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I can remember in the 80's traditional martial arts like Kung Fu and Karate were the hot thing. Bruce Lee made Kung Fu popular throughout the 70's, as did the show (called 'Kung Fu). Hollywood popularized Karate through popular names like Chuck Norris and through movies like the Karate kid.

Back then the conventional wisdom told us that if someone is a black belt in Karate for Kung Fu - "Don't mess with that guy!"

In came mixed martial arts and the iconic Gracie family. Has anyone seen UFC 1? Although most of those fighters would get slaughtered today, it is arguably the most entertaining UFC bouts ever made. It pitted single-art fighters against each other. A kick boxer verse a Sumo wrestler, a traditional boxer vs BJJ, etc. No weight class and almost no rules.

In the early stages of UFC the Gracies dominated, particularly Royce Gracie. Time and time again their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu would crush traditional martial artists and it soon became clear arts like Karate and Kung fu are relatively weak.

In a short time the very face of martial arts was changed in the US (and world I presume). The UFC also went through relatively quick changes. Fighters began adopting more practical arts, most commonly Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for ground work and various versions of Kick Boxing (as well as straight boxing) for striking. The sport also became very controversial, and as a result some limiting rules were put in place. The UFC also tinkered with different fighting formats.

Martial arts outside the UFC went through big changes as well. . Today our cities and towns are flooded with studios who generally teach (with some variation) Brazilian Jiu Jitsu combined with Muay Thai (a variation of kick boxing). Even the US Marine Corps and US Army have used BJJ to subliment their hand-to-hand combat training. The US Army simply calls it, US Army Combatives.

Let's rewind a little bit. It is said, although I cannot confirm, that the Gracie family invented Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - which is why some refer to it as "Gracie Jiu Jitsu." The Gracies are a large family with lots of male siblings. As the story goes a Japanese Judo master befriended and tought one, who in turn made some changes (creating Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) and he tought the others. Judo is an old Japanese art that focuses on throws, trips and sweeps, with some follow on ground work. The Gracies focused entirely on the ground work of Judo, refining, improving it, and thus creating the a new art.

I have always been a huge Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fan, but I recently started becoming a big fan of traditional Judo. A few MMA fighters have been able to utilize Judo with some success, but they do have a disadvantage. They're not fighting on hard flooring or concrete as you would be on the street. The surface of fighting rings are generally made to have some give in order to prevent injury. Also, you're going up against shirtless, sweaty guys so there's less to grab and they're slippery. That can certainly be the case on the street, but most of the time your opponent will be wearing some type of clothing you can grab and use. Even a T-shirt allows for some choke techniques.

So, I've began taking Judo classes. I'm able to hang decently against the experienced Judo guys on the ground (I have limited BJJ experience). But when it comes to stand up Judo, the take downs and such, I'm pretty weak against those guys. I've only gone to 4 classes so far and I have been seeing improvement each time. It's also fantastic cardio!

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Hello, all. After many, many attempts to quit smoking I have finally done it. I used to go back and forth between smoking and dipping, and today marks 8 days I haven't had any form of tobacco products. I feel after a week I am at the point of no return.
Time after time I would "quit," and then halfway through the day I would find an excuse to smoke again. Usually it's a reason I gave myself to procrastinate like, "I'll quit this weekend when there's less stress." But when you haven't even quit for a day that's really easy to do because you're not losing anything. This time after investing a whole week of intense cravings, and irritability beyond measure - it would be a much bigger deal for me to light up a cigarette.

Now what I'm facing is physical symptoms of quitting. A few days ago I began to get a sore throat, and it's only gotten worse. The pain is localized in the vicinity of my adams apple, and it's very intense. Normally I just shake off things like coughs and sore throats, but it's excruciating for me to cough for even swallow my own spit. I've also lost most of my voice.

I checked on-line, and sure enough it is a side effect of quitting smoking. It's ironic isn't it? Quitting smoking causes me to get a cough and a sore throat. So how long can I expect this symptom to last? I've been doing intense exercise because it really helps with the cravings, but I don't think I can run with my throat like this. I was really hoping to pound the pavement tomorrow.

My aunt, who was a smoker for years just recently died of cancer. She was a great person, fun to be around and always full of life. Between losing my aunt and what I'm going through, I can't help but despise the tobacco industry. I absolutely take responsibility for my own choices in life, but still, to me they're no different your run in the mill drug cartel. They may act within the law, but like a cartel their profits depend on addiction and their business kills people.

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That seems to be the meme on Dailykos. Obama supporters vs. the "true" Liberals who don't support Obama.

If that's the case, I am proud to be one of the "fringe" 72% of Liberals and 84% of Liberal Democrats who approve of the job President Obama is doing.

This is in the face of Obama's overall approval rating being near his all time low, currently at 43%.

I do not believe Dailykos (or other Democratic/Liberal/Progressive blogs) are a proportional representation of the left in this country. While threads that torch President Obama will continue to reach 500+ recs in very short order - if you are a Liberal and you support Obama you are not alone. On the contrary, you are very much in the majority.

I AM A LIBERAL AND I SUPPORT OBAMA.
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There is no reason to be hush-hush about it.

Similarly, many Conservatives exclaim you can't be a trooper and support Democrats and Obama.

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Just saw this on Yahoo News.

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press – 2 hrs 59 mins ago
WASHINGTON – The historic $38 billion in budget cuts resulting from at-times hostile bargaining between Congress and the Obama White House were accomplished in large part by pruning money left over from previous years, using accounting sleight of hand and going after programs President Barack Obama had targeted anyway.

Such moves permitted Obama to save favorite programs — Pell grants for college students, health research and "Race to the Top" aid for public schools, among others — from Republican knives, according to new details of the legislation released Tuesday morning.

snip

As a result of that sleight of hand, Obama was able to reverse many of the cuts passed by House Republicans in February when the chamber approved a bill slashing this year's budget by more than $60 billion. In doing so, the White House protected favorites like the Head Start early learning program, while maintaining the maximum Pell grant of $5,550 and funding for Obama's "Race to the Top" initiative that provides grants to better-performing schools. Food aid to the poor was preserved, as were housing subsidies.

Instead, the cuts that actually will make it into law are far tamer, including cuts to earmarks, unspent census money, leftover federal construction funding, and $2.5 billion from the most recent renewal of highway programs that can't be spent because of restrictions set by other legislation. Another $3.5 billion comes from unused bonus money for states that enroll more uninsured children in a program providing health care to children of lower-income families.

snip

The White House rejected GOP attempts to block the EPA's ability to issue global warming rules and other reversals of environmental regulations. Obama also forced Republicans to drop an effort to cut off Planned Parenthood from federal funding, as well as GOP moves to stop implementation of Obama's overhauls of health care and Wall Street regulation.

The administration also thwarted a GOP attempt to block new rules governing the Internet, as well as a National Rifle Association-backed attempt to neuter a little-noticed initiative aimed at catching people running guns to Mexican drug lords by having regulators gather information on batch purchases of rifles and shotguns.

No doubt there were also many concessions made by Congressional Democrats, and the linked article includes those.

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Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 04:02 PM PDT

Major DK4 Bug?

by USArmyParatrooper

I'm having major bug issues with my ASUS laptop using Windows 7

- It started when I was logged in and debating in a Diary I made related to Bradley Manning. My computer suddenly shut off, and when I turned it back on and went back to DKos the following happened:

- The 'Log In' option never appeared at the top. I found a round-about place to log in, and each time I did I was redirected to the home page without being logged in.

- Clicking on a post does not expand it to expose the text. Instead it redirects you do the specific page of that post - as if you viewed all of the comments of the user and clicked it that way. When when you click on it from there nothing happens.

Both of these issues were happening both, on Internet Explorer and on Firefox. My laptop is relatively new so I restored the entire thing, resetting it back to factory settings. I was still having the same problem.

Finally, I upgraded IE to IE 8, and managed to get it so the log in appears. When I log in it still directs me back to the home page without logging me in, but it does allow me to view posts. Firefox is still having the same problem as before.

I'm on my wife's Mac and it works fine from here, as well as from my iPhone.

Perhaps silly paranoia, a slight possibility of a hack? Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.

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Although my opinion will anger many on DKos, I still must speak my mind. Quite often when I debate this subject accusations such as "torture apologist!" will run rampant. Let me be clear. Disagreeing about whether someone is being tortured is not "apologizing" for torture. I never have and I never will condone torture. In my view when the accusation is made recklessly it cheapens the seriousness of the heinous practice.

Most of the facts on the case I've actually compiled from statements from Manning's attorney, David Coombs. There have also been vague statements from the DoD, none of which I've included in my diary. So let's talk about statements that appear from both.

Typically anything Manning or his attorney say is taken as worth its weight in gold, without question from Kos members, and whatever statements come from the military must be lies from the start. But the truth is neither the Department of Defense, Manning nor his attorney are impartial observers.

David Boone is biased for the defense and it's in his client's best interest that he drum up as much outrage and sympathy as possible. Aside from gaining public support for Manning, it also helps fund his defense through donations you can donate to his defense here. David Boone also has the luxury of selectively making public - interactions, private conversations and documents without rebuttal. Last, any good trial lawyer is skilled at stirring emotion and making legal arguments. I think it's safe to say that, in any trial, if only one side was allowed to make arguments they would win every time.

The Department of Defense is also biased in that the military likes to avoid bad PR. But the DoD and the detention facility at Quantico are bound by privacy laws. Even after Manning's underwear was taken at night for a few days, the military only said, "the circumstances warranted it" without being allowed to discuss details. Fortunately Manning's attorney explained it was taken due to his remarks about hanging himself with his underwear (sarcastically) as Boone says.

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US demanding gay rights support at UN body

By BRADLEY KLAPPER, Associated Press – Mon Mar 21, 8:17 pm ET
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration will introduce its first statement calling for the United Nations' top human rights body to combat discrimination against gays and lesbians around the world, completing a U.S. reversal from years of ambiguity on the subject during the presidency of George W. Bush.
The U.S. declaration will be made Tuesday at the Geneva-based Human Rights Council and has the support of more than 80 countries. Although it is not in the form of binding resolution, the American push for U.N. action has helped win over a handful of new countries to the cause. A resolution could be brought to a vote later this year.

(snip)

The U.S. document calls for nations to end any criminal punishments against lesbians, gays and bisexuals, and asks the global body to review how governments treat them in the U.N.'s human rights assessments. It acknowledges that "these are sensitive issues for many," but insists that people must be freed from discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

(snip)

Obama has stepped up the case for gay rights in recent months, winning a congressional vote to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. military and urging last weekend in a joint statement with the Brazilian president for the establishment of a special investigator to monitor respect for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals in the Western Hemisphere.
Under the Bush administration, the U.S. policy was markedly different. The administration didn't support a French resolution at the U.N. General Assembly in 2008 that addressed similar concerns, joining Russia, China, the Vatican and Islamic states in opposition. The U.S. explained its position at the time in technical terms, saying it was fearful of language that would infringe on the right of American states to legislate matters such as gay marriage.

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Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 04:46 PM PDT

Gaddafi Compound Struck

by USArmyParatrooper

It's breaking now.

Building in Gadhafi compound possibly struck by cruise missiles

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- A four-story building in Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's Tripoli compound has been heavily damaged, possibly by cruise missiles, CNN's Nic Robertson reported.
Robertson, invited by government officials to see the damage, said early Monday local time that two circular holes in the building may be telltale signs of cruise missiles, although that could not be immediately confirmed.
The leader's whereabouts were not known.
The building is only 100 yards or so from a statue of a golden fist crushing a model plane emblazoned with "USA" -- a monument to the 1986 American bombing of Libya, in which one U.S. plane was downed.
U.S. officials earlier Sunday said they are not targeting the leader, who has defied international calls to stop attacking opposition forces.

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I've heard quite a bit of discussion around the company that as of now, Don't Ask Don't Tell has been repealed. That didn't make sense to me because I assumed such a thing would be huge news. But I also took a long break from anything to do with politics, other than listening to NPR on the radio to and from work.

So I did some searching and, boy, even listening to a few minutes of NPR I have been living under a rock.

'Don't ask, don't tell' is repealed by Senate; bill awaits Obama's signing

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I'm posting this article from the Army Times because I think an important question is... why? I've always believed that the main reason our kids are so far behind other countries has less to do with our schools, and more to do with our culture.

Why do kids in private schools or public schools in wealthy districts do better? Because their parents are well to do, and much more likely to have a higher education themselves and have a stable home life. This isn't to say rich kids never get in trouble or wealthy parents are never irresponsible. We're talking about averages here.

With all of this being said, I fully admit that my opinion isn't based on scientific study. It's simply my impression from anecdotal experience and it makes sense to me.

I'm married and I have an eight year old step daughter. We have always lived off base so she's never gone to a DoD school, so unfortunately I have no experience with them.

So I would like to some opinions about why DoD schools do well. I would especially love to hear from members who have experience with DoD schools, or education in general.

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Can we all just put down the torches and pitchforks for a minute? I'm just sayin....

Video is in the link.

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Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 11:26 AM PST

I'm back

by USArmyParatrooper

Several months ago I decided to leave Dailykos after a Diary made the Rec list that I felt was disparaging toward service members. I've decided to come back.

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