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 Post subject: Abuse of authority
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:11 pm 
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Rick Wilson posted this on face book...something very well written and thought provoking that I felt should also be viewed on this forum:
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There are in my opinion three types of people who will always abuse the authority given to them over others.

There are not actually many of the first type but these are the people we think of when we think of abuse of authority – The Predators. These people do horrible damage to those they abuse and they do it because they like to do it. These are the very very few police officers who slam a persons head into a concrete wall. These are the few prison guards who abuse and torture inmates, these are the camp leaders who abuse children and they are most deadly when the organization they are part of that gives them their authority over others protects them.

Just as the Catholic Church did for the abusive priests or cops who lie to cover another cops crimes. They harm individuals and organizations by their actions. (With all the hate posted against police officers these days let me be clear this is not one of those posts - they are exceptionally few and they are often charged with their crimes.)

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 Post subject: Re: Abuse of authority
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:12 pm 
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Then there are The A-holes who like to use their authority to bully. These are the civil servant who is entrenched only because he can be. The boss who loves breaking an employee down into tears. These are the teacher who belittles a student and destroys their self esteem in front of the class.

These people emotionally harm those who come in contact with them and again are most dangerous when the organization has no controls to stop them. There are not many but we all have encountered this type in our lives so there are more than there are predators.

The two above are not numerous but one is more than enough if you are their target.

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 Post subject: Re: Abuse of authority
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:14 pm 
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But the group of people who not only abuse power the most and do the most damage by that abuse, and are the most prevalent, are those who believe in their cause – The Good People. They believe what they are doing is the “Absolute Right Thing To Do.”

The cop who has watched too many police shows where the cop’s gut is always right so he keeps the 15 year old up for 48 hours and gets a “confession.” (Only to be proved later he is neither psychic nor a good cop.) And yes those Nazis who ran the holocaust thought they were doing the right thing. While there were plenty of predators there because they sense and gravitate to where they can abuse power the most the majority thought they were being good citizens.


The good Christian folk who ripped the aboriginal children from their parent’s arms in Canada throwing them into Residential Schools thus destroying any understanding of family and parenting did it to bring those "heathens" closer to God. Again predators slipped in but the majority of the people who did that horrendous act thought they were doing good work.

It didn’t matter that they were destroying the family structure and placing children into prison like facilities where they were told they were lesser than and worthless -- They had to be saved – it was good work. Japanese citizens were placed in concentration camps because good people thought it was the right and safe thing to do.

(Of course predators used this to steal all their property.) But it was the good people who committed the abuses. And the citizenship allowed those rights to slip away – often because it either will not affect them or they do not expect it will affect them and they thought it was a good thing to do.

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 Post subject: Re: Abuse of authority
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:16 pm 
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Doing good work easily justifies abusing power. Often just a little here and there for the good result and then the slippery slope comes in and a little more abuse is fine and so on....

The countries where abuse of power has happened didn’t happen because the people in charge where evil, it happened because they thought doing it was the right thing.

An Elder told me that most of the people in history who committed acts we consider atrocities believed they were doing the right thing and that is what made them so dangerous. Even the terrorists we wish to stop commit their violent heinous acts because they think it is the right thing. They twist and abuse their faith until it justifies all actions – abuse of authority.

So when we look at broadening powers to deal with the very real threat of terrorism I believe we must always have a firm check and balance system and one that has some means by which it can be examined by its citizenship for abuse. Or else good people will do bad things.

If you look at all those who abuse authority it is only through checks and balances that they are controlled (or caught). The same goes for the very dangerous Good People.

Not sure if i made my concerns clearer and I have nothing specific I am directing this at other than a caution that to take action is right, but with a calm mind and not over reaction.

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 Post subject: Re: Abuse of authority
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:32 pm 
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That is really a great view on life's realities and how insidious what Rick presents_ really is _ and how subliminal its reach.

We see this in all walks of life, we have seen it also in Karate dojo now and then.

In my investigations of 'emotional injury' worker's compensation claims...I have come across some real egregious 'intentional infliction of emotional distress' upon fellow employees by supervisory personnel and co-workers alike.

The 'fun' part for employers who turned a blind eye to the problem would come when, upon a finding of 'intentional injury' by an industrial accidents board judge, that would require double compensation be paid...the Insurance carrier was relieved of any payments...which would be coming from the employer's private coffers.

Additionally, many of these egregious acts on the job, would spawn acts of violence in the work place, with both offending coworkers and managers often losing their lives or their 'minds' in revenge actions by the affected employee or family members.

I am just wondering if anyone reading this can report examples of such abuse experienced in one way or another.

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 Post subject: Re: Abuse of authority
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:33 pm 
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I've been thinking on this for a while. I've seen abuse of authority in all walks of life. Not a lot, but when you see/experience it, it kind of sticks in your mind. Probably why it still stands out to me. I hate it when I see it in Law Enforcement, makes me crazy. The only thing that makes me crazier, is when I see it in Martial Arts.

Going back to the early seventies, we were outcasts because we were "American Karate". What made it worse was we wore black gis. That's what our dojo wore, black gis, we didn't care, never really thought about it until we started competing. We were treated differently by some of "the powers that be", some of it was down right rude. We were youngsters in love with Martial Arts and in love with competing, it was disheartening how we were treated by some.

Looking back on it now, if it wasn't for the people in Uechi, guys like YOU, Van, and so many others from the Uechi organizations, I'm not sure if I'd still be training. We were always gentleman, right from the git go, would never so much as give a referee or judge or an opponent a negative glance, no matter what they, or anyone else, did or said. We never once complained or gave a dirty look. We bowed, shook hands and behaved with the dignity and decorum of proper Martial Artists. You know why? Because we molded our behavior according to how all the people in Uechi conducted themselves. That's why.

I have seen many Martial Arts groups come and go. I've witnessed so much bad mouthing by Martial Artists toward other Martial Artists, even in their own style - it's kind of crazy. What people fail to realize is that, whether they like it or not, they lead by example. A student picks up EVERYTHING their instructor says and does. I sure did, and some of it was not good. I'm so thankful I realized it early on. I made it my mission to change it within our organization. My students continue it, as do their students.

Martial Arts instructors influence their students in so many ways other than just Martial Arts. Especially in small organizations or clubs. The Instructor is the go to guy, he holds the power in the rank and file system that we all use. And being human, we are susceptible to mistakes. I'm not sure if some guys don't realize this, or just don't care. Over the years I've seen too many "Martial Arts Instructors" arrested and convicted of crimes. Sex with underage victims, violation of the Mann Act, rape....I could go on and on, and these cases are with students in their dojos. And I'm only talking about New England here. Heck, as a tournament competitor, I have personally fought six different guys over the years who have been convicted of the crimes I just mentioned. And in ALL of these cases it was an abuse of their authority that got them there. (side note - I beat five of the six in competition)

BUT, there is an upside. I know some guys who had instructors that were absolute A-holes, yet, these young men grew to be just the opposite. Fine men, fine instructors. I have more respect for them than maybe anyone else. My guess is they knew, maybe even instinctually, what martial arts is all about.


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 Post subject: Re: Abuse of authority
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:48 pm 
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Thank you for your excellent post, Otto, and for your kind words.

I guess all we can say is that what we have seen/see...is nothing more than a manifestation of the human condition.

It is so sad to have seen some of that in the martial arts, I remember some of that locally.

The worst part is that the victims are for the most part powerless...glad you kicked the crap out of those five losers...you were always a great competitor.

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 Post subject: Re: Abuse of authority
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:07 pm 
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Unfortunately, at the times we fought, that hadn't been busted yet.

Is it because I'm in Martial Arts that I remember/notice these incidents more than I do with other lifestyles?
It just seems like there's been a disproportionate number of them in the Arts over the years. Same thing with members of the clergy. It just breaks my heart.


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 Post subject: Re: Abuse of authority
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:00 pm 
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Uniforms. . .
Otto: Someone posted a picture of me teaching a seminar this year at Allan Azoff's dojo. I was wearing my Florida workout gi . . . lightweight black, nylon pants and a tee shirt! (packing my Shurado gi takes up most of my suitcase! :)

Someone posted a comment, asking me how I could disrespect my Uechi-ryu so much by not wearing the "traditional" gi when teaching.

I responded by saying that no one wore any type of gi back in the 50s and I was responsible for introducing a Kendo gi top with a judo pants to Uechi-ryu to the then Uechi community. It didn't take long before many of the students began wearing judo gi bottoms instead of the "sleep-wear" pajama-like bottoms they were accustomed to wearing. No one wore any kind of top until a few years later when karate gis were introduced from Japan.

So my question is. . . Just what kind of outfit is "traditional"?

Personally. . . I dislike the heavy, tent-like covering many wear in class. The teacher misses out on much of the structural make-up of the kata and there is no way you can correct movements accurately in students wearing these heavy outfits.

Of course, your arm makes a nice "popping" noise at it bounces from one side of the gi to the other and in some dojo, this is consider the mark of a good punch.

Not my dojo though! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Abuse of authority
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:46 pm 
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George
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I was wearing my Florida workout gi . . . lightweight black, nylon pants and a tee shirt! (packing my Shurado gi takes up most of my suitcase! :)


George Sensei: Now I really won't feel bad not wearing a gi top at the summer and winter camps. People who criticize that sort of stuff must be the fortunate few who have nothing else to worry about in life.

Rick
Quote:
There are in my opinion three types of people who will always abuse the authority given to them over others.


Good article. Rick mentioned some "big" stuff such as bad cops (let me clarify that I am absolutely pro law and order, my son is a great cop), the concentrations camps, etc, but there are numerous day to day "little" negative events that are just so totally unnecessary to bring upon regular folks by more than a "few" of the jerks (aka a--h*^es) who do it "just because they can" and too arrogant and ignorant not to.

Some people would say not to let those jerks bother you but, really? Some "little" examples: What about some of those "officers" at the airport passport controls who are totally rude and give folks a hard time just because they can? How about some of the clerks in government agencies who much rather give folks a hard time than helping just because they can? I can go on and on---

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 Post subject: Re: Abuse of authority
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:52 pm 
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Good post Henry. We also see this with the 'rent a cops' ...security people who earn the minimum wage...some of them...and feel empowered by their stinking uniform. You will see some of them strutting at the malls.

One particular case I handled was security people at a local big name hospital harassing a husband who had taken his wife to the emergency room, she was bleeding and scared and wanted her husband next to her all the way in to the ward. I will omit other details.

It was a horror show...and they ended up getting sued by both husband and wife along with the hospital who had contracted them.

I was investigating the case on behalf of the security's liability insurance company...and was appalled not only by what they had done, including false arrest of the husband, keeping him in a dark room, then demanding that he sign a waiver of liability before being released...

...But by the way they acted with me when coming under investigation...as they felt they were 'untouchables'...a bunch of boorish under educated 'donkeys' who couldn't even spell in their writing of a report.

The world is full of these steaming turds...you meet them in all walks of life...but some get shot too...like in another case I had where the security person wearing a fake pistol, was cut down by a shotgun blast in East Boston.

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 Post subject: Re: Abuse of authority
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:49 pm 
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Forgive me, I don't know how to use the "quote function", but this is in response to Mattson Sensei's post about gis -

I love hearing about this! This is History to me, and not just history one learns in school, but history that one lives.

I hated heavy gis for my first couple decades, but it's all I own now. They last longer than the other weight gis and one can go broke buying gis these days. And, for some reason, I get very attached to a gi I like. I'm not really sure how to describe it, it's more than comfort, more than appearance, it's just that feeling you get when you put it on. It's like - "yeah, baby, I'm ready now, now let's train!" I think if I ever lose that feeling I'll.....nah, I ain't ever going to lose that. I always get a little sad when a gi wears out or gets torn up while training. To me, it's more so with my gi than it is with my belt. I've given my belt to a select few students when they've been promoted to certain dan rankings, even gave my belt to one young man when he made Shodan, but not my gi, no sir, no way.

That's why I so love hearing about gis in the 1950's. Or about anything about Karate from that time.

I will admit that when I was a youngster, I did like making that "popping" sound with the heavy gi. But in the long run it helped me. Helped me understand other young fools who do the same. You know how some kids are. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Abuse of authority
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:28 pm 
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The main issue I think Sensei Mattson and certainly myself had is travelling with the gi. It is bulky no matter how you roll it. There is not much one can pack into a carry-on if one is to travel for a few days, and god forbids if travelling to/from a place where one might need to bring or store a jacket or coat. (e.g. It could be warm here in California but cold in Boston.)

I usually do not wear a gi top in an informal workout anyway, unless it is cold. Too uncomfortable, for one.

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