Thursday, July 31, 2008

Brush Knee vs. Repulse Monkey

Here we are again working through our partner drills that are composed of pieces of the Tai Chi Chuan San-Shou form. This time Brush Knee moves foward, Repulse Monkey moves backward. In Brush Knee, we step to the outside as we trap the opponent's arms, then palm strike, which comes somewhat from the outside (it comes straight-on in the Yang form). Repulse Monkey retreats as in the form, with a palm strike. Of course, if you were really hitting, you would make heavy contact inside. This closes the distance and makes it a little difficult to keep the form in motion, so we choose to keep a comfortable distance for continuity.
This is the most linear of the pieces we have put together so far, the others work in loops which are even more interesting. Again, this type of practice is not as much fight training as it is exploring what the form is trying to teach us, and how to work in unison with a training partner.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

To Walk The West Like Kwai Chang Caine

I got this e-mail from Chris the other day, and he said it would be ok to share it with fellow Dojo Rats:

Hello- I am a twenty seven year old native of western washington who happened upon your blog while searching for shaolin temples in the state after watching a PBS program. I am currently unemployed and have been contemplating walking from my current residence in the Auburn area of the south sound to the coast with no real destination in mind other than the desire to remove myself from the game of currency-based value manipulation. I've thus far seen no better way of furthering my growth as a human than leaving behind what I've known as daily routine in search of real life skills; perhaps in the form of contacting in person the natives of the olympic penninsula in order to learn life skills they've developed for three millenia. However, after reading some of the subjects covered in your blog and keeping in mind my lack of skills beyond throwing a football and varied construction experience, I wanted to contact you about earning my keep while learning something of the martial arts as self defense. Self defense has to be considered among the necessary life skills of all beings, and having read some of your views on simple living and martial arts in general (ie. lifestyle and functionality), I'm not sure that I would be better served by contacting casino owners than trying this route. Anyway, excuse the somewhat cynical idealism, but my desire is true...let me know if you have anything constructive to suggest, I'll try to check my email for the next few days. Take care and thanks for your time. Chris Tipton P.S. Needs: Air, Water, Food, Shelter, Companionship = Human
Hi Chris;
Sounds pretty cool, a real journey. Here's an idea: I think a great thing to do would be to intern at an organic farm. They always provide a place to stay, food to eat, and friends along the way.
You would be close to the earth and the seasons, and learning a valuable skill while hanging out with some cool people.
I would try contacting local farmer's market organizations in areas that interest you. Most organizations have a website or e-mail for their representitives. You could also just drop in at various farmers markets and talk to the farmers.
As for learning self-defense, it takes settleing down in one place with one instructor until you have a base to build on. The type of art is not as important as the quality of instruction. Once you have the basics, you can check out other arts.
Good luck, let me know what you decide to do!
Hi John:
Thanks for the quick response and solid idea. I checked out a couple of different organic farms out toward the penninsula online and found one called Nash's organic produce in Sequim that sounds like it might be right up my alley; I think I'll head in that direction when I get to going, probably in the next week or so. I may try to contact you again if I get into a situation where I could focus on some training for your input. Thanks again for the suggestion; an idea of a possible positive destination can't hurt while strolling outside of my previous experience. Take care.
Chris Tipton
Hi Chris:
Do you mind if I post our communications and we can follow your progress?
If you are up for it, I can let people in the area get a hold of you by e-mail--
--John at Dojo Rat
Oh, and I forgot;
Take something musical even if you can't play it yet...
Hi John:
No objections here...I'll keep checking the e-mail account until I head out and will give you a heads up before I'm out the door and away from a computer for a bit...thanks again for all the support and helpful info.
Chris Tipton

-- So we all wish luck and good fortune to our friend Chris, beginning a journey that will surely bring many great adventures.
Chris can be reached by e-mail at

Monday, July 28, 2008

"Those Voices In Your Head" Part 2

Part One HERE (Previous Dojo Rat Post)

Oops, the MEDUSA Mind Control Ray Gun Will Actually Kill You

As part of the U.S. Navy's investigation into futuristic nonlethal weaponry, the Sierra Nevada Corporation is building a microwave energy pulse gun that can produce a painful screaming sound inside a person's head from a long distance away. The inescapable sound, which is inaudible to untargeted bystanders, can be set to irritate, nauseate or even incapacitate people and animals that lie within range. Future applications may include crowd control, military use and even incapacitate people and animals that lie within range.
Future applications may include crowd control, military use and even shopping mall security, provided it proves safe from permanent side effects.
The science behind it also has the potential to give hearing to certain deaf people, or even projecting voices into peoples' heads.
The Sierra Nevada corporation has signed a contract with the U.S. Navy to follow up on successful recent testing of a non-lethal crowd control weapon that uses microwaves to project high-intensity sounds in the heads of targets, according to New Scientist magazine.
The MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio) system makes use of the well-established Microwave Auditory Effect, in which microwave stimulation causes parts of the ear around the cochlea to expand thermally, which is interpreted as sound by the brain. The effect is a sound that appears to originate in the target's head, and can't be heard by anyone not directly in the beam's path.
This is not to be confused with Raytheon's Active Denial System, another crowd control weapon in development which uses a similar directed energy beam to cause unbearable but non-damaging heat pain in the top few layers of a target's skin.
Because MEDUSA's sound doesn't vibrate the eardrum itself, and thus the eardrum is not exposed to the damage potential that loud acoustic noise produces, traditional noise level limits don't have to apply with the MEDUSA system. So it's possible to dial in any level of sonic deterrent from mildly annoying up to physically and mentally incapacitating levels that the target has no way of blocking out of their head.
The MEDUSA system has the ability to be aimed at specific targets, multiple targets or even cover large areas with a broad beam, which will make it an effective security deterrent for the perimeters of protected areas. The same technology, on a smaller scale, could be used as an invisible sonic scarecrow to keep certain areas free from birds, as birds appear to respond to very low levels of microwave audio.
There are certain side effects - in 1961 testing of the first Microwave Auditory Effect system, Allen H. Frey noted dizziness, headaches and pins and needles in his subjects - and little is known about what further effects might occur when power levels are turned up to an incapacitating level. The potential for serious neural damage can't be ignored when you're effectively microwaving the inside of somebody's head - and if it does turn out to be lethal, the research may continue down that path and the technology may end up being used as a microwave death ray.
Beyond being used to generate an annoying high-pitched scream, the Microwave Auditory Effect has shown itself to hold interesting peacetime possibilities if it can be proven safe. By modulating the projected frequency, Sharp and Grove showed in 1975 that it's possible to "plant" voices, music and other sounds directly into the head.
Because the eardrum is not involved in the transmission of this sound, there have been hopes that patients with outer ear problems might be able to listen to music or voices through microwave transmission. On a more sinister note, it's easy to see how one might abuse the ability to direct "voices" straight into a person's head, as would appear to be feasible using the device described in this 2002 patent.
Still, the MEDUSA system is expected to be testable within one year and a mobile deployment unit built within another 18 months. And if it can be proven not to be harmful, it could be deployed within a few years in warzones, protest situations and shopping malls.

How it kills (Part Three)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Nutcracker #4: Some Good, Some Bad...

A couple of thoughts on these:
The groin kick at the top is probably one of the best staged example of a groin kick I've seen. Even though it appears set up, all the elements are there; extension, penetrating through the target, intent. Great shot.
--Now the second, apparantly from an Army manual is on the lame side. I hope this is not how they teach sentry elimination these days. I mean,come on-- it is going to make too much noise and there is no reason to think it will take the guy out. In fact, the more I think about this one the more it sucks. I don't think it would even rate in a "Red Team-Blue Team" drill, where nobody's supposed to get killed.
There now; look how we loose the whacky and fun aspects of groin kicks when we get all serious about it...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nutcracker #2

Hmmmm.... Let's see; a game where the objective is to kick balls...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Salute To "The Nutcracker"

What is it about groin kicks?
Is it merely instinct to both protect our testicles and target those of an opponent?
Or is it a deeper psychological projection of emasculation?
- At our old Tae Kwon Do school, one of the guys was sparring with a little guy named Pablo. Pablo was a Mexican national champion. Well, the other guy had his leg held high in a round kick and Pablo accidently kicked him in the nuts. The guy was not wearing a cup, and Pablo blew out one of the guy's testicles. Ouch, I guess that's why evolution gave us two of them. It also highlights the risk of high kicks.
So for the next few days we will explore the agony of "The Nutcracker"...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tai Chi Chuan: Parting Wild Horses Mane vs. Cloud Hands

Dave at Formosa Neijia asked the other day if we were taking pieces of the 88-movement San Shou form and using them something like one-step sparring drills. Here is such an example; it's "parting wild horses mane" vs. "wave hands like clouds". This is directly out of the San Shou form and is run either as a one-step self-defense technique or as a form done in a repeating loop. The loop allows us to concentrate on form and footwork, and the unified movement necessary in partner training.
There are many other interpetations of both movements, we just show a couple of obvious self-defense applications in the beginning.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Insiders Claim Bank Runs Imminent

People have occasionally tagged me as being a "Doom-and-gloomer". Actually, it's more that I feel that this corrupt system is in need of a major re-boot. More than thirty years of supply-side Reaganomics has been the greatest upward transfer of wealth in the history of the country. This money doesn't just vanish into thin air, one guy profit's off another's loss. You would think people would have learned from the Savings and Loan crash under Reagan-Bush in the eighties. When Ronald Reagan signed the bill deregulating the Savings and Loan industry, he said "All in all, I think we've hit the jackpot".
Now, decades later, the whole house of cards is about to tumble down, and banking insiders are scared: I found this on "The Daily Reckoning":

I had a very interesting conversation today with a friend who used to be a mortgage broker (until the company he started imploded) and now works at a bank selling REO property. Now, this is a guy who made millions flipping, and when I told him two years ago that the whole house of cards was going to collapse shortly, he laughed at me.
He ain't laughing anymore.
I get on the phone with him, and he immediately tells me that his wife just got laid off from Indy Mac, so life is kind of sucking for them right now. Then he proceeds to tell me that both he and his wife (who have very close contacts at banks) have heard from reliable sources that the industry FULLY expect a massive run on savings and loans in the very near future. We're talking weeks, if not days. We are now officially on Banking System Deathwatch, ladies and gentlemen, because the next big bank that falls will be the domino that unleashes the runs on the other banks.
He said WaMu is certifiably D.O.A and will almost certainly be the next victim. He said the industry would be surprised if WaMu makes it another 30 days. Downey Savings and First Federal are the next dogs to die, according to him.
If it hadn't been so sad and scary, I would have actually enjoyed my I-told-you-so moment. But this guy is genuinely frightened now. You can hear the panic in his voice. He told me, point-blank: "It's all coming down. The whole system is crashing." He is quickly turning into an urban survivalist -- outfitting his home with solar, buying biodiesel, stocking up on food. It's truly fascinating to watch the variations in human behavior as this unfolds. This guy needed some prompting, but after the Fannie/Freddie news broke last week, he immediately got the clue. On the other hand, I work with a lawyer, and he's married to another lawyer. She banks at WaMu. I've been telling him for months, "Man, you've got to tell your wife to get her money out of that bank." Even after Indy failed, she was resisting because it was a "pain" to decouple her billpay and set up new auto debits and other crap. It's just pure laziness. So here you have someone who has SEEN the lines snaking around the corner, has clearly heard that people are having trouble getting their money, and she thinks, "Nah, I'll just wait and see what happens with WaMu." Finally, he put his foot down and basically demanded that she yank her money out. So she's beginning the "transition" this week.
There is going to be a LOT of roadkill before this thing is over. Be prepared to step over the bodies, my friends. They will be littering the streets.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Get 'Em, Granny !

I laughed my ass off !

From The Wall Street Journal
(Hat Tip to James Keating at MAAJAK)

Everybody Is 'Cane Fu' Fighting
At Senior Centers, So Watch Out
Older People Get Healthful Exercise
And Learn to Wield a Ready Weapon
July 12, 2008; Page A1

CENTERVILLE, Ohio -- The St. Leonard retirement village here has a whole new way of thinking about recreation: Bingo has made way for cane fighting.
"Down on top of the head and up between the groin!" urges instructor Debra Stewart, of nearby Chung's Academy of Martial Arts, commanding a dozen gray-haired students swinging canes at imaginary attackers. "Stomp him! Dig it in there. Do it hard!"
Watch demonstrations of cane defense moves.
Jim Ghory, an 82-year-old retired toolmaker, volunteers to take a few demonstration shots at Ms. Stewart, who has a black belt in tae kwon do, a Korean martial-arts discipline. "You want [it in] the collarbone or the ribs?" he asks.
Senior centers and retirement communities are looking for new ways to promote exercise in order to stave off physical decline. Older people interested in honing their self-defense skills, meanwhile, are delighted to find that something they already own can be used as a weapon."Oh my gosh, it's a huge hit," says Lena Mast, manager at Lodges at Naylor Mill, an independent-living complex for seniors in Salisbury, Md. Ms. Mast began offering cane classes for residents in April and says "it's now the top thing they look forward to."
Mitchell's Martial Arts, the school hired by Lodges, says it is teaching cane fighting at five senior centers a week, up from one last year, and also has been demonstrating the cane at local health fairs. Cane Masters, in Incline Village, near Reno, Nev., one of a number of schools that report rising demand from seniors, expects to teach 110 cane-fighting classes around the country this year.
Martial Oceans International, a California cruise company, is planning to offer its first classes in cane fighting on a trip to Mexico this month. On YouTube, a video titled "Granny C. Takes on the BulletMan!" shows an agile woman in her seventies jabbing and taking down a man in a helmet pretending in a cane class to be an intruder.
Many credit the rise of cane fighting to Mark Shuey, a 61-year-old tae kwon do and hapkido expert who owns Cane Masters. Mr. Shuey started studying cane moves in earnest about 10 years ago while practicing hapkido, which incorporates stick fighting at advanced levels. At the time, his father was starting to use a walking stick, and he had heard reports of attacks on seniors who carried canes but didn't know how to use them to fight back. By 2003, the Canadian magazine Martial Arts Experts was calling canes "the weapon you can take anywhere." Cane fighting, also called "combat" cane or "cane fu," has been endorsed by at least eight martial-arts organizations.
Instructors say any kind of cane is fine for self-defense, including aluminum canes or the wooden canes made of pine available at the drugstore. But best are hard-wood canes made of hickory or oak that don't easily break on impact.
Mr. Shuey travels the world teaching his "American Cane System" curriculum to other martial-arts teachers. He says that in two years the number of instructors who teach it has tripled to about 300.
The cane has a rich history as a weapon, notably in the U.S. Capitol. A number of 19th-century canings at the Capitol included a brutal 1856 attack on the Senate floor by South Carolina Rep. Preston Brooks on abolitionist Massachusetts Sen. Charles Sumner, who had mocked a relative of Mr. Brooks in a speech. Mr. Sumner was carried away unconscious and bleeding. It took him years to recover.
Most of the seniors who take cane classes rarely wield them against anyone. But Bill Carter, a 56-year-old who took a class from Mr. Shuey in Florida a few years ago, says the instruction came in handy one day in April last year when he walked into his house in suburban Jacksonville to find an intruder in his kitchen taking TV dinners from the freezer. As the man approached him, "I popped him on the kneecap," Mr. Carter says, and "hooked him behind the neck, and was able to guide him to the door."
Cane-fighting converts say one of the best things about the cane is that it's a legal weapon that can be carried anywhere, unconcealed. "No one will tell you can't take it on an airplane," says Victor Cushing, a 68-year-old who teaches women's self-defense at the University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania.
The Department of Homeland Security says it does allow canes as carry-ons on planes. "Just like we allow walkers or crutches," says Carrie Harmon, spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, a division of the department. But, she cautions, all these devices "have to go through the X-ray machine."
According to the agency, baseball bats, cricket bats, bows and arrows, golf clubs, hockey sticks, pool cues, axes, hatchets, cattle prods, crowbars, billy clubs, brass knuckles, meat cleavers, ice picks, pellet guns, stun guns, spear guns, saws, swords, sabers and snow globes are also allowed -- but they must ride in the luggage compartment.
Mr. Cushing doesn't need a cane for support but totes one everywhere. His repertoire of moves includes "bopping" the fragile bones on top of the foot ("now you've got an attacker who's limping away"), or whipping it against the shins ("hurts like the devil").
Senior centers refer to cane classes as a gentle form of exercise. But Mr. Cushing worries that some instructors are teaching overly fancy moves that could make older people lose their balance. Swinging the cane against the shins is one thing, he says, but "if you actually need the cane for balance, you can't be swinging it in the air." You'll fall over.
Carol Vincent, an 85-year-old retired teacher, joined the classes at St. Leonard's, in Centerville, to feel safer on her daily walks in the woods. Ms. Vincent says she realized her own strength in an exercise where she had to use her cane to break the grip of a classmate who grabbed her from behind. "I think I hurt one woman," she said. "She's never been back; I shouldn't have pulled the cane so hard."
John Myers, 66 and retired from a plant that made oil seals, was grabbed around the neck in a mock attack by Ms. Stewart's fellow instructor, Bob Dempsey. Mr. Myers's face reddened. He could feel himself getting angry. "I wanted to hit him," Mr. Myers said later.
Instead, he used his cane to pull down and break his attacker's grip. Ms. Stewart coached, "Stomp on his foot, which is going to create some pain!" He did. Then, as taught, Mr. Myers jabbed the cane's tip behind him, into Mr. Dempsey's ribs. Mr. Dempsey fell back, feigning defeat, but later he described Mr. Myers as "ferocious."
"He could take me down," Mr. Dempsey said.
Write to Jennifer Levitz at jennifer.levitz@wsj.com3

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Just A Thought...

I get a kick out of how many people are reading Dojo Rat on Government computers;
- NASA, Department Of Justice, Dept. Of Agriculture, Veterans Administration, Forest Service, Naval National Information Center...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tai Chi Chuan Fighting Form: A Work In Progress

Recent Practice

Previous Practice

This last weekend I went to train with my instructor Michael Gilman, the focus was on the 88-movement fighting form. Michael always goes into great detail and the form evolves in efficiant and dynamic ways. It was also a great three-hour workout. Later, back at the Dojo we made another video, this time with a different partner who is learning the form from us. This is the most difficult form I have ever tried to learn, and it is very difficult to teach. Each partner has 44 movements and you have to learn both sides - 88 movements.
In these videos, done over a year apart, I am doing the "B" side in both so I can compare more carefully. It's a different partner, and everybody moves differently and has a different body type and energy.
In the recent version, we are doing the form slightly faster. The faster you go the less deep, pendulum-type movement is possible. Things shorten up and are not as clean. When you do this at top speed, it is incredibly aerobic and you can get pretty winded after doing both sides back-to-back - (we just show one side in these versions).
Looking at both versions, I see we have quite a lot to work on. When the form is performed at this speed or even slower, we have to try harder to have deeper movement, in "Parting wild horses mane" for example. A little closer and more accurate contact. Each technique should be clearly apparent, where some of our moves here tend to blur together. I'm sure my instructor will have lots of criticizm, but to be fair, the partner in the recent version has only learned the form from us, not from our instructor.
All-in-all, I still feel pretty good about where we are at on this form, there is still much work to do, but we're on the right path.
-- On a side note; My instructor Michael Gilman learned this form years ago at a retreat camp on the Island where we live. The teacher was none other than Jou Tsung Hwa, a world-famous Taiji instructor. The years rolled by, and my friend and I started training with Michael, eventually learning this fighting form. Now the form has come full-circle, back to the island and is being kept alive here by our current practice.
That really makes me feel connected to a long lineage of great Tai Chi Chuan, and this form is truely an example of the "Art" in "Martial Art".

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Update On Update


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14th July 2008 05:38:42 No referring link

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11th July 2008 11:43:39 No referring link

(D.R.)- Don't know why but the Google reference is casched under the original title.
I also don't believe the "zero seconds" part, maybe they are just building a data base.
Lots more info on the Rainbow Raid with eyewitness accounts at adap2k HERE

Friday, July 11, 2008

Update On The Rainbow Raid

I have had a visit from the U.S. forest service about the abuse of citizens at the Rainbow Gathering. In the past, I have had many visits from ISP providers at VA hospitals, and there were places such as the Naval National Information Center that showed up. Good for them. Heal, my brothers.
On the Eve of my reporting of the abusive raid at the Rainbow gathering, I see that the U.S. Forest Service has been looking in. No doubt for a defense about a lawsuit.

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11th July 2008 10:14:27 No referring link
11th July 2008 10:15:29

(D.R.)--Now, here's what is interesting: I changed the title of the post about fifteen minutes after I wrote it. It is now titled "How do we protect ourselves from abusive authority"
That means that right as I posted it, it was diverted to a U.S. Forest Service computer. I changed the title whithin minutes. Very Interesting.
--Of course, we all realize that every word, every keystroke is being monitored by the Bush Cartel right now.
--Hi Guys...

How Do We Protect Ourselves From Abusive Authority?

Family Traveling To Rainbow Gathering

(D.R.)- While the Police become increasingly more militarized, The military is increasingly becoming a domestic police force.
Remember the stories of private mercenaries from Blackwater confiscating firearms from homeowners after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans?
There are many videos on YouTube that document the Rainbow's case for random harassment by authorities that escalated to this scene where the U.S. Forest Service and Sheriff's department shot pepper mace at anything moving, including kids.
Get ready for both the Democratic and Republican conventions coming up, There are going to be new "non-lethal" weapons ready for crowd control.

Police Attack Rainbow Family Gathering in Wyoming
Jackson Hole Star-Tribune
July 5, 2008
U.S. Forest Service officers pointed weapons at children and fired rubber bullets and pepper spray balls at Rainbow Family members while making arrests Thursday evening, according to witnesses.
“They were so violent, like dogs,” Robert Parker told reporter Deborah Stevens of the libertarian-oriented, Round Rock, Texas-based We the People Radio Network [] after the incident.
“People yelled at them, ‘You’re shooting children,’” Parker said during an interview on the network’s “Rule of Law Show.”
About 7,000 people have arrived at the gathering near Big Sandy in the Wind River Mountains for the annual Gathering of the Tribes, a seven-day event of fellowship, partying including illicit drug use, praying, and living on the land.
They camp on Forest Service land around the country every year, but the Rainbow family’s nonhierarchical methods — no one can speak for the Rainbows, much less sign a land use permit — often have stymied their relationships.
But rarely do the tensions escalate into violence.
The Forest Service’s Incident Command Team in Rock Springs issued a press release Friday morning, saying officers were patrolling the main meadow of the gathering Thursday evening when they contacted a man who fled and was later caught. Another Rainbow was detained for physically interfering.
Officers began to leave the area with the subjects and were circled by Rainbow participants, according to the news release from Rita Vollmer of the Incident Command Team.
Ten officers were escorting the detained subjects when about 400 Rainbows surrounded the squad, and more officers were requested, according to the news release.
“The mob began to advance, throwing sticks and rocks at the officers. Crowd control tactics were used to keep moving through the group of Rainbows,” the news release said.
Other law enforcement agencies were called to the scene, the news release said.
Officers made five arrests; one officer suffered minor injuries and was cleared by a local hospital; and a government vehicle sustained damage, the news release said.
“This lawless behavior is unacceptable and we will not tolerate it,” said John Twiss, Forest Service director of law enforcement. “The safety of our employees, public and Rainbow participants is our number one priority, and we will continue to protect everyone on the national forest.”
Vollmer of the Forest Service Incident Management Team did not return calls requesting comment Friday.
Rainbow Family members’ accounts told a different story.
One member who identified himself only as “Ryan” told Stevens he was with his two children in his tent at the Rainbows’ Kid Village north of the main meadow where the major prayer circles and dinners are held.
One of the 10 officers pointed a pepper spray gun at him and his children, he said. His girlfriend was using the latrine outside when four officers came to her and asked if she was smoking marijuana.
The officers then ran through the Kid Village and through its kitchen, and chaos erupted, he said.
Other witnesses recounted seeing about 10 officers of the Forest Service’s incident command team drag an older man from the woods near the Kid Village, according to interviews by Stevens.
A woman in the village told the officers to take their guns out of the Kid Village. An officer threw that woman to the ground and pulled her head back by her hair while she was being handcuffed, one Rainbow named Rick told Stevens.
“I got out and yelled, ‘what the f— are you doing?’” Rick said. “That got it started.”
The officers backed up in a defensive position, and some used their Tasers on Rainbows, he said.
Rainbows called for their crisis management team, and Rainbow family elders urged the crowd to remain calm, he said. However, the crowd kept moving, and the Forest Service officers began randomly spraying the crowd with pepper spray bullets.
The officers, with their two suspects in custody, found an exit trail from the main meadow, and the peacekeepers urged the crowd to let them go, he said.
“These people deliberately, for hours, were aggressively working the camp over and working the people over,” Ryan said. “They chose the kiddie village — the one place, the kids, to take their stand and create a riot, and I bought into it. … They were looking for an excuse to do some damage to us.”
Ryan’s partner, Feather, told Stevens she was pepper-sprayed, and saw another Rainbow with welts all over his body.
Feather also recounted seeing a couple with a young child and an infant who had just emerged from the woods and didn’t know what was happening.
The couple asked the officers what was going on, and the officers pointed their guns at the children. The officers walked away, but one turned around and pointed his rifle at the baby, she told Stevens.
Robert Kinn of Afton told the Casper Star-Tribune in an interview Friday that he and his family had been camping and drove to Big Sandy because they’d never been to a gathering.
Forest Service officers gave Kinn a citation and a $175 ticket for allowing someone to ride on his vehicle’s trailer, and said the officers weren’t polite. “I was scared, was harassed.”
Kinn and his family went to the main circle for dinner, when they heard people yelling about needing help to put out a fire in the Kid Village.
About 10 minutes later, people came back to tell the main circle the fire was over, and the crowd resumed eating, he said.
One of the senior Rainbows gathered the crowd and explained the clash with the Forest Service, and another man showed where rubber bullets hit him in the stomach, Kinn said.
Kinn and his family drove home that night, he said.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

You Go, Dude!

I picked this gem up at an interesting Blog "China Rises" (LINK), by Tim Johnson:

"China Rises" is written by Tim Johnson, the Beijing bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers. He covers both China and Taiwan".

This is an interesting read for China watchers, and Johnson writes with a depth of knowledge not often seen in papers in the U.S.
McClatchy has proven to be the most reliable source for International news, and "China Rises" is no exception.
Topics range from the upcoming Olympics, Chinese militarization, The Dali Lama to Mad Cow Disease. Lots of interesting stuff for those who are interested in Chinese culture. It's a great read, you might enjoy checking it out at the link above.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Blog: Kung-Fu Cha

No, It's NOT Pot

Well, well... There's another blog out there that mixes two of my favorite things in a topical forum. I'm not talking about Beer and Girls, or Beer and Shooting Guns, or Beer and Beer. It's Kung-Fu Cha (LINK HERE), which combines the love of fine Tea and the study of Wing Chun Kung Fu.
I myself quit coffee about 15 years ago, in favor of Tea. It's cleaner in your system, and can either have a lot of caffine or just a little. I still love the smell of good coffee, but really, really like tea.
The author of the Blog, "Proinsias", is really into profiling exotic varieties of tea from all over the world, and has links for those who are interested in shopping around. The descriptions of various Teas are so vivid you can almost taste them:

"It is an enjoyable and warming tea, that much I am sure of.
The 17 odd years of storage have imparted a shu like quality to the brew. It reminds me of the best bits of good quality compost, in a good way, which again may not be too far from the forest floor that St├ęphane recalls. . There is almost nothing in the way of bitterness or astringency detectable. I do not have a great deal of experience with pu-erh but I would hazard a guess that this was not stored in the Sahara."

That's great writing. And the posts on Kung Fu are pretty good too.
Go on over to the link posted above and check out "Kung-Fu Cha", It's Tea time!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Shimering Blade; Part Two

On the heels of our previous post "The Shimering Blade", we saw what a knife can do in the hands of an expert.
The question is; how did this guy kill this many policemen in their own headquarters without being stopped. I think this reflects the dangerous nature of knife attacks, even by an untrained attacker.

Man with knife kills 5 police in Shanghai By ANITA CHANG, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jul 1, 12:02 PM ET
A jobless man bent on revenge and armed with a butcher knife stormed a police station in Shanghai on Tuesday, slashing and stabbing officers inside and killing at least five, authorities and local media said.
The Shanghai Public Security Bureau said in a news release that a 28-year-old man with the surname Yang set a fire outside the building's gate and then rushed inside and began attacking officers.
Five officers died after being taken to a hospital, while four other police officers and a security guard were hurt, the statement said.
Some suffered stab wounds to the chest while others were slashed across the face or neck, the Chinese news Web portal reported.
News photos showed the large bloodstained butcher knife allegedly used in the attack and Yang sitting handcuffed on a chair after he was detained. One sleeve of his white T-shirt appeared to be blood spattered.
Yang, who is from Beijing and unemployed, said he was seeking revenge after officers at the station in Shanghai's Zhabei district investigated him last year for allegedly stealing bicycles, police said. He was taken into custody at the station.
It was not immediately clear how the attacker, who appeared slight in the news photo, managed to stab so many police officers and why he was not detained after setting a fire outside the building. Though Chinese police are permitted to carry guns, the attack took place in an office building and it was possible officers there were not armed.
A woman at the Zhabei district station referred questions to the Shanghai Public Security Bureau. Phones rang unanswered in the bureau's propaganda department.
Violent street crime is rare in China, where private gun ownership is virtually banned.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Jack Nicholson On Freedom

From "Easy Rider"

Here, from the movie "Easy Rider", is Jack Nicholson juxtaposing the concepts of "Individual Freedom" and "Free Individuals". It's a timely thought for this July Fourth, and rings as true today as it did in 1969.
It has occured to me recently that there is somewhat of a life-experiance gap between some of us older Dojo Rats and the younger, aspiring Ratlets that may be reading. There's just a lot of crap that we have lived through that is taken for granted now. I'm talking about the tragic assassinations of the Kennedy's and Martin Luther King, the National guard shooting kids at Kent State, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and of course Vietnam.
On the other hand, the '60's were also a time of great hope and promise. There was the civil rights movement, the beginning of environmental awareness, Women's rights and the birth control pill. We saw men walk on the moon. It was definately a decade when people broke out of "the hive mentality", a huge consciousness-raising experiment that changed the face of our great Nation for the better.
I feel our country is now at another "tipping point". Our back is at the wall of endless resource war and near financial ruin.
Yet we are facing a glimmer of hope, change and great things to come. Sure; it will take a generation to get our country back on track, but there is an undeniable wave of excitement and expectation for change.
Let's get this party started...