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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2001 6:23 pm 
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Location: Framingham, MA USA
I was about to go back to reporting some relevant cases but before returning to this I felt that I had to vent a bit.

We are about to be tested, as we have never before tested since the onset of World War II.

Our nation has enjoyed the benefit of relative security from the fear of attacks by foreign nationals and the security of travelling through our nation on business or pleasure and we have accepted this as a normal way of life.

Issues of our constitutional rights are taken seriously and attempts at governmental or individual usurpation of these rights are quickly litigated in our vast court systems.

This is what we are used to and this is the way it should be in a republic.

My thoughts stray to when I was a little boy when World War II broke out and how it then changed my life I remember the war bond rallies and the speeches of politicians and Hollywood personalities all coupled with the serious patriotism that prevailed.

The depression of dark nights with blackout blinds of dark green replacing the light tan, the air raid sirens and my father running our of the house with his white helmet and night stick and checking the neighborhood for window which emitted light.

The huge anti aircraft search lights on army trucks lined up along the beach and the boom of the enormous coastal defense guns installed in a rock cliff in Nahant, MA;; the news of neighborhood sons killed in action and of the defeats of our troops early in the war.

All this and a lot more had a dramatic impact on adults and children alike and changed our lives the way I see the present scenario, the attack of terrorists is about to do the same thing.

It doesn’t happen all at once; we saw the effect of rationing, shortages of key foods and products. The world was much more simple with no TV, no fancy appliances, no cars or trucks manufactured for civilian use. In a way it spelled the end of the depression and unemployment, with anyone able to get a job in the man power shortage.

Today it could possibly create a recession (or depression) caused by fearful citizens not willing to travel, invest and buy products, and the soon to follow impact of tight dollars caused by necessary defense related government spending.

We grumble about the fact that over reactive airport security measures allow us to carry on board nothing more serious than chewing gum.

In fact our individual rights become compromised in any war and few of us alive today can appreciate the lessons of World War II, what with sabotage and enemy agents present the security was pumped up sometimes eroding our perceived constitutional rights.

After the war and over the decade following the constitution was vastly utilized to insure a free nation.

They can disarm us to some extent but they cannot take away our self defense system unless they cut off our arms and legs.

Let us go back to our dojo, dojang, kwan or kwoon or whatever and keep up the spirit or brother/sisterhood in our martial arts endeavors which have no national barriers.

We will probably have to compromise (but not void) some strict constitutional rights to maintain security while the conflict lasts, but as martial artists we have the ability to help ourselves and others.

By the way, Massachusetts was one of the first states to employ court house security checks after the bomb exploded in the Suffolk County Court House corridor in the Government Center in Boston in the early sixties. I missed that by about five minutes but heard the blast.

In closing I will quote the ancient verbiage of the Court Officer (Bailiff) when court convenes in the Suffolk County Superior Court: (and others) Hear yee, Hear yee, Hear yee, All persons having business before the honorable justices of the Superior Court of Suffolk County, draw near, give your attendance and you shall be heard. God save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The week of mourning is over and it is time to go on with our lives and resume our martial arts activities.

We speak of the constitution, in this and other forums, and I frequently think of how our founders met and so brilliantly complied the constitution. I can recall that they often met in Boston, Concord, Lexington and other Massachusetts Towns, and these guys could hold their liquor.
There were many humorous stories associated with their appreciation of fine spirits they imbibed in taverns.

I recall that one famous one was called the Green Tavern but I could not remember the name until I heard it last week in a biography of Benjamin Franklin. How could I forget such a Martial Arts type of name, “The Green Dragon”, and quite a few dragged themselves out of this establishment.

Alan K


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2001 7:13 pm 
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Alan: Thanks for the great post. I too, remember Pearl Harbor. . . sitting in front of a radio with my mother as she explained what was happening.

WWII was a simpler war. We could identify the enemy and direct our anger and retaliation against something that had a clearly identifiable form. But even then, the fear of terrorism on the home front was very real. "Loose lips sink ships", and many other slogans, pointed out that the enemy might be our next door neighbor or fellow worker. Not so dissimilar to what we are going through today.

Yes, we will probably be inconvenienced with new security measures and I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this faceless and nameless terror. But with a bit of common sense, we can plug up some of the most obvious terrorist opportunities:

1. Separate entrances for pilots, in compartments that cannot be breached by the passengers.

2. Elimination of carry-on luggage for all public transportation.

3. Immediate and heavy security measures taken relating to all drinking water sources.

4. Closing of our borders. . . which should have been done years ago. . . With security checks performed on any person entering the country.

5. Deportation of all illegal immigrants. Today!

6. Security check of all foreign students attending any school or university.

Just a few suggestions from a simple citizen.

Oh yeah... About the airline bailout plan. Great, but I wouldn't give a dime to maintain the executive million dollar salaries! The money should be used to reduce the cost of airline travel. This would force the industry to re-hire all the people they laid off and would stimulate the economy by encouraging people to travel again.

And any time the government kicks in money, they should stipulate that help will be given, only if ALL executives go on a reduced salary. . . say a salary with bonus that equals their highest paid pilot.

Any other suggestions? Lets hear them.

------------------
GEM


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2001 9:22 pm 
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"Any other suggestions?"

Yes, while concern is important, we should be a little more calm and thoughtful, and exhibit a bit less of the sort of knee-jerk reactions which took place in December of 1941. (I did some research on the month after December 7, 1941, and there were "concerned citizens" who rode around the San Fernando Valley on horses, shooting out porch lights, in a vigalante attempt to enforce a blackout. Hysteria had other odd consequences too).

"1. Separate entrances for pilots, in compartments that cannot be breached by the passengers."

May be ok, but it might well be incredibly expensive to install and maintain these new entrances, assuming such a modification is even possible based on the construction of already existing planes. In addition, what happens if the pilots need to escape the cockpit due to an emergency/crash landing? And to what degree are we locking the barn door after the horse is gone? Having used passanger planes already, wouldn't any halfway intelligent terrorist use a different method in the future?

Wouldn't armed Air Marshals be a more practical option? Maybe you could put one or two in the cockpit, and have them monitor the cabin, via close-circuit camera?

"2. Elimination of carry-on luggage for all public transportation."

So students (of all ages) going to school couldn't bring backpacks or book bags on buses, poor people without cars and blind people couldn't take a bus when grocery shopping. Your suggestion would probably also stop anyone from carrying a musical instrument on any form of public transport, since they are typically, and for good reason, kept in cases, another form of carry-on luggage. Parents with infants couldn't bring bags with diapers, wipes, etc., on planes, trains, or buses, people without cars couldn't take gym bags to the gym or dojo. I have a few minor health problems, and tend to carry an asthma inhaler, and a few other minor items, and find carry-on luggage a great place to keep them. Will medication have to be checked with large suitcases? Purses are in essence a sort of luggage; would you ban them from all public transportation too?

"3. Immediate and heavy security measures taken relating to all drinking water sources."

Probably reasonable.

"4. Closing of our borders. . . which should have been done years ago. . . With security checks performed on any person entering the country."

I focused on modern U.S. and Latin America when I earned my master's in history, a studied the nature of the Southwest's border region, and still try to keep informed on the subject. Technically, our borders are already closed to unauthorized crossing, but it is certainly not possible to make them impermiable.


"5. Deportation of all illegal immigrants. Today!"

Did illegal immigrants carry out these terrrorist attacks? What evidence do you have that the people who pick our produce and clean our office buildings are terrorists?

Lashing out against foreigners of one sort or another has generally been a common (and usually not all that rational) reaction during times of national crisis involving threats from abroad. The idea that we should throw out large numbers of people from Latin America, most of whom are vital to our economy, because of the actions of people from an entirely different part of the world is the sort of misguided knee-jerk nativism that America has unfortunately seen before.
"6. Security check of all foreign students attending any school or university."

If you mean that foreign nationals that are students here should have their names run through law enforcement or Federal data bases, I'd be surprised if that wasn't done already. But want sort of checks above and beyond that do you want? The more extensive, the less practical and the more expensive and time consuming.

In principle I am sympathetic to this concept, but what difference would it have made if a basic background check had been done on the terrorists who had gone to flight school in Florida? Did any law enforcement organization have files identifying them as terrorists? Shall we just ban all visitors (students and otherwise) who are Muslims, or of Arabic ancestry?

While we are all angry and unhappy about recent events and the way they have changed the world and our country, changing our laws without careful and measured thought is as unwise as indiscrimanent bombing. If the terrorists make us panic and overreact, they will have achieved a great victory.

Scaramouche


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2001 6:39 pm 
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O.K., I admit to overreacting. However, why not look at areas of weakness in our nation's security and look for ways to make it more difficult for the terrorist:

1. Cockpit access: OK, so separate access might not be practical for in-service aircraft. So lets look at beefing up existing doors and making it impossible for anyone from the passenger area to get in. Actually, I believe solving the airline security problem is the simplest we are faced with. Arming and training pilots is a logical second solution. Future aircraft might have separate pilot entrances built in as an additional precaution.

2. Carry on luggage on public transportation certainly is a difficult problem. However, we all know this area has been a popular target for terrorist in the past and will probably become a big problem in the future. Yes, forcing people to check baggage will be a pain in the $ss and xraying baggage will slow down commerce. So the solution is to wait until the first couple of disasters until addressing the problem.

3. We agree

4. Borders: Yes, we are patrolling borders. I watched a news program where a cameraperson and reporter spent a night monitoring our security forces as they played 'hide n seek' with the border crashers. The dialog went something like this: Woman officer as she discovered a group hiding in a hay pile: "O.K., we caught you. . . come on now and get into the bus. . . See you tomorrow!" The smiling group of illegals waved at the camera and one spoke up saying: "Yes, we will be back tomorrow!"

The officer, following a number of these "encounters", stated to the camera: "You know, these people have a difficult time in Mexico. They all look at America as the land of opportunity. The "Services" are so wonderful here!"

There is a process by which people visit our country. If we really wanted the system to work, it would work.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>"5. Deportation of all illegal immigrants. Today!"

Did illegal immigrants carry out these terrorist attacks? What evidence do you have that the people who pick our produce and clean our office buildings are terrorists? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I may be nit picking here, but anyone in our country for the purpose of killing our citizens are, in my estimation, illegal immigrants!

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Lashing out against foreigners of one sort or another has generally been a common (and usually not all that rational) reaction during times of national crisis involving threats from abroad. The idea that we should throw out large numbers of people from Latin America, most of whom are vital to our economy, because of the actions of people from an entirely different part of the world is the sort of misguided knee-jerk nativism that America has unfortunately seen before.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Maybe I'm overreacting, but if they are "illegal", they shouldn't be here. If they are vital to our economy (which I'd like to know which industry they support), then they will be able to enter legally. We don't really know who the bad guys/gals are. They may be from one part of the world today, but who is to say that these terrorist recruiters are limiting their message to a single region of the world.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>6. Security check of all foreign students attending any school or university."

If you mean that foreign nationals that are students here should have their names run through law enforcement or Federal data bases, I'd be surprised if that wasn't done already. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
From what I understand, the various agencies of government don't have computers sophisticated enough to communicate data that might be used between agencies. This must be corrected and we should do now what should have been done for the past twenty years. We may not get them all, but we should make a dent.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>But want sort of checks above and beyond that do you want? The more extensive, the less practical and the more expensive and time consuming.

In principle I am sympathetic to this concept, but what difference would it have made if a basic background check had been done on the terrorists who had gone to flight school in Florida? Did any law enforcement organization have files identifying them as terrorists? Shall we just ban all visitors (students and otherwise) who are Muslims, or of Arabic ancestry? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You may not like my viewpoint, but if we are threatened by a country, why should we let any of it's people into our country? When we were at war with Germany, how many Germans were allowed to visit and/or attend our schools? Lets face it... We are at war!

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
While we are all angry and unhappy about recent events and the way they have changed the world and our country, changing our laws without careful and measured thought is as unwise as indiscriminate bombing. If the terrorists make us panic and overreact, they will have achieved a great victory.


On the other hand, there are some immediate actions we can take that will help. Enforcing existing laws is a good start.




------------------
GEM


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2001 7:42 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gmattson:

SNIP

1. Cockpit access: OK, so separate access might not be practical for in-service aircraft. So lets look at beefing up existing doors and making it impossible for anyone from the passenger area to get in. Actually, I believe solving the airline security problem is the simplest we are faced with. Arming and training pilots is a logical second solution. Future aircraft might have separate pilot entrances built in as an additional precaution.

** Comment** Arming someone in the cockpit may be a good idea, but with a firearm? Not such a good idea as even Glaziers can screw up the instrumentation. Taser might be a good choice, though. Remember, for over 30 years, hijackers wanted the plane to take them somewhere, not to kill thousands. It's a different game now, under VERY different rules.**

2. Carry on luggage on public transportation certainly is a difficult problem. However, we all know this area has been a popular target for terrorist in the past and will probably become a big problem in the future. Yes, forcing people to check baggage will be a pain in the $ss and xraying baggage will slow down commerce. So the solution is to wait until the first couple of disasters until addressing the problem.

**Comment** How about just screening the things more professionally? The "crack troops manning the security perimeter" at most airports are underpaid and almost completely untrained in recognizing dangerous items on the scanners. Do a wand check on everyone, too. Easier and safer. (Aside - as a professional magician, my bag ALWAYS gives the airport security types fits, especially the lunchbox with the "RADIATION HAZARD" sticker on one side and the "BIOHAZARD" symbol on the other. Contents: 2 decks of cards, 3 solid brass walnut shell halves (for the shell game), some coins, some business cards, 3 large blanket pins and a button that says "United We Stand" with an American flag on it). I have only been searched on that bag three times in a thrity year professional career. Once was at Reagan National a week before the NYC/Pentagon disaster. I expect it to be more from now on.**

3. We agree

4. Borders: Yes, we are patrolling borders. I watched a news program where a cameraperson and reporter spent a night monitoring our security forces as they played 'hide n seek' with the border crashers. The dialog went something like this: Woman officer as she discovered a group hiding in a hay pile: "O.K., we caught you. . . come on now and get into the bus. . . See you tomorrow!" The smiling group of illegals waved at the camera and one spoke up saying: "Yes, we will be back tomorrow!"

The officer, following a number of these "encounters", stated to the camera: "You know, these people have a difficult time in Mexico. They all look at America as the land of opportunity. The "Services" are so wonderful here!"

There is a process by which people visit our country. If we really wanted the system to work, it would work.

** Comment ** Undermanned, underpaid and underfunded. That's our Border Patrol, some of the finest LEO's out there. Unsung heroes, many, like the Coast Guard, who fight a never-ending battle against drug runners, people smugglers and other bad guys. I understand that the Mexican border is something like 2100 miles of rough terrain. You could hold Divisional level manuevers in an area that size and still have people wander through unseen. Just a comment on the enormity of the job, not a flame.**

On the other hand, there are some immediate actions we can take that will help. Enforcing existing laws is a good start.


**Comment** Agreed.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2001 9:59 pm 
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We all form our opinions on what we perceive to be true and in the best interest of our country.

Mine was formed in growing up during war time and recalling what was done in crisis.

GEM quoted a slogan which was very important to Americans during World War II and that was
"Loose lips Sink Ships". You never knew who among us was a spy or a casual comment by a defense worker while having a beer could be filet mignon to an axis spy.

The need for security today in our high tech world covers vast areas. A legislator this morning stated that with today's technical equipment, we can monitor criminals specifically targeted without eaves dropping on our citizens. I believe our need for good intelligence is more cogent than our need for smart weaponry for the threats we now encounter.

Some advocate a central airport security agency to promulgate and enforce proper standards. Our own airport (BOS) Logan was rated the worst in the nation.

I do not advocate any more governmental growth than is absolutely necessary, but we should have standard operating procdures (SOP's for you GI's).

We are lacking on every front on security, especially against CBR (chemical, biological, and radiational) weapons and defenses for the same.

I have every confidence in our government plans, but each citizen becomes a soldier of sorts in times of conflict.

We must be wary of any undocumented aliens because they are illegal per se and present a prima facie case of not complying with the law.

I do not think that we can descrminate against persons who appear to be of Middle Eastern ethnicity. The next nest of kamakazi could be european caucasions ethnically, or hired guns.

We can be aware without being paranoid and the lessons sensei teach for self defense apply equally on the streets of sabbotage.

We need to be aware and to feel the threat without cowering in fear.

Even for those who do not remember World War II, we should heed the warning of how fearful and compliant citizens were led to be taken over by dictators and be led like lambs to the slaughter.

But healthy discourse and exchange of opinion is healthy in a republic and we share the dreams of a peaceful world.

Alan K


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2001 1:37 am 
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Hi Alan. Virginia is tightening up the airports and other public places where large crowds gather but for the most part is not making life difficult for law abiding citizens, at least not in central VA. Some banks and companies are taking steps to ban any kind of weapon from their premises, as is their right. But I can just choose to do business elsewhere. And I do.

It will be interesting to see what security looks like at the next gun show. And the crowds for that matter. I expect that the crowds will be larger out of curiosity, but that the local and state police departments will continue to maintain a low profile. The most feared person in the hall will continue to be the state tax officer, who is there to make certain VA gets its cut of every sale.

Sales of firearms have increased, and some popular models of 'assault style' weapons are way up in price and difficult to find. But equally important, my gunteacher tells me that attendance at his weekly permit and training courses are way up as well, so it appears many new firearms owners understand the resposibility involved in owning a deadly weapon.

As for me, I know a dealer who just picked up a shipment of new in the box Romanian AK47s and 74s. I have locked in at the old price and need only to decide which model would be the most practical to own. Its nice to live in Jefferson's old stomping grounds.

Rich


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2001 7:41 pm 
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Allen-sama,

One thing everyone seems to be overlooking is the fact that not ONE of the terrorists on the Black Tuesday event were here as illegals.

They all had proper visas, passports and identification (barring the driver's license issue, which is another matter altogether).

They had been in-country for a long period of time (a couple of them several years at last report) and had NEVER tipped their political hands.

What this says to me is that these people were not what we expect terrorists to be - drooling fanatics eager to die for their cause - but PROFESSIONAL AGENTS AND ASSASSINS.

A pro doesn't slip his political leanings. Neither did these guys.

A pro doesn't leave a trail that's easy to follow that says "I'm a bad guy." Neither did these guys.

A pro works in the shadows and does not draw attention to himself or his team. Exactly what these guys did.

Conclusion - this was a professional operation, not the acts of fanatics working for a charismatic leader, but professional suicide agents, trained to do their job as professional agents in the field.

The ramifications of that conclusion are even more terrifying than the acts of Black Tuesday themselves.

"There is no defense against competence." anon.

These guys were very competent.

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2001 4:19 pm 
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Rich and Lee:

It seems as though Virginia is typical of what has taken place in Massachusetts, and even worse, it has been all over the local news that Logan Airport (BOS) was among the nation's worst.

Emergency steps were taken and heads rolled at Massport, the body corporate and politic which runs the airport.

Frantic politician's and officials frantically seek solutions to problem's which have not even presented themselves at this time.

As Lee correctly points out, the bad guys are quite sophisticated and present viable credentials.

Just last evening television broadcasts disclosed how imbedded codes in e mails and pictures could have been used.

Talk about the WWII Nipon Codes and the German Enigma Code, these pale in light of the sophistication of new cutting edge tech methods.

These cells have been in this country for years and have spawned their net-works carefully.

Their approach will be to get a big bang out of their small in numbers group and their element is surprise. Their war is to instill terror to a people just waking up out of Disney Land and not used to such stress.

Why is it Rich, that the mind set of many individuals evolves around disarmnament of citizens.

You would think the lessons of past wars alone would reveal the need to guard your own home front and the deterent effect on crime with the knowledge that our citizens are well armed as a whole.

The sales of weapons to law abiding citizens has been phenominal in states where purchases can be readily made.

Let the politicians wake up and allow us to protect ourselves.

I do think the FBI and other agencies are doing a great job at the present time, and I for one am willing to let them do their thing so long as doing so does not turn us into subjects of Big Brother with a Martial Law declared subjagation.

Alan K


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2001 9:11 pm 
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Allen K.- sama,

The problem is that the slippery slide has already started.

The new anti-terrorism initiative in Congress is up for allowing the detainment of illegal aliens for up to 7 DAYS without charges being brought against them.

Last time I looked, that was unconstitutional.

And a BIG step towards a police state.

The real issue here is one of where the lines need to be STOPPED is our knee-jerk reaction to these tragic attacks.

Do we toss many of our hard-won rights and privileges for the HOPE of security? Or do we "take arms against a sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them?" Or do we come down somewhere in the middle?

While I agree that "security" at most airports over the last three decades that I have been flying has been nothing short of ludicrous, I disagree that we need armed troops in the street and the unconstitutional detainment of unregistered foreign nationals.

We already have laws for that. Vary them to include a "no bail" clause for suspected terrorists pending investigation.

That might be a better break than holding someone for 7 days without preferring charges and getting the legal system doing what it is supposed to do, protect the innocent and punish the guilty.

Just my 2 cent's worth,

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.


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