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29551  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Atienza seminar in Signal Hill (LA, CA) on: September 20, 2005, 01:00:54 PM
Atienza Kali
 

October 1st                                              
11AM to 4pm
Integrated Martial Arts
2831 Junipero Ave #609
Signal Hill, Ca, 90755
www.intmartialarts.com
   Price $75.00/day

Atienza Kali evolved primarily as a blade system utilizing weapons of all sizes. This system excels in dealing with realistic solutions to many common street situations; particularly multi-man and mass attack scenarios. This seminar is open to the general public of all skill levels. Long training blades and eye protection required. Training blades will be available for purchase at the seminar. Those interested in becoming members of the Southern California Atienza training group can contact 562-492-6951 for further information.

Please call (562) 492-6951 for further information. Go to www.intmartialarts.com to register and get directions.
29552  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politically (In)correct on: September 20, 2005, 10:44:24 AM
This is my column from today's Times.

Ed



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

September 19, 2005

Hate Crimes: When Forbidden Acts Become Forbidden Beliefs

By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN

Thirty years ago, hate crimes did not exist, though plenty of crimes committed out of hatred did. Could it be that the only thing that has changed is that we now have both? And perhaps that the concept of hate crime is more a burden than a benefit?

Such was the unease I felt on Tuesday night at the New York Tolerance Center of the Simon Wiesenthal Center listening to a panel of human rights advocates discuss a new report about hate crimes. The report, "Everyday Fears: A Survey of Violent Hate Crimes in Europe and North America," written by Michael McClintock, the director of research for Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights), focuses on the United States, Canada, and 53 European and Central Asian countries.

It argues that hate crimes are on the increase and are not being taken seriously enough. In France, reports of violence against gay men more than doubled from 2002 to 2003. In Britain, anti-Semitic assaults on individuals doubled from 2003 to 2004. In the Netherlands, anti-Muslim violence flared after the murder of the filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004, leading to acts of arson and assault. The particular accounts are chilling.

What is to be done? At the panel, Mr. McClintock argued that "data stops hate," that knowing the extent of hatred would lead to legislation and control. His report argues for the expansion of legal and governmental structures to monitor and prosecute hate crimes.

Europe might already seem well armed. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has increased its focus on hate crimes in its Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. According to Mr. McClintock's report, the security organization also has an international hate crimes program that has been documenting its member nations' failures to document those crimes. The European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance and the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia also combat what the monitoring center calls "racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism at the European level."

But Human Rights First also says that only 19 of the 55 nations in the security organization actually have hate crime legislation and that only five include "sexual orientation and disability bias" in their criteria. Denmark does not make racism a factor in criminal law; France does but won't separate out statistics about particular groups. As for the United States, in the latest survey 90 percent of enforcement agencies did not report data on hate crimes at all.

The report suggests that all hate crimes are vastly undercounted, noting that "the highest levels of violence were found where there was increasingly effective monitoring and reporting (in Germany and France)."

But how are such crimes to be identified? The concept of hate crime developed only in recent decades out of a particular political perspective. It asserts that there are groups so injured by being at society's margins that any further injury rising out of hatred is particularly heinous. A hate crime is not just an individual crime but a reflection of a presumed social crime. Prosecution of hate crimes is a form of social exorcism, a declaration that traces of past sins will be expunged.

This is more peculiar than it may seem at first. Usually, a crime is prosecuted because it is a forbidden act; a hate crime is prosecuted because of a forbidden belief. Usually, punishment is assessed by judging a criminal's plans: Was the murder premeditated? Was it accidental? In hate crimes the motive is central: Was it done out of greed? Was it done out of hatred? Prosecuting hate crimes is meant to be an attack on prejudice, meant to reform feelings, not just behavior.

Thus hate crimes tend to fit a particular political ideology. It is not really group hatred that gives hate crimes their meaning, but social grievance. In the United States, for example, there is palpable discomfort when an incident of black-on-white crime is called a hate crime. It doesn't fit the model: where's the victim's social grievance? Anti-Semitism has also typically been seen as the spur to a hate crime only when it comes from the far right, as an extension of familiar fascistic victimization.

Human Rights First refers to terrorist acts as spurring hate crimes in retaliation but not as hate crimes themselves. They are ignored even though the Washington sniper of 2003, John Allen Muhammad, made his group hatred apparent, and even though radical Islamic clerics regularly preach hatred against Jews, infidels and Westerners and urge that it be acted upon (with considerable success). These are not considered hate crimes because the victims are not considered socially aggrieved.

In fact, debates about hate crimes can even resemble debates over who merits social restitution. This report urges that the concept be standardized: hate crimes should be crimes based on prejudice motivated by race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability.

Given all this, it is not surprising that statistics are inconsistent and difficult to come by, that some hate crimes prove to be crimes committed for other motives, that some hate crimes are not crimes at all and that others go unrecognized. Hate crimes are hard to prove and easy to claim, related to feelings not acts. It is not clear that monitoring and reporting will eliminate hate crimes. More agencies and legal structures are now devoted to them than ever before, without diminishing their prevalence.

Is it possible that one of the best ways to eliminate hate crimes is to jettison the concept itself? As for eliminating acts of hatred ... well, that is a more serious problem.

Connections, a critic's perspective on arts and ideas, appears every other Monday.
29553  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politically (In)correct on: September 20, 2005, 10:43:24 AM
This is my column from today's Times.

Ed



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

September 19, 2005

Hate Crimes: When Forbidden Acts Become Forbidden Beliefs

By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN

Thirty years ago, hate crimes did not exist, though plenty of crimes committed out of hatred did. Could it be that the only thing that has changed is that we now have both? And perhaps that the concept of hate crime is more a burden than a benefit?

Such was the unease I felt on Tuesday night at the New York Tolerance Center of the Simon Wiesenthal Center listening to a panel of human rights advocates discuss a new report about hate crimes. The report, "Everyday Fears: A Survey of Violent Hate Crimes in Europe and North America," written by Michael McClintock, the director of research for Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights), focuses on the United States, Canada, and 53 European and Central Asian countries.

It argues that hate crimes are on the increase and are not being taken seriously enough. In France, reports of violence against gay men more than doubled from 2002 to 2003. In Britain, anti-Semitic assaults on individuals doubled from 2003 to 2004. In the Netherlands, anti-Muslim violence flared after the murder of the filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004, leading to acts of arson and assault. The particular accounts are chilling.

What is to be done? At the panel, Mr. McClintock argued that "data stops hate," that knowing the extent of hatred would lead to legislation and control. His report argues for the expansion of legal and governmental structures to monitor and prosecute hate crimes.

Europe might already seem well armed. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has increased its focus on hate crimes in its Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. According to Mr. McClintock's report, the security organization also has an international hate crimes program that has been documenting its member nations' failures to document those crimes. The European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance and the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia also combat what the monitoring center calls "racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism at the European level."

But Human Rights First also says that only 19 of the 55 nations in the security organization actually have hate crime legislation and that only five include "sexual orientation and disability bias" in their criteria. Denmark does not make racism a factor in criminal law; France does but won't separate out statistics about particular groups. As for the United States, in the latest survey 90 percent of enforcement agencies did not report data on hate crimes at all.

The report suggests that all hate crimes are vastly undercounted, noting that "the highest levels of violence were found where there was increasingly effective monitoring and reporting (in Germany and France)."

But how are such crimes to be identified? The concept of hate crime developed only in recent decades out of a particular political perspective. It asserts that there are groups so injured by being at society's margins that any further injury rising out of hatred is particularly heinous. A hate crime is not just an individual crime but a reflection of a presumed social crime. Prosecution of hate crimes is a form of social exorcism, a declaration that traces of past sins will be expunged.

This is more peculiar than it may seem at first. Usually, a crime is prosecuted because it is a forbidden act; a hate crime is prosecuted because of a forbidden belief. Usually, punishment is assessed by judging a criminal's plans: Was the murder premeditated? Was it accidental? In hate crimes the motive is central: Was it done out of greed? Was it done out of hatred? Prosecuting hate crimes is meant to be an attack on prejudice, meant to reform feelings, not just behavior.

Thus hate crimes tend to fit a particular political ideology. It is not really group hatred that gives hate crimes their meaning, but social grievance. In the United States, for example, there is palpable discomfort when an incident of black-on-white crime is called a hate crime. It doesn't fit the model: where's the victim's social grievance? Anti-Semitism has also typically been seen as the spur to a hate crime only when it comes from the far right, as an extension of familiar fascistic victimization.

Human Rights First refers to terrorist acts as spurring hate crimes in retaliation but not as hate crimes themselves. They are ignored even though the Washington sniper of 2003, John Allen Muhammad, made his group hatred apparent, and even though radical Islamic clerics regularly preach hatred against Jews, infidels and Westerners and urge that it be acted upon (with considerable success). These are not considered hate crimes because the victims are not considered socially aggrieved.

In fact, debates about hate crimes can even resemble debates over who merits social restitution. This report urges that the concept be standardized: hate crimes should be crimes based on prejudice motivated by race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability.

Given all this, it is not surprising that statistics are inconsistent and difficult to come by, that some hate crimes prove to be crimes committed for other motives, that some hate crimes are not crimes at all and that others go unrecognized. Hate crimes are hard to prove and easy to claim, related to feelings not acts. It is not clear that monitoring and reporting will eliminate hate crimes. More agencies and legal structures are now devoted to them than ever before, without diminishing their prevalence.

Is it possible that one of the best ways to eliminate hate crimes is to jettison the concept itself? As for eliminating acts of hatred ... well, that is a more serious problem.

Connections, a critic's perspective on arts and ideas, appears every other Monday.
29554  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Bazoka Peruano. on: September 20, 2005, 06:34:12 AM
Si' se requiere fuerza de mano usar este arma Cheesy

Yo lo veo como una respuesta a las leyes Peruanas sobre armas.  Son muy, muy complicadas y la bazuka permite a un agricultor defender a sus cosechas con poco dinero sin necesidad de recurrir a las autoridades.
29555  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gender issues thread on: September 20, 2005, 04:44:28 AM
What joy! Boys wearing
nail polish
Glenn Sacks
? 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

It's one thing to be respectful of gays and gay parents. It's quite another to engineer a deceptive study and use it to assert that lesbian families are a better environment in which to raise boys than heterosexual families. That's what former Stanford University gender scholar Peggy F. Drexler, Ph.D. does in her new book, "Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men." Not surprisingly, a friendly mainstream media is helping her promote her claims.

In the book's opening pages, Drexler's message is one of tolerance for various family forms, as she notes that lesbian and single-mother families "can" effectively raise boys. But "Raising Boys" soon devolves into outright advocacy of lesbian parenting. In Drexler's world, lesbian families ? protected from fathers and their toxic masculinity ? are the best environments in which to raise boys. Married heterosexual mothers try their best, but the positive influence these hapless moms try to impart to their children is overwhelmed by that of the malevolent family patriarch.


According to Drexler, lesbian moms are "more sophisticated about how they teach their sons right from wrong" than heterosexual couples, and there are "real advantages for a boy being raised in this new type of family." Heterosexual mothers don't measure up in "moral attitude" and are less likely than lesbian moms to "create opportunities for their sons to examine moral and values issues." This in turn slows the "moral development in their sons."

Furthermore, Drexler asserts that boys raised by lesbians "grow up emotionally stronger," "have a wider range of interests and friendships" and "appear more at ease in situations of conflict" than boys from "traditional" (i.e., father-present) households. Fatherless boys "exhibit a high degree of emotional savvy ... an intuitive grasp of people and situations." Best of all, sons of lesbian couples are much more willing to discard traditional masculinity than boys trapped in heterosexual households.

For example, Fiona's son paints his nails, while both of Maria's sons dance ballet. Ursula's son chose sewing and cooking for his electives in seventh grade. Kathy's son has rejected playing baseball as being "too competitive" ? no surprise, because in their local, father-led baseball league, "the better players get more playing time."

Yet Drexler's research has obvious flaws. For one, the families she studied were middle to upper class, older women who volunteered to have their lives intimately scrutinized over a multiyear period ? an unrepresentative, self-selected sample.

More importantly, her research suffers from confirmatory bias ? Drexler saw what she wanted to see. Drexler is not an objective social scientist, but instead a passionate advocate for lesbian mothers. She calls the "maverick mothers" raising sons without men "avatars of a new social movement" and says her book's "stories, voices, data and findings will reassure, hearten and empower" them. Her research did not measure objective indices of child well-being, such as rates of juvenile crime, drop-outs or teen pregnancy. Instead, Drexler personally conducted interviews of mothers and their sons and made subjective judgments about their family lives. It is not surprising that Drexler found lesbian families to her liking. In fact, her dogged determination to see only good in lesbian couples and problems in heterosexual ones at times reaches absurd proportions.

For example, though Drexler doesn't seem to notice, her lesbian moms, particularly the "social" (i.e., non-biological moms), cheerfully endure insults and disrespect that no parent should ever tolerate. Carol's son calls her "stupid." Bianca's son calls her "lazy." Martha's son hops into her bed and effectively tells Martha tough luck, sucker ? go sleep somewhere else. Thankfully, in each case progressive lesbian mom dealt with the problem through patience and talking. By contrast, Dad ? who Drexler usually portrays as being overly strict ? would probably have had junior pull weeds in the yard for a few hours as he waves goodbye to his PlayStation. He is (sigh) sadly unenlightened.

For Drexler, boys raised by lesbians are a better breed than those raised by heterosexual couples. When Drexler was struggling to hold on to her briefcase and her bags, 11-year-old Damien saw "that I needed help and immediately offered it." Drexler is taken aback ? a boy being helpful and caring? She notes, "When I thought about it later, it clicked in my head: This is a boy being raised by two moms."

Lesbian-raised Cody helps clean up the playroom. Lesbian-raised Brad offers Drexler a stool to sit on when she comes to his room to interview her. Both considerations are the product, we are assured, of their special upbringings. Yet Drexler could have found many kind, helpful, empathetic boys raised by heterosexual couples ? like my 12 year-old son, who recently told his grandparents, "I want you to move next door to us, even though it will mean more chores for me" ? if only she had been willing to look.

At the same time, Drexler refuses to see obvious indications that the boys she interviews need fathers. When one of Brad's two moms picks him up from the day-care center after work, every day she has to pry the 6-year-old off of the leg of an after-school worker named Ron to whom Brad is ? pun intended ? quite attached. A less determined researcher might see this as evidence of Brad's need for a dad. Not Drexler, who instead tells us that, given Ron's presence, Brad's mom "knew she didn't need to worry about Brad's lack of an everyday father in his life."

Julia's little boy says, "I want a daddy." Darlene's little boy tells his mom: "We could find a daddy and he could move in with us." Three-year-old Ian ? fatherless by the decision of his "single mother by choice" mom, Leslie ? watches TV with mom, continually pointing at male figures on the screen and saying, "There's my daddy." Leslie explains, "No, we don't have a daddy in our family," but little Ian doesn't get it and continues to point and ask. A problem? Not according to Drexler, who writes, "Will some little boys trail after men they don't even know, perk up at lower-decibel voices or hang on to the pant legs of the men who cross their paths? Maybe." But whatever it is, she assures us, it isn't father hunger.

She enthuses that "sons of lesbians went to great efforts to define the terms of the bonds and relationships in their lives that the boys from straight families seemed to take for granted. All terms in their lives were complex." Is this a good thing?

Drexler does allow that some male figures can be positive for boys. Who? "Grandfathers, godfathers, uncles, family friends, coaches" ? in short, anybody but dad. In fact, boys being raised without fathers benefit because they enjoy "more male figures in their lives than boys from traditional families." But more does not mean better, and a group of men with little stake in a boy's life are a poor substitute for a father's love and devotion to his children. Nor can they provide the modeling that boys need ? the best way for a boy to learn how to become a good husband and father is to watch his father do it.

Drexler believes that boys in heterosexual families are worse off because they are "stuck with a single male role model" ? dad ? whereas in lesbian families boys are free to choose their own. Yet a child does not have the judgment to properly select his own role models, even with a parent's input. The fact that fatherless boys usually choose older, rebellious, thuggish boys as their role models ? and are often led by them to their perdition ? eludes Drexler.

Drexler holds up a variety of other family forms and "nonofficial parenting figures" as alternatives to heterosexual, married families, including Hillary Clinton's village, "communal living" and "seed daddies." She approvingly quotes a columnist who writes, "With so many single mothers around, and double mothers becoming less of a novelty, it is the children of traditional couples who are going to be asked, 'Who is that man in your house?'"


The boys Drexler studied don't need their dads, but instead benefit because their absence helps create what one might call the "maternal dictatorship." For Ursula, the single mother of two boys, Drexler enthuses that there's "no discussion about parenting methodologies. No crossed signals ... no compromising ... the decisions, the choices, the priorities were all hers." Better yet, "lesbian co-parents achieve a particularly high level of parenting skills ... [and] a greater level of agreement than heterosexual couples. A higher degree of consensus cut down on conflict in the home, enabling a clear message of love and support to be heard by the kids."

Drexler has it exactly wrong ? conflict over parenting methods and strategies is not a negative but a positive, for two competing and different viewpoints wean out bad ideas and help preserve good ones. This is particularly true in heterosexual couples, where both male and female perspectives are considered in decision-making. By contrast, in single parent homes ideas and parenting strategies are implemented without consultation, and the effect can be harmful. In lesbian homes, parenting strategies are used on boys without input from anyone who actually knows what it's like to be a boy.

While "Raising Boys" is being promoted as a harmless, feel-good affirmation for "maverick moms," it is in fact an attack on the institution that research shows is the best-suited to raising children ? the family. Drexler encourages women thinking of having fatherless children to make that "leap of faith." But the rates of all major youth pathologies, including juvenile crime, teen pregnancy, teen drug abuse and school dropouts, are tightly correlated with fatherlessness. Drexler waxes poetic about the nebulous benefits of fatherless parenting, but makes little attempt to explain why fatherless families produce so many troubled and pathological children.

The boys raised by the well-heeled, educated San Francisco lesbian couples Drexler studied will probably do better than most fatherless boys because their socioeconomic status is higher. But nothing in Drexler's research indicates that an extra mom can replace the strength, tough love and modeling a father gives his son.

--

Glenn Sacks taught elementary school and high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District and others, and was named to "Who's Who Among America's Teachers" three times. His columns on men's and fathers' issues have appeared in dozens of the largest newspapers in the United States. His website is GlennnSacks.com.
29556  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 19, 2005, 02:41:20 PM
I find myself with a strong gut instinct to let Freedom solve most things.  If people want to put their shoulder to the wheel and take hold of their own lives, , , , sounds good to me.
29557  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Bloomington, IL - October 8-9th, Seminar with Guro Crafty! on: September 19, 2005, 12:17:37 PM
Woof SuiHung:

My host has emailed me the following (posted here with his permission):

BEGIN " , , ,Ultimately, I want you to do your thing and am willing to trust you on that.  As far as our group and what we've been focusing on, we're a pretty young group (as far as experience is concerned) and there will be around 10-15 guys from my gym attend.

I'd like to see single stick, some double stick, maybe a little knife, footwork and attacking/defending with angles, and a lot of translation to
how this applies to empty hand fighting.

More than anything, I want you to do your thing though. , , , " END

So SH, what would YOU like to see?

Woof,
Crafty Dog
29558  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
29559  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
29560  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

NRA ON THE GROUND IN LOUISIANA

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 www.NRAILA.org, or e-mail us at ila-contact@nrahq.org.

============

Also see:  http://www.gunowners.org/notb.htm
29561  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.
Image:  

(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.
29562  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Well-armed People on: September 16, 2005, 10:21:11 PM
http://www.reason.com/hod/cartoon.cb091605.shtml
29563  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.
29564  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.
29565  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.
29566  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 15, 2005, 11:56:56 PM
Buzwardo:

I shared your FEMA post elsewhere and have been challenged on its authenticity.  How/where did you come across this?
29567  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.
29568  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
By DAVID BROOKS
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
www.cityofno.com/portal.aspx?portal=46&tabid=26) 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
Exercise.

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.
29569  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
29570  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.
29571  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.
29572  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Unorganized Militia on: September 13, 2005, 07:02:08 PM
Ryan:

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.

All:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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


http://www.reason.com/hod/dk091005.shtml
29573  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:  http://stolenthunder.blogspot.com/2005/09/accusation-revealed.html


Marc
29574  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.
29575  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.
www.stratfor.com
29576  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

PS:  http://www.mikeyonopenforum.blogspot.com/?BMIDS=17137839-4e534328-78899
29577  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WW3 on: September 11, 2005, 07:23:55 AM
http://www.mikeyonopenforum.blogspot.com/?BMIDS=17137839-4e534328-78899
29578  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.
29579  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politically (In)correct on: September 09, 2005, 06:38:28 PM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05251/567702.stm

Unf*ckin' believable
29580  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.
29581  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: September 09, 2005, 11:23:51 AM
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007229

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.
29582  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)?

http://volokh.com/posts/1126215739.shtml

========================

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)
Graphic
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.
 
INTERACTIVE MAP:
Katrina's Aftermath in the Gulf Coast
FULL COVERAGE:
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)
Graphic
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.
 
INTERACTIVE MAP:
Katrina's Aftermath in the Gulf Coast
FULL COVERAGE:
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.
29583  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???...
__________________
29584  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
http://geekwitha45.blogspot.com/200...415332512 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)?

http://volokh.com/posts/1126215739.shtml
29585  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.

www.stratfor.com
29586  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?

Woof,
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
29587  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / KALI TUDO (tm) Article on: September 09, 2005, 06:58:34 AM
Woof:

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.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
29588  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.

Woof,
Crafty Dog

PS:  What is the meaning of "Invictus"?
29589  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!!!

Woof,
Crafty Dog
29590  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"
29591  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)
29592  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
_________________
29593  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'.
29594  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?

Woof,
Crafty Dog
29595  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)
29596  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Help our troops/our cause: on: August 30, 2005, 05:51:54 AM
http://atlas.usafa.af.mil/jscope/JSCOPE05/Kilner05.html

Comments?
29597  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.

Gracias.
29598  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants on: August 29, 2005, 06:38:29 PM
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/995phqjw.asp
 
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.

 
 

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29599  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
Zurich, SWITZERLAND
Dog Brothers Martial Arts Seminar
Featuring Guro Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
Contact Benjamin Rittiner
lonelydog@bluewin.ch
29600  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
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