Monday, March 30, 2015

American Soldiers and Gulf War Poison Gas

In the first gulf war, when the United States attacked Iraq after Iraq got an "all clear" to invade from US Ambassador April Glaspie for Kuwait stealing Iraqi oil, the USA decided to destroy the poison gas stockpiles we sold to Saddam plus the factories to make more.  Our military did a lousy job of it.
Patrick Eddington, a CIA analyst from 1994 to 1995 who wrote Gassed in the Gulf, resigned when superiors aborted his attempts to reveal the facts. He explained that, “If you’re DOD, you’re admitting your policies contributed to the veterans’ illnesses. If you’re the VA, you’re admitting you don’t know how to treat the vets. If you’re the CIA, you blew another estimate and that’s not something you want on your resume.”
And the Second Gulf War, more of the same.

The reason this goes on and on is we never prosecute military wrongdoing and crimes.  And never will, so let's try something else.  Instead of jail time for crimes, how about just truth commissions, where we have say exile (to Iraq?) for anyone who withholds evidence of wrong doing.

I have no doubt if American citizens were ever to be apprised accurately of the facts, they would do the right thing.  We have rather back-handed proof of that... at the time of the crimes, the powers that be which control the media make sure the facts do not come out.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Arab Armies Mobilize

In college I took an iconography course in which we learned to study symbols and their meanings.  Now that the Arab League is finally dealing with the problems in their back yard, they raise their flag.
Flag of the Arab League
Green is a color reserved for heaven in some Moslem sects, but look at the device...  a laurel wreath, a Roman device, surrounding a chain, which encloses Arabic scripture and a crescent moon, a symbol for  Islam which was acquired from Christianity, a symbol for the Virgin, when Constantinople fell.

That is how a Christian would read it, I wonder how a Moslem would read the symbol.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Singapore Punches Above Its Weight

Why is it countries around seven million in population, with freer markets, are so safe?
When Lee Kuan Yew died Monday at age 91, the founding father of Singapore did not leave just his legacy as the prime minister whose authoritarian policies shaped a backwater British colony into the world’sfourth-wealthiest nation. He also left Singaporeans with one of the most formidable armies in the world. The tiny island state of 5.4 million, with a land area far smaller than New York City’s, has more fighter jets than Spain, Poland or Sweden. Its army has as many tanks as Italy, which is more than 400 times the size. Its navy boasts the only stealthy ships in the region.  
Too small to attack neighbors, too tough to be attacked.  Purely defensive

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Imaizumi on O Sensei

I recall this visit well...
In spring 1972, Koichi Tohei Sensei ordered me to go to California for about three months to spread ki principles and aikido ...  After three months, on June 18, I left Los Angeles for Seattle. This was a vacation for me to visit Yoshihiko Hirata Sensei, then Chief Instructor of the Northwest Aikido Federation, who was a friend of mine from Japan. We became friends in January 1965 and he recommended that I join the Tempukai in Kokokuji, Tokyo. I left Seattle on June 23, again passing through Honolulu. After a week's stay at the Hawaii Aikikai Hombu Dojo, I left for Japan arriving on June 30. This was a wonderful trip for me.
I was teaching the childrens' classes from 6-7pm three days a week, and Imaizumi Sensei was teaching one night during this visit.  He sat seiza among the children and delighted them with his expert and gentle throwing.

From that same interview, here is an interesting observation:
As Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei handled all daily matters both inside and outside the dojo, the role of O-Sensei ... only concern was the future of aikido under the Ueshiba family as he was the kind of man who would follow the old ways. O-Sensei would often refer to the art as "Ueshiba-ke-no-aikido," that is, Ueshiba family aikido. In the same way that the Shinkage-ryu or Itto-ryu sword schools belonged to the Yagyu and Ono family, O-Sensei believed that aikido should belong to the Ueshiba family as he himself was its founder. So O-Sensei believed that the Hombu Dojo should be controlled by the Ueshiba family. I think that Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei, as the founder's son, and O-Sensei's grandson Moriteru Ueshiba have firm control over the daily matters of the Aikikai in accordance with the wishes of the founder.
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Friday, March 20, 2015

Snopes On the King Murder


Claim:   The United States government was sued and found culpable for the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., but the news media refused to report it.

Snopes claim:  Mostly false.

The USGovernment mostly did not murder Martin Luther King?

Or the media mostly did not cover it?

This is one in a long series of tendentious and misleading "investigations" be snopes, which I no longer find credible.  Too bad... it was good to have a go-to sight to debunk nonsense.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015


Let's see...

There is -

A marine sniper killed a dozen or so from the University of Texas tower.  A marine (official version) sniper murdered JFK.  In an open court of law a jury found on evidence that active duty US Army snipers were involved in a conspiracy in the murder of Martin Luther King.

In USA, we are told snipers keep us free.  How do snipers murdering leaders keep us free?  Who has effected more freedom?  Snipers or Martin Luther King?  Haven't American snipers killed more politicians than "bad guys?"  (Others like Vernon Jordan got shot, but survived).  We ought to count up the score, test the claims.

Why are there four USA celebration sites, and only one site, and this one maintained by the most odious white supremacists?

What is the psychological make-up of people drawn to the work as sniper?

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dr. Randy Beckum

I wish I could hear a Catholic priest risk a sermon like this...

Interesting juxtaposition...  Martin Luther King up against terrorists and mad bombers and a sniper overseas... which represents Christianity, which accomplishes more good?

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cold Water Swimming Misogi Guidelines

As the lake water begins to warm, now at 50 degrees, I regret the loss of the benefits at lower temperatures.  But it occurs to me I may have encouraged people to do something rash, like take a dip unprepared.  So let me say this:

1. I started in July and kept going.  So I chased the temperatures down from the 70s to the 40s.  That is easing on in.  Yes, much of the exercise is in the mind, and you simply ignore the cold.  But I read stories of people who jump into water no colder (in this case to save some kids) and drown in the process.  It can be that disorienting if you are not accustomed.  If you want in, ease in.

2.  What shape are you in?  Sure, check in with your doctor.  The real work is swimming like hell to keep warm in the water, so this is a heart-pumping thing.  How is your ticker?

3.  My fingers got real cold, maybe even chilblains.  I was going to by wetsuit gloves, but simply began to swim with my fingers held together.  Problem solved.

4. After swimming, don't warm up from the outside, like a hot shower.  The pain will be excruciating, perhaps even physically damaging.  Take hot tea or brandy, and blankets if you start to chill.

And again, to be clear, no wetsuit or dry suit involved in this, straight summer swimming trunks.  Swimming, diving in, under water, etc.  The colder the water the shorter the swim, but swim it is...

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Catholic Snipers: My Jesus is Bigger

I think of General Boykin who famously noted his God was bigger than Islam's God when I read the thoughts of pro-war Catholics.  The Jesus described I imagine to be a teentsy-weentsy Jesus, with a tiny, squeaky voice...  “Existential threat by Islam! Clash of cultures!” 

My Jesus is so much bigger, H U G E !  He healed the sick, overturned an economic system, raised the dead and when the Romans answered with shock and awe: Ecce Homo! INRI... he transformed life and the world in which we were once bound.  Raised himself from the dead!  Now we could be free!

My Jesus, who is so much bigger than the Jesus of the warmongers,  can also be so subtle.  When American Catholics are insensitive the the unceasing begging of prelates across the middle east NOT to attack their countries for the hell it will bring on them, Catholics in the commanding heights of the USA Wehrmacht soldiered on.  In light of this, Jesus raises up a pontiff named Francis, in memory of the Saint who got Islam relations right.
If the greatest Christian saint since the time of the apostles had opposed the Crusade and peacefully approached Muslims at a time when they were supposed to be mortal enemies, that action can inspire and instruct us today. So should the fact that al-Kamil, a great sultan of Egypt and a nephew of Saladin, was so tolerant of Christians that he allowed one of them to preach to him in the midst of a Crusade. The story of Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malik al-Kamil says there is a better way than resentment, suspicion and warfare. It opens the door to respect, trust and peace.It needs to be told anew.- Paul Moses

The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam, and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace

Note the many glowing reviews of this book. Note who has NOT reviewed the book.  The prominent National Catholic Register.

Now note the kinds of articles NCR does carry.  I am not making this up: Catholic and Killing for a Living.  A paean to snipers.  Read it for yourself, don’t trust me.  (Incidentally, with 74 comments highlighting weak anti-war vs strong pro-war comments, a tedious editorial tactic, my comment as a Vietnam era conscientious objector is not approved by the moderator.)

Update: My comment is now published and so are a lot of other push-back comments against this article.  Good to see.

Now here is the money shot, literally:

Get it?  Look at the banner ad above the masthead.  Ka-ching!  Military ads in a pro-life rag. Note the poverty draft pitch:  In a country that inherently disrespects black lives as of no matter, you can get respect by joining the army.  And see below, Catholics can be snipers!  And enough money to send you six free issues.

A service of EWTN.  Such content producers as “Sacred Heart Radio” And “Ave Maria Radio” rock the “existential Islamic threat” and “thank you for your service” tropes, and just seem to gain all of the ads.  And those other Catholic media languish for lack of advertising. Our government picks and chooses what media it favors, so why not Catholic media?   And why wouldn’t they eventually find people who want to be successful, measured in money, if not ratings?

About six years ago there was one Catholic business adviser program, where the host apologetically went over  Church teaching and USA actions in the middle east and plaintively begged his audience to call in and tell him where his reading of the facts was wrong, that the USA was the unjust aggressor in the middle east wars?  Crickets.  Not that audience.  I kept tuning in, but sadly, he whose name I no longer recall, was gone.

I know something of online advertising, usually those ads are targeted to the audience, and it is rather pointless to offer me a position as a pro-war chaplain: the gross exposure rate costs more for the advertiser.  These ads are what makes one publication more viable than another, and guess who gets such ads?  Pro-war Catholic press.

When EWTN talks about NFP and pro-life (anti-abortion) I could not agree more.  And the powers that be could care less.  Abortion is a marginal issue in American politics, and the Catholics who matter to the powers that be, politicians, are all solidly pro-abortion, bought and paid for.

Now, to the powers that be, war matters, and there is a solid Catholic anti-war ethic latent that must be starved for oxygen.

Yes, EWTN is putatively pro-life (on the narrow abortion question) but there is no seamless garment...  even on the question of torture, when the Pope expressly condemned it, Al Kreska allowed that among the panickers after 9-11, it was understandable to employ torture, not questioning whether we should have a system where panickers make the decisions.   Further, he will not extend the same flexibility to a young woman in a panic who has an abortion.  The former is no sin in Kreska's world, the latter must be confessed or to hell you go, in the milieu well funded by the hegemon.

Such hypocrisy dissuades people of good will, who want to hear a seamless garment argument on pro-life to keep looking, since prominent Catholic media is not about to offer it.

A Patrick Coffin on his show was interviewing the new director of gay whatever, a former marine, who in reply to Coffin’s direct question on whether torture is ever warranted, his guest noted they were convicted, and punishment may be laid on convicts.

This non-sequitor was allowed to pass by Mr. Coffin, but then, he is clearly uneasy about Church teaching, this the host of Catholic answers (Cafeteria Catholic answers?)  And oddly, Coffin had announced that for this segment, no call-in questions would be taken.  A unique arrangement for a call-in show.

When it comes to ratings, proof of popularity, his website offers:
Patrick Coffin is the host of our flagship radio broadcast, Catholic Answers Live, voted Best Catholic Radio Show in America by the readers of
Wait, who? Ah yes, that arbiter of Catholic excellence, the self-selected group of those who avail themselves of  Where no doubt a dozen likes gets you into the winners circle.

My experience is you can tune in just about anytime to EWTN and get a good dose of anti-Muslim blood slander.

I was in the audience at St Monica's Church on Mercer Island, Washington circa 2006 when Fr. Mitch Pacwa, a eastern Jesuit fluent in various Semitic languages was peppered with questions  regarding “ is Islam inherently evil” “Can Muslims be good citizens?”  Oddly the lecture was given in the Church proper, so I refrained from asking Fr. Pacwa if Christians can be good citizens.  Prudence dictated I not introduce contradiction in the sanctuary.  But I think I observed a change in Fr. Pacwa, to what you hear now from him on EWTN.

If Jesus wanted to advocate war in the clash of cultures, never before or since in history did anyone have a better chance for an attentive audience.  Indeed, he was betrayed and abandoned by those who expected to prevail by the sword.  Just as in USA today.

Now back to this Pope named Francis. Not only would it be a rebuke to the American Catholic Church, or the Church of America, at the same time such a Pope would be an inspiration to the vast swathes of Catholics worldwide who are appalled by USA actions, and assume Catholics are a witness to the truth, not players in the violence.

Saint Pope John Paul II issued a controversial vade mecum in which he cautioned confessors not to convert penitents from informal sin (say artificial birth control)  to formal sin (actively rejecting church teaching on same) if in the discernment of the shrive, the penitent is not well catechized enough to embrace the truth.  Bring them along easy, over time, toward the truth.

I wonder if pro-war catholics would remain Catholic if the bishops named USA war crimes for what they were.  Pre-emptive strike is a named war crime, not a matter of prudential judgment.  Sure, Weigel et al can claim it as such, but no, it is a mortal sin.  Would Weigel and others leave the Church, as surely as a Biden or a Pelosi, if told in no uncertain terms that certain actions are mortal sins?

Glad I am not a Bishop, as are countless others.  I'd push it, and not worry about the cross.  

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

OK, Now There Are Two of Us

With all the astonishment of a ham radio operator getting a verified intelligent message from deep space, I find another pro-peace Catholic website.

Their genesis was the Archdiocese of the Military being allowed to pass the plate in USA churches.  Whatever it takes, glad the are here.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Aikido and Self-employment

If you want to advance in aikido, it takes a lot of training, time on the mats, being thrown down, and getting up.  And throwing down...

This takes time and opportunity.  Being self-employed (or more accurately, customer-employed) allows you to order your time to optimal training.

A paycheck is nice, but if you work at something you love, then the paycheck is not a priority, self-employment is about lifestyle, not personal wealth (although wealth is far more likely among the self-employed.)

What work ought you do?  You've heard that to be self-employed you need passion.  This is true, but it is only one-half the equation.  Passion means "to suffer."  There is no other meaning.  the winning combination in work is to experience suffering in something you love to do, like anything at all, and then work on a solution to the problem that causes you to suffer.  If, and here is the winning part people leave out, you find JOY while working on the solution to the problem that causes you to suffer, then you have the winning combination, passion and joy at the same time, as your lifestyle.

Happiness depends on family, and it can come and go.  But you are in charge of joy, but it cannot be had directly, you must find it by passing through passion, suffering.  Now you know why so few people get to the joyful, self-actualized life.

You have already experienced this.  You wanted some defense, some martial art, but not a violent one. There was your passion, and working on it, twisting, falling, rolling, etc, hurt.  But to make progress was joy, and you keep coming back.

So, now.  What else causes you to suffer (passion) that you find joy working on?  And people will pay you to share you efforts?

Get self (customer) employed.  There is not a single one of us not meant to be thus.  Or stated positively, we are all meant to be self-employed.

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Purpose of Hard Falls

Safety is the only reason for doing hard falls in aikido.  If uke apprehends he is about to be thrown hard, and if he rolls the ball he forms will just crush, he ought to roll out in the air and take the hard fall.

If nage notes uke will hit a wall or another aikidoka in practice mid-throw, nage ought to pull uke up short so uke will roll out mid air and hit the mats hard fall.

In these instances the fall is judo-style (still an aikido fall though) with the legs separate and spread, not crossed as though uke were going to roll and stand.

Sometimes in dojo as though for "safety sake" they will carefully direct people into very formal constraints so injury is not possible.  Well, optimum training is not possible, if so.  All aikidoka should be able to take and give hard falls at any time for safety's sake.  If safety is the point, then learn aikido, do not constrain practice.  Hard falls are an aikido fundamental.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Anti-War Ad?

There are just cause, and just war theories.

Just cause is the reason for going to war.

Just war is the means of conducting a war.

This is a "just war" ad, apparently running in Vegas (popular with terrorists and drone "pilots" too, apparently), condemning drone killing.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fomenting Class Warfare

The USA is a capitalist economy, which means debt (accumulation of credit) is paramount.  By this powerful mechanism, winners and losers in the economic game can be centrally planned.  Among those picked and dissed, there is a conflict, a class warfare.

If you are amassing exceptional wealth in the USA, you are smart enough to know that you were picked to be a winner, and you are in essence a welfare queen, getting direct subsidies and having rules to stymie your competition.  Your natural enemy is anyone else who is also a welfare queen, for they are tapping into the same limited pool as you are.

The 1%, and down to the 47% elite who live off taxpayers, live in dread of the other 47% who live off taxpayers.  There is only so much free stuff the productive six per cent can afford.  The fight is existential.

So in this video, there are two victims.  The murdered African homeless man, and the African-american cop who apparently did the shooting.  We don't need welfare and class warfare.  And it is doubly cruel to get the Afro-american to kill the African.

Warning: bad language.

Also, note, a few minutes in, on the stanchion, is a notice stating "Jesus Saves."  Just so.

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