Thursday, May 30, 2013

More Boston Follies

It seems the Boston thing was intel services running amok...  will no one reign in these people?

Meanwhile, the FBI story changes yet again on the "suspect" killing related to Boston.  Don't worry, the FBI will investigate itself.

No... we need truth commissions to sort it all out...

Immunize everyone, even for capital offenses, as long as they confess their crimes.

A citizens review panel as a special prosecutor is needed...

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

More On London and Boston Terror

Here is an interesting observation:

Ibragim Todashev was killed by FBI agents last week after, according to them, he suddenly flipped out and attacked agents during an extended round of questioning -- just as he was about to sign a confession to an earlier murder. His confession was expected to implicate Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was earlier killed by police.

Adebolajo's friend Abu Nusaybah told the British media that the MI5, the UK equivalent of the FBI, had been hounding Adebolajo for some time after he had returned from a trip to Kenya:
"Mr Nusaybah said when Adebolajo returned from Kenya he claimed he was 'being harassed by MI5' after agents repeatedly called at his home.
We know that people in government caught doing insane things, like running guns to drug cartels are immune from any consequences.  We know that in the USA election fraud is material, so we cannot effect change.  In the meantime, it is pretty clear that unsupervised law enforcement is is doing its own thing, with some pretty terrible results.

Are elements in law enforcement so pressuring snitches and associates that they take a murderous way out?  John Le Carre pointed out how law enforcement sees crime and wants to end it.  Intelligence agencies sees crime and wants to ride it, manage it.  There is an internal conflict for government.  Time for some supervision, citizen review boards, something not allowed in USA.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Being self-employed I don't pay too much attention to state holidays anyway, but it has been brought to my attention that Memorial Day is in recognition of those soldiers who died in USA's wars.  Doubly uninteresting to a conscientious objector.  Labor Day is a better fit for me.

Now that is not to say soldiers are something to be disdained, for it isn't the hand you are dealt, it is how you play the cards.  And if someone decides the cards are best played by joining up, then we should not judge others as to how they play their cards.

But it is a bit much to ask everyone else to celebrate how a certain group played their cards.  But then I can remember real warriors, like Carmelite nuns or some such.  Now there is a tough crew maintaining the peace.

But USA was never designed to have a standing army.  But we do now, with life-long politicians in uniform, who pay for public relations to keep them and their wars going.  And behave in a manner that would disgrace Bill Clinton.

Ten years into a war where we invaded Afghanistan because some Saudis attacked USA (counterattacked according to the CIA) our military made countless new enemies there when it killed these ten kids in April 2013.

Afghanistan Air Strike Kills Children

Naw, I cannot celebrate USA military.  I value my rights and freedom too much, which we lose when we take it from others by force.

Of course, since I benefit from imperialism, my children are no more safe than these kids.  Funny thing, people expect that God's patience is approval.   Good luck with that.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Take Time For Mastication

It's an unfortunate word for an important topic, it means to chew.  Our regime has not purged itself of its original sin of violence and racism, and so it is host to implacable elements who advance a pernicious agenda against "the weak."  A front line in this war on people is waged with food.

Chinese people ask me how come people in USA are so fat?  Indeed, for the first time in history poor people are overweight.  How did that happen?

Well, various elements during the Johnson administration fed off each other to create an astonishing edifice.  First I'll describe that, then on to a solution.

First came treats that delighted hungry people: made from subsidized corn, subsidized sugar, subsidized corn oil and subsidized sodium (from mines), various companies put out things like Frito's and Lay's Potato chips.  Those became one company.  Next came Doritos, for the South of the Border set. What happens with these foods is satisfaction is instantaneous, and it is so processed it needs no chewing. It can be wolfed down.

Now, without chewing to bring out the nutrients (which may be desultory anyway given the ingredients) the chemical connection between the mouth and stomach does not occur, so even more must be eaten more often to satisfy actual hunger.  Supersize me.  Happily such foods are very cheap to make, but such quantities do tend to require more money over time.

So food stamps were expanded to include these foods.  And recently usability of food stamps, or the EBT card, were expanded to include meals bought at Kentucky Fried Chicken, etc.  The exploding welfare state needed to be computerized to handle all of these transactions, and Texan Ross Perot became a billionaire after leaving IBM by computerizing first Texas welfare, then going nationwide with EDS.

Coca Cola and Pepsi were designed to wash this stuff down, and its ingredients are rather dreadful as well.  One advantage is no one ever got dysentery from soda pop, which keeps the victims alive to collect and distribute taxpayer funding back to the food-factories.

The national freeway system served to enable these centralized food processors to cheaply invade local communities and wipe out the local treats, usually healthy and ethnic, accelerating the downward spiral.

This process providing funds for what passes for foods and directing the proceeds to an ever consolidating group of food factories has worked so well that drug cartels got in on the act.  Any narc will tell you, like WalMart, the busiest time for business is 12:01 am the day the EBT cards are refilled with welfare money.

Like frankenfoods, crack was designed not to kill the users.  It is cheap and plentiful so anyone can get it, but it does not kill, so whether you are a billionaire or on welfare, it takes it all but does not kill you.  Why kill the money source?

Any State treasurer will tell you funds collected from money laundering of drug proceeds is a critical part of the State budget.  (The feds are crushing California pot clubs because Cal doesn't tax medical marijuana.  Washington State and Colorado get a pass because they do tax it.)  Asset forfeiture is an important component in law enforcement funding.  The illegal drug regime is a critical part of funding our government.

And the wonderful thing about genocide by frankenfoods is as opposed to gas chambers,  the victim sure looks blameworthy.  What to make of a dead, fat poor person?  Or a dead crackhead?  Clearly, each killed himself. Right?  And we can hardly have sympathy for live ones either.

Yes, the world can be a wicked place, and that is good to know.  So how do we conscientiously register our objections to genocide?  By chewing.  And encouraging the targets of genocide to chew.

Say what?  What few people understand is those fast frankenfoods are so devoid of any nutrients and good food value that after a few chews there is no longer any flavor.  This encourages one to swallow and take another bite of that which ails you.  Chew a minimum 20 times (40 is about right for a mouthful) and by 5 or 6 one realizes they are getting nothing from the edible mass they are consuming. What cost "only" $1.99 becomes a chore to chew.

At the same time, a $12.00 free range chicken, if chewed properly, can make for a half-dozen meals, and all over far healthier.

We can overthrow this entire bad food regime and defeat its racist inspiration by encouraging each other to chew our foods, and explain the benefits.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Problem With the London Murder

There is a problem with the story that those murderers of that soldier in London.  The story goes the soldier was hacked to death.  If you look at several of the pictures, where is the blood from the murdered soldier?  There is none around the soldier. Certainly if there was a blood pool somewhere we'd be treated to a picture of that, for in journalism "if it bleeds, it leads." Certainly there is blood on the hands of the murderers, but that would happen hacking even into a dead person.  From the eyewitness acount:
 They were, in their way, punctilious about killing a soldier, however cowardly the attack, hitting him with a car, then laying into him with their blades. 
If you look at the picture of the car, which hit the soldier, the front end is completely smashed in, meaning the soldier was hit with appalling force.  Side views shows the fluids flowing out of the car.  That is a pretty hard hit.  I think what happened is the soldier was already dead before the thugs began cutting him up (dead people don't bleed like live people.)  I also sincerely doubt a soldier would have been able to kill so easily with a knife.

What's the difference?  Well, mutilating a dead person and hacking a person to death are two different things.   Both are savagery, but different orders thereof.  Next, what are the circumstances of the initial automobile contact?  Was it an accident, in which two lads who accidentally killed a soldier in front of a barracks figured they were done for anyway, and decided to make a suicide mission out of it?  Or, as the press insists, were these two out to murder a soldier?

The story that they hacked a soldier to death certainly is unlikely.  I think in time we'll have a fuller picture.  So what does the coroner say?  Right now it is "hate Muslims" time.  These lads who were raised Christian and converted to a doubtful version of Islam are hardly representatives of that religion.

We should get the facts.

Along these lines though, in the UK guns are tightly restricted, they do have an outsized murder-by-knife problem.   I'd much rather face a gun than a knife, and I think the law recognizes this inasmuch that there is no conceal carry permit anywhere in USA for a knife as a weapon, nor open carry.  In fact, unless you can show you are on your way to or from work where a knife with a blade more that 5 inches, you are most likely going to jail.  You may beat the rap, but not the ride.  Knives scare law enforcement far more than guns.

In the real world a knife is far more troubling than a gun.  In the history of guns, of all of the bullets let fly, almost none have resulted in a death.  But a knife is a nasty thing to deal with, so easy to get badly hurt, and in most knife fights, one does not realize one is up against a knife until it is in the victim.  A gun has to be shown pretty much to be used.  Not so with a knife. Knife fighters do not show their knife, as in the movies.

I had an occasion to discuss with Py Bateman, she of the Feminist Karate Union, of the attempted murder on her. She instinctively got her hand across her throat before the unseen knife got there. She got her attacker off her with the lock that is universal in martial arts but we call kotegaeshi in aikido.  She showed me her scar, it was the most elegant thing of its kind.  It starts out straight with murderous concentration then arcs down and away.  Splendid work on her part.  She recounts the story in detail another time in the paper.  Her argument is knife attacks are survivable.

Indeed.  Appalling but survivable.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Rank and Lineage in Aikido

As I occasionally research something related to aikido, I have often stumbled across discussions of ranking and lineage.  As to ranking, there are two threads, and that is does someone deserve a certain rank, and the other is how come more non-Japanese are not higher ranked?

It seems to me, like all voluntary associations, ranks are about leadership, not talent.  Rank is so someone can make a decision affecting the voluntary association.  The people subject to the decision, it is also generally true of voluntary associations, really don't care much which way the decision goes, they just want a decision to settle a given issue.  Sure, aikido, like every voluntary association, has some issues, usually personality conflicts, that cause rifts and the happy result of multiplying by dividing.

For those of us who just want to practice, those who pursue the higher rankings and the responsibility for the organization that goes with it, those leaders make the practice possible by attending to dojo management.  From this point of view, who cares what rank any particular person has?  Look at their service, not at their skill.  If you envy their rank you are missing their service.

As to the highest ranks being reserved for Japanese, well, it is a Japanese art.  I am pretty sure there are elements specific to the Japanese that will never quite be apprehended by non-Japanese.  I perceive how some Swedes cannot fully fathom an Irishman, but so what?  There may be some question as to whether the differences matter, but I don't think it is debatable that there are differences.

It seems to me the question is whether aikido is a Japanese martial art, and whether we want it to remain so (or even if we have a choice.)  To my mind it is a Japanese martial art, and I'll no more "get it" entirely than ever be able to master an Ikebana arrangement, in spite of the fact that people tell me it reminds them of it.  My one connection to Japanese culture is aikido, remote as that connection might be.  I am not sure I would be as interested in the art if the leadership was not Japanese, because I think it would change.

Having said that, I am surprised by claims of lineage as if that much matters.  I've seen natural talents who've picked up aikido from the most unlikely sources, and seem to have self-corrected as necessary.  And if lineage mattered, what with my three instructors all trained by the only ju-dan in aikido, Tohei Sensei, the Chief Instructor of Hombu dojo, then I should be a most excellent aikidoka.


You'll find the best trained aikidoists are the ones who can trace their training back to Tohei Sensei.  Note I said "training." If you look at his videos, what you see is his seminars were really "how to teach aikido" seminars.  What Tohei did that was so important is lay out a method of teaching aikido, which his later version shin shin to-itsu emphasized.  I don't think lineage is anywhere near as important as the method and content of the teaching.  And you can get that without having any "lineage" at all. Read Tohei Sensei's  Aikido In Daily Life (the 1966-72 versions - not the later Ki in Daily Life).  Is the teacher teaching aikido along the lines Tohei Sensei explains?  And then for the actual arts, read Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere, Westbrook and Ratti, an encyclopedia of aikido moves.  Between these two books you can become a consumer of good aikido instruction.

Don't worry about lineage.  Don't worry about ranking.  Worry about learning aikido.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

America's Wannsee Conference

When the German soldiers were resisting the Nazi program of the holocaust, a conference was held in a district of Berlin called the Wannsee where various people of the Nazi commanding heights got together and worked out cooperation to the end of the holocaust.  Primarily the problem was one of logistics of killing so many Jews, but German soldier decency needed to be worked around too.  Soldiers were not cooperating.  So an impersonal technological solution was devised.

Note how often in the film, built on the transcripts from the conference, sensibilities and appearances were a concern.  To Nazis.

In USA we have more soldiers in the "war on terror" killing themselves than are being killed in battle.  There is tremendous resistance within the ranks for the activities our politicians and their masters require of the soldiers. Therefore a meeting was held and a technological solution to indecency was arrived at: the USA Drone Program.  A program that kills people without the problem of conscientious objection.

Sure, the drone program is less in scale, but not in kind.  Our wars overseas are just in neither cause nor execution.  The only reason they are not larger in scale is because the promise of victims of the wars pay for the wars has not panned out.

In fact, days after the U.S. invasion, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told a congressional panel that Iraqi oil revenues would help pay for reconstructing the country, i.e. a cost of the war. “The oil revenue of that country could bring between 50 and 100 billion dollars over the course of the next two or three years. We’re dealing with a country that could really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon,” he said.
One month before the war, then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said Iraq “is a rather wealthy country. … And so there are a variety of means that Iraq has to be able to shoulder much of the burden for their own reconstruction.”

In the video listen to Heydrich explain the holocaust of the Jews is paid for by the wealth of the Jews.  Just like Native Americans have paid for their holocaust.

For the first time today the President admitted the program (an open secret) and defended it.

At least the Nazis had the decency to keep the holocaust secret.  The Germans could feign not to know.  Now we are all the more guilty, because we cannot pretend we are not unaware.  It is a shame when USA politicians do not have the decency of Nazi politicians.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Our Government is Not Our Country

A country is people, places and things.  It is held together by relationships among the people.  A country may have governments, but those are always lower order things.

A person may live in an apartment, and he has a way he manages, governs, that apartment.  He may head out to the park to play a game of chess with someone he meets there.  The game of chess has a government.  The game of chess is played in a park that has a government, whether private or otherwise.  Afterwards he meets a friend for lunch at a restaurant, which has its own government.  

He may belong to a church, which has its own government.  He may belong to a mens club like the rotary, which too has its own government.  Time was most people belonged to some such group, and that is where they got their health care and any insurance they needed.  Libraries once were universally private, with their own governments.  Some of the finest libraries in the world are still on this model.

Corporations used to be governments of something like a bridge or a mill.  Water districts today are on this model.  70% of the fire fighters in USA are self-governing volunteers.  Every bit as qualified as paid city version, if not superior for their independence.

When we think of governments, we think of "the entity in a given territory with a monopoly on violence."  People act as if that has always been the case.  That definition comes from about 1910, and it was prospective even then.

Governments come and go, change, and why not, they are lower order things.  What we commonly call government we do not even need.  The USA of today is nothing like the USA of 1800.  We have some vestiges of that when we say with a straight face "federal taxes are voluntary" or "the right to vote" or "congress shall make no law..."   

Anarchy means "no + king" and applies to the state as well.  Anarchists are all for government, as long as it is voluntary, such as the examples above. Anarchists are not against government, they are only against fraud and violence which is the only reason the state exists, to concentrate fraud and violence in a few hands.

Our country is what it is and depends on persons places and things.  Ands some people believe it depends on God.  If you think that, then read 1 Samuel 8.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

What If No Cops?

If we do not have police, then who are the cops?

You are.   Or at least enough live wires out there so malefactors have no idea from which quarter objection conscientious will emerge to their malefaction.  Today a malefactor knows the cops are at least 22.5 minutes away.  He can produce plenty of mayhem in that time.  In a free society, he has no idea who will cold-cock him mid-crime.

Since I do not think police is a legitimate function of government, I make my own arrests when I see malefactors in action.  I've made over a half dozen that I can remember.

Now to arrest is to simply stop someone from doing something.  I arrested a rapist, a second story man, a dine and dasher pair(only because they were so boorish), a vandal, one half a home invasion team (although I think something else was going on there, so I let the perp go..)  a car thief  (friend of a friend, so I had to let that one go too..), a peeping tom. Then there are the ones I merely waded in on.

I was having Chinese food with a half dozen yudansha in Ballard when an apparent kidnapping was in progress outside in front of us.  There was a woman in her 20s being pulled in 4 directions, by a cabbie, and older couple and an younger man...  she wanted nothing to do with any of them.  I waded right in.  No one seemed particularly violent, so I said, "folks, the cops will be here in a few minutes, why don't you all just stop and wait for them to sort it out?"  And that is exactly what we all did, a funny frozen scrum as people maintained their grips on each other.

When the cops did show up it was quickly determined that the girl had joined a cult, her parents hired a deprogrammer to kidnap her away from the cult and the girl had escaped the kidnapper by taxi and they had followed her and when they pounced again the cabbie came to the damsel's defense and I had come out too.  During all this I noticed my compatriots not taking the slightest interest in my welfare.  The food was good there, not that I would get to experience it.  As far as they were concerned if I wanted to play don Quixote, that was my problem.

 Usually someone else has called the police, so under threat of violence I have to give up my prisoner to the police.  That sucks because then you get a summons to court and all that nonsense that only results in the state protecting the perp while unnerving the victims, what a waste of time...

Municipal police is a recent innovation.  Before that civility was enforced by the community.  It is only when violence is monopolized by the state that incivility reigns, give that the state protects perpetrators from the retribution of the community.

Happily "citizens arrest" is still legal, like private attorneys general, bounty hunting, stand your ground, pro se, conscientious objection, private law enforcement and so many other rights we had before the state arrogated a monopoly on violence.  Sadly we lost the right to resist illegal arrest, and of course the right to kill police officers who are using lethal force to make an illegal arrest. That is an ancient right, well established in common law, with many cases to support it.  But it is gone now, and don't think cops don't know it.

If we did not have cops, the other yudansha would have sauntered out and joined me.  And then I might have had a chance at some of that tomato beef chow mein 30 years ago.  I'm not bitter.  Much.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Israel and Conscientious Objection

It's not quite conscientious objection, but "ultra-orthodox" Jews have heretofore been exempt from the draft as long as they are Yeshiva students.  The idea is they serve God first, and defend Israel by their faithfulness to the Word of God.

This gets to an interesting problem: fighting as a follower of God for a State not sanctioned by God, for politicians largely atheist.  Cooperation with the state is a tricky thing.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Constant Exercise

It's not facing down the nut with a knife, or deciding on war where conscientious objection is practiced in the main, it is when being lied to by officials, deceived by another merchant, when asked to agree with something untrue.   Exercising restraint when an advantage seems apparent, that is where conscientious objection is practiced in daily life.

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Off To Jail - For Failure to Pay Enough Taxes

Or for attitude ...

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Our Strengths Are Our Weaknesses

In aikido as a martial art, kokyu nage is unique in martial arts.  It gets to an ideal form, and that is the no-touch momentum throw.  Now, there is no martial art that does not appreciate a no-touch momentum throw when it occurs in the case of a tournament, but it is extremely rare.  A Kendo-mans timing may send an opponent sailing without a touch, but in judo no touching, no point.  The judges, though, are looking for that ippon in which there is virtually no friction, in essence a no touch through.

Kekko desu!

In aikido all kokyu nage is taught hands-on initially.  It is then practiced for no-touch timing.  As one fellow notes, it is generally a decision on the part of the uke not to be touched than the nage to no-touch throw some one.  But as an ideal, to not touch an opponent, to let the opponent's attack to constitute 100% of the aggression and pacification, well, splendid!

So a strength of aikido is the unique kokyu nage.  But that is also a weakness.

Kokyu nage should be thought of as rare, and certainly trained for as an ideal, working on timing and such.  But the problem is when it is presented as a standard.  Then things go wrong.  People lift their arms, and the opponent falls.  Then even timing disappears, and then it is no longer practicing a martial art.   More ballroom dancing, jive style.  Nothing wrong with that, it's just the costume is wrong.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Why We Need No Police

In theory, practice and history we see there is no reason to have police.  Less common is an explanation of the alternatives.  Here is one of very many:

Detroit makes an interesting contrast to Washington, DC.  Detroit has a murder rate (2011) or 48 per 100,000, Washington DC 21 per 100,000.  They have similar gun laws, so what is the difference?  Gentrification.  If the peninsula upon which Detroit resides becomes a free market polity, under a "one country, two systems" regime, then gentrification can come to the city with its attendant benefits.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Koichi Kashiwaya Sensei

The other day I visited with Sifu Andy Dale who stocks a prodigious collection of videos from the early days, as well as instructional videos he has produced.  As we were reminiscing about the good old days (circa 71) at 306 South Main, it dawned on me how we had maybe thirty regular students and both Hirata and Lau senseis as instructors.  Chief Instructor Tohei Sensei was a regular visitor, and Seattle was a transfer point out of Haneda for JAL and NWA flights, so we have a steady stream of visitors like Imaizumi, Maruyama and Toyoda senseis.   Aikido comes from kendo, and we had several students who were advanced kendo-men, and even the legendary kendo sensei Omoto graced us with a few practices. Proportionally I doubt there was any place outside of Japan with better instructional talent to student ratio.

And then in 1973 Tohei sensei added Kashiwaya (Koichi) sensei to the mix.   Kashiwaya sensei was a newly minted san-dan, and Hirata sensei appointed him instructor of the children's class.  I had been teaching the children's class for about a year, and I was demoted to assistant instructor of the kid's class.  Only a blue belt and already demoted!  Hirata sensei consoled me by saying I was an uchi deshi (except for the fact I was not live-in, nor cared to be).  In retrospect appointing Kashiwaya "children's instructor" was probably one of those martial art discipline things wherein Hirata made clear to Kashiwaya who was boss.

Of course the kids were far better off with Kashiwaya sensei, and staying on as assistant instructor meant I was schooled by Kashiwaya sensei as well.  He built up the program and the watching parents were treated to some cross-cultural experiences.  Once a walloped kid was about to offer tears when Kashiwaya sensei barked "Don't cry!"  The kid did not cry.  Interesting.  Another time while explaining a katate tori movement from the beginning, Kashiwaya's eight year old uke unintentionally let rip an astonishing fart, much to the delight of the assembled kids.  "Oooooo!  Too much ki extension!"  cautioned Kashiwaya sensei.

You see in those gung-fu movies where the fighters are trying to sweep or knock off balance the opponent but one has made his "legs like tree trunks" and is immovable.  Kashiwaya sensei provided my first experience going up against someone who decided if you were not going to move him, he wasn't going to move.  Nat Steiger had it in his arms, but Kashiwaya in his whole body.

At this point there was aikido available seven days a week in Seattle, up to four hours a day, five days at Seattle Budokan, four days at University of Washington, all under one club.  It was one of the brief and shining moments you do not realize you are in except in retrospect.

Then came the "multiplying of aikido by dividing."  At first there was just the idea of some special club, you know, for like uchi deshi, and there was going to be a training facility and dorm in Japan and that sounded pretty good to this uchi deshi, so I bought a lifetime membership, I got the ID card and the Ki Society pin, and I was set.  But then it transpired this was a split into something called Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, with an emphasis on spiritual development.  Well, that was always the least interesting part of aikido to me, so when the split came, I was on the Hombu side of the divide. Like some Japanese period drama, Hirata and Kashiwaya senseis stayed with their champion. Although Tohei sensei had recruited a 15 year old Bernie Lau into aikido in Hawaii circa 1955, Lau Sensei had received his first two black belt ranks from O Sensei, and his instructors were tighter with O Sensei than Tohei sensei.  Just as well, both sides of the divide were happier with the alternative emphases.

We decamped to probably the oldest continuous judo dojo in USA, 1510 S Washington Street (which probably has the best value for martial arts instruction in USA: $25/month.  They gave us Mo We Fr nights, so with Lau Sensei as our chief instructor, away we went.  Les bon temps, sont finis.

We still had a procession of excellent visitors, and in some the differences were beneficial as many of the members were not so aikido-centric, which made for plenty of innovations.  Aikido newcomers to Seattle were invited to visit and even instruct, and I recall Mary Heiny, Bruce Bookman, and one extremely unfortunate fellow who expected to be proclaimed chief instructor of aikido in all of Seattle.

Bernie Lau reasoned that a fellow who had practiced a year or two in Japan, regardless of his instructor, was not up to leading people who collectively, nodding to his top students, offered well over a century of experience.  The fellow stormed out after vowing to report us to his master.

Even with the split, Seattle was small enough and feelings cordial enough to where I and a few others were supernumeraries at Kashiwaya sensei's wedding reception.  About that time I began travelling for work and always took a gi to practice on trips since it seemed aikido was everywhere.  There were some wonderful seminar opportunities in various cities and I was able to train at Hombu dojo and in Hong Kong among other places.

In the late 70s San Francisco had an awesome dojo and I managed to visit a few times, and be there for a black belt test, which must have been 79, since Doran, Nadeau and I believe Dobson senseis were officiating.  No doubt Wada and Klickstein were there since it was a black belt test, who knows who else.  Talk about a concentration of talent.  (Klickstein later suffered abandonment when unwarranted claims of sexual abuse surfaced in the false-accusation, witchhunt rich 90s.  Nothing came of any of the claims, not even charges, and Klickstein went off to build another life.  C'est la vie.)

On a business trip to Boulder I looked up Kashiwaya sensei circa 1980 and we had dinner.  Mixed expectations.  I figured on catching up and maybe some practice, but it seemed that to him my visit meant I repented of my decision and came seeking reinstatement.  Ooops.  Apparently feelings were hard in Japan and over time those feelings filtered down, I suspect.  Things had changed.  Too bad.

I saw him again maybe 20 years later on the UW campus and happily, with time, no one gives a hoot anymore.  That is better.  Tohei Sensei did in fact build his training center, and as  life member I guess I belong there, but even his school has broken up.    His top people found a return to the Hombu fold to include a chilly reception, so most of them have seem to have started their own schools.  More multiplication by division.  Even those who who stayed with Tohei Sensei, such as Kashiwaya sensei, seem to have formed independent disciplines.

And so it goes.  The good thing is just about everywhere on earth you can find a dojo, some practice partners regardless of the "style", a club to which you are a member with branches worldwide.  Good enough.

Feel Free To Email This To Three Friends.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Aikido As A Martial Art

Aikido is a martial art because it is used as a martial art.  That is to say, in case of violence, aikidoists use a system to deal with threats and acts.  The system itself is more principles than forms, thus there are so many styles.  And what styles people adopt are more a matter of weights and measures than orthodoxy.

I was having a beer at the Blue Moon on my daughter's birthday when a fellow slipped me a note informing me he had been at Cafe Racer in Seattle when the gunman came in and killed several people.  I'd recalled the shooting and when I heard, what was it, 5 dead(?) one injured, immediately I thought "talent." Anyone who can manage to kill five scattering people with a handgun is highly trained and likely a natural talent with a gun.  That the fellow was a long-time victim of the medical industry was a given.  Sure enough, the fellow was military trained, so he did what he was trained to do, shoot to kill, and he was drugged, so the drugs did what they were designed to do, and that is eliminate human sympathy.  The only wonder is why we do not have more of these killings given our constant wars and aggressive medicalization.

Why the fellow approached me in the bar, and why he intro'd himself in a note, I do not know why.  I wasn't particularly interested in the topic or him, but I figured when I got another beer I'd acknowledge him and hear him out.  Maybe he just needed to talk.  I think he said he was a vietnam vet, I don't quite recall, but I do recall he related he was the one who began throwing chairs at the shooter at the Cafe Racer shooting.  Apparently there is unreleased surveillance video of this and the whole event.

Now that was interesting, he fought back with chairs against a gunman and survived.  He went straight at the gunman. A natural martial artist. With aikido training, he might have been able to make an arrest as well, since aikido has so many arrest techniques.

Aikido is a martial art because the principle is you go straight at the threat.  Of course this very well may get you killed, but you knew that when you signed up for a martial art.  You'd rather die than be a victim.  But guns are notoriously ill-suited to the task of killing, even when in the hands of native talent.  Aikido-man Ramon Reiser related how in Vietnam the "enemy" kept fighting him hand-to-hand even with plenty of bullet holes incurred.  Most soldiers survive the gunshot wounds they incur, so gunshot does not equal death.

In any event, as a martial art, regardless of the threat we go straight at the threat.  Whatever that yields, if you lose the encounter, hopefully you've reduced the threat to the point where the next martial artist does better, and eventually the threat is neutralized.  If your number is up, it is up.

Now in aikido as a martial art there is much training in the "eight directions."  So straight at the attack should only mean 1 in 8 times straight is head on...  only three of five times you are within peripheral vision.  Five of eight times straight at the attacker you are outside of the attacker's peripheral vision.   One in eight times straight at the attacker means you are directly behind.

So in aikido as a martial art, one goes straight at the threat and uses what techniques, based on the principles, best addresses the threat.  It is in addressing threat that we see aikido is a martial art, because in practice it is used as a martial art.

Given the world we live in,  why every coffee shop does not have a shotgun under the counter, I do not know.  Starbucks welcomes concealed carry customers, and where legal, open carry customers. But then, they have no illusions about the world they live in.  You never know who is armed in Starbucks, and these shooters, trained and drugged to kill, specifically prefer gun-free zones: schools, post offices, and places people are not likely to be armed.

If people are not going to arm themselves, then they should at least train in the martial art of aikido.

Feel Free To Email This To Three Friends.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Separation of Justice and State

Here is a common enough example of a citizen being murdered and plenty of cover-up and so on.  It is a story that gets deeper as it goes, and pretty distressing, I am sure, for the victims.

There is a problem in life of believing your own PR, and this fellow is a lawyer, attempting to get justice for his brother, and mistakenly believing justice can be had in USA.  As the story deepens, he gets more surprised, and bitter.

None of this is new in history, it is just how it goes.  And if any right thinking person tries to help, they too are destroyed.  That has been happening on this continent at least as long as the Salem witch trials.

If you'll note his last comment regarding how judges will view the fact their staffs, along with churches, have been infiltrated by FBI informants, with consternation.  The fellow seems to think they judges will lash out, sort this out, and bring the FBI to heel.  Rather delusional.  The FBI already has the goods on all of the judges.  Any judge that crosses the FBI will find all of his secrets revealed, and thus destroyed.

There would seem to be no way out.  There seems to be a dichotomy: be abused or an abuser.  Be a murderer, or be murdered.  And so people hear about these terrible things and blame the victim, change the channel, or get philosophical, whatever it takes to get away from reality.

To enter law enforcement with a view to being for good things and against bad things, or whatever motivates people who want such jobs, and then to find you are obliged to turn a blind eye to murder, etc, can be as distressful for these perpetrators as it is for the victims.  They believe the world is a wicked place, there is no justice, better to meet out punishment than take it.

It is a false dichotomy.  There is an alternative, and that is what might be "truth commissions."  In essence, a truth commission has the community's support to offer immunity to anyone on any matter, including capital offenses.  The proposal is simple:  actors are given immunity on anything to which they confess.  Confessions are then cross referenced and given ratings as to veracity, and revelations are fair game for state actors to go after unrepentant criminals.

This will never work in USA, which is yet to have a single independent police review board.  It necessarily cannot be associated with a state, since the state cannot be trusted with criminal justice matters.  But there is a precedent for making this work: the one country, two systems that China maintains.

Take an area, such as the peninsula upon which Detroit reposes, and make it a free polity zone like Hong Kong.  And there, once established, people can find sanctuary from the murderers who hide behind badges in the USA.  There they can find immunity from prosecution, and at the same time have their stories subject to the most aggressive forensics.

You think you have a better solution?

Feel Free To Email This To Three Friends.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Being Soviet Means Never Having to Say You are Sorry

Since 2009 20,000 people have viewed this abstract which states in part:

 The so-called “global war on terror” is not an armed conflict. In addition, members of the CIA are not lawful combatants and their participation in killing—even in an armed conflict—is a crime.

Most of whom must have been lawyers.  Since then, not one has brought criminal charges against criminals.  That is because, ultimately, they are state employees and will never cross the state.  On inconsequential matters, surely, but on matters existential to the criminal elements in government, never.

Feel Free To Email This To Three Friends.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Best Way to Get Out is to Not Go In

Here a pregnant mother of four is to be sent to prison for trying to change jobs.

She fled to Canada, and was sent back.

Private First Class Kimberly Rivera — a conscientious objector and pregnant mother of four — has just been sentenced to military prison for refusing to serve in the Iraq War. Rivera was on a two-week leave in December 2006 when she decided she would not return to Iraq for a second tour of duty. She and her family fled to Canada in February 2007, living there until their deportation back to the United States last year. On Monday, a military court sentenced her to 10 months behind bars. Her fifth child is due in December. 

Keep that in mind, those who think they have an out.    I am not real sympathetic to people who join then quit, because the information before joining is exactly the same after joining.  I think all too often people think "freebies" and getting deployed in harms way is a long shot.  Then when they lose that bet, they want to skip out.

Ten months to think about it may not be too long.  Her life and kids will be better off as a convict with no benefits.

Feel Free To Email This To Three Friends.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Mistaking Patience for Approval

My legs were not blown off in Boston the day of the marathon, nor was I killed.  But I certainly would deserve such a fate, and worse.  What goes around comes around, and as an American taxpayer, I am certainly responsible for what happened to Razia, especially when there is not the slightest effort to prosecute the perpetrators of her injuries, nor act on the certain knowledge that our presence in her country is wrong.  I, like you, am personally responsibly for what happened to Razia.

I do not for a second believe two Chechen knuckleheads had anything to do with the bombing, because if they did, someone somewhere by now would have provided evidence somehow linking them to the crime.  Hasn't happened, won't happen. The only evidence you have is the news outlets repeat what law enforcement said a witness said.  Unreliable.  At the same time, there is overwhelming evidence others did it. It doesn't really matter.  In these things, there are bad guys on both sides, and the bad guys on both sides benefit when bombs go off.

It is not enough to vote against war, which is pointless since election fraud is material in USA.  Even if I pray and fast against the war, I still enjoy the benefits of imperialism.  I am guilty as hell.

We all take comfort, and imagine, that the fact that we do not suffer for our crimes must mean that we are innocent.  If so, we mistake God's patience for approval.  I am told God's patience is ordered to our salvation.  Our love of money is the root of all evil, even if we only love seeing CEOs, starlets and ball players get fantastically wealthy, relatively speaking.  How strange it is we in poverty settle on the thrill of vicarious living.

There is a point where our banality will cross a point of no return, when patience is ended and come what may comes.  Afterwards, there must be enough people who say no to letting others aggregate power through usury to the point they can call the shots, literally.  No law against it, just no state supporting it.

Feel Free To Email This To Three Friends.