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1  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: January 07, 2011, 07:42:39 AM
It was cool seeing a Dogbrother(tm) cornering in the UFC. Are there any more other than Lucky Dog that are active in the organization?
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 25, 2010, 08:56:49 AM
Douglas Hagmann is far from credible. I do not doubt that individuals who cause a disturbance in a screening area will result in those individuals facing potential civil and criminal liability for those acts, and their information will be available through TSA's internal channels. I doubt very much the term "domestic extremists" would be used.

I concede I jumped the gun on this one. SHTF I found out is a kook site.
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 24, 2010, 04:05:37 PM
TSA Administrative Directive: Opt-Outters To Be Considered “Domestic Extremists”
Posted By Mac Slavo On November 24, 2010 @ 2:29 am In Headline News | 40 Comments

If the information recently acquired by Doug Hagmann of Northeast Intelligence Network [1] is accurate, then something really big is happening in America right now - and it’s most certainly not a step towards individual liberty [2].

According to Mr. Hagmann, he was contacted by a source within the DHS who provided an alarming memo detailing a new administrative directive agreed upon by DHS chief Janet Napolitano and the head of TSA John Pistole. The memo, according to Doug Hagmann, “officially addresses those who are opposed to, or engaged in the disruption of the implementation of the enhanced airport screening procedures as ‘domestic extremists’.”

The memo leaves no doubt as to who, exactly, is leading the charge to label Americans who refuse current security measures due to health and privacy concerns as extremists. “The measures to be taken in response to the negative public backlash as detailed [in this directive], have the full support of the President,” it says.

Under the new labeling procedures, those who choose to opt-out or are perceived as being troublemakers will be detained, questioned and processed for further investigation:

The terminology contained within the reported memo is indeed troubling. It labels any person who “interferes” with TSA airport security screening procedure protocol and operations by actively objecting to the established screening process, “including but not limited to the anticipated national opt-out day”  as a “domestic extremist.” The label is then broadened to include “any person, group or alternative media source” that actively objects to, causes others to object to, supports  and/or elicits support for anyone who engages in such travel disruptions at U.S. airports in response to the enhanced security procedures.

For individuals who engaged in such activity at screening points, it instructs TSA operations to obtain the identities of those individuals and other applicable information and submit the same electronically to the Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division, the Extremism and Radicalization branch of the Office of Intelligence & Analysis (IA) [3] division of the Department of Homeland Security.

The United States government, under complete control and direction of our elected President, is now actively labeling anyone who exercises their 4th amendment Constitutional right which protects against warrantless and unreasonable searches and seizures as, essentially, engaging in terrorism as defined by Section 802 of the USA Patriot Act:

Section 802 [USA Patriot Act [4]]

(a) DOMESTIC TERRORISM DEFINED- Section 2331 of title 18, United States Code, is amended–
‘(5) the term `domestic terrorism’ means activities that–
‘(B) appear to be intended–
‘(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
‘(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

Though it may seem a broad interpretation, the definitions for domestic terrorism are very vague, allowing for a variety of views depending on who happens to be making the decisions. The very fact that TSA is allegedly going to label opt-out travelers as ‘domestic extremists’ suggest that they are, by today’s standards, considered no different than terrorists - and thus - may have their Constitutional rights stripped and be held without trial. In a previous article we discussed Matt Kernan [5], who may have found a Constitutional argument that works to avoid enhanced security in the airport. But, what if the-powers-that-be determined, by whatever vague definition, that the Constitution doesn’t apply?

With the outrage from American travelers and the pressure being put on corporate profits, the President and TSA may eventually change their tune. But if they don’t, then we can expect more intrusive checkpoints from our government in the very near future. Ms. Napolitano has already publicly stated that DHS is looking at other mass transit systems like buses and trains as the next target.

Something big is happening. And either the American people are going to force the change - starting with each individual making a personal decision to stand up against policies that can be described as nothing less than tyrannical - or the expansion of surveillance and control systems will continue to spread.

If the American people fail this time as we did with bailouts and healthcare, the end result will be backscatter machines in schools, malls, stadiums, and any other public venue which is deemed a security threat by our government.

Sources: Northeast Intelligence Network [1], Electronic Privacy Information Center [4]

Article printed from SHTF Plan - When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You: http://www.shtfplan.com

URL to article: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/tsa-administrative-directive-opt-outters-to-be-considered-domestic-extremists_11242010

URLs in this post:

[1] Northeast Intelligence Network: http://homelandsecurityus.com/
[2] not a step towards individual liberty: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/lt-gen-ret-boykin-marxism-in-america_11012010
[3] Office of Intelligence & Analysis (IA): http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/gc_1220886590914.shtm
[4] USA Patriot Act: http://epic.org/privacy/terrorism/hr3162.html
[5] Matt Kernan: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/man-upholds-his-constitutional-rights-allowed-to-pass-without-backscatter-or-groping_11232010
Click here to print.

Copyright © 2010 SHTF Plan - When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You. All rights reserved.

Visit www.SHTFplan.com for more!
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Feeling 1933 yet? on: November 24, 2010, 10:49:28 AM
Next step for body scanners could be trains, boats, metro
By Jordy Yager - 11/23/10 02:09 PM ET
 
The next step in tightened security could be on U.S. public transportation, trains and boats.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says terrorists will continue to look for U.S. vulnerabilities, making tighter security standards necessary.

“[Terrorists] are going to continue to probe the system and try to find a way through,” Napolitano said in an interview that aired Monday night on "Charlie Rose."


“I think the tighter we get on aviation, we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime. So, what do we need to be doing to strengthen our protections there?”


Napolitano’s comments, made a day before one of the nation’s busiest travel days, come in the wake of a public outcry over newly implemented airport screening measures that have been criticized for being too invasive.

The secretary has defended the new screening methods, which include advanced imaging systems and pat-downs, as necessary to stopping terrorists. During the interview with Rose, Napolitano said her agency is now looking into ways to make other popular means of travel safer for passengers and commuters.

Napolitano isn’t the only one who’s suggested that advanced scanning machines could be used in places beyond airports.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, introduced legislation this past September that would authorize testing of body scanners at some federal buildings.

Napolitano’s comments were in response to the question: “What will they [terrorists] be thinking in the future?” She gave no details about how soon the public could see changes in security or about what additional safety measures the DHS was entertaining.

The recently implemented airport screening methods have made John Pistole, who heads the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the focus of growing public ire.

On Monday, Pistole said he understood peoples’ privacy concerns and that the TSA would consider modifying its screening policies to make them “as minimally invasive as possible,” but he indicated  the advanced-imaging body scans and pat-down methods would remain in place in the short term, including during the high-volume Thanksgiving period of travel.

Lawmakers from both parties have received hundreds of complaints about the new methods — some have likened the pat-downs to groping — and have called on Pistole to address the privacy concerns of their constituents, who were not informed about changes ahead of time.

Many lawmakers say the public should have been informed before the pat-downs and body-imaging techniques were put into practice. As a result, any move to implement new security screening measures for rail or water passengers is likely to be met with tough levels of scrutiny from lawmakers.

Pistole, who spent 26 years with the FBI, told reporters Monday that he rejected the advice of media aides who advised him to publicize the revised security measures before they took effect. Terrorist groups have been known to study the TSA’s screening methods in an attempt to circumvent them, he said.

Napolitano said she hoped the U.S. could get to a place in the future where Americans would not have to be as guarded against terrorist attacks as they are and that she was actively promoting research into the psychology of how a terrorist becomes radicalized.

“The long-term [question] is, how do we get out of this having to have an ever-increasing security apparatus because of terrorists and a terrorist attack?” she said. “I think having a better understanding of what causes someone to become a terrorist will be helpful."

DHS and intelligence officials are not as far along in understanding that process as they would like, Napolitano said, adding that until that goal is reached, steps need to be put in place to ensure the public’s safety.

“We don’t know much,” she said. “If you were to try and devise a template about what connects this terrorist to this terrorist and how they were raised and what schools they went to and their socioeconomic status, or this or that, it’s all over the map.

“I think there’s some important work that’s being done on that but … the Secretary of Homeland Security cannot wait for that.”

Source:
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/130549-next-step-for-body-scanners-could-be-trains-boats-and-the-metro-
The contents of this site are © 2010 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc.
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 24, 2010, 07:14:42 AM
Yes we get it. Tea partiers have small penii.  rolleyes
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 23, 2010, 12:26:46 PM
Quote from: GM
Worried that some gubbamint employee will see your sub-normal genitals, Rarick?

link your reference.
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 20, 2010, 09:32:39 AM

Q. What changes can the traveling public expect? What can passengers traveling on flights to the U.S. from international destinations expect?
A. On any given day, passengers traveling on flights to the U.S. from international destinations may notice enhanced, random security measures throughout the passenger check-in and boarding process. Aviation security is a shared responsibility and countries around the world are working together to increase the safety of air travel. Passengers traveling on flights to the U.S. from international last point of departure destinations are likely to notice enhanced measures including the increased use of the technology and processes such as explosives trace detection, canine teams, advanced imaging technology, and behavior detection among other measures.

For security reasons, the specific details of the directives are not public.



8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 19, 2010, 04:34:54 PM
Quote from: tsa.gov
The prohibited items list is not intended to be all-inclusive and is updated as necessary. To ensure travelers' security, Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) may determine that an item not on the Prohibited Items List is prohibited.
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 18, 2010, 11:02:32 PM
I don't know how you can tell if a guy is under the influence of drugs by feeling his scrotum, but I'll take your word for it.  wink
As for the impostors, the National ID/Biometrics will take care of that problem! Don't worry you can trust us, we're the govt! Oh, those syringes marked Syphilis? Thats just vitamin shots....
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 18, 2010, 04:45:31 PM
@GM: I never assume what these people do make sense. In fact the less sense something they do makes, the more I worry. Seriously, screening pilots?
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 18, 2010, 03:03:01 PM
Once again the big govt. "thinkers" have created a problem that they conveniently have had a solution for all along- in this case national ID cards.
I predict that within the next few months we get a HUGE push for National ID again. After all, they all ready have your biometric scan on file (that they swore was not saved),
so just get a NID card and you'll breeze right through the lines. Classic bait and switch.
12  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: November 04, 2010, 09:46:20 AM
Thats' the thing that gets me most- he's not from Mexico. His Dad became a naturalized citizen on his SEVENTH try. Cain is an American. So he can't be the First Mexican HW champ. It really has nothing to do with race- I'm upset with the fact that Dana White has politicized my one escape from the real world in  MMA.

* * *

I agree Kozcheck sure comes off as a a**hole. This will be the first time I am cheering for GSP...
13  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: October 25, 2010, 12:39:35 PM
WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Cain new champion VIVA MEXICO ahaha jeje sorry mexican pride  grin

He was born in California, so....

USA!  USA!  USA!
 wink
14  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: August 23, 2010, 02:23:16 PM
found an interesting odds site: http://www.ufcdogbet.com/

cool name, too.
15  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: August 09, 2010, 07:44:10 AM
So, did he tap or not?

 grin
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: July 30, 2010, 05:10:47 PM
I offer the challenge that no PATRIOT Act opponent has been able to answer thus far:

What freedom don't you have now that you had pre-PATRIOT act?

Wrong question. The question should be:

What powers does the Federal Govt have now that it didn't have pre-PATRIOT act?
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: July 28, 2010, 09:07:26 AM
Thanks for the info. I guess if they really wanted this it would have been in the financial or healthcare reform bills...
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: July 27, 2010, 09:05:21 AM
wtf?

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-5741

http://thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.5741:

Why is this not on the "mainstream" media I can only find google links to the Examiner.
19  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: May 10, 2010, 03:30:57 PM
strange, i don't see Chad's votes for ufc 113. unless he didn't get a chance to get his votes in on time.

this ufc ran the gamut of outcomes... congrats to Shogun on KO victory! Alan Belcher with a slam to RNC. Daley with a cheap shot on Koscheck. Kimbo getting his leg chopped down by Mitrione. MacDonald with a broken leg!

Epic Fail on my part... I thought we were abandoning that site. UFC 113 was the best night of fights in recent memory I doubt either Evans or Jackson can beat Rua. I will go back to fantasy.ufc.com for the next one... sorry SG.
20  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: bad song choices for MMA fighter entering the cage on: May 03, 2010, 09:57:07 AM
During the XKL last week in Minneapolis a fighter used "what a wonderful world" by louis armstrong (he won)
21  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: April 24, 2010, 03:29:25 PM
woof Chad,

very strange, now i see your votes. but i don't see it for previous events.

thx on score, but it wasn't so good. the previous one with ufn 21-florian x gomi, i scored 200+, that was way better, close if not surpassing my first time trying ufc fantasy out... beginner's luck strikes again finally lol

~sg

Went to check today and both of our votes are missing for UFC 112!
22  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA versus Reality/Survival based skills on: April 17, 2010, 05:31:20 PM
Good post. I have a question- Is your criteria for categorization is that the imagined opponent is of roughly equal size, alone and presumably unarmed? Or do you have a second mental flow chart for situations requiring nonlethal restraint tech's, multiple opponents, etc?

I look forward to some of the DBMA instructors and/Guro response, but FWIW, my philosophy is to practice to stay fit, learn new tech's for fun, and focus on the functional.
23  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: April 12, 2010, 05:36:02 PM
I see your votes fine. I dunno why you cant. Make sure to follow my directions to the letter.

nice score btw.
24  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: April 12, 2010, 02:14:54 PM
woof Chad,

i did that, but still cannot see votes. ugh... site sux.

perhaps we can try faux betting again? if youre interested I'll start a new thread when 113 draws closer.
25  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: April 10, 2010, 04:35:45 PM
@SG:

I got my picks in for this event- be on the lookout for TEOTWAWKI!

-Chad

woof Chad:

loooong time!

ufc fantasy site sux dog poopoo... i cannot see others' votes. i just logged in and cannot even see my own votes under view league votes, but if i went to review vote i can see my picks... it seems like the past events were like that. i don't know if others in our league voted or not on the past ufc's... i missed a few, mostly minor events, but major events i've been voting. i may have missed one.

maybe it's my browser? or maybe that site sux cos it's hard to view league votes for some reason.

~sg

Yes I would not say it is user-friendly. try this:

1. Login
2. On the lefthand vertical menu select "My League"
3. On the Horizontal menu that appears, select "View League Votes"
4. Directly below the menu will be two drop down menus one for your league "ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN" and the event.
The current default for events is "UFC 112: INVINCIBLE" Use the Event drop-down to select the one you want.
5. Click the square "Go" button
6. Each league member that voted will have a red "+" in front of their name, click that plus sign and their picks will appear.
You can also see your own picks this way.

Hopefully that works we had IE6 here at work until recently and it worked fine...

It's just you and me now we need to do good through UFC 115 to win prizes - but we can draft more players before UFC 113
so anyone reading this thats wants to play hit me up.
26  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: April 09, 2010, 02:39:38 PM
@SG:

I got my picks in for this event- be on the lookout for TEOTWAWKI!

-Chad
27  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: September 18, 2009, 09:03:14 AM
Woof Ryan,

yes he looked good, I thought he would win IIRC that was his last fight on his contract?
28  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: September 14, 2009, 04:09:38 PM
Woof,

my apologies for slack during the summer months reguarding the UFC fantasy league. My picks for the 16th are in. The fantasy league continues to be open for dog brothers/friends/family. email me if you would like an invite. cbloom@live.com

I will post a UFC Fight Night thread in the public forums where we can discuss reactions and talk trash between bouts. I should get it up and running just prior to 8PM EST. Join me through the event and during the premeire of TUF: Heavyweights.

This thread will be for all forum members, not just fantasy leaguers- but be warned there will be SPOILERS!!
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Disparage the Messenger on: August 05, 2009, 09:10:56 PM
Democrats Decline to Listen to Unhappy Constituents, Decide to Label Them Nuts Instead

<snip>

30  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST on: August 03, 2009, 10:10:19 PM
These kids have the balls thats for sure, I just wish they had eye protection (the father in me)

31  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: July 29, 2009, 08:49:46 PM
Our UFC fanatsy league is still open to members, friends and family of the DBMAA. email me if you want in. Picks for UFC 101 are due at the end of next week.
32  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: July 08, 2009, 01:48:15 PM
woof all,

Stickgrappler and I have a league started over at fantasy.ufc.com
If anyone is interested, shoot me PM with your email and I will invite you to play.
The next event to pick is UFC 100 in about three weeks.

Last chance to join before UFC 100
33  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST on: June 24, 2009, 01:20:28 PM
footwork looks familiar...   smiley
34  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: June 22, 2009, 12:17:36 PM
woof all,

Stickgrappler and I have a league started over at fantasy.ufc.com
If anyone is interested, shoot me PM with your email and I will invite you to play.
The next event to pick is UFC 100 in about 20 three weeks.
35  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST on: May 19, 2009, 10:51:37 AM

That is a interesting video- I'm wondering how it's copyrighted by monster garage? There's a few more vids in the toolbox area also.
36  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: May 16, 2009, 12:02:28 AM
ronin informed me that what looked like sapus to me is in shotokan.  i don't doubt that the techniques that we see in one style/system will exist in another system. after all, we all have 2 arms and 2 legs and limited range of motion. although one of my training partners has his black belt in shotokan, he didn't see the clips yet nor do we go over shotokan when we do train.

Woof SG,

heres a good article on Lyoto: http://www.fightmagazine.com/mma-magazine/mma-article.asp?aid=265&issid=20

Here's a clip relevent to Shotokan:

“I’m still a counter-striker, but now I keep going forward. I stay aggressive. I wanted to show people more of my technique. I wanted to show them that I could knock a guy out.” Why? Because unlike what you might assume after having watched Machida dance away from trouble for most of his career, the key distinction between Shotokan and other forms of karate is not defensive technique— which is more or less consistent throughout every karate sub-discipline—but the art of the power strike. “One punch has to take the guy down,” he explains. “But you have to strike at the right time and at the right distance.”

And that’s when it truly begins to make sense. Machida hasn’t merely made a politically expedient decision to curry favor with the UFC brass and its fans. He’s fi ghting for his family’s honor; he’s taking it personally. “I’m trying to bring out the essence of karate as a martial art, not the sport of karate, not what you see in karate competition,” he tells me. “In pure karate, there’s knees and elbows and different types of strikes, and I’m trying to bring back that type of style.” In other words, Machida has decided to send a message to the uninitiated: If you think Shotokan fi ghters can’t knock a man out, you better watch yourself, because Lyoto Machida is about to violently demonstrate the error of your ways. And while he may have been untouchable during his UFC run thus far, he has only begun to realize his full potential.
37  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: April 19, 2009, 09:47:51 PM
Your guro is still to clueless to figure out the URL for that , , ,

Woof Guro Crafty,

At the very end the URL appears just to the right of the "Replay" button. Then its a matter of cut and paste.

38  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: April 18, 2009, 02:24:21 PM
I'll bet anyone here five bucks that someone is going to win the Liddell/Shogun fight tonight. huh

I'll take a million to one on that. Always a possibility of a double knockout lol.



39  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST on: April 06, 2009, 04:27:29 PM
Most evidence seems to suggest that Brazilian dance-fighting isn't very effective in an actual MMA match. But the doubters were proved wrong on Saturday night, as a Capoeira practitioner named Marcus "Lelo" Aurelio (not to be confused with Maximus) scored one of the most epic knockout-kicks in history at a North American Challenge event in North Vancouver. Aurelio's opponent Keegan Marshall was clearly unprepared for the whirling-dervish routine, and let his hands drop at juuuuuust the wrong moment; the devastation comes at the vid's 0:31 mark. After checking to see if Marshall is still alive (he was), Aurelio commemorates the moment with a victory dance that lasts about as long as the fight itself. Enjoy it, buddy — these kinds of things don't happen very often.

 shocked

http://www.cagepotato.com/must-see-insane-capoeria-knockout
40  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA Thread on: March 26, 2009, 05:46:55 PM
Can't wait for this one....

41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 21, 2009, 10:26:22 AM

  MSNBC.com


Iran’s Khamenei dismisses Obama overture
Khamenei: ‘We haven't seen any change’ in U.S. policy toward government
The Associated Press
updated 7:50 a.m. CT, Sat., March. 21, 2009
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed overtures from President Barack Obama on Saturday, saying Tehran does not see any change in U.S. policy under its new administration.

Khamenei was responding to a video message Obama released Friday in which he reached out to Iran on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian new year, and expressed hopes for an improvement in nearly 30 years of strained relations.

Khamenei holds the last word on major policy decisions, and how Iran ultimately responds to any concrete U.S. effort to engage the country will depend largely on his say.

Khamenei demands changes
In his most direct assessment of Obama and prospects for better ties, Khamenei said there will be no change between the two countries unless the American president puts an end to U.S. hostility toward Iran and brings "real changes" in foreign policy.

"They chant the slogan of change but no change is seen in practice. We haven't seen any change," Khamenei said in a speech before a crowd of tens of thousands in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad.

In his video message, Obama said the United States wants to engage Iran, but he also warned that a right place for Iran in the international community "cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization."

Khamenei asked how Obama could congratulate Iranians on the new year and accuse the country of supporting terrorism and seeking nuclear weapons in the same message.

Khamenei said there has been no change even in Obama's language compared to that of his predecessor.

"He (Obama) insulted the Islamic Republic of Iran from the first day. If you are right that change has come, where is that change? What is the sign of that change? Make it clear for us what has changed."

Still, Khamenei left the door open to better ties with America, saying "should you change, our behavior will change too."

Severed ties
Diplomatic ties between the United States and Iran were cut after the U.S. Embassy hostage-taking after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which toppled the pro-U.S. shah and brought to power a government of Islamic clerics.

The United States cooperated with Iran in late 2001 and 2002 in the Afghanistan conflict, but the promising contacts fizzled — and were extinguished completely when Bush branded Tehran part of the "Axis of Evil."

Khamenei enumerated a long list of Iranian grievances against the United States over the past 30 years and said the United States was still interfering in Iranian affairs.

He mentioned U.S. sanctions against Iran, U.S. support for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during his 1980-88 war against Iran and the downing of an Iranian airliner over the Persian Gulf in 1988.

He also accused the United States of provoking ethnic tension in Iran and said Washington's accusations that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons are a sign of U.S. hostility. Iran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, like energy production, not for building weapons.

"Have you released Iranian assets? Have you lifted oppressive sanctions? Have you given up mudslinging and making accusations against the great Iranian nation and its officials? Have you given up your unconditional support for the Zionist regime? Even the language remains unchanged," Khamenei said.


Khamenei, wearing a black turban and dark robes, said America was hated around the world for its arrogance, as the crowd chanted "Death to America."

Toward engagement?
Obama has signaled a willingness to speak directly with Iran about its nuclear program and hostility toward Israel, a key U.S. ally. At his inauguration last month, the president said his administration would reach out to rival states, declaring "we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."



"They say we have stretched a hand toward Iran. ... If a hand is stretched covered with a velvet glove but it is cast iron inside, that makes no sense," he said.

Khamenei said sanctions only served to make Iran self-reliant. Iran frequently boasts of achievements in various technological fields, including uranium enrichment, space technology, missiles and passenger and fighter plane production, despite sanctions.

"Sanctions benefited us. We have to thank the Americans in this sector. If sanctions had not been imposed, we would have not reached the point of progress and technology we are in now," he said.


© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29810371/



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42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education on: March 20, 2009, 09:46:34 AM

  MSNBC.com


High school held cage fights, records show
Staff allegedly staged 'gladiator-style' brawls for troubled students
The Associated Press
updated 5:54 p.m. CT, Thurs., March. 19, 2009
DALLAS - The Dallas school system was rocked by allegations Thursday that staff members at an inner-city high school made students settle their differences by fighting bare-knuckle brawls inside a steel cage.

The principal and other employees at South Oak Cliff High knew about the cage fights and allowed the practice to continue, according to a 2008 report by school system investigators.

"More than anything, I'm in shock and disbelief — shocked that this could ever occur and shocked that it would be condoned by a professional administrator," said Jerome Garza, a member of the Dallas school board.

The report, first obtained by The Dallas Morning News, describes two instances of fighting in an equipment cage in a boys' locker room between 2003 and 2005. It was not clear from the report whether there were other fights.

Superintendent Michael Hinojosa told the newspaper that there were "some things that happened inside of a cage" and called the fights "unacceptable."

No criminal charges were ever filed, and there was no mention in the report of whether anyone required medical attention or whether any employees were disciplined. A district spokesman would not comment.

The allegations came to light during a grade-fixing investigation that eventually cost the high school its 2005 and 2006 state basketball titles. School officials were suspected of altering students' grades so that they could remain eligible to play for South Oak Cliff, a perennial basketball powerhouse in one of the poorer sections of the city.

In an interview with the Morning News, Donald Moten, who retired as principal last year, denied any fights were held.

"That's barbaric. You can't do that at a high school. You can't do that anywhere," Moten said. "Ain't nothing to comment on. It never did happen. I never put a stop to anything because it never happened."

'Gladiator-style entertainment'
In the report, a teacher was quoted as saying Moten told security personnel to put two fighting students "in the cage and let `em duke it out," according to the report.

The report said a hall monitor, Gary King, told investigators he witnessed the head of campus security and an assistant basketball coach place two students in the cage to fight.

Another hall monitor, Reno Savala, told investigators he came upon two students fighting in the cage "bare-fisted with no head or eye protection." Savala said the assistant coach was watching the fight and broke it up when Savala told him to.

"It was gladiator-style entertainment for the staff," Frank Hammond, a fired counselor who has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against the district, told the newspaper. "They were taking these boys downstairs to fight. And it was sanctioned by the principal and security."

Hammond did not actually witness any of the fights, according to the report.


Garza, the school board member, said the board should look into whether criminal charges should be filed. He expressed frustration that the allegations were not brought to the board's attention earlier.

"If, in fact, it bears out that this did occur, clearly the administration had a responsibility to inform the board in the proper manner and in a timely fashion," he said.

Dallas police said they have no record of any investigation by the department. The district attorney's office would not comment.

The allegations come about 10 days after law enforcement authorities reported that careworkers at a Corpus Christi institution forced mentally disabled residents to fight each other and recorded the brawls for their entertainment.


Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NYT: Obama open to taxing health benefits on: March 15, 2009, 09:37:40 AM
Proposal problematic for Obama as he denounced similar one in campaign

By Jackie Calmes and Robert Pear
The New York Times
updated 9:31 a.m. CT, Sun., March. 15, 2009
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system.

The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as “the largest middle-class tax increase in history.” Most Americans with insurance get it from their employers, and taxing workers for the benefit is opposed by union leaders and some businesses.

In television advertisements last fall, Mr. Obama criticized his Republican rival for the presidency, Senator John McCain of Arizona, for proposing to tax all employer-provided health benefits. The benefits have long been tax-free, regardless of how generous they are or how much an employee earns. The advertisements did not point out that Mr. McCain, in exchange, wanted to give all families a tax credit to subsidize the purchase of coverage.

At the time, even some Obama supporters said privately that he might come to regret his position if he won the election; in effect, they said, he was potentially giving up an important option to help finance his ambitious health care agenda to reduce medical costs and to expand coverage to the 46 million uninsured Americans. Now that Mr. Obama has begun the health debate, several advisers say that while he will not propose changing the tax-free status of employee health benefits, neither will he oppose it if Congress does so.

At a recent Congressional hearing, Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat whose own health plan would make benefits taxable, asked Peter R. Orszag, the president’s budget director, about the issue. Mr. Orszag replied that it “most firmly should remain on the table.”

Mr. Orszag, an economist who has served as director of the Congressional Budget Office, has written favorably of taxing some employer-provided health benefits and using the revenue savings for other health-related incentives. So has another Obama adviser, Jason Furman, the deputy director of the White House National Economic Council.


They, like other proponents, cite evidence that tax-free benefits encourage what Mr. McCain called “gold-plated” policies, resulting in inefficient and costly demands for health care and pressure on employers to hold down workers’ pay as insurance expenses rise. And, they say, the policy discriminates against those — many of whom are low-income workers — who do not have employer-provided coverage.

When Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, advocated taxing benefits at a recent hearing of the Finance Committee, which he leads, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner assured him that the administration was open to all ideas from Congress. Mr. Geithner did, however, allude to the position that Mr. Obama had taken as a candidate.

The administration’s receptivity to the idea is owed partly to the advocacy of Mr. Baucus, whose committee has jurisdiction over tax policy and health programs, and to support from Republicans. There is less enthusiasm among Democrats in the House, though the health debate is at an early stage and no comprehensive plans are on the table.

Also, Mr. Obama’s own idea for raising revenues for health care — limiting the income tax deductions that the most affluent taxpayers claim — has run into opposition not only from Mr. Baucus but also from his counterpart in the House, Representative Charles B. Rangel, Democrat of New York, who is chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

Mr. Obama’s proposed limit on deductions would raise an estimated $318 billion over 10 years, or half of his proposed “health care reserve fund.” That is a fraction of the revenues that could be raised from taxing employer-provided health benefits.

In the campaign, Mr. McCain estimated that taxing all health benefits would raise $3.6 trillion over a decade — “a multitrillion-dollar tax hike,” one Obama advertisement said.

The Congressional Budget Office says that including health benefits in taxable income could mean $246 billion in additional revenue for a single year. Stopping short of full taxation, as Mr. Baucus and others suggest, would mean less new revenue.

The latest government figures, for 2007, show that 70 percent of the 253 million people with health insurance received at least some of their coverage through employers. Employment-based insurance covers three-fifths of the population under 65.


Those who want to tax benefits in whole or in part make two main arguments. They say the tax exclusion is a generous subsidy that insulates employees from the true costs of health care, leading them to demand more of it and driving up overall costs. Critics also say the policy is unfair because it favors higher-income people. “It’s too regressive,” Mr. Baucus said. “It just skews the system.”

But in a blueprint for health legislation that he issued last November, Mr. Baucus said taking the exclusion on health benefits out of the tax code would go “too far” and “cause widespread disruption in employer-based health benefits.” Mr. Obama has also said he wants to preserve employer-provided coverage. Mr. Baucus, in his paper, cited other options, like taxing benefits above some value, taxing only wealthy employees or both.

However the proposal is devised, advocates will not have an easy time selling it.

Republicans, like Mr. McCain and former President George W. Bush before him, tend to favor taxing the benefits to finance other incentives for people to buy their own insurance. But given Mr. Obama’s use of the issue in his campaign, Republicans are unlikely to support a change unless the president himself proposes it, a senior adviser to Senate Republicans said.

Many Democrats, especially House liberals, are opposed. “It’s a dumb idea,” said Representative Pete Stark of California, chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. “We have to maintain as much as we can of the employer payments.”

Administration officials often say they will not repeat the mistakes of former President Bill Clinton, whose plan for universal health insurance collapsed in 1994. But Frank B. McArdle, a health policy expert at Hewitt Associates, a benefits consulting firm, said, “If President Obama agrees to cut back the tax break for employee health benefits, he will risk repeating one of Mr. Clinton’s errors by disrupting health insurance for people who have it and like it.”

Some big businesses consider nontaxable employment benefits a tool for recruiting and retaining workers. The United States Chamber of Commerce opposes eliminating the exclusion on health benefits, but James P. Gelfand, senior manager of health policy, said the group had not taken a position on limiting it.

Organized labor, a pillar of the Democratic Party base, considers the benefits among the union movement’s historic achievements for the middle class. But a split could be developing between the manufacturing unions, which have negotiated rich benefit packages, and the growing service employees unions, which include many low-wage workers without generous benefits.


Alan V. Reuther, legislative director of the United Automobile Workers, said: “These proposals would represent a tax increase on working families. They would undermine good health care coverage.”

But at the Service Employees International Union, which was an early supporter of Mr. Obama, Dennis Rivera, the coordinator of the union’s health care campaign, said that while his organization was “predisposed not to agree to the taxing of health benefits,” he would wait to pass judgment. The union, Mr. Rivera said, wants to see how any tax changes fit into the overall effort to revamp the health care system. “We need to see the total picture,” he said.

This story, Administration Is Open to Taxing Health Benefits, originally appeared in the New York Times.


Copyright © 2009 The New York Times
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29703278/



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44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reproductive issues on: March 13, 2009, 05:21:03 PM
 cheesy

45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed on: March 13, 2009, 02:53:38 PM
I am not exactly sure what you mean by "moderate". You and or Chad suggest that those of us who are less strict on principle are Dems lite or not really Republicans or conservatives.

For the record I am fiscally conservative and when I say "dem lite" it is the people in the party that want to be democrat, but not all the way democrat. That is to say they will tell us that a $400B stimulus bill is outrageous, but a $350B stimulus bill is responsible.

As for how I feel about social issues is that everyone should be free do do as they please as long as it does'nt interfere with the freedom of others.
So when I say small tent I mean the people who want liberty and can be adult enough to let others enjoy their liberties.
46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed on: March 13, 2009, 12:20:19 PM
Many of us are now thinking, well if we're going to lose anyany, why not make it a "smaller tent" membership and restore Conservative principles and push out the so called moderates, that are basically Liberals and becoming more Liberal everyday.

ah-men. The Republicans need to stand for something other than just being "democrat lite". I won't get my hopes up tho, the whole opposition party thing is ringing hollow after the last eight years.
47  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Deadliest Warrior on: March 12, 2009, 03:51:01 PM
New show coming in April on Spike... check out the promo, kind of looks like Fight Science? Might be interesting.

http://www.spike.com/video/dealiest-warrior/3114105
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama wants vets to pay for treatment on: March 11, 2009, 10:33:16 PM
Quote from: blackfive.net
WTF?!

On CNN's Political Tracker: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/03/10/senator-warns-white-house-on-possible-vet-proposal/#more-43270

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance, but was told by lawmakers that it would be "dead on arrival" if sent to Congress...

But it's still under consideration after several lawmakers tried to get ahead of the change:

...No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly, but veterans groups wrote a pre-emptive letter last week to President Obama opposing the idea after hearing the plan was under consideration. The groups also noticed an increase in “third-party collections” estimated in the 2010 budget proposal—something they said could only be achieved if the VA started billing for service-related injuries.

Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under "consideration."

"A final decision hasn't been made yet," he said...
49  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Dog Brothers.....The Stick....and The Fox on: March 11, 2009, 10:25:27 PM
Chad, I think it was "Lonely Dog" on the national geographic pilot show @ 3:48 (good example) doing the striking gesture you mentioned.   Good Form   grin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6EZE_rmsQs&feature=related

Nice find, Tom- that was the one that stuck in my mind thanks for finding it!
50  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Rest in Peace on: March 11, 2009, 10:21:49 PM

More news http://www.tmz.com/2009/03/11/tapout-owner-dies-in-horrific-ferrari-crash/

The crew just wont be the same....
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