Do You Smack the Mak?

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The Makiwara

Choki Motobu working ippon-ken (single knuckle fist), commonly used in traditional karate, on the makiwara.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about the use of the makiwara (or striking post) in traditional Isshin-ryu Karate training. I thought I would try to clear some of it up … at least as much as you can in a short blog post.

Japanese and Chinese styles certainly have some similar training equipment. For example, the Wing Chung style has the Wing Chung dummy. However, the use of the makiwara in traditional Okinawan karate is very different from what I have often seen portrayed in photographs or videos on the web or in books, etc. I have seen photographs of bleeding, badly deformed knuckles and arthritic fingers that could no longer hold a pencil or work a pair of chop sticks. I once saw a video where a Japanese instructor with horribly deformed looking hands was repeatedly pounding them into a large boulder!  Folks, this is not the way it was done.

Anyone who has had the life-changing experience of being hit by Sensei Sherman Harrill before he lost his battle to cancer, can attest to the power in his strikes. Sensei Harrill could hit you in the shoulder and pile-drive you right into the floor. It bordered on being a religious experience. I have had the same experience being hit by Sensei John Kerker. There are a few other student of Sensei Harrill running around that can make a true-believer out of you. All that being said, Sensei Harrill could still hold a pencil, sign his name, or shake hands. When you looked at his hands, they looked … you know … normal! You might say they looked like “working” hands. But, by no means were they swollen, deformed, bruised, red, misshapen or otherwise ugly-looking. The two large knuckles of his hands did not look like some kind of mutant walnuts or purple ball bearings. But, those hands were truly deadly!

It has often been wrongly stated by many that the purpose of makiwara training is to build up calluses on the knuckles. Really? Is the purpose of playing the guitar to build up calluses on the fingertips? Or do the calluses build naturally as your fingers become stronger and more dexterous, and the music begins to flow? Has anyone seen a guitarist whose fingers were so deformed he could not hold a fork?

What the makiwara offered the karate practitioner was a means to strengthen his strike from the ground up. It offered progressive resistance. The more you moved the punching post, the more it pushed back. You would start by pressing into the post with the two large knuckles of your fist. You would set into your stance, place your knuckles against the post and press. Typically, the first time, the post would not move. You would feel some weakness somewhere in your stance, or your lower back, or your shoulder, or wrist. Something would feel out of whack. You would make an adjustment to your stance, your posture or your alignment, and try again. After awhile you begin to feel more solid, and the post began to move just a little. Over time, you would continue to press into the post focusing on your improved stance, adding hip rotation, shoulder extension, proper elbow and shoulder alignment. Little by little, the post begins to move more and more. You add breathing … exhaling into your strike.

After a time, you add distance and throw a controlled half-punch, then move to a controlled full punch. You try different strikes and striking surfaces. More times passes and you are throwing solid properly aligned punches and strikes and the post is really moving now. You are now also controlling the return of the post. Offering it resistance as it pushes back into your strike. Then one day you look down at your hands and notice the skin is a little tougher on your striking surfaces … harder. But not purple, or black and swollen, or otherwise deformed. They still look pretty damn normal!

The real difference … you are now striking with Chinkuchi! You hit your target with the entire body moving in perfect orchestration. The bone, muscle, sinew are all strengthened, honed, and working in proper alignment. Your strike is now intently focused with a surgical-like precision. It flows seamlessly and effortlessly from a dynamically relaxed movement into a concentrated, well-focused explosion of kinetic energy … which, instantly after impact, returns to a dynamically relaxed state … ready to strike. It seems effortless and flowing for you. It is natural and a part of you.

The person on the receiving end, however … probably wishes your hands were swollen, bruised, bloody and deformed.

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Can you hear me now?

warrantless-wiretap-190x300    Wonder of wonders, Rachel Maddow is now a Republican hero. The left-wing media will now have to rush to find some way to cover up for their embarrassing illegal release of Trump’s tax returns. It sort of backfired on them big league! It seems Donald Trump had a declared income of $150 million in 2005. He paid $38 million (or 25%) in taxes on that income. The national average for his income level was 22%.

In comparison, Barack Hussein Obama paid about 18% and the ultimate class warrior, Bernie Sanders, paid about 13%. Ain’t grievance politics great! This all kind of makes Hillary Clinton look like the hateful idiot she is … claiming, as she did during the campaign, that Donald Trump paid no income taxes at all. Obviously her informant’s information was wrong. She should have called the NSA … or maybe Julian Assange!

Now … to the MSM, I ask … what about the illegal nature of releasing a citizen’s tax return to the media without that citizen’s permission? What about the media releasing that information to the public …. I hear crickets chirping!

I just love this selective outrage and the ability to pick and choose which laws you will or will not obey! Now that is TRUE FREEDOM for you!

In other news, it seems the Senate Intelligence Committee can find no evidence that Donald Trump was wire-tapped … at least according to a testy Paul Ryan. Riddle me this then Paul … how did transcripts of private phone calls made by Donald Trump end up in the hands of the MSM? How are these leaks working? Donald Trump is not a spy … even I know he used the term “wire-tapping” in a very generic sense. In his mind I am sure it covered eavesdropping, cell phone hacking, NSA monitoring (and don’t even bother to argue that they don’t spy on American citizens), etc. Under the circumstances, it is not an outrageous claim. What is outrageous is how easily some folks parse words to dismiss it.

It is indeed a brave new world!

What UMBRAGE?

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Interesting to find that in the documents released by Wikileaks, there is disturbing evidence that the CIA often mimics the Russians when it hacks its targets. It seems there is a program called UMBRAGE. This program consists of the CIA mimicking Russian hackers, meaning … the CIA has the ability to hack anybody they want and make it look like the Russians are doing it.

Interestingly enough, Julian Assange always claimed it was not the Russians who hacked the DNC and Podesta’s emails. Maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t. We certainly don’t know for sure. I, for one, am definitely not taking James Clapper’s word for anything.  But, it makes one wonder if the Obama administration thought, “maybe two could play that game.”

Could the Obama administration have orchestrated the whole thing to create a never-ending Trump investigation in order to discredit and sabotage his Presidency?  It certainly shines a possible new light on Trump’s accusation, the FISA Court warrants requests,and all the “leaks” the Democrats are using to try and bring down members of the Trump administration! What a scary new world! ,

The Russian’s Are Coming!

I really do get a kick out of all the hysteria by the Democrats and the Media over Trump’s claim that the Obama administration bugged his campaign team. I mean, is it really that far fetched?  Let’s look at the historical record:

  • Who illegally bugged our NATO partner Germany’s chancellor?
  • Who illegally bugged the AP, a Fox journalist and the Fox journalist’s family?
  • Who lied about illegally holding the phone data for every Verizon customer in the US?
  • Which party raided the homes and offices of their political opponents to seize phones and computers under a John Doe warrant in Wisconsin?
  • Who raided the Gibson Guitar Company because CEO Henry Juszkiewicz made campaign donations to Republicans?
  • Who used the IRS to target conservative political organizations?
  • Who covered up Fast and Furious and Benghazi?

Is it really hard to imagine that the political party and ideology that was okay with doing all these ILLEGAL things would suddenly not be okay with bugging the biggest political threat to their future? Is it also really so hard to believe that they might misrepresent and combine criminal and national security information in order to bring down their biggest political opponent? It is not too big a stretch for me to make! Especially since we do know warrant requests were made to the FISA court by the Obama DOJ!

Despite the tearful hand-wringing of MSNBC’S Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, we do have the evidence of such a bugging. And it comes directly from the January 20, 2017, Late Edition, front page of the … wait for it  … The NY Times!

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Another interesting point that some may have missed. Lost amidst the uproar over President Trump’s startling Saturday morning wire-tapping accusation, the ensuing battle of words over the whether the Obama administration would ever spy on the Trump campaign, and the Jeff Sessions recusal story, an elaborate narrative seems to have suddenly died.

You remember, the whole misleading claim that “Russians Hacked the Election” or that the “Trump Campaign Colluded with the Russians.” For some reason, the Democrats seem to be retreating from that narrative. I wonder why? Could it be that they are now suddenly afraid that, oopsies, the real truth will come out? Or have they again, just been outsmarted by Donald Trump?  Only time will tell ….

Russia Hacks the Oscars

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Breaking News! It’s official! Russia hacked the Oscars! Putin switched the envelopes for the best picture award. There were loud cries of moral indignation and righteous outrage from the left-wing Hollywood Elites. Many tears of grief were shed resulting in elaborate Oscar gowns, some valued at many thousands of dollars, being totally ruined … stained with tears and running mascara!

An unnamed highly-placed source within the Oscar organization stated that spontaneous protests are currently being organized and will commence just as soon as they can get funding from George Soros and the signs they ordered back from the printers. #NOTOURLALALAND.

Hillary Clinton, just back from her latest staged “accidental” meet up with a loyal young female supporter in the woods, was quoted as stating she was ” 100% behind the downtrodden, disenfranchised and forgotten Hollywood Elites and would certainly be there for them in 2020!”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, upon hearing the news of this catastrophic occurrence, quickly went on the record, stating that, “This is simply additional evidence that President Trump should be impeached.  It should be illegal to traumatize the loyal supporters of so many undocumented illegal immigrants that cross our borders illegally! It is un-American and contrary to our unique American heritage,  After all, we are a nation of laws!”

President Trump, reacted to the news early this morning by tweeting, @POTUS Freaking Awesome!  The mainstream media outlets were outraged, then they were even more outraged, and finally, they were even more outraged! (Did I mention the mainstream media was outraged?)

The one bright shining light in this disastrous tragedy … Warren Beatty handled it calmly and brilliantly by doing exactly what actors do best. He read what was printed on the card even though it was dead wrong!

The Truth About Dodd-Frank

home_4_saleThe DoddFrank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is essentially a collection of federal regulations aimed at financial institutions and their customers. It was supposedly implemented to prevent the recurrence of events that caused the 2008 financial crisis and was passed by the Obama administration in 2010.

The 2007-2008 recession resulted in a worldwide financial meltdown and a $700 billion taxpayer-funded bailout.  The need for some common-sense financial reforms seemed evident. However is that what Dodd-Frank really was?  What actually did cause the “Sub-Prime” mortgage bubble which led to this financial crisis?

That real facts are that President Clinton’s  HUD Secretary, Henry Cisneros, discovered that  a statistical difference existed between the granting of mortgages to black borrowers and white borrowers by banks. Ignoring differences in important contributing factors such as population numbers, income levels and the ability to repay these mortgage loans, Cisneros decreed that mortgage granting rates between black borrowers and white borrowers should be the same, meaning for every white home buyer granted a mortgage, they must also grant a black home buyer a mortgage. The fallacy of this decree is clear on its face. A truly non-discriminatory mortgage process would base mortgage approvals specifically on the borrower’s ability to repay the mortgage and not on race, creed, religion, sexual orientation or whatever.  That would be a true non-discriminatory process.  Banks resisted this idiotic decree, however Cisneros was backed up by Attorney General Reno who threatened nonconforming banks with FBI investigations. Banks were forced to approve “Sub-Prime” mortgages for borrowers who had no realistic means of repaying the mortgage. The result? Most of these mortgages became worthless paper. The result of these bad mortgages was recession world-wide. Henry Cisneros’ policy is a prime example of government over-reach and manipulation of economic policy for political gain … also know as Progressive justice.

Democrats badly needed a diversion to muddy the waters … to give their lap-dog media something to spin on their behalf! They needed to be seen to be doing something to “correct” the problem.  Enter Dodd-Frank!  But what Dodd-Frank actually did was act as a smoke screen to cover up the Democrat’s responsibility for the 2007-2008 recession.

The really sad thing is that the Obama administration did not learn from Henry Cisneros’ mistake and continued with the same kinds of policies that caused the 2007-2008 recession … expecting, of course, a different result! What Dodd-Frank really does is hamstring the banking industry with crushing regulations and help to perpetuate stagnate economic growth. I understand that regulation might be needed to help ensure fairness in lending practices, but Dodd-Frank is, by no means, that regulation.

Get Real … the Special Immigrant VISA program has always been broken!

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I am totally disgusted with all you disingenuous America haters … jumping on the bandwagon and protesting this temporary freeze on immigration from 7 countries with a rich history of hating and murdering Americans. Unfortunately, this list of disingenuous haters now seems to also include Glen Beck and The Blaze, and The Daily Beast!  Is there no journalistic integrity left in the American press at all?  There are a few real facts you need to consider before spreading your lies and spewing your hate!  Okay, maybe that is too harsh … but you could at least check your facts!!

First, the Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) for Iraqi and Afghan Translators that left-wing ex-military groups are now screaming about. That process has always been broken.  It took the Iraqi translator who worked with U.S. Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle, who know goes by the name Johnny Walker, five years to get through the process.  Do the math!  President Trump has been in office 11 days!  Pete Hegseth, a former executive director of Vets for Freedom and now Fox New contributor has fought for years to bring Iraqi and Afghan allies of his over under this program.  He has talked to and argued with the State Department and many Senators with no success.  Again, Trump has been in office 11 days!  Did you consider that a review of this process might actually include fixing this Special Immigrant Visa program which has been broken since it was put in place in 2009?  Of course not ….

The State Department stopped processing Iraqi refugees for six months while Barack Obama was President and Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State.  This included Iraqis who had helped U.S. Forces as interpreters and intelligence assets.  This was reported by ABC News in 2013.  ABC News also reported that, as a result of Obama’s BAN ON MUSLIMS, an Iraqi who had aided American troops was murdered before his refugee application could be processed.  This was a direct result of the immigration delay!  Where was your indignant, moral outcry then?

One of the first Iraqi interpreters for the U.S. military detained under Trump’s executive order, Hameed Darweesh, has already been released under an exemption in the order! While certainly not identical, President Trump’s policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.  The seven countries listed in President Trump’s executive were previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror.

If you had any intellectual integrity at all, you would back off and give the man a chance, and see how this plays out.  However, I do understand that expecting intellectual integrity from the kinds of people who march on Washington, D.C. dressed as giant pink vaginas … may be a bit of a stretch!

 

 

 

Executive Order Limiting Muslim Entry To The U.S.

PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES

 

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By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

 

     Section 1Purpose.  The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States.  Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans.  And while the visa-issuance process was reviewed and amended after the September 11 attacks to better detect would-be terrorists from receiving visas, these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States.

 

     Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States.  The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism.

 

     In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles.  The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.  In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.

 

     Sec. 2Policy.  It is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States; and to prevent the admission of foreign nationals who intend to exploit United States immigration laws for malevolent purposes.

 

     Sec. 3Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern

(a)  The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.

     (b)  The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President a report on the results of the review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 30 days of the date of this order.  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence.

     (c)  To temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies during the review period described in subsection (a) of this section, to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals, pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas).

     (d)  Immediately upon receipt of the report described in subsection (b) of this section regarding the information needed for adjudications, the Secretary of State shall request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification.

     (e)  After the 60-day period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs.

     (f)  At any point after submitting the list described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security may submit to the President the names of any additional countries recommended for similar treatment.

     (g)  Notwithstanding a suspension pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or pursuant to a Presidential proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.

     (h)  The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall submit to the President a joint report on the progress in implementing this order within 30 days of the date of this order, a second report within 60 days of the date of this order, a third report within 90 days of the date of this order, and a fourth report within 120 days of the date of this order.

 

     Sec. 4Implementing Uniform Screening Standards for All Immigration Programs

(a)  The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall implement a program, as part of the adjudication process for immigration benefits, to identify individuals seeking to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis with the intent to cause harm, or who are at risk of causing harm subsequent to their admission. This program will include the development of a uniform screening standard and procedure, such as in-person interviews; a database of identity documents proffered by applicants to ensure that duplicate documents are not used by multiple applicants; amended application forms that include questions aimed at identifying fraudulent answers and malicious intent; a mechanism to ensure that the applicant is who the applicant claims to be; a process to evaluate the applicant’s likelihood of becoming a positively contributing member of society and the applicant’s ability to make contributions to the national interest; and a mechanism to assess whether or not the applicant has the intent to commit criminal or terrorist acts after entering the United States.

     (b)  The Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of this directive within 60 days of the date of this order, a second report within 100 days of the date of this order, and a third report within 200 days of the date of this order.

 

     Sec. 5Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017

(a)  The Secretary of State shall suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days.  During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures.  Refugee applicants who are already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures.  Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of State shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.

     (b)  Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.  Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.

     (c)  Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.

     (d)  Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.

     (e)  Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest ― including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship ― and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

     (f)  The Secretary of State shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the directive in subsection (b) of this section regarding prioritization of claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution within 100 days of the date of this order and shall submit a second report within 200 days of the date of this order.

     (g)  It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees.  To that end, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.

 

     Sec. 6Rescission of Exercise of Authority Relating to the Terrorism Grounds of InadmissibilityThe Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Attorney General, consider rescinding the exercises of authority in section 212 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182, relating to the terrorism grounds of inadmissibility, as well as any related implementing memoranda.

 

     Sec. 7Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System.

(a)  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

     (b)  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President periodic reports on the progress of the directive contained in subsection (a) of this section.  The initial report shall be submitted within 100 days of the date of this order, a second report shall be submitted within 200 days of the date of this order, and a third report shall be submitted within 365 days of the date of this order.  Further, the Secretary shall submit a report every 180 days thereafter until the system is fully deployed and operational.

 

     Sec. 8Visa Interview Security.

(a)  The Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program and ensure compliance with section 222 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1222, which requires that all individuals seeking a non-immigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.

     (b)  To the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of State shall immediately expand the Consular Fellows Program, including by substantially increasing the number of Fellows, lengthening or making permanent the period of service, and making language training at the Foreign Service Institute available to Fellows for assignment to posts outside of their area of core linguistic ability, to ensure that non-immigrant visa-interview wait times are not unduly affected.

 

     Sec. 9Visa Validity Reciprocity.  The Secretary of State shall review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment.  If a country does not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable.

 

     Sec. 10Transparency and Data Collection

(a)  To be more transparent with the American people, and to more effectively implement policies and practices that serve the national interest, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, consistent with applicable law and national security, collect and make publicly available within 180 days, and every 180 days thereafter:

     (i)   information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation, or material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national security reasons since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later;

     (ii)   information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

     (iii)  information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including honor killings, in the United States by foreign nationals, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

     (iv)   any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.

     (b)  The Secretary of State shall, within one year of the date of this order, provide a report on the estimated long-term costs of the USRAP at the Federal, State, and local levels.

 

     Sec. 11General Provisions.

(a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

     (i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

     (ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

     (b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

     (c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Isms and Such!

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It has, for some time, been amazing to me how the progressive-liberal Left has twisted the facts to suit their agenda and have so often gotten away with it.  Thankfully, there are signs this is changing and more Americans are becoming wise to their tricks!  The results of this last election are a major sign that things are coming around. What do I mean by this, you may ask?  Let me explain …

I am a conservative.  I have been labeled by Hillary Clinton as a member of the “Basket of Deplorables,” “irredeemable” and “un-American.”  I have decided to wear this label with pride since it serves to separate me from fans of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and others of that ideology.  Simply because I am a conservative, I and other conservatives like me, are automatically assumed to be and are labeled racist, homophobic, misogynistic, Islamophobic and xenophobic.  But is that really true?  Or are these claims merely angry name-calling by a failed ideology that has no other viable means to assert their position.  Let’s look and see …

Am I a racist?  Every year we have a family Christmas party and I am amazed when I look around at the members of my family, each of whom I love dearly.  I just think of them as family, with no thought as to racial or ethnic origins.  But, to make my point, I will describe my family here.  In my family, we have White Americans, Black Americans, Korean Americans and Chinese Americans.  We all get along great.  Yes, we may have differing political views but we respect each other enough to be able to intelligently discuss our opinions and not let that cause problems when we gather as a family.

So, now I ask you … who is it that always wants to separate us all out into groups … White Americans, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Cuban Americans. Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans, etc.?  Who wants to categorize and pit us against each other?  Who is it that says any member of a minority who rejects the Left’s game of identity politics, such as Condoleezza Rice, Dr. Ben Carson, Sheriff David Clarke, Alan Keyes, Clarence Thomas or Mia Love, is somehow a race traitor?  Who is it that calls a race baiter such as Al Sharpton a hero.  Al Sharpton makes a lot of money blowing statistically rare instances of white on black crime into epic sagas, while ignoring many real problems.  If he cares so much about young black men, why is he not in Chicago helping Rahm Emanuel deal with the horrific death rates among young black men there?  I will tell you why, there is no money in it!

Am I homophobic?  I have also been accused of that by a radical gay feminist on a college campus. I had made the unforgivable statement that I was getting tired of all the gender politics being shoved in our faces by the media every day. But, this woman did not know me at all.  She did not that I worked on that campus and had several colleagues who were both friends and gay.  She did not know that I did Ballroom dancing and had worked with three dance instructors who were gay and that two of them were good friends of mine. She did not know that I had a good friend in college who was a lesbian, or that the son of a friend of mine was gay.  Simply because I was tired of being slapped in the face by the media every day for not being gay … I am labeled homophobic!  Give me a break!!

Am I misogynistic?  Misogyny is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls.  Are you kidding me?  I have the best mother in the world.  She is strong, fair, very intelligent, professional and successful … and she raised me.  The love of my life is a very successful doctor. She is also Asian-American (that darn racist thing again). I consider myself the luckiest man alive to have these two women in my life.  I have a successful, hard-working daughter and a successful, hardworking daughter-in-law, both of which are doing a great job raising their sons to be fine young men. I have a lot of respect for many women in the world.  I will name a few … Katharine Hepburn, Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, Nancy Reagan, Mary Tyler Moore, Margaret Thatcher, Condoleezza Rice, Kellyanne Conway, Mia Love, Malala Yousafzai, and though I disagree with her politics, Oprah Winfrey!  There are many others.  What I do not respect is women who cannot get over their own vaginas, or march through town dressed as giant, pink vaginas.  Give me a break!

The misogynist label is usually thrown at men who are not pro-abortion, and it is a convenient tool for that.   I do understand there are times when an abortion may be necessary.  But I have also, during my life, met several women who have had abortions and shared with me how much that weighed on their conscience and how much pain that choice caused them over the years.  I also do personally believe that late term abortions are wrong … except in rare or extreme cases, and that partial-birth abortions or waiting until a child is being born and whacking it in the head with a hammer, is a special kind of evil.  I absolutely do not respect women who would march in support of murdering their own children.  If that makes me a misogynist … so be it!

Am Islamophobic?  Personally, I have nothing against Muslims.  I am willing to peacefully coexist with anyone!  However, that must be a two-way street.  I draw the line at people who want to shoot me, blow me up, cut my head off, throw my gay friends off multi-story buildings, shoot girls who want an education, celebrate their religion by harassing or raping women in the streets, or burn me alive for being a Christian. If these crimes against humanity were being perpetrated by blond Swedish bikini models, I guess I would be blondswedishbikinimodelphobic!  It is really a meaningless label thrown around by name callers who cannot make a logical argument against protecting the citizens of the U.S. from threats … which, for those who aren’t taught this in school anymore, is the primary job of our government’s Executive Branch and the President of the United States.

Am I Xenophobic?  I think not.  My ancestors came here from Germany, England and Switzerland.  My girlfriend is Asian-American.  I have friends who are Hispanic, Black, British, Korean, Scottish, Bosnian, Romanian and South African.  My ancestors came here legally through Ellis Island … some got new names when their “foreign” names were misspelled by Immigration Officials. Yes, we are a Nation of Immigrants!  We are also a Nation of Laws.  We welcome immigrants who come legally. Do we need to change immigration laws to make them fairer and easier? Absolutely!  But we also need to secure our borders.  We spend billions of dollars helping other countries defend their borders while refusing to defend our own.  If you do not take care of your personal health and finances, you will find quickly find yourself in a position where you cannot help yourself … never mind anyone else.  It is the same for our Country.  If we do not maintain a healthy, financially sound country, we will soon be in a position where we cannot help ourselves anymore … never mind anyone else!! By putting America First, we insure we are able to help those in need because we actually have the means to do it!

While not originally a President Trump supporter, I am very excited to see the folks he has chosen for his administration and cabinet positions.  I had not even heard of many of them, but in checking them out, I have discovered they are all brilliant and professional … experts in the areas in which they will be serving.  Often, they do not agree with President Trump in certain areas or on specific policies, but this brings its own system of checks and balances to his administration; and it is a sign of a smart leader.  He is not choosing a bunch of ideological sycophants who will obey his orders without thought, but professionals and thinkers who will push back if they think he is wrong. How refreshing is that?  It bodes well for the future of our Country!

Serpents Underfoot (an excerpt)

Lt. Curtis Cordell slowly clawed his way back to consciousness.

What the fuck happened?

He was lying flat on his back on the jungle floor. Looking up, he saw daylight filtering down through the jungle canopy above.

Shit! Where’s the damn chopper?

He tried to roll over and locate his weapon but a jolt of intense pain shot through his body. Mercifully, he faded into unconsciousness.

When Cordell  drifted back into consciousness the jungle was pitch black. He did not try to move. He lay still, trying to figure out what the hell had happened. I was trying to snap the rope into my D-ring … the door gunner was shouting and there was the sound of an M-60 firing … I was grabbing for the rope … Holy shit!  I fell out of the fucking chopper.

Cordell lay still a few more minutes, that thought slowly taking hold in his brain. What the fuck do I do now?  He began to assess his situation. It was not good! Vietnamese civilians in the area had been under Viet Cong control too long now.  That meant they would not likely render him any assistance. Either terrorized or indoctrinated into supporting the enemy … they would more likely turn him over to the VC.  Also, not good!

Curtis was in the highlands, so water was an issue.  He still had his canteen, but that held one quart … not enough!  Hearing “jungle” most people imagine lush growth and monsoon rains.  There are also long dry seasons with no rain … where water becomes an issue even in the lowlands.  It was currently such a season and Curtis was definitely not in the lowlands.

Time to see if I can move. It was painful but this time he managed to roll over, discovering his M16 and his rucksack beneath him.  Slowly, trying to keep movements to a necessary minimum, Curtis gave his weapon a thorough inspection … relieved to find the rifle was operational.  His helmet was nowhere to be found.  Just as well!  Damn steel pot … too hot and heavy anyway.

Luckily for him, the soft rotting soil of the jungle floor absorbed much of the impact when he landed.  It could have been a big fucking pile of Vietnamese rocks … with a very different result.

Painfully, Cordell managed to get to his knees … then his feet.  Every inch of his body hurt like hell. He was covered with bruises, scrapes and cuts.  A good amount of his blood too.  His head hurt like hell! Gingerly, he felt the huge knot on the back of his head.  At first inspection, it appeared that, despite considerable pain, there didn’t seem to be any serious injury. Damn lucky! Concussion maybe …

Cordell’s concern at this point was simple survival.  He was still disorientated and had no idea what happened to the chopper or his team.  He knew he was near the original LZ, and since there was no sign of a crash site, it was a good bet they’d gotten away.  Then Cordell realized that he had no radio.

What a cluster fuck!

Continuing to take stock of his situation, he concluded that it was not good.  Obviously they’d been spotted since someone had fired that rocket!  A VC or NVA patrol was almost certainly on the way right now to investigate, hoping to find the site of a crashed helicopter.  On his best day, Cordell couldn’t take on a well-armed Vietcong or NVA patrol alone.  He needed to move now.

Okay Cordell!  I know it hurts, but you better get your sorry ass moving.  His best option was to head downhill … toward water.

There were still a few Montagnard villages in the area and they would be located near a source of water.  With any luck, he’d find some friendlies willing to help him get back to his unit.  Cordell took a few steps in the downhill direction, his knees buckled and he hit the ground. He was unaware that someone was watching him, hidden in the jungle foliage about forty yards away … virtually invisible.

Dish squatted silently in the dense foliage, trying to decide what to make of the American who had just fallen from the sky. He was a Degar, a Montagnard of the Jari tribe from the Kon Tum Province of the Central Highlands.  “Montagnard,” was a term carried over from the French colonial period in Vietnam. It meant “mountain people”.  The Vietnamese people regarded the Montagnard as “Moi,” or savages, and little love was lost between them and the Montagnard. However, the Montagnard held an especially deep hatred for the brutal communist North Vietnamese and their Vietcong allies.

Many of these tough Montagnard tribesmen fought with U.S. Special Forces and LRRP teams in Vietnam and earned the respect and admiration of their American allies.  Both the Special Forces units operating in Vietnam and the Montagnard warriors excelled in jungle warfare. Both were very accustomed to operating under the harshest of conditions.  It was not surprising these warriors grew to respect each other.

Dish finished his lunch, a handful of sticky rice wrapped in “some kind of totally unpalatable vegetation” his Special Forces friends often teased. He stood and worked his way down to have a closer look at the American.  Suddenly Dish froze.  His eyes narrowed to slits.  He remained stock still as the many banded krait adjusted its coils just a few feet in front of him and directly in his path.  The krait was agitated, its tongue darting in and out, tasting the air … searching for what had disturbed it. Dish did not move. There was little Dish feared in his world, but death from the bite of the venomous krait was a painful way to go.  Not a good death for a Montagnard warrior such as himself.

Finally, the krait seemed to lose interest and uncoiled itself. It slithered off the trail and into the jungle growth.  Dish remained still for several more minutes.  Kraits were highly aggressive … and sometimes waited in ambush for unwary victims.  Finally, Dish continued down to where the American soldier lay.  It was obvious to Dish that the American was in terrible shape.  He noticed the large swelling on the back of the soldier’s head where he’d been struck by a tree limb while tumbling through the jungle canopy.

Dish looked at the American’s uniform, seeing that he was a lieutenant from the American 1st Calvary Division.  He’d worked with American Special Forces teams over the past years, but not the 1st Cav’s LRRP teams.   Dish noted with appreciation that, though the soldier lay unconscious on the jungle floor, he still maintained a grip on his rifle.

Falling from the sky was not a smart thing to do!  This American soldier must be very clumsy or stupid.  Perhaps both.

He grinned as he recalled the picture of the American tumbling down through the canopy, hanging up momentarily on the vines, and finally flopping onto the jungle floor.  It was a very funny picture.  It had been quite difficult not to laugh out loud.

Better not leave him here or this clumsy American would soon become a dead American!

Dish’s life as a Montagnard warrior in the Central Highlands and his martial arts training with his father’s friend, Ang Dung, turned him into a very strong and capable young man.  He scooped up the American, rucksack and all, and slung him over his right shoulder.  Grabbing up the American soldier’s M16 in his left hand, Dish moved off through the jungle following a faint trail most Americans, or even NVA, would never notice.

Even with the extra burden Dish traveled quickly.  By nightfall he felt near enough to the village to stop for a short rest.  He set the M16 down and settled the American gently on the ground, propping him up against the base of a water pine tree.  Dish knew that several times on the trail the American had regained and lost consciousness.  There had been no struggle.  Perhaps he’d noticed the crossbow hanging from Dish’s hip.

The Montagnard were famous for their deadly use of this silent, accurate weapon. Perhaps the American knew he was in friendly hands and so there’d been no struggle to get away. Dish unslung his crossbow and squatted down to eat a little more rice.  He noticed that the American was conscious and watching him, so he went over and offered him a drink from the canteen he’d retrieved from the soldier’s gear.  The American was grateful and drank greedily. Dish helped himself to a drink.

“You okay,” he said quietly. The human voice carried a long distance in the jungle.  “My village is close.”

Cordell tossed and turned in the grip of a fever dream.  Hurt, he was desperately trying to make his way through the jungle … searching for his team.   Everywhere he turned or tried to crawl, the jungle became an impenetrable mass of vines, thorns and underbrush.  He could not break through.  The jungle floor was a hot, steaming mass of rotting vegetation.  He could not breathe!  He was suffocating!  He was being steamed alive.   Then … the feeling of cool relief … like a gentle breeze, would flow over him.  Starting with his head and spreading throughout his feverish body.  Pleasant and cool … bringing him back to life.  It was, however, just a temporary respite. That oppressive heat always returned and again he was suffocating … like some giant, constricting serpent was coiled around his chest and slowly squeezing the life out of him.

When Cordell opened his eyes, he found himself looking up into the face of the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.  At least he hoped she was really there and he wasn’t just hallucinating.  She was gently washing the scrapes and cuts that covered most of his sore and aching body.  He was embarrassed when he realized that he was lying naked on a woven mat.  To his great relief, he found that his midsection was discretely covered. Mai noticed that the American was awake. She indicated that he should remain still until she finished tending to his injuries.  That task completed, Mai smiled at the American and gave him a reassuring touch on his arm.  He was aware that she got up and left. An instant later, Cordell was asleep.

Cordell awakened some hours later, to find Mai had returned with bowls of clear broth soup and plain rice on a tray she placed next to him.  He glanced around the room and was relieved to see his M16 leaning against the wall near his mat.  It looked as though it had been recently cleaned and he could see a magazine seated in the magazine well … he assumed it was loaded.

“Please eat,” Mai stated in clear English.  Cordell was shocked.

“You speak English?“ he asked somewhat surprised.

“Yes,” Mai replied.  “I learned in the mission school.  I would sometimes help my father talk to the Americans when they visited our village.”  Being the daughter of a village chief had its advantages.

“You are not Montagnard,” Cordell observed.

“No,” Mai replied.  “I am Vietnamese.  My family was killed by the VC.  I now live with the Montagnard.”

Cordell nodded. “I am sorry,” he replied.  A look of sadness flickered briefly across her face, then she went on.

“The man who brought you here is my Montagnard brother, Dish.  You rest now.  Okay.”

Cordell nodded.

“My name is Curtis.  What is your name?”

“My name is Mai.  Rest now.  I will come back later.”

It is very nice to meet you, Mai, Curtis thought, drifting off to sleep.

The next day, Mai tended her small patch of garden near the long house.  Pulling some of the ever-present weeds, she loosened the soil around a few plants. This was difficult work because the ground was very hard and dry.  She hoped the rains would come soon.  After she finished, she made several trips to the river to water her garden.  Last, she found a turnip and some cabbages to add to tonight’s meal.  She did not need much for herself and Dish was rarely around for meals. Feeding the American who needed to recover his strength, however, was putting a slight strain on her resources.

She’d decided she liked the American soldier.  He was quiet in a pleasant, thoughtful way and tried hard to stay out of her way while obviously enjoying her company.  Mai was not sure that this was a good thing.  He would be leaving soon and she must continue her life in the village.  It was not a good idea to become too friendly and … as a young Vietnamese lady, it would not be proper.  Returning to the long house, she found the American sitting on the steps enjoying the sunshine.

“What are you doing?” Mai scolded.  “You should be lying down and resting.”

Cordell smiled.  “I just needed to move a bit.  Can’t get too lazy.  Anyway the sun feels pretty good right now.”  Mai noticed the rifle leaning on the step beside him and frowned.

“You must go inside.  You should not been seen outside.  Too many VC.”

“Okay, okay.  You might be right.”  Cordell, using his M16 for support, hobbled back into the house with Mai right behind him.

“With your brother in the area I do not think too many VC would bother this village.”

Mai admitted to herself that he was probably right.  The VC generally steered well clear of this village.  They’d learned from experience that they didn’t last long in this area with Dish and the other Montagnard men from the local villages on patrol.  And too, the American Special Forces teams would often pass through on missions to disrupt the flow of weapons and other supplies coming down from the north.  Despite all of this, her painful memories had ingrained in her the importance of always being on full alert.

Mai busied herself preparing vegetables and rice for the evening meal while Cordell found a place to sit and relax.  He was feeling better but still needed several more days recovery before he could attempt to get back to his unit.  His head still hurt pretty badly where he’d gotten that prize-winning knot.

Cordell found it pleasant just sitting there watching Mai move about, concentrating on her tasks.  She was so very beautiful!  Her face, her hair … she moved with such an easy grace.  He wanted to help her prepare the food but thought better of it since he still felt weak and was much safer sitting down, and he certainly didn’t want to overstep any cultural bounds.

The next morning Cordell awoke feeling much better.  He worked his way down the long house steps and over to a bench where he sat to enjoy the morning sunshine.  Dish had returned to the village and was engaged in some kind of martial arts practice with other men from the village.  Being a soldier, Cordell always found an interest in such things and he enjoyed watching them practice.  Whatever they were doing, it looked practical, efficient and damn lethal.  He was intrigued.

Dish saw him sitting on the bench and when they were done, came over and sat down.  Dish also liked this quiet American who didn’t complain too much and seemed genuinely interested in the village and its people.  Dish could tell Mai liked him too.

“You like,” Dish asked indicating the martial arts practice session.  “You try tomorrow.  Okay?”

Cordell wasn’t too sure he would be ready by then, but nodded and smiled.

“Okay,” he replied, hoping he would somehow survive tomorrow’s practice session.

Two days later Cordell’s general condition was greatly improved.  He’d survived two of Dish’s training sessions and was beginning to understand a little of the basics.  Mai explained that Dish was showing him Vovinam, a Vietnamese martial art originally taught to Dish by her father.

Later that evening Cordell, with Mai translating, asked Dish about getting back to a U.S. base and his unit.  Mai was surprised to realize that she was very saddened to think of Cordell leaving.  Dish replied that the Vietcong were currently very active to the south, in the very area they would have to pass through to reach the closest U.S. military outpost.  His recommendation was to wait a few days until the VC moved into another area.  They were constantly moving to help avoid detection by U.S. forces.

Cordell took the translated advice from Mai well enough.  It made sense and he found that he liked the idea of being around Mai for a few more days.

Days turned into weeks. The VC seemed to be staying put. Cordell spent the time gaining back his strength, practicing Vovinam with the village men, and helping Mai with her chores.  At first Mai resisted his help, saying it was woman’s work.  Cordell countered that he could not sit around and do nothing … and besides, he needed the exercise.  Finally, Mai relented. She had found she enjoyed the time spent with Cordell, whether in the garden, fetching water, or doing other odds and ends.  He’d even learned the names of her pigs.

Dish joined them for the evening meal.  He had news. Through Mai, he explained that the VC had moved off to the northwest. Cordell should have no trouble getting to a Special Forces camp a few days walk to the south.  Unfortunately, he and the other village men would be heading north to track the VC’s movements. He could not guide Cordell.

Damn it!  He needed a guide.  He had no radio, maps or even a compass. All of that was lost when he was thrown from the chopper.

“I will show you the way,” came quiet voice. Cordell looked over at Mai, ready to argue.  Dish looked at Mai and nodded, and that was that.

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