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Posts: 8,748
Reply with quote  #1 

The October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation has been mobilizing every year since 1996 for a National Day of Protest on October 22nd, bringing together those under the gun and those not under the gun as a powerful voice to expose the epidemic of police brutality.

The Coalition also works on the Stolen Lives Project, which documents cases of killings by law enforcement agents nationwide. The second edition of the Stolen Lives book documents over 2000 cases in the 1990s alone. Research and collection of data in preparation for a second volume continues, and volunteers for researching or editing are welcomed.


Contact the National Office of October 22nd at:
       October 22nd Coalition
       P.O. Box 2627
       New York, NY 10009

Assembly Points & Contacts
History & Background
Stolen Lives Project
Join This Mailing List
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The Call for the 18th National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation
October 22, 2013

“The Call for the 18th National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation is to bring forward the united, powerful, visual coalition of families victimized by police terrorism and to reach into all parts of our community. May our unity bring the change that our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren so rightfully deserve – freedom, justice, equality, humanity, respect, and a right to take BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit] and a right to walk to 7-11 for Skittles and ice tea without being executed.”

               - Cephus “Uncle Bobby” Johnson, the uncle of Oscar Grant

This year has seen a sharp escalation in a full spectrum of attacks on the people. Yet even through some of the most repressive attacks that the government has made, there are signs of hope in the nationwide eruptions of outraged people and communities who are fighting back. We have a heavy responsibility going into the 2013 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, to stoke these sparks of resistance into a movement that can not only stop but reverse these escalating attacks. 

In Bakersfield, CA, 33-year old David Silva was hogtied and savagely beaten to death by law enforcement officers, who had found him passed out on a street. The vicious killing of 30-year old Melissa Williams and 40-year old Timothy Russell, shot down in a hail of 137 bullets by Cleveland police, has been described as a modern-day lynching. As of yet, the thirteen officers are still on the job. In an assisted living home in Chicago, 95-year old John Wrana was killed by police after being tasered and shot with a bean bag round. Witnesses say that Miami Beach police high-fived each other after tasering to death 18-year old graffiti artist Israel Hernandez-Llach. Police around the country continue to kill young Black men with impunity, such as 25-year old Cary Ball, Jr., killed in a hail of 25 bullets by St. Louis, MO police, and 16-year old Kimani Gray, shot seven times by NYPD, three times in the back. In Dallas, TX, the last time a killer cop was indicted was in 1973. Dallas police have killed 250 since, with 68 Black men killed since 2001. Over and over, we hear the justifications for police brutality and killing. The reason Miami-Dade police gave for restraining and choking 14-year old Tremaine McMillian, that he gave “dehumanizing stares,” shows just how much law enforcement expects impunity.

This system also criminalizes certain communities by protecting from prosecution those who kill people of color. From the Bronx judge's overturning of indictments against the cop who killed the unarmed Black teenager Ramarley Graham, to the mistrial declared in the killing of seven-year old Aiyana Stanley-Jones by Detroit police, the system's prosecutors always seem to forget how to prosecute when one of their own is on trial. The soft touch that Florida police gave to Trayvon Martin's killer and the acquittal of racist vigilante George Zimmerman epitomizes the racism inherent in the justice system, as the trial was conducted and covered in the media as though Martin was the one on trial. As a Guardian columnist has written, the verdict of the Zimmerman trial declares “open season on black boys.”

The rise in reports of sexual harassment of and assaults against women and transgender people by police in recent years is staggering, unfortunately nothing new for long-time female activists who have had close encounters with police. There are reports from all across the country of groping and verbal sexual harassment during arrests, especially prominent at recent protests for women's reproductive rights in Texas. Also in Texas, state troopers have subjected women to cavity searches during traffic stops. In addition, a recent U.S. Department of Justice report revealed that hundreds of teens have been sexually assaulted or raped in juvenile detention institutions across the nation.
Scores of political prisoners continue to languish in state and federal prisons, many aged and infirmed. At least four are terminally ill: Maumin Khabir, Mondo we Langa, Herman Wallace, and people’s attorney Lynne Stewart. Their conditions demand our immediate concern, as the federal and state prison systems refuse to grant any of them compassionate releases. We cannot allow the denial of their immediate release nor the continued incarceration of any of our freedom fighters.

Meanwhile, as the culture of cop watching becomes more pervasive and more people document the violent acts of law enforcement, the criminalization of recording police intensifies. Among many incidents across the country, a West Palm Beach man was arrested and charged with eavesdropping after trying to film police detaining someone, three NYC cop watchers were arrested during the unrest after Kimani Gray’s killing, a Hawthorne, CA man’s dog was shot and killed by police after the man was arrested for filming a police barricade, and Detroit police roughed up and arrested a newspaper reporter for filming an arrest even after she identified herself as press.

The intrusion of the national security state has reached mind-boggling, unprecedented levels. This year, whistleblower Edward Snowden, a contract employee of the National Security Agency, revealed that the U.S. government has been conducting the largest, most coordinated, and most intrusive surveillance of citizens in human history. Instead of these revelations being treated as evidence of massive governmental wrongdoing, Snowden has been treated like other whistleblowers, such as Chelsea (née Bradley) Manning, who uncovered widespread U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now facing 35 years in prison as a traitor. With evidence that law enforcement has singled out for surveillance and harassment groups and mosques simply for being Muslim, and individual and groups of activists for being progressive and leftist, we must not accept these intrusions and these attacks on the people who expose them as the "new normal."

In the face of escalating brutality and repression, people’s determined resistance must grow not just to fight for justice and against repression, but also to change people’s understanding of what is needed and possible today. The critically acclaimed film about the 2009 police killing of Oscar Grant, “Fruitvale Station,” has burned into the minds of many the utter devastation and outrage of Stolen Lives cases. Advocacy and public debate to decriminalize marijuana/cannabis has clarified the epidemic of criminalization and demonization of whole groups of people through unconstitutional raids and mass incarceration, and how the “War on Drugs” is really a war on the poor and people of color. Other efforts seek institutional changes through legal and legislative means, such as the Community Safety Act reform bills and "Floyd" lawsuit victories against the NYPD and the Committee for Professional Policing political action committee in Minneapolis. Efforts by activists and civil rights organizations have also resulted in calls from the UN Human Rights Committee that challenge police violence and impunity. These efforts contribute to the needed societal discourse about the racist reality of “Stop-and-Frisk” policies, police brutality, repression, and the criminalization of Black and Latino peoples, breaking the silence and strengthening the resolve of many to take independent political action to end these daily horrors for so many people. The National Day of Protest welcomes and must give voice to the greatest concentration of diverse and disparate voices and forces in order to beat back the genocidal trend of vicious police brutality and repression, and change the current equation.

Most importantly, people have been rising from the ground up, the most oppressed of our communities grabbing the reins and fighting forward, unafraid! Prisoners have organized with inspiring unity around demands for basic human rights, under conditions internationally condemned as torture, such as confining prisoners for decades in solitary confinement, a deadly lack of concern for their health that kills on average one prisoner per week, and illegal, coerced sterilization of incarcerated women. Most notably, a hunger strike that spread throughout California had up to 30,000 prisoners participating. Families of people killed by police are standing strong and building together for a national movement for their Stolen Lives. Undocumented youth are heroically outing themselves, often getting arrested and deported, in order to fight for their entire community. Tens of thousands rose and continue to rise up in powerful ways for Trayvon Martin, and against racist killings by wannabe cops, cover-ups by real cops, and injustice by the justice system. Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities are speaking out against unwarranted governmental surveillance and criminalization. People in even the most conservative areas are finding strength in organizing together, such as the growing movement in Dallas, TX and the uprisings in Anaheim, CA. Videos exposing police brutality and misconduct appear every day from all over the nation, made by organized cop watchers as well as everyday people who are fearlessly recording even as police try to intimidate them. All over the world, people have had enough and are rising up in exciting and visionary ways, and this October 22nd is where we bring all our struggles and victories together!

October 22nd is a day that people around the nation have mobilized every year since 1996 for a National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. It is crucial that we bring forward a powerful National Day of Protest in cities and towns across the U.S. to challenge the ongoing violence against the people. This October 22nd, stand with thousands across the country to express our collective outrage, creativity, and resistance in response to the crimes of this system. On October 22nd, WEAR BLACK, FIGHT BACK!

Join us if there is already an October 22nd event in your area. Create one if you are in an area where there is currently no group organizing. For listings of activities in your area, check the Assembly Points page.To start building for an event in your area, email oct22national@gmail.com

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Reply with quote  #2 
see link for full story


This App Is So Cool!
 25 September 2013 - 12:10pm

A few days ago I was standing in line waiting for a teller at my community bank and a friend came in. He is a regular at my weekly drawing group. Getting in line behind me he said, “I’m embarrassed to show you this, but you may be amused.” He pulled out a new, large screened, cell phone and said, “This app is so amazing. I can take a picture of anything and it can instantly turn it into a pencil drawing, a pen & ink, a pastel, a watercolor, an oil, a picture on any kind of paper (even wrinkled!), a negative… on and on.” I’m not sure I remember now how many “artistic” variations on a theme his phone app could play, but he was right to be embarrassed to show it to me. I was, however, polite and suitably awed at the technology. As my sweet grandmother used to say, “What will they think of next!”

Later, I tried to understand why I was so disturbed by this amazing app. The technology is impressive, but that’s the not the point. It’s the intention of the technology and its result that are bothersome. Here’s a device whose “artistic” application subverts the function of art. The entire function of art -- at whatever level of  ability -- is to enable a person to discover a personal voice, an idiosyncratic way of seeing, thinking, feeling, reacting, being that could only come from you. Now, with this app, I can make art by choosing from ten (wow!) predetermined responses. Professional looking responses! How cool! I don’t need to struggle to learn how to draw anymore. So what if my artistic personality is reduced to ten choices derived from the software of some IT whiz kid, I made the choice didn’t I? And I chose what to photograph. So what if the difference between you and me is now the fact that you chose the pen & ink and I chose the pastel on wrinkled paper. Those are differences, aren’t they?

It’s interesting that as teachers of social justice, celebrating diversity and civil rights, we constantly rail about the pernicious effect of stereotyping, reducing a person to a short list of negative characteristics that remove the essential subtlety of the other’s humanity. And yet we buy seductive products and are suitably amazed when they reduce our own humanity. By stereotyping we seek to limit the unpredictable in others; with many such products we guarantee that we aren’t unpredictable either.

The process of art, of any real learning, is profound because it is unpredictable. One never knows what nuances of idea and feeling will be discovered, how you will come to know yourself differently. The technology of the art app robs one of the personal engagement with seeing, with experience, with the struggle to coordinate hand and eye, with learning, with achievement, with self-discovery. It’s about arriving at a pre-determined destination without taking the journey. Why not an app that writes a poem for you? You give it a couple of theme words -- say, sad and lonely -- and it writes the poem so you don’t have to work out  for yourself exactly why you are feeling that way, or discover the metaphors that describe how you feel. Instead of feeling sad and lonely in your unique way, you feel sad and lonely in the way a programmer at Microsoft thinks you might -- and millions of other people, too. What’s really scary is the acceptance of those mass produced feelings as our own.

Every art work is a kind of autobiography. It captures the combination of skill and perception available to you at that time. And the journey from beginning to end is never predictable. It’s an honest mirror. I have never begun and ended a drawing or painting as the same person.

The point of this little jeremiad about a new technology app is this: Education must embrace a host of interrelated goals. One is the teaching of skills -- everything from reading to computer technology. Another is citizenship -- the political health of our society depends on good citizens and knowing their obligation to be involved. A third is an understanding of our reality as one species amongst many on this planet and that our health depends on the health of all the others. We call this the teaching of reality. A fourth is teaching true history so we know who we are as a community and a society. Another is teaching culture, the study of our best ideas and feelings and beliefs.

There’s another educational goal however that the true success of the other goals depends on. And that is helping young people discover who they are as individuals. And perhaps the best way to do this is through the arts -- poetry, music, visual art, drama, fiction. The reason is simple. To succeed with an art at whatever level one has to discover an authentic voice, a way of expression that is one’s own. An identity. The reason why this is so important is that people who don’t know themselves don’t make good citizens. They are easily manipulated by slogans and propaganda and cool apps to live lives that serve other people’s interests & for other people’s profits. People who don’t know themselves do not understand how their unique gifts can be used to shape a history of sustainability and peace. People who don’t know themselves cut the arts funding in our schools because they think the arts inconsequential for competing in the global economy. People who don’t know themselves think art is an app on a cell phone.

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Reply with quote  #3 

Defense Lawyer Is Jailed Over Client Confidentiality


see link for full story

For almost two decades, Linda Backiel has used her law degree to defend people who disagreed vehemently and sometimes violently with the policies of the Federal Government.

And she has watched many of her clients, including opponents of the Vietnam War and advocates of Puerto Rican independence, go to prison for what they considered matters of principle.

Now it is her turn.

For more than two months, Ms. Backiel has been held in the Bucks County Correctional Facility here on a civil contempt charge because she refuses to testify before a Federal grand jury investigating a client who the authorities say jumped bail.

In an interview at the prison over the weekend, Ms. Backiel, 46 years old, said she had spurned a subpoena and later an order from a Federal judge because her testimony would violate a fundamental canon of the relationship between lawyers and clients: the guarantee of confidentiality. 'That's Not My Job'


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Reply with quote  #4 
After killing women and children in Afghanistan and Iraq these warriors reinvent themselves.
They fought on a foreign battlefield to protect Exxon Mobil and BP. Now an elite corps of warriors is stepping onto the most important battlefield of their lives: hunting child predators and rescuing American children in danger.

The H.E.R.O. Child-Rescue Corps is an unprecedented new force in the global battle against child exploitation, abuse and human trafficking. Learn more on these pages about how some of America's most tested and proven warriors are mobilizing to rescue children in danger. Then join us. There are many ways you and your company or organization can support the H.E.R.O. Corps mission.


Posts: 8,748
Reply with quote  #5 

Friday, August 31, 2007
The Necessary Embrace of Conspiracy
Robert Shetterly

Several years ago I gave a talk on Martha's Vineyard about many of the people whose portraits I've painted in the Americans Who Tell the Truth series. I spent some time talking about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. When I talk about King, I like to focus on his last year --- the period when, defying the advice of many of his advisors in the civil rights movement, he spoke against the Vietnam War, equating racism with imperialism. King felt bound to make the point that the forces of capitalism, materialism, and militarism that were driving segregation were also driving the war, and until we confronted the source of the problem, the abuses would continue. It was April 4, 1967, in Riverside Church in New York, that he made that declaration. A year to the day before his assassination.

It has always confounded me every year when we celebrate Dr. King's life that no mention is made of that Riverside Church speech in the major media. We are always treated to sound bites of the 1963 I Have a Dream speech. That speech's oratory is as powerful as it is non-confrontational. Which is why it is re-played for modern audiences. Dr. King was about confrontation. Non-violence and confrontation, each ennobling and making the other effective. In 1967 he said, "... my country is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." And he explained how our economic system thrived on exploitation and violence, or, as Emma Goldman put it, "The greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism." This was probably the most important speech King ever gave and not playing it when we ostensibly honor him, is tantamount to castrating him morally and intellectually. Just as there is a long history of White America castrating black men, there is an equal legacy of Elite America cutting the most important truths of our social prophets out of the history books. We pay homage to King's icon, the cardboard cutout, but not to his strongest beliefs and his most cogent analysis of our problems --- to what vision called forth his courage. And, if we think that he spoke the truth, to censor that truth is to promote a curious kind of segregation. He is segregated, not for the color of his skin, but for the accuracy of his perception, how close to the bone his words cut. We can't bear to hear the sound of truth's knife scraping on hypocrisy's bone. Only people who actually want to change the system dance to that music or want it to be heard.

Equally important, and part of the same neglect, is the intentional ignoring of the facts of his death. In my talk on Martha's Vineyard I spoke about William Pepper's book, An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King, Jr. Pepper had been James Earl Ray's lawyer. Ray was the man convicted of killing King. But both Pepper and the King family were convinced that Ray was innocent. The King family hired Pepper to represent them in a suit; they asked only $100.00 in damages to clear Ray's name. Before the trial came to court in 1999, Ray had died in prison. The jury determined that King had been assassinated by a conspiracy involving the Memphis police, the Mafia, the FBI, and the Special Forces of the U.S. Army. Ray, the patsy, had left town before the shot was fired. Pepper had confessions from people involved from each of the organizations named. The verdict was barely mentioned in the U.S. media then and is not mentioned every year on the anniversary of his death. Why?

After my talk on Martha's Vineyard a man came up to me and said, "I enjoyed your speech and was with you until you started that conspiracy stuff about MLK, Jr." I said, "That's not conspiracy. What I told you are facts." End of conversation.

I think we're confronted with two conspiracies here: one to commit the crime, the other to ignore it even when the facts are known. ( Two sides of the same coin.) The man who accused me of slipping into the neurotic, aliens-are-among-us land of conspiracy nuts was unable to hear the evidence, perhaps because he was so utterly convinced by our government and media that conspiracies don't exist, people who espouse them are dangerous fruitcakes, and if you begin to think like that, your whole house of cards wobbles then topples. Who wants that? Better a standing tower of marked cards, than having to admit the game is rigged and the ground is shaking.

America is steeped in conspiracy, and even more steeped in propaganda that discredits those who try to expose the conspiracies. Whether we're talking about MLK, Jr., JFK, RFK, Iran-Contra, 9/11, or, most importantly, the status quo, anyone who works to uncover the truth is branded a "conspiracy nut" and discredited before any evidence has a fair hearing. The government/corporate/media version is THE VERSION. Anything else is illusory.

In fact, the cultural success of labeling investigative reporters and forensic historians, and, simply, anyone who tries to name reality, "conspiracy nuts" is perhaps the most successful conspiracy of our time. Well, not the most successful. That prize goes to the conspiracy to give corporations all the rights of individual persons under our Constitution. That conspiracy has codified and consolidated corporate power so that it controls our lives in almost every meaningful way. It controls the election funds of our candidates, and them once they are in office. It controls our major media including public broadcasting. It controls the content of our television programming. It controls how are tax dollars are spent making sure that the richest get the most welfare. It controls the laws, the courts, the prison system and the mind numbing propaganda that we are the greatest democracy on earth. It controls the values with which we raise our children. It controls our ability to dispense justice. It controls how we treat nature, how we deface our land with strip malls, and blow the tops off our mountains --- a form of corporate free speech. It dictates our modes of transportation. It controls our inability to respond to true crises like climate change. It attempts to create a spiritual deficiency in every person that can be filled and healed only with stuff --- and no stuff is ever enough.

As Richard Grossman puts it, "Isn't it an old story? People create what looks to be a nifty machine, a robot, called the corporation. Over time, the robots get together and overpower the people. ... For a century, the robots propagandize and indoctrinate each generation of people so they grow up believing that robots are people too, gifts from God and Mother Nature; that they are inevitable and the source of all that is good. How odd that we have been so gullible, so docile, obedient."

It is obvious to say that we have been engineered into a culture that values competitive consumption and consumers instead of community cooperation and citizenship. Capitalism with its obsessive and necessary appetite for consumption, expanding markets, resource depletion, and increasing profits has consumed democracy. Have you ever watched a small snake swallow a large frog? The snake's hinged jaw stretches wider and wider, squeezing the frog millimeter by millimeter into its gullet until finally the snake looks like the Holland Tunnel might if it had devoured the Titanic. Then the acids and enzymes do their corrosive work. The frog becomes the snake. And the snake claims it is the frog. Capitalism has gulped down democracy and claimed it is democracy. When, immediately after 9/11, President Bush advised Americans to demonstrate their love of freedom and their resistance to terrorism by courageously, selflessly, hurrying to the mall to buy something, he was speaking as the snake that identifies itself as a frog. He was asking us to play a little game with our brains' synapses, replace the snake icon with the frog's. Sadly, he may also have been speaking about democracy in the only way that he can understand or recognize it. And, for him, Christianity has been another tidy meal for the snake.

Perhaps this switcheroo is nowhere more obvious than in the military /industrial complex. We are told that the vulnerable frog needs protecting. The threats are grave. So we fork over our money and children's lives for war and weapons. We are told that we are building security and peace. More lives. More weapons. What we aren't told is that the largest US export to the world is weapons. What we aren't told is that enormous fortunes are being made from the arms trade. What we aren't told is that the more precarious and unstable the world is, the better the business for the arms dealers --- that the real promotion is not for security and peace but insecurity and war, that the lives of our children are the necessary collateral damage for this monster. What we aren't told is that the only real security is in cooperation, conservation, and fairness, not imperialism. The frog, who is a snake, wrapped in a flag, pleads for patriotism and counts the cash. The snake's forked tongue is a barbeque fork on which we've all been roasted.

I'd call that conspiracy.

The neocons have claimed, with some accuracy, that they can create reality faster than we can react: the deed is done, now deal with it. The troops have invaded, Halliburton, Blackwater, and Lockheed signed their contracts, the prisoners are tortured, your email is bugged, the resources for social programs are gone, the laws are changed, the Wal-Mart is built, the sludge dump has already polluted the aquifer, truth is hollowed out ---- catch me if you can! How is that not conspiracy?

The cooks & the crooks create a new status quo, legalize it, propagandize it, mythologize it, fundamentalize it, slather it with fear and patriotism, and force feed it to the complacent, sedated cow we call America. How is that not conspiracy?

Of course, ever since the Constitution was signed and didn't free the slaves or give the vote to women, poor folks, Native Americans and freed blacks so that people with power and money could continue to profit, America has been a conspiracy against itself. It's been cowboy grilling his own heart over a smoke & mirrors campfire, a CEO with inherited wealth and three hundred years of patrician, affirmative action crooning "Only in America."

The reason we can't talk about conspiracy is because it is the modus operandi. It isn't the elephant in the room, it is the room itself. We all live there. We can impeach a few elephants, and we should, but the architecture is in place. And they control it.

When I was in school, I was reminded - repeatedly --- to avoid using an indefinite pronoun without identifying whom it refers to, as in, "They are coming to get us," ... or, "They control everything." Who are They? It's bad practice to think and write like that. Without reference it just sounds like paranoia. But the hell of it is that it's damned hard to say who the They are that are in conspiracy to destroy democracy and, by exploitation, nature. Did They do it on purpose or merely discover by serendipity, like cavemen seeing copper ooze out of a rock by a fire, the wondrous possibility and power of what they had found. For instance, the invention of the TV was not a conspiracy. But once the realization of how TV could be used to submerge the public in a lobotomizing swamp of advertising, sound bites, inactivity, community destruction, titillation, false history, empty myth, consumption, and complicity in making fortunes for the sponsors, the program was clear. Conspiracy was the silent partner in the euphemism good business practice. And, once they saw the implications of giving corporations First Amendment rights, they were home free.

Time to re-think conspiracy.

We need to embrace conspiracy in two ways. One, admit that it's real, its quotidian, it's the fabric of our lives, the mercury in the air, the dioxin in the water, it's filling the airwaves and the marketplace and the courts and the halls of Congress before we even get out of bed every morning. Two, counter it with a conspiracy of our own. On our side we have the fundamental fact that although the corporate They can alter many of our realities, they can't alter Reality. They can't change the behavior of Nature. They can sell off the rain forest, but they can't leverage the effect of cutting it. They can keep the mileage of cars poor so we'll buy more gas, but they can't alter the amount of oil in the ground or the damage to the atmosphere. They can privatize every human interaction and every natural resource, but they can't privatize the laws of nature. They have conspired to change reality. We must conspire to live in harmony with Reality.

In the same way, they can conspire to kill Martin Luther King, Jr., but they can't totally eradicate the truth of who did it and why.

Con + spirare, from the Latin. To breathe together. Those are the roots of conspiracy. Breathing together doesn't sound like an activity of the ideologically deracinated whispering seditiously in a dank cellar or a board room, foul breaths denting a weak flame flickering over a candle nub, gunpowder or greed blackened fingers setting a timer, the whites of creased eyes glinting like knives with treason, murder, power, and deceit. Con + spirare sounds like healthy men and women standing in the sun figuring out how in the hell they are going to take care of each other and their aging mother Earth and love life while doing it. Breathing together, sharing the same air, plotting to make sure that what's mine is yours, conspiring to save their self-respect, their ideals, the future for their children.

I want to be part of a conspiracy. Pervasive, populist, revolutionary, and totally transparent. Grassroots. Idealistic. Simplistic. Life-affirming. Community building

A conspiracy to make the common good and the love of nature the common denominator of every economic transaction.

And the simple truth is either we start breathing together, conspiring big time, right out in the open, nakedly, unashamedly, or we will have conspired in secret, by default, in our own demise.

We have let them breathe for us, and they have stolen our breath, our air, our spirit.

Secret con + spirare is death. Open con + spirare is life.

Conspiracy is dead. Long live conspiracy!

Robert Shetterly lives in Brooksville, Maine http://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org

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Reply with quote  #6 


Hacker Doxes 80 Police Officers of Miami

A group of hackers revealed the names, email addresses and phone numbers of over 80 police officers of Miami, in what seems to be an effort to "dox" the agents. The hackers seem to be lightly associated with the group of apparent teen hackers known as "Crackas With Attitude" or CWA, who breached the AOL email account of the Director of CIA John Brennan last year, and attacked other high-profile officials of US government during recent weeks.

The group also hacked JABS (Joint Automated Booking System), an application used to document and manage arrested citizens of US, and also blustered for accessing a secret portal of FBI. CWA disclosed the personal details of 2,400 officials of US government in November. Softpedia posted on 22nd January, 2016, stating that Vice reporters verified the claims of hackers and confirmed the authenticity of the data.

It is not clear from where the hackers acquired the data, but seems they got it from a US government database of law enforcement officials which was allegedly breached last

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Reply with quote  #7 

Link du jour



J Edgar Hoover Alert
(coverup in progress)

2 stories



Hillary Clinton "was in complete shock and

disbelief at the thought of Foster committing suicide"
Ken Starr appeared to be enemy of HIllary Clinton

According to an FBI interview of James Rutherford, Hillary Clinton
"was in complete shock and disbelief at the thought of Foster
committing suicide."

"Of a thousand people who might commit suicide, I would never pick
Vince." Hillary Clinton, quoted in The New Yorker, The Suicide, by
Sidney Blumenthal, August 9, 1993.

"Also under suspicion for espionage was the president's wife, Hillary
Rodham Clinton, who may have been providing Foster with the sensitive
binders from the super-secret National Security Agency that Foster's
executive assistant testified he had." -James Norman, former Senior
Editor at Forbes

Webster Hubbell a close friend of Hillary and Foster said, "Don't
believe a word you hear. It was not suicide. It couldn't have been."
Esquire, November 1993

"...Hillary Rodham Clinton, provided sworn testimony ...to the special
prosecutor about the death of a White House lawyer..." New York Times,
June 14, 1994

The report of the FBI interview of Tom Castleton contradicted
Hillary's testimony of when she last saw Vincent Foster.

Hillary's initial doubts were abandoned as she agreed with Kenneth
Starr, "...Starr had finally conceded that Vince Foster really had
committed suicide." Living History by Hillary Clinton

Chris Ruddy cast suspicion by falsely accusing the Clintons of keeping
the FBI out of the Foster death investigation.

"[I]ntelligence guys in the CIA...found names there that they
identified as being Foster and Hillary. They put them under
surveillance actually before they went to the White House. They had
been surveilling these [Swiss] accounts for a while, and when Foster
on July 1, 1993, bought a ticket to Geneva" -James Norman, former
senior editor of Forbes Magazine, Dec. 7, 1995

An FBI document and a handwritten note from the Office of Independent
Counsel refer to Foster and the Swiss bank account as mentioned above
by James Norman.

Foster cancelled a flight to Switzerland, with seats for two other
people, just before his death according to an Office of Independent
Counsel document.

An Office of Independent Counsel note lists the name of Robert Maxwell
along with the initials WLH, VF, HRC, (Webster Lee Hubbell, Vince
Foster, Hillary Clinton) and the word "Systematics."

Deborah L. Gorham testified to the Senate Special Committee that Vince
Foster had National Security Agency documents.

NewsMax, the conservative news media organization founded by Chris
Ruddy, donated $1 million to the Clinton Foundation. Ruddy rose to
fame writng about "Clinton scandals" and casting suspicion on Foster's

The morning after Vince Foster died President Clinton spoke to the
White House staff, "In the first place no one can know why this
happened. Even if you had a whole set of objective reasons, that
wouldn't be why it happened bcause you could get a different, bigger
more burdensome set of reasons that are on someone else in this room.
So what happened was a mystery about something inside of him...and I
hope when we remember him and this we'll be a little more anxious to
talk to each other and a little less anxious to talk outside our

Christopher Ruddy wrote, "Still other concerns might have influenced
the Foster family. For one thing, published reports claim or intimate
that Vince Foster and Hillary Clinton had a romantic affair." The
Strange Death of Vincent Foster, 1997

Others are asking, "Is Hillary Clinton a lesbian?"



Prosecutor in Pollard Spy Case Predicts Espionage Act Charges in
Clinton Email Probe
DiGenova expects FBI to recommend 'series of criminal charges'

Other News



Sheriff Says Most Rape Claims False, Rape Kits Unnecessary
Opposing Views-
... were harmful and stressed the need for education on sexual
assault, pointing out that only 33 percent of rape victims report
their attacks according to the FBI.

Did Apple just imply the NSA can hack iPhones?
BGR-1 hour ago
In a new court brief filed this week, Apple once again makes its case
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Investigation into LaVoy Finicum's killing raises questions of FBI ...
The Guardian-


Jeanette Finicum, widow of rancher LaVoy Finicum who was killed by FBI
agents on 26 January, says she rejects that the shooting was
justified. “There's been a ...

Wednesday 16 March 2016 19.34 EDT
Last modified on Wednesday 16 March 2016 19.36 EDT

An official investigation into the fatal shooting of Oregon militia
leader LaVoy Finicum has raised questions about whether federal agents
lied about their actions and removed bullet casings from the scene,
adding to accusations that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
engaged in a cover-up.

Evidence that FBI agents failed to disclose that they had fired shots
at Finicum and queries about whether critical evidence was removed
comes from the local Deschutes county sheriff’s office investigation,
lending credence to claims previous dismissed as conspiracy theories.
'We want Cliven free!': protesters make noise at scene of Bundy court

Finicum, a 54-year-old Arizona rancher and one of the leaders of the
rightwing militia that occupied an Oregon wildlife refuge, was shot
and killed by state troopers on a remote highway on 26 January. The
confrontation also resulted in the arrests of key protesters and
marked the beginning of the end of the 41-day standoff.

Further bolstering theories of evidence removal, law enforcement
sources told the Oregonian this week that they had seen an FBI video
that showed an agent appear to bend over twice and pick up something
near where the two shots likely occurred.

The sheriff’s office, responsible for investigating the shooting,
recently determined the shooting was justified and released close-up
footage of the final moments before Finicum exited his vehicle and was

From the start of the investigation, Finicum’s supporters across the
west have hailed him as a martyr for the conservative land-use rights
movement, arguing that the FBI planned and executed



March 16 2016

Wednesday, Mar 16th 2016 8PM 42°F 11PM 40°F 5-Day Forecast

Pentagon will pay $130,000 for homemade weapons: 'Improv' project
plans to reveal how terrorists could turn household items into threats

US nationals can submit their idea to Darpa on March 30
Darpa is hoping to test prototypes and create countermeasures
Follows a rise in the use of off-the-shelf equipment to create

Published: 15:13 EST, 16 March 2016 | Updated: 16:47 EST, 16 March

If you think you can turn a toaster into a weapon, then the US
military wants to hear from you.

Darpa has announced



John Kiriakou Says the FBI Tried to Entrap Him and Charge Him With
Posted on Mar 16, 2016

John Kiriakou was one of the good guys when he worked as an
intelligence operative for the CIA from 1990 to 2004. But after he
blew the whistle on torture in 2007, the FBI started investigating him
and, he says, even attempted to entrap him in a scheme involving a
fake diplomat.

Kiriakou says he avoided the FBI’s trap, but he later got in trouble
for revealing the name of a former non-covert CIA agent to a New York
Times reporter. The disclosure led to his prosecution in 2012 for
violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act—a 1982 amendment
to the National Security Act of 1947—and Kiriakou served more than two
years in prison as a result. He was released in 2015 and now is
working to reform security abuses in America.

Posts: 8,748
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Welcome to the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and Defending Dissent Foundation
We are a national non-profit, non-partisan organization working to restore the rule of law and our constitutional rights and liberties. We aim to make police and intelligence agencies accountable to we, the people whom they serve. We support an ideologically, politically, ethnically, geographically, and generationally diverse grassroots movement, focused on educating Americans about the erosion of our fundamental freedoms; increasing civic participation; and converting concern and outrage into political action.

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Stop LAPD Spying Hosts Surveillance Self Defense Teach-In & Meeting on Countering Violent Extremism in Schools

May 29, 2016 – At two different events, community members learned how to defend themselves from surveillance, and how the Preventing Violent Extremism in Schools program violates students’ rights. Follow up meetings were scheduled for dates in June.

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Secret Service Restricts Journalists’ Access to National Political Conventions

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Philadelphia PD Shopping for Security Gear Ahead of Democratic Convention

May 20, 2016 – As the national political conventions approach, much attention has been focused on security preparations underway in Cleveland, host to the Republican National Convention in July. Citing the fractious nature of the GOP primaries and long tradition of p… [Read More]

No, the FBI’s Huge Biometrics Database Should Not Be Exempt From Privacy Rules

May 19, 2016 – In a world where police masquerade as google streetview cars to spy on citizens, questioning the validity of data amassed by law enforcement is absolutely necessary to protect against abuse. That’s why the Department of Justice’s proposal to prevent Am… [Read More]

Join Us At Left Forum!

May 19, 2016 – This May 20-22 Left Forum, an annual event that is thought to be the largest gathering of the North American left, will be held at John Jay University. The Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent Foundation is sponsoring a panel at this year… [Read More]

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left of bang
June 4, 2016Uncategorized“the stream”, “thin-slicing”, anomaly, atemi, detection, emergency response, encounters, immersion, meme, mindfulness, moment of recognition, observable human behavior, PINs, preparation, proactive thinking, redirection, self-defense, situational awareness, tactical ops, the reactionary gap, three dimensions of experience, vigilance, zanshin
left of bang

The term “left of bang” is a meme (a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme), the presence of which is increasing, given the heavy focus on American militarization.

It was recently used by the four-star Army Ranger who had recently assumed command of U.S. Special Operations Command.

The focus for the term is on tactical operations of that nature, which will be touched upon briefly by reference to the book, but I will also explore its use by civilians in the more mundane worlds and moments, especially those potentially violent. And I’ll take a look at how it might have been a factor in some recents news events. I’ll wonder out loud why it doesn’t have a role in the larger worlds of strategy, foreign policy, and culture. And then I’ll examine how it might be of value to you and your family as you encounter an emergency threat to your household.

The general explained to an attentive and fawning press recently that getting “left of bang” involved a transition away from reactive thinking to one of proactive thinking, or getting into “a ready position to deal with new threats in their early stages”. 

The term undoubtedly arises from the threats in Afghanistan and Iraq from IED’s and other combat encounters. The new applications being sought are in the development of technological applications by IT wizards in the rear echelons of the military-industrial world.

What follows is a lot of reading. Hopefully, you can return to it in chunks as you attend to the rest of your life.

“Chell” out with some background music and dive in.

There are obvious references and uses of this line of thinking in martial arts and self-defense, law enforcement, as well as in business strategic planning.

While I have not read the book, my immediate reaction is that this is nothing more than bottled water in old wine skins. The concepts are old, despite what the generals say.

“Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life” by Patrick Van Horne, Jason Riley, Shawn Coyne (Editor), Steven Pressfield (Goodreads Author) (Introduction)

“At a time when we must adapt to the changing character of conflict, this is a serious book on a serious issue that can give us the edge we need.”

—General James Mattis, USMC, Ret.

“Left of Bang offers a crisp lesson in survival in which Van Horne and Riley affirm a compelling truth: It’s better to detect sinister intentions early than respond to violent actions late. Left of Bang helps readers avoid the bang.”

—Gavin de Becker, bestselling author if The Gift of Fear

“Left of Bang is a highly important and innovative book that offers a substantial contribution to answering the challenge of Fourth Generation war (4GW).”

—William S. Lind, author of Maneuver Warfare Handbook

“Like Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, Left of Bang isn’t just for the military. It’s a must read for anyone who has ever had a gut feeling that something’s not quite right…be it walking down the street, sitting in a corporate boardroom, or even entering an empty home.”

— Steven Pressfield, bestselling author of The Lion’s Gate, The Warrior Ethos and Gates of Fire

“An amazing book! Applying the lessons learned during the longest war in American history, and building on seminal works like The Gift of Fear and On Combat, this book provides a framework of knowledge that will bring military, law enforcement, and individual citizens to new levels of survival mindset and performance in life-and-death situations. Left of Bang is an instant classic.”

–Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman, U.S. Army Ret., author of On Combat and On Killing 




Ed Hinman says 

Besides reinforcing many of the observation and detection techniques explained in Gift of Fear and Just 2 Seconds, Van Horne and Riley add some new concepts and terms to push our Moment of Recognition (i.e. identifying Pre-incident indicators of violence or PINs) to the left of the assassin’s bang.

When it comes to detecting PINs, the authors introduce two new terms, “baseline” and “anomaly.”

• Baseline. Establishing a baseline is digesting all that’s normal in our environment. (Normal is relative of course, as normal behavior at a funeral is different than normal behavior at a rock concert.)

• Anomaly. Once the baseline is established for that particular environment, observed behaviors that seem out of place within that environment are labeled anomalies. “Whenever there are things in our environment that do not happen but should, or do happen but shouldn’t, we have an anomaly.”

Note: For our purposes, anomalies and PINs can be interpreted as the same.

The book gains traction with me when Van Horn and Riley explain that a PIN (or anomaly) can be classified under one of six behavioral domains. By understanding and considering each behavioral domain, it becomes even easier to find PINs that might otherwise be hidden.

The Six Possible Domains for a PIN:

1 Kinesics involves body language. Non-verbal expressions, postures, and gestures that communicate someone’s current emotions and possibly their future intentions. (Kinesiology is studying the body’s motion.)

◦Anomaly (or PIN): Everyone in the crowd is smiling, except a man with clinched fists who stares at you and then back at your protectee.

2 Biometrics involves the uncontrollable and automatic biological responses of the human body to stress.

◦Anomaly (or PIN): That same man is sweating on an otherwise mild day.

3 Proxemics involves groups of people and the interpersonal distance, or proximity, between groups and individuals.

◦Anomaly (or PIN): Other people in the crowd seem to be distancing themselves from this man.

4 Geographics involves reading the relationship between people and their environment, or geography, enabling us to identify who is familiar and who is unfamiliar with an area.

◦Anomaly (or PIN): The man doesn’t appear acquainted with the social customs of the crowd; he appears uncomfortable with all that’s going on around him.

5 Iconography involves symbols, or icons, that communicate an individual’s beliefs and affiliations.

◦Anomaly (or PIN): He is wearing numerous religious symbols that differ from the typical members of the crowd.

6 Atmospherics involves the collective mood and behaviors, or the atmosphere, of a situation or place.

◦Anomaly (or PIN): The energy of people in his immediate vicinity differs from the rest of the crowd; people around him seem a bit uneasy or nervous.

I encourage all protectors to remember that Suspects Exist Everywhere (SEE) and to observe crowds, vendors, visitors, and others while considering each behavioral domain. In doing so, it will become even easier to find PINs that might otherwise be hidden. And when we do spot a PIN, and then another, and then another, it’s time to take action.

Taking Action. After confirming multiple PINs on an individual, I advocate taking these three steps. (Only move to the succeeding step if you deem it necessary.)

1. Report the individual to other agents and onsite security.

2. Question the individual and look for additional PINs throughout your conversation; for example, ask to see the contents of his backpack.

3. Detain the individual (if necessary) or ask him to leave (if necessary), using law enforcement and/or additional security (if necessary). Also ask for his name and take his picture.

Note: Sometimes just one PIN — depending on the situation — is enough to incite your immediate actions. Again, always use your judgment and experience, and seek the input of other security professionals on site to help govern your actions.

(For more information on the protection philosophies outlined in Left of Bang visit http://www.cp-journal.com/blog)


The US Army offers “Advanced Situational Awareness Training”, which includes “instruction in human behavior pattern recognition and analysis” to prepare soldiers to apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills in order to anticipate an event before it happens.

I’m guessing there are a large number of people in the alternative media currently involved in the development and use of similar skills and approaches in order to detect false flag attacks before they occur.

“It’s better to detect sinister intentions early than respond to violent actions late.”

“Patrick Van Horne and Jason Riley, co-authors of Left of Bang, are former active-duty Marine Corps officers and instructors who helped enhance and evolve the Combat Hunter training program at the Marines Corps’ Warfighting Laboratory in Quantico, VA. Their specialty, and the focus of the book, is “how to read the human terrain through an increased understanding of human behavior” across all cultural lines.” The book “encourages you to “thin-slice” a situation. That is to pick up on telltale patterns and assess a suspect’s intentions “with just a thin slice of information,” sometimes no more than one important cue snagged “with just seconds of observation.”

“Perfect decisions are not always possible, they concede, but “more than 100 scientific studies have demonstrated that people can make incredibly accurate intuitive judgments with just a little” input.

The final 50 pages of the book are devoted to how you “put it all together” to make decisions most likely to be valid and take action so that “bang” never occurs…..”


Need a short visual lesson? W

Jiu Jitsu: Jiu Jitsu is a grappling martial art from Japan, though you wouldn’t know it by the way the Brazilians have commercialized and franchised it. Jiu Jitsu is indeed the flavor of the decade for self defense, and though I feel it has been way overhyped, it is an incredibly effective style for ground situations. That said, let’s be clear; Jiu Jitsu is actually a very limited fighting style, especially when you’re not in a cage and you are confronted with more than one attacker. Survivalists should learn grappling techniques so that they know how to defend against takedowns and return to their feet. In a real combat situation, you NEVER try to go to the ground on purpose. Multiple opponents will decimate you within seconds while you are trying to put a choke hold on the guy in front of you. Add a knife into the picture, and purposely jumping into close quarters with the intent to “grapple” will be a death sentence. Successful fighters will always combine Jiu Jitsu with other artforms in order to round out their abilities.

Hapkido: Hapkido in my view is the perfect antithesis to Jiu Jitsu and any other grappling art for that matter. It should be at the top of every survivalist’s list of fighting methods. Hapkido focuses on joint locks, joint breaks, using centrifugal force, pressure points, eye gouges, throat attacks, etc. Generally, it is very difficult for someone to grapple with you if you break their fingers, wrists, hyperextend their knee caps, or crush their wind pipe. One twisted wrist could put a dedicated grappler or wrestler completely out of commission, which is why you never see these methods used in the UFC. The fights would be over quickly, and the sport’s flavor would be lost. Knowing how to counter grappling using grappling is fine, but knowing how to utterly disable a grappler is better. As a survivalist, it is important to learn both.

Eskrima / Kali: Filipino in origin, Eskrima and Kali revolve around stick and knife training, and some of the deadliest blade wielding martial artists on Earth are known to originate from these styles. The point of practicing the Filipino arts is not only to learn to attack with edged weapons, but also to defend against them. Knowing how armed assailants, trained and untrained, will move to harm you gives you a distinct edge. Understanding the motion of a knife strike allows the defender to create or close distance effectively, while timing arm and wrist locks to reduce cuts and control the knife hand before serious damage to your body is done.

Taekwondo: A Korean style, Taekwondo has received a bad rap over the past few years as an “ineffective” martial art, but usually this criticism comes from people who have never actually practiced it. Like Jiu Jitsu, it is a style limited to a very particular range of attacks and scenarios. Taekwondo focuses on kicks to the extreme. Sport Taekwondo is not a practical measure of the style’s use, and this is where its tainted reputation comes from. The truth is, Taekwondo has the fastest and in many cases the most devastating kicks in the world. The use of kicks depends on the mastery of the fighter. If he is fast, and precise, then his strikes will make his opponents feel like they’ve just been hit by an oversized utility van. If he is slow, and unfocused, he will be tackled to the ground like a rag doll and pummeled in an embarrassing manner. That said, one well placed kick can crush ribs, crack skulls, and knock an opponent into dreamland before he ever knew what hit him.

Jeet Kune Do: Created by the venerable Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do’s philosophy is to adopt what works, and set the rest aside. It is essentially a combination of the short range tactics of Wing Chun combined with the long range tactics of Japanese and Korean styles. Jeet Kune Do’s goal is to be a truly complete martial art, and so far, it has proven itself in this regard. If you can only practice one style of self defense, this should be it. Some people attribute the adaptation methodology in self defense to MMA, but really, it was Bruce Lee that pioneered the idea of studying multiple styles and modernizing martial arts. Because of his efforts, the offensive and defensive capabilities of Jeet Kune Do are astounding, and perfect for the survivalist delving into the world of hand-to-hand.

Ninjitsu: When I was a kid back in the 80’s, the ninja was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I think the allure of it was its simple mythology; if you could learn martial arts, and get your hands on a black mask, you could be a superhero. No need for radioactive spiders or genetic mutation. You were a man – in a mask – with badass fists of fury, and that’s it. Of course, the portrayal of ninjitsu has become so cartoonish that people today scarcely believe it is an actual martial art. In fact, it is, and a very deadly one. The brilliance of ninjitsu really dwells in its “think outside the box” mentality. There is a sort of cleverness and unpredictability to it that makes it so dangerous. Ninja’s in feudal Japan were assassins, but they were also the guerilla fighters of their age. The combat methods of ninjitsu revolve around surprise, and misdirection, which are factors that always work in the survivalist’s favor.

There is no way around it. The Martial Arts make a survivalist better at his job, which is to thrive in the very worst possible conditions. It’s not just about fighting; it is also about developing a fighting spirit. Beyond the utility of self defense, as survivalists we must strengthen our inner world as much as our outer shells. It takes time, and patience, and a willingness to struggle. Any person who masters a martial art has not only shown a dedication to his own physical prowess, but he has also proven he has a mental toughness that will carry him through any catastrophe. That kind of toughness is a rare commodity in America today, and when found, should be greatly valued and encouraged, especially by the Liberty Movement.



“… Atemi [are] often used to briefly break an opponent’s balance (see kuzushi) or resolve. This is the predominant usage of atemi in aikido. A painful but non-fatal blow to an area such as the eyes, face, or some vulnerable part of the abdomen can open the way for a more damaging technique, such as a throw or joint lock. Even if the blow does not land, the opponent can be distracted, and may instinctively contort their body (e.g., jerking their head back from a face strike) in such a way that they lose their balance…..”

Atemi have high value in giving you that moment of distraction or inattention/inability on the part of your attacker with which to pivot to an escape, secure something with which to ward off attack or otherwise defend yourself, or activate some method of alarm.

Many people are uncomfortable with being armed with a weapon, but keeping your wits and your footing in any case is vital. Aikido is a discpline in which you practice movement (“it’s a lot like dancing” ), and superior tactical and strategic movement in tight quarters can give you just enough advantage to reach for your pepper spray, your police whistle, or whatever you have pre-planned to have on hand.

See http://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/4-simple-self-defense-techniques/.


“… It may seem onerous to prepare yourself and your family to respond to violence, but not doing so is also a form of preparation. Failing to prepare is, generally speaking, preparing very well to do the wrong thing. Although most of us are good at recognizing danger, our instincts often lead us to behave in ways that increase our chances of being injured or killed once a threat emerges. Why can’t civilized people like ourselves simply rely on the police? Well, look around you: Do you see a cop? Unless you happen to be a police officer yourself, or are married to one, you are very unlikely to be attacked in the presence of law enforcement. The role of the police is to respond in the aftermath of a crime and, with a little luck, to catch the person who committed it. If you are ever targeted by a violent predator, whether you and your family are injured or killed will depend on what you do in the first moments of the encounter. When it comes to survival, therefore, you are on your own. Once you escape and are in a safe place, by all means call the police. But dialing 911 when an intruder has broken into your home is not a reliable strategy for self-defense.[2]….”

https://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-truth-about-violence [very very good]


… when suddenly, a man on the bus gets up, walks over to an 80-year-old woman and delivers a swift kick to her face.


I can’t help but think of Nadeau’s famous story about his encounter on a crowded Tokyo subway.





lingering vigilance, total immersion




How do we deal effectively with an aggressive person?

As a set protocol we can use the acronym ‘SOFTEN’ refereed to by Gordon (2011):

S – smile with discretion, nonverbally let the person know you care about them and that you are not becoming angry.

O – open body positioning, showing that your are truthful towards the person.

F – forward body lean, shows you are interested in what they are saying.

T- territory, do not forget the rules of personal space and proxemics.

E- eye contact, proper eye contact is a sign of truthfulness and submission.

N – nod attentively, to show the person you are paying attention.



“When confronted by any attack or problematic incoming energy, the aikidoist doesn’t strike, push back, pull, or dodge, but rather enters and blends. That is, he or she moves toward the incoming energy and then, at the last instant, slightly off the line of attack, turning so as to look momentarily at the situation from the attacker’s viewpoint. From this position, many possibilities exist, including a good chance of reconciliation. Nadeau told us that the very essence of aikido is contained in the simplest blending move. He also told us that the blend could be used to good effect verbally as well as physically. He insisted, in fact, that everything he taught us could be applied to every aspect of our lives. “What you do with aikido off the mat,” he said one day, “is really more important than what you do with it on the mat….. for the aikidoist, the best stories involve practitioners who have prevented the outbreak of violence or stopped violence already under way.

Moving from center while paying attention to both the goal and the path to the goal, thus staying in the present moment, produces a feeling of flow and ease that translates into seemingly effortless power. Those people acting as obstacles are often startled. To experience truly centered power sometimes takes their breath away. In aikido, the word power doesn’t denote power over others.

The remedy is clear. Don’t deny the reality of the problem. Continue to deal with it. But do so from a calm, relaxed center that represents the true strength of the organization. Blend where it’s advisable to do so. Extend from the organization’s strong center through or past the attacker, toward the possibility of a positive outcome.”

George Leonard




The Stream


Steven Pressfield speaks of the triad of interacting selves as

“victim, perpetrator, rescuer”:



Having read the book “Deep Survival” by Laurance Gonzalez, I recognized after the fact how some of the concepts he talks about in the book saved my life when I recognized that I was walking into a situation that, to put it simply and delicately, might not have ended well at all. I extracted myself just in time.





“… Entering and blending is an aspect of mindful communication that is designed to help people break out of habitual reactions to threatening, emotional, or stressful interaction and instead blend with the other’s energy in a way that reduces the conflict and does no harm to you or the other.

Entering and blending involves four steps:

Align– Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, practicing mindful listening and asking for clarification if necessary, as in “I want to understand your point of view better. Tell me more about what’s going on.”

Agree– Find areas you can agree on , as you begin to look in same direction, as in “If I were treated that way, I’d be angry to”, or “I am also disappointed about this situation”, speaking only for yourself.

Redirect– Team up with the other person and work together to find a way to resolve the situation, as in “We’re both disappointed about the situation. What can we do to make it better?”

Resolve– Explore what might be a mutually agreeable compromise, or just agreeing to disagree, as for example, “If I ate out less, could we get a housekeeper so we could spend more time together?”

Entering and blending also presupposes that you are mindful of your own internal state, to begin with. Giving yourself the space to notice first, rather than reacting immediately. This requires practice, and compassion for oneself:

One way to notice if you’re reacting is by paying attention to your body. If anything is stiff or tense, you’re probably reacting to your own discomfort and trying to avoid or ignore it. Use these physical sensations as a cue to acknowledge whatever thoughts and feelings are there, and bring yourself to the present by tuning in to the breath as it rises and falls. As you become centered and present, you make space to respond mindfully and with greater flexibility and creativity, rather than mindlessly reacting. As always, be patient and compassionate with yourself.

Entering and blending, the high road to conflict resolution.

(All quotes from A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein’s new book))




“… The Aikido philosophy for handling conflict is not responding back directly, but deflecting the energy of the attack and then redirecting it in a more desired way. … I once read Aikido described as body surfing – real body surfing: You connect physically with the person and ride them down to the mat…. Aikido makes you look at your impatience, your arrogance, your meanness, cruelty, clumsiness, cowardice – all those qualities in yourself that you may need to look at. It will show you bravery and compassion, love, joy, and sweetness, and it will showyou those qualities in other people. (Dobson, 1993, p. 16)….”



Preparation is a major component in everything we do. It is a critical element in my e-book “Summon The Magic”. Moriehi Ueshiba, the founder of aikido and the individual revered by many as O Sensei, says in his book “The Art of Peace” that our preparations should be well established as rituals so that, when under pressure, as each item of the progression is completed, it triggers the next item and in so doing sets forth a mental/physical performance algorithm that boosts confidence and provides organization to one’s response to crisis or incoming energy.


We live in an increasingly confrontational world and some of that confrontation becomes violent. Whether it’s road rage, or witnessing a verbal argument in a public place, or actually being involved in acts of ongoing crime like robberies, car-jackings and the like, or simply passively reading about them or viewing their videos that have gone viral, every day you will be provided with a fresh scenario for your own thoughtful review: what would you do?

“You” does not have to be a street tough, a former GI, a martial artist, someone carrying a weapon….

The people I most want to reach with this blog entry is the unthinking housewife doing errands, the elder out and about in the world, et alia.

As has been pointed out, you do not know what you will do unless you’ve pre-thought, taken some training, or done some reading. This doesn’t suggest that you arm yourself; that choice is yours.

But here are several scenarios for you to think about when wondering if you and we are “left of boom”.

The first ostensibly involves a child and a gorilla, but when you re-visit this scenario I want you to think about the parents, the zoo staff, and the bystanders/onloookers. What might each of these done better to be “left of boom”?


The second involves our foreign policy/military current situation via a vis China and especially Russia. “Left of boom”, as we have seen, focuses on tactical scenarios. But what about strategic scenarios?

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/344623-elections-us-war-obama-/ [John Pilger]

https://theintercept.com/2016/05/27/senator-scolds-obama-for-preaching-nuclear-temperance-from-a-bar-stool/ [Senator Markey]


Finally, in an application and scenario that is familiar to me but may not be to you, there is the topic of situational awareness in response to emergency.

Situation Awareness

As you flip through the slides in this pdf-encapsulated slide show, take the lessons and focus off the fire crew and put them on your family: apply them to what may happen and how you and your family can react effectively if, heaven forbid, some disastrous event should be befall you.

There’s a huge world out there that is devoted to SHTF and prepper mentalities and, like the issue of being armed, go there if it suits you.

I think you are better prepared if you take care of effective communications, pre-stage some essential tools and supplies, and once in a while re-enact your own household drill with your mate, your kids and others. One major point that you must consider is that, in dynamic situations, things change. Your perception, your thinking, and your decision-making must keep pace.

As the slide show indicates, there may be others with you whose “presence of mind” may also be tasked. Be sure you have and have regularly practi
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