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9701  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 15, 2009, 10:15:11 AM

And now for a somewhat alternate take.
9702  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Legal issues on: November 14, 2009, 04:12:41 PM
I have no problem with the seizure of property post-conviction, but the "civil forfeiture" as currently practiced is indeed outrageous. I can't believe that the courts have upheld this practice.
9703  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: November 14, 2009, 11:14:32 AM
Ok, Rarick,

I guess you can't answer the question I posed.

How is placing the "Armadillo" in a location different that placing a police officer in that location, aside from cost to the taxpayers, related to 4th amd. issues?
9704  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: November 14, 2009, 10:06:03 AM

CAIR boasts of influence on media after Fort Hood
Group treated as voice of Muslims despite fresh evidence of terror ties
9705  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: November 14, 2009, 09:55:42 AM

Fitzgerald: Salam al-Marayati, loyalty, and patriotism

“Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati is the newest blogger for the popular website The Huffington Post. Here is an excerpt from his first blog: ‘As Muslims, when we take an oath of citizenship or allegiance, it is tantamount to making an oath with God: “And be true to your bond with God whenever you bind yourselves by a pledge, and do not break [your] oaths after having [freely] confirmed them and having called upon God to be witness to your good faith: behold, God knows all that you do.” - Quran 16:91. As Muslim Americans, when we take the oath of allegiance to America witnessed by our families and our friends (and now DHS), we must remain true to our word. It is an Islamic obligation to defend what we are taking an oath to, namely the constitution of the United States of America. That does not equate with supporting the policies of the government. Patriotism is not waving the flag or using it to intimidate others; patriotism is love of country, and when we as Muslim Americans see a danger to our country, such as terrorism or xenophobia, or policies that hurt the image and interests of the United States, it is our American and Islamic responsibility to change toward the betterment of America….’” -- From the Huffington Post, which apparently will now regularly include articles by Salam Al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (see the announcement here)

This is the purest taqiyya, or kitman, or combination of both.

Islam teaches -- inculcates, rather -- the notion that Muslims do not owe any allegiance to non-Muslims, not to their countries, not to their institutions, legal and political, not to anything. Within Islam -- uniquely, among world religions -- such a doctrine has arisen, and has been elaborated, and has been written about, one that is based on both the letter and spirit of the Qur'an and on the example of Muhammad, the Model of Conduct (uswa hasana), the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil). See the assurances given the Meccans in the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya.

Look at the false equivalences: “terrorism or xenophobia,” with the first referring to real acts of terror by Muslims, following promptings that are found in the texts of Islam (see the Qur’an, see the Hadith, passim) and the “xenophobia” in question merely being, in this case, not “hatred of foreigners” but, of course, the fear and suspicion of those who are adherents of Islam, a fear and suspicion that are entirely rational, and that are felt most by those who have taken the most time to inform themselves about the texts and tenets and history of Islam.
And note how carefully he says that “we must remain true to our word” when we “take the oath of allegiance to America.” Why? It makes no sense to remain true to a word, or an oath, given to an Infidel polity in order to obtain American citizenship or to relieve the suspicions of non-Muslims. Islam is a Total Belief-System that reinforces, through a whole variety of means, again and again the idea that for a Muslim the main thing, possibly the only thing, in life that truly matters is being Muslim, and that loyalty to fellow Muslims and to the teachings of Islam are the only things that matter, not the trivial and the transient, the without-worth because non-Muslim, Infidel polities.

Al-Marayati pretends that Muslims are just full of the patriotism and loyalty that animates other Americans. Is this true? Have Muslims rallied to the cause of fighting against “Muslim extremism” abroad? Have they flocked into the military, imitating the Japanese-Americans of the 422nd Regiment during World War II, the first (or possibly second) most decorated regiment in the entire U.S. military? Or have the handful of Muslims who have served reported how difficult it has been for them, how they have been repeatedly criticized and attacked by other Muslims for fighting “for the Infidel”?

And what has been the behavior of Muslims, and Muslim organizations, in this country? Have they encouraged Muslims to report on that “tiny handful of extremists,” or have they repeatedly refused to do so? Have Muslim organizations, and not only CAIR, exhibited a spirit of cooperation, or have they repeatedly urged Muslims not to voluntarily cooperate but to carefully go through them, and what’s more, have encouraged Muslims to report any and all supposed “anti-Muslim incidents,” all of which are scrupulously investigated, and almost all of which have been found to be baseless, or greatly exaggerated? Have they not encouraged in Muslims themselves, and in a credulous media that believes uncritically Muslim complaints, the idea that Muslims are being “victimized”?

There are a handful of exceptions. These consist of those who, having through no fault of their own been born in to Islam, have decided that they no longer are believers. But they are unwilling, out of fear or filial piety, to declare themselves openly to be apostates, and so signal to the outside world their disenchantment with Islam by identifying themselves as “cultural Muslims” or in some other way as “Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only” Muslims. They are as yet unwilling to wholeheartedly declare that disenchantment and their own falling-away from the faith.

All over the countries of Western Europe, as in the Muslim -dominated lands (Dar al-Islam), one can find the message of Islam clearly set out in the sermons of imams who are either uninhibited or perhaps, in some cases, simply unaware that they are being eavesdropped on by agents of the various Infidel governments. That message is clear: loyalty to Islam and to fellow members of the Umma comes first. And if one goes to Muslim websites (it isn't hard to do) and reads around, one discovers that the universal answer to the question "do I have to obey the laws of Infidel states if I have managed to obtain citizenship in those states" is not a resounding and unqualified "Yes" but, rather, the obvious: obey the laws of Infidel states only insofar as those laws do not contradict the principles of Islam, of the Holy Law of Islam or Shari'a. In other words, "be a good citizen" just so long as what you do does not contradict Islam.

The "loyalty" and "patriotism" that Salam Al-Marayati describes sounds fine. Anyone who knows little or nothing of Islam might be taken in. One might be if one has ignored all the evidence, in both the clearly-stated doctrines of Islam, and in what might reasonably be called the necessary developments from those doctrines -- including kitman ("mental reservation") and taqiyya. These have naturally been developed and are practiced, as we can all see, in every encounter with non-Muslims, when Muslims feel they need to conceal, in order to preserve Islam and Muslims from critical scrutiny, and to delay for as long as possible the widespread understanding of the texts and tenets of Islam.

The passage above should raise eyebrows and more than eyebrows. It is clear that Al-Marayati is determined to misrepresent Islam. It will be interesting to see what protests there are in comments, and how informed those protests are. The level of preparation of those who answer him will be important.

But all you need to do is look at Islam from the inside out -- look at the ample testimonies provided by a growing army of defectors from that other army, the army of Islam. Look at what Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells us in her Infidel about all the ways that Muslims talk about fooling the non-Muslims of the Netherlands. Look at Ibn Warraq, or Ali Sina, or all the many ex-Muslims who have contributed to such websites as the latter's Look at the opinion polls, where Muslims in Western Europe support attacks within, and against, the countries and non-Muslim peoples among whom they have been allowed to settle. There they are treated by the innocent and the ignorant with great generosity, which has been repaid with a malevolent determination to relentlessly spread the power and might of Islam, and to undercut, in every way that is deemed effective, the legal and political institutions, the liberties, the social understandings, of Infidel peoples and polities.

One detects in the soft-spoken assurances of Tariq Ramadan the hiss of a slitherer. Read Caroline Fourest, or many others, on his slitherings. And then re-read carefully the excerpt from Al-Marayati above. Then go to, or, or to the books of Ibn Warraq and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or to the articles by many defectors from Islam, or the studies of Islam by the great Western scholars who wrote during the century of flourishing Western scholarship on Islam, roughly from 1870 to 1970, which is roughly when the portcullises came down, to defend the castle of Islam, and the Age of Inhibition began.

When Al-Marayati utters his sly remarks about “love of country” and the “betterment of America,” what do you think he means? What could he possibly mean, if he is a believer in Islam? If you believe in Islam, if you believe in the Message of the Last of the Prophets, then what would be best for America, what would bring about its “betterment”? Surely not more of the same, not more of the same belief that mere men should, through the ballot, decide on the political and legal institutions of this country. Men are, or should ideally be, “slaves of Allah.” And a well-ordered world, according to Muslim doctrine, is that in which the will, not of mere mortals, but of Allah himself, is obeyed. So it is not the will of the people, expressed through elections and representative government, but rather the will of Allah, as expressed in the Qur’an and glossed by the Sunnah, that should prevail. That is surely what Al-Marayati sees as the best hope for this country, the “betterment” for which he, and all of the Believers, will naturally strive. In other words, the entire basis for the American policy is flatly contradicted by the most essential understandings of Islam.

And what does Al-Marayati think of the Constitution of the United States? What, for example, does he think of the First Amendment, and the rights of free speech, and of freedom of conscience, as guaranteed by both the Free Exercise and the Establishment clause? Does Al-Marayati think that anyone in this country who wishes to leave Islam should be perfectly free to do so without any repercussions whatsoever? What does he think about the case of Rifqa Bary? What punishment does he think should properly be meted out to those Muslim men who have, on their own, killed or greatly harmed their own daughters or wives, because they thought their daughters or wives had left Islam, or behaved in a way that brought “dishonor” to the family? And if he thinks such people should be properly punished by the full force of the law, does he also think that people guilty of similar behavior in other countries, such as Jordan or Syria or Iraq or Saudi Arabia, should also be punished? Or does he merely counsel acquiescence in the American legal system because, at present, Muslims cannot change it, and it is more important to outwardly conform -- temporarily -- with the American system so as better to work, over the long term, for changes in America that will lead to what Al-Marayati and those who think and believe like Al-Marayati consider to be the “betterment” of America?

And what could be “better” for America than the onward march of Islam, and an end to all of those elements, including the Constitution of the United States, that flatly contradict the spirit and letter of Shari’a? Just look around the world, look at the vast lands that over the past 1350 years have been conquered by Islam, ordinarily, though not exclusively, through military force. And look at the wiles and guiles that have helped Muslims avoid having to declare, in their mental baggage, as they leave the Lands of Islam (where all the failures of those lands can be intelligently attributed to the teachings of Islam itself), that they are quite different from refugees from the Nazis, who hated the Nazis and Nazism, and refugees from Communism, who hated the Communists and Communism, despite in a sense being “refugees” from the Misrule, in every sense, of Islam.

No, most of those who leave the awful societies of Dar al-Islam take a bit of Dar al-Islam with them. Yet they flee its natural violence, and aggression, and corruption, and political paralysis, and economic paralysis which are natural results both of the Muslim hatred of bida (innovation), and of the Muslim encouragement of an attitude of inshallah-fatalism. They flee an intellectual wasteland, reflected in such things as openness to the world as suggested by the number of translated works, because in Islam, what is pre—Islamic, or what is non-Islamic, is part of one vast and contemptible Jahiliyya -- save in the one area that seems truly to interest Muslims, and that is the area of weapons manufacture. While they are indifferent to pure science, they seem terribly concerned to acquire the ability to rival or surpass the West in the production, or at least accumulation, of weaponry.

There’s much more, but you can elaborate on the theme -- including the moral squalor that the mistreatment of women and of all non-Muslims reveals.

Oh, yes.

What could be better?

What could be worse?
9706  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: November 13, 2009, 06:04:56 PM

Open Field Doctrine Law & Legal Definition

The open field doctrine is a term used in criminal law to stand for the concept that anything plainly visible to the eye, even if it’s on private property, is subject to a search since it’s not hidden. Under this doctrine, consent to inspect the location is not required in order for a law enforcement officer to observe and report on things in plain view and include observations made. An open field is not an area protected under the Fourth Amendment, and there is no expectation of a right of privacy for an open field.
9707  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: November 13, 2009, 05:56:39 PM
Hoo-boy.  rolleyes

Ok Rarick, where in the US constitution, statute or caselaw does it restrict the police from parking a police vehicle on a PUBLIC STREET for the purpose of surveilling potential criminal activity in a location that is visible from a PUBLIC STREET?

9708  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Hooray for "Mighty Mouse" ! on: November 11, 2009, 11:14:26 PM

My wife, who is 5 weeks away from graduating from a police academy, is very inspired by this story.
9709  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Our Troops in Action on: November 11, 2009, 11:11:20 PM
My eyes got blurry reading that. Must be allergies or something....
9710  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Wow, for a crazy guy, he sure knows lots of terrorists.... on: November 11, 2009, 09:11:40 AM

Senior Official: More Hasan Ties to People Under Investigation by FBI
Alleged Shooter Had "Unexplained Connections" to Others Besides Jihadist Cleric Awlaki
Nov. 10, 2009 —

A senior government official tells ABC News that investigators have found that alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan had "more unexplained connections to people being tracked by the FBI" than just radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki. The official declined to name the individuals but Congressional sources said their names and countries of origin were likely to emerge soon.
9711  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: November 11, 2009, 08:48:23 AM
At this point in the game, getting Russia's support on Iran isn't worth a bucket of warm spit. Obama selling out our allies in exchange for it is beyond stupid, but far from unexpected.
9712  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 11, 2009, 08:42:25 AM

If true, this will shake the world.
9713  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self-Defense Law on: November 10, 2009, 10:49:12 PM

Forcible and atrocious crimes

If you argue that you acted in self-defense because you believed you were about to be killed, maimed, raped, robbed, or the victim of another California violent crime, the judge will instruct the jury that they may presume you had a reasonable belief that you were about to suffer imminent harm.16

If you acted in response to one of these "forcible and atrocious crimes", the jury will only need to consider whether you responded reasonably.

**It appears so. I am not an expert in California law. Please consult with an attorney/qualified expert just to be sure.**
9714  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 10, 2009, 09:28:28 PM

Spot the parallels.
9715  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: November 10, 2009, 07:07:38 PM

If true, this will shake the world.
9716  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 10, 2009, 05:41:16 PM

More background on the Ft. Hood shooter's imam.
9717  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 10, 2009, 05:36:27 PM

The first rule of jihad, don't talk about jihad (to the kuffar).
9718  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 10, 2009, 12:13:13 PM

Updated: Sat., Nov. 7, 2009, 12:54 PM 
The military's blinders

Last Updated: 12:54 PM, November 7, 2009

Posted: 12:36 AM, November 7, 2009

Why did the US military ig nore the clear warning signs that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the suspected Ft. Hood shooter, had embraced radical Islam -- and thus become a danger to all around him?

It wasn't an oversight, it was policy -- one the Pentagon has been doubling down on ever since 9/11.
9719  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: November 10, 2009, 12:02:20 PM
Fitzgerald: Irshad Manji, Islam, and mental illness

Some keep telling us that Nidal Malik Hasan's act "had nothing to do with being a Muslim." And there is a variant on this, used by those who, though they may have reservations about Islam, offer us a false alternative. One such Offeror of False Alternatives is that publicity-hound the henna-haired Irshad Manji, Brave Young Reformer Of Islam, who "speaks truth to (Muslim) power etc. etc." and who should never be confused with the real, full-fledged, non-apologist apostates, though she keeps being confused with them, a confusion she encourages.

This is what Irshad Manji has posted at her blog:

You've probably heard about the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas - America's biggest military base. The main suspect has a Muslim name. Does this matter? If he did it in the name of Islam, then religion is a motivation. In that case, his Muslim identity is relevant. But if he did it out of other motives - say, mental illness - then his Muslim ID means nothing. That's my take. Yours?
Notice how she has set this up.
This man, this "main suspect," "has a Muslim name." Is that really the only thing that with such studied casualness connects this man to Islam, and not his ever-present Qur'an, not his history, over several years, of publicly denouncing Infidels and otherwise showing his deep devotion to the most bloodcurdling parts - see Sura 9 - of the Qur'an, the Hadith, and the Sira, not his postings on the Internet about killing 100 Infidel soldiers, not anything at all except that "Muslim name"?

Did he do it out of some quite unspecified Muslim motive? Or was his "motive"--not exactly a correct use of English, but perhaps we are expecting too much from the excitable likes of Irshad Manji - "mental illness"?

But isn't there a third possibility? Even if you do not accept what I insist makes the most sense - to see this killer as a Muslim intent on Jihad - there is another way to look at this. Nidal Hasan was unwilling to use other, less violent means to conduct Jihad in this country, for now, given the balance of forces and the far greater apprehension, by Muslims, that the Infidels in this country are not quite as yielding as those in the countries of Western Europe have proved so far (but for how long?) to be. But if you wish, for the sake of argument or out of belief, to think that Nidal Hasan was unusually ferocious in his fervor, more than many Muslims, so that you might wish to console yourself with at least a nod to "depression" or "mental illness" or some such, that is really no consolation at all. In fact, given that in modern industrial societies a great many people suffer from Durkheimian anomie and economic insecurity and loneliness, and so on, given that a great many people at any one time suffer from depression, should we not ask ourselves instead a different question? And that question is: what happens when a non-Muslim becomes depressed, and what happens when a Muslim, living within a society of non-Muslims, becomes depressed?

I have written about this before many times, and choose here simply to repost a piece - "Fitzgerald: Anything To Do With Terrorism?" that appeared here two years ago:

There has been much discussion lately of whether or not this or that case has anything to do with "terrorism." The Salt Lake mall shooter and the Nashville would-be murderer by taxicab spring immediately to mind. The word "terrorism" may not quite fit if the FBI takes it to mean some kind of organized conspiracy, something done by a group. What should be made clear is that Islam supplies a pre-fabricated mental grid or, to vary the metaphor, a prism through which to view the universe. And on that grid, or through that prism, there is always an Identifiable Enemy, and that Enemy is Always the Infidel.
Feeling bad? Feeling blue? Feeling things aren't going right for you? It happens to all of us. We blame our parents, our siblings, our children, The System, Amerika with a "k," Capitalism, fate, the stars, our serotonin level, our cholesterol level. Even, at times, we may blame ourselves. That's if you are an ordinary Infidel.

What if you are a Muslim? You don't have to blame your parents, your siblings, or anyone or anything else except: the Infidel. And you don't need to be part of Al-Qaeda, or Islamic Jihad, or Jaish-e-Muhammad. You don't even have to have been a faithful attender of a mosque. You can be Intel engineer "Mike" (Muhammad) Hawash, married to an American, with Little-League-attending children, earning $360,000 a year. And when the banality and boredom of life assails you, you can return to that Old-Time Religion, that is to Islam, and start reading, and re-reading, with the effects we all know, the Qur'an. Then you can light out for the territories, in this case those territories being Western China, and thence, you hope, to Afghanistan, in order to kill Americans. Yes, you are technically an "American" yourself, but the categories and the loyalties of the Infidel nation-state mean nothing to you: you are a Muslim, and that is the only Category that counts, Muslim as opposed to Infidel.

All that one need have asked in the case of Sulejman Talovic was why he went out to a mall, and not in a sudden mental raptus, and quietly and calmly proceeded to kill as many people as he could. Did he see it as killing Infidel after Infidel after Infidel? No one need have asked if he had a collaborator, to be guilty of violent Jihad. No one need have asked if he wrote it out. All one needed to do was find out what his worldview was: did he, or did he not, see the world as divided, as so many Muslims are taught to see it, between Believer and Infidel? Did FBI agents determine this before they dismissed "terrorism" in this case? The answer to that question is not known.

If FBI agents are still ignorant of Islam, then the country is endangered. Anyone running for President should assure us that he, or she, will make sure that "all of our security services, all of those who are in the army and the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. and the local police, will be fully informed of the nature of the ideology that menaces us, and does more than menace us." If you wish, if you don't dare utter the word "Islam," then call it "Islamism" or "fanatical Islam" or some other such term.

But more and more, those even in government have a duty to approach the truth asymptotically, so that the uninformed or insufficiently informed will come to locate, accurately, the menace for all Infidels in the immutable texts of Islam, not in the teachings supposed invented by the proponents of "Wahhabi" Islam, or of "Islamism," or of "extremist" Islam, but mainstream Islam.

And those who are not in government have no excuse for using terms such as "Islamism." No, those without official positions have a stark and unwavering duty not to add to the confusion that currently prevails among Americans and Westerners in general, but instead to constantly clarify whatever others at the moment may now deem necessary to obscure.

One may hope, of course, that they may deem this obscuring action to be necessary only on a temporary basis, if they are fully aware of the real, disturbing, frightening truth.

To Irshad Manji's false dichotomy - was it because he was mentally ill (was mental illness, in her comical solecism, the "motive"?), or because he was a Muslim? I think he met the definition of a fervent Muslim, convinced of the rightness of his beliefs and willing, as so many Muslims in other countries over many years have shown themselves willing, to act on them. They act upon them without delay and without calculating the possible consequences to the long-term interests of Islam, as its adherents are still in the process of establishing themselves in the Western world, and are hoping to continue to do so with no disruptions from Infidels waking from a deep dream of interfaith peace. But even if we were to grant - I don't - that he met the definition of "mentally ill," we must also look, as my 2007 article says, at the pre-fabricated mental grid, or rather the ideological prism through which the world is apprehended by Muslims, and in which world, the blameworthy are always the Infidels. You don't blame your parents, your siblings, your spouse, your children, fate, Amerikkka, The System, the stars, your serotonin level, your cholesterol level, the malfunctioning of your dopamine receptors. No, those possibilities are open to Infidels. But for you, the Muslim suffering mental disarray (that kind which does not come from being a Muslim, living in a non-Muslim society and furious that Muslims do not yet rule, and must smile, and be outwardly nice to Infidels, and appear to accept things that are contra naturam in your view, where Infidels still appear unafraid and even call most of the shots), your enemy is always and everywhere the Infidel.

And that is what Irshad Manji ignores. So do others who are trying to deflect attention from the perfectly explicable behavior of a deep Believer, not a "moderate" who has managed to ignore or pretend to ignore some or much of what Islam inculcates. Manji, by focusing on "mental illness," ignores the fact that such an explanation, for us, the potential victims of those Muslims who suffer depression or other forms of such mental illness, misses the point -- that such Muslims turn their fury, almost inevitably, on us, the undifferentiated enemy Infidels.

Given the high rates of mental illness in the modern industrialized world, that is no consolation at all.
9720  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The New Kitty Genovese on: November 10, 2009, 11:55:03 AM

Forcible and atrocious crimes

If you argue that you acted in self-defense because you believed you were about to be killed, maimed, raped, robbed, or the victim of another California violent crime, the judge will instruct the jury that they may presume you had a reasonable belief that you were about to suffer imminent harm.16

If you acted in response to one of these "forcible and atrocious crimes", the jury will only need to consider whether you responded reasonably.

**It appears so. I am not an expert in California law. Please consult with an attorney/qualified expert just to be sure.**
9721  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: November 10, 2009, 11:33:11 AM

Irshad Manji: Islam's marked woman

Irshad Manji is a lesbian Muslim who says her religion is stuck in the Middle Ages. The outspoken author tells Johann Hari how she became a target for assassination

Wednesday, 5 May 2004

The death threats began six months ago. One morning,Irshad Manji opened her e-mail and read the first ofmany pledges to kill her. "It contained some prettyconcrete details that showed a lot of thought had beenput into the death-threat," she explains now,unblinking. She can't say how many she's received -"The police tell me not to talk about this stuff" -but she admits that "they are becoming pretty up-closeand personal."

"One story that I can tell you," she says, "a storythat I have the permission from the police to tellyou, is that I was in an airport in North Americarecently and somebody at the airport recognised me. Ihad a conversation with them. While I was engaged inconversation with a very portly, very sweetfifty-something man and his wife, an Arab guy came upto my travel companion and said, 'You are luckier thanyour friend.' As a nice polite Canadian she asked,'What do you mean?' and he didn't say anything. Heturned his hand in to the shape of a gun and he pulledthe make-believe trigger towards my head. She didn'tknow what to make of this, so she asked him to clarifyhis intentions. He said 'Not now, you will find outlater,' and then he was gone."

**Gee, I wonder if the "I" word has anything to do with the motivations of those that threaten Ms. Manji. Let's not rush to judgement.**
9722  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: November 10, 2009, 06:17:26 AM
Obama won't act. Iran knows this. Why give up anything?
9723  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 09, 2009, 11:03:53 PM

Obama's Justice Department springs into action.
9724  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 09, 2009, 10:07:47 PM

Iowahawk's media roundup.  grin
9725  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 09, 2009, 08:35:49 PM

Death by PC.
9726  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 09, 2009, 07:31:30 PM

Alleged Fort Hood Gunman a Hero, Says Islamic Cleric With Suspected 9/11 Links
Monday, November 09, 2009
By Patrick Goodenough, International Editor

Spc. Ryan Howard of Niles, Mich., right and Spc. David Straub of Ardmore, Okla. wait for news of fellow soldiers while waiting at the gate of the Army base after a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. (AP Photo)( – The Muslim U.S. Army major accused of shooting dead 13 people at Fort Hood last Thursday was a “hero” who faced a choice of betraying his nation or betraying Islam, according to a radical U.S.-born cleric whose possible links with Maj. Nidal Hasan are now under investigation.

The cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, led a Northern Virginia mosque in 2001 which Hasan attended – along with three of the 9/11 hijackers.

Questioned but not arrested after the 9/11 attacks, al-Awlaki is now based in Yemen, from where his online lectures have been inspiring jihadists in the years since the bombings on U.S. soil.

London’s Sunday Telegraph first reported at the weekend that Hasan had attended the Dar al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church during Awlaki’s tenure in 2001. Officials subsequently told U.S. media outlets investigators were looking into possible links between Awlaki and Hasan.

In a posting on his Web site Monday, Awlaki praised Hasan, calling him “a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people.”

He criticized U.S. Muslim organizations for condemning the shooting attack, calling them hypocrites and – quoting from the Koran – saying “painful punishment” awaited them.

“Nidal opened fire on soldiers who were on their way to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan,” Awlaki said. “How can there be any dispute about the virtue of what he has done?”

“In fact the only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the U.S. army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal.”

Awlaki’s comments and reports of possible link between him and Hasan come amid ongoing speculation and debate about the motive for last Thursday’s deadly shooting. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was shot by police during the rampage and is in hospital.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who chairs the Senate Homeland Security committee, told Fox News Sunday that “there are very, very strong warning signs here that Dr. Hasan had become an Islamist extremist and, therefore, that this was a terrorist act.”

He called for an investigation into whether the military had missed warning signs in Hasan’s conduct prior to the attack.

Army Chief of Staff George Casey, on ABC’s This Week, said he could not rule out terrorism, but advised that “speculation could potentially heighten backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.”

Islamic organizations in the U.S., which from the outset condemned the attack, have also warned against linking it to Hasan’s religion, while voicing concern about stepped-up “Islamophobia” and the potential for retaliation against Muslims.

The Muslim American Society’s Mahdi Bray cautioned against “drawing conclusions based on the ethnicity of the perpetrator of this tragic incident.”

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee president Mary Rose Oakar said the attack was “morally reprehensible and has nothing to do with any religion, race, ethnicity, or national origin.”

A woman walks near the entrance to the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va. on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009. (AP Photo)Hijackers

Around the time Hasan was attending the Awlaki-run Dar al Hijrah Islamic Center, so two were three of the 9/11 hijackers: Hasan is known to have been going to the mosque in May 2001, as his mother’s funeral took place there that month; according to the 9/11 Commission report, 9/11 terrorists Nawaf al-Hazmi and Hani Hanjour started going to the mosque in early April 2001.

They and a third Saudi who also attended the mosque, Khalid al-Mihdhar, were among the five hijackers onboard American Airlines Flight 77 which took off from Dulles and was flown into the Pentagon on September 11.

Awlaki was questioned by the FBI after the attacks but information against him was not considered strong enough to support a criminal prosecution, the 9/11 Commission report said.

By the time the commission’s investigators tried to interview him in 2003, he had moved to Yemen. The commission’s attempts to arrange interviews with the help of the U.S. and Yemeni governments were unsuccessful.

The commission expressed strong suspicions about Awlaki (his name is rendered “Aulaqi” in the report), noting the “remarkable coincidence” that he had also had dealings with one of the three hijackers during his pre-Virginia posting, at a mosque in San Diego.

Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki (Photo: Cage Prisoners Web site)‘America cannot and will not win’

Awlaki was cited last year by a top Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official as an example of al-Qaeda’s “reach into the homeland.”

Addressing a conference in Nashville, then undersecretary for intelligence and analysis Charles Allen described Awlaki as a “U.S. citizen, al-Qaeda supporter, and former spiritual leader to three of the September 11 hijackers.”

Allen said he “targets U.S. Muslims with radical online lectures encouraging terrorist attacks from his new home in Yemen.”

During the 2008 trial of foreign-born Islamists who plotted to attack the Fort Dix military base in New Jersey an informant testified that some of the co-conspirators had been inspired to strike American soldiers by one of Awlaki’s online lectures.

Also last year, Indian security officials said Islamists there were citing Awlaki lectures in their emailed claims of responsibility, routinely sent after terrorist attacks in Indian cities.

And over the summer, the New York Times reported that a group of American Muslims of Somali descent who had gone to Somalia to fight alongside the Islamist group al-Shabaab, had also listened to Awlaki’s Internet lectures.

In an article on his Web site, dated Saturday, Awlaki – who calls himself “Sheikh Anwar” – declares that jihad is on the rise.

“America cannot and will not win,” he writes. “The tables have turned and there is no rolling back of the worldwide Jihad movement. The ideas of Jihad are proliferating around the world, the mujahideen movements are gaining strength and the battlefields are expanding with the mujahideen introducing new fronts.”

FBI suspicions

The 9/11 Commission report said Awlaki was born in New Mexico, grew up in Yemen and studied in the U.S. on a Yemeni government scholarship.

It said he came to the FBI’s attention in 1999, after it learned “that he may have been contacted by a possible procurement agent for [Osama] Bin Laden.”

“During this investigation, the FBI learned that Aulaqi knew individuals from the Holy Land Foundation and others involved in raising money for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas,” it said.

The commission report said that 9/11 hijackers Hazmi and Mihdhar came into contact with Awlaki in 2000 when he served as imam at the Rabat mosque in San Diego, and that they reportedly respected him as a religious figure “and developed a close relationship with him.”

He then moved to Falls Church in early 2001 and “Hazmi eventually showed up at Aulaqi’s mosque in Virginia, an appearance that may not have been coincidental.”

A Jordanian also attending the mosque had helped to arrange an apartment for Hazmi and Hanjour in Alexandria, Va., the report said.

It said the Jordanian, Eyad al Rababah, said later he had just “happened to meet” the two at the mosque, but that some FBI agents suspected that Awlaki may in fact have commissioned Rababah to help the two Saudis – a suspicion shared by the commission.

Awlaki later moved to Yemen, where he was detained from August 2006 until December 2007. After his release he said he believed the U.S. government was behind his incarceration.

Awlaki denies links to the 9/11 hijackers. After Allen of the DHS described him last year as “a former spiritual leader to three of the September 11 hijackers,” he posted a denial on his Web site, saying “This is a baseless claim that I have refuted again and again.”

Last August, Awlaki made headlines in Britain when a Muslim advocacy group named Cage Prisoners invited him to speak via video link to an event at the Kensington town hall in London, to raise funds for terrorist suspects held at Guantanamo Bay.

After concerns were raised about his radical views, the local council prohibited him from taking part.
Cage Prisoners calls Awlaki “a prominent Muslim scholar highly regarded in English speaking Islamic circles.”

It says that while he was in the U.S. he had worked “hard to establish a reasoned, nuanced and just form of intellectual dissent in Western Muslims.”

9727  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 09, 2009, 05:19:06 PM
Hate speech! Hate speech! Oh wait, that's Hasan and 3 of the 9/11 hijackers former imam speaking.

NEVERMIND.  rolleyes
9728  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 09, 2009, 05:16:22 PM
"Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing," by Anwar alAwlaki, November 9:

Nidal Hassan is a hero. He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people. This is a contradiction that many Muslims brush aside and just pretend that it doesn't exist. Any decent Muslim cannot live, understanding properly his duties towards his Creator and his fellow Muslims, and yet serve as a US soldier. The US is leading the war against terrorism which in reality is a war against Islam. Its army is directly invading two Muslim countries and indirectly occupying the rest through its stooges.
Nidal opened fire on soldiers who were on their way to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. How can there be any dispute about the virtue of what he has done? In fact the only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the US army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal.

The heroic act of brother Nidal also shows the dilemma of the Muslim American community. Increasingly they are being cornered into taking stances that would either make them betray Islam or betray their nation. Many amongst them are choosing the former. The Muslim organizations in America came out in a pitiful chorus condemning Nidal's operation.

The fact that fighting against the US army is an Islamic duty today cannot be disputed. No scholar with a grain of Islamic knowledge can defy the clear cut proofs that Muslims today have the right -rather the duty- to fight against American tyranny. Nidal has killed soldiers who were about to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in order to kill Muslims. The American Muslims who condemned his actions have committed treason against the Muslim Ummah and have fallen into hypocrisy.

Allah(swt) says: Give tidings to the hypocrites that there is for them a painful punishment - Those who take disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do they seek with them honor [through power]? But indeed, honor belongs to Allah entirely. (al-Nisa 136-137) [Koran 4:136-137]

The inconsistency of being a Muslim today and living in America and the West in general reveals the wisdom behind the opinions that call for migration from the West. It is becoming more and more difficult to hold on to Islam in an environment that is becoming more hostile towards Muslims.

May Allah grant our brother Nidal patience, perseverance and steadfastness and we ask Allah to accept from him his great heroic act. Ameen
9729  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 09, 2009, 05:02:38 PM
Amazing the level of willful ignorance and denial still present today. Imagine this sort of moronic drivel in 1944. "It's just a few bad nazis that make all nazis victims of profiling".  rolleyes
9730  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 09, 2009, 09:59:24 AM

Let's not jump to conclusions. Maybe he just wanted a referral to a nice flight school.
9731  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Emergency Tips and Emergency Medicine on: November 08, 2009, 04:45:57 PM
There is the "golden hour" of getting emergency medical treatment for trauma victims. Those who get treated in that hour have much improved odds of survival. The "platinum 5 minutes" is that initial response in the first 5 minutes of trauma that can be that factor that allows someone to survive into the golden hour.

One need not be a EMT or Paramedic to do what is needed in the first 5. Stopping/controlling blood loss can, and should be done by anyone.

Bottom line, it's about keeping the blood inside so it continues to supply oxygen to the organs/tissues of the victim until EMS arrives.

IMHO, everyone should have this and the concept of triage drilled into them.
9732  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 08, 2009, 04:33:38 PM
Nice find GM.  It will help me nicely on a different forum.

Someone is trying to dispute the jihadist motive behind the attack? Really???
9733  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: November 08, 2009, 04:31:52 PM
Lindsey Graham (gag) and Joe Lieberman have promised to filibuster it.

Then there is this:
9734  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Emergency Tips and Emergency Medicine on: November 08, 2009, 04:07:04 PM
1. Shoot the haji into the ground ASAP.

2. Combat lifesaver "Platinum 5 minutes" can mean the difference between life and death.
9735  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 08, 2009, 02:48:03 PM
China is positioned to have a Saudi-like economic grasp on a vital natural resource. It will be another card in their deck to be played as needed.
9736  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Co-inky-dink on: November 07, 2009, 05:42:22 PM

Of course, it's just second-hand PTSD. Pay no attention to the jihadist behind the curtain.
9737  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: November 07, 2009, 11:32:14 AM

As  usual, Mark Steyn is exactly right.
9738  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 07, 2009, 10:50:24 AM,1518,658977,00.html

Rare earth and intellectual capital forge the path to 21st. century dominance.
9739  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Barry's double standard on: November 06, 2009, 10:05:12 PM

Only rush to judgement when it concerns cops.
9740  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 06, 2009, 01:08:37 PM

My hero.
9741  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 06, 2009, 07:51:28 AM

More on the jihad from within the ranks.
9742  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jihad at Ft. Hood on: November 06, 2009, 07:23:34 AM

The enemy within.
9743  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jihad at Ft. Hood on: November 06, 2009, 07:12:34 AM

Jihad at Ft. Hood
9744  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The New Kitty Genovese on: November 05, 2009, 09:48:43 PM
Children? I'm not sure that's the best description of high school students.
9745  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The New Kitty Genovese on: November 05, 2009, 07:00:18 PM

"Teaching Kids To Kill"

By Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
Phi Kappa Phi National Forum, Fall 2000, 2500 words

Authors note: This was published in Phi Kappa Phi “National Forum,” in their Fall 2000 issue. "National Forum is one of the most prestigious, interdisciplinary, academic journals. An earlier version was published in “Christianity Today,” “Saturday Evening Post,” “US Catholic,” “Hinduism Today,” and many other US publications, and it was translated and published in periodicals in nine different languages. I am the copyright holder, and I authorize reproduction and distribution of this article by the readers of this web page.

A Case Study: Paducah, Kentucky
Michael Carneal, the 14-year-old killer in the Paducah, Kentucky school shootings, had never fired a real pistol in his life. He stole a .22 pistol, fired a few practice shots, and took it to school. He fired eight shots at a high school prayer group, hitting eight kids, five of them head shots and the other three upper torso (Grossman & DeGaetana, 1999).

I train numerous elite military and law enforcement organizations around the world. When I tell them of this achievement they are stunned. Nowhere in the annals of military or law enforcement history can we find an equivalent "achievement."

Where does a 14-year-old boy who never fired a gun before get the skill and the will to kill? Video games and media violence.

A Virus of Violence

First we must understand the magnitude of the problem. The murder rate does not accurately represent our situation. Murder has been held down by the development of ever more sophisticated life saving skills and techniques. A better indicator of the problem is the aggravated assault rate -- the rate at which human beings are attempting to kill one another. And that has gone up from around 60 per 100,000 in 1957, to over 440 per 100,000 by the mid-1990’s (Statistical Abstracts of the United States, 1957-1997).

Even with small downturns recently, the violent crime rate is still at a phenomenally high level, and this is true not just in America but worldwide. In Canada, per capita assaults increased almost fivefold between 1964 and 1993. According to Interpol, between 1977 and 1993 the per capita assault rate increased nearly fivefold in Norway and Greece, and in Australia and New Zealand it increased approximately fourfold. During the same period it tripled in Sweden, and approximately doubled in: Belgium, Denmark, England-Wales, France, Hungary, Netherlands, and Scotland. In India during this period the per capita murder rate doubled. In Mexico and Brazil violent crime is also skyrocketing, and in Japan juvenile violent crime went up 30 percent in 1997 alone.

This virus of violence is occurring worldwide, and the explanation for it has to be some new factor that is occurring in all of these countries (Grossman, 1999b). Like heart disease, there are many factors involved in the causation of violent crime, and we must never downplay any of them. But there is only one new variable that is present in each of these nations, bearing the same fruit in every case, and that is media violence being presented as “entertainment” for children.

Killing Unnaturally

I spent almost a quarter of a century as an Army infantry officer, a paratrooper, a Ranger, and a West Point Psychology Professor, learning and studying how we enable people to kill. Most soldiers have to be trained to kill.

Healthy members of most species have a powerful, natural resistance to killing their own kind. Animals with antlers and horns fight one another by butting heads. Against other species they go to the side to gut and gore. Piranha turn their fangs on everything, but they fight one another with flicks of the tail. Rattlesnakes bite anything, but they wrestle one another.

When we human beings are overwhelmed with anger and fear our thought processes become very primitive, and we slam head on into that hardwired resistance against killing. During World War II, we discovered that only 15-20 percent of the individual riflemen would fire at an exposed enemy soldier (Marshall, 1998). You can observe this in killing throughout history, as I have outlined in much greater detail in my book, On Killing, (Grossman, 1996), in my three peer-reviewed encyclopedia entries, (Grossman, 1999a, 1999b, and Murray, 1999) and in my entry in the Oxford Companion to American Military History (1999).

That's the reality of the battlefield. Only a small percentage of soldiers are willing and able to kill. When the military became aware of this, they systematically went about the process of “fixing” this “problem.” And fix it they did. By Vietnam the firing rate rose to over 90 percent (Grossman, 1999a).

The Methods in this Madness: Brutalization

The training methods the military uses are brutalization, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and role modeling. Let us explain these and then observe how the media does the same thing to our children, but without the safeguards.

Brutalization, or “values inculcation,” is what happens at boot camp. Your head is shaved, you are herded together naked, and dressed alike, losing all vestiges of individuality. You are trained relentlessly in a total immersion environment. In the end you embrace violence and discipline and accept it as a normal and essential survival skill in your brutal new world.

Something very similar is happening to our children through violence in the media. It begins at the age of 18 months, when a child can begin to understand and mimic what is on television. But up until they're six or seven years old they are developmentally, psychologically, physically unable to discern the difference between fantasy and reality. Thus, when a young child sees somebody on TV being shot, stabbed, raped, brutalized, degraded, or murdered, to them it is real, and some of them embrace violence and accept it as a normal and essential survival skill in a brutal new world. (Grossman & DeGaetano, 1999).

On June 10th, 1992, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a definitive study on the impact of TV violence. In nations, regions, or cities where television appears there is an immediate explosion of violence on the playground, and within 15 years there is a doubling of the murder rate. Why 15 years? That's how long it takes for a brutalized toddler to reach the “prime crime” years. That's how long it takes before you begin to reap what you sow when you traumatize and desensitize children. (Centerwall, 1992).

The JAMA concluded that, “the introduction of television in the 1950’s caused a subsequent doubling of the homicide rate, i.e., long-term childhood exposure to television is a causal factor behind approximately one half of the homicides committed in the United States, or approximately 10,000 homicides annually.” The study went on to state that “...if, hypothetically, television technology had never been developed, there would today be 10,000 fewer homicides each year in the United states, 70,000 fewer rapes, and 700,000 fewer injurious assaults” (Centerwall, 1992).

Today the data linking violence in the media to violence in society is superior to that linking cancer and tobacco. The American Psychological Association (APA), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Surgeon General, and the Attorney General have all made definitive statements about this. When I presented a paper to the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) annual convention in May, 2000 (Grossman, 2000), the statement was made that: “The data is irrefutable. We have reached the point where we need to treat those who try to deny it, like we would treat Holocaust deniers.”

Classical Conditioning

Classical conditioning is like Pavlov's dog in Psych 101. Remember the ringing bell, the food, and the dog could not hear the bell without salivating?

In World War II, the Japanese would make some of their young, unblooded soldiers bayonet innocent prisoners to death. Their friends would cheer them on. Afterwards, all these soldiers were treated to the best meal they've had in months, sake, and to so-called "comfort girls." The result? They learned to associate violence with pleasure.

This technique is so morally reprehensible that there are very few examples of it in modern U.S. military training, but the media is doing it to our children. Kids watch vivid images of human death and suffering and they learn to associate it with: laughter, cheers, popcorn, soda, and their girlfriend's perfume (Grossman & DeGaetano, 1999).

After the Jonesboro shootings, one of the high school teachers told me about her students' reaction when she told them that someone had shot a bunch of their little brothers, sisters, and cousins in the middle school. "They laughed," she told me with dismay, "they laughed." We have raised a generation of barbarians who have learned to associate human death and suffering with pleasure (Grossman & DeGaetano, 1999).

Operant Conditioning

The third method the military uses is operant conditioning, a powerful procedure of stimulus-response training. We see this with pilots in flight simulators, or children in fire drills. When the fire alarm is set off, the children learn to file out in orderly fashion. One day there's a real fire and they're frightened out of their little wits, but they do exactly what they've been conditioned to do (Grossman & DeGaetano, 1999).

In World War II we taught our soldiers to fire at bullseye targets, but that training failed miserably because we have no known instances of any soldiers being attacked by bullseyes. Now soldiers learn to fire at realistic, man-shaped silhouettes that pop up in their field of view. That's the stimulus. The conditioned response is to shoot the target and then it drops. Stimulus-response, stimulus-response, repeated hundreds of times. Later, when they are in combat and somebody pops up with a gun, reflexively they will shoot and shoot to kill, 75 to 80 percent of the shooting on the modern battlefield is the result of this kind of training (Grossman & Siddle, 1999).

In his national Presidential radio address on April 24, 1999, shortly after the Littleton high school massacre, President Clinton stated that: “A former Lieutenant Colonel and Professor, David Grossman, has said that these games teach young people to kill with all the precision of a military training program, but none of the character training that goes along with it.”

The result is ever more homemade pseudo-sociopaths who kill reflexively and show no remorse. Our kids are learning to kill and learning to like it. The most remarkable example is in Paducah, Kentucky the school killer fired eight shots, getting eight hits, on eight different milling, scrambling, screaming kids. Five of them were head shots (Grossman & DeGaetano, 1999).

Where did he get this phenomenal skill? Well, there is a $130-million law suit against the video game manufacturers in that case, working itself through the appeals system, claiming that the violent video games, the murder simulators, gave that mass murderer the skill and the will to kill.

In July, 2000, at a bipartisan, bicameral Capital Hill conference in Washington, DC, the AMA, the APA, the AAP and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) issued a joint statement saying that "viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, particularly in children. Its effects are measurable and long-lasting. Moreover, prolonged viewing of media violence can lead to emotional desensitization toward violence in real life ...Although less research has been done on the impact of violent interactive entertainment [such as video games] on young people, preliminary studies indicate that the negative impact may be significantly more severe than that wrought by television, movies or music."

Role Models

In the military your role model is your drill sergeant. He personifies violence, aggression, and discipline. (The discipline, and doing it to adults, are the safeguard)(Grossman, 1996). The drill sergeant, and heroes such as John Wayne, Audey Murphy, Sergeant York and Chesty Puller, have always been used as role models to influence young, impressionable teenagers.

Today the media are providing our children with role models, not just in the lawless sociopaths in movies and in TV shows, but in the transformation of these schoolyard killers into media celebrities.

In the 1970's we learned about "cluster suicides," in which TV reporting of teen suicides was directly responsible for numerous copycat suicides of other teenagers. Because of this, television stations today generally do not cover teen suicides. But when the pictures of teenage killers appear on TV, the effect is tragically similar. If there are children willing to kill themselves to get on TV, are there children willing to kill your child to get on TV?

Thus we get the effect of copycat, cluster murders that work their way across America like a virus spread by the six o'clock local news. No matter what someone has done, if you put their picture on TV, you have made them a celebrity and someone, somewhere, may emulate them. This effect is magnified when the role model is a teenager, and the effect on other teens can be profound.

In Japan, Canada, and other democracies around the world it is a punishable, criminal act to place the names and images of juvenile criminals in the media, because they know that it will result in other tragic deaths. The media has every right and responsibility to tell the story, but do they have a “right” to turn the killers into celebrities?

Unlearning Violence

On the night of the Jonesboro shootings, clergy and counselors were working in small groups in the hospital waiting room, comforting the groups of relatives and friends of the 15 shooting victims. Then they noticed one woman who had been sitting alone.

A counselor went up to the woman and discovered that she was the mother of one of the girls who had been killed. She had no friends, no husband, no family with her as she sat in the hospital, alone. "I just came to find out how to get my little girl's body back," she said. But the body had been taken to the state capital, for an autopsy. Told this, she said, "I just don't know how we're going to pay for the funeral. I don't know how we can afford it."

That little girl was all she had in all the world, and all she wanted to do was wrap her little girl’s body in a blanket and take her home. Some people’s solution to the problem of media violence is, “If you don’t like it, just turn it off.” If that is your only solution to this problem, then come to Jonesboro, and tell her how this would have kept her little girl safe.

All of us can keep our kids safe from this toxic, addictive substance, and it won’t be enough if the neighbors are not doing the same. Perhaps the time has come to consider regulating what the violence industry is selling to kids, controlling the sale of visual violent imagery to children, while still permitting free access to adults, just as we do with guns, pornography, alcohol, tobacco, sex and cars.

Fighting Back: Education, Legislation, Litigation

We must work against child abuse, racism, poverty and children’s access to guns, and in rebuilding our families, but we must also take on the producers of media violence. The solution strategy that I submit for consideration is, “education, legislation, litigation.”

Simply put, we need to work toward “legislation” which outlaws violent video games for children. In July, 2000, the city of Indianapolis passed just such an ordinance, and every other city, country or state in America has the right to do the same. There is no Constitutional “right” to teach children to blow people’s heads off at the local video arcade. And we are very close to being able to do to the media, through “litigation,” what is being done to the tobacco industry, hotting them in the only place they understand--their wallets.

Most of all, the American people need to be informed. Every parent must be warned of the impact of violent visual media on children, as we would warn them of some rampant carcinogen. Violence is not a game, it is not fun, it is not something that we let children do for entertainment. Violence kills.

CBS President Leslie Moonves was asked if he thought the school massacre in Littleton, Colorado, had anything to do with the media. His answer was: "Anyone who thinks the media has nothing to do with it, is an idiot." (Reuters. 2000, March 19). That is what the networks are selling, and we do not have to buy it. An educated and informed society can and must find its way home from the dark and lonely place to which it has traveled.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, is a retired Army Ranger, West Point psychology professor, and an expert on the psychology of killing. He has testified before the U.S. House and Senate, and his research was cited by the President of the United States in the wake of the Littleton school shootings. He is director of the Warrior Science Group in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and has written Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie, and Video Game Violence, (Crown/Random, 1999) and On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society (Little, Brown and Co., 1996).


Centerwall, B. (1992). Television and violence: The scale of the problem and where to go from here. Journal of the American Medical Association, 267: 3059-3061.
Grossman, D. (1996). On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. New York: Little, Brown, and Company.
Grossman, D. (1999). Aggression and Violence. In J. Chambers (Ed.) Oxford Companion to American Military History. New York: Oxford University Press (p. 10).
Grossman, D. (1999a). Weaponry, Evolution of. In L. Curtis & J. Turpin (Eds.) Academic Press Encyclopedia Academic Press (p. 797).
Grossman, D. & Siddle, B. (1999b). Psychological Effects of Combat. In L. Curtis & J. Turpin (Eds.). Academic Press Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. (pp. 144-145).
Grossman, D. (2000, May). "Teaching Kids to Kill, A Case Study: Paducah, Kentucky." Paper presented at the American Psychiatric Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.
Interpol International Crime Statistics, Interpol, Lyons, France, vols. 1977 to 1994.
Marshall, S.L.A. (1978). Men Against Fire. Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith.
Murray, K. (1999). Behavioral Psychology. In L. Curtis & J. Turpin (Eds.) Academic Press Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Reuters Wire Service (2000, March 29). CBS airing mob drama deemed too violent a year ago. The Washington Post.
Statistical Abstracts of the United States, 1957-1997
9746  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The New Kitty Genovese on: November 05, 2009, 06:55:12 PM

"Many teens today have had years of exposure to violent video games and media images, Parks said, which studies show desensitizes them to violence. Richmond police said they believe some of the witnesses took cell phone pictures of the girl's ordeal – further proof of possible desensitization, Parks said.

These same arguments are raised in the anti-spanking debate.  Let's ask a few questions.  Why do children imitate some behaviors they see in the media and in their environment while rejecting others?  Did Popeye influence several generations around the world to eat much more spinach?

Spinach success

With cartoons still showing on satellite television Popeye's popularity shows no sign of waning.

It must be good news for spinach growers who credited the sailor with a 33% increase in spinach consumption in the United States thanks to his trademark song: "I'm strong to the finish 'cause I eats me spinach I'm Popeye the Sailor Man."

Crystal City, Texas has its own tribute to Popeye
Popeye also is credited with having rescued the spinach industry in the 1930s. Popeye's influence on America's eating habits was so strong that in 1937 US spinach growers in Crystal City,Texas, put up a statue in his honour.

Popeye-branded spinach remains a strong seller in America and he has his own brand of fresh spinach and salads.

9747  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: States Rights on: November 05, 2009, 06:37:02 PM
An Alaska without the protection of the US military had better brush up on Russian.

I think that the federal government has spiraled out of control and the balance between the federal and states needs to be restored. However, it's not viable to have a fracturing nation.
9748  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: States Rights on: November 05, 2009, 09:49:37 AM
What was the timeline for the end of slavery were it not for the civil war? What confederate state had begun changing it's laws? What slaves had been freed because it wasn't economically viable?

I'll note that slavery exists today in various parts of the world. Appearantely the disapproval and non-economic viability memo hasn't made to them yet?

The people in other states do have a valid complaint when it comes to slavery.
9749  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 05, 2009, 12:26:39 AM
Counterterrorism: Shifting from 'Who' to 'How'
November 4, 2009 | 1918 GMT

By Scott Stewart and Fred Burton

In the 11th edition of the online magazine Sada al-Malahim (The Echo of Battle), which was released to jihadist Web sites last week, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader Nasir al-Wahayshi wrote an article that called for jihadists to conduct simple attacks against a variety of targets. The targets included "any tyrant, intelligence den, prince" or "minister" (referring to the governments in the Muslim world like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen), and "any crusaders whenever you find one of them, like at the airports of the crusader Western countries that participate in the wars against Islam, or their living compounds, trains etc.," (an obvious reference to the United States and Europe and Westerners living in Muslim countries).

Al-Wahayshi, an ethnic Yemeni who spent time in Afghanistan serving as a lieutenant under Osama bin Laden, noted these simple attacks could be conducted with readily available weapons such as knives, clubs or small improvised explosive devices (IEDs). According to al-Wahayshi, jihadists "don't need to conduct a big effort or spend a lot of money to manufacture 10 grams of explosive material" and that they should not "waste a long time finding the materials, because you can find all these in your mother's kitchen, or readily at hand or in any city you are in."

That al-Wahayshi gave these instructions in an Internet magazine distributed via jihadist chat rooms, not in some secret meeting with his operational staff, demonstrates that they are clearly intended to reach grassroots jihadists -- and are not intended as some sort of internal guidance for AQAP members. In fact, al-Wahayshi was encouraging grassroots jihadists to "do what Abu al-Khair did" referring to AQAP member Abdullah Hassan Taleh al-Asiri, the Saudi suicide bomber who attempted to kill Saudi Deputy Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef with a small IED on Aug. 28.

The most concerning aspect of al-Wahayshi's statement is that it is largely true. Improvised explosive mixtures are in fact relatively easy to make from readily available chemicals -- if a person has the proper training -- and attacks using small IEDs or other readily attainable weapons such as knives or clubs (or firearms in the United States) are indeed quite simple to conduct.

As STRATFOR has noted for several years now, with al Qaeda's structure under continual attack and no regional al Qaeda franchise groups in the Western Hemisphere, the most pressing jihadist threat to the U.S. homeland at present stems from grassroots jihadists, not the al Qaeda core. This trend has been borne out by the large number of plots and arrests over the past several years, to include several so far in 2009. The grassroots have likewise proven to pose a critical threat to Europe (although it is important to note that the threat posed by grassroots operatives is more widespread, but normally involves smaller, less strategic attacks than those conducted by the al Qaeda core).

From a counterterrorism perspective, the problem posed by grassroots operatives is that unless they somehow self-identify by contacting a government informant or another person who reports them to authorities, attend a militant training camp, or conduct electronic correspondence with a person or organization under government scrutiny, they are very difficult to detect.

The threat posed by grassroots operatives, and the difficulty identifying them, highlight the need for counterterrorism programs to adopt a proactive, protective intelligence approach to the problem -- an approach that focuses on "the how" of militant attacks instead of just "the who."

The How
In the traditional, reactive approach to counterterrorism, where authorities respond to a crime scene after a terrorist attack to find and arrest the militants responsible for the attack, it is customary to focus on the who, or on the individual or group behind the attack. Indeed, in this approach, the only time much emphasis is placed on the how is either in an effort to identify a suspect when an unknown actor carried out the attack, or to prove that a particular suspect was responsible for the attack during a trial. Beyond these limited purposes, not much attention is paid to the how.

In large part, this focus on the who is a legacy of the fact that for many years, the primary philosophy of the U.S. government was to treat counterterrorism as a law-enforcement program, with a focus on prosecution rather than on disrupting plots.

Certainly, catching and prosecuting those who commit terrorist attacks is necessary, but from our perspective, preventing attacks is more important, and prevention requires a proactive approach. To pursue such a proactive approach to counterterrorism, the how becomes a critical question. By studying and understanding how attacks are conducted -- i.e., the exact steps and actions required for a successful attack -- authorities can establish systems to proactively identify early indicators that planning for an attack is under way. People involved in planning the attack can then be focused on, identified, and action can be taken prevent them from conducting the attack or attacks they are plotting. This means that focusing on the how can lead to previously unidentified suspects, e.g., those who do not self-identify.

"How was the attack conducted?" is the primary question addressed by protective intelligence, which is, at its core, a process for proactively identifying and assessing potential threats. Focusing on the how, then, requires protective intelligence practitioners to carefully study the tactics, tradecraft and behavior associated with militant actors involved in terrorist attacks. This allows them to search for and identify those behaviors before an attack takes place. Many of these behaviors are not by themselves criminal in nature; visiting a public building and observing security measures or standing on the street to watch the arrival of a VIP at their office are not illegal, but they can be indicators that an attack is being plotted. Such legal activities ultimately could be overt actions in furtherance of an illegal conspiracy to conduct the attack, but even where conspiracy cannot be proved, steps can still be taken to identify possible assailants and prevent a potential attack -- or at the very least, to mitigate the risk posed by the people involved.

Protective intelligence is based on the fact that successful attacks don't just happen out of the blue. Rather, terrorist attacks follow a discernable attack cycle. There are critical points during that cycle where a plot is most likely to be detected by an outside observer. Some of the points during the attack cycle when potential attackers are most vulnerable to detection are while surveillance is being conducted and weapons are being acquired. However, there are other, less obvious points where people on the lookout can spot preparations for an attack.

It is true that sometimes individuals do conduct ill-conceived, poorly executed attacks that involve shortcuts in the planning process. But this type of spur-of-the-moment attack is usually associated with mentally disturbed individuals and it is extremely rare for a militant actor to conduct a spontaneous terrorist attack without first following the steps of the attack cycle.

To really understand the how, protective intelligence practitioners cannot simply acknowledge that something like surveillance occurs. Rather, they must turn a powerful lens on steps like preoperational surveillance to gain an in-depth understanding of them. Dissecting an activity like preoperational surveillance requires not only examining subjects such as the demeanor demonstrated by those conducting surveillance prior to an attack and the specific methods and cover for action and status used. It also requires identifying particular times where surveillance is most likely and certain optimal vantage points (called perches in surveillance jargon) from where a surveillant is most likely to operate when seeking to surveil a specific facility or event. This type of complex understanding of surveillance can then be used to help focus human or technological countersurveillance efforts where they can be most effective.

Unfortunately, many counterterrorism investigators are so focused on the who that they do not focus on collecting this type of granular how information. When we have spoken with law enforcement officers responsible for investigating recent grassroots plots, they gave us blank stares in response to questions about how the suspects had conducted surveillance on the intended targets. They simply had not paid attention to this type of detail -- but this oversight is not really the investigators' fault. No one had ever explained to them why paying attention to, and recording, this type of detail was important. Moreover, it takes specific training and a practiced eye to observe and record these details without glossing over them. For example, it is quite useful if a protective intelligence officer has first conducted a lot of surveillance, because conducting surveillance allows one to understand what a surveillant must do and where he must be in order to effectively observe surveillance of a specific person or place.

Similarly, to truly understand the tradecraft required to build an IED and the specific steps a militant needs to complete to do so, it helps to go to an IED school where the investigator learns the tradecraft firsthand. Militant actors can and do change over time. New groups, causes and ideologies emerge, and specific militants can be killed, captured or retire. But the tactical steps a militant must complete to conduct a successful attack are constant. It doesn't matter if the person planning an attack is a radical environmentalist, a grassroots jihadist or a member of the al Qaeda core, for while these diverse actors will exhibit different levels of professionalism in regard to terrorist tradecraft, they still must follow essentially the same steps, accomplish the same tasks and operate in the same areas. Knowing this allows protective intelligence to guard against different levels of threats.

Of course, tactics can be changed and perfected and new tactics can be developed (often in response to changes in security and law enforcement operations). Additionally, new technologies can emerge (like cell phones and Google Earth) -- which can alter the way some of these activities are conducted, or reduce the time it takes to complete them. Studying the tradecraft and behaviors needed to execute evolving tactics, however, allows protective intelligence practitioners to respond to such changes and even alter how they operate in order to more effectively search for potential hostile activity.

Technology does not only aid those seeking to conduct attacks. There are a variety of new tools, such as Trapwire, a software system designed to work with camera systems to help detect patterns of preoperational surveillance, that can be focused on critical areas to help cut through the fog of noise and activity and draw attention to potential threats. These technological tools can help turn the tables on unknown plotters because they are designed to focus on the how. They will likely never replace human observation and experience, but they can serve as valuable aids to human perception.

Of course, protective intelligence does not have to be the sole responsibility of federal authorities specifically charged with counterterrorism. Corporate security managers and private security contractors should also apply these principles to protecting the people and facilities in their charge, as should local and state police agencies. In a world full of soft targets -- and limited resources to protect those targets from attack -- the more eyes looking for such activity the better. Even the general public has an important role to play in practicing situational awareness and spotting potential terrorist activity.

Keeping it Simple?
Al-Wahayshi is right that it is not difficult to construct improvised explosives from a wide range of household chemicals like peroxide and acetone or chlorine and brake fluid. He is also correct that some of those explosive mixtures can be concealed in objects ranging from electronic items to picture frames, or can be employed in forms ranging from hand grenades to suicide vests. Likewise, low-level attacks can also be conducted using knives, clubs and guns.

Furthermore, when grassroots jihadists plan and carry out attacks acting as lone wolves or in small compartmentalized cells without inadvertently betraying their mission by conspiring with people known to the authorities, they are not able to be detected by the who-focused systems, and it becomes far more difficult to discover and thwart these plots. This focus on the how absolutely does not mean that who-centered programs must be abandoned. Surveillance on known militants, their associates and communications should continue, efforts to identify people attending militant training camps or fighting in places like Afghanistan or Somalia must be increased, and people who conduct terrorist attacks should be identified and prosecuted.

However -- and this is an important however -- if an unknown militant is going to conduct even a simple attack against some of the targets al-Wahayshi suggests, such as an airport, train, or specific leader or media personality, complexity creeps into the picture, and the planning cycle must be followed if an attack is going to be successful. The prospective attacker must observe and quantify the target, construct a plan for the attack and then execute that plan. The demands of this process will force even an attacker previously unknown to the authorities into a position where he is vulnerable to discovery. If the attacker does this while there are people watching for such activity, he will likely be seen. But if he does this while there are no watchers, there is little chance that he will become a who until after the attack has been completed.

This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to
9750  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: States Rights on: November 04, 2009, 10:49:07 PM
"The war of southern independence" ? Are you f'ing kidding me? The reasons for the civil war were complex, but the forcible end of slavery was the compelling moral cause. Is this something that really needs debate?
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