged.
They include splits within the Taliban; suspicion from Mr Karzai and his advisers; and Pakistan's insistence on playing a major, even dominating, role in Afghanistan's future.
Mr Obama will likely face criticism, including from Republican presidential candidates, for dealing with an insurgent group that has killed U.S. soldiers and advocates a strict Islamic form of government.
But U.S. officials say that the Afghan war, like others before it, will ultimately end in a negotiated settlement.
'The challenges are enormous,' a second senior U.S. official acknowledged. 'But if you're where we are ... you can't not try. You have to find out what's out there.'
Mr Obama is expected to soon sign into law the 2011 defence authorization bill, including changes that would broaden the military's power over terror detainees and require the Pentagon to certify in most cases that certain security conditions will be met before Guantanamo prisoners can be sent home.
Ten years after the repressive Taliban government was toppled, a hoped-for political resolution has become central to U.S. strategy to end a war that has killed nearly 3,000 foreign troops and cost the Pentagon alone $330billion.
While Mr Obama's decision to deploy an extra 30,000 troops in 2009-10 helped push the Taliban out of much of its southern heartland, the war is far from over. Militants remain able to slip in and out of lawless areas of Pakistan, where the Taliban's senior leadership is located.
Bold attacks from the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network have undermined the narrative of improving security and raised questions about how well an inexperienced Afghan military will be able to cope when foreign troops go home.
In that uncertain context, officials say that initial contacts with insurgent representatives since U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly embraced a diplomatic strategy in a February 18, 2011, speech have centred on establishing whether the Taliban was open to reconciliation, despite its pledge to continue its 'sacred jihad' against Nato and U.S. soldiers.
 Denied: A senior Taliban commander denied such talks, possibly because of a resolve not to go into talks while foreign troops are in the country
'The question has been to the Taliban, 'You have got a choice to make. Life's moving on,' the second U.S. official said.
'There's a substantial military campaign out there that will continue to do you substantial damage ... Are you prepared to go forward with some kind of reconciliation process?'
U.S. officials have met with Tayeb Agha, who was a secretary to Mullah Omar, and they have held one meeting arranged by Pakistan with Ibrahim Haqqani, a brother of the Haqqani network's founder.
They have not shut the door to further meetings with the Haqqani group, which is blamed for a brazen attack this fall on the U.S. embassy in Kabul and which U.S. officials link closely to Pakistan's intelligence agency.
U.S. officials say they have kept Mr Karzai informed of the process and have met with him before and after each encounter, but they declined to confirm whether representatives of his government are present at those meetings.
Officials now see themselves on the verge of reaching a second phase in the peace process that, if successful, would clinch the confidence-building measures and allow them to move to a third stage in which the Afghan government and the Taliban would sit down in talks facilitated by the United States.

'We imagine that we're on the edge of passing into the next phase. Which is actually deciding that we've got a viable channel and being in a position to deliver' on mutual confidence-building measures.

-Senior U.S. official
'That's why it's especially delicate -- because if we don't deliver the second phase, we don't get to the pay-dirt,' the first senior U.S. official said.
Senior administration officials say that confidence-building measures must be implemented, not merely agreed to, before full-fledged political talks can begin. The sequence of such measures has not been determined, and they will ultimately be announced by Afghans, they say.
Underlying the efforts of U.S. negotiators are fundamental questions about whether - and why - the Taliban would want to strike a deal with the Western-backed Karzai government.
U.S. officials stress that the 'end conditions' they want the Taliban to embrace - renouncing violence, breaking with al Qaeda, and respecting the Afghan constitution - are not preconditions to starting talks.
Encouraging trends on the Afghan battlefield - declining militant attacks and a thinning of the Taliban's mid-level leadership - is one reason why U.S. officials believe the Taliban may be more likely now to engage in substantive talks.
They also cite what they see as an overlooked, subtle shift in the Taliban's position, based in part on statements this year from Mullah Omar that, despite fiery rhetoric, indicate some openness to talks. They also condemn civilian deaths and advocate development of Afghanistan's economy.
 End of mission: U.S. troops are slated to leave Afghanistan in 2014
In July, the Taliban reiterated its long-standing position of rejecting talks as long as foreign troops remain. In October, a senior Haqqani commander said the United States was insincere about peace.
But U.S. officials say the Taliban no longer wants to be the global pariah it was in the 1990s. Some elements have suggested flexibility on issues of priority for the West, such as protecting rights for women and girls.
'That's one of the reasons why we think this is serious,' a third senior U.S. official said.
Yet as it moves ahead the peace initiative is fraught with challenge.
At least one purported insurgent representative has turned out to be a fraud, highlighting the difficulty of vetting potential brokers in the shadowy world of the militants.
And it as dealt a major blow in September when former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who headed Mr Karzai's peace efforts, was assassinated in an attack Afghanistan said originated in neighbouring Pakistan.
Since then, Mr Karzai has been more ambivalent, ruling out an early resumption in talks. He said Afghanistan would talk only to Pakistan 'until we have an address for the Taliban.'
 Words of caution: Afghan president Hamil Karzai warned U.S. officials to be sure of the Taliban's authenticity for seeking peace
The dust-up over the unofficial Taliban office in Qatar, with a spokesman for Karzai stressing that Afghanistan must lead peace negotiations to end the war, suggests tensions in the U.S. and Afghan approaches to the peace process.
Speaking in an interview with CNN aired on Sunday, Mr Karzai counselled caution in making sure that Taliban interlocutors are authentic -- and authentically seeking peace.

The Rabbani killing, he said, 'brought us in a shock to the recognition that we were actually talking to nobody.'
Critics of Mr Obama's peace initiative are deeply sceptical of the Taliban's willingness to negotiate given that the West's intent to pull out most troops after 2014 would give insurgents a chance to reclaim lost territory or nudge the weak Kabul government toward collapse.
While the United States is expected to keep a modest military presence in Afghanistan beyond then, all of Obama's 'surge' troops will be home by next fall and the administration - looking to refocus on domestic priorities -- is already exploring further reductions.
Another reason to be circumspect is the potential spoiler role of Pakistan, which has so far resisted U.S. pressure to crack down on militants fuelling violence in Afghanistan.
Such considerations make for a divisive initiative within the Obama administration. Few officials describe themselves as optimists about the peace initiative.
 Only a handful left: There are less than 20 Afghans being detained at Guantanamo Bay. It is unclear how many would be released back to the Afghan government
At the State Department, formally leading the talks, senior officials see the odds of brokering a successful agreement at only around 30 per cent.
'There's a very real likelihood that these guys aren't serious ... which is why are continuing to prosecute all of the lines of effort here,' the third senior U.S. official said.
While Nato commanders promise they will keep up pressure on militants as the troop force shrinks, they are facing a tenacious insurgency in eastern Afghanistan that may prove even more challenging than the south.
Still, with Obama committed to withdrawing from Afghanistan, as the United States did last week from Iraq, the administration has few alternatives but to pursue what may well prove to be a quixotic quest for a deal.
'Wars end, and the end of wars have political consequences,' the second official said. 'You can either try to shape those, or someone does it to you.'
THE NEXT STEPS OF NEGOTIATION
If the effort advances, one of the next steps would be more public, unequivocal U.S. support for establishing a Taliban office outside of Afghanistan.
U.S. officials said they have told the Taliban they must not use that office for fundraising, propaganda or constructing a shadow government, but only to facilitate future negotiations that could eventually set the stage for the Taliban to re-enter Afghan governance.
On Sunday, a senior member of Afghanistan's High Peace Council said the Taliban had indicated it was willing to open an office in an Islamic country.
But underscoring the fragile nature of the multi-sided diplomacy, Afghan president Hamid Karzai last week announced he was recalling Afghanistan's ambassador to Qatar, after reports that nation was readying the opening of the Taliban office. Afghan officials complained they were left out of the loop.
On a possible transfer of Taliban prisoners long held at Guantanamo, U.S. officials stressed the move would be a 'national decision' made in consultation with the U.S. Congress.

                                                                               P.C.   
    
  
94  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: December 22, 2011, 04:19:14 PM
Woof,
 Not to worry, OB is in direct talks with the Taliban to strike a deal so we can withdraw there too.
                                               P.C.
95  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Recovers from coma. on: December 22, 2011, 04:14:49 PM
Woof,
 Readied to donate organs 21 year old in coma since Oct. and thought brain dead, wakes up.

http://gma.yahoo.com/readied-donate-organs-21-old-emerges-coma-204904805.html

                                        P.C.
96  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Fed's step in. on: December 22, 2011, 05:42:10 AM
Woof,
 AZ deputies turn in their their badges for immigration enforcement.

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/news/crime/ice-trained-mcso-deputies-turn-in-badges-12-21-2011

                                      P.C.
97  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: December 22, 2011, 03:01:55 AM
Woof,
 I wonder... in a month or two from now, would a poll show that the Iraqi people are still happy we are gone? Of course a month or two from now there won't be as many Iraqis left to poll and it's doubtful if it would be a fair poll. I also wonder in in a year or two, how many Americans are going to be happy we pulled out.  It's true that most Americans are happy about it now but our enemies are even happier. I wonder why that is? tongue
                                                                                             P.C.
98  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bombings on: December 22, 2011, 02:39:19 AM
BBC
 
 A wave of apparently co-ordinated bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, have killed at least 57 people and injured more than 170, say officials.

The interior ministry said 13 locations had been attacked, including al-Amil in the south of the city and Halawi and Karrada closer to the centre.

The bombings are the worst in months - and follow the withdrawal of US troops.

They come amid fears of rising sectarian tensions as the unity government faces internal divisions.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attacks.

However, analysts say the level of co-ordination suggests a planning capability only available to al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Bombings remain common in Iraq despite an overall fall in violence.

In al-Amil there were two blasts, the second of which appeared to target rescuers who had come to the scene of the first explosion.

Raghad Khalid, a teacher at a kindergarten in Karrada, said all their windows had been blown out.

"The children were scared and crying. Some parts of the car bomb are inside our building."


Another woman said her baby had been covered in glass.

"She is now scared in the next room. All countries are stable. Why don't we have security and stability?" said Um Hanin.

Political turmoil
Iraq's year-old power-sharing government is in turmoil after an arrest warrant was issued for Sunni Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi on terror charges.

The entire al-Iraqiyya group, the main Sunni bloc in parliament, is boycotting the assembly in protest. It accuses Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, a Shia, of monopolising power.

Mr Hashemi denies the charges. He is currently in Irbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, under the protection of the regional government, but Mr Maliki has demanded that they give him up.

The last American troops departed from Iraq on Sunday, nearly nine years after the war that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.

President Barack Obama acknowledged that the situation was not perfect, but said the US forces were leaving behind "a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government elected by its people"

                                                                               P.C.
99  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Police becoming too militaristic? on: December 21, 2011, 07:07:52 PM
Cops Ready for War
By Andrew Becker | The Daily Beast – 15 hrs ago

Cops Ready for War
Nestled amid plains so flat the locals joke you can watch your dog run away for miles, Fargo treasures its placid lifestyle, seldom pierced by the mayhem and violence common in other urban communities. North Dakota’s largest city has averaged fewer than two homicides a year since 2005, and there’s not been a single international terrorism prosecution in the last decade.
But that hasn’t stopped authorities in Fargo and its surrounding county from going on an $8 million buying spree to arm police officers with the sort of gear once reserved only for soldiers fighting foreign wars.
Every city squad car is equipped today with a military-style assault rifle, and officers can don Kevlar helmets able to withstand incoming fire from battlefield-grade ammunition. And for that epic confrontation—if it ever occurs—officers can now summon a new $256,643 armored truck, complete with a rotating turret. For now, though, the menacing truck is used mostly for training and appearances at the annual city picnic, where it’s been parked near the children’s bounce house.
“Most people are so fascinated by it, because nothing happens here,” says Carol Archbold, a Fargo resident and criminal justice professor at North Dakota State University. “There’s no terrorism here.”
Like Fargo, thousands of other local police departments nationwide have been amassing stockpiles of military-style equipment in the name of homeland security, aided by more than $34 billion in federal grants since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a Daily Beast investigation conducted by the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.
Interactive Map: States Spend Billions on Homeland Security
The buying spree has transformed local police departments into small, army-like forces, and put intimidating equipment into the hands of civilian officers. And that is raising questions about whether the strategy has gone too far, creating a culture and capability that jeopardizes public safety and civil rights while creating an expensive false sense of security.
“The argument for up-armoring is always based on the least likely of terrorist scenarios,” says Mark Randol, a former terrorism expert at the Congressional Research Service, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress. “Anyone can get a gun and shoot up stuff. No amount of SWAT equipment can stop that.”
Local police bristle at the suggestion that they’ve become “militarized,” arguing the upgrade in firepower and other equipment is necessary to combat criminals with more lethal capabilities. They point to the 1997 Los Angeles-area bank robbers who pinned police for hours with assault weapons, the gun-wielding student who perpetrated the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, and the terrorists who waged a bloody rampage in Mumbai, India, that left 164 people dead and 300 wounded in 2008.
The new weaponry and battle gear, they insist, helps save lives in the face of such threats. “I don’t see us as militarizing police; I see us as keeping abreast with society,” former Los Angeles Police chief William Bratton says. “And we are a gun-crazy society.”
Adds Fargo Police Lt. Ross Renner, who commands the regional SWAT team: “It’s foolish to not be cognizant of the threats out there, whether it’s New York, Los Angeles, or Fargo. Our residents have the right to be protected. We don’t have everyday threats here when it comes to terrorism, but we are asked to be prepared.”
The skepticism about the Homeland spending spree is less severe for Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and New York, which are presumed to be likelier targets. But questions persist about whether money was handed out elsewhere with any regard for risk assessment or need. And the gap in accounting for the decade-long spending spree is undeniable. The U.S. Homeland Security Department says it doesn’t closely track what’s been bought with its tax dollars or how the equipment is used. State and local governments don’t maintain uniform records either.
To assess the changes in law enforcement for The Daily Beast, the Center for Investigative Reporting conducted interviews and reviewed grant spending records obtained through open records requests in 41 states. The probe found stockpiles of weaponry and military-style protective equipment worthy of a defense contractor’s sales catalog.
In Montgomery County, Texas, the sheriff’s department owns a $300,000 pilotless surveillance drone, like those used to hunt down al Qaeda terrorists in the remote tribal regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Augusta, Maine, with fewer than 20,000 people and where an officer hasn’t died from gunfire in the line of duty in more than 125 years, police bought eight $1,500 tactical vests. Police in Des Moines, Iowa, bought two $180,000 bomb-disarming robots, while an Arizona sheriff is now the proud owner of a surplus Army tank.
The flood of money opened to local police after 9/11, but slowed slightly in recent years. Still, the Department of Homeland Security awarded more than $2 billion in grants to local police in 2011, and President Obama’s 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contributed an additional half-billion dollars.
Law enforcement officials say the armored vehicles, assault weapons, and combat uniforms used by their officers provide a public safety benefit beyond their advertised capabilities, creating a sort of “shock and awe” experience they hope will encourage suspects to surrender more quickly.
“The only time I hear the complaint of ‘God, you guys look scary’ is if the incident turns out to be nothing,” says West Hartford, Conn., Police Lt. Jeremy Clark, who organizes an annual SWAT competition.
A grainy YouTube video from one of Clark’s recent competitions shows just how far the police transformation has come, displaying officers in battle fatigues, helmets, and multi-pocketed vests storming a hostile scene. One with a pistol strapped to his hip swings a battering ram into a door. A colleague lobs a flash-bang grenade into a field. Another officer, holding a pistol and wearing a rifle strapped to his back, peeks cautiously inside a bus.
The images unfold to the pulsing, ominous soundtrack of a popular videogame, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Though resembling soldiers in a far-flung war zone, the stars of this video are Massachusetts State Police troopers.
The number of SWAT teams participating in Clark’s event doubled to 40 between 2004 and 2009 as Homeland’s police funding swelled. The competition provides real-life scenarios for training, and Clark believes it is essential, because he fears many SWAT teams are falling below the 16 hours of minimum monthly training recommended by the National Tactical Officers Association.
“Luck is not for cops. Luck is for drunks and fools,” Clark said, explaining his devotion to training.
One beneficiary of Homeland’s largesse are military contractors, who have found a new market for their wares and sponsor training events like the one Clark oversees in Connecticut or a similar Urban Shield event held in California.
Special ops supplier Blackhawk Industries, founded by a former Navy SEAL, was among several Urban Shield sponsors this year. Other sponsors for such training peddle wares like ThunderSledge breaching tools for smashing open locked or chained doors, Lenco Armored Vehicles bulletproof box trucks, and KDH Defense Systems’s body armor.
“As criminal organizations are increasingly armed with military-style weapons, law enforcement operations require the same level of field-tested and combat-proven protection used by soldiers and Marines in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other high-risk locations,” boasts an Oshkosh Corp. brochure at a recent police seminar, where the company pitched its “tactical protector vehicle.”
The trend shows no sign of abating. The homeland security market for state and local agencies is projected to reach $19.2 billion by 2014, up from an estimated $15.8 billion in fiscal 2009, according to the Homeland Security Research Corp.
The rise of equipment purchases has paralleled an apparent increase in local SWAT teams, but reliable numbers are hard to come by. The National Tactical Officers Association, which provides training and develops SWAT standards, says it currently has about 1,650 team memberships, up from 1,026 in 2000.
Many of America’s newly armed officers are ex-military veterans from the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Charles Ramsey, who was police chief in Washington, D.C., on 9/11, upgraded the weaponry when he moved to Philadelphia in 2008. Today, some 1,500 Philly beat cops are trained to use AR-15 assault rifles.
“We have a lot of people here, like most departments, who are ex-military,” Ramsey says. “Some people are very much into guns and so forth. So it wasn’t hard to find volunteers.”
Some real-life episodes, however, are sparking a debate about whether all that gear also creates a more militarized mind-set for local police that exceeds their mission or risks public safety.
In one case, dozens of officers in combat-style gear raided a youth rave in Utah as a police helicopter buzzed overhead. An online video shows the battle-ready team wearing masks and brandishing rifles as they holler for the music to be shut off and pin partygoers to the ground.
And Arizona tactical officers this year sprayed the home of ex-Marine Jose Guerena with gunfire as he stood in a hallway with a rifle that he did not fire. He was hit 22 times and died. Police had targeted the man’s older brother in a narcotics-trafficking probe, but nothing illegal was found in the younger Guerena’s home, and no related arrests had been made months after the raid.
In Maryland, officials finally began collecting data on tactical raids after police in 2008 burst into the home of a local mayor and killed his two dogs in a case in which the mayor’s home was used as a dropoff for drug deal. The mayor’s family had nothing to do with criminal activity.
Such episodes and the sheer magnitude of the expenditures over the last decade raise legitimate questions about whether taxpayers have gotten their money’s worth and whether police might have assumed more might and capability than is necessary for civilian forces.
“With local law enforcement, their mission is to solve crimes after they’ve happened, and to ensure that people’s constitutional rights are protected in the process,” says Jesselyn McCurdy, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. “The military obviously has a mission where they are fighting an enemy. When you use military tactics in the context of law enforcement, the missions don’t match, and that’s when you see trouble with the overmilitarization of police.”
The upgrading of local police nonetheless continues. Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio now claims to operate his own air armada of private pilots—dubbed Operation Desert Sky—to monitor illegal border crossings, and he recently added a full-size surplus Army tank. New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly boasted this fall he had a secret capability to shoot down an airliner if one threatened the city again. And the city of Ogden, Utah, is launching a 54-foot, remote-controlled “crime-fighting blimp” with a powerful surveillance camera.
Back in Fargo, nearby corn and soybean farmer Tim Kozojed supports the local police but questions whether the Homeland grants have been spent wisely. ”I’m very reluctant to get anxious about a terrorist attack in North Dakota,” Kozojed, 31, said. “Why would they bother?”


                                      P.C.
100  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Tactical Rappelling on: December 21, 2011, 02:26:43 AM
Woof,
 Short clip on a new device.


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                                    P.C.
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