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28501  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Bloomington, IL - October 8-9th, Seminar with Guro Crafty! on: September 18, 2005, 11:33:14 AM
Off the top of my head in no particular order some options are:

1) The Snaggletooth Drill (Combining Stick & Footwork, basic primal attacking block & strike combos on the diamond triangle)
2) Attacking Blocks, which often leads into Stickgrappling Clinch
3) Los Triques Big Stick (Los T is a blend of Kali and Krabi Krabong
4) Lost Triques Siniwali
5) Staff
6) Short Impact Weapons for the Street
7) Kali Tudo
28502  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Bloomington, IL - October 8-9th, Seminar with Guro Crafty! on: September 18, 2005, 11:18:46 AM
I've emailed Doug to ask him what he would like
28503  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Well-armed People on: September 18, 2005, 08:01:46 AM
NRA-ILA Grassroots Alert Vol. 12, No. 37 9/16/05


As was reported last week, in the wake of unspeakable crimes perpetrated by roving, armed gangs and individuals, authorities in New Orleans seized legal firearms from lawful residents, effectively disarming the very citizenry they are sworn to protect.

On Monday, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, and NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox slammed New Orleans authorities for this incredible action.

"What we've seen in Louisiana--the breakdown of law and order in the aftermath of disaster--is exactly the kind of situation where the Second Amendment was intended to allow citizens to protect themselves, " LaPierre said.  "For state, local, or federal government to disarm these good people in their own homes using the threat of imminent deadly force, is unthinkable."
"The NRA will not stand by while guns are confiscated from law-abiding people who're trying to defend themselves," Cox said.  "We're exploring every legal option available to protect the rights of lawful people in New Orleans."

To that end, NRA has put professional investigators to work on the ground in New Orleans and surrounding areas.  News stories and members' detailed accounts have been followed up on, but we need more information.  Some of our best leads have come from rank and file law enforcement, but we need to hear from all directly affected citizens.

If you have personally had a gun confiscated in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina hit, please call (888) 414-6333.  Be prepared to leave only your name and immediate contact information so we can get back to you.  Once again, we are seeking contact information from actual victims of gun confiscation in Louisiana only.

For additional information, please visit, or e-mail us at


Also see:
28504  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Homeland Security on: September 17, 2005, 12:21:07 AM
Doctor: Officials gave hospital staffers mops as people died

Friday, September 16, 2005; Posted: 1:19 p.m. EDT (17:19 GMT)

A doctor reported that sick people languished in the New Orleans airport while he mopped floors.

(CNN) -- As violence, death and misery gripped New Orleans and the surrounding parishes in the days after Hurricane Katrina, a leadership vacuum, bureaucratic red tape and a defensive culture paralyzed volunteers' attempts to help.

Doctors eager to help sick and injured evacuees were handed mops by federal officials who expressed concern about legal liability. Even as violence and looting slowed rescues, police from other states were turned back while officials squabbled over who should take charge of restoring the peace.

Warehouses in New Orleans burned while firefighters were diverted to Atlanta for Federal Emergency Management Agency training sessions on community relations and sexual harassment. Water trucks languished for days at FEMA's staging area because the drivers lacked the proper paperwork.

Consider the stories of these frustrated volunteers:

Dr. Bong Mui and his staff, evacuated with 300 patients after three hellish days at Chalmette Medical Center, arrived at the New Orleans airport, and were amazed to see hundreds of sick people. They offered to help. But, the doctor told CNN, FEMA officials said they were worried about legal liability. "They told us that, you know, you could help us by mopping the floor." And so they mopped, while people died around them. "I started crying," he recalled. "We felt like we could help, and were not allowed to do anything." (Watch the video of hundreds languishing sick at the airport -- 4:16)

Steve Simpson, sheriff of Loudoun County, Virginia, sent 22 deputies equipped with food and water to last seven days. Their 14-car caravan, including four all-terrain vehicles, was on the road just three hours when they were told to turn back. The reason, Simpson told CNN: A Louisiana state police official told them not to come. " I said, "What if we just show up?' He says, 'You probably won't get in.' " Simpson said he later learned a dispute over whether state or federal authorities would command the law enforcement effort was being ironed out that night. But no one ever got back to him with the all-clear.

FEMA halted tractor trailers hauling water to a supply staging area in Alexandria, Louisiana, The New York Times quoted William Vines, former mayor of Fort Smith, Arkansas, as saying. "FEMA would not let the trucks unload," he told the newspaper. "The drivers were stuck for several days on the side of the road" because, he said, they did not have a "tasker number." He added, "What in the world is a tasker number? I have no idea. It's just paperwork and it's ridiculous."

Firefighters who answered a nationwide call for help were sent to Atlanta for FEMA training sessions on community relations and sexual harassment. "On the news every night you hear 'How come everybody forgot us?' " Pennsylvania firefighter Joseph Manning told The Dallas Morning News. "We didn't forget. We're stuck in Atlanta drinking beer."

The government's response to Hurricane Katrina has been sharply criticized. Elected officials -- chiefly President Bush, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin -- have acknowledged flaws in the response.

Some take responsibility
"To the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Bush said earlier this week. On Thursday, in a nationally televised address from New Orleans, he proposed a large aid package for the city and other areas that were hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. In the speech, he said the lessons from Katrina call for a new approach to responding to disasters. (Full story)

"There were failures at every level of government -- state, federal and local," Blanco told Louisiana legislators Wednesday evening in Baton Rouge. "At the state level, we must take a careful look at what went wrong and make sure it never happens again," she said. "The buck stops here, and as your governor, I take full responsibility."

Nagin, once angry and embattled, was also conciliatory.

"I think now we are out of nuclear crisis mode, it seems as though myself, the governor and president have done some retrospection as far as what we could have done better, and ultimately we're all accountable at the level of local state and federal government," he told CNN. "And that's what leadership is all about. We should take responsibility and we should try and do better."

While Blanco did not elaborate on her mistakes, Nagin said he mistakenly assumed that if New Orleans could hold out for a day or two, help would surely come.

"I am not going to plan in the future for the cavalry to come in three days," he told CNN. "I'm going to buy high water vehicles, helicopters, whatever I can do to make sure that I am in total control ... of the total evacuation process."

Vice Admiral Thad Allen, of the U.S. Coast Guard, is now heading the federal government's recovery effort. On Wednesday, he encouraged state and local officials to bring their issues to him.

"Whether you're a person or an agency, whatever you're doing, if you have concerns and they're not stated where somebody can act on them, that's just going to fester," he said. "And I, as the principal federal official in this response, am encouraging any leader that wants to talk to me about real or perceived problems of what's going on out there to do that."

Where was Chertoff?
But the men in charge of the federal Department of Homeland Security and FEMA in the critical days immediately after the hurricane haven't shared the blame.

Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security secretary, has offered no explanation as to why he waited three days after the National Hurricane Center predicted a catastrophic hurricane to declare Katrina an incident of "national significance."

In a memo written the day after Katrina made landfall, Chertoff said the Department of Homeland Security will be part of the task force and will assist the [Bush] administration. But the National Response Plan, designed to guide disaster recovery and relief, dictates that the Homeland Security secretary leads the federal response. ( Watch video on Chertoff's delays -- 3:09)

Chertoff appointed Michael Brown, then director of FEMA, as the federal official in charge in the Gulf states. Brown was relieved of his post late last week and resigned from FEMA Monday after taking the brunt of the criticism over the response.

Ex-FEMA boss blames governor
Speaking to The New York Times, his first public comments since he was relieved, Brown laid the blame on Blanco and Nagin. He told the newspaper he frantically called Chertoff and the White House in the hours after Katrina hit, telling them Blanco and her staff were disorganized and the situation was "out of control."

"I am having a horrible time," Brown said he told his superiors. "I can't get a unified command established."

Brown told the Times that he had such difficulty dealing with Blanco that he communicated with her husband instead.

"I truly believed the White House was not at fault here," he told the Times.

On August 30, the same day Chertoff wrote his memo, Brown said he asked the White House to take over the response from FEMA and state officials.

A Senate panel launched the first formal inquiry into the response on Wednesday. But the Senate's Republican majority defeated a bid by Democrats to establish an independent commission to investigate the disaster response.

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, the panel's chairwoman, said the response to Katrina was plagued by confusion, communication failures and widespread lack of coordination despite the billions of dollars spent to improve disaster response since the terror attacks.

'Sluggish' response
"At this point, we would have expected a sharp, crisp response to this terrible tragedy," Collins said. "Instead, we witnessed what appeared to be a sluggish initial response."

One of the issues the committee will examine is whether FEMA should stay under the Department of Homeland Security instead of operating as a separate agency as it had in the past.

Sen. George Voinovich, a Republican from Ohio, said the committee would "get into the bowels" of Homeland Security as its members investigate how the federal government, specifically FEMA, planned for and responded to the disaster.

Members of the former 9/11 commission blasted Congress and the Bush administration for inaction on some of its recommendations. Had they been in place, lives could have been saved, they said.

"If Congress does not act, people will die. I cannot put it more simply than that," said former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, referring to what could happen in the next major disaster or terrorist attack.


Student Arrested After Pilot Uniform Found
The Associated Press
Friday, September 16, 2005; 3:22 PM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A university student from Egypt was ordered held without bond after prosecutors said they found a pilot's uniform, chart of Memphis International Airport and a DVD titled "How an Airline Captain Should Look and Act" in his apartment.

The FBI is investigating whether Mahmoud Maawad, 29, had any connection to terrorists. He is awaiting trial on charges of wire fraud and fraudulent use of a Social Security number.

Maawad, who is in the United States illegally, told the judge during a hearing Thursday that he is studying science and economics at the University of Memphis.

"My school is everything. I stay in this country for seven years; I stay for the school," he said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Parker said Thursday that the airport-related items were found during a Sept. 9 search.

"The specific facts and circumstances are scary," Parker said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Thomas Anderson ruled that Maawad be held without bond.

"It is hard for the court to understand why he has a large concentration of those (aviation) items, and nothing else to indicate Mr. Maawad plans to stay in the community," Anderson said.

Maawad had ordered $3,000 in aviation materials, including DVDs titled "Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings," "Airplane Talk," "Mental Math for Pilots" and "Mastering GPS Flying," FBI agent Thad Gulczynski testified.

The company reported Maawad to authorities when he didn't pay for $2,500 of merchandise it had delivered, Gulczynski said.
28505  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Well-armed People on: September 16, 2005, 10:21:11 PM
28506  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 16, 2005, 12:35:04 PM
THAT is precisely the FIRST question.

The second question is "WHO gets to decide?"

Where in the Constitution does it say that the Supreme Court gets to decide?

At the time of Roe, it was decided by the elected branches of government at the state level-- which seems quite correct to me.

If Roe is overruled, it does not mean an end to abortion.  It means a return to the respective states deciding.  In that the majority of the population in most states wants some forms of abortion, in those cases there will be some forms of abortion.
28507  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 16, 2005, 12:21:13 PM
Mostly I agree.

Bork was a superior legal intellect who was viciously abused personally and dishonestly demagogued on the merits of many issues-- all to the lasting damage of our political culture to this day.

That said, IMO he was and is completely wrong on the issue of privacy.   There IS a Constitutional right to privacy and it is to be found, along with the right to self-defense, in the 9th Amendment.

On this issue alone, I opposed his ascension to the Supreme Court.

Whatever one's opinion on the abortion issue, the right to privacy does not supersede however the right to life; we may not murder someone in the privacy of our home for example.  Thus the Roe decision is an abortion in and of itself and a perfect example of judiical imperialism.
28508  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Well-armed People on: September 16, 2005, 11:45:59 AM
Katrina Educates World On Need For Owning Guns
by Erich Pratt

"All our operators are busy right now. Please remain on the line and an operator will be with you shortly. Your call is important to us."

Can you imagine any words more horrifying after dialing 9-1-1? Your life's in danger, but there's no one available to help you.

For several days in September, life was absolutely terrifying for many New Orleans residents who got stranded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. There were no operators... there were no phone calls being handled.

Heck, there was no 9-1-1. Even if the phone lines had been working, there were no police officers waiting to be dispatched.

Hundreds of New Orleans police officers had fled the city. Some took their badges and threw them out the windows of their cars as they sped away. Others participated in the looting of the city.

While there were many officers who acted honorably -- even apprehending dangerous thugs while grieving the loss of their own family members -- most residents were forced to fend for themselves.

Many did so successfully, using their own firearms, until New Orleans Police Commissioner Edwin Compass III issued the order to confiscate their guns.

Anti-gun zealots confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens

On September 8, several news outlets began reporting that officials in New Orleans were confiscating firearms... not from looters, but from law-abiding citizens who legally owned firearms!

"No one will be able to be armed," said Deputy Chief Warren Riley. "We are going to take all the weapons."

It was like a scene out of the former Soviet Union or Communist China.

The Associated Press quoted Compass, the police commissioner, as saying, "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons."

Well, there you have it. Given the chance, gun control advocates will always implement their real agenda -- confiscation of firearms from everyone... except the police!

ABC News video on September 8 showed National Guard troops going house-to-house, smashing down doors, searching for residents, and confiscating guns. Every victim of disarmament was clearly not a thug or looter, but a decent resident wanting to defend his or her home.

Many of the troops were clearly conflicted by their orders. "It is surreal," said one member of the Oklahoma National Guard who was going door-to-door in New Orleans. "You never expect to do this in your own country."

Many never would have expected it -- confiscating firearms from decent people who were relying on those firearms to protect themselves from the looters.

It was an outrageous order -- one that should not have been obeyed. There was no constitutional authority for the directive, and it ignored the fact that many good people had already used firearms to successfully defend their lives and property.

Guns were saving lives and protecting property prior to the confiscation order

As flood waters started rising in New Orleans, a wave of violence rolled through the city.

"It was pandemonium for a couple of nights," said Charlie Hackett, a New Orleans resident. "We just felt that when [looters] got done with the stores, they?d come to the homes."

Hackett was right... which is why he and his neighbor, John Carolan, stood guard over their homes to ward off looters who, rummaging through the neighborhoods, were smashing windows and ransacking stores.

Armed looters did eventually come to Carolan's house and demanded his generator. But Carolan showed them his gun and they left.

No wonder then that gun stores, which weren't under water, were selling firearms at a record pace to people looking to defend themselves. "I've got people like you wouldn't believe, lots of people, coming in and buying handguns," said Briley Reed, the assistant manager of the E-Z Pawn store in Baton Rouge.

"I've even had soldiers coming in here buying guns," Reed said.

Makeshift militias patrol neighborhoods

In the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans, dozens of neighbors banded together to protect their neighborhood.

"There's about 20 or 30 guys in addition to us. We know all of them and where they are," Gregg Harris said. "People armed themselves so quickly, rallying together. I think it's why [our] neighborhood survived."

Harris isn't joking about the armaments. A gun battle erupted one afternoon between armed neighbors and looters. Two of the thugs were shot.

Since then, no more looters have bothered the neighborhood. But the neighbors aren't letting their guard down. They all take their turn keeping watch.

Gareth Stubbs sits in a rocking chair on his front porch, holding his shotgun and a bottle of bug spray.

In another home, a 74-year old mother keeps the following near the bed: her rosary, a shotgun and a 38-caliber pistol.

Vinnie Pervel and two other volunteers man a balcony-turned-watchtower with five borrowed shotguns, a pistol, a flare gun, and old AK-47 and loads of ammunition.

To be sure, many of the weapons were borrowed from neighbors who fled before the storm hit. Pervel and Harris did not have any working firearms themselves in the aftermath of the storm. But because Pervel had been keeping in contact (via phone) with neighbors who had already evacuated, he got permission to go into the vacant homes and get his neighbors' weapons.

"I never thought I'd be going into my neighbor's house and taking their guns," Pervel said. "We wrote down what gun came from what house so we can return them when they get back."

Firearms were a hot commodity

It would be an understatement to say that firearms were the hottest commodity in the days following the massive destruction. In Gulf Port, Mississippi, Ron Roland, 51, lost everything -- three homes, four cars, a bait-and-tackle shop and a boat. It was all destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Nevertheless, Roland was determined to salvage what he could amidst the rubble -- with or without police protection. And it's a good thing, too, because there would be no such thing as "police protection" in the days following the storm.

Standing guard over one of his homes with a handgun in his waistband, Roland used his firearm to stop looters from rummaging through his storm-damaged property.

Roland and his son even performed a citizen's arrest on one plunderer and then warned future thieves by posting the following message in his yard: "NO TRESPASSERS! ARMED HOMEOWNERS."

Signs like this were common throughout the Gulf Coast region in the days following Katrina.

Unfortunately, some people had to learn the hard way about the utility of keeping firearms for protection.
Water, food... but what about guns?

The managers at the Covenant Home nursing center in New Orleans were more than prepared to ride out the hurricane. They had food and supplies to last the 80 residents for more than ten days.

They had planned for every contingency... or so they thought.

"We had excellent plans. We had enough food for 10 days," said Peggy Hoffman, the home's Executive Director.

But they had no firearms. So when carjackers hijacked the home's bus and drove by the center shouting "Get out!" to the residents, they were completely helpless.

All of the residents, most of them in wheelchairs, were evacuated to other nursing homes in the state.

Hoffman says she has now learned her lesson.

Next time, "We'll have to equip our department heads with guns and teach them how to shoot," she said.

Thank goodness someone is learning from their mistakes.
Does anyone remember Los Angeles?

We should have learned this lesson more than ten years ago when the entire country saw horrifying images coming out of Los Angeles.

If the riots of 1992 taught us anything, it is that the police can't always be there to protect us.

For several days, that city was in complete turmoil as stores were looted and burned. Motorists were dragged from their cars and beaten.

Further aggravating the situation, police were very slow in responding to the crisis. Many Guardsmen, after being mobilized to the affected areas, sat by and watched the violence because their rifles were low on ammunition.

But not everybody in Los Angeles suffered. In some of the hot spots, Korean merchants were able to successfully protect their stores with semi-automatic firearms.

In areas where armed citizens banded together for self-protection, their businesses were spared while others (which were left unprotected) burned to the ground.

The pictures of Korean merchants defending their stores left quite an impression on one group of people living in Los Angeles: those who had previously identified themselves as gun control advocates.

Press reports described how life-long gun control supporters were even running to gun stores to buy an item they never thought they would need -- a gun. Tragically, they were surprised (and outraged!) to learn there was a 15-day waiting period upon firearms.

Confiscating guns puts people at risk

Fast forward more than a decade, it seems that many folks still haven't learned the lessons from previous tragedies. If the Mayor and his cronies really wanted to help the decent citizens of New Orleans, they would have been issuing people firearms instead of taking them away.

These guns were the only thing that prevented many good folks from becoming victims in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Now that residents are disarmed, will the Mayor provide 24-hour, round-the-clock protection for each of these disarmed families? Will he make himself personally liable for anyone who is injured or killed as a result of being prevented from defending himself or his family?

When your life is in danger, you don't want to rely on a police force that is stretched way too thin. And the last thing you want to hear when you call 9-1-1 is, "All our operators are busy right now...."

That might just be the last thing you ever hear.
28509  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 15, 2005, 11:56:56 PM

I shared your FEMA post elsewhere and have been challenged on its authenticity.  How/where did you come across this?
28510  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 14, 2005, 03:35:09 PM
Actually quite a few people did and do.  Amongst them is the junior senator from NY who sought to nationalize the 14.7% of GDP that is health care when her husband was president.
28511  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 14, 2005, 11:19:26 AM
Sorry, not buying.  This storm was seen coming well in advance and the mayor COMPLETELY fornicated up with exceedlingly last minute response.  

Forgive me if this is a repost, but have you seen this?


The Best-Laid Plan: Too Bad It Flopped
Among the many achievements of the human race - Chartres Cathedral, the Mona Lisa - surely the New Orleans emergency preparedness plan must rank among the greatest, and the fact that this plan turned out to be irrelevant to reality should not detract from its stature as a masterpiece of bureaucratic thinking.

The plan (which is viewable online at begins with the insight: Be prepared. Or as the plan puts it, "Individuals with assigned tasks must receive preparatory training to maximize operations."

The plan lays out a course of action so that all personnel will know exactly
what to do in case of a hurricane. The Office of Emergency Preparedness will coordinate with the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness in
conjunction with the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan by taking full advantage of the courses offered by the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association and other agencies "as well as conferences, seminars and workshops that may from time to time be available, most notably state hurricane conferences and workshops and the National Hurricane Conference."

In addition, the plan continues, the administrative and training officer of
the Office of Emergency Preparedness will maintain close communication with the state training officer of the L.O.E.P., making sure workshops are
conducted at the Emergency Support Function level, reviewing Emergency
Operating Center/E.S.F. standard operating procedures and undertaking more "intensive work sessions with elements of the emergency response
organizations in order to enhance unified disaster planning."

One can imagine the PowerPoint presentations! The millions of cascading
bullet points! The infinity of hours spent planning a hurricane response
that would make a Prussian officer gasp with reverence!

Furthermore, the plan instructs the O.E.P. director to execute Mass Casualty Incidents scenarios; work with the Association of Contingency Planners and other groups to coordinate disaster organization responses; coordinate, facilitate and encourage other agencies to conduct emergency
self-assessments; engage in assessment processes in preparation for the
Agency Disaster Report; and produce after-action reports with the O.E.P.
shelter coordinator in conjunction with the Louisiana Statewide Hurricane

The paper flow must have been magnificent! The quality of the facilitating
must have been surpassed only by the magnificence of the interfacing!

The New Orleans emergency preparedness plan offers a precise communications strategy, so all city residents will know exactly where to go in times of crisis. It recommends that two traffic control officers be placed at each key intersection. It recommends busing the thousands of residents unable to evacuate themselves to staging areas prestocked with food.

In short, the plan was so beautiful, it's too bad reality destroyed it. The
plan's authors were not stupid or venal. They are doubtless good public
servants who worked in agencies set up to prepare for this storm. And yet
their elaborate plan crumbled under the weight of the actual disaster.

But of course this illustrates the paradox at the heart of the Katrina
disaster, which is that we really need government in times like this, but
government is extremely limited in what it can effectively do.

Katrina was the most anticipated natural disaster in American history, and
still government managed to fail at every level.

For the brutal fact is, government tends toward bureaucracy, which means
elaborate paper flow but ineffective action. Government depends on planning, but planners can never really anticipate the inevitable complexity of events. And American government is inevitably divided and power is inevitably devolved.

For example, the Army Corps of Engineers had plenty of money (Louisiana
received more than any other state), but that spending was carved up into
little pork barrel projects. There were ample troops nearby to maintain
order, but they were divided between federal and state authorities and
constrained by regulations.

This preparedness plan is government as it really is. It reminds us that
canning Michael Brown or appointing some tough response czar will not change the endemic failures at the heart of this institutional collapse.

So of course we need limited but energetic government. But liberals who
think this disaster is going to set off a progressive revival need to
explain how a comprehensive governmental failure is going to restore
America's faith in big government.
28512  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Unorganized Militia on: September 14, 2005, 10:28:34 AM
Yes, the idiot mayor announced a mandatory evacuation, but he or someone else that no one would be forced to leave.  WTF?  rolleyes
28513  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 14, 2005, 08:24:36 AM
I'd quibble with the notion of responsibility trickling down to the state and local level-- rather THIS IS EXACTLY WHERE THE PRINCIPAL REPSONSIBILTY LAYS.
28514  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Unorganized Militia on: September 14, 2005, 05:21:18 AM
That's close to what I would say but IMHO gets involved in a couple of tangents.

She didn't want to leave her home.  She didn't want the police in her home.   The police came into her home anyway.  They told her it wasn't safe for her to stay.  She showed them that she had a gun with which she could defend herself.  She is disarmedby force and taken from her home by force.

The willies indeed.
28515  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Unorganized Militia on: September 13, 2005, 07:02:08 PM

Disagree with you on this one.  I don't have audio on my system at the moment, but my memory of this footage is that they entered her home to "persuade" her to leave.  Holding a gun by the barrel (unloaded IIRC) she showed them she had the means to protect herself.  Then this.



Defenseless On the Bayou
New Orleans gun confiscation is foolish and illegal

Dave Kopel

In the nearly two weeks since Hurricane Katrina, the government of New Orleans has devolved from its traditional status as an elective kleptocracy into something far more dangerous: an anarcho-tyranny that refuses to protect the public from criminals while preventing people from protecting themselves. At the orders of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, the New Orleans Police, the National Guard, the Oklahoma National Guard, and U.S. Marshals have begun breaking into homes at gunpoint, confiscating their lawfully-owned firearms, and evicting the residents. "No one is allowed to be armed. We're going to take all the guns," says P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police.

Last week, thousands of New Orleanians huddled in the Superdome and the Convention Center got a taste of anarcho-tyranny. Everyone entering those buildings was searched for firearms. So for a few days, they lived in a small world without guns. As in other such worlds, the weaker soon became the prey of the stronger. Tuesday's New Orleans Times-Picayune reported some of the grim results, as an Arkansas National Guardsman showed the reporter dozens of bodies rotting in a non-functional freezer.

In the rest of the city, some police officers abandoned their posts, while others joined the looting spree. For several days, the ones who stayed on the job did not act to stop the looting that was going on right in front of them. To the extent that any homes or businesses were saved, the saviors were the many good citizens of New Orleans who defended their families, homes, and businesses with their own firearms.

These people were operating within their legal rights. The law authorizes citizen's arrests for any felony, and in the past (in the 1964 case McKellar v. Mason), a Louisiana court held that shooting a property thief in the spine was a legitimate citizen's arrest.

The aftermath of the hurricane has featured prominent stories of citizens legitimately defending lives and property. New Orleans lies on the north side of the Mississippi River, and the city of Algiers is on the south. The Times-Picayune detailed how dozens of neighbors in one part of Algiers had formed a militia. After a car-jacking and an attack on a home by looters, the neighborhood recognized the need for a common defense; they shared firearms, took turns on patrol, and guarded the elderly. Although the initial looting had resulted in a gun battle, once the patrols began, the militia never had to fire a shot. Likewise, the Garden District of New Orleans, one of the city's top tourist attractions, was protected by armed residents.

The good gun-owning citizens of New Orleans and the surrounding areas ought to be thanked for helping to save some of their city after Mayor Nagin, incoherent and weeping, had fled to Baton Rouge. Yet instead these citizens are being victimized by a new round of home invasions and looting, these ones government-organized, for the purpose of firearms confiscation.

The Mayor and Governor do have the legal authority to mandate evacuation, but failure to comply is a misdemeanor; so the authority to use force to compel evacuation goes no further than the power to effect a misdemeanor arrest. The preemptive confiscation of every private firearm in the city far exceeds any reasonable attempt to carry out misdemeanor arrests for persons who disobey orders to leave.

Louisiana statutory law does allow some restrictions on firearms during extraordinary conditions. One statute says that after the Governor proclaims a state of emergency (as Governor Blanco has done), "the chief law enforcement officer of the political subdivision affected by the proclamation may...promulgate orders...regulating and controlling the possession, storage, display, sale, transport and use of firearms, other dangerous weapons and ammunition." But the statute does not, and could not, supersede the Louisiana Constitution, which declares that "The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged, but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed on the person."

The power of "regulating and controlling" is not the same as the power of "prohibiting and controlling." The emergency statute actually draws this distinction in its language, which refers to "prohibiting" price-gouging, sale of alcohol, and curfew violations, but only to "regulating and controlling" firearms. Accordingly, the police superintendent's order "prohibiting" firearms possession is beyond his lawful authority. It is an illegal order.

Last week, we saw an awful truth in New Orleans: A disaster can bring out predators ready to loot, rampage, and pillage the moment that they have the opportunity. Now we are seeing another awful truth: There is no shortage of police officers and National Guardsmen who will obey illegal orders to threaten peaceful citizens at gunpoint and confiscate their firearms.

Dave Kopel is Research Director of the Independence Institute
28516  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 13, 2005, 11:48:18 AM
Well this piece certainly belongs here in the Rant thread because it certainly isn't news reporting.

It leaves out the extraordinary sequence of incompetent f8ckups of Nagin and Blanco. I am left looking like a jewish Don King as I read about them.  Even as the article tries to maximize the blame for Bush, who certainly could and should have grasped the gravity of it all sooner, it glosses over that the "steely"  Tongue  rolleyes  gov.  refused to grant Fed intervention.

I despise Newspeak.

Try this for State level incompetence:

28517  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Bazoka Peruano. on: September 12, 2005, 11:07:58 PM
El Gachupin la describe muy bien-- gracias por haber mejorado mi torpe esfuerzo.

Si' es un "zip gun", pero es la primera vez que yo haya visto un zip gun/bazuka de cartuche de shotgun/escopeta.  Tipicamente aqui en los EEUU un zip gun es de .22 o un cartuche semajante.
28518  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Homeland Security on: September 12, 2005, 10:24:09 AM
Geopolitical Diary: Monday, Sept. 12, 2005

Al Qaeda released a new videotape on Sunday. It was the second time an American -- Adam Yahiye Gadahn -- appears to have served as a spokesman for the group. The critical message in his speech was: "Yesterday, London and Madrid; tomorrow, Los Angeles and Melbourne."

Also interesting was the fact that this tape was delivered to ABC News in Pakistan. Both of the tapes showing Gadahn were delivered by that route, while tapes featuring more senior al Qaeda officials are released via a Muslim media outlet, like Al Jazeera. There are two reasons for this, we would assume. First, Gadahn's value is that he is American and can speak directly and without translation in the United States; filtering his statements through Al Jazeera detracts from that. Second, al Qaeda must assume that an American broadcasting network operates under a security umbrella that is linked into the CIA and FBI. Even though they work through intermediaries, the trail can lead back to important individuals. When senior al Qaeda officials release statements, handing them to an Islamic outlet adds a layer of security; however, Gadahn's statements seem not to warrant that. We can assume from this that he is a link only back to the periphery of al Qaeda and is therefore less authoritative -- tracing his contacts wouldn't lead anyone back to the center.

Gadahn's statement also is interesting in that the new benchmarks being cited are Madrid and London, not the Sept. 11 attacks. For what little of value can be attributed to the statement, it seems to indicate that al Qaeda's ambitions no longer soar to the strategic attacks of Sept. 11, but that the group is satisfied with fairly pedestrian -- albeit murderous -- attacks via explosives aimed at public ground transportation.

The mention of Los Angeles is simply the mention of another American city. The mention of Melbourne is the mention of an Australian city. Al Qaeda certainly would like to hit a city in either country. Australia has been the major American ally in line behind Britain, and al Qaeda would want to punish it. Both major Australian cities have the usual transportation systems, and both have substantial Muslim populations.

Our view is that this communication has little importance in itself. The tape tells us nothing about what al Qaeda wants to do and far less about what it can do. Al Qaeda clearly has needed to attack the United States in the four years since Sept. 11 and has failed to do so. They also would need to attack Australia. We can assume that they will try to do both. We can make nothing out of this statement.

We are still back where we have been for months. From a political standpoint, al Qaeda needs to strike. From a capabilities standpoint, it does not seem to have the ability to mount sustained attacks, certainly not of the Sept. 11 variety. U.S. President George W. Bush, its nemesis, is clearly in trouble, with his positive ratings falling below 40 percent. From a political point of view, al Qaeda would very much like him to be repudiated in the United States. After Hurricane Katrina, a solid strike in the United States might convince people who favor the war in Iraq that Bush is incapable of devising a strategy to win it. So striking the United States makes more sense than striking Australia.

The problem al Qaeda seems to have is that it isn't capable of doing what it wants to do. In other words, whatever the problems in Iraq, the United States has crippled its operational capabilities. Instead of striking strategically, al Qaeda is settling for making fairly meaningless threats -- threats which at this point actually serve to reduce its credibility. If it could attack, it would. We are well past the point at which an attack is essential. Al Qaeda needs to do it and, from its point of view, it should be moving heaven and earth to do it. But it just can't seem to do it on any broad scale any longer.

Things can change, but at the moment, al Qaeda seems broken. Distinguish this from whether al Qaeda has sympathy and support in the Muslim world and hatred against the United States. Emotions do not, by themselves, create a global paramilitary organization. The emotions may be there, along with will. But the expertise seems to be missing.
28519  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Help our troops/our cause: on: September 11, 2005, 07:37:21 AM
To All Who Serve:

On this day I want to take a moment to express my deep and profound gratitude for what you do for us in the most difficult and trying of circumstances.

You are the edge of the sword that seeks to cut the Gordian's knot so as to open a part of the world to the same opportunities that most of us take for granted and by so doing drain the swamp that breeds a pestilence of religious fascism, thus making our homeland safe once again.

From where I sit here in safety, it looks like we can win and we can lose.  If the latter, it will not be because of you but rather because of those of us here at home who sabotage and undercut your work and give up, seeking Chamberlin's "peace in our time" with fanatics with whom such is not possible.  From where I sit in my armchair, I wish our President would step up to the political consequences of increasing your numbers (and pay and budgets!) so that the burden could be spread out, but please know that we are with you and that we count upon you.

Strength and Honor,
Marc Denny

28520  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: September 11, 2005, 07:23:55 AM
28521  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Bazoka Peruano. on: September 10, 2005, 10:41:14 PM
Bienvenidos aqui gachupin Cheesy

Hay dos tubos de metal (metal pipes).  Un tiene su diametro interior igual al diametro exterior de un cartuche de escopeta (shotgun shell).  El otro tubo tiene su diametro interior igual al diametro exterior del primero tubo y tiend un plato de metal con un corto clavo cubriendo la apertura de un fin del tubo ( a plate with a small nail which functions as a "firing pin" is welded to one end of the larger diameter pipe)  

Usando la fuerza de los brazos, uno se pega el tubo con el clavito al cartuche.

Me explico, o mi espanol es m*erda? embarassed

La precision de la apunteria es PESIMA.
28522  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politically (In)correct on: September 09, 2005, 06:38:28 PM

Unf*ckin' believable
28523  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Searching for a direction (path) on: September 09, 2005, 06:23:09 PM
Exactly so.

KK and Kali are distinctive and IMHO, blend in a very interesting way.  For the KK think of Muay Thai done at a run with swords, sticks, staffs, mai sowks.  KK is the military system from which the ring sport of MT descends.

PS:  The Invictus poem is very cool.  I will be using it.
28524  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 09, 2005, 11:23:51 AM

Oil for Food as Usual
The U.N.'s worst critics couldn't invent what the Volcker report shows.

Friday, September 9, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

"The scandal, quote, unquote, is, in my view, nonsense." Thus did Denis Halliday, a former United Nations Assistant Secretary General, opine in November 2004 on the U.N.'s Oil for Food program. With the release Wednesday of Paul Volcker's fourth report on Oil for Food, we have the clearest account yet of what this quote-unquote scandal is really about.

Let's begin with what this scandal is not about, at least not fundamentally. It is not about the dubious business practices of the Swiss Inspections company Cotecna, which was improperly awarded a multimillion-dollar Oil for Food contract while employing Secretary-General Kofi Annan's son Kojo, although this taught us something about the nepotism that typifies U.N. dealings. Nor is it about Kofi Annan's personal probity, which had been called into question by evidence that he was aware of, and tried to influence, the Cotecna bid. Mr. Volcker has found no conclusive proof on this score.

In other words, Oil for Food is not about some isolated incidents of perceived or actual wrongdoing during the course of a seven-year effort to maintain sanctions on Iraq, monitor its oil flows and feed its people. Oil for Food is a story about what the U.N. is. And our conclusion from reading the 847-page report is that the U.N. is Oil for Food.

To better understand the scandal, it helps to distinguish its political and managerial components. Responsibility for administering the program fell primarily to the U.N. Secretariat, which established the Office of Iraq Program (OIP) under the direction of Benon Sevan.

But the program itself was designed by members of the U.N. Security Council following protracted negotiations with the government of Saddam Hussein. It was the Security Council, for example, that approved Saddam's right to choose the companies, contractors and middlemen with whom Iraq would do business, and through which the entire program was corrupted. The Security Council also ran its own supervisory "661 Committee," named after the 1990 Security Council resolution that imposed sanctions on Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait.

The result of this bifurcated structure was that real responsibility for overseeing Oil for Food fell between two stools--and into the lap of Mr. Sevan and his staff. Mr. Volcker's previous reports tell us that Mr. Sevan was in the pay of the Iraqi government.

The current report adds to our knowledge of what the Iraqis got for their money. For example, Mr. Sevan and his staff failed to inform the Secretariat and the 661 Committee of the extent of Iraq's various kickback schemes--involving as many as 2,500 companies--and dismissed media reports about them as "groundless allegations, provocative suggestions and factual mistakes." Mr. Sevan also fought tooth-and-nail the Bush Administration's successful attempt to impose retroactive pricing standards on the sale of Iraqi oil, which helped curb some of Saddam's abuses.

However, part of the reason Mr. Sevan was able to get away with his malfeasance was that neither the Secretariat nor the 661 Committee showed any appetite to exercise their fiduciary obligations. Mr. Annan testified to the Committee that Mr. Sevan worked directly for the 661 Committee. Yet as the report acidly notes, "the difficulty with the Secretary-General's view is that he appointed Mr. Sevan and he created OIP in the first place." Maybe former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay should call Mr. Annan to testify as an expert witness at his trial.

This is an excerpt from the latest report of Paul Volcker's Independent Inquiry Committee on the United Nations' Oil for Food program. Benon Sevan, the former director of the Office of Iraq Program (OIP) that oversaw Oil for Food, has been accused by the Committee of taking nearly $150,000 in bribes from Iraq. "The 38th Floor" refers to Secretary General Kofi Annan's offices at U.N. headquarters. The "661 Committee" was a U.N. Security Council body, outside of Mr. Annan's Secretariat, which helped oversee the Oil for Food program.

"When interviewed by the Committee, the Secretary General, the Deputy Secretary-General [Louise Frechette] and [Chief of Staff Iqbal] Riza each struggled to rationalize the role of the 38th Floor in overseeing OIP. Instead, they offered conflicting views of their own responsibilities as well the functions of Mr. Sevan vis-a-vis the program. These inconsistencies demonstrate a basic confusion within the highest offices of the Secretariat. . . .

"When interviewed by the Committee, the Secretary General insisted that the program was "a very transparent operation"-"one of the most transparent programs [he has] seen" in terms of the process it required for reports to be made by the Secretariat to the Security Council. However, significant information was routinely withheld from the 661 Committee. Despite mounting evidence of a widespread kickback scheme, the Secretary General's quarterly reports never mentioned the emerging problem. . . .

"To be sure, the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General were apparently not aware of the full scope of evidence that OIP had accumulated and, clearly, Mr. Sevan bears responsibility for withholding information. . . . But the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General (and Mr. Riza) were aware of the kickback scheme at least as early as February 2001. The Secretary General discussed the kickback allegations and other sanctions violations with Mr. Sevan on numerous occasions. . . .

"In the final analysis, Mr. Sevan ran a $100 billion program with very little oversight from the supervisory authority that created his position and OIP. Through a combination of an unclear reporting structure, a lack of supervision by the 38th Floor, and a general unwillingness to recognize and address significant issues on the part of the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Sevan had substantial autonomy to shape the program's direction. He failed to resist and challenge the Iraqi regime's rampant sanctions violations through which the regime diverted billions of dollars away from the humanitarian effort."
Mr. Annan is also on record telling the Committee he viewed Oil for Food as "a very transparent operation." Yet as the report shows, Mr. Annan was himself complicit in covering up Iraqi violations of the sanctions regime. Specifically, Mr. Annan was aware of the kickback issue from at least February 2001, yet "the Secretary General's quarterly reports never mentioned the emerging problem." (See the report excerpt nearby.)

Why Mr. Annan chose to see no evil on Iraqi sanctions violations, much less use his bully pulpit to denounce it (as he later denounced the Iraq war as "illegal"), is an interesting question. Our sense is that the U.N. Secretariat as a whole took the view that the sanctions regime was immoral and that Saddam was within his rights to break free of it.

Whatever the case, the Secretariat had a more than willing partner in the 661 Committee, and for reasons that are more easily comprehended. Iraq regularly steered contracts to Security Council members it believed were friendly to its political interests. Russian companies, for instance, did $19 billion in oil deals with Iraq, and French companies sold Saddam $3 billion in humanitarian assistance (much of which, the report notes, was diverted for Iraqi military purposes).

It's no coincidence, comrade, that France and Russia, as well as China (which did its own thriving business with Saddam) consistently downplayed the kickback allegations and pushed to have the sanctions regime eased. Only the U.S. and Britain made any effort to monitor Oil for Food for fraud, although even these efforts were lackluster until the Bush Administration came to office. We should also note the U.S. was itself guilty of looking the other way when it came to Iraq's oil smuggling through allies Jordan and Turkey.

So it was that the largest fraud ever recorded in history came about. Press reports often cite the overall size of Oil for Food at $60 billion, but Mr. Volcker's report makes clear that the real figure was in excess of $100 billion. From this, Saddam was able to derive $10.2 billion from illicit transactions. But the important point is that he was able to steer 10 times that sum toward his preferred clients in the service of his political aims.

None of this happened by accident. Mr. Volcker's report is replete with examples of incompetent U.N. oversight and tales of political wrangling among the permanent members of the Security Council. But the abiding fact is that it was the Western powers, not Saddam, who wanted Oil for Food at virtually any cost, because it offered the appearance of a meaningful policy in the absence of a real one, namely regime change. And it was the political convenience of this chimera that led the U.S. and the U.K. to tolerate, and the rest of the Security Council to feast on, the opportunities for corruption that were inscribed in the very nature of the program.

As for the U.N., it proved its worth to Saddam as the one hall of mirrors in which such shenanigans could take place. Yet even now we are told that "at least" Oil for Food fed the Iraqi people when they were on the edge of starvation, and this is accounted a U.N. success. That is false. Oil for Food offered a lifeline of cash and influence to a regime that was starving its people. The program did not corrupt the U.N. so much as exploit its essential nature. Now Mr. Annan wants to use this report as an endorsement of his "reform" proposals. Only at the U.N. could he dare to think he could get away with this.
28525  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Well-armed People on: September 09, 2005, 11:11:46 AM
Constitutions and Emergencies:
The New York Times reports:

Waters were receding across this flood-beaten city today as police officers began confiscating weapons, including legally registered firearms, from civilians in preparation for a mass forced evacuation of the residents still living here.

No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns, or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass, the superintendent of police. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.

But that order apparently does not apply to the hundreds of security guards whom businesses and some wealthy individuals have hired to protect their property. The guards, who are civilians working for private security firms like Blackwater, are openly carrying M-16's and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.

Note, though, that the Louisiana Constitution, art. I, sec. 11 (enacted 1974), provides that

"The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged, but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed on the person."

Is there some implicit emergency exception to the right to bear arms here? On the other hand, doesn't the emergency make the right especially valuable to the rightsholders? Should it matter that the government seems willing to let "businesses and some wealthy individuals" hire to people use arms "to protect their property," but isn't willing to let less wealthy individuals use themselves and their friends and relatives to protect their property (and their bodies and their lives)?


In New Orleans
Troops Escalate Urgency of Evacuation

By Timothy Dwyer and Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 9, 2005; Page A01

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 8 -- Outside Kajun's Pub, between the relatively dry French Quarter and the heavily flooded Ninth Ward, bar owner JoAnn Guidos loaded up her 1991 Ford Econoline van with clothing, liquor and other necessities Thursday morning. After holding out for 10 days, Guidos and her friends were finally leaving New Orleans and heading to high ground.

The beer was still cold, thanks to a working generator, and hopes for customers were strong as the flood-ravaged city fills with thirsty soldiers and emergency workers.

Miles Smith is moved to a wheelchair after rescuers brought him to the convention center. Officials are trying to avoid force but want the city emptied of residents. (By Carol Guzy -- The Washington Post)
Pumps and Levees
Engineers are working to get five operational pump stations up to full capacity and to repair remaining breaches on two major canals.

Friday, Sept. 9, at noon ET
President Faces Series of Challenges
Washington Post associate editor Robert G. Kaiser discusses the current issues challenging President Bush, from the Supreme Court to Hurricane Katrina to the war in Iraq.
Katrina's Aftermath in the Gulf Coast
Latest News, Videos and More


Katrina Photos and Video

Hurricane Katrina brought unprecedented destruction to the Gulf Coast. View the Post's multimedia coverage of the disaster. (Shannon Stapleton - Reuters)

How to Help
Online and Other Resources
Resources for finding missing persons and for getting and giving emergency assistance.
Blog: The Impact on Washington
As the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina continues to unfold, this Web log will track the ways that the Washington community is touched by the tragedy.

Blog: Impact on Washington  
Share Your Stories  
Katrina Online Q&As
Tuesday, Sept. 6, 3 p.m. ET:Hurricane Katrina: First Person
Transcript:Hurricane Katrina: Insurance Claims
Transcript:Hurricane Katrina: Gas Prices Soar
Friday, Sept. 2, at 2 p.m. ET:Public Safety Growing Concern in Hurricane's Wake
Transcript:Hurricane Katrina: Public Health
More Stories
Who's Blogging?
Read what bloggers are saying about this article.

Musings of The GeekWithA.45
baelzar (baelzar)

 Full List of Blogs (2 links) ?

But on Wednesday night, Guidos said, armed federal agents identifying themselves as U.S. marshals confiscated her weapons and ordered her and six friends to leave by noon Thursday.

"When you get 15 M-16s pointed at you and they line you up against the wall, it's kind of scary," said Guidos, 55.

With floodwaters continuing to recede and cleanup efforts beginning in earnest, police and the military set out on an aggressive door-to-door campaign here Thursday, urging remaining residents to leave or be removed by force.

The former Big Easy took on the air of a military encampment, as thousands of reserve and active-duty troops began patrolling the city and assisting police in search-and-rescue missions. Houses were marked with codes indicating whether any residents -- living or dead -- were found inside. Emergency workers intensified efforts to divide the city into grids in order to methodically retrieve an unknown number of corpses still in the floodwaters or entombed in ruined homes and businesses.

Although the mayor issued a forcible evacuation order, Louisiana and federal officials said they remained hopeful that most stragglers will leave voluntarily when faced with urgent warnings about dwindling supplies and hazardous floodwaters.

"We need everybody out so we can continue with the work of restoring this city," Vice Admiral Thad W. Allen, the U.S. Coast Guard chief of staff who has taken over the federal response in New Orleans, said early in the day on CBS.

P. Edwin Compass, the superintendent of police, said there are thousands of people remaining in the city but that authorities are determined to get everyone out. He said as little force as necessary would be used but that staying is not an option. Anyone with a weapon, even one legally registered, will have it confiscated, he said.

"No one will be able to be armed," Compass said. "Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns."

The evacuation effort, however, appeared haphazard at best. Affluent areas that were not flooded, such as parts of the Garden District and Uptown, appear to be a low priority for mandatory evacuations.

In the dry neighborhood of Marigny Triangle, residents lounged in lawn chairs while listening to music blaring from "Radio Marigny," an impromptu outdoor music station. The area remained largely untouched by floodwaters, and residents say they see little reason to leave.

Page 2 of 3   < BackBack      NextNext >

Troops Escalate Urgency of Evacuation
Peter and Amy Bas, who have four children ages 5 to 14, noted that they had already cleaned debris from their street. As the couple relaxed in their front yard, a Louisiana state trooper cruised by and asked if they needed diapers.

"Where are we going to go?" Peter Bas asked. "They're going to take us and put us somewhere with 5,000 other people? We're going to stay."

Miles Smith is moved to a wheelchair after rescuers brought him to the convention center. Officials are trying to avoid force but want the city emptied of residents. (By Carol Guzy -- The Washington Post)
Pumps and Levees
Engineers are working to get five operational pump stations up to full capacity and to repair remaining breaches on two major canals.

Friday, Sept. 9, at noon ET
President Faces Series of Challenges
Washington Post associate editor Robert G. Kaiser discusses the current issues challenging President Bush, from the Supreme Court to Hurricane Katrina to the war in Iraq.
Katrina's Aftermath in the Gulf Coast
Latest News, Videos and More


Katrina Photos and Video

Hurricane Katrina brought unprecedented destruction to the Gulf Coast. View the Post's multimedia coverage of the disaster. (Shannon Stapleton - Reuters)

How to Help
Online and Other Resources
Resources for finding missing persons and for getting and giving emergency assistance.
Blog: The Impact on Washington
As the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina continues to unfold, this Web log will track the ways that the Washington community is touched by the tragedy.

Blog: Impact on Washington  
Share Your Stories  
Katrina Online Q&As
Tuesday, Sept. 6, 3 p.m. ET:Hurricane Katrina: First Person
Transcript:Hurricane Katrina: Insurance Claims
Transcript:Hurricane Katrina: Gas Prices Soar
Friday, Sept. 2, at 2 p.m. ET:Public Safety Growing Concern in Hurricane's Wake
Transcript:Hurricane Katrina: Public Health
More Stories
Who's Blogging?
Read what bloggers are saying about this article.

Musings of The GeekWithA.45
baelzar (baelzar)

 Full List of Blogs (2 links) ?

Amy Bas added: "It could happen, but you think you're living in America and nobody is going to make you leave your home."

Police and the National Guard were aided by hundreds of paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division, who canvassed the French Quarter and neighborhoods surrounding the convention center and Superdome.

Active-duty U.S. troops such as the 82nd Airborne lack law enforcement authority in a domestic city such as New Orleans, and therefore must avoid direct involvement in forcibly evicting people. Local police warned that they expected friction with residents as they moved forcefully to pull them out, 82nd Airborne commanders said.

The paratroopers, along with other U.S. soldiers, patrolled parts of the city section by section in boats, trucks and on foot, looking to persuade more stragglers to leave.

"Hey! Evacuation!" Sgt. Geriah McAvin, 27, of Detroit yelled toward a block of red brick apartments as his 82nd Airborne platoon rolled into a flooded housing project in two lumbering, five-ton trucks. "Hey! We're here to take you out of here."

One man on crutches waved to the passing trucks from his front stoop. But when the five-ton circled around to get him, he hesitated.

"You're not taking me to the Superdome?" asked Alfred Jones, 43.

"No Superdome!" Dennison said.

Eventually, Jones gave in, wincing and moaning in pain as the soldiers lifted him onto the truck. Jones, who lived alone, has severe arthritis in his legs and said he had survived with the help of a friend who brought him food. But his friend left a few days ago, and Jones had not eaten for at least a day and he ran out of water on Wednesday. Given his leg condition, waving down a helicopter was out of the question, he said.

With major levee breaks patched earlier this week, and a growing number of pumps sending water into nearby Lake Pontchartrain, the floodwaters appeared to be dropping quickly on Thursday. Drier conditions in many areas allowed crews to step up efforts clearing branches, lumber, bricks and other debris, piling the rubble along roadsides and trolley tracks on St. Charles Avenue and other once-picturesque boulevards.
28526  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Well-armed People on: September 09, 2005, 10:42:31 AM
A friend posts on another forum:

Did anybody ever answer that question about whether Louisiana law allowed or prohibited such? I know the U.S. Supreme Court has already weighed in on several firearms cases at a national level, and the Supreme Court never took the Morton Grove, IL gun ban case, thus allowing the decision of the 7th Circuit to stand:

U.S. v. Cruikshank (1876) involved members of the Ku Klux Klan depriving black victims of their basic rights such as freedom of assembly and to bear arms. The court decided that neither the First nor Second Amendments applied to the states, but were limitations on Congress. Thus the federal government had no power to correct these violations, rather the citizens had to rely on the police power of the states for their protection from private individuals.

Presser v. Illinois (1886) ruled that the states had the right to strictly regulate private military groups and associations. It also reaffirmed the Cruikshank decision that the Second Amendment acts as a limitation upon the federal government and not the states.

QUILICI vs. VILLAGE OF MORTON GROVE (1982): None of these arguments has merit. First, appellants offer no authority, other than their own opinions, to support their arguments that Presser is no longer good law or would have been decided differently today. Indeed, the fact that the Supreme Court continues to cite Presser leads to the opposite conclusion. Second, regardless of whether appellants agree with the Presser analysis, it is the law of the land and we are bound by it. Their assertion that Presser is illogical is a policy matter for the Supreme Court to address...The Supreme Court has specifically rejected the proposition that the entire Bill of Rights applies to the states through the fourteenth amendment. Since we hold that the second amendment does not apply to the states, we need not consider the scope of its guarantee of the right to bear arms. For the sake of completeness, however, and because appellants devote a large portion of their briefs to this issue, we briefly comment on what we believe to be the scope of the second amendment. Because the second amendment is not applicable to Morton Grove and because possession of handguns by individuals is not part of the right to keep and bear arms, Ordinance No. 81-11 does not violate the second amendment.

So it seems that the legal answer lies with state law???...
28527  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / New Orleans: lessons 4 walking as a warrior 4 all your days on: September 09, 2005, 10:36:01 AM 8502

Gun confiscation clip from NO


Constitutions and Emergencies:
The New York Times reports:

Waters were receding across this flood-beaten city today as police officers began confiscating weapons, including legally registered firearms, from civilians in preparation for a mass forced evacuation of the residents still living here.

No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns, or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass, the superintendent of police. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.

But that order apparently does not apply to the hundreds of security guards whom businesses and some wealthy individuals have hired to protect their property. The guards, who are civilians working for private security firms like Blackwater, are openly carrying M-16's and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.

Note, though, that the Louisiana Constitution, art. I, sec. 11 (enacted 1974), provides that

"The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged, but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed on the person."

Is there some implicit emergency exception to the right to bear arms here? On the other hand, doesn't the emergency make the right especially valuable to the rightsholders? Should it matter that the government seems willing to let "businesses and some wealthy individuals" hire to people use arms "to protect their property," but isn't willing to let less wealthy individuals use themselves and their friends and relatives to protect their property (and their bodies and their lives)?
28528  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Geo Political matters on: September 09, 2005, 07:16:07 AM
Geopolitical Diary: Friday, Sept. 9, 2005

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko fired his entire government, including Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko and National Security and Defense Council head Pyotr Poroshenko, on Thursday, accusing them of corruption and gross mismanagement, and of waging an internal power struggle. The move signals not only a severe government crisis, but also the end of the broad coalition that came to power as a result of the pro-Western "Orange Revolution" last December. A new coalition must be formed by anyone seeking to obtain or retain power in Kiev -- and the future course of Ukraine has been thrown into question.

The collapse of the "Orange Revolution" coalition opens up a new round in the battle for influence being waged by Russia and the United States in Moscow's traditional sphere of control. Though officially it remains aloof, Moscow will be quietly encouraging Yushchenko to, first, cooperate with Russia in the near term and, second, to create a broad coalition of pro-Russian forces that would be capable of winning parliamentary elections next March. And Washington will attempt to form a new anti-Russian bloc around the incumbent before the elections are due.

Given what's at stake, a geopolitical clash over Ukraine is virtually unavoidable. From Moscow's viewpoint, Russia's very survival over the long term is on the table: If Ukraine -- nestled in its geographic underbelly and connected to it by numerous political and economic vessels -- is hostile, Russia in its current form could not long continue as a viable geopolitical entity. And Washington, which is conducting a broad offensive against Moscow and its allies in the former Soviet Union, needs Ukraine as a partner for the same reasons.

The destruction of the Orange Revolution coalition improves Moscow's odds of bringing Kiev back to its side. Russian officials certainly are mindful of their critical failure last winter, when -- with Ukraine bitterly divided between pro-Western and pro-Russian factions -- their own supercilious demeanor toward the former vassal state and clumsy PR efforts alienated millions of hesitant Ukrainian voters. While flying from Germany to Greece on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Yushchenko, and appeared to give him tacit support -- saying later that Yushchenko controls the situation in Ukraine and that the crisis there is a private matter for Kiev.

Though Putin has his own reasons not to be seen as meddling in Ukraine's affairs, he has several motives in initiating a dialogue with Yushchenko -- not least of which is to gain his buy-in on forming a United Economic Space, consisting of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus, the core former Soviert Union countries. Moscow very well might succeed in this effort, since many of the most quarrelsome Ukrainian officials have now been thrown out of the government and Yushchenko thus far has been careful not to challenge Russia openly. However, the very close relationship between Yushchenko and Washington is a potential spanner in the works.

That's why Moscow is pursuing a two-pronged strategy in Ukraine, with the parallel thrust of unifying all potentially pro-Russian factions that would be capable of winning in parliamentary elections next spring. The goal would be to form these forces into a coalition either prior to the elections, running as an identifiable bloc, or a parliamentary coalition formed afterward.

For its part, Washington will continue to support the incumbent, trying to form a new anti-Moscow bloc around him before the elections. In fact, according to sources in the Ukrainian government, it was only after discussing his move with the U.S. embassy in Kiev that Yushchenko dared to fire Prime Minister Timoshenko and her Cabinet -- something he had been longing to do for months, after Timoshenko launched a power struggle against him. If these sources are correct, it would signal that Washington saw Timoshenko's continued presence in government as a threat to Yushchenko, who the Bush administration strongly supports, and blessed her ouster.

Thus, Washington's support for Yushchenko is not in question -- but because he no longer commands a majority in Parliament or among the electorate, American diplomats and nongovernmental organizations will try to help him find new or recover old allies who would support his pro-U.S. agenda.

As for the future in Kiev -- it is a foregone conclusion that coalitions will form, since there are no political forces in Ukraine capable of winning an outright majority. The unsettling thing about such pre-election coalitions is that their members will not be particular about who they side with: the main point is to get into power. The jockeying will be all the more keen in the coming months because of a political reform taking effect: The Parliament elected next spring will be the main power in government, with the right to elect the president through its vote. Knowing this, Moscow and Washington will wage a particularly fierce competition of their own, seeking to draw Ukrainian heavyweights to their side.

All of which brings us to the question of one heavyweight in particular -- Yulia Timoshenko, the just-dismissed prime minister -- and the theatrics that can be expected on the road to Ukraine's elections.

Timoshenko is a colorful figure -- known by some as "unruly Yulia" and by others as "Mrs. 100 Million" (though we suspect she might be worth more). There is no love lost between her and either Washington or Moscow -- yet both the United States and Russia will be seeking her support for their candidates in the elections. Because of her populist statements and image as a decisive leader, Timoshenko remains popular among significant portions of the Ukrainian electorate.

And in this political environment, which in the last year has been rife with suspicious political "suicides" and even the dioxin poisoning of Yushchenko during his presidential campaign, there are absolutely no scenarios that can be ruled out as impossible. On the one hand, Timoshenko -- who, let us remind ourselves, has just been fired on allegations of conspiring against Yushchenko -- could join with him again under a pro-U.S. banner: Indeed, she has business ties to Boris Berezovsky, a staunchly anti-Putin oligarch living in exile in London. But on the other hand, Timoshenko could as easily join forces with pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine's former prime minister, who said Thursday he would invite her to join a pro-Moscow bloc.

There is yet a third possibility for Timoshenko: Unless we miss our guess, she might once again live up to her "unruly" reputation and choose an independent course in the elections, leaving both Moscow and Washington out in the cold.
28529  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / New Orleans: lessons 4 walking as a warrior 4 all your days on: September 09, 2005, 07:06:17 AM
Woof All:

DBMA has as its mission statement "Walk as a Warrior for all your days" and the Katrina events are worth studying and reflecting upon deeply in this regard.

The first and most obvious point is that one needs to be prepared for emergency situations.  Food, water, guns and plenty of ammo come to mind.

With regard to guns, I am flabbergasted to hear that here in the land of the free that as part of the mandatory evacuation that guns are being confiscated evil  evil  evil  In a time of genuine criminal anarchy, the government seeks to disarm the people?!?!?!?   evil  evil  evil  Are these reports true or is it internet hyperventilation?  Does anyone have more on this?

Crafty Dog

U.S.: Hurricane Katrina and the Breakdown in NOPD
As conditions in southern Louisiana deteriorated in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) ceased to function as an effective security force. It can be argued that any police force faced with such devastation and chaos eventually would find itself overwhelmed by the job at hand. NOPD, however, disintegrated faster than a well-organized, well-trained and disciplined force should have. As a result, officers were unable to contain the mass looting that occurred or prevent violence at refugee shelters.

On Sept. 2, just three days after Hurricane Katrina hit, witnesses reported seeing NOPD personnel involved in the looting of the Wal-Mart retail store on Tchoupitoulas Street. According to reports, the officers lost control of the situation at the store, which had been turned into a distribution center for food and essential supplies. Mass desertions and resignations from the force also were reported.

Plagued by repeated scandal, the NOPD is not considered, shall we say, one of the country's least-corrupt police departments. Although steps have been taken in recent years to clean up the department, its near-immediate breakdown after the hurricane certainly raises questions -- at least in the area of discipline within the ranks. A poorly disciplined military or police organization faced with significant obstacles or challenges often disintegrates faster and more completely than would a well-disciplined organization. In fact, the security situation in New Orleans following Katrina is similar in many ways to the breakdown in authority that plagues countries in Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia during major natural disasters.

During the 1980s and 1990s, NOPD held the top positions among U.S. police forces in the categories of police brutality, corruption and incompetence, according to Temple University police abuse expert James Fyfe. Between 1993 and 1998, 50 NOPD officers were arrested for felonies, including homicide, rape, and armed robbery, Fyfe reported. During this period, the FBI assigned agents to the force to reform its internal affairs division, and the Department of Justice opened an investigation into allegations of civil rights abuses by the department. While this was going on, the crime rate in New Orleans was one of the highest in the country, earning the city the nickname, "Murder Capital of the U.S.A," during the mid-1990s.

Perhaps the most serious incident occurred in October 1994, when an NOPD officer was arrested and charged with killing New Orleans resident Kim Groves, a 32-year-old mother of three who had filed a police brutality complaint against the officer. The officer was convicted and sentenced to death for ordering Grove's death "under color of law."

Richard Pennington took over as NOPD superintendent in 1994 and began a crackdown on police corruption. In addition, partially as a result of federal scrutiny, New Orleans began a series of police reforms in early 1997. Crime rates and corruption dropped as a result, but many observers believe serious problems with discipline and corruption persisted.

Several cases of officer corruption that have come to light in the recent past, in fact, suggest that the NOPD still has some internal cleansing to do. In May 2004, an NOPD officer was arrested for allegedly plotting to rob the city's Hibernia National Bank, where he worked part-time as a security guard. Two months later, another officer was sentenced to 18 months in jail for extorting money from people in the French Quarter by threatening to arrest them if they did not withdraw money from their ATM accounts. In August, right before Hurricane Katrina hit, a NOPD officer was arrested and charged with the rape of a woman he had detained. Also in August, according to The Associated Press, allegations surfaced that two officers had beaten a man before dropping him off at a hospital. The department said little about the case, but Police Superintendent Edwin Compass ordered an investigation and called in the FBI to help.

Furthermore, the homicide rate has been inching up again. By mid-August, 192 killings had been reported for 2005, compared with 169 at the same time in 2004. Adjusted for the city's size, those numbers dwarf murder rates in Washington, Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City, according to AP figures.

Following the claims of officer-involved looting, Compass rose to the defense of his beleaguered department Sept. 5, angrily refuting allegations of cowardice and incompetence on the part of his officers. Responding to reports that about 400 officers from his 1,700-strong force were unaccounted for, Compass countered that some of his officers had worked themselves to the point of exhaustion. Compass also reported that two of his officers committed suicide as the situation around them descended into anarchy.

During the days following the hurricane, NOPD suffered a serious breakdown in command and control, as many units -- cut off from department headquarters due to communication failures caused by the hurricane and flooding -- lacked a way to receive information and orders from higher up. This fact certainly made it extremely difficult to maintain discipline and a functioning organizational structure -- but not impossible. There is no way of determining at this point how many of the 400 missing officers deserted their post.

Although many NOPD officers undoubtedly performed their duties with bravery, dignity and valor, the breakdown in law and order indicates serious shortcomings on the part of police force as a whole. Levees, homes and business must be rebuilt if New Orleans is to recover from the devastation. The police force, it appears, also will need rebuilding.
Send questions or comments
28530  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / KALI TUDO (tm) Article on: September 09, 2005, 06:58:34 AM

Tail wags for the kind words Mike.

My travel load has been very heavy of late and as I catch up I will post here some of the many reviews from around the 'net.

Crafty Dog
28531  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Searching for a direction (path) on: September 09, 2005, 06:55:33 AM
Woof Invictus:

A hearty woof of amen to the suggestion of my good friend Dogzilla!

As for DVDs/videos, may I suggest , , , ahem , , , our first series as being a good place to start?  At the moment it is available only in VHS (and VERY reasonably priced!) but, as described in a thread nearby, it will be available in DVD soon.

Crafty Dog

PS:  What is the meaning of "Invictus"?
28532  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Crafty Dog in Zurich, Switzerland Sept 3-4 on: September 09, 2005, 06:50:48 AM
Woof All:

As always a stellar time with my good friends Lonely Dog, Cornelia & Robin.

On Friday evening and Saturday morning the training was "DBMA Instructors only".  After discussing why knife has not been part of the DBMA public curriculum so far and how we will be handling it in the future,  I went into what is still closed door material for knife defense that will be coming out in a few months as well as some material that will remain in-house.

Attending the main seminar were people from Norway, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.  

By popular request, the Saturday seminar started with "Kali Tudo (r)" and stayed there.  It was the first time I ever did a full day of empty hand and it was a lot of fun.

On Sunday we focused on "Los Triques Single Stick" and finished with "KT elbows for clinch".

After that it was time for the "DB Invitational Gathering of the Pack".  A great pleasure for me to see so many, several fighting like this for the first time, to do so well.   As always, Lonely Dog was formidable and his staff fight with Dog Ivan was the fight of the day-- on the basis of this fight Ivan is now Ivan "C-Kuma Dog" Riboli  (Kuma being Japanese for "Bear")  A hearty howl of congratulations to C-Kuma Dog!!!

Crafty Dog
28533  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Krabi Krabong in the Movies on: September 08, 2005, 10:55:51 AM
"The Man with the Golden Gun"
28534  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Shoulder Problems and Stick Fighting on: September 05, 2005, 10:28:35 AM
"The Seven Minute Rotator Cuff Solution"
I foreget the author's name, but it was publishzed and sold by "Health for Life" (Jerry Robinson)
28535  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 04, 2005, 04:51:51 PM
by Robert Tracinski

It has taken four long days for state and federal officials to figure out how to deal with the disaster in New Orleans. I can't blame them, because it has also taken me four long days to figure out what is going on there. The reason is that the events there make no sense if you think that we are confronting a natural disaster.

If this is just a natural disaster, the response for public officials is obvious: you bring in food, water, and doctors; you send transportation to evacuate refugees to temporary shelters; you send engineers to stop the flooding and rebuild the city's infrastructure. For journalists, natural disasters also have a familiar pattern: the heroism of ordinary people pulling together to survive; the hard work and dedication of doctors, nurses, and rescue workers; the steps being taken to clean up and rebuild.

Public officials did not expect that the first thing they would have to do is to send thousands of armed troops in armored vehicle, as if they are suppressing an enemy insurgency. And journalists--myself included--did not expect that the story would not be about rain, wind, and flooding, but about rape, murder, and looting.

But this is not a natural disaster. It is a man-made disaster.

The man-made disaster is not an inadequate or incompetent response by federal relief agencies, and it was not directly caused by Hurricane Katrina. This is where just about every newspaper and television channel has gotten the story wrong.

The man-made disaster we are now witnessing in New Orleans did not happen over the past four days. It happened over the past four decades. Hurricane Katrina merely exposed it to public view.

The man-made disaster is the welfare state.

For the past few days, I have found the news from New Orleans to be confusing. People were not behaving as you would expect them to behave in an emergency--indeed, they were not behaving as they have behaved in other emergencies. That is what has shocked so many people: they have been saying that this is not what we expect from America. In fact, it is not even what we expect from a Third World country.

When confronted with a disaster, people usually rise to the occasion. They work together to rescue people in danger, and they spontaneously organize to keep order and solve problems. This is especially true in America. We are an enterprising people, used to relying on our own initiative rather than waiting around for the government to take care of us. I have seen this a hundred times, in small examples (a small town whose main traffic light had gone out, causing ordinary citizens to get out of their cars and serve as impromptu traffic cops, directing cars through the intersection) and large ones (the spontaneous response of New Yorkers to September 11).

So what explains the chaos in New Orleans?

To give you an idea of the magnitude of what is going on, here is a description from a Washington Times story:

"Storm victims are raped and beaten; fights erupt with flying fists, knives and guns; fires are breaking out; corpses litter the streets; and police and rescue helicopters are repeatedly fired on.

"The plea from Mayor C. Ray Nagin came even as National Guardsmen poured in to restore order and stop the looting, carjackings and gunfire....

"Last night, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said 300 Iraq-hardened Arkansas National Guard members were inside New Orleans with shoot-to-kill orders.

" 'These troops are...under my orders to restore order in the streets,' she said. 'They have M-16s, and they are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and they are more than willing to do so if necessary and I expect they will.' "

The reference to Iraq is eerie. The photo that accompanies this article shows National Guard troops, with rifles and armored vests, riding on an armored vehicle through trash-strewn streets lined by a rabble of squalid, listless people, one of whom appears to be yelling at them. It looks exactly like a scene from Sadr City in Baghdad.

What explains bands of thugs using a natural disaster as an excuse for an orgy of looting, armed robbery, and rape? What causes unruly mobs to storm the very buses that have arrived to evacuate them, causing the drivers to drive away, frightened for their lives? What causes people to attack the doctors trying to treat patients at the Super Dome?

Why are people responding to natural destruction by causing further destruction? Why are they attacking the people who are trying to help them?

My wife, Sherri, figured it out first, and she figured it out on a sense-of-life level. While watching the coverage last night on Fox News Channel, she told me that she was getting a familiar feeling. She studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Chicago, which is located in the South Side of Chicago just blocks away from the Robert Taylor Homes, one of the largest high-rise public housing projects in America. "The projects," as they were known, were infamous for uncontrollable crime and irremediable squalor. (They have since, mercifully, been demolished.)

What Sherri was getting from last night's television coverage was a whiff of the sense of life of "the projects." Then the "crawl"--the informational phrases flashed at the bottom of the screen on most news channels--gave some vital statistics to confirm this sense: 75% of the residents of New Orleans had already evacuated before the hurricane, and of the 300,000 or so who remained, a large number were from the city's public housing projects. Jack Wakeland then gave me an additional, crucial fact: early reports from CNN and Fox indicated that the city had no plan for evacuating all of the prisoners in the city's jails--so they just let many of them loose. There is no doubt a significant overlap between these two populations--that is, a large number of people in the jails used to live in the housing projects, and vice versa.

There were many decent, innocent people trapped in New Orleans when the deluge hit--but they were trapped alongside large numbers of people from two groups: criminals--and wards of the welfare state, people selected, over decades, for their lack of initiative and self-induced helplessness. The welfare wards were a mass of sheep--on whom the incompetent administration of New Orleans unleashed a pack of wolves.

All of this is related, incidentally, to the apparent incompetence of the city government, which failed to plan for a total evacuation of the city, despite the knowledge that this might be necessary. But in a city corrupted by the welfare state, the job of city officials is to ensure the flow of handouts to welfare recipients and patronage to political supporters--not to ensure a lawful, orderly evacuation in case of emergency.

No one has really reported this story, as far as I can tell. In fact, some are already actively distorting it, blaming President Bush, for example, for failing to personally ensure that the Mayor of New Orleans had drafted an adequate evacuation plan. The worst example is an execrable piece from the Toronto Globe and Mail, by a supercilious Canadian who blames the chaos on American "individualism." But the truth is precisely the opposite: the chaos was caused by a system that was the exact opposite of individualism.

What Hurricane Katrina exposed was the psychological consequences of the welfare state. What we consider "normal" behavior in an emergency is behavior that is normal for people who have values and take the responsibility to pursue and protect them. People with values respond to a disaster by fighting against it and doing whatever it takes to overcome the difficulties they face. They don't sit around and complain that the government hasn't taken care of them. They don't use the chaos of a disaster as an opportunity to prey on their fellow men.

But what about criminals and welfare parasites? Do they worry about saving their houses and property? They don't, because they don't own anything. Do they worry about what is going to happen to their businesses or how they are going to make a living? They never worried about those things before. Do they worry about crime and looting? But living off of stolen wealth is a way of life for them.

The welfare state--and the brutish, uncivilized mentality it sustains and encourages--is the man-made disaster that explains the moral ugliness that has swamped New Orleans. And that is the story that no one is reporting.

Source: TIA Daily -- September 2, 2005
28536  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Seminarios on: September 04, 2005, 02:13:58 AM
Gracias por tu interes.  En este momento estoy en Suiz, pero al regresar al los EU, te contestare'.
28537  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Well-armed People on: September 02, 2005, 08:40:24 AM
Woof All:

I am in Switzerland at the moment and have imperfect access to my usual sources-- I have been reading about there being a lot of crime, disorder etc in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina.  

It would seem that this sort of situation is highly relevant to the right rto bear arms.  Any one with interesting reports, comments, thoughts?

Crafty Dog
28538  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Guau on: August 30, 2005, 04:36:44 PM
Parto en unos minutos para Suisa para presentar un seminario para Benjamin "Lonely Dog" Rittiner este fin de semana.  (Los datos esta'n en la pagina de seminarios)
28539  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Help our troops/our cause: on: August 30, 2005, 05:51:54 AM

28540  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Voy a Peru 18 de Julio. on: August 30, 2005, 04:49:53 AM
Las memorias que esa foto tiene me da una sonrisa.

28541  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: August 29, 2005, 06:38:29 PM
A War to Be Proud Of
From the September 5 / September 12, 2005 issue: The case for overthrowing Saddam was unimpeachable. Why, then, is the administration tongue-tied?
by Christopher Hitchens
09/05/2005, Volume 010, Issue 47


LET ME BEGIN WITH A simple sentence that, even as I write it, appears less than Swiftian in the modesty of its proposal: "Prison conditions at Abu Ghraib have improved markedly and dramatically since the arrival of Coalition troops in Baghdad."

I could undertake to defend that statement against any member of Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International, and I know in advance that none of them could challenge it, let alone negate it. Before March 2003, Abu Ghraib was an abattoir, a torture chamber, and a concentration camp. Now, and not without reason, it is an international byword for Yankee imperialism and sadism. Yet the improvement is still, unarguably, the difference between night and day. How is it possible that the advocates of a post-Saddam Iraq have been placed on the defensive in this manner? And where should one begin?

I once tried to calculate how long the post-Cold War liberal Utopia had actually lasted. Whether you chose to date its inception from the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, or the death of Nicolae Ceausescu in late December of the same year, or the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, or the referendum defeat suffered by Augusto Pinochet (or indeed from the publication of Francis Fukuyama's book about the "end of history" and the unarguable triumph of market liberal pluralism), it was an epoch that in retrospect was over before it began. By the middle of 1990, Saddam Hussein had abolished Kuwait and Slobodan Milosevic was attempting to erase the identity and the existence of Bosnia. It turned out that we had not by any means escaped the reach of atavistic, aggressive, expansionist, and totalitarian ideology. Proving the same point in another way, and within approximately the same period, the theocratic dictator of Iran had publicly claimed the right to offer money in his own name for the suborning of the murder of a novelist living in London, and the g?nocidaire faction in Rwanda had decided that it could probably get away with putting its long-fantasized plan of mass murder into operation.

One is not mentioning these apparently discrepant crimes and nightmares as a random or unsorted list. Khomeini, for example, was attempting to compensate for the humiliation of the peace agreement he had been compelled to sign with Saddam Hussein. And Saddam Hussein needed to make up the loss, of prestige and income, that he had himself suffered in the very same war. Milosevic (anticipating Putin, as it now seems to me, and perhaps Beijing also) was riding a mutation of socialist nationalism into national socialism. It was to be noticed in all cases that the aggressors, whether they were killing Muslims, or exalting Islam, or just killing their neighbors, shared a deep and abiding hatred of the United States.

The balance sheet of the Iraq war, if it is to be seriously drawn up, must also involve a confrontation with at least this much of recent history. Was the Bush administration right to leave--actually to confirm--Saddam Hussein in power after his eviction from Kuwait in 1991? Was James Baker correct to say, in his delightfully folksy manner, that the United States did not "have a dog in the fight" that involved ethnic cleansing for the mad dream of a Greater Serbia? Was the Clinton administration prudent in its retreat from Somalia, or wise in its opposition to the U.N. resolution that called for a preemptive strengthening of the U.N. forces in Rwanda?

I know hardly anybody who comes out of this examination with complete credit. There were neoconservatives who jeered at Rushdie in 1989 and who couldn't see the point when Sarajevo faced obliteration in 1992. There were leftist humanitarians and radicals who rallied to Rushdie and called for solidarity with Bosnia, but who--perhaps because of a bad conscience about Palestine--couldn't face a confrontation with Saddam Hussein even when he annexed a neighbor state that was a full member of the Arab League and of the U.N. (I suppose I have to admit that I was for a time a member of that second group.) But there were consistencies, too. French statecraft, for example, was uniformly hostile to any resistance to any aggression, and Paris even sent troops to rescue its filthy clientele in Rwanda. And some on the hard left and the brute right were also opposed to any exercise, for any reason, of American military force.

The only speech by any statesman that can bear reprinting from that low, dishonest decade came from Tony Blair when he spoke in Chicago in 1999. Welcoming the defeat and overthrow of Milosevic after the Kosovo intervention, he warned against any self-satisfaction and drew attention to an inescapable confrontation that was coming with Saddam Hussein. So far from being an American "poodle," as his taunting and ignorant foes like to sneer, Blair had in fact leaned on Clinton over Kosovo and was insisting on the importance of Iraq while George Bush was still an isolationist governor of Texas.

Notwithstanding this prescience and principle on his part, one still cannot read the journals of the 2000/2001 millennium without the feeling that one is revisiting a hopelessly somnambulist relative in a neglected home. I am one of those who believe, uncynically, that Osama bin Laden did us all a service (and holy war a great disservice) by his mad decision to assault the American homeland four years ago. Had he not made this world-historical mistake, we would have been able to add a Talibanized and nuclear-armed Pakistan to our list of the threats we failed to recognize in time. (This threat still exists, but it is no longer so casually overlooked.)

The subsequent liberation of Pakistan's theocratic colony in Afghanistan, and the so-far decisive eviction and defeat of its bin Ladenist guests, was only a reprisal. It took care of the last attack. But what about the next one? For anyone with eyes to see, there was only one other state that combined the latent and the blatant definitions of both "rogue" and "failed." This state--Saddam's ruined and tortured and collapsing Iraq--had also met all the conditions under which a country may be deemed to have sacrificed its own legal sovereignty. To recapitulate: It had invaded its neighbors, committed genocide on its own soil, harbored and nurtured international thugs and killers, and flouted every provision of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The United Nations, in this crisis, faced with regular insult to its own resolutions and its own character, had managed to set up a system of sanctions-based mutual corruption. In May 2003, had things gone on as they had been going, Saddam Hussein would have been due to fill Iraq's slot as chair of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. Meanwhile, every species of gangster from the hero of the Achille Lauro hijacking to Abu Musab al Zarqawi was finding hospitality under Saddam's crumbling roof.

One might have thought, therefore, that Bush and Blair's decision to put an end at last to this intolerable state of affairs would be hailed, not just as a belated vindication of long-ignored U.N. resolutions but as some corrective to the decade of shame and inaction that had just passed in Bosnia and Rwanda. But such is not the case. An apparent consensus exists, among millions of people in Europe and America, that the whole operation for the demilitarization of Iraq, and the salvage of its traumatized society, was at best a false pretense and at worst an unprovoked aggression. How can this possibly be?

THERE IS, first, the problem of humorless and pseudo-legalistic literalism. In Saki's short story The Lumber Room, the naughty but clever child Nicholas, who has actually placed a frog in his morning bread-and-milk, rejoices in his triumph over the adults who don't credit this excuse for not eating his healthful dish:

"You said there couldn't possibly be a frog in my bread-and-milk; there was a frog in my bread-and-milk," he repeated, with the insistence of a skilled tactician who does not intend to shift from favorable ground.
Childishness is one thing--those of us who grew up on this wonderful Edwardian author were always happy to see the grown-ups and governesses discomfited. But puerility in adults is quite another thing, and considerably less charming. "You said there were WMDs in Iraq and that Saddam had friends in al Qaeda. . . . Blah, blah, pants on fire." I have had many opportunities to tire of this mantra. It takes ten seconds to intone the said mantra. It would take me, on my most eloquent C-SPAN day, at the very least five minutes to say that Abdul Rahman Yasin, who mixed the chemicals for the World Trade Center attack in 1993, subsequently sought and found refuge in Baghdad; that Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, Saddam's senior physicist, was able to lead American soldiers to nuclear centrifuge parts and a blueprint for a complete centrifuge (the crown jewel of nuclear physics) buried on the orders of Qusay Hussein; that Saddam's agents were in Damascus as late as February 2003, negotiating to purchase missiles off the shelf from North Korea; or that Rolf Ekeus, the great Swedish socialist who founded the inspection process in Iraq after 1991, has told me for the record that he was offered a $2 million bribe in a face-to-face meeting with Tariq Aziz. And these eye-catching examples would by no means exhaust my repertoire, or empty my quiver. Yes, it must be admitted that Bush and Blair made a hash of a good case, largely because they preferred to scare people rather than enlighten them or reason with them. Still, the only real strategy of deception has come from those who believe, or pretend, that Saddam Hussein was no problem.

I have a ready answer to those who accuse me of being an agent and tool of the Bush-Cheney administration (which is the nicest thing that my enemies can find to say). Attempting a little levity, I respond that I could stay at home if the authorities could bother to make their own case, but that I meanwhile am a prisoner of what I actually do know about the permanent hell, and the permanent threat, of the Saddam regime. However, having debated almost all of the spokespeople for the antiwar faction, both the sane and the deranged, I was recently asked a question that I was temporarily unable to answer. "If what you claim is true," the honest citizen at this meeting politely asked me, "how come the White House hasn't told us?"

I do in fact know the answer to this question. So deep and bitter is the split within official Washington, most especially between the Defense Department and the CIA, that any claim made by the former has been undermined by leaks from the latter. (The latter being those who maintained, with a combination of dogmatism and cowardice not seen since Lincoln had to fire General McClellan, that Saddam Hussein was both a "secular" actor and--this is the really rich bit--a rational and calculating one.)

There's no cure for that illusion, but the resulting bureaucratic chaos and unease has cornered the president into his current fallback upon platitude and hollowness. It has also induced him to give hostages to fortune. The claim that if we fight fundamentalism "over there" we won't have to confront it "over here" is not just a standing invitation for disproof by the next suicide-maniac in London or Chicago, but a coded appeal to provincial and isolationist opinion in the United States. Surely the elementary lesson of the grim anniversary that will shortly be upon us is that American civilians are as near to the front line as American soldiers.

It is exactly this point that makes nonsense of the sob-sister tripe pumped out by the Cindy Sheehan circus and its surrogates. But in reply, why bother to call a struggle "global" if you then try to localize it? Just say plainly that we shall fight them everywhere they show themselves, and fight them on principle as well as in practice, and get ready to warn people that Nigeria is very probably the next target of the jihadists. The peaceniks love to ask: When and where will it all end? The answer is easy: It will end with the surrender or defeat of one of the contending parties. Should I add that I am certain which party that ought to be? Defeat is just about imaginable, though the mathematics and the algebra tell heavily against the holy warriors. Surrender to such a foe, after only four years of combat, is not even worthy of consideration.

Antaeus was able to draw strength from the earth every time an antagonist wrestled him to the ground. A reverse mythology has been permitted to take hold in the present case, where bad news is deemed to be bad news only for regime-change. Anyone with the smallest knowledge of Iraq knows that its society and infrastructure and institutions have been appallingly maimed and beggared by three decades of war and fascism (and the "divide-and-rule" tactics by which Saddam maintained his own tribal minority of the Sunni minority in power). In logic and morality, one must therefore compare the current state of the country with the likely or probable state of it had Saddam and his sons been allowed to go on ruling.

At once, one sees that all the alternatives would have been infinitely worse, and would most likely have led to an implosion--as well as opportunistic invasions from Iran and Turkey and Saudi Arabia, on behalf of their respective interests or confessional clienteles. This would in turn have necessitated a more costly and bloody intervention by some kind of coalition, much too late and on even worse terms and conditions. This is the lesson of Bosnia and Rwanda yesterday, and of Darfur today. When I have made this point in public, I have never had anyone offer an answer to it. A broken Iraq was in our future no matter what, and was a responsibility (somewhat conditioned by our past blunders) that no decent person could shirk. The only unthinkable policy was one of abstention.

Two pieces of good fortune still attend those of us who go out on the road for this urgent and worthy cause. The first is contingent: There are an astounding number of plain frauds and charlatans (to phrase it at its highest) in charge of the propaganda of the other side. Just to tell off the names is to frighten children more than Saki ever could: Michael Moore, George Galloway, Jacques Chirac, Tim Robbins, Richard Clarke, Joseph Wilson . . . a roster of gargoyles that would send Ripley himself into early retirement. Some of these characters are flippant, and make heavy jokes about Halliburton, and some disdain to conceal their sympathy for the opposite side. So that's easy enough.

The second bit of luck is a certain fiber displayed by a huge number of anonymous Americans. Faced with a constant drizzle of bad news and purposely demoralizing commentary, millions of people stick out their jaws and hang tight. I am no fan of populism, but I surmise that these citizens are clear on the main point: It is out of the question--plainly and absolutely out of the question--that we should surrender the keystone state of the Middle East to a rotten, murderous alliance between Baathists and bin Ladenists. When they hear the fatuous insinuation that this alliance has only been created by the resistance to it, voters know in their intestines that those who say so are soft on crime and soft on fascism. The more temperate anti-warriors, such as Mark Danner and Harold Meyerson, like to employ the term "a war of choice." One should have no problem in accepting this concept. As they cannot and do not deny, there was going to be another round with Saddam Hussein no matter what. To whom, then, should the "choice" of time and place have fallen? The clear implication of the antichoice faction--if I may so dub them--is that this decision should have been left up to Saddam Hussein. As so often before . . .

DOES THE PRESIDENT deserve the benefit of the reserve of fortitude that I just mentioned? Only just, if at all. We need not argue about the failures and the mistakes and even the crimes, because these in some ways argue themselves. But a positive accounting could be offered without braggartry, and would include:

(1) The overthrow of Talibanism and Baathism, and the exposure of many highly suggestive links between the two elements of this Hitler-Stalin pact. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who moved from Afghanistan to Iraq before the coalition intervention, has even gone to the trouble of naming his organization al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

(2) The subsequent capitulation of Qaddafi's Libya in point of weapons of mass destruction--a capitulation that was offered not to Kofi Annan or the E.U. but to Blair and Bush.

(3) The consequent unmasking of the A.Q. Khan network for the illicit transfer of nuclear technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea.

(4) The agreement by the United Nations that its own reform is necessary and overdue, and the unmasking of a quasi-criminal network within its elite.

(5) The craven admission by President Chirac and Chancellor Schr?der, when confronted with irrefutable evidence of cheating and concealment, respecting solemn treaties, on the part of Iran, that not even this will alter their commitment to neutralism. (One had already suspected as much in the Iraqi case.)

(6) The ability to certify Iraq as actually disarmed, rather than accept the word of a psychopathic autocrat.

(7) The immense gains made by the largest stateless minority in the region--the Kurds--and the spread of this example to other states.

(Cool The related encouragement of democratic and civil society movements in Egypt, Syria, and most notably Lebanon, which has regained a version of its autonomy.

(9) The violent and ignominious death of thousands of bin Ladenist infiltrators into Iraq and Afghanistan, and the real prospect of greatly enlarging this number.

(10) The training and hardening of many thousands of American servicemen and women in a battle against the forces of nihilism and absolutism, which training and hardening will surely be of great use in future combat.

It would be admirable if the president could manage to make such a presentation. It would also be welcome if he and his deputies adopted a clear attitude toward the war within the war: in other words, stated plainly, that the secular and pluralist forces within Afghan and Iraqi society, while they are not our clients, can in no circumstance be allowed to wonder which outcome we favor.

The great point about Blair's 1999 speech was that it asserted the obvious. Coexistence with aggressive regimes or expansionist, theocratic, and totalitarian ideologies is not in fact possible. One should welcome this conclusion for the additional reason that such coexistence is not desirable, either. If the great effort to remake Iraq as a demilitarized federal and secular democracy should fail or be defeated, I shall lose sleep for the rest of my life in reproaching myself for doing too little. But at least I shall have the comfort of not having offered, so far as I can recall, any word or deed that contributed to a defeat.

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair. His most recent book is Thomas Jefferson: Author of America. A recent essay of his appears in the collection A Matter of Principle: Humanitarian Arguments for War in Iraq, newly published by the University of California Press.


? Copyright 2005, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.
28542  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Crafty Dog in Zurich, Switzerland Sept 3-4 on: August 29, 2005, 02:48:50 AM
September 3 - 4, 2005
Dog Brothers Martial Arts Seminar
Featuring Guro Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
Contact Benjamin Rittiner
28543  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / New Staff DVD on: August 29, 2005, 02:41:28 AM
Woof All:

The Master is DONE.  I think Ron "Night Owl" Gabriel has done his usual stellar job on the editing.  I am supposed to have a copy of the cover tomorrow-- then it is off to the dupe house and available for shipping Cool

The Adventure continues , , ,
Crafty Dog
28544  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Shoulder Problems and Stick Fighting on: August 27, 2005, 10:20:04 AM
"The 7 Minute Rotator Cuff Solution" from "Health for Life".  Excellent book and recommended for any and all for both prevention/maintainence and self-help rehab.

I would add to the other comments the notion that many time shoulder problems develop because of imbalance/misalignment originating in the hips- often from tight hip flexors due to the excessive (as contrasted to our previous lives in nature) sitting common in modern life

This sitting also often is combined with slouching/reaching forward such that the chest tends to collapse.

All this tends to align the shoulder in a way that is asking for problems.  Cleaning up posture can be key to cleaning up shoulder problems.
28545  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Help our troops/our cause: on: August 26, 2005, 12:56:32 PM
Awesome fotos of this firefight at

Mosul, Iraq

Combat comes unexpectedly, even in war.

On Monday, while conducting operations in west Mosul, a voice came over the radio saying troops from our brother unit, the 3-21, were fighting with the enemy in east Mosul on the opposite side of the Tigris River. Moments later, SSG Will Shockley relayed word to us that an American soldier was dead. We began searching for the shooters near one of the bridges on our side of the Tigris, but they got away. Jose L. Ruiz was killed in action.

Although the situation in Mosul is better, our troops still fight here every day. This may not be the war some folks had in mind a few years ago. But once the shooting starts, a plan is just a guess in a party dress.

The only mission I've seen unfold close to what was planned was a B Company raid a few months back. It actually went so close to perfect that we could hardly believe it. The sole glitch occurred when a Stryker hit an IED, but since nobody was hurt, we just continued the mission. In retrospect, it's hard to imagine why I didn't write about it. But times are busy, and, apart from it going nearly perfectly according to plan, it just seemed like any other old raid.

I had been talking with Captain Matt McGrew about the "The Battle for Mosul IV" dispatch, intending to spend the night with him and some Iraqi troops at one of their combat outposts, to glean additional insight, but the on-going battles in Mosul kept getting in the way. On the night before the planned ride-along, the obstacle was a big and sudden push of operations and tasks bundled in a "surge operation." Operation Lancer Fury was launched without notice even to the unit commanders here.

When I'd sat in on the "warning order" (notice of impending operations) for Lancer Fury last week, the plan was so cleverly contrived that the leadership at Deuce Four had to grudgingly acknowledge its excellence, even though the idea had originated from higher-up. In every military unit I have seen, there is a prevailing perception that good ideas trickle down from the top about as often as water flows uphill, so Lancer Fury apparently was a wunder-plan.

As a "surge" operation, Lancer Fury is sort of a crocodile hunt, where our people do things to make the crocodiles come out, trying to flush them into predictable directions, or make them take certain actions. And when they do, we nail them. The combat portion of the Surge amounted to a sophisticated "area ambush" that would unfold over the period of about one week.

This Surge is a complicated piece of work, with multidimensional variables and multifarious moving parts. Those parts range literally from boots on our feet to satellites zipping overhead. So, of course, glitches and snags started occurring the first day. Among other things, key gear failed; but overall, the Surge was going well. A few terrorists had already been caught in the first 24 hours.

Thursday night, a revised plan had me following some Deuce Four soldiers on a midnight raid. They had night vision gear, so they moved quickly. I had only moonlight, so I nearly broke my leg keeping up. Sleeking around Mosul under moonlight, we prowled through the pale glow until we came upon a pond near a farmhouse. Recon platoon had already raided one house and snagged some suspects, then crept away in the darkness to another target close by.

Five soldiers from Recon?Holt, Ferguson, Yates, Welch and Ross?were moving through moon-cast shadows when an Iraqi man came out from a farmhouse, his AK-47 rifle hanging by his side. Suddenly encircled by the rifles, lights and lasers of four soldiers, the man was quickly disarmed. A fifth soldier radioed for the interpreter and together they sorted out that he was a farmer who thought the soldiers were thieves skulking around his property. Recon returned the man his rifle, and started making their way back, umbral and silent across the ploughed fields.

During a halt in some trees at the edge of the field, I overheard the voice of LTC Kurilla, the commander of the Deuce Four battalion, quietly praising one of the soldiers for showing discipline in not shooting the farmer. After loading the other suspects onto Strykers, we returned to base, where I fell, exhausted, at about 3AM Friday morning.

The Surge continued while I slept.

Alpha Company had deployed during the early hours and was conducting operations around Yarmook Traffic Circle. SGT Daniel Lama, who is as much respected as he is liked, was pulling security in an air guard position of his Stryker, when a bullet flew straight at his neck, striking him. As he collapsed into the Stryker, his body clenched in seizure, fingers frozen, arms and legs rigid.

I seldom get letters in Iraq, but waiting for me in the mailroom while I slept was a card. The return address sticker, an American flag on it, was from Jefferson, Pennsylvania. The postage stamp had an American flag waving. The card inside had a picture of an American flag for its cover. The sweet and heartfelt message inside ended with--

Please tell our soldiers we care so much for them. --Dan and Connie Lama.

I was still asleep when medics brought their son Daniel to the Combat Support Hospital, or "Cash." It's a familiar place for Deuce Four soldiers, who've seen some of the most sustained and intense urban combat of this war, receiving over 150 Purple Hearts in the process.

Bap bap bap! on my door. I jumped up and there was CSM Robert Prosser, the top enlisted soldier at Deuce Four. Prosser is always professional, always direct: "Sergeant Lama's been shot. We're rolling in ten minutes," he said.

"I'll be there in ten," I answered, instantly awake.

Within minutes, I was running out my room, still pulling zips and fastening buttons, when I came sweating into the TOC. LTC Kurilla was there asking a soldier for the latest report on Sergeant Lama, now in surgery.

When a soldier is killed or wounded, the Department of Army calls the loved ones, and despite their attempts to be sympathetic, the nature of the calls has a way of shocking the families. There is just no easy way to say, "Your son got shot today." And so, according to men here, the calls sound something like this: "We are sorry to inform you that your son has been shot in Mosul. He's stable, but that's all we know at this time."

LTC Kurilla likes to call before the Army gets a chance, to tell parents and loved ones the true circumstances. Kurilla is direct, but at least people know they are getting an accurate account.

We loaded the Strykers and drove down to the Cash, and there was Chaplain Wilson, who might be the most popular man on base. Everybody loves him. Often when Chaplain Wilson sees me, he will say, "Good morning Michael. How are you today?" But sometimes he asks me, "Are you okay?" and I think, Do I look stressed?

"Of course I feel okay Chaplain Wilson! Don't I look okay?"

He just laughs, "Yes, Michael, you look fine. Just checking." But secretly, every time he asks, I feel a notch better.

Chaplain Wilson came out from the hospital smiling and explained that Daniel (Sergeant Lama) was fine. The seizure was just a natural reaction to getting shot in the neck. It was just a flesh wound. As if offering proof, Chaplain Wilson said: "When they rolled Daniel over, the doctor stuck his finger in Daniel's butt to check his prostate, and Daniel said, 'Hey! What are you doing?!'" Everybody laughed.

I changed the subject by snapping a photo of CSM Prosser while LTC Kurilla got Mrs. Lama on the Iridium satellite phone. I heard the commander telling this soldier's mother that her son was fine. Daniel just had some soft tissue damage, nothing major. Kurilla told her that he and some other soldiers were at the hospital now with Daniel, who was still too groggy to talk. "Really, Daniel's okay, and don't worry about it when the Army calls you."

We loaded the Strykers and headed downtown.

Some Strykers were scouting for the shooters, while others were working details at Yarmook Traffic Circle. Major Craig Triscari from the 1-17th Infantry from Alaska was with Major Mike Lawrence, "Q," and other soldiers, when he noticed a car with its hood up. The 1-17th will relieve the 1-24th soon, so Triscari has been conducting operations with Deuce Four. The vehicle struck Triscari as odd: it hadn't been there a few minutes earlier.

Automatic weapons fire started coming from at least two places. Bullets were kicking up the dust, and we got a radio call that troops were in contact at Yarmook Traffic Circle. Sitting inside the Stryker with LTC Kurilla and me were two new faces. A young 2nd lieutenant who had only been in Iraq three weeks, and hadn't seen any real combat; and a young specialist, who, per chance, is one of the few Deuce Four soldiers who is not a seasoned veteran, though he has seen some combat. Also in the Stryker was "AH," the interpreter, whose courage under fire I had seen before. But the more battle weathered fighters were not there.

Chris Espindola, the Commander's radio operator, a respected and very experienced fighter, was down in Baghdad at the Iraqi Criminal Court testifying against two terrorists caught by Deuce Four months earlier. Like the card in the mailroom, the circumstances behind their capture were more germane to the events about to unfold than anyone might have guessed at the time.

Kurilla's reluctance to allow anyone outside Deuce Four ride with his soldiers--including writers--is well known. Partly because of writers, people hearing about Deuce Four in the news might think of Mosul as some kind of thrill ride where everything will end okay after a few hairpin turns. This is not true.

Newcomers, even soldiers, unaccustomed to this level of hostility, can only burden the men with added danger. So Kurilla makes sure they can be trusted by mentoring new officers and having them spend three weeks with him before they are allowed to lead men in this unit.

Some months back, a new lieutenant named Brian Flynn was riding with the Kurilla for his first three weeks, when Kurilla spotted three men walking adjacent to where Major Mark Bieger and his Stryker had been hit with a car bomb a week prior. The three men looked suspicious to Kurilla. who's legendary sense about people is so keen that his soldiers call it the "Deuce Sixth-Sense." His read on people and situations is so uncanny it borders the bizarre.

That day, Kurilla sensed "wrong" and told his soldiers to check the three men. As the Stryker dropped its ramp, one of the terrorists pulled a pistol from under his shirt. Mark Bieger was overwatching from another Stryker and shot the man with the first two bullets, dropping him to his knees.

LT Flynn was first out of the Stryker, and both he and the airguard CPT Westphal, saw the pistol at the same time and also shot the man. The other suspects started running. But all Kurilla saw was LT Flynn stepping off the ramp, and then there was a lot of shooting. Kurilla yelled F L Y NNNNNNNNNNN!!!! and was nearly diving to stop Flynn from shooting, thinking the new lieutenant had lost his mind and was shooting a man just for running from Coalition forces. Soldiers can't just shoot anyone who runs.

Chris Espindola also shot the man. Amazingly, despite being hit by four M4's from multiple directions, the man still lived a few minutes. Soldiers out ran and tackled his two associates when they made a run.

During their interrogation on base, both admitted to being Jihadists. One was training to be a sniper, while the other was training for different combat missions. They also admitted that the terrorist who was shot down was their cell leader, who had been training them for three months. They were on a recon of American forces when Kurilla sensed their intent.

The cell leader had a blood stained ?death note? in his pocket stating he was a true Mujahadeen and wanted to die fighting the Americans. He got his wish; and now, Chris Espindola, Kurilla's radio man, was down in Baghdad testifying against the two surviving co-conspirators. Despite their sworn confessions, Kurilla was left with a young radio operator with little trigger-time.

Flynn had now been a platoon leader for six months, but today Kurilla had another 2nd lieutenant who being mentored before he became a platoon leader. Our Stryker did not contain the normal fighters that I saw with LTC Kurilla, but we also had a section (two squads) of infantrymen in Strykers from Alpha Company. This section was led by SSG Konkol.

We were searching the area for the source of that automatic weapons fire when Kurilla spotted three men in a black Opel and his sixth sense kicked. When Kurilla keyed in on them, he pointed his rifle at the car and signaled them to get out. The driver tucked his head and gunned the gas. The chase was on.

Strykers are fast, but Opels are faster. We were roaring through little streets and along roads, horn blaring, cars zipping off the sides, the steady chatter of multiple radio channels colliding inside the Stryker. A Kiowa helicopter pilot radioed that he spotted the car. As the chase continued, the Kiowa pilot said, "It's going about 105 mph."

How can the pilot know it's going 105 mph? I thought.

This Kiowa shot the Opel

As if in reply, the pilot radioed that the Opel was outrunning his helicopter. Captain Jeff VanAntwerp came on the radio net saying he was moving his section into position to intercept the Opel.

"Watch out for that kid!" yelled Kurilla over the intercom to our driver as we made a hard turn, managing to avoid hitting the child.

Opels may be faster than Kiowas on straight-a-ways, but when the car made turns, the helicopter quickly caught up. Kurilla ordered the Kiowa to fire a warning shot, then quickly authorized the Kiowa to disable the vehicle.

Kiowas are small, carrying just two people; they fly so low the two flying soldiers are practically infantrymen. The pilot swooped low and the "co-pilot" aimed his rifle at the Opel, firing three shots and blowing out the back window. The Kiowa swooped and banked hard in front of the car, firing three more shots through the front hood, the universal sign for "stop."

The car chase ended, but the men fled on foot up an alley. We approached in the Strykers and I heard Kurilla say on the radio, "Shots fired!" as he ducked for a moment then popped back up in the hatch. Kurilla continued, "Trail section clear the car and clear south to north! I'm going to block the back door on the north side!"

About fifteen seconds later our ramp dropped. We ran into combat.

Folks who haven't done much urban fighting might take issue with the wild chases, and they might say that people should always "stack up" and do things this or that way, but men in Delta Force, SEALs and the like, all know that when chasing wild men into the labyrinth, soldiers enter the land of confusion. If soldiers don't go fast, the bad guys simply get away. Just a few minutes ago, these three guys were going "105 miles per hour," and outrunning a helicopter.

There were shops, alleys, doorways, windows . . .

The soldiers with LTC Kurilla were searching fast, weapons at the ready, and they quickly flex-cuffed two men. But these were not the right guys. Meanwhile, SSG Konkol's men were clearing towards us, leaving the three bad-guys boxed, but free.

Shots were fired behind us but around a corner to the left.

Both the young 2nd lieutenant and the young specialist were inside a shop when a close-quarters firefight broke out, and they ran outside. Not knowing how many men they were fighting, they wanted backup. LTC Kurilla began running in the direction of the shooting. He passed by me and I chased, Kurilla leading the way.

There was a quick and heavy volume of fire. And then LTC Kurilla was shot.

Last steps

LTC Erik Kurilla (front right), the moment the bullets strike.(2nd LT front-left; radioman near-left; "AH" the interpreter is near-right.)

Three bullets reach flesh: One snaps his thigh bone in half.

Both legs and an arm are shot.

The Commander rolls into a firing position, just as a bullet strikes the wall beside 2nd lieutenant's head (left).

Kurilla was running when he was shot, but he didn't seem to miss a stride; he did a crazy judo roll and came up shooting.

BamBamBamBam! Bullets were hitting all around Kurilla. The young 2nd lieutenant and specialist were the only two soldiers near. Neither had real combat experience. AH had no weapon. I had a camera.

Seconds count.

Kurilla, though dowm and unable to move, was fighting and firing, yelling at the two young soldiers to get in there; but they hesitated. BamBamBamBam!

Kurilla was in the open, but his judo roll had left him slightly to the side of the shop. I screamed to the young soldiers, "Throw a grenade in there!" but they were not attacking.

"Throw a grenade in there!" They did not attack.

"Give me a grenade!" They didn't have grenades.

"Erik! Do you need me to come get you!" I shouted. But he said "No." (Thank God; running in front of the shop might have proved fatal.)

"What's wrong with you!?" I yelled above the shooting.

"I'm hit three times! I'm shot three times!"

Amazingly, he was right. One bullet smashed through his femur, snapping his leg. His other leg was hit and so was an arm.

With his leg mangled, Kurilla pointed and fired his rifle into the doorway, yelling instructions to the soldiers about how to get in there. But they were not attacking. This was not the Deuce Four I know. The other Deuce Four soldiers would have killed every man in that room in about five seconds. But these two soldiers didn't have the combat experience to grasp the power of momentum.

This was happening in seconds. Several times I nearly ran over to Kurilla, but hesitated every time. Kurilla was, after all, still fighting. And I was afraid to run in front of the shop, especially so unarmed.

The Commander fights...

...and fights, as more bullets kick up dust.

And then help arrived in the form of one man: CSM Prosser.

Prosser ran around the corner, passed the two young soldiers who were crouched low, then by me and right to the shop, where he started firing at men inside.

A man came forward, trying to shoot Kurilla with a pistol, apparently realizing his only escape was by fighting his way out, or dying in the process. Kurilla was aiming at the doorway waiting for him to come out. Had Prosser not come at that precise moment, who knows what the outcome might have been.

Prosser shot the man at least four times with his M4 rifle. But the American M4 rifles are weak--after Prosser landed three nearly point blank shots in the man's abdomen, splattering a testicle with a fourth, the man just staggered back, regrouped and tried to shoot Prosser.

CSM Robert Prosser goes "black."

Then Prosser's M4 went "black" (no more bullets). A shooter inside was also having problems with his pistol, but there was no time to reload. Prosser threw down his empty M4, ran into the shop and tackled the man.

Though I have the photo, I do not remember the moment that Prosser went "black" and ran into the shop. Apparently I turned my head, but kept my finger on the shutter button. When I looked back again, I saw the very bloody leg of CSM Prosser inside the shop. It was not moving. He appeared to be shot down and dead.

I looked back at the two soldiers who were with me outside, and screamed what amounted to "Attack Attack Attack!" I stood up and was yelling at them. Actually, what I shouted was an unprintable string of curses, while Kurilla was also yelling at them to get in there, his M4 trained on the entrance. But the guys were not attacking.

I saw Prosser's M4 on the ground, Where did that come from?

I picked up Prosser's M4. It was empty. I saw only Prosser's bloody leg lying still, just inside the darkened doorway, because most of his body was hidden behind a stack of sheet metal.

"Give me some ammo! Give me a magazine!" I yelled, and the young 2nd lieutenant handed over a full 30-round magazine. I jacked it in, released the bolt and hit the forward assist. I had only one magazine, so checked that the selector was on semi-automatic.

I ran back to the corner of the shop and looked at LTC Kurilla who was bleeding, and saw CSM Prosser's extremely bloody leg inside the shop, the rest of him was still obscured from view. I was going to run into the shop and shoot every man with a gun. And I was scared to death.

What I didn't realize was at that same moment four soldiers from Alpha Company 2nd Platoon were arriving on scene, just in time to see me about to go into the store. SSG Gregory Konkol, SGT Jim Lewis, and specialists Nicholas Devereaux and Christopher Muse where right there, behind me, but I didn't see them.

Reaching around the corner, I fired three shots into the shop. The third bullet pierced a propane canister, which jumped up in the air and began spinning violently. It came straight at my head but somehow missed, flying out of the shop as a high-pressure jet of propane hit me in the face. The goggles saved my eyes. I gulped in deeply.

In the tiniest fraction of a second, somehow my mind actually registered Propane . . . FIREBALL! as it bounced on the ground where it spun furiously, creating an explosive cloud of gas and dust, just waiting for someone to fire a weapon.

I scrambled back, got up and ran a few yards, afraid that Kurilla was going to burn up if there was a fire. The soldiers from Alpha Company were heading toward him when LTC Kurilla yelled out that he was okay, but that CSM Prosser was still in the shop. The Alpha Company soldiers ran through the propane and dust cloud and swarmed the shop.

When the bullet hit that canister, Prosser?who I thought might be dead because of all the blood on his leg?was actually fighting hand-to-hand on the ground. Wrapped in a ground fight, Prosser could not pull out his service pistol strapped on his right leg, or get to his knife on his left, because the terrorist?who turned out to be a serious terrorist?had grabbed Prosser's helmet and pulled it over his eyes and twisted it.

Prosser had beaten the terrorist in the head three times with his fist and was gripping his throat, choking him. But Prosser's gloves were slippery with blood so he couldn't hold on well. At the same time, the terrorist was trying to bite Prosser's wrist, but instead he bit onto the face of Prosser's watch. (Prosser wears his watch with the face turned inward.) The terrorist had a mouthful of watch but he somehow also managed to punch Prosser in the face. When I shot the propane canister, Prosser had nearly strangled the guy, but my shots made Prosser think bad guys were coming, so he released the terrorist's throat and snatched out the pistol from his holster, just as SSG Konkol, Lewis, Devereaux and Muse swarmed the shop. But the shots and the propane fiasco also had brought the terrorist back to life, so Prosser quickly reholstered his pistol and subdued him by smashing his face into the concrete.

The combat drama was ended, so I started snapping photos again.

CSM Prosser, his leg drenched in the terrorist's blood, as 2nd Platoon Alpha Company arrives

CSM Prosser drags the terrorist into the alley ...

...into the light.

The propane canister at rest (left), the terrorist in view of the Commander

CSM Prosser flex cuffs Khalid Jasim Nohe

Prosser stands above the crocodile who bit his watch.

SFC Bowman shields the eyes of his Commander.

When Recon platoon showed up about a minute later, SFC Bowman asked LTC Kurilla to lie down. But Kurilla was ordering people to put out security, and directing action this way and that. When the very experienced medic, Specialist Munoz, put morphine into Kurilla, the commander still kept giving orders, even telling Munoz how to do his job. So SFC Bowman told Munoz to give Kurilla another morphine, and finally Kurilla settled down, and stopped giving orders long enough for them to haul him and the terrorist away to the Combat Support Hospital. The same facility where Daniel Lama was recovering from the earlier gunshot wound to the neck.

Combat Support Hospital

The Surge operation continued as we returned to base. The Commander and the terrorist were both being prepped for surgery, when LTC Kurilla said, "Tell Major Bieger to call my wife so she doesn't get a call from the Army first." But someone gave the Commander a cell phone, and I heard Kurilla talking to his wife, Mary Paige, saying something like, "Honey, there has been a little shooting here. I got hit and there was some minor soft tissue damage." The X-ray on the board nearby showed his femur snapped in half. "I'll be fine. Just some minor stuff." That poor woman.

The doctors rolled LTC Kurilla and the terrorist into OR and our surgeons operated on both at the same time. The terrorist turned out to be one Khalid Jasim Nohe, who had first been captured by US forces (2-8 FA) on 21 December, the same day a large bomb exploded in the dining facility on this base and killed 22 people.

That December day, Khalid Jasim Nohe and two compatriots tried to evade US soldiers from 2-8 FA, but the soldiers managed to stop the fleeing car. Then one of the suspects tried to wrestle a weapon from a soldier before all three were detained. They were armed with a sniper rifle, an AK, pistols, a silencer, explosives and other weapons, and had in their possession photographs of US bases, including a map of this base.

That was in December.

About two weeks ago, word came that Nohe's case had been dismissed by a judge on 7 August. The Coalition was livid. According to American officers, solid cases are continually dismissed without apparent cause. Whatever the reason, the result was that less than two weeks after his release from Abu Ghraib, Nohe was back in Mosul shooting at American soldiers.

LTC Kurilla repeatedly told me of--and I repeatedly wrote about--terrorists who get released only to cause more trouble. Kurilla talked about it almost daily. Apparently, the vigor of his protests had made him an opponent of some in the Army's Detention Facilities chain of command, but had otherwise not changed the policy. And now Kurilla lay shot and in surgery in the same operating room with one of the catch-and-release-terrorists he and other soldiers had been warning everyone about.

When Kurilla woke in recovery a few hours after surgery, he called CSM Prosser and asked for a Bible and the book: Gates of Fire. Kurilla gives a copy of Gates of Fire to every new officer and orders them to read it. He had given me a copy and told me to read it. In my book, there is a marked passage, which I thought rather flowery. But I have it beside me on the table by the map of Iraq.

"I would be the one. The one to go back and speak. A pain beyond all previous now seized me. Sweet life itself, even the desperately sought chance to tell the tale, suddenly seemed unendurable alongside the pain of having to take leave of these whom I had come so to love."

A short time after he gave me the book, following the death of one of his soldiers,when Kurilla said to me, "I want you to write about my men. You are the only one who might understand," the passage finally registered in my mind.

I asked CSM Prosser if I could go with him to see the Commander. Carrying both books, we drove to the Cash. Major Mark Bieger arrived alongside Kurilla's hospital bed, paying respect. After spending some time with the Commander, CSM Prosser and I drove back to the unit.

The Deuce Four

The truest test of leadership happens when the Commander is no longer there. Kurilla's men were taking down and boxing up his photos of his wife and children, and his Minnesota Vikings flag, when they decided to keep the flag so everyone could autograph it. It wasn't long before there was no room left to sign, but I found a place to scratch. I wanted my name on that flag.

The place suddenly felt hollowed-out.

When I came back into the TOC, Major Michael Lawrence--who I often challenge to pull-up contests, and who so far has beat me (barely) every time--looked me square and professionally, in the direct way of a military leader and asked, "Mike, did you pick up a weapon today?"
"I did."
"Did you fire that weapon?"
"I did."
"If you pick up another weapon, you are out of here the next day. Understood?"
"We still have to discuss what happened today."

Writers are not permitted to fight. I asked SFC Bowman to look at the photos and hear what happened. Erik Kurilla and CSM Prosser were witness, but I did not want the men of Deuce Four who were not there to think I had picked up a weapon without just cause. I approached SFC Bowman specifically, because he is fair, and is respected by the officers and men. Bowman would listen with an open mind. While looking at the photos, Bowman said, "Mike, it's simple. Were you in fear for your life or the lives of others?"

"Thank you Sergeant Bowman," I said.

I walked back to the TOC and on the way, Chaplain Wilson said, "Hello Michael. Are you feeling all right?"

"Yes Chaplain Wilson!" Why does he always ask that? Do I look stressed? But suddenly, I felt much better. Chaplain Wilson might be the only man in the universe with a chance of getting me into the chapel of my own free will, but I have resisted so far.

Only a few hours had passed since Daniel Lama and the Commander were shot. It was around 9PM when I heard Captain Matt McGrew was going to see Kurilla. I asked to come along. We entered the hospital, and saw that Erik Kurilla's bed was beside Daniel Lama's. Kurilla went from asleep to wide awake in about a quarter-second, said "hello" and asked us to sit down. After some conversation, the Commander looked over at the next bed and asked, "How are you doing SGT Lama?"

"Great, sir."

"Good," the Commander said, "You are my new PSD." [Personal Security Detachment: Body guard.]

Daniel Lama smiled, got out of bed and I shot a photo of him reporting for his "new duty."

Sgt Daniel Lama: less than one hour from flying out of Mosul

It was near 10 PM when the airplane that would start their journey back to America landed outside, its engines rumbling the hospital floor. The terrorist who shot Kurilla, and who was now a enuch in a nearby bed, might well have been the same terrorist who, after being released, shot Lama and Thompson and others. Kurilla could see Khalid Jasim Nohe, but made no comment.

As Captain McGrew and I drove through the dusty darkness back to the Deuce Four, the Commander and SGT Lama, along with other wounded and dead soldiers from around Iraq, began their journey home.

The next day, Iraqi Army and Police commanders were in a fury that LTC Kurilla had been shot. Some blamed his men, while others blamed the terrorists, although blame alone could not compete with disbelief. Kurilla had gone on missions every single day for almost a year. Talking with people downtown. Interfacing with shop owners. Conferencing with doctors. Drinking tea with Iraqi citizens in their homes. Meeting proud mothers with new babies. It's important to interact and take the pulse of a city in a war where there is no "behind the lines," no safe areas. It's even dangerous on the bases here.

In order for leaders of Kurilla's rank to know the pulse of the Iraqi people, they must make direct contact. There's a risk in that. But its men like Kurilla who can make this work. Even and especially in places like Mosul, where it takes a special penchant for fighting. A passion for the cause of freedom. A true and abiding understanding of both its value and its costs. An unwavering conviction that, in the end, we will win.

Make no mistake about Kurilla--he's a warrior, always at the front of the charge. But it's that battle-hardened bravery that makes him the kind of leader that Americans admire and Iraqis respect. Like the soldiers of Deuce Four, Iraqis have seen too much war to believe in fairy tales. They know true warriors bleed.

Iraqi Army and Police officers see many Americans as too soft, especially when it comes to dealing with terrorists. The Iraqis who seethe over the shooting of Kurilla know that the cunning fury of Jihadists is congenite. Three months of air-conditioned reflection will not transform terrorists into citizens.

Over lunch with Chaplain Wilson and our two battalion surgeons, Major Brown and Captain Warr, there was much discussion about the "ethics" of war, and contention about why we afford top-notch medical treatment to terrorists. The treatment terrorists get here is better and more expensive than what many Americans or Europeans can get.

"That's the difference between the terrorists and us," Chaplain Wilson kept saying. "Don't you understand? That's the difference."
28546  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Thx Marc Denny cause of you I am getting married! on: August 25, 2005, 04:34:47 PM
Mazel Tov!  Cool

Here's some words of wisdom:

(written by kids)
1) You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
* Alan, age 10

(2) No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
* Kristen, age 10

(1) Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
* Camille, age 10

(2) No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married.
* Freddie, age 6

(1) You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
* Derrick, age 8

(1) Both don't want any more kids.
* Lori, age 8

(1) Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
* Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)

(2) On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that Usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
* Martin, age 10

(1) I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.
* Craig, age 9
(9) When they're rich.
* Pam, age 7

(2) The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.
* Curt, age 7

(3) The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
* Howard, age 8

(1) I don't know which is better, but I'll tell you one thing. I'm never going to have sex with my wife. I don't want to be all grossed out.
* Theodore, age 8

(2) It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
* Anita, age 9 (bless you child)

(1) There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
* Kelvin, age 8

And the #1 Favorite is........
(1) Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck.
* Ricky, age 10
28547  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: August 25, 2005, 08:30:33 AM
The Crisis in U.S.-Pakistani Relations
By George Friedman and Kamran Bokhari

Though the governments of the United States and Pakistan appear to be in sync with one another on the hunt for Osama bin Laden and militant Islamists, a crisis of relations is brewing just beneath the surface. Despite expressions of unity in the war against al Qaeda, cooperation at the operational and tactical levels is nearly nonexistent -- and calculated interference by Pakistani intelligence and security elements is hindering U.S. operations in the country.

This situation is further complicated by ongoing rivalries between government agencies, poor communications and general lack of cooperation by U.S. intelligence and security agencies. All of which leaves counterterrorism operations in Pakistan -- or, more precisely, U.S. efforts to capture or kill bin Laden and other top al Qaeda leaders -- stagnant.

At the broad political level, Washington and Islamabad are presenting a relatively unified front in the battle. Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who must balance his domestic political concerns against U.S. pressure, continues to walk a fine line -- between cooperation with Washington (or with opposition forces within Pakistan), and capitulation.

On the surface, Musharraf and U.S. President George W. Bush are in a state of cautious compromise -- with Washington continuing to express confidence in Musharraf's government and offering increased military assistance to Pakistan. For its part, Islamabad has been paying lip service to counterterrorism cooperation with the United States, while still professing its ability to carry out sweeps and all other anti-jihadist operations on its own. The Musharraf government's attitude has been that it is doing all it can to get rid of terrorist sanctuaries, but it will not allow foreign forces to conduct operations on Pakistani soil. As Musharraf told U.S. media earlier this year, "We are capable of" capturing bin Laden, and "if we get intelligence, we will do it ourselves."

Islamabad recognizes that U.S. forces will operate in Pakistani territory -- with or without government permission -- and thus has struck a compromise so that U.S. operations will be kept as low-key as possible by both sides. The Pakistanis have acknowledged the involvement of foreign forces in the counterterrorism offensive but claim joint efforts are limited to intelligence-sharing and logistics cooperation. In this way, Islamabad seeks to defuse both U.S. pressure to act -- and domestic pressure to avoid acting.

But despite the political niceties, two key issues continue to impede efforts to dismantle al Qaeda's structure in Pakistan. The first is the professional rivalry between the CIA, Department of Defense and FBI, as well as other security and intelligence agencies, which continues to dog the post-Sept. 11 efforts to streamline intelligence-sharing. The second is the dismal performance by the Pakistani security and intelligence organizations.

It is true that a number of key al Qaeda operatives and leaders have been arrested by Pakistani authorities since their exodus from Afghanistan in late 2001. In March 2002, Abu Zubaydah, a senior al Qaeda member, was captured in Faisalabad. Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a deputy leader of the task force that coordinated the Sept. 11 attacks, was captured in Karachi in September 2002. And in March 2003, another task force leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was picked up in Rawalpindi. Other prominent captures include those of communications expert Naeem Noor Khan, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani (linked to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa), and Abu Farj al-Libi, believed to be the head of al Qaeda operations in Pakistan.

Nevertheless, the progress made against the core leadership of al Qaeda remains an open question. First, how is it that al Qaeda's mostly Arab leadership is able to evade detection in a country with very few Arabs? More important, how can a foreign non-state actor evade detection -- when he is known to be in a certain region, with massive global search-and-destroy operations hunting him -- unless he is granted succor or protection from some members of the local security and intelligence organizations closest to the front?

While those at the topmost levels of U.S. authority have been praising the Musharraf government as a crucial ally in the war against al Qaeda, certain U.S. officials lately have been making a public issue of Islamabad's non-cooperation. Among these is CIA Director Porter Goss, who insinuated a few months ago that bin Laden is known to be in Pakistan and said outright that in order for him to be captured, certain "weak links" -- i.e., Pakistan -- must be strengthened.

Goss's comments are clearly echoed by U.S. intelligence and defense officials now active in Pakistan and working with Islamabad. There is an ingrained distrust of U.S. and other foreign services within Pakistan's intelligence community -- stemming from nationalistic instincts, a desire to hide links between intelligence services and jihadists and their supporters, and sympathies on multiple levels with the jihadists.

One very senior Pakistani intelligence source engaged in a frank discussion about this atmosphere of distrust -- which is pervasive throughout the country's security organizations, even though most of Pakistan's law enforcement personnel are not personally Islamists. Some simply don't like the idea of U.S. pressure against their government, while others dislike being told how to do their jobs. Still others see the United States as arrogantly pursuing its own interests at Pakistan's expense. We are told there is a great deal of resentment -- from the highest echelons down through the rank-and-file -- over what the Pakistanis perceive as Washington's failure to recognize the efforts, sacrifices, and cooperation they are providing.

And, not insignificantly, there are some who perceive that the jihadists Washington is now pursuing were created by the United States' proxy war in 1980s Afghanistan -- and who believe that the U.S. government, having abandoned Afghanistan after meeting its objectives there, will abandon Pakistan in similar fashion.

Resistance to U.S. influence, therefore, has been both passive and active, with intelligence operatives telling local police and village chiefs directly not to cooperate with U.S. operations on the ground. Sources in Pakistan tell us that the Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence agencies debrief all private Pakistani citizens who come into contact with U.S. government, media and think tanks -- both before and after the interface -- in attempts to restrict contact between the two countries to official channels. Additionally, certain high-level leaders of Pakistani militant Islamist movements have been declared off-limits as targets for security forces, thus leaving key segments of the international militant network unmolested. The United States is providing large amounts of supplies, money and training for Pakistani forces, but with few results.

Clearly, cooperation from the country's intelligence and security apparatus -- a major cog in the machine built to hunt down al Qaeda in Pakistan -- is not happening. There are four reasons for this:

1. The insistence by top leadership that U.S. forces cannot operate any more prominently on Pakistani soil than they already are. Though there are many reasons behind this, as mentioned earlier, they boil down for some key government officials to mere survival: Islamist militants have made several attempts on Musharraf's life and others within the regime, at al Qaeda's behest. Nationalist sentiments and political opposition to Musharraf's government are considerations as well.

2. Calculated moves by influential figures at the middle and lower levels of Pakistan's intelligence and security apparatus to thwart offensives against the militants. Some of this reflects countermoves by Islamabad against American attempts to push the limits of tacit security agreements with the Pakistanis. However, it is also a sign that the Musharraf regime does not have tight control over its own intelligence and security services -- and of this, Islamabad is keenly and nervously aware.

3. The Pakistani military's desire to hide its past links with the militants and its current ties to certain Islamist groups -- which it views as assets of the state to be used in pursuit of Islamabad's geopolitical goals. For Islamabad, the jihadists have long been both an internal threat to military/civilian rule and a useful form of leverage in its geopolitical maneuvers -- for example, gaining strategic depth with regard to Afghanistan and waging its proxy war against India in Kashmir. Pakistan is not willing to surrender this leverage lightly -- and, because the lines between those "useful" militant groups and al Qaeda members can be blurry, many on Islamabad's preservation list fall into both categories.

4. Recognition within Islamabad that Pakistan's importance as a U.S. ally likely will dissolve if bin Laden is captured or killed. Washington has been attempting to strengthen its ties with India and is even attempting tentative negotiations with Iran, with the eventual goal of warmer relations. Should these efforts bear fruit, the Musharraf regime's geopolitical importance to the United States will diminish -- leaving Islamabad as a potential member of the "outposts of tyranny" rather than a close anti-terrorism ally.

Given these factors -- coupled with the potential for ineptitude and rivalries among the Pakistani and U.S. security and intelligence agencies -- there is a crisis that has brought the search for al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan to a virtual halt. This situation cannot last indefinitely -- the breaking point will come either with a misstep by Musharraf that destroys the political balance he has tried to maintain within Pakistan, or a decision by Washington that delay, obfuscation and overt obstructionism will no longer be tolerated. If Islamabad doesn't act -- and it is questionable whether another pre-packaged capture of a mid-level al Qaeda operative by Pakistani forces will satisfy the Bush administration -- Washington will be left with little choice but to move on its own.

Islamabad's response to the pressure is predicated on one unanswered question: Is Musharraf lying to the United States, or is he being lied to by his own people? In other words, is he in control of the obstructionism, or is he a victim of it? We believe the reality is somewhere in the middle. Nevertheless, the outlook is troubling.

Signing up highly recommended!
28548  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Homeland Security on: August 25, 2005, 07:54:53 AM

Terrorists may pose as homeless for surveillance, government says

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON- Asking for increased vigilance in the wake of the London
bombings, the government is warning that terrorists may pose as vagrants to
conduct surveillance of buildings and mass transit stations to plot future

"In light of the recent bombings in London, it is crucial that police, fire
and emergency medical personnel take notice of their surroundings, and be
aware of 'vagrants' who seem out of place or unfamiliar," said the message,
distributed via e-mail to some federal employees in Washington by the U.S.
Attorney's office.

It is based on a State Department report that was issued last week. The
State Department had no immediate comment Monday.

The warning is similar to one issued by the FBI before July 4, 2004 that
said terrorists may attempt surveillance disguised as homeless people, shoe
shiners, street vendors or street sweepers.

The e-mail stresses that there is no threat of an attack and that it is
intended to be "informative, not alarming."

Homeless people easily blend into urban landscapes, the message said.

"This is particularly true of our mass transit systems, where homeless
people tend to loiter unnoticed," the e-mail said.

It referred to a recent incident in Somerville, Mass., in which a police
officer became suspicious about someone dressed as a street person. The
officer questioned the man, discovered he had a passport from a "country of
interest" _ typically a Middle Eastern or South Asian nation _ and a
checkbook with a questionable address, the e-mail said. The investigation is
continuing, it said.

Somerville police did not immediate provide comment.

Three British citizens were indicted in the United States earlier this year
on charges they conducted surveillance of the New York Stock Exchange and
other East Coast financial institutions in 2000 and 2001.

Discovery of the alleged terrorist plan last year prompted the Homeland
Security Department to raise the terror alert for the targeted buildings,
located in New York, Washington and Newark, N.J. Security in those cities
also was tightened.

Homeland Security also raised the terror alert for mass transit following
the July 7 bombings in London. The alert was lowered on Aug. 12.
28549  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: August 23, 2005, 06:32:40 AM
A friend writes:

Message: 1. Before 1991, we underestimated the extent of Iraq's nuclear program. At the time of its eviction from Kuwait, the SH regime was a couple of years away from a workable nuclear warhead.

2. After the truce, we failed to discover any evidence of Iraq's bio weapons program until after Saddam's soon to be ex-sons-in-law defected to Jordan in 1995.

3. Between 1991 and 1998, UNSCOM overestimated the amount of usable chemicals available for weaponized chemical warheads.

4. During the same time period, the same UN group overestimated the amount of unaccounted-for biological material and failed to realize that the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) was in charge of the biological weapons program.

The anti-war advocates also have made their own intelligence blunders particularly on the issue of IIS-al Qaida liasons.

A. The Duelfer Report found that up to the time of the 2003 invasion, the IIS maintained a small biological weapons program.

B. Between 1991 and 9-11, the IIS had numerous meetings with al Qaida in the Sudan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some of these are detailed in the indictment of Usama bin Laden for the 1998 embassy bombings. (Indictment S(6), 98 Cr. 1023, (LBS), p.18)

C. Iraq likely assisted the al Qaida cell that carried out the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

1) The 1993 WTC bombed contained deliberately implanted cyanide gas that was designed to be dispersed by the explosion. New York Times, Jan 21, 1994. Statement of Judge Duffy at sentencing in US vs Salameh et al, May 24, 1994.

2) Ramzi Yousef escaped the US on an Iraqi passport under the name of Abdul Basit, a Pakistani allegedly living in Kuwait during the Iraqi occupation. See Government Exhibits 614 and 739A in the case of US vs Salameh.

3) Abdul Rahman Yasin, who was indicted in New York for mixing the cyanide gas into the 1993 WTC bomb, was given sanctuary in Iraq by the Saddam Hussein regime after fleeing to Jordan on March 5, 1993 while traveling on a US passport. (Ralph Blumenthal, "Missing bombing Case Figure Reported To Be Staying In Iraq", New York Times, June 10, 1993) He was given a job by the Iraqi government. (ABC News Broadcast, June 1994). In 1994, via Jordan, the US requested Yasin's return to face the indictment, but the request was denied by Iraq. (New York Times, August 1, 1994)

4) The gas used in the 1993 bomb was the same type that was discovered to have been smuggled into Iraq in the late 1980's by various Iraqi agents posing as businessmen in the US and Europe. (ABC News Nightline, July 2, 1991. Financial Times, July 3, 1991)

5) Former Secretary of Defense William Cohen acknowledged this poison gas evidence as a new threat. ("Preparing for a Grave New World", Washington Post, July 26, 1999.)

To summarize, although there is no evidence that Iraq directly assisted al Qaida's 9-11 plot, there is evidence that Iraq provided assistance before and after the 1993 WTC bombing to that al Qaida cell. Iraq maintained its communication with al Qaida after 9-11 directly through the IIS and indirectly through the IIS surrogate, Ansar al Islam, now known as al Qaida of Iraq. This is the terror cell managed by Zarqawi originally placed in northern Iraq by the IIS to disrupt Kurdish ambitions.

In conclusion, after 9-11 and after we recovered a lot of intelligence about al Qaida's ambitions to execute small WMD attacks, the Iraqi-al Qaida liason was no longer tolerable. We had reason to suspect direct Iraqi assistance in the 1993 WTC bombing. Our intelligence about Iraq's WMD capabilities still lacked precision and was complicated by the SH regime's post-Gulf War I deceptions. Under these circumstances, the SH regime no longer deserved the benefit of any doubt. It was never an overt threat to our nation; but it remained a real threat to provide covert assistance to al Qaida.
28550  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Blade work and Stick work on: August 23, 2005, 05:55:10 AM
Greetings Isagani:

Tail wags for your kind words.

Sverre is a member of our DBMA Association and has posted on our Members' Website about his training with you.  It sounds like he is enjoying it very much and we look forward to him fighting at our "DB Gatherings of the Pack".

Concerning your questions about blade/stick and about training children, please allow me to take the latter first.

It is a question I get from time to time and the answer is that I don't really have one.  DBMA instructors so inclined certainly have my blessing to do so, but personally I do not find myself to be a good teacher for children.

Concerning the transferability of stick training to blade, it is a good question.  There ARE important differences between the two.  All other things being equal (and they so very rarely are  cheesy  ) I think if you put a bolo/pinuti/etc in the hand of someone trained by us with experience in our fighting that he will be someone to be reckoned with but there may well be openings in his movement that a sword trained man with adrenal training could exploit. (Of course, there would need to be one helluva good reason to be in such a fight! shocked)

What is your thinking on this question?

Crafty Dog
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