Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Making Aikido Martial

I've been hearing a curious phrase lately, "To make it martial..."

It seems people equate martial arts and striking of some sort, or some necessarily destructive event.  The speaker will be showing an move which may or may not be aikido, but in any event, as a codicil I will hear something along the lines of "To make it martial you strike here..." or some such.  How odd.

What makes it martial is if it is of a system that deals with mars, war, uninvited aggression.  Certainly martial arts systems universally involved striking of some sort, but only aikido is viable without any strikes.  I certainly never use atemi in practice, and cannot imagine using it in a real conflict.    I've made over a half-dozen arrests without ever using atemi.  

In fact, I never even bother to block.  One trains like crazy to just go straight at them, without any blocking, and that is necessary and sufficient. Sure, you get hit. Getting hit is rarely catastrophic, and often necessary to de-escalate.   Recently I got slapped to de-escalate a very tense situation.  A fight was shaping up between two people, fists were clenched, and by getting slapped I owned the response, by rights it was mine.  What was funny is the "good guy" who wanted to fight all of a sudden did not feel so sure (the slap was lightening fast) he would win.  The guy who slapped was astonished I was not phased, he no longer was so sure I would be any fun. I was still standing and not bothered.  Obviously his secret weapon, speed, was not impressive. He left.

Indeed striking, and aggression is indeed critical to, I believe, almost all martial arts.  All arts that have contests take points off for failure to strike.  Kendo, judo, karate, even boxing and wrestling will cost you the match of you do not try to hit or take down your opponent.    Indeed, the best defense in sparring with these various systems is to never initiate force.  I was taking some remedial aikido classes in a judo dojo in California (to work on koshi-nage) when a junior instructor contemptuously directed his favorite student to trash me.  I just held my ground, weight underside, extend ki, the Tohei Sensei secret weapon, all that.  Had I tried to throw him, I would have been sunk.  The enraged instructor broke my sternum after that.  Sigh.  Some people take it so seriously.

My first bokken lesson in aikido involved how to make chudan impregnable.  Bam! went the parry and strike.  Extend ki and the bokken returns before the attacker can get in.  If your opponent raises his bokken, his movement up invites your movement straight in.  Man is that fun!  But you'll never win a kendo match.

And that is it, who needs to win?  All fighting is pointless, so get to the point as soon as possible, which is pointlessness of the conflict.

I heard a kendo master in a seminar explain the ken has three fighting sides, the blade and the two sides.  He said that kendo should follow that, one cut for two blocks.  That is, two in three moves should be non-lethal.  This matches boxing, with its 2 jabs, one punch standard.  In all martial arts, the non-lethal actions are as much of the art as the lethal ones.   To speak in terms of "to make it martial, here is a strike" is to betray an ignorance of at least 2/3rds of the martial aspect of the art.

Why aikido is unique among martial arts and appropriate to the conscientious objector is that the two non-lethal moves are enough to effect a de-escalation and positive non-fighting.  Whereas a kendoka in six moves will have 2 lethal and 4 non-lethal moves, it is possible in aikido to have six, all non-lethal moves.  Both are martial arts, both made non-lethal moves. Both made six moves.  Just the kendo man made four and the aikido made made six non-lethal moves.  Aikido is unique in as much as it is martial and can be completely non-lethal.

And to make things weird, Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, of which I am a life member, according to the late Tohei Sensei (although I have not been a follower of that art) actually has tournaments.  Go figure.  In my case it gets even weirder.  I happen to hold a very advanced rank in Lau Sensei's Icho Ryu aikijutsu style, a very hard style lethal martial art, for which the Chief Instructor, Neil Yamamoto, will gladly confirm to anyone who asks, that I haven't the slightest idea what is involved in that system.   Although Yamamoto Sensei and I knock back a few once in a while, I would not dare enter one of his classes.  But then, neither would...  well, never mind.  In any event, Yamamoto Sensei is the best thing that ever happened to Icho Ryu.

For me, it is enough to keep practicing the aikido eight basics, fall down, get up, fall down, get up...  just like life, as a conscientious objector.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Comparing Aikido as a Martial Art

Martial arts are designed to deal with violence, the intentional wicked use of force.  A key distinction in the difference between sport and violence (since both use force) is consent.  If someone uses force on you without your consent, it is violence.  If you consent, it is sport.  For example, in dodgeball.
Ouch!  That smarts.  The exact same smack delivered to an unwilling participant on a street outside the dodgeball court would be a serious case of battery.  No doubt jail time.  But the attitude of the players in a game of dodgeball is not unlike that of martial artists.  Faced with a threat, game on.

There are stylistic rules to martial arts.  The are hard and soft styles, say wing chun vs tai qi, and there are circular and linear styles, such as judo vs karate. An observer would be right to judge aikido a soft circular style.  But it gets complicated.

Aikido comes from kendo, with a legendary chief instructor who was a go-dan in judo before he began aikido.  Kendo is a linear style, so how come aikido is circular?  Well, aikido movements are circular, but the throw is delivered like a kendo strike, linear.

Aikido does not block, so the approach is linear but the defensive movement is circular, as in judo.  But here again aikido is unique, because in judo that sublime ippon is delivered when both parties are off balance.  In aikido the nage is necessarily on balance to deliver the throw.

Feast your eyes:

(Number five uses the opponents hand, tied up in a gi, to effect the throw.  Shibui!  That happens in aikido some times.  But note in all cases both parties are off balance when the throw is effected.)

The hard linear styles such as shotokan karate and boxing have people blocking and exchanging strikes.  Those guys are tough!  As people always say, martial arts is essentially an internal effort, for the toughest enemy you will ever meet is yourself.  The external toughness reflects an internal toughness.

Lau Sensei quotes O Sensei as saying aikido is 80% atemi.  I wonder at that, for the expression is unlikely or a bad translation.  Certainly old videos show O Sensei striking, especially with weapons.  For my part I like an aikido that has no strikes (which is doable in this system).  As as conscientious objector, aikido is an ideal martial art.

(I was speaking to an air force brat the other evening and mentioned I was a conscientious objector in a conversation as to my military experience.
"O, you skedaddled."
"Rather I faced down the most fearsome military in the world."
<When will people learn the difference between draft dodgers and conscientious objectors.>)

Anyway, although my aikido has no strikes (as I learned it anyway) the movements can be quite lethal. The falls from aikido throws can kill the person who hits the ground.  Since Aikido uses the force of the attacker, if the force is lethal and is directed into the ground, an assailant could get killed.  This is why aikido spends so much time on rolling (which is also an excellent defensive move) as well as hard falls.

The other part of aikido as a martial art is one necessarily gets hurt training.  Rolls themselves hurt.  Hard falls hurt.  Practicing when you are hurting hurts.  Getting smacked in the face, run into a wall, arms wrenched, knuckles bruised, ankles twisted, it is all there.  And the training part is to ignore the pain.  Practice through it.  Time will come if you need to use it, you will get hurt.  You might lose the use of an arm during an altercation, but you do not stop.  One huge advantage in a conflict is if you do not register getting hurt.  That comes with the choice of being a martial artist.

This then becomes part of the training, as outlined below, grabbing the assailant, if you can, to save him from injury as he falls.  A little bit anyway.

So in summary, aikido is a martial art, and ought to be practiced as if the energy is lethal, with all of the joy of "game on."  It appears to be soft and circular, but the execution of throws is hard and linear.  It is an on-balance, not off-balance art.

It is practically a martial art like any other, but designed to de-escalate violence, and can be trimmed to serve conscientious objection without sacrificing technical scope.  And ultimately it is grounded in the same internal self-discipline demanded in any martial art.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Just Following Orders

We cringe with dread when we hear anyone make the excuse "I was just following orders."  But the funny thing is, in the world of the military, it is a perfect justification.

"Yes, I murdered six million Jews, but I was just following orders."

That is exactly the point the Israelis were trying when they had Eichmann on trial.   If he was just following orders, then they would have to let Eichmann go free, because it is not a crime to murder six million anyone, if you are just following orders.  The job of the prosecutors is to find out who issued the orders, and prosecute them.

You can watch a film on this yourself, or go through the 350 hours of the trial in real time, and you will see, no secret, that was the issue tried.

Now, they finally found a document wherein Eichmann himself signed a death warrant for a criminal act.  He gave the order, so they hanged Eichmann.

So when you act appalled at someone saying "I was just following orders," understand that is the system you live in, in which anyone can do anything if they are just following orders.

That is reason 3,983,974,093,392 why I could never join the military.  I would be saying, "No, that is wrong."

It is settled in law and ethics that no private soldier (sergeant or below) can be prosecuted for a war crime because they can be shot for not following orders.  Officers can resign, and cannot be shot.  So to my mind officers have no excuse, because they can refuse to commit a crime.  But it is settled in law and ethics that officers can do anything if they are just following orders.

If you believe that officers neither order crimes to be committed, or fail to follow such orders, then you have no idea what a standing army needs to remain in place.  They need to get the bankers' job done to justify their existence, or the bankers will find another set of officers to do the job.

You hear sometimes an officer refuse to perform an order without the order in writing.  This he can do, and will do if the order is a crime.  The officer just wants to cover his ass.

Conscientious objectors are just following orders:

1. Be fruitful and multiply.

2. Love your neighbor.

3. Thou shalt not kill.

But we fail miserably at following orders.  But when we fail, and get killed or die,  then we join Jesus in his paradoxical victory.

The alternative is a world in which people are free to murder for oil if they are just following orders.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hard Falls

Not too long ago a fellow with whom I was practicing objected to me grabbing his gi during a throw, which effected hard falls on his part.  He was astonished when I said this was for his safety.  He had practiced for years and had never heard this.

Yes, in martial arts, the black belt is a dividing line.  If a black belt hurts a beginner, it is the black belt's fault.  If a beginner hurts a black belt, it is the black belt's fault.  But both nage and uke have a responsibility to see neither gets hurt, and an active way is for nage to direct uke safely into the mats.

Especially in a crowded dojo, there is no reason for people to lighten up practice.  If doing a kokyu nage, in which the uke normally rolls out, the nage should grab the gi of uke so uke is laid out immediately down and in front, not unlike what you see in a judo ippon.  Certainly if the uke will hit a post, a wall of go off the mats, nage should effect a hard close landing by grabbing uke's gi to keep uke close for the fall.

Nage ought to be testing his own centering by controlling the momentum of the throw and the weight of the uke.  Uke should be practicing tight small rolls to get out of trouble, and rolling out and standing immediately, clearing the mats as efficiently as possible.  Uke should also be practicing counters by grabbing nage's gi and using nage as an anchor upon which to effect uke's hard fall.  Nage should be learning to remain balanced no matter how tight a grab uke has.  The usual result is uke can only hold on so long before his grip lets go, but long enough for uke to position himself for a clean safe drop.  In fact the drop usually comes when the energy of the throw has been dissipated into the ground back from uke through nage's legs. Energy, dissipation... thud.

A dojo that slows down as it crowds up should introduce this change slowly, it is a skill.   Every dojo should hear the crash of hard falls regularly during practice.  Even more so when the dojo is crowded.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Weapons Training & Aikido as a Martial Art

Lau Sensei & injuries as mentioned earlier brought to mind weapons training and aikido as a martial art.  In the last few months I've had occasion to be told my practice with bokken and jo are aggressive.  I think it has to do with the way I was trained.  The point of weapons training was two-part:

1. Since aikido comes from kendo, if and when you were having trouble with a technique, do it with a sword to see how the technique should work.  A weapon was a key to unlock the logic of the technique.

2. Weapons done right require ki extension.  Like training with weights on your ankles and wrists, when you put down the weapon your ki extension for empty hand techniques should be stronger for the ki extension, and require less strength.

I also see people having the trajectory of their weapons covering territory that does nothing to enhance a strike but does much to slow it down. Your hands holding a bokken never need be any higher that one fist above your forehead in a shomen strike.  Any farther back than that and both time and energy is being wasted.  I see blades parallel with spines in practice and wonder at it.   Properly held above the head, there is a real joy in the blade being balanced from where it will deliver a blow (in a straight line, not a curve) to the target.  You can just feel it will get through the opponent.  Bliss!

And I see yokomen drills with people bringing the sword back too far.  Perhaps I am not so aggressive as not wasting movement.

Also, katas were extension exercises, not technical exercises.  In a real stick or sword fight, it would be "damn the maneuvers, go straight at 'em."  I was taught to spend more time leaning in for the kill rather than worrying about where the feet go.  With all the stick training, since it is aikido, disarming should be practiced in weapon vs weapon, that is your first move takes the weapon out of the other persons hands.  In other words in one explosive move the opponent cannot hang on to his weapon.

This kind of training leads to injuries.  At most dojos, injuries are avoided at all costs, to the detriment of martial training.  It cannot be a martial art and injury free.  Bruising practices for non-bruising conflicts.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why Say No To Surveillance State

Our standing military is not staffed by honorable men who care about our security, they are officered by venal politicians who do not even have the nerve to stand for election.  The make files on each other, spy on each other and try to bring each other down.
At a Pentagon ceremony for his subsequent retirement in 2010, McChrystal made light of the episode in his farewell address. The four-star general warned his comrades in arms, "I have stories on all of you, photos of many, and I know a Rolling Stone reporter."
It does not really matter of we outlaw the domestic spying, all levels of law enforcement routinely violate all rules.  Writing new rules will not do the trick.  Replacing all this "law enforcement" with the better ways I have laid oout in this blog is the only hope of peace and security.

Here is a good movie from Poland, 100 minutes, when its surveillance state was at its height:

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lau Sensei Checks In From Hawaii

Had the pleasure of practicing aikido in Montana, and with an FBI agent and student of Lau Sensei's who asked me to remember him to Lau.  A slip with a bokto by Lau Sensei split the fellow's eyebrow open which made for bonding between the two.  When it comes to Lau Sensei and battle scars, it is truly a small world.

And Lau Sensei shares what has to be one of the most surreal martial arts videos ever made.  It proceeds along with fairly standard aikido fare, Bernie Style, and then off into some shotokan katas, and then randori.  At 24:12 Bernie gives randori a twist yet never seen, an addition to training that might be copied worldwide.  He is still innovating with the best of them.  And do stay through to the end, for some classic Lau. One of the benefits of the gift of ADD, is the gifted never quit. 36 minutes.

Aiki Bujutsu from Daniel Fuentealba on Vimeo.

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Monday, June 17, 2013


Ron Unz give a run down on the state of play in USA

Consider the story of Vioxx, a highly lucrative anti-pain medication marketed by Merck to the elderly as a substitute for simple aspirin. After years of very profitable Vioxx sales, an FDA researcher published a study demonstrating that the drug greatly increased the risk of fatal strokes and heart attacks and had probably already caused tens of thousands of premature American deaths. Vioxx was immediately pulled from the market, but Merck eventually settled the resulting lawsuits for relatively small penalties, despite direct evidence the company had long been aware of the drug’s deadly nature. Our national media, which had earned hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenue from Vioxx marketing, provided no sustained coverage and the scandal was soon forgotten. Furthermore, the press never investigated the dramatic upward and downward shifts in the mortality rates of elderly Americans that so closely tracked the introduction and recall of Vioxx; as I pointed out in a 2012 article, these indicated that the likely death toll had actually been several times greater than the FDA estimate. Vast numbers Americans died, no one was punished, and almost everyone has now forgotten.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Attack Syria For a Gas Pipeline

The taxpayers of the USA, by means of their politicians, have budgeted 50,000 deaths in our plans to enter the Syrian civil war.
What happens between now and the end of summer is likely to be catastrophic for the Syrian public and perhaps Lebanon.  The “chemical weapons-red line” is not taken seriously on Capitol Hill for the reason that the same “inclusive evidence” of months ago is the same that is suddenly being cited to justify what may become essentially an all-out war against the Syrian government and anyone who gets in the way.  Hand wringing over the loss of 125 lives due to chemical weapons, whoever did use them, pales in comparison to the more 50,000 additional lives that will be lost in the coming months, a figure that  Pentagon planners and the White House have “budgeted” as the price of toppling the Assad government.
The war is over a gas pipeline, that is to say who controls it.  The Russians control one into Europe now, and with Assad, a second one they would.

Why is it nobody in the west ever thinks of just paying for what they want?  Doesn't it get tiresome that we only invade countries with something we can steal?

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Aikido Style: Martial vs Health & Vitality

I enjoyed a few practices a while back at Glenn Leichman's dojo in Seattle where I was warmly welcomed.  His website makes a distinction that would be useful if more dojos were to elucidate for their prospective students.
One of the major features that distinguish one dojo from another is the style that is practiced. Some dojos emphasize the “martial” aspect of aikido, focusing on the self-defense aspect of aikido. Other dojos, such as Aikido Seattle, emphasize the “health and vitality” aspect of aikido, focusing on how doing aikido will increase one’s sense of well-being. While we try and keep our practice grounded in the real-life nature of attacks and self-defense, we also strive to increase our student’s flexibility, both physically and mentally.
When I travel to a city I view the websites and try to discern which dojos offer aikido as a martial art, for as Glenn notes, not all dojos do.   There is certainly a market for either emphases, are there is no judging who wants what out of a practice.  For my part, I like a sparring level of intensity with people who creatively approach the art.  I've practiced all over the world and the two places I found that excel in this are Aruba and Hong Kong.


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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Private Security Systems

There is a large body or work on the topic of private security systems written by libertarians, featuring private police forces and private armies.  Pretty interesting stuff, but the fatal flaw is as people aggregate power they abuse it.

So how do you enforce any standards when

A.  There are no common standards?

B.  There are no cops?

Well, the Amish show how, of course.  And so does the USPS.  That's right, the post office.

You see, just as there are not enough people in USA to inspect food contrary to the stated mission of the FDA, there are not enough humans in USA to deal with the sole problem of dogs threatening letter carriers.  If we sent in people to deal with this problem, given the minimum requirements of state intervention (officer safety, secure the perimeter) there would be no time for any other USA citizen to do any other work.

So how does the USPS manage this problem?
USPO workers shun neighborhoods with dangerous dogs.  A letter carrier complains to management about the dangerous dog, and management then stops delivery of mail to that block.  The people on that block contact the postal service and complain.  The postal service informs them they cannot and will not deliver mail as long as there is a dangerous dog on the block, so the homeowners are now obliged to visit the post office to pick up their mail. 
Of course, in time, one way or another, the dog disappears, and the mail resumes.   
In this way there is no need to bring in other governmental agencies, such as animal control, or the police, which in either case would probably have little effect, since it is not against the law to have a dangerous dog (although a foolish liability to own one).
The USPS has little problem now with dangerous dogs, because, Amish style, community action deals with the problem. The benefit is cumulative, for the problem was nipped in the bud long ago and has no chance to flower.  We do have ways of living without this recent introduction of police forces.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rozeff on Panarchy

Any anarchist by definition accepts panarchism, that is multiple systems at once in the same territory.  Michael Rozeff is an excellent exponent of this system:
I think that the slogan "taxation is theft" attempts to make taxation into a moral issue, but I think that attempt fails in general because logically there is a degree of consent to government. I think a far stronger and defensible ground for a moral issue is to argue that making non-consenting people pay taxes is immoral. Who can disagree with that except the people committed to using force on others? Backed into a corner, they will start making arguments about externalities, one society, territory, or the impossibility of several governments or sets of laws in one territory. Or else they will argue for the benefits of imposing force, some human beings on other human beings.
We already have many systems in one country, different sets of rules for different people.   Why not just formalize it?

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Monday, June 10, 2013

USA's Allies in the Syrian War

British MP Calloway talks about USA's allies in the Syrian war...

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Shadow of a Gunmen

Since the American citizens have decided to take their chances on civil war, instead of truth commissions, it might be good to see a study in what civil war can be like.  Here is the Ireland version, one tale.   If you have an hour...

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Vietnam Era Antiwar Documentary

I was already a conscientious objector when I saw "Hearts and Minds" in 1974, an anti-Vietnam war documentary.  Interviews with Sergeant Marshall were some of the most delightful scenes, for his spontaneity and skill at story telling.  This is about 30 seconds.

After several scenes of this fellow interspersed throughout the documentary, the last scene of him is a pull-away shot to reveal he lost his legs in the war.  It is heartbreaking.

One of the arguments for modern war is it is so precise that we can limit it to targeting the bad guys.  That what they told us in Vietnam.  This fellow relates how 35 of his comrades were burnt alive in friendly fire.  We are told this is true today, when drones wipe out weddings.

When do not need a standing military when a Sargeant Marshall, in Detroit, is armed and ready to meet any threat to USA, in USA.  Well, before he lost the use of his legs in Vietnam, of course.

(NB: the film has been edited to have him say "post toastie to the bitter."  The term in the 60's and 70' was "<whatever> to the bitch," a play on "to the nth" an expression of how far.  There were many curious phrases, like "what it is.")

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Twelve Minute Debate on Pacifism


1. The prowar fellow asks why we have a military if we never use it.  This misses the point of standing vs. nonprofessional military.

2. It dawned on me that the pro-war fellow argues against immigration, when all three people on the stage are beneficiaries of immigration as a way to avoid genocide.  Is this very mandate for borders designed to make genocide easier?

3.  The question of intervention in San Diego is interesting, since the standing military after the Civil War in USA was tasked with the genocide of American Indians.  Should the Chinese have intervened? (Many USA Indians escaped USA genocide by escaping to Canada, where genocide was less robust for lack of resources..)

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

US Soldier Admits Murder to Protect Officers

Americans can no longer see a lie spoken directly to their faces.  A USArmy Sergeant claims he murdered sixteen people, mostly women and kids, which is no doubt true, and far more common that we are allowed to know.  When Bradley Manning released that video of US Helicopter crew murdering civilians helping civilians, he found himself as an object lesson to anyone who would reveal USMilitary criminality.

Here is the outright lie:
Prosecutors say Bales slipped away before dawn on March 11, 2012, from his base in Kandahar Province. 
Really?  If one can slip out of a base unnoticed, then one can slip into a base unnoticed.  Bales, the murder, did this twice in one night?  There are no perimeter guards watching a forward base in enemy territory?  I have an aikido buddy who killed another American one night in Vietnam when the fellow failed to use the password as he approached the perimeter.  "How do you feel about it?"  "No one gets past me."

This story as told in the press just isn't true. Why is it no one asks the simplest questions anymore?  Even if it is true, which it isn't, the CO of that base should be spending 10 years at hard labor in Leavenworth.  Yes, the murders occurred, and this soldier is protecting his officers.

Bales admitting his guilt will spend the rest of his life on vacation, and eventually released.  His officers will all get medals and promotions.    Actually, I like the idea if someone admits a crime, he is free to go.  As long as he tells the whole truth. Bales should be obliged to rat out the others that he expressly states he is trying to save.  Then let the victim/survivors find him and them.

The USMilitary has given Bales a pass when he begged for his life.  As a part of the USMilitary, who work in our name, when children begged for their lives, Bales executed them.  When adults begged for their children's lives, Bales executed them.  No one got a pass from USArmy Sergeant Bales.

He forgot to apologize for murder.    But he did remember to say he hopes this does no harm to U S Soldiers in Afghanistan.  Too late.  But as we saw from My Lai, officers incur no responsibility for their officers committing murder.  So murder of civilians continues.

Bales claims it was stress that caused him to murder sixteen defenseless people.  We are seeing people who are under "intelligence monitoring" also lash out and murder.  Perhaps we should factor in such inevitable lashing out when we elect a global policy of murder for oil.

All this is done in our names.  We enjoy the fruits of empire, and the benefits that come from the murder of sixteen.  This is not isolated.  We are all guilty as hell.  If sixteen people we love are murdered someday, we can hardly complain.

We do group hate on a Muslim who stabs a dead man on a London street.  But look the other way when a Christian murders sixteen women and children.    It is different.  The London fellow is of some African heritage, and Moslem.  We are white.

One of the biggest mistake you can make in life is to believe your own PR.

A Feel Free To Email This To Three Friends.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Aikido Styles and Music

Aikido ju-dan and Hombu Chief Instructor Tohei Koichi is the fountainhead of the majority of all aikido practitioners in the world for the simple reason he taught people how to teach aikido.

There are other styles of aikido, such as yoshinkan, which were developed by Tohei sensei sempai Terada, so it is aikido, but parallel.  His style is widespread because it is a good style.

There are many styles that developed under Tohei Sensei, such as Yamada of New York, Chiba of San Diego, Murayama of Kokikai and Kobayashi of LA.  It is all aikido but an analogy with music might explain some differences.

There is the music as it is written and the note as played and the timing.  After that each artist will style it anyway he likes.  For example, John Lennon was unique for rushing the front end of the note, not singing on the center of the note, but on the front.  Jimi Hendrix and Prince are well within the note, but jazzily are all over it, here and there.  Bruce Springsteen is phenomenal in his ability to keep his band on dead center.  Dean Martin advanced his "happy drunk" schtick by working the trailing end of the note.  Randy Newman keeps it tight and small.  Boys choirs fill each note from end to end, top to bottom.

Yamada Sensei has a precise, tight hard style, which tends to be right on, and very much in control.  Kobayashi Sensei taught "into nage's range of effectiveness (close to nage's hara) where nage is strong and uke is weak..." which he called One Circle but was viewed technically as "small circle."

Take a throw like shiho nage.  It is executed when your nage's "one point" is lateral with uke's.  This can be executed early, mid, late or full.  Kobayashi would be early, by taking uke down even before the spin if finished, small circle style.  Mid might be Yoshinkan style, where the arm is spread out and back, just at the point where shiho nage often goes wrong, yoshinkan centers all weight at the barred arm.  If you do not go up and over, your arm will break.  One learns to do awesome high trajectory hard falls in yoshinkan.

Yamada sensei would head straight through with tight control and send people sailing backwards.  The Tohei style is to go large and end up in total control looking into the ear of the uke.  The take down from here is devastating.  There is no stronger uke takedown by nage.  Tohei Sensei taught a full open style, but if you slo-mo his videos, he did everything.

There are more styles, but the point is most come from Tohei, they are all aikido, and all simply styles.  At any given point with any given partner, any given style may be employed.  It is good people develop these styles and codify them, keep them alive, so one can draw on them in a pinch.  Learn them all.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Not a Conscientious Objector

Here is a fellow who will not fight because he disagrees with the politics of the current war in Israel.

Neither could he seek exemption of the grounds of pacifism. "The army has a narrow definition of pacifism – someone who would never apply force in any circumstances. The [IDF's] conscience committee asks tough questions, and I would not be able to say never. I think force should be used rarely, but it can't be completely ruled out."
Blanc is willing to undertake national service in lieu of the compulsory stint in the army, but thus far the military has refused to countenance this.

If one is not against war, only against a particular war, then he is not a conscientious objector.  He is a dissident.  That is a different class.  And if you are willing to do "alternate service" then I doubt one is a conscientious objector.

As to never using force, well, the rule is "that shalt not kill."  Not "that shalt not use force."  You use force when you play baseball, but you do not kill people.

And conscientious objection is conscientious, there are possibilities that one might instinctually use lethal force, but not intentionally.

So anyway, this fellow is no conscientious objector.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

The Instigator

Read the comments under the original...

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Still More on London Murderer

Well, it seems in addition to hounding him, Intelligence services has already turned his brother...

Police and security services are under huge pressure to explain what they know about Adebolajo and his alleged accomplice, Michael Adebowale. Despite warnings stretching back ten years, Michael Adebolajo is said to have been considered ‘low risk’ by MI5. He was photographed at high-profile protests – even standing next to hate preacher Anjem Choudary.
He was arrested in Kenyan 2010 over his alleged plans to travel to Somalia to join terror group Al-Shabaab before being returned to the UK. Jeremiah married Charlotte Patricia Taylor in 2008 at Sutton Register Office in Surrey.

There is obviously no supervision of Western Intelligence.  Even more than IRS agents, they are immune form oversight.  It is clear the Government is not capable of dealing with this problem.

During the interview, he was warned about what happens to Muslims who don’t help the Government and was shown documents that confirmed people he knew were being held in prisons throughout the world.

Charming.  We need truth commissions to sort these out.  Feel Free To Email This To Three Friends.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

We Need Truth Commissions

Here is a bit of history that gets overlooked...

Estes was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1963, but paroled in 1971. Eight years later, he was convicted of tax fraud and served another four years.
Emerging from prison a second time, he gave what he called a ‘voluntary statement to clear the record’ in 1984. He told a stunned grand jury investigation that Henry Marshall, the bullet-ridden investigator, had been killed on the orders of Lyndon Johnson, who at the time of the murder had been U.S. Vice President.  
Estes claimed his accountant had also been killed by Wallace, who had been doing Johnson’s dirty work since 1950, when he had been convicted of shooting a man who just happened to have been having an affair with Johnson’s sister. When the Justice Department pushed him for more information, Estes dropped his bombshell. In return for a pardon and immunity from prosecution, he said he would detail eight killings ordered by Johnson. 

But these assertions never went anywhere.

Estes’ incredible allegations never went any further as prosecutors ruled they could not be corroborated. 

The fellow who made them, an LBJ business partner, could care less if they went anywhere or not, the result was Estes would not ever be going to prison for a third time for crimes yet unpunished.  And accessory to capital crimes has no statute of limitations.

They could not be corroborated because who wants to risk his life talking to the Feds?  How interested are the Feds in getting the facts out?  Too many loose ends.

But we have passed the point of no return in regards to trusting law enforcement in USA.  The responsible parties declined to maintain oversight and decency.  Election fraud is material in USA, so there is no chance of getting a congress that will reform the executive branch.

But we do have a system of wiggle out of this mess.  We could have private attorneys general with the power to offer complete immunity for all crimes, such as Billy Sol Estes received.   Even capital crimes.

The info Billy Sol Estes could lead to others who would gladly escape prosecution in trade for the truth.  The result would be a reckoning of the facts and perhaps a bit of maturing on the part of the USA electorate.  In any event, there is nothing like sunshine to clean up the body politic, and no doubt some excused criminals would get punished by interested parties, but that would the a risk they would run.

If someone was clearly guilty of something proven by several witness accounts, then let the government prosecute such suspects.

You have a better way to fix the lawlessness of the USA criminal justice system?

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