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1  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Community Stick/Staff Fights in Berkeley and Elsewhere on: March 15, 2017, 02:46:05 PM

Berkeley PD photo of weapons and such seized from rioters.
2  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Community Stick/Staff Fights in Berkeley and Elsewhere on: March 15, 2017, 02:41:09 PM
That drill/warm-up you taught us at a seminar - where you try to touch as many people in the room without being touched yourself (to the tune of "Represent Cuba") - would have been really good practice for anyone caught up in that mob. 360 degree awareness is hard.

If the old saying is true that you only perform in combat at 50% (or whatever) of your skill level when practicing, I would imagine that melee fighting would drop that skill level another 25% or so.
3  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Community Stick/Staff Fights in Berkeley and Elsewhere on: March 12, 2017, 10:23:58 AM
This will work it's way to edged weapons, firearms and explosives in time.

The guy in the top photo (who goes by the monicker "Based Stick Man") has at least two visible knives. He got arrested for those under California's "Dagger" law, but was later released without being charged.
4  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Community Stick/Staff Fights in Berkeley and Elsewhere on: March 07, 2017, 10:18:06 AM
I don't know if this is an appropriate topic of discussion on the Martial Arts Forum, as it crosses the line over into politics so I'll leave that up to Crafty. I'm not really interested in discussing the politics involved on the MA side, but I'd be interested in hearing discussion on what we can learn from watching relatively unskilled fighters (mostly - there may be some with some training) try to wallop each other, both from the standpoint of skill sets and a new cultural phenomenon.

In the recent anti-Trump / pro-Trump riots in Berkeley, as well as fights related to the Inauguration, clips on the news and YouTube showed numerous examples of stick fights and staff fights (using "flagpoles" brought to the protests). More recently, at the melee that resulted after the confrontation between pro-Trump and anti-Trump (the "Antifa") protestors, the confrontations seem to be assuming a ritualized context of community fighting, as both sides are increasingly arming themselves with sticks and staves, as well as more modern weapons such as pepper spray which is being used indiscriminately. In response to the rising tide of aggression, you can see protestors begin to armor themselves with helmets, face masks, shin guards (I would imagine cups), and chest protectors, eye protection, and carrying sticks and wooden shields, frequently painted with insignia representing their causes.

The melee-type battles that follow look like a mix of an unskilled full-contact stick fighting meet, SCA, and African tribal ritualized combat. It's interesting to consider whether these kind of community fights stoke tensions or act as some kind of communal pressure valve, as they seem to do in third-world settings.

Here's an example of the type of protection pro-Trump fighters are sporting:

Anti-Trump: Not sure of the significance of the 3 arrows:

Technique seems to be about what you would expect:

There are some real injuries:

Even innocent bystanders are at risk:

The flags seem to be carried not only for group identification purposes but also to be used as staves/spears:

Short, heavy flagpoles may be a work-around to avoid being accused of carrying a weapon, as a stick supporting a flag or protest sign is probably a 1st Amendment issue:

Here's a pretty stout flagpole:

Sticks are carried and used more frequently:

Some Youtube videos of the melee:

Again, I hope this is an appropriate area of discussion for the forum.
5  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Sword and Knife attack by gang in London on: January 28, 2013, 08:03:14 PM
I'm not sure if this belongs on this thread or on the politics thread - London seems to be taking a sharp turn towards the dark ages these days.

'No, don't do it': Cries of teen, 16, begging for his life before being stabbed to death in posh London street by gang armed with knives and swords

A 16-year-old boy was heard screaming for his life before he was fatally stabbed by a gang armed with knives and swords, residents of a well-heeled area of London said today. The teenager, named locally as Hani Abou El-Kheir, is said to have cried 'don't do it' as he was attacked after tripping while fleeing the gang. He was stabbed in Pimlico, central London, shortly before 7pm yesterday evening and taken to a nearby hospital, but he died from his injuries two hours later.

Shocked residents living close to the scene on Lupus Street, claimed today that a gang of black and white teenagers were seen carrying out the attack.

Other witnesses have claimed that the victim's mother, named by locals as Pauline Hickey, rushed to the scene and was seen crying as she was kept behind a police cordon. She is said to have watched as paramedics battled to save her son. He is the first teenager to be murdered in London this year. A total of eight teenagers were murdered in London last year, according to Metropolitan Police figures, including six stabbings, one who died from serious head injuries and one teenager who was strangled.

Despite the fact that some of the houses on one side of the street sell for an average of £500,000 the other side of the street is home to a 1970s estate.

Mahmoud Abosiad visited the family today and said: 'He was a lovely boy. He did not deserve to end up on a slab. His mother, who is said to live 100 yards from the scene, did not want to comment today but is said to be 'broken-hearted'. Neighbours this afternoon described the victim as a 'nice boy, polite'.Rebecca Bartholomew, who lives a few doors down from Hani and his mother, said: 'He always seemed like a nice boy, polite.'

We never had any trouble. He had friends his own age and whether they were in trouble I don't know. 'His mum is friendly too. They would say hello when we saw them.' Mohammed Alzubaidi, 49, said that a friend of his witnessed the attack.

'He said they were carrying knives, some of them with wide swords. He said the victim was screaming and trying to get away,' Mr Alzubaidi said. He said he had heard that the gang had scattered and run off in different directions.Other witnesses said that the gang was made up of about 15, with most wearing dark hoodies and bandanas over their faces.

One witness said that he saw the teenager running but he tripped and was attacked by the gang. He told the Evening Standard: 'He was shouting "don't do it" but they just went ahead. 'One put a blade in near his ribs. Others then kicked him before just jogging off as if nothing had happened.' The witness said that the attackers calmly put their weapons in socks and put them up their sleeves as they made off. The fatally injured teenager was found by ambulance staff after emergency services were called to the area following reports that a youth had been stabbed.


Homes in Lupus Street cost on average more than £500,000 according to property website Zoopla, with a one-bedroom ex-council flat costing around £300,000. A resident said that there is a huge divide in the area. She said: 'To be honest there is certainly a difference between the two sides of the street but I never expected anything like this to happen. 'It's a shame that kids let it get to this point.
'I don't feel unsafe now but this type of thing can get to you when it happens in front of your front door.' A 58-year-old local resident said there had been two murders in nearby Gloucester Street in recent years and a stabbing of a boy outside a row of shops in Lupus Street before Christmas.

'The violence that has started to occur around here is something else - it is frightening for all the residents,' said the woman, who did not want to be named. 'You used to be able to walk around at night but I am starting to be very wary, especially at night.'
Last year Olivier Husseini, 17, was left fighting for his life after he was stabbed in nearby Gloucester Street.

David Savizon, who works for Westminster Council’s Your Choice anti-gangs programme, said Hani Abou El-Kheir’s name came up at a local meeting as someone who was 'on the periphery of having some sort of contact with gangs or activity such as drugs'.
Mr Savizon, 34, who has 12 years of experience working with youngsters at risk of joining gangs, said the schoolboy would have been assessed before being approached by drugs workers. But he was not deemed to be a major concern, he said. 'It was more of a bookmark just to see where this young person was,' said Mr Savizon. 'Everything I have heard about him, he was a very timid young man.'
The Churchill Gardens estate where the teenager lived has become a drugs blackspot in the last year, said Mr Savizon.
Children as young as ten are paid 'tens of pounds' to stash drugs and ferry them around. But he added that there is not an established network of drugs gangs. 'The Churchill Gardens estate has become a bit of a hotspot in the last 12 months for drugs,' said the outreach worker.

Read more:

6  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / No charges for Shiner, Texas dad who beat to death daughter's alleged attacker on: June 19, 2012, 11:58:38 PM
SHINER, TX -- Hearing his 5-year-old daughter crying from behind a barn, a father ran and discovered the unthinkable: A man molesting her. The father pulled the man off his daughter, authorities say, and started pummeling him to death with his fists.

With his daughter finally safe, the father frantically called 911, begging a dispatcher to find his rural ranch and send an ambulance.

"Come on! This guy is going to die on me!" the man is heard screaming on the 911 call. "I don't know what to do!"

A recording of the tape was played during a news conference Tuesday where the Lavaca County district attorney and sheriff announced that the father would not face charges.

In declining to indict the 23-year-old father in the June 9 killing of Jesus Mora Flores, a Lavaca County grand jury reached the same conclusion as investigators and many of the father's neighbors: He was authorized to use deadly force to protect his daughter.

"It's sad a man had to die," said Michael James Veit, 48, who lives across the street from where the attack happened in this small community run on ranching and the Shiner beer brewery. "But I think anybody would have done that."

The family ranch is so remote that on the 911 tape, the father is heard profanely screaming at a dispatcher who couldn't locate the property. At one point, he tells the dispatcher he's going to put the man in his truck and drive him to a hospital.

"He's going to die!" the father screams, swearing at the dispatcher. "He's going to f------ die!"

The tense, nearly five-minute call begins with the father saying he "beat up" a man found raping his daughter. The father grows increasingly frazzled, shouting into the phone so loudly at times that the call often becomes inaudible.

The Associated Press is not identifying the father in order to protect the daughter's identity. The AP generally does not identify victims of sexual assault.

"He's a peaceable soul," V'Anne Huser, the father's attorney, told reporters at the Lavaca County Courthouse. "He had no intention to kill anybody that day."

The attack happened on the family's ranch off a quiet, two-lane county road between the farming towns of Shiner and Yoakum. A statement released by the district attorney said a witness who saw Flores "forcibly carrying" the girl into a secluded area scrambled to find the father. Running toward his daughter's screams, the father pulled Flores off his child and "inflicted several blows to the man's head and neck area," investigators said.

Emergency crews responding to the father's 911 call found Flores' pants and underwear pulled down on his lifeless body. The girl was examined at a hospital, and Lavaca County District Attorney Heather McMinn said forensic evidence and witness accounts corroborated the father's story that his daughter was being sexually molested.

The father was never arrested, but the killing was investigated as a homicide.

Philip Hilder, a Houston criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor, said he would have been surprised if the grand jury had decided to indict the father. Hilder said Texas law provides several justifications for the use of deadly force, including if someone commits a sexual assault.

"The grand jury was not about to indict this father for protecting his daughter," he said.

Authorities said the family had hired Flores before to help with horses on the ranch. He was not born in the U.S. but was here legally with a green card. Attempts to locate Flores' relatives through public records were unsuccessful.

On Tuesday, a new "No Trespassing" sign was freshly tacked onto a gate barring entrance down a gravelly, shrub-canopied path leading to the barn and chicken coop on the ranch, which belonged to the father's dad.

At the father's house, the front yard could pass for a children's playground: blue pinwheels sunk into patchy grass, an above-ground swimming pool, a swing set, a trampoline and a couple of ropes dangling from a tree for swinging. A partial privacy fence is painted powder blue.

No one answered at the father's home. A few miles away, at a home listed as belonging to the father's sister, a woman shouted through the front door that the family had nothing to say. Huser, the father's attorney, told reporters that neither the father nor anyone else in the family would ever give interviews and asked that they be left alone.

Veit, who lives across the street from the ranch, described the father as easygoing and polite -- down to always first asking permission to search Veit's property for animals that had wandered off the ranch, even though the families have long known each other.

Veit's son was a classmate of the father's at Shiner High School in a graduating class of about two dozen. Veit, 48, said the young father was never known to be in trouble.

"Just like a regular kid, went to dances, drank beer like the rest of the kids around here," Veit said.

Shiner, a town of about 2,000 people about 80 miles east of San Antonio, revolves around the Spoetzl Brewery that makes Shiner, one of the nation's best-selling independent beers. Even gas stations here sell it on tap.

Flores' death is only the sixth homicide the Lavaca County Sheriff's Office has investigated in the last eight years. Shiner residents boast their squeaky-clean image on a highway welcome sign: "The Cleanest Little City in Texas."

At Werner's Restaurant, customer Gail Allen said she didn't want to speak for the whole town, though her comments echoed what others said.

"The father has gone through enough," said Allen, 59, who has nine grandchildren. "The little girl is going to be traumatized for life, and the father, too, for what happened. He was protecting his family. Any parent would do that."

(Copyright ©2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
7  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self-Defense Law on: June 14, 2012, 09:40:49 AM

Just to show how out-of-touch people can be with reality...

I'd imagine his accuser is probably one of the most disliked men in Texas right now.
8  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Condtioning for the stick on: June 02, 2012, 09:24:51 PM

Some things to consider:

In my experience, which may or may not apply to you, many people tend to have their shoulders somewhat internally rotated.  If when you stand without thinking your thumbs point inward instead of forward (i.e. parallel to each other) then to some degree probably there is internal rotation of the shoulder joint.  This then means that the joint tends to become annoyed by use.  Rest will allow the inflammation to settle down, but if the alignment issue has not been dealt with, then returning to working out will tend to annoy it all over again.

Why does the shoulder joint get internally rotated?

Typically because the hips are tilted forwards.

Why do the hips tilt forwards?

Typically because the hip flexors are tight and the muscles complementary to them (glute and one of the heads of the hamstring) have lost the ability to execute peak contraction movements well.

There is more to this analytical framework, but perhaps those thoughts may serve to help you find the cause and solution of your particular issues.

Thanks, Crafty.

On our PTP a couple years back you pointed out how much my natural gait and stance and alignment on my feet point outwards, the exercises you gave me seemed to have helped a lot. I screwed up my left hip badly in a parachuting accident back in my twenties and tore my left ACL in a Judo accident in my forties, so I seem to be highly asymmetrical from the waist down, it probably throws off my whole structure. I should do more alignment work.

If you can swing it, I highly recommend the PTPs to anyone out there, by the way. Guro Crafty tailors the teaching to your interests and skill level.
9  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Condtioning for the stick on: June 01, 2012, 08:26:08 PM
My rotator cuffs are feeling the strain lately - way too much popping and grinding and pain. I'm taking some time off lifting and training  to see if things mend, then will incorporate some of the training methods on this thread to gradually strengthen them. Thanks, everyone.
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The Unteachables: A Generation that Cannot Learn on: May 30, 2012, 09:10:34 AM
The Unteachables: A Generation that Cannot Learn
The greatest tragedy of progressive education is not the students' lack of skills, but of teachable character.

“The honeymoon is over.” Instructors who award low grades in humanities disciplines will likely be familiar with a phenomenon that occurs after the first essays are returned to students: former smiles vanish, hands once jubilantly raised to answer questions are now resentfully folded across chests, offended pride and sulkiness replace the careless cheer of former days. Too often, the smiles are gone for good because the customary “B+” or “A” grades have been withheld, and many students cannot forgive the insult.

The matter doesn’t always end there. Some students are prepared for a fight, writing emails of entreaty or threat, or besieging the instructor in his office to make clear that the grade is unacceptable. Every instructor who has been so besieged knows the legion of excuses and expressions of indignation offered, the certainty that such work was always judged acceptable in the past, the implication that a few small slip-ups, a wrong word or two, have been blown out of proportion. When one points out grievous inadequacies — factual errors, self-contradiction, illogical argument, and howlers of nonsensical phrasing — the student shrugs it off: yes, yes, a few mistakes, the consequences of too much coffee, my roommate’s poor typing, another assignment due the same day; but you could still see what I meant, couldn’t you, and the general idea was good, wasn’t it? “I’m better at the big ideas,” students have sometimes boasted to me. “On the details, well … ”.

Meetings about bad grades are uncomfortable not merely because it is unpleasant to wound feelings unaccustomed to the sting. Too often, such meetings are exercises in futility. I have spent hours explaining an essay’s grammatical, stylistic, and logical weaknesses in the wearying certainty that the student was unable, both intellectually and emotionally, to comprehend what I was saying or to act on my advice. It is rare for such students to be genuinely desirous and capable of learning how to improve. Most of them simply hope that I will come around. Their belief that nothing requires improvement except the grade is one of the biggest obstacles that teachers face in the modern university. And that is perhaps the real tragedy of our education system: not only that so many students enter university lacking the basic skills and knowledge to succeed in their courses — terrible in itself — but also that they often arrive essentially unteachable, lacking the personal qualities necessary to respond to criticism.

The unteachable student has been told all her life that she is excellent: gifted, creative, insightful, thoughtful, able to succeed at whatever she tries, full of potential and innate ability. Pedagogical wisdom since at least the time of John Dewey — and in some form all the way back to William Wordsworth’s divinely anointed child “trailing clouds of glory” — has stressed the development of self-esteem and a sense of achievement. Education, as Dewey made clear in such works as The Child and the Curriculum (1902), was not about transferring a cultural inheritance from one generation to the next; it was about students’ self-realization. It involved liberating pupils from that stuffy, often stifling, inheritance into free and unforced learning aided by sympathy and encouragement. The teacher was not so much to teach or judge as to elicit a response, leading the student to discover for herself what she, in a sense, already knew. In the past twenty years, the well-documented phenomenon of grade inflation in humanities subjects — the awarding of high “Bs” and “As” to the vast majority of students — has increased the conviction that everyone is first-rate.

This pedagogy of self-esteem developed in response to the excesses of rote learning and harsh discipline that were thought to characterize earlier eras. In Charles Dickens’ Hard Times, Mr. Gradgrind, the teacher who ridicules a terrified Sissy Jupe for her inability to define a horse (“Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth … ”), was seen to epitomize a soulless pedagogical regime that deadened creativity and satisfaction. Dickens and his readers believed such teaching to be a form of mental and emotional abuse, and the need to protect students from the stigma of failure became an article of faith amongst progressive educators. For them, the stultifying apparatus of the past had to be entirely replaced. Memorization itself, the foundation of traditional teaching, came to be seen as an enemy of creative thought: pejorative similes for memory work such as “rote learning” and “fact-grinding” suggest the classroom equivalent of a military drill, harsh and unaccommodating. The progressive approach, in contrast, emphasizes variety, pleasure, and student interest and self-motivation above all.

It sounds good. The problem, as traditionalists have argued (but without much success), is that the utopian approach hasn’t worked as intended. Rather than forming cheerful, self-directed learners, the pedagogy of self-esteem has often created disaffected, passive pupils, bored precisely because they were never forced to learn. As Hilda Neatby commented in 1953, the students she was encountering at university were “distinctly blasé” about their coursework. A professor of history, Neatby was driven to investigate progressive education after noting how ill-equipped her students were for the high-level thinking required of them; her So Little For the Mind remains well-worth reading. In her assessment:

The bored “graduates” of elementary and high schools seem, in progressive language, to be “incompletely socialized.” Ignorant even of things that they might be expected to know, they do not care to learn. They lack an object in life, they are unaware of the joy of achievement. They have been allowed to assume that happiness is a goal, rather than a by-product.

The emphasis on feeling good, as Neatby argued, prevents rather than encourages the real satisfactions of learning.

Of course, the progressive approach has advantages, not the least of which is that it enables university administrators to boast of the ever-greater numbers of students taking degrees at their institutions. Previously disadvantaged groups have gained access to higher education as never before, and more and more students are being provided with the much-touted credentials believed to guarantee success in the workforce. Thus our universities participate in a happy make-believe. Students get their degrees. Parents are reassured that their money has been well-spent. And compliant professors are, if not exactly satisfied — it corrodes the soul to give unearned grades — at least relieved not to encounter student complaints.

More than a few students know that something fishy is going on. The intelligent ones see their indifferent, mediocre, or inept counterparts receiving grades similar to their own, and the realization offends their sense of justice. Moreover, there is little satisfaction in consciously playing the system. The smart student with his easy “A” knows that he has not been challenged to develop his intellect. I remember once walking in the hallway behind a student who had just picked up her final term essay; as she joined her friends, she flipped to the back of the paper without reading any of the instructor’s comments. “An A,” she said jubilantly, but with a strong undertone of derision. “And I didn’t even read the book!” As the paper thudded into the trash basket, her friends joined in the disdainful laughter.

In contrast, the weak student who believes in his high grades has also had a disservice done him. He has been misled about his abilities, falsely persuaded that career paths and goals are open that may be out of reach. Eventually, the fraud will be revealed: by an employer who finds him inadequate, by his own dawning recognition that he cannot achieve what he hoped. The reckoning will likely be bitter; evidence exists that the pedagogy of false esteem can even cause psychological harm. When students who have always been praised must confront the reality of their low achievement, their tendency is, as researchers James Coté and Anton Allahar report, not to confront the problem directly but to hit back at its perceived source — the teacher who has given them the bad news, the employer who does not renew a contract. Far more than their adequate peers when faced with difficulties, these students experience a range of negative reactions, including anger, anxiety, and depression.

Even more seriously, such students have not only been misled but fundamentally malformed. They have never learned to listen to criticism, to recover from disappointment, or to slog through difficulties with no guarantee of success except commitment. The person who is never challenged is also never refined, never learns to cope with the setbacks that come on the way to high endeavor. And it is not only in the academic realm, of course, that they may be hampered: a full life outside of university also requires the ability to confront one’s weaknesses and recover from defeat. Despite the admittedly important emphasis on character formation in our schools — on tolerance, anti-racism, refusal of bullying, and so on — it seems that we have failed to show students what real achievement looks like and what it will require of them.
11  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Deception, Misdirection, and Lies on: May 07, 2012, 11:57:50 PM
I'm going to try that reverse story-telling idea.  I can see where the cognitive stress of telling a story backwards would cause someone who is deceptive to display more non-textual cues and make more mistakes in the narrative, and where an innocent witness might recall more details by exploring a memory from a different cognitive/chronological "angle."
12  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Surprise man uses martial arts on intruder on: May 06, 2012, 03:32:04 PM
(BTW, that caption isn't a typo for "Surprise! Man uses martial arts on intruder!"  Surprise, Arizona is a city on the western edge of the Phoenix metro area.)

From the Arizona Republic May 6 2012:

by D.S. Woodfill - May. 5, 2012 08:51 PM
The Republic |

Read more:

David Jennings slowly emerged from a deep sleep, sensing that someone was standing by his bed.

In the dark room, the blue glow of the television illuminated a man's silhouette. The stranger was pointing a gun at Jennings' head.

"Don't move," the stranger said.

Crime victims often have just moments to react, as they decide how best to keep alive and protect loved ones. With his three children sleeping down the hall and his wife lying next to him, Jennings had a second to decide.

He moved.

2:50 A.M.

Jennings would later say it was almost as if he weren't directing his own actions.

Protect the family.

Jennings, who was lying on his stomach, reached around behind his back with his left arm and grabbed the intruder's hand that was holding the gun -- the same gun Jennings kept by his bed for protection, a Bersa .380 semiautomatic.

Jennings used his free hand to push himself off his bed and swung his left leg off the edge. Turning toward the intruder, Jennings lunged. He slammed his shoulder into the man's midsection, and with his arms wrapped around the stranger's torso, lifted him off the ground to take him off balance. With the stranger digging his fingernails into Jennings' back, the two crashed to the floor, about six feet from the foot of the bed.

Sitting on the stranger's torso, Jennings wrapped his leg around him to constrict his breathing.

"I was smashing his head into the ground, trying to keep him disoriented," Jennings said.

He shouted for his wife to call 911. Jennifer Jennings grabbed the phone and dialed but couldn't remember her own address. She composed herself enough to spit the words out and then ran from the room, jumping over the two men who were blocking the door. She took the children downstairs to the family room.

The intruder stopped struggling when the two hit the ground.

That's when he said something totally unexpected.

"He was just saying, 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry,' as he lay on his stomach," Jennings said. "He wasn't doing anything else. He was just laying there, his arms out to the side."

The gun was a few feet away, dropped during the struggle.

Jennifer unlocked the front door for the police.

Upstairs, she told them.

As two Surprise police officers charged into the room, guns drawn, they grabbed the aggressor, the one who had a man pinned to the bedroom floor on his stomach.

Jennifer, just behind them, saw the mistake.

"Wait, that's my husband."

They handcuffed the intruder and took him away.

David Jennings' hands shook for five hours.


Whether Jennings reacted to the situation appropriately depends on who's doing the talking.

Surprise police Sgt. Bert Anzini praised Jennings for his quick action but stopped short of saying that everyone in that situation should react in the same way.

"It's the person -- the victim who's in this situation -- that has to make that choice of whether they're going to submit to the demands of the criminal and hope that there's no type of violence," Anzini said.

Michael Foley, who teaches self-defense, said victims in a similar situation as Jennings should definitely take action. Foley said when someone breaks into an occupied home and has a gun, "they're probably going to do something to you no matter if you comply or not."

"Your best bet is to fight with everything you've got," he said.

James Gierke, director of victims services for the National Organization for Victim Assistance, said taking on a criminal suspect is not always the right thing to do.

"I think (that's) way too black and white," he said. "There's a huge potential for you to escalate a situation. Sometimes compliance is the best approach.

"I cannot and I would not absolutely recommend that in every single situation the appropriate response is to fight. I think in certain situations compliance makes sense."

The aftermath

The man who broke into the Jenningses' home in the middle of the night had the misfortune to run into someone with some experience with fighting.

David Jennings said he briefly studied mixed martial arts five years ago, training that kicked in when he came under threat that night in his room. Mixed martial arts is a combat sport that uses techniques from wrestling, boxing and kickboxing as well as judo, Brazilian jujitsu and other fighting styles. Using his legs to constrict the intruder's breathing, which is known as a body lock, is one of the moves he learned.

The quick reaction came partly from his experience as a bouncer. But it was his life as a husband and father that led the 29-year-old to battle that weekend night in March.

"All those what-ifs -- like if he would have grabbed one of my sons or daughter," he said.

Surprise police arrested Ivan Sanchez, 18, who has a juvenile record for armed robbery and burglary.

Sanchez, accused of entering the Jennings house through an unlocked sliding-glass door, faces charges of aggravated assault and burglary.

Six weeks after the Jenningses awoke to the stranger beside their bed, David Jennings is thinking of putting in an alarm system. He double-checks the door locks every night. He still keeps the gun by his bed at night but started using a trigger lock.

Jennifer still sleeps with the lights on in the hallway and stairs outside their room. She makes her husband investigate every noise, no matter how minor. She is thinking about carrying a gun with her everywhere. She remembers how the intruder looked at them.

"That's what I see every night when I close my eyes."

Read more:

A couple of interesting tactical issues come to mind from the article, including doing the evening routine of checking every door and window before going to bed (currently in Arizona, the weather is hot during the day but cools off at night, so a lot of people leave doors and windows open at night to cool the house...which is why burglaries and sexual assaults increase at this time of year, especially around apartments and dorm rooms), and, assuming events happened as described in the article (always an iffy proposition), the wisdom of keeping a (presumably loaded) firearm on the nightstand with children in the house. (Possibly the homeowner took it out at night.)

I can understand why some of the people quoted may not want the legal liability for saying you should always fight with someone who enters your home at night, but generally, that may well be a do-or-die situation, in my opinion. Most burglars statistically hit a house during the day, when they presume no one is home, as they are usually teenagers and/or junkies who just want to grab something they can quickly pawn or fence to support a drug habit, and enter through a broken back window or unlocked door. They generally do not seek confrontation (but can turn dangerous if confronted or trapped).  Cat-burglars, who enter a house at night when they believe someone is at home, are much more dangerous, often derive sexual satisfaction from entering a house when people are asleep, and are more likely to escalate to sexual assault or homicide during their criminal careers.  As the most likely next step in a home invasion scenario would have been binding the residents, resisting early was probably a good idea, IMO. If in an area where home invasions happen regularly, I've heard it suggested that the family have a plan that if someone yells a codeword ("RUN"! or "INTRUDER!" or whatever), everyone runs and separates and gets out any exit they can and seeks help, disrupting the attackers' game plan before it can coalesce.  It's probably better to resist early rather than when it is too late in this situation.
13  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Movies/TV of interest on: April 18, 2012, 08:19:01 PM
Well, as far as they were concerned it was clear that the parents were the perps (I agree) and then they made statements to effect that as case like that in Brazil would be adjudicated outside of a courtroom.

Yeah, from what I've seen of Brazilian law enforcement it seems to be run more on the model of the American frontier.
14  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Brewer vetoes bill allowing guns on public property on: April 18, 2012, 08:17:29 PM
From the AZ Republic today:

Brewer vetoes bill allowing guns on public property

Gov. Jan Brewer rebuffed gun-rights advocates by vetoing for a second time a bill to allow guns on public property, and sent a strong message that such a proposal would need wider support from police, cities and the public before she would sign it.

Brewer's veto of the bill, which could have let guns into city halls, police stations, county courts, senior centers, swimming pools, libraries and the state Capitol, was the latest setback for a push to expand the right to carry guns in public places in Arizona.

Legislative efforts to put guns on university campuses, just outside K-12 school grounds and in homeowners associations all appear to have run into roadblocks this session.

Citing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in her veto letter, Brewer, who vetoed a similar bill last year, recognized the legitimacy of laws banning guns in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.

"The decisions to permit or prohibit guns in these extremely sensitive locations -- whether a city council chamber or branch office staffed with state workers -- should be cooperatively reached and supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders, including citizens, law-enforcement officials and local government leaders," Brewer wrote in her veto letter.

House Bill 2729, sponsored by Rep. David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista, was pushed by the Arizona Citizens Defense League, a gun-rights group. It proposed making it legal for people to enter public property with a weapon unless the property was secured by either a state or federal certified law-enforcement officer or an armed security guard and metal detectors.

National and state gun-advocacy groups supported the bill. Cities, counties, law-enforcement agencies and business organizations opposed it, saying they would have had to either let guns into buildings where the public would rather not have them or pay millions of dollars to provide the security required to keep them out.

A study conducted by legislative staff estimates that security costs for a government entity to ban guns could have ranged from $5,000 to $113,800 per public entrance in the first year with ongoing costs of $54,400 to $108,800 per year.

Brewer said the fiscal impact was one reason she opposed the bill, but she also mentioned broader concerns and even went as far as to offer a warning to gun lobbyists who may try again next year.

"While I appreciate the efforts of the bill sponsor ... there must be a more thorough and collaborative discussion of the proper place for guns in the public arena," Brewer wrote.

Charles Heller, communications director of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, criticized Brewer's decision.

"We expected more from an alleged friend of freedom," he said. "This means that some people will still be deluded into thinking that a sign (banning guns in public buildings) makes them safe."

He declined to comment on whether his group may try to run the bill again next year, but he said it will change one tactic.

"We just need to put more letters on her desk next time she's thinking about vetoing so she knows how much people care about freedom," he said.

Gowan did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Bill opponents were thrilled at the veto -- and this session's trend against expanding gun rights.

"Hallelujah," said Sen. Paula Aboud, D-Tucson. "It seems as if (Brewer) is saying that the public is not asking for these bills. She got it. Thank goodness."

Aboud said she hopes the gun-advocacy lobbyists get it, too.

"Twice run, twice passed, twice vetoed," she said. "How many times is it going to take for people to figure it out? This is making our state a laughing- stock."

A similar bill passed the Legislature last year, but Brewer vetoed it, saying it was poorly written. Brewer said her concerns from last year were not addressed in the new version.

Arizona ranks among the most pro-gun states in the nation. Two years ago, it became one of only a handful of states to allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Hildy Saizow, president of the grassroots group Arizonans for Gun Safety, said Arizonans don't want these bills.

"Finally, we're getting some common sense in here saying, 'No, this is bad public-safety policy, and we're not going to allow this to happen,'" Saizow said. "No guns on college campuses, no guns in public events, no guns around schools. The gun lobby has hit its limit, and for good reason."

Read more:
15  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / AZ senate passes bill on guns in public buildings on: April 14, 2012, 06:00:26 PM
The Arizona Senate has passed a law allowing carry in public offices and government places, it's on Gov. Brewer's desk:

Arizona Senate OKs bill on guns in public buildings

Read more:

The Arizona Legislature has given final approval to a bill that could allow guns on public property, including city halls, police stations, county courts, senior centers, swimming pools, libraries and the state Capitol.

Gov. Jan Brewer has five days to sign the bill into law, veto it or do nothing and allow it to become law. If the bill becomes law, Arizona would join nine other states in allowing guns inside public government buildings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Arizona already ranks among the most pro-gun states in the nation. Two years ago, Arizona became one of only a handful of states to allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Arizona cities and counties are railing against House Bill 2729, saying they'll either have to let guns into buildings where the public would rather not have them or pay millions of dollars to provide the security required to keep them out.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista, is being pushed by the Arizona Citizens Defense League, a gun-rights group.

"This bill is about preventing murder," said Arizona Citizens Defense League communications director Charles Heller. "When bad people come in armed, they will get stopped by police officers and a metal detector. The alternative is you can let honest people go armed into the building. Either way, you provide a solution."

Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, called the bill a poorly drafted piece of legislation.

"This isn't about the Second Amendment. Don't give me that garbage," Gallardo said. "We are allowing guns into public facilities that should not have them. Do we really want guns at our public library?"

The bill proposes making it legal for people to enter public property with a weapon unless the property is secured by either a state or federal certified law-enforcement officer or an armed security guard and metal detectors. It also must have secure gun lockers available.

There are exceptions. The bill would allow a private operator of a multipurpose facility, such as a professional sports arena, to limit or ban guns on the property. It would not apply to private entities that rent space in a public building. It also would not apply to K-12 schools, colleges or universities.

A similar bill passed the Legislature last year, but Brewer vetoed it, saying it was poorly written. Supporters of this year's bill have said they are confident it fixes Brewer's concerns. Brewer doesn't typically comment on bills in advance.

Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford, D-Tucson, voted against the bill.

"This is a bad bill. It was a bad bill last year, and it's bad again this year," Cajero Bedford said. "For those of you who like to complain about unfunded mandates, this one takes the cake."

A study conducted by legislative staff estimates that security costs for a government entity to ban guns could range from $5,000 to $113,800 per public entrance in the first year with ongoing costs of $54,400 to $108,800 per year. The amounts are based on estimates that the annual salary and related costs of a security guard are $54,000, and some entrances may need two officers, depending on traffic. The study estimates stationary metal detectors cost $4,000 each and a hand-held detector costs $400.

"Maricopa County reports that if firearms are prohibited from all county buildings that currently do not have the security features outlined in the bill, it would cost $19.5million in ongoing costs and an additional $11.3million in one-time equipment costs," the study says.

Heller called that "a lie."

"There is nothing in this bill that mandates metal detectors or security," he said, saying that governments have the other option of removing signs banning guns. "Just take the sign down. It won't cost you a cent."

Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, was not deterred by the talk of costs. He voted for the bill.

"No cost is too high to protect my constitutional rights," Smith said.

Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox asked Brewer to veto the bill.

"She was a member of the Board of Supervisors when a member of the public brought a gun into a county building and shot me," Wilcox said. "There is a time and place for guns, and that place is not in government buildings."

Phoenix Government Relations Director Karen Peters said her city's costs would be significant as well.

"We have so many public facilities where the public prefers that guns not be present, like libraries and recreational facilities," Peters said. "We would have to install this technology at every entrance and staff it all the hours we are open. It increases operating costs for the facilities and makes it more difficult for us to provide the amenities and services the communities want."

She said Phoenix will send Brewer a letter asking her to veto the bill as she did last year.

National and state gun-advocacy groups support the bill. Law enforcement, chambers of commerce, court organizations and the Arizona Library Association have registered their opposition to the bill.

Garrick Taylor of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry sent a letter to lawmakers opposing HB 2729. He said the bill violates private property rights, will impact private landowners with both public and private tenants, doesn't include exceptions to protect critical infrastructure such as power facilities, and will have a significant fiscal impact.

"HB 2729 remains a flawed bill that would have negative impacts on our economy," Taylor said.

But Sen. Al Melvin, R-Tucson, said the bill is good for Arizona.

"I am a true believer in the statement that an armed citizenry is a safe citizenry," Melvin said. "Our founders, when they gave us the Second Amendment, knew what they were doing. With this type of legislation, we have a safer society."

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16  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Movies/TV of interest on: April 14, 2012, 05:42:40 PM
I'm always a couple of years behind in my film-watching, so I apologize if this has been discussed before, but has anyone seen "Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within"? It's available on Netflix streaming video in subtitled format.

It sounds like a cheesy sequel to an even cheesier Jean Claude Van Damme movie from the 1980s, but it's an absorbing, exciting, gritty  Brazilian film from 2010 starring Wagner Moura as an officer from the Brazilian military police's SWAT team BOPE, who gets a disciplinary transfer (which turns into a promotion) from BOPE to the internal intelligence service that oversees BOPE after a controversial shooting of a cartel leader inside prison.  It's a very exciting (and violent) action film from the writer of CITY OF GOD  that also explores the nature of police corruption, the interplay of politics and media in Brazil, trying to stay connected with one's family after a divorce, and especially, the law of unintended consequences.  Kind of like THE WIRE set in Rio de Janeiro. It's a sequel (unsurprisingly, from the number in the title) to an earlier film that I haven't yet seen but want to check out. It won an award at the Berlin Film Festival.  Well-done firearms sequences, fairly realistic if brutal hand-to-hand, even a couple of BJJ scenes (Moura and his son at a Rio BJJ tournament, and drilling with his son at the BOPE matroom) which advance the plot in some interesting ways.

Also available on Amazon:

Well-worth seeing if you haven't yet, and as I said, free for the viewing if you have Netflix streaming.
17  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Boys! Earn a Merit Badge in Contact Stick Fighting and MMA! on: March 03, 2012, 03:09:45 PM
Unusual historical note I ran across:

Back in the early days of the Boy Scouts (1910), there was a Merit Badge titled "Master of Arms" which required the scout to train in Single Stick and Quarterstaff fighting, Fencing, Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, and Boxing.

Kids were tougher then. 

Scouts can now use Judo, Aikido, or Tai Ch'i to satisfy a requirement for the Sports Merit Badge, but Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Boxing cannot be used, for the stated reason of avoiding liability for injuries (I think I've seen more long-term injuries in Judo/BJJ and Aikido than in the striking sports...)

18  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Full Contact Stickfighting on Christmas! on: December 20, 2010, 01:02:12 PM
Reading through Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to his Children, I came across a letter describing Christmas in the White House in 1902.  TR had a lot more energy than I do, as after opening all the kid's presents and having breakfast, TR went for a 3-hour horesback ride with General Leonard Wood (with whom he served in the Spanish-American War, and whom the Army base in Missouri is named after) and another Rough-Rider, then came back for lunch.  TR then did some single-stick fighting:

Late in the afternoon I played at single stick with General Wood and Mr. Ferguson. I am going to get your father to come on and try it soon. We have to try to hit as light as possible, but sometimes we hit hard, and to-day I have a bump over one eye and a swollen wrist. Then all our family and kinsfolk and Senator and Mrs. Lodge's family and kinsfolk had our Christmas dinner at the White House, and afterwards danced in the East Room, closing up with the Virginia Reel.

I'm usually exhausted by noon on Christmas Day...

Aside from stick-fighting, boxing, wrestling, weight-training, and (obviously) shooting, TR trained in Jiu-Jitsu / Judo (or Jiudo, as it was spelled then), built a training hall in the White House, and even set up a MMA fight in the white house, sort of the first UFC.  Here are some of the letters on that:

19  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Gurkhas and their Kukris on: August 19, 2010, 08:45:22 PM

I like the bend him over with the kick and then split his skull part of the combo, but, NOT that this is an area of any substantial knowledge on my part, but these are the first kukri moves I have seen that stop at centerline.  Given the mass of the tool it makes sense to me that most moves carry through.

I'd guess that since that was a public display, they wanted to make the moves short and precise and opted for uniformity over brute force.  Some guys I met in the Army from a Texas National Guard LRRP unit had big kukris on their rucksacks that they used as a brush clearing tool or hatchet.  I played around with one and yeah, that forward mass in the blade made it feel like you could do a lot of damage.
20  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Gurkhas and their Kukris on: August 14, 2010, 08:33:43 PM
I just remembered a odd bit of trivia - in the original novel "DRACULA" by Bram Stoker, Dracula isn't killed by a stake through his heart, but has a bowie knife rammed through his heart (by a Texan, no less) as his head is chopped off by a Kukri wielded by a character who, if memory serves, was an officer in a Gurkha regiment.
21  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Gurkhas and their Kukris on: August 13, 2010, 04:14:49 PM
Here is a video of Gurkha troops at Shorncliffe Barracks demonstrating a close-order drill with their Kukris.  Kind of stiff (as most miltary drills are, which have to be synchronized between a large group of men) but it probably gives an idea of the basic strike combinations they employ:

22  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Old, Old School Martial Arts / H2H Articles on: August 08, 2010, 12:39:07 AM
An alternative to the billy club: Ouch! From Popular Science, 1933

From Mechanics Illustrated, June 1959: A description of a Savate-like martial arts used by French street thugs.  Check out the Paris cab-driver's baton: covered with spikes and it shoots acid:

23  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Old, Old School Martial Arts / H2H Articles on: August 08, 2010, 12:11:59 AM
A September 24, 1928 article in Time Magazine reports on a Jiu-Jitsu match in Sao Paolo, Brazil.  The fighters are unnamed but the Japanese fighter might be Mayeda.  The unidentified reporter seemed to be going out of his way to make racist slurs:,9171,928081,00.html
24  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Old, Old School Martial Arts / H2H Articles on: August 07, 2010, 11:57:25 PM
A blast from the past:  An August, 1931 Popular Science magazine article on Chicago Police defensive tactics for knife and handgun disarming, or in the parlance of the times, how a weapon can be wrested from a footpad:

25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: August 06, 2010, 08:31:37 PM
From The American Thinker

August 06, 2010
Ten Reasons to Love the Bomb
By J.R. Dunn

Sixty-five years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we still have not arrived at a true measure of the atomic weapon.  

Through a constant drumbeat -- in large part coming from the left -- nuclear weapons have become our culture's dominant symbol of fear. This is understandable. The photos of the atomic bombings were among the most foreboding ever taken. Few who have contemplated them have not paused to think what their own town might look like after such an attack.

But fear of nuclear weapons has shifted to the metaphysical, attaining something of the aura of absolute evil that Satan and his legions held in the medieval mind. They are referred to in the singular, as "The Bomb," as if only one exists, in some awful, majestic, Platonic isolation. They are spoken of as supernatural entities, beyond rational control or comprehension, operating in some mystical twilight on the far side of Mordor. They are given powers and capabilities beyond that of any known device. It often appears as a given that a single explosion could utterly destroy civilization from one pole to the other. For these reasons, consideration of the nuclear question remains clouded by horror and awe.

Amid all this, it has become difficult to grasp the simple fact that nuclear weapons have benefits -- that they may well be, in Ray Bradbury's words, "The most blessed invention ever devised." But such benefits do exist, as the record clearly shows.

1) The A-bomb Shut Down WWII

It's not necessary to reopen the perennial argument as to whether the atomic bombings were necessary to defeat Japan to acknowledge that they brought the war to an abrupt halt. On August 6, it was going strong. By August 14, it was over.

WWII had been in progress for six years (closer to eleven, if you were Chinese). It had killed something on the order of 65 million people, a bloodletting unmatched in recorded history. Killing was still going on throughout the territory still occupied by Japan. As August 1945 began, people were dying at the rate of 20,000 a week.

There was no sign that it would stop any time soon. The Japanese refusal to surrender is a historical fact. Their commitment to fight to the last drop of blood is undeniable. (Anyone who doubts this is advised to read Something Like an Autobiography, the memoirs of the master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, who was told, along with all other Japanese, that when the U.S. invasion came, they were to march to the sea and fling themselves on the advancing troops in the "honorable death of the hundred million." Kurosawa loathed Japanese imperialism. He hated the militarists. He was sick of the war. But still, he said, "I probably would have gone.")

The atomic bombs ended this -- not through destructiveness (the March incendiary raids against Tokyo killed more people than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined), but by shock. The Japanese military was in the midst of explaining to Emperor Hirohito why the U.S. could have built no more than one bomb when word of the Nagasaki strike arrived. "How many bombs did you say there were?" the emperor reportedly asked.

In the stunned silence following the atomic raids, the voice of reason could be heard at last. No other weapon could have accomplished this.

2) Nuclear Weapons Stopped Stalin in his Tracks

"A weapon to frighten schoolteachers." That was Stalin's opinion of the atomic bomb...which must mean that Stalin was a schoolteacher, since it certainly frightened him.

Stalin's postwar plans were clear -- to keep his army intact and in the middle of Western Europe, to wait until the war-weary Western Allies cut their occupation forces to the bone, and then to make his move one deep, dark night, sweeping the rest of the pieces -- Western Germany, Austria, France, the Low Countries -- off the table and into his capacious tunic pockets.

He announced several times that he was seriously cutting Soviet occupation forces. This never happened. The Hungarian takeover, the Czech coup, and the Berlin blockade increased tensions to the breaking point. Stalin was clearly probing to see how far he could go. What stopped him? Not American or British occupation forces, which were derisory. One element alone: that schoolteacher's nightmare, the atomic bomb.

Stalin grew impatient as he got older. According to Russian historians, he had finalized a war plan by the time of his death, scheduled for early 1954. But it is doubtful that the Politburo, along with the Soviet military, would have allowed it to proceed. They knew better, were well aware of the consequences, and knew who would have to live with them. To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, "Nothing concentrates a man's mind so wonderfully as the knowledge that he is to be A-bombed in a fortnight."

3) Atomic Bombs Helped Expose Communist Activity in the U.S.  

It's unlikely that the Soviets would have risked their carefully constructed U.S. spy network for anything less than the atomic bomb. But cracking the Manhattan Project required use of all resources. The NKVD threw everybody available at the program -- Klaus Fuchs, Bruno Pontecorvo, Theodore Hall,  Allen Nunn May, the still unidentified "Perseus," and, of the course, the Rosenberg ring. When this effort began to unravel, it went completely, exposing agents not even directly connected to the atomic effort and leaving very little of use to the Soviets. When espionage efforts were renewed, it was using professional agents, as opposed to the eager Communist Party volunteers of the '30s and '40s.

Nothing revealed the treachery and untrustworthiness of American communists more than their willingness to turn the A-bomb secret over to the Soviets. Previously, Americans had responded to communists with bewildered shrugs. After the Rosenberg revelations, this was transformed to healthy contempt and fear. The American Communist Party never recovered.

4) Nukes Kept the Cold War from going Hot

There were numerous occasions -- the recurrent Berlin confrontations; the wars in Korea and Vietnam; crises in Yugoslavia, Laos, Cuba, and the Taiwan Straits -- when the Cold War could have bubbled over into open conflict. This would have been a conflict that, given only conventional weapons, might have taken on the character of a Thirty Years' War, with dozens of states destroyed and millions of lives consumed.

Nuclear weapons negated any such outcome. Nukes are not dreadnoughts. If you lose a fleet, you still have your country. When the bombs start falling, you have no guarantee of anything. National leaders considered the odds and decided to wait for another day. That day never came.

5) Atomic Weapons Created Doubt about the Scientific Establishment

This was a subtle but far-reaching effect. Prior to the atomic bomb, scientists were widely viewed as a modern priesthood, dedicated to knowledge and truth, beyond any taint of ambition or corruption. The A-bomb cut them down to size. Enamored of the program when it was merely a technical possibility, many scientists turned against the reality, protesting its use against Japan. These actions puzzled and annoyed a public relieved to see an end to the war. When it developed that no small number of these same humanitarians had been involved in the Soviet espionage program, the figure of scientist as high priest vanished forever, replaced by the image of the erratic malcontent who needed to be watched closely.

This is a good thing. In a democracy, no group or profession should be viewed as clerisy, much less as something along the lines of a priesthood. In the 20th century, scientists were beginning to encroach on the social and political spheres, insisting that their techniques of procedural reductionism were superior to such sloppy practices as democracy (a tendency not yet extinct, as global warming and embryonic stem cells clearly reveal). Blinkered arrogance has brought down many a social class. The atomic bomb went a long way toward saving scientists from themselves.

6) Nuclear Weapons Guarantee the Survival of Israel

Like the United States, Israel is an exceptional nation, the only state founded under the aspect of redemption. The Holocaust rendered the establishment of Israel a necessity. As a small state outnumbered both by national entities and in population, Israel required weaponry both unavailable to its enemies and capable of effectively deterring them. Atomic weapons alone met these requirements. The rebirth of virulent anti-Semitism worldwide over the past decade has underlined the necessity of such weapons. As the homeland of the sole people that the modern world attempted to annihilate, Israel has a right to these weapons that no other state possesses.

7) Nuclear Weapons Reveal Left-Wing Hypocrisy

The left loathes all nuclear weapons -- as long as they belong to the United States.

Throughout the lengthy history of left-wing antinuclear activities, which stretches from the late 1950s to our day, a single target has existed -- the United States. All protests and efforts are aimed at the U.S. and no other country.

The Nuclear Freeze movement of the early 1980s can serve as an example. The USSR had fielded two new nuclear missiles, the SS-19, a weapon useful only as a city-destroyer, and the SS-20, a mobile system targeting Western Europe. The Reagan administration planned to deploy the Pershing II mobile system along with ground-launched cruise missiles to Europe, as well as an advanced new silo-based ICBM, the Peacekeeper (known at the time as the "MX").

As was true of virtually every Reagan initiative, the plan sparked massive protests, demanding the implementation of a "nuclear freeze" -- a formal promise not to construct or emplace any further nuclear systems. This was backed by the standard run of college students; politicians such as Les AuCoin, who repeatedly misrepresented the status of Soviet weapons; and Dr. Carl Sagan, a well-known scientist, who constructed an entire bogus theory, "nuclear winter," to back the campaign. It was understood at the time (and even reported by The New York Times) that the entire movement was financed, coordinated, and overseen by the KGB.

Nuclear freeze required absolutely nothing of the Soviets. The SS-19 and SS-20 systems would remain in operation. Only U.S. weapon systems would be affected, giving the USSR a permanent advantage and possibly ending NATO as a meaningful political and military entity.

Fortunately, Reagan let the air out of the nuclear freeze wagon by introducing the Strategic Defense Initiative, better known as "Star Wars," a national defensive system against nuclear attack. The utterly horrified Soviets immediately shifted their resources to meet this new threat. Deprived of Soviet money and guidance, the freeze movement collapsed, its only accomplishment a vastly increased level of mistrust and contempt for left-wing activities among the general public.

The same attitude survives today. While Barack Obama is eager to eliminate the sole nuclear weapons within his power -- those of the U.S. -- his efforts against the infinitely more dangerous threat of an Iranian nuclear force can be defined as futile to nonexistent at best.  

8. Nuclear Weapons Underline the Magnanimity of the United States

The U.S. could have become the New Rome after WWII, an unmatched power ruling the globe through force and terror. We could have answered Stalin's belligerence with flights of bombers headed east, and then demanded that the nations of the world behold the wreckage of a blazing, irradiated Russia while awaiting their orders from Washington.

But it would have been no good, because we'd eventually have suffered the fate of Rome as well. We had better things to do -- setting out on an attempt to build something like a truly decent society, with which we remain involved to this day, despite throwbacks like Obama. (Really, his ideas are so 19th century -- he should wear high collars and a pince-nez.) In ages to come, this will not be forgotten. If the decent society eventually becomes universal, it will look back on the U.S. with admiration. If not, if we see a return to international medievalism, it will be regarded with bewilderment. Either way, the U.S. will be known for all time as the nation which held absolute power and refused to use it. I, for one, am proud of this.

9) Nuclear Weapons Are an Oddly Rational Weapon

The curious thing about nuclear weapons is that while the concept is simplicity itself -- just get enough pure U235 or Pu239 and bang them together -- the details are excruciating and difficult to master. Uranium or Plutonium must be located, mined, and refined. Weapons must be designed, built, and tested -- all of which leave signs that are easily traced by an effective intelligence service. It's next to impossible to sneak one through (though Pakistan's A.Q. Khan, with aid from the Clinton administration, came close).

It's easy to imagine a process or device that could be simply designed, easily constructed, and capable of horrendous damage. In fact, we don't have to imagine it; we can simply point to biological and chemical weapons. But neither possesses the potency of nuclear weapons, which inhabit a pinnacle of their own. So no simple deterrent to nukes exists -- they stand alone. This goes a long way toward keeping the peace.

10) They Are an Incredible Human Achievement -- on More Levels Than One

The ability to create such a thing, to actually tap into and utilize one of the basic forces of the universe -- the binding energy of the nucleus -- is astonishing in and of itself.

But even more breathtaking is the undeniable evidence of our wisdom in not using this power. Throughout the Yalta Period, we were inundated with predictions that universal destruction was inevitable, if not imminent -- that humanity would find its apotheosis scrabbling amidst glowing ruins for the last can of baked beans. Books, articles, television shows, and film after film -- Fail-Safe, Dr. Strangelove, A Boy and his Dog, Threads, The Day After, Testament -- all retailed the same despairing vision. (Well, Kubrick at least made it look like fun.)

It never happened. Looking back, we can see that it was never going to happen. Human beings are simply not as perverse, foolish, and self-destructive as the modernist temperament insists. That humanity could harness such a power and then decide not to utilize it says something very profound, and in no small way impressive, about the human animal. It's a curious truth that despite their contraventions, both religious and secular belief systems are gripped by the myth of man's origin as a killer -- the murder of Abel by Cain on the one hand, and other represented by 2001's Moonwatcher, whose first use of a tool is to turn it into a weapon.

But the years since 1945 have shown us that the killer ape is not the alpha and omega of the human story. We have stepped away from our bloody origins; we are no longer slaves of murderous instinct. We learn from our errors and missteps. So hope does exist both for the project of civilization and the human mission in a cold and lonely universe. Without the burden of atomic weapons, we might not know this. Knowledge leads to greater knowledge, and from this process, we occasionally attain wisdom.

J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker and will edit the forthcoming Military Thinker.

26  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Die Less Often: Interface of Gun, Knife and Emtpy Hand on: July 21, 2010, 10:16:04 PM
In DLO 3, Crafty discusses the dangers of telling someone to take their hands out of their pockets without knowing what is in there, and offers some alternatives.

From the Douglas (Arizona) Dispatch:

"Customs agent attacked with knife"

Published/Last Modified on Wednesday, July 7, 2010 10:06 PM MDT

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers were screening pedestrian traffic coming from Mexico. During the screening process, a young man pulled a knife from his pocket and attempted to stab the CBP officer.

On July 1 at about 3 p. m. Customs officers were screening pedestrian traffic coming from Mexico when they were approached by a young man.

The officers noticed that the man kept his hands in his pant pockets and was told to show his hands. The man stepped towards the officer as he pulled his hands from his pocket and attempted to stab the officer with a knife that he had been concealing in his pants pocket.

The officer was able to block the stabbing attempt. With the assistance of other officers the man was taken into custody.

The man was identified an 18-year-old US citizen and resident of Wilcox, Arizona.

CBP officers turned the man over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation and prosecution. The man was charged with Assault on a Federal Officer.
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: July 07, 2010, 09:34:24 PM
Re the Arizona DOJ lawsuit:

Apparently, the deep-blue state of Rhode Island has been doing the same thing as Arizona is set to do, for years:

Oklahoma, Utah, and South Carolina are looking at similar legislation:

Surprisingly, a majority (62%) of San Diego residents oppose the DOJ's lawsuit against Arizona:
28  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Knives in the Middle East; jambiya daggers on: July 07, 2010, 09:00:54 PM
I don't know much about their use, other than that the extreme curve in the scabbard is designed to catch the belt to allow a quick draw (most of the models I've seen don't have belt loops on the scabbard., and are designed to be tucked into a cloth belt)  I always thought the curved blade of the weapon was designed to maximize its slashing capability, but apparently the curved design is an artifact of the original material of its manufacture, as before the Arabic peoples gained metal-working technology the Jambiya was made from a buffalo horn split longitudinally, then shaped and sharpened into a blade. A lot of the blades of Africa and Asia bear the design characteristics of the "Horn Age" when weapons were made from re-worked bone and horns, like  the Persian and Indian Khanjar.  I just learned this after I pulled Sir Richard F. Burton's "The Book of the Sword" (1884) down from the shelf today.  Burton wrote:

"The modern weapon, with metal blade and ivory handle, has one side of the latter flat, betraying its origin by retaining a peculiarity no longer required. The same is the case when the whole Jumbiyah is, as often happens, made of metal."  I wonder if that characteristic still shows up in modern Jambiyas?

Burton, who was an avid swordsman, doesn't discuss how it was employed. Are there systemized schools of sword and knife combat from the Arabic tribes? You would think that if there were, those techniques would show up in the knife classes taught in their armies' elite units.  From the few videos I've seen of Jordanian and Egyptian special ops units training, it looks like pretty standard Applegate-Fairbairn techniques and sentry removal with a standard straight-bladed combat knife. I know there are al-Qaeda videos showing combatives training but I don't recall seeing any knife techniques  being taught or demonstrated - has anyone else seen any?

It's worth noting that the 9-11 hijackers learned how to use their edged weapons at a martial arts school in the United States.
29  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty's momentary ruminations on: July 05, 2010, 06:11:49 PM
Another advantage of keeping the cloth of one's pants up past the knees, even on a typical US style toilet, is that it reduces the opportunity and effectiveness of the Public Toilet Takedown and the Public Toilet Wallet Grab.

Wallet Grab is where someone simply grabs your wallet while you are sitting on the pot.  The Takedown is where someone grabs your ankles and/or pants and yanks you from the toilet in an attempt to get you to crack your head against the toilet or the floor.

And if you carry concealed, you pretty much have to do that to keep your weapon from showing if you're in the stall doing #2.

There was an exhaustive manual on the design of toilets and bathrooms that came out (was released? It's hard to talk about this subject without making unintentional puns) in the 1960s (I remember the Whole Earth Catalog had a review and short excerpts from it) which stated that the full squat was superior for full evacuation of the bowels, and the upright-sitting posture promoted by western toilet design didn't promote the full evacuation of the bowels.

An additional method used by bacpackers and soldiers to avoid befouling your pants is to grab ahold of a slim tree trunk, stand close to the trunk, extend your arms straight out out and squat and do your business without hitting your clothing.  I had to do this a lot when I caught dysentery in Turkey back in the early 1980s  when I had to deal with explosive diarrhea about every 50 paces. 

30  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude on: July 04, 2010, 01:02:15 AM
Woof Mick C.:

Welcome to the DB Forum!


Grateful for Johnny Hartman's music... he would've been 83 today.

Grateful to spend most of my day with my father.

Grateful at the excitement tonight's UFC Heavyweight Unification bout will present.

Thanks, Stickgrappler!

We've exchanged emails in the past (i've posted on another forum as "the stewed owl") and sent you some photocopies of articles on JHR and Bando, and always enjoyed all the archives on your website.

Grateful to hear from you again, as well.
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Survivalist issues: Hunkering down at home on: July 04, 2010, 12:44:20 AM
How able are you to deal with fire?  Remember how south central burned and the FD could not get thru rioters.......

I don't know if there's much you can do in an urban area in the event of massive fires (other than the obvious benefits of having fire extinguishers throughout the home for smaller fires)  In the event of urban riots, I'd probably consider filling some buckets with sand to extingusih any molotov cocktails that could come through the windows, maybe a fire tarp to smother curtains, etc. that caught fire (you can often buy one from stores that sell fire extinguishers).  Other than that, I'd look at removing flammables (garbage bins, etc.) from around the house at such a time, and maybe a general policy of cutting back foliage or trees that could burn and represent a hazard to the residence, the way people living in fire-prone areas in the forests (such as San Diego, Flagstaff, etc.) are supposed to do but often don't.  When a forest fire threatens houses in those areas, you often read about people spraying their house with a hose to try to make it less flammable - but in most civil emergencies, I would guess that water pressure drops dramatically.

After going through the riots and the Northridge and Whittier quakes when I lived in L.A., a couple of lessons I learned:

I was living in a condo townhouse in Westwood at the time of the Northridge quake, and walking around the neighbrohood afterward I noticed that a lot of the brick walls and chimmneys on the houses in the area collapsed - apparently, wood-frame structures bend with the shock wave of a quake but brick shatters.  We took some roof damage that resulted in regular leaks for the next couple of years, a couple of neighbor's houses had major roof damage (like, you can see the blue sky from inside damage.)  For emergency repairs to windows and roofs and a lot of other potential uses in an emergency, I've always bought a lot of heavy duty painter's plastic tarps when I see them on sale and store them away.  The dark plastic ones make pretty fair blackout curtains if you wouldn't want to attract attention to your home in a city without regular power.

Food disappeared from the shelves in our neighborhood in L.A. or a while afterwards.  I take the poor man's approach to food stockpiling - I pick up canned foods by the case at Smart and Final or Costco when on sale, as long as they are foods we would eat anyway - soups, canned veggies and meat, etc. - and store them in closets, under the bathroom sink, etc., after writing the month and year of purchase on the cans with a sharpie - a year or two after purchase, we eat them and regularly rotate through the stock (they would probably be good for a couple more years, but why take chances.) They should be foods your family will eat - an emergency is no time to introduce your children to canned beets).

I also bought the big jugs of Sparkletts water and stored those away on the balcony, etc.

After the Northridge quake, we really wanted to know what was going on and the extent of the damage (we were without power for a day or two) - having some battery-powered radios, and a huge stockpile of different types of batteries, is a good thing.
32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Resources and Helpful Links on: July 02, 2010, 11:16:19 AM
Fascinating collection of U.S. WWII propaganda posters from the Northwestern University collection:
33  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude on: July 02, 2010, 11:03:59 AM
Grateful to be a new forum member.  Hello, everyone.
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