The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, January 08, 2010

Physical Flow

I admit to being stunned at the dishonesty of current Republican leadership like Giuliani claiming that "there were no domestic terror attacks under Bush." Good Lord, has the former Mayor of New York forgotten a little thing called 9/11 so soon? Is he senile? Three thousand dead Americans, forgotten so quickly, in the cause of political expedience? And anyone who dares consider the media Liberal, I'd love for you to explain why this bald-faced revisionism isn't being trumpeted from the rooftops.

GOD I hate politics.

Do you want to have a bare glimpse at the forces Obama is pushing against? Because the only way you know how strong someone is is to quantify the amount of stress they are withstanding. THIS is what his enemies are willing to say and do publicly. You had better bet it's ten times worse in private, behind closed doors. Never, ever, forget this, if you want to know why a ship of state can be so unwieldy.

I have to warn you in advance: one of the reasons I'm so angry about this is that I didn't hold Bush directly responsible for 9/11, figuring that whatever happened in the 1st year was a matter of a new President getting his sea legs. Looking at these vicious, dishonest attacks, I can see that I was, politically speaking, colossally naive (I guess on one level I always knew that, and warned you guys in advance, multiple times.) I have to warn you in advance: I consider anyone who tries to defend these lies to be completely warped by partisanship. I almost HOPE you are lying, that you at least KNOW you are distorting reality to make political hay. That would be better than the alternative. If you defend this stuff, and don't know you're lying to yourself, I fear for your sanity, just a bit.


I'm moving my coaching business to the next level. I'm putting the finishing touches on the new web site, and will be announcing it next week. Oh, it's lurking out there in Cyberspace, but we're still kind of shy..

The 101 Day Six: The Five Minute Miracle

The whole idea behind the 5MM can be broken down as follows:

1) We need to take breaks to center ourselves. We have to "shift gears" between activities, and often forget to place ourselves in Neutral before we upshift.

2) The breath is the best measure of stress reaction. By applying the breath-movement-structure model, we gain a perfect monitor of our internal state.

3) Synaptic facilitation: skills are best learned when practiced in short sessions several times during the day. This is much more effective than the same period of time performed in a lump.

4) The abdominal girdle is the most important single muscle system to tone. They hold everything else together.

5) The health of the back is critical for energy and wellness.

6) Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has five minutes a day. If you cannot make this much time, the problem is you. Period.

There are other reasons too, but when I learned "Be Breathed" from Coach Sonnon, the possibility of creating a very special exercise protocol, with applications far beyond the physical. To be "breathed" by a motion is to confine yourself to exhalation and relaxation, with no deliberate inhalation. Instead, work to find the muscle contractions within a motion that force the air powerfully from your lungs. Relaxation allows the muscle to relax, and air pressure will fill your lungs. When you do this over the course of several minutes, you are learning an exceptionally useful way to enter your inner realm. Later, this will sophisticate into the production of physical Flow, the most fervently sought of all athletic states. The value of learning this tool--free to anyone with the courage and discipline to spend less than an hour a week--cannot be over-stated.


Maybe I'm just too damned naive, but I can't get over Giuliani's lie. Maybe some of you can point me toward a more egregious one. Please remember: the truth has to be an historically demonstrable fact, undisputed and accepted by all the world, like the fact that 9/11 happened during the Bush presidency. Is this as bad as it seems?


josephrobertlewis said...

Maybe Giuliani meant "domestic" to mean "home-grown" like Timothy McVeigh. Perhaps he would call 9/11 a "foreign" attack on US soil. Maybe. If I had to guess.

Reluctant Lawyer said...

I haven't seen the video yet, so I'm trying to figure out a context in which Guillani could possibly be correct by omitting 9/11, the shoe bomber, etc.

I just can't think of a single plausible situation where the statement would be true.

Scott said...

"Maybe some of you can point me toward a more egregious one. Please remember: the truth has to be an historically demonstrable fact, undisputed and accepted by all the world, like the fact that 9/11 happened during the Bush presidency."

Obvious example is, well, you know, them; can't say it out loud without invoking Godwin's Law: H******** deniers.

People do tend to gloss over who Osama bin Laden and friends got their training from.

Reluctant Lawyer said...

On the other hand, if there were no domestic terrorist attacks during Bush's administration, then therefore would not have been any domestic terrorist attacks during the time that Guillani was the mayor.

Whether the 9/11 attacks were the responsibility/fault/etc of the Bush administration is a very different question from whether those attacks occurred during his administration.

Anonymous said...

He pretty much stuck his foot in it with that one. I can think of four attacks just off the top of my head, and even if he just meant domestic terrorist attacks, tow of the ones I'm thinking of qualify. He has, since then, walked his statement back after being called on it.

I think the reason people are not giving Obama his "sea legs" is the fact that we have officially been at war with the terrorists since 9/11 and he should be seen as more proactive. Issuing a statement soon after Detroit or acknowleging the shooting at Fort Hood as a terrorist attack would have gone a long way.

It also doesn't help that he just came out publicly and ordered intelligence agencies to do something they should have already been doing and were doing under Bush-- Following Up on Terrorist Tips. Did they just stop doing that when his administration took office? Was there some order and if so, where did it come from?

Lastly, him treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue is going to come back and bite him on the ass. HARD! They just announced that most of the evidence on one of the Gitmo detainees being tried in civilian court is being thrown out. Does not bode well.


Marty S said...

Obviously Giuliani misspoke. But this doesn't mean that everything said by everyone who criticizes some aspects of the Obama's approach to terrorism. In my opinion not profiling is crazy. If I were to analyze the available data on terrorist acts using a totally unbiased statistical classification procedure and a particular variable was extremely important in predicting the likelihood of an individual being a terrorist it would be ridiculous to ignore that variable just because it was ethnic in nature. Suppose there was an infectious disease and one ethnic group was three times more susceptible than other ethnic groups. If there were a limited supply of vaccine would it be profiling and therefore morally wrong to give preference to the more susceptible group.

Lynn Gazis-Sax said...

It also doesn't help that he just came out publicly and ordered intelligence agencies to do something they should have already been doing and were doing under Bush-- Following Up on Terrorist Tips.

I'm mystified as to how you got this from what he said.

In the abstract, the intelligence agencies have always, under every administration, been following up on tips of bad things, communicating important information with each other, etc. But sometimes they fail, and so, in the wake of any visible intelligence failure (such as, oh, 9/11), someone looks into it, and recommendations are made as to how not to fail in that way again. At an abstract enough level, any of those recommendations can be described as "ordering intelligence agencies to do something they should have already been doing and were doing," but to me that seems a silly way of describing things. Since there were terrorist attacks both under Bush's administration and under Obama's, I have no reason to assume the intelligence suddenly got worse under Obama's.

Anonymous said...

This is where I'm getting that from.

Here's the money quote.
In a revealing admission, President Barack Obama said today he was directing U.S. intelligence agencies to begin to do something many had assumed they were already doing: "[A]ssigning specific responsibility for investigating all leads on high priority threats so that these leads are pursued and acted upon aggressively."

"That is a shock because we had such a follow-up system when I was there," said Richard Clarke, the White House counter-terrorism director in the Clinton and Bush administrations. Clarke, who worked on the Obama transition team, is now an ABC News consultant.


Bruce said...

> Issuing a statement soon after Detroit or acknowleging the shooting at Fort Hood as a terrorist attack would have gone a long way.

Oh sure, any time someone with a Middle Eastern or Muslim background kills people it just has be a terrorist attack, right? Bullshit.

> Lastly, him treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue is going to come back and bite him on the ass. HARD!

Fucking bullshit. If evidence is getting thrown out and there isn't enough to convict someone than that someone should go free. Pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

Wow Bruce, throwing that bullshit around fast and furious.

The fact that the Fort Hood shooter was in contact with a Yemeni Imam that promoted radical Islam and the fact that he went to the same Mosque, here in the US, as several of the 9/11 bombers paints him as a terrorist. We knew all that before he made the attack.

We should set these guys free just like the ones we let free in Yemen who ended up planning the attempted Detroit pants bombing? Worked out so well for us that time. I'm saying that they shouldn't be treated as common criminals but as military combatants. You went ahead and made the switch to treating it as law enforcement and that's where I said we are gonna get bitten in the ass. Like we have in the past and like is happening right now.



Steven Barnes said...

I don't think Giuliani "put his foot in it." I think it was a deliberate "big lie" and he knows that a lot of chuckleheads will agree with him, even if he is finally forced to retract on page 12. Political calculation.
If trying terrorists in civilian court works in other countries, I can think of no reason other than cowardice not to do the same thing here. What terrorists want is to force us to change the way we operate. I won't play into their hands unless I have clear and incontrovertible evidence that there is no other way.

Anonymous said...

Your gonna have to point me to where you found other countries trying people they picked up on foriegn battlefields in there civilian courts.

We will be trying the Fort Hood shooter in our courts, just like we did with John Lee Malvo and Timothy McVeigh. That I'm not arguing, but foriegn nationals that are waging war against us should be tried like we always have, with military tribunals. That is not changing the wwe've done things.


Lobo said...


Richard Clarke was only in the Bush administration until 2003. And if reports are to be believed, he was only tangentially involved after 2001. So that's a whole 5-8 years where he had no direct operational knowledge. It's probably safe to say that he was speaking of the pre-Bush II years and the few months he served under Bush II. So using his quote as evidence is disingenuous.

It's not like Obama (or even Bush II) signed some secret executive order directing the intelligence agencies to stand down and quit doing their jobs. Nor do I believe that they quit doing their job because Obama was elected. My suspicion is that the people directly involved somewhere along the line got lazy and stopped doing things they should have been doing. Eventually someone exploited their laziness.

Anonymous said...

Ups yours Bruce. Anyone with a politically motivated agenda that kills a bunch of people is indeed terrorism. Not wanting to call it that because a Muslim was the perpretrator is where it's BS! That guy that gunned down the Holocaust museum guard was a terrorist, the guy that killed the abortion doctor was a terrorist, every little snot that has shot up a school is a terrorist. Check out the definition sometime. The guy freaking tried to blow up a plane of Americans, because they were Americans.

The court system is imperfect, if his ass was scorched from the explosion and he was the guy being held down by the passengers, then protocol goes to hell pretty fast. It certainly was not meant to be applied to non-citizens; you want a court, then get an international tribunal. American justice rights do not apply to non-Americans because the constitution does not guarantee them. You're a disingenuous asshat!

Jan said...

Brass indicates true colors? Very safe, being Anonymous.

Jan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Moran said...

Apparently Giuliani only considers attacks by Muslims to be terrorism. Certainly attacks by Christians aren't, or you'd have to count the murder of the people at Colorado's New Life Church in 2007 -- Christian shooter, so plainly not a case of domestic terrorism. Or maybe we could bring up the case of abortion doctor George Tiller, murdered by a fundamentalist Christian in what apparently was not a domestic terrorist action.

Also, the 2001 anthrax attacks don't count, because the Bush Administration didn't catch Muslims (or anyone else) behind it.

The DC Sniper was actually a Muslim, but apparently he doesn't count either. I think that's the "Bush Exemption," the same one that gets him a pass on 9/11: who, after all, should be held responsible for an attack when the only warning you had was a briefing titled "Bin Ladin determined to attack within United States." Certainly no conservative should be held to such an unreasonable standard ....

Of course, then there's this guy, who took a 13 year old Jewish girl hostage and murdered a woman at Jewish charity. And ... get this ... he's a Muslim too! But he was only shooting Jews, so that probably doesn't count, since there's that whole Muslim-Jewish thing.

I'm probably missing a few.

Anonymous said...

Jan, the comment that started with "Up yours.." was not mine. And the only reason I type as anonymous is I'm to lazy to screw around getting a google or blogger account.

Although, I can understand how the previous Anon could get that worked up about this situation, I, at least, try to back up my thinking and present it in a way to at least give you pause for thought.


Anonymous said...

Dan, I never said that Giuliani was right and I believe that most, if not all, of those were acts of terror and if they are US citizens they should be tried in civilian court and hopefully, as is the case in Lee Malvo, they can get the terrorism charge to stick.

If they are not a US citizen and they are committing acts of terror against us, try them as enemy combatants with a military tribunal. Preferably after obtaining useful intel, unlike we are able to do with the Detroit guy because he's already lawyered up.


Marty S said...

Exactly what acts constitute terrorism is ill defined. You can probably find a hundred different definitions of terrorism. In my view their are two different types of terrorist acts. Those randomly perpetrated by mentally deranged people based upon their own psychotic beliefs and those perpetrated by an organized group to accomplish their sociopolitical goals. Both the anti-abortion nuts who attack abortion doctors and al-Qaida fall into the second category. Anticipating and stopping the first type of terrorist act is very very difficult. It is the second type that we can and need to do something about. You can go after anti-abortion terrorists because you know their targets(abortion clinics for example) and by infiltration because you know from what kinds of organizations they tend to recruit. In the case al-Qaida, like with anti-abortionists we know their goals and what groups they recruit from. We also know the type of attacks they prefer. So just like you provide protection to abortion clinics against anti-abortion terrorists you provide extra protection at airports against al-Qaida terrorists. But if we are providing protection particularly against al-Qaida, then it makes sense to take special care in airports with those who are most likely to be al-Qaida operatives.

Marty S said...

The following link refutes Giuliani's
claim with five acts of terrorism that occurred after 9/11 under the Bush administration.

It list five attacks. One is the anthrax attack of which we have never found the perpetrator. One was Reid, the shoe bomber who was a convert to Islam. The other three attacks were by people with some version of Mohamed in their name. So 100% of the identified terrorists had an Islamic connection. This doesn't mean all Islamic people are evil terrorists, or Islam is an evil religion, but it doesn't mean that ignoring this as a factor in evaluating the likelihood that a suspicious individual might be a terrorist makes no sense.

Nancy Lebovitz said...

How well do your descriptions of Be Breathed work for people? I tried working with them and with what I could get out of "Let Every Breath", but Sonnon's DVD worked quite a bit better. At least some of it was seeing the rebound when the tension was released for the inhale.

Ethiopian_Infidel said...

"..stunned at the dishonesty of current Republican leadership like Giuliani claiming that "there were no domestic terror attacks under Bush." Good Lord, has the former Mayor of New York forgotten a little thing called 9/11 so soon?"

Dishonesty and blatant distortion's the standard currency of politics. Far from being isolated or particularly egregious, I suspect Giuliani's goof's an unremarkable instance of spin doctoring. To follow Noam Chomsky et al, the historical record consists of incontestable facts, and spin. The politician's job is to spin the interpretation of facts to favor herself and her clients, and to sell these distortions to the masses, thereby aligning them with preferred interests. Often this is accomplished by the simple yet extremely effective method favored by Joseph Goebbels: repeat it so often it becomes canon. Bush spokespeople so frequently claimed a linkage between Saddam Husein and Bin Laden that the two became intertwined in the minds of millions, despite lack of hard evidence and patent political absurdity. If Giuliani, Limbaugh and their cohorts trumpet the supposed invulnerability of America to terrorism under Bush often enough, this too will metastasize into Gospel in the minds of legions of talk radio addicted, Palin-drooling hard-right wingnuts.

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.