Masters on the Mountain 41

April 11 & 12, 2015, Truckee, Calif.

FEATURING ‘UNCLE BILL’ DE THOUARS (The Magus of Denver) Uncle Willem De Thouars

With Sergey Makarenko of Systema And More Special Guests

Please confirm by March 15! “Even though we know you never will, we love you anyway.” Rooms available for reserve at Truckee Hotel, Truckee.

Along with heavy hitting disciples and inspired healers (and inspired players): James Lloyd Painter, Daniel Prasetya, Ted Garcia, Keith Moffett, Mikel La Chapelle, Eugene S. Robinson, Philip Sialas, Darca Nicholson, Chuck Stahmann, Itamar Vinitzky, and Janet Gee.

RSVP with Diane Kinnaman, 530-414-1037,

LOCATION: Fight Club, 10960 W. River St. Truckee, Calif.

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Masters on the Mountain Goes Mega

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By Willem de Thouars

Never so few, and never so great, could Masters on the Mountains in Truckee is of a greater essence of friendship, brotherhood and mostly of training together as a family be in lively expressions of the combat arts. The ladies who did the most of hard labor to make the event successful were for sure Diane, Marilyn, Irene and a few others as talented photographers and video artists (see on Youtube). Also, my deepest appreciation for Diane Schnurenberger for making the hotel arrangements for all of us who stayed in hotels.

This October’s event put on by Masters on the Mountain and staff was highly successful, and really a joy for being at the Fight Club. Over the years, even since the beginning in the early 1960’s, I attended many other martial gatherings. I found some were okay, some others good, and others quite melodramatic by many of the participants.

There were always too many chiefs and not enough braves. Many of the proclaimed masters of sorts carried a heavy load of overbearing ‘look-at-me-ness’ with pumped up egos. Many who came to attend a so-called gathering actual did not like each other; they just came wanting to be noticed.

This is still the current ceremony everywhere, that many are kissing up to each other like willing sheep to be led by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And, each wanting to be the wolf to be considered grand poobahs of the martial industry – they are the bizarre Cinderellas. That is why I never again will be showing up to any of those other martial events. I only can handle anything that is in my reach of my comfort zone, full of ‘reality checks.’

The Truckee Flight Club is totally an opposite of so many others. There are not masters but only practitioners. There are all kinds of styles being shared in practice. Masters and students become alike as equals in constant training. That is just the fun of the gathering at Masters – everyone is everybody’s friend with many laughs in painstaking events. We just don’t allow pumped up egos to walk around like their systems are the only way to achieve perfection.

My thanks to guru Frank Broadhead for his constant presence of arranging time schedules for the teachers and his patience and teaching Tai Chi. Sam Edwards is like a kid in a candy store as a participant; though, trust me, Sam has more skills to imagine than lots of grand poobahs. But he likes better to train and participate in any session. He also loves to bite occasionally in defense of his stored actions, but only these days occasionally. Nothing new or nothing old with Sam – only many surprises for staying young. No one trains harder than Sam Edwards, who keeps practicing even when driving a car, which can be a little disconcerting.

It was a happy time for me to finally meet Sam and Don Miller’s Tai Chi teacher, Sigung C. K. Chen, who is a true disciple of the old-school Tai Chi principles. I came to find out through our conversations that the sigung had much in common with me in our philosophical point of view. I like the man, and son, and student very much. I will communicate with sigung Chen often as I can.

A special treat in sharing was with James Painter, Janet Gee, Stewart Lauper, Daniel Prasetya, Keith Moffet, Chuck Stahmann, Mikel La Chapelle, Don Miller, Steve Watson, Eugene Robinson, Santiago Terrases, Sergey Makarenko, and Frank Broadhead. Each of the sessions they were teaching in a way that can only be explained as an effort of magnificence. Each teacher who taught was spiced, experienced, and always in the best of caring. Masters on the Mountain ended up to complete 2014 as a great success.

In closing in grace,
Bapak Willem de Thouars


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Man on the Spot #55: ISIS and Ebola, a round-up of yesterday’s most important news


Photo Credit: Content Providers(s): CDC/Dr. Lyle Conrad

Photo Credit: Content Providers(s): CDC/Dr. Lyle Conrad

U.N. Chief Offers Stark View of Gaza Devastation

JERUSALEM — Visiting Gaza on Tuesday for the first time since this summer’s 50-day war between Israel and Hamas, the secretary general of the United NationsBan Ki-moon, said the destruction was “beyond description,” even as reconstruction efforts were underway for the first time.

Mark Gunzinger and John Stillion: The Unserious Air War Against ISIS


Finally, the daily strike count suggests that the strategy underlying the air campaign may be influenced by a desire to apply the least amount of force possible while still claiming credit for doing something about Islamic State. This rationale would fit with the administration’s claims that degrading and eventually defeating ISIS is likely to take many years. It may reflect lingering doubts by some policy makers over how serious and far-reaching the threat of an Islamic State caliphate really is to our nation’s vital interests. Or it may be a simple reluctance to begin another open-ended military operation in the Middle East.

Iraq’s Last Chance By ALI KHEDERY AUG. 15, 2014

Syria_and_Iraq_2014-onward_War_mapMr. Maliki’s unjust victory and overt purges of Sunnis only compounded the problem. It will be much harder now to convince them that the same thing won’t happen again given that Iran has displaced the United States as the most influential actor in Iraq.

If he continues Mr. Maliki’s tradition of staffing the prime minister’s office with corrupt, proudly sectarian, conspiracy-prone Iran sympathizers who loathe Sunnis, Kurds and secular Shiites, Iraq is doomed. If, however, Mr. Abadi chooses to surround himself with moderate and savvy technocrats from all ethnic and religious groups, his odds of success will grow exponentially.

Afghanistan’s Failed Transformation


On Sunday, after months of bitter wrangling, the two leading candidates in Afghanistan’s presidential election agreed to form a national unity government. Ashraf Ghani, a Pashtun technocrat, is to be president, and Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister of mixed Tajik and Pashtun descent, is to be chief executive, a newly created post akin to prime minister. The power-sharing agreement came after an audit of the ballots cast in a June runoff, in an election widely believed to have been partially rigged. It has no basis in Afghanistan’s election law. And given the rancor that has come before, it may not hold very long.

Lithuania Feels Squeeze in Sanctions War With Russia – NYTimes … By JACK EWING

ZIBENAI, Lithuania — In the sanctions war between Russia and the West, Kasia Jankun’s 80 dairy cows seem to be losing. The sanctions, which are taking a toll on Russia’s economy, cut both ways. And Ms. Jankun and other small farmers in this Baltic nation of three million people are bearing an overwhelming share of the pain from a Russian ban on European dairy products. Former Soviet bloc countries that, like Lithuania, are part of the European Union and the NATO military alliance might seem safe from the Russian strong-arming that made Ukraine so vulnerable. But in economic standoffs, it is often the most vulnerable that suffer most.

How Israel Silences Dissent


JAFFA, Israel — On July 12, four days after the latest war in Gaza began, hundreds of Israelis gathered in central Tel Aviv to protest the killing of civilians on both sides and call for an end to the siege of Gaza and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. They chanted, “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.”

Hamas had warned that it would fire a barrage of rockets at central Israel after 9 p.m., and it did.

Congressional Campaign Ads Are Scary SEPT. 26, 2014

The most popular terrorism-connected campaign theme is overall border security, since it allows conservative candidates to roll up ISIS terrorists with illegal Hispanic immigrants. “She’s for amnesty, while terrorism experts say our border breakdown could provide an entry for groups like ISIS!” announced that David Perdue ad against Michelle Nunn in Georgia. Some experts believe that even at this early hour, Perdue has wrapped up the title of Worst Commercial of the Campaign.

Many Missteps in Assessment of ISIS Threat

“To anyone watching developments in Iraq from mid-2010 and Syria from early 2011, the recovery and rise of ISIS should have been starkly clear,” said Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar. “The organization itself was also carrying out an explicitly clear step-by-step strategy aimed at engendering the conditions that would feed its accelerated rise.”

For ISIS, Slaughter Is an End in Itself

Roger Cohen

LONDON — In a famous passage from “Survival in Auschwitz,” Primo Levi relates an incident upon arrival in the Nazi death camp that captures the intersection of the human with the inhuman. He and other Italian prisoners have been held in a shed as they await their fate. Levi looks around in search of some means to quench his thirst: “I eyed a fine icicle outside the window, within hand’s reach. I opened the window and broke off the icicle but at once a large, heavy guard prowling outside brutally snatched it away from me. ‘Warum?’ I asked him in my poor German. ‘Hier ist kein warum,’ (there is no why here), he replied, pushing me inside with a shove.”

Income Inequality and N.R.A. Dominance May Not Last Forever …

SEPT. 26, 2014 Joe Nocera

One of the hardest things for us to do is to envision a future that is different from the present. For instance, we live in an age of paralyzed politics, so it is hard, in the here and now, to imagine what could change that. A second  Let’s tackle Webster first. Politically, he told me, “It’s a loser to call for a gun ban.” Instead, his reforms would make it more difficult for criminals to get their hands on guns. Using background checks, he would keep guns away from people who have a history of violence. He would raise the age of gun ownership to 21. (Webster notes that homicides peak between the ages of 18 and 20.) He would pass laws that make gun dealers more accountable, including “requiring business practices that prevent guns being diverted to criminals.” And he would mandate something called microstamping, “which would make it possible to trace a gun used in a crime to its first purchaser.”

The Show-Off Society

Spaul_krugman1EPT. 25, 2014 Paul Krugman

Liberals talk about circumstances; conservatives talk about character.

This intellectual divide is most obvious when the subject is the persistence of poverty in a wealthy nation. Liberals focus on the stagnation of real wages and the disappearance of jobs offering middle-class incomes, as well as the constant insecurity that comes with not having reliable jobs or assets. For conservatives, however, it’s all about not trying hard enough. The House speaker, John Boehner, says that people have gotten the idea that they “really don’t have to work.” Mitt Romney chides lower-income Americans as being unwilling to “take personal responsibility.” Even as he declares that he really does care about the poor, Representative Paul Ryan attributes persistent poverty to lack of “productive habits.”


Rumors of Cow Killings in India Deepen Rift Between Hindus and …

250px-CowHABy NIDA NAJAR OCT. 14, 2014

Some analysts in India worry that the emergence of Narendra Modi, a hero of the Hindu right, as prime minister has emboldened religious conservatives to embark on sometimes violent campaigns against Muslims, though Mr. Modi himself has steered clear of religious issues. One such conservative in the northern Indian state of Haryana is Mahinder Pal Singh, who runs a cow shelter. He said he mobilized his network of young men if he so much as heard of a Muslim driving a car late at night that he suspected contained smuggled cows. The work can be deadly: One of his associates was killed six months ago on a midnight raid, he said.


Ebola Fight in Africa Is Hurt by Limits on Ways to Get Out – NYTimes …



BRUSSELS — When a French nurse working as a volunteer in West Africa tested positive for Ebolalast month, it took 50 hours to get her to Paris for treatment on a private American plane that had to fly all the way from Georgia to pick her up. The nurse survived, but according to the aid group that sent her to Liberia and arranged to get her out, Europe’s failure to establish a swift evacuation service for infected medical workers has become a serious hurdle impeding the battle against Ebola in West Africa.


The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons…


“I felt more like a guinea pig than a wounded soldier,” said a former Army sergeant who suffered mustard burns in 2007 and was denied hospital treatment and medical evacuation to the United States despite requests from his commander. Congress, too, was only partly informed, while troops and officers were instructed to be silent or give deceptive accounts of what they had found. “ ’Nothing of significance’ is what I was ordered to say,” said Jarrod Lampier, a recently retired Army major who was present for the largest chemical weapons discovery of the war: more than 2,400 nerve-agent rockets unearthed in 2006 at a former Republican Guard compound.


Pentagon Signals Security Risks of Climate Change


WASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Monday released a report asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises.


Police Behavior in Ferguson Draws Attention of Justice Department …

Julie Bosman

The Justice Department on Friday pressured the Ferguson Police Department to stop its officers from wearing bracelets stamped with the message “I am Darren Wilson,” in solidarity with the police officer who is being investigated for shooting an unarmed black 18-year-old, and from covering up their name plates with tape. The bracelets, dark blue with white lettering, were photographed on the wrists of several Ferguson police officers who were interacting with demonstrators this week as protests flared up once again in this small city in the suburbs of St. Louis. A grand jury is looking into the shooting of the teenager, Michael Brown, on Aug. 9, and the police department is under investigation by the Justice Department for possible civil rights violations.


Why Drivers Get Away With Murder


IN June, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed 11 bills related to Vision Zero, the city’s initiative to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries over the next decade. One was Cooper’s Law, named for my 9-year-old son, Cooper Stock, who was struck and killed by a cab on Jan. 10. Cooper was holding my husband’s hand as they crossed 97th Street and West End Avenue. They were in the crosswalk, with the light. By law, they had the right of way. The taxi driver failed to yield while making a left turn. According to the mayor’s office, driver error is a factor in 70 percent of pedestrian deaths in New York City, yet motorists are rarely held accountable



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Man on the Spot #54: Ferguson



“Don’t run after dark. It doesn’t matter if your little buddies are running or not. Don’t you run. Don’t put your hood up. People will think that you’re hiding your face. Keep your hands visible at all times. If you reach in your pocket, people will assume that you have a weapon.”

A Nation Shocked by Ferguson, Mo.

The Opinion Pages | LETTERS AUG. 15, 2014

To the Editor:

The rationale behind numerous anti-mask laws on the books is that they aid the police in identifying people and that the anonymity provided by masks gives license to protesters to act violently. Recent events in Ferguson, Mo., raise serious questions about whether we also need similar policies to address anonymity on the side of the police.

A disturbing part of the emerging militarized riot uniforms is the complete disguising of police faces and other identifiers. We can see video of police overreach and even of reporters being arrested, yet have no way of ever holding people responsible for their actions, giving those who would abuse such authority license to do so.

Local governments should be pushed to mandate that riot gear be emblazoned with large and clearly visible identifier numbers. As of now, we have no mechanism for holding individual officers accountable, and that is contributing to the abuses we see unfolding on the streets of Ferguson.

New York, Aug. 15, 2014

To the Editor:

Thoughts of a black mother to a mixed-race child: “Don’t run after dark. It doesn’t matter if your little buddies are running or not. Don’t you run. “Don’t put your hood up. People will think that you’re hiding your face. Keep your hands visible at all times. If you reach in your pocket, people will assume that you have a weapon. Always be scrupulously polite. Yes, sir, ma’am, officer. No, sir, ma’am, officer. He looks at me and asks why. Why must he learn these strange rules that won’t apply until “forever from now”? And I hesitate. How to explain my fear? That six or seven years isn’t forever from now.

Salina, Kan., Aug. 15, 2014

A Youth, an Officer and 2 Paths to a Fatal Encounter


Devin Stone, 28, a friend of Mr. Brown’s, was home in his apartment at the time, across the street from the place where the men were confronted by the police. Sitting outside his building, Mr. Stone said he was jolted by the sound of two gunshots, followed by several more in rapid succession. The second series of shots “sounded automatic,” he said. “They let it rip.”

War Gear Flows to Police Departments


As the nation’s wars abroad wind down, many of the military’s surplus tools of combat have ended up in the hands of state and local law enforcement. Totals below are the minimum number of pieces acquired since 2006 in a selection of categories.

Missouri Unrest Leaves the Right Torn Over Views on Law vs. Order …

Mr. Paul, quoting from research by the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute and the conservative Heritage Foundation, noted the trend of police departments’ buying military-style vehicles and weapons, condemning “the cartoonish imbalance between the equipment some police departments possess and the constituents they serve.”

Traders Profit as Power Grid Is Overworked


Electricity Grid Schematic English CC BY 3.0 MBizon - Own work Originally derived from de:Datei:Stromversorgung.png

Electricity Grid Schematic English CC BY 3.0 MBizon – Own work Originally derived from de:Datei:Stromversorgung.png

Across the nation, investment funds and major banks are wagering billions on similar trades using computer algorithms and teams of Ph.D.s, as they chase profits in an arcane arena that rarely attracts attention. Congestion occurs when demand for electricity outstrips the immediate supply, sending prices higher as the grid strains to deliver power from distant and often more expensive locations to meet the demand. To help power companies and others offset the higher costs, regional grid operators, which manage the nation’s transmission lines and wholesale power markets, auction off congestion contracts, derivatives linked to thousands of locations on the grid. When electricity prices spike, contract holders collect the difference in prices between points from the grid operators. If the congestion moves in the opposite direction, holders pay the operators.

Pro-Democracy Group Shifts to Collaborate With Student Protesters …


“I want the government to be representative, elected by us from our hearts, not by the Chinese government,” Mr. Mak said, rapidly taking phone calls about organizing the swelling crowd. Under current electoral laws, the chief executive is selected by a committee dominated by Beijing loyalists. On Saturday, the crowd grew into many thousands, and veered from angry jeering to an almost celebratory mood when the number of police officers thinned. Official agencies offered no estimates of crowd totals.

Crackdown on Protests by Hong Kong Police Draws More to the …


29.9.14 Hong Kong protest cellphone vigil CC BY-SA 4.0 Citobun - Own work

29.9.14 Hong Kong protest cellphone vigil CC BY-SA 4.0
Citobun – Own work

The confrontation threatened to tarnish Hong Kong’s reputation as a safe enclave for commerce, and immediately raised the political cost of Beijing’s unyielding position on electoral change here; footage and photos of unarmed students standing in clouds of tear gas facing off with riot police officers flashed around the world on Sunday. It also set the stage for a prolonged struggle that poses a test for President Xi Jinping of China, who has championed a harsh line against political threats to Communist Party rule. “We’ve never seen anything like this, never imagined it,” said Kevin Chan, a 48-year-old factory manager who joined many thousands of people gathered at night on the road near the government offices. “The government must awaken that this is the Hong Kong people,” he said, gesturing to the crowd, mostly people in their 20s. “These are not their enemies. These are the people.”

Opposition in Syria Is Skeptical of U.S. Airstrikes on ISIS – NYTimes …


But the execution of the strikes has also been criticized, in interviews as well as online, by numerous Syrians bitterly opposed to the Islamic State. These insurgents and opposition activists have pleaded for years for the United States to strike the Syrian government forces that have been bombarding their towns and villages, and they initially welcomed the strikes on the Islamic State as a helpful second best.

Despite U.S. Claims, Yazidis Say Crisis Is Not Over


American officials said that the assessment meant American airstrikes and humanitarian airdrops, along with efforts by Kurdish pesh merga militiamen, were working and “an evacuation mission is far less likely,” in the words of the Pentagon spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, on Wednesday. “It’s not true,” she said.

Facing Both ISIS Militants and Bashar al-Assad’s Forces in Syria …


“If you want to fight the cat, you must bear its scratches,” he said. “If you can’t handle a battle with ISIS, don’t start one.” He said he could not blame fighters for joining ISIS, which rebels said had beheaded a group of rival insurgents in a nearby town. “ISIS fighters didn’t come from Mars,” he said. “Fifty percent of them are from here, Syrians, I know them personally. They left the F.S.A. after what they saw from corrupt commanders. Some of them said, ‘Either we leave or we die!’ ” “Either we stop fighting ISIS or we continue and we become the regime’s ally,” he said, adding, “Goodbye, revolution!”

Resisting Nazis, He Saw Need for Israel. Now He Is Its Critic …


On Thursday, Mr. Zanoli, 91, whose father died in a Nazi camp, went to the Israeli Embassy in The Hague and returned a medal he received honoring him as one of the Righteous Among the Nations — non-Jews honored by Israel for saving Jews during the Holocaust. In an anguished letter to the Israeli ambassador to the Netherlands, he described the terrible price his family had paid for opposing Nazi tyranny.

What We’re Learning About Drug Company Payments to Doctors …

By Charles Ornstein, Ryann Grochowski Jones and Eric Sagara

We’ve aggregated information from the websites of some large drug companies, which publish their payments as a condition of settling federal whistle-blower lawsuits alleging improper marketing or kickbacks. Today, in cooperation with the website Pharmashine, we’ve added data for 2013, which now covers 17 drug companies accounting for half of United States drug sales that year. (You can look up your doctor using our easy search tool.)

Deaths Tied to GM Ignition Rise to 23, as Compensation Offers Go Out


Thirty-nine claims have been determined to be eligible for payments from the company. As of last Friday, the program had received 867 claims, including 153 for deaths. Ms. Biros said that the fund had officially rejected about 40 of the total claims. The others were still under review, most of them awaiting more evidence that the faulty ignition switch was a factor in the crash.

Revisiting the Lehman Brothers Bailout That Never Was – NYTimes …

Ben S. Bernanke, the Fed chairman at the time, Henry M. Paulson Jr., the former Treasury Secretary, and Timothy F. Geithner, who was then president of the New York Fed, have all argued that Lehman Brothers was in such a deep hole from its risky real estate investments that Fed did not have the legal authority to rescue it.

Where’s the Justice at Justice?


The Justice Department is trying to scuttle the reporters’ privilege — ignoring the chilling effect that is having on truth emerging in a jittery post-9/11 world prone to egregious government excesses. Attorney General Eric Holder wants to force Risen to testify and reveal the identity of his confidential source on a story he had in his 2006 book concerning a bungled C.I.A. operation during the Clinton administration in which agents might have inadvertently helped Iran develop its nuclear weapon program. The tale made the C.I.A. look silly, which may have been more of a sore point than a threat to national security.





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