Sunday, January 30, 2011

Regarding Erle;

In the last two weeks we have seen the passing of two great athletes; fitness guru Jack Lalanne, and now Kung Fu expert Erle Montaigue.

Australian Erle Montaigue was a larger-than-life character who pioneered his unique brand of Hippie Kung Fu, and I mean that in a very wholesome and respectful way. Montaigue always had a following of pretty women, athletic men and his ever-present children who he shared in video demonstrations.
This aspect of Montaigue's presentation drove some more conventional martial artists crazy; Imagine that... Hippies doing Kung Fu.
But it was right up my alley. Montaigue had a folksy communal air about his art. Some of his videos had the sounds of farm animals and chirpy birds right outside his training areas, in one case a barn with a concrete floor.
When I began the transition from Karate to Chinese Internal Martial Arts, I wanted to understand the subtle methods of Chinese infighting. Erle Montaigue's work was recommended by some students of George Dillman's Ryukyu Kenpo. Dillman had a professional jealousy with Montaigue, as both were recognized as experts in pressure-point fighting. Montaigue had written the definitive catalog on Pressure points: "The Encyclopedia of Dim-Mak".

Volume one is over 400 pages, and I read it cover-to-cover.
Montaigue wrote on his website about a seminar he attended when George Dillman went to Australia. He volunteered to have Dillman demonstrate on him, and recalled how Dillman nearly tore his fingers off to make a point in front of Montaigue's students.
Because both men were involved in the more esoteric side of their respective arts, they were often treated with derision by more conventional members of the martial community. That didn't slow Montaigue down a bit. The guy produced book after book, and video upon video. He may be the most prolific author and videographer in the martial world.

What most people don't know about Erle Montaigue is that he was also a pretty good musician. His family had a little band and appeared to play at all the gatherings. In his younger days, he fronted his band "Earl's Court", (spelling correct) which was a popular hang-out for Australians visiting the UK.
As yet, no official announcement is posted on Montaigue's website, but there is a Facebook page notification, and a confirmation by Montaigue's friend and co-author Michael Babin that Montaigue had passed.
I was in contact with him by e-mail several times in 2000. He provided me with contact information for his students in the U.S. and reminded me that he could not cash my U.S. Postal Money Order in his native Australia. I promptly sent him a cashier's check as he had sent me a requested video despite my knucklehead method of mispayment. I still have several of his books and videos in my extensive collection. Erle will be remembered as a skilled martial practitioner, a student of Chinese Master Chang Yiu-chun. But more importantly, he will be remembered for his personal and communal family; the leader of a merry little band of eclectic Hippie Kung Fu artists.
Rest in peace, Erle.

Erle Montaigue's "Tai Chi World" Website

Friday, January 28, 2011

Where I'm Getting My Kung Fu Gear

First, let me say I currently have no affiliation and receive no compensation from this company. But every Dojo Rat has his price; Talk to me, Wing Lam...

It can be tough trying to find good training gear and weapons that are at the right price with good quality. I've been very satisfied with my purchases through Wing Lam Kung Fu.

I bought this nice Tai Chi Dao (saber) when we started learning the Wudang Saber form. I liked it so much, we bought another as a present for another student.
Here's the description:

"The Long Quan Tai Chi Dao (tai chi broadsword) is unique among dao broadswords. Its taper is much gentler than the more martial variety and has no flare. Two fullers extend down the blade, one nearly the entire way and one only a fraction of the length. The first third of the blade (the shoulder) is thicker than the rest for strength in parrying. It is fitted with a blade forged in China legendary Long Quan (dragon well) forges, by the Shen family smiths from combat (high carbon content) steel."

(D.R): The quality is good for the $139 price, it could certainly be deadly if sharpened. For now mine is left with the factory edge. You can see the forge marks, so it must have been hand worked rather than stamped out. If there is a possible weak point, it might be the threaded tang. But all-in-all, it's a pretty good weapon. There are dozens of other swords available, many appear to be custom-made and some are quite expensive.
The selection provides many that are affordable.

And I finally found some Tai Chi shoes that fit, wear well, and are the right price.
The problem with some kung fu shoes is they have a crappy plastic sole that provides no traction on hard floors. These shoes have a nice rubber sole that has a good grip on our wooden training floor. At $7.95 a pair, I stocked up and bought extras, but I haven't worn out the first set in nearly a years worth of use.
Because I wear heavy work boots all day, putting these light Tai Chi shoes on is a dream to work out in. The only time they tend to slip off is in grappling on the floor, but for form work, drills and light sparring, these are great.

I've been very happy with these products, and intend to shop at Wing Lam in the future. Here's the link for Wing Lam Enterprises

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jack Lalanne and "The Nature Boys"

Fitness Guru Jack Lalanne died this week at age 96, a life lived well.
It's a familiar story; Jack was a young sickly kid, always had sugar headaches and didn't "fit in".
Lalanne began to turn his life around when he attended a lecture on eating healthy food, and he soon quit sugar, white flower and ate mostly vegetarian. He said he would never eat anything that came out of a cow, but occasionally had wild fish or egg whites. Primal diet and Meatatarians take notice.
Lalanne opened his first health club in 1936, and never missed a daily workout since 1930. I wish I were half that dedicated.
While Lalanne went on to commercial success as a television fitness star (I remember him since I was five years-old) there was another California-based health movement that took a very different track.
"The Nature Boys" from ""

"Seven of California's "Nature Boys" in Topanga Canyon, August 1948. They were the first generation of americans to adopt the "naturmensch" philosophy and image, living in the mountains and sleeping in caves and trees, sometimes as many as 15 of them at a time. All had visited and some were employed at "The Eutropheon" where John Richter gave his inspiring lectures about raw foods and natural living. The boys would sometimes travel up the California coast some 500 miles just to pick and eat some fresh figs. (Back row: Gypsy Boots, Bob Wallace, Emile Zimmerman. Front row: Fred Bushnoff, eden ahbez, Buddy Rose, ?) - (Photo courtesy of Gypsy Boots.)"
"Some of the young employees of the Eutropheon were Americans who had adopted the German Naturmensch and Lebensreform image and philosophy, wearing their hair and beards long and feeding exclusively on raw fruits and vegetables. The "Nature Boys" came from all over America but usually ended up in southern California. Some of the familiar ones were Gypsy Jean, eden ahbez, Maximilian Sikinger, Bob Wallace, Emile Zimmerman, Gypsy Boots, Buddy Rose, Fred Bushnoff and Conrad. This was decades before the Beats or Hippies and their influence was very substantial. In "On The Road" Kerouac noted that while passing through Los Angeles in the summer of 1947 he saw "an occasional Nature Boy saint in beard and sandals".

Lalanne is known for his heroic feats, such as towing 70 rowboats while swimming handcuffed - at age 70. He probably single-handedly got a million bored housewives off their couches and into shape with his TV show.
But Lalanne was a conventional figure, with mass appeal to American middle-class values.
On the other hand, "The Nature Boys" represented something different; rejecting conventional society. They were free souls before the "Beat" generation, before the word "Hippie" had been hallucinated.
While Lalanne was mainstream, the Nature Boys were counter-culture.
Neither genre ever went away, they merely became very different versions of a similar health movement.
If Lalanne was a hero, "The Nature Boys" were anti-heroes.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Superheroes" Push Dojo Rat Over The Top

Above: "Superhero" Phoenix Jones
Below: Current Blog Stats

Today I fired up the computer and checked up on "Dojo Rat" as usual. I nearly spit hot tea all over the damned keyboard. The stats were through the roof, and I thought it might be a mistake.
As you can see, the last week we averaged around 500 unique visitors per day. That is, until Friday. Holy shit. 5,214 unique visitors.
So I started digging through the log in my statcounter and think I see what happened. Last November I wrote a piece on the "Rain City Superhero" movement. I was a little skeptical and somewhat critical of the seemingly useful crime fighters. It's not a far slide from there to some potentially dangerous vigilante action.
Enter the movie "Kick Ass":

Apparently, this superhero fantasy is catching on with the release of the movie. Over at "Bing", the MSN search engine, The Dojo Rat article is at the top of the list - above links to superhero articles at the "Daily Beast" and "Perez Hilton". Most of the incoming hits appear to be channeled through "Bing".
Another thing to note is how much traffic seems to go through smart phones and mobile devices now.
I don't know if this is an anomaly or possible trend, but I find it very interesting.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Barbarian Brothers Update

Here's an update for those readers who have been following the saga of "The Barbarian brothers". The brothers are two huge dudes that have been coming from the mainland to train with us nearly every Wednesday since around August.
The older brother is athletic, has wrestled and played ball sports. Younger Bro is heavily muscled. Neither one has martial experience, but young Bro has been in his share of fights. They started by coming with another Tai Chi Chuan friend of ours, primarily for Tai Chi applications. Little did we know, but young Bro had his sights set on MMA fighting. We tried to tell him months ago that we didn't train for MMA, but I guess we were the closest thing to real instruction he could find in our area.
Well, we hadn't seen them for a couple of weeks, so Monday we called them up while we were having Dojo Beers after practice. Older Bro answered the phone, and after a bit he told us that young Bro had had his first MMA fight.
We were like "What? You've got to be kidding??".
So, unbeknownst to us, young Bro had entered his first fight, held at an Eagles lodge on the mainland. He's had, let's see... about 16 hours of training.
You can guess what happened. He was paired with a guy that had about eight years of experience, and was submitted in the first part of the second round with a rear choke.
I gotta' give the guy credit, he stepped up, jumped in and got his feet wet. He also found out he wasn't so much of a tough guy after all.
It's been fun training with these guys. They are big and strong as hell. They'd be tough to handle if they were in a mad rage. But training with them has reminded us that twenty or thirty years of martial experience makes our techniques look like magic to them. Just basic body awareness, kinesthetic perception, and relaxed movement is not in their toolbox yet.
Right now young Bro has his tail between his legs and is still under the porch. But given a little time, he'll be back and ready to train again. And this time he'll look at it in a new light; With limited experience, he survived his first MMA fight without injury. Now he needs to learn how to hit and grapple.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Tears of a Clown

Glen Beck doing what he does best

Well, I've waited a while for the dust to settle from the tragic shootings of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a Federal Judge and a number of civilians in Arizona.
In weighing the controversy surrounding the issue, I've had to take a hard look at the kind of political language I myself have used in the past, and how I should approach similar topics in the future. Perhaps someone can pick a bone with some of my past political posts, but I feel I have been fairly reasonable and either try to state historical fact or use humor to try to get my point across. Sure, I've been known to rant.
But one thing is clear. The far right wing of American political commentary has been over the top since the Clinton administration and parallels the rhetoric that resulted in similar tragic shootings in the 1960's.

Look Familiar?

This is a poster that was distributed by the thousands before John Kennedy made his fateful trip to Dallas. The funding for this was by wealthy Texas oilmen like the Hunt brothers. The same mechanism is at work in today's media. Fox news lost millions and millions of dollars for the first five-or-so years they were in operation. They loose money on Glen Beck's show right now. But the propaganda is so necessary to further the right wing's agenda that they run the show even as advertisers drop Beck daily.
Posters like the one above are the mainstay of "Tea Party" rallies, with pictures of President Obama as a "witch doctor" and worse.
Make no mistake; the progressive political leadership of the 1960's was killed off. John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King - powerful progressive voices silenced. That power vacuum drew political dialogue to the right with the scandals of Watergate, Iran-Contra, the savings and loan bank scandal, the lies leading up to the Iraq war, and the deregulation that brought us the 2008 bank crash and near-depression.
The violent talk during the health care debates featured threats and guns in public view, clearly intended to intimidate progressives, the Democratic Party, and the Obama administration.
Jared Lee Loughner and Glen Beck

So now we have an anti-government "lone nut", Jared Lee Loughner, that just shot up the crowd at a Democratic Congresswoman's public meeting. Sure, the guy had serious mental problems. But with millions of hours of talk radio screaming against health care legislation, environmental protection and the Obama administration, it's no small wonder that some horrible event like this was bound to happen.
Here's a brief example from an article by William Rivers Pitt:

"I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus - living fossils - so we will never forget what these people stood for."
- Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95

"Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him."
- Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), talking about President Clinton

"We're going to keep building the party until we're hunting Democrats with dogs."
- Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), Mother Jones, 08-95

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building."
- Ann Coulter, New York Observer, 08-26-02

"We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors."
- Ann Coulter, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 02-26-02

"Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the past - I'm not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential trouble - recognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin's penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an 'enemy of the people.' The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, 'clan liability.' In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished 'to the ninth degree': that is, everyone in the offender's own generation would be killed and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed."
- John Derbyshire, National Review, 02-15-01

"Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity. The degree these two have diminished is in direct proportion to the corruption and fall of the nation. Every problem that has arisen (sic) can be directly traced back to our departure from God's Law and the disenfranchisement of White men."
- State Rep. Don Davis (R-NC), emailed to every member of the North Carolina House and Senate, reported by the Fayetteville Observer, 08-22-01
Weather they are talking in racist code like Rush Limbaugh, or Biblical code like Sarah Palin and Glen Beck, or wrong facts and innuendo like Fox "News", the message might be incorrect but is still propagated to steer American political discourse into the hands of huge multi-national corporations.

Glen Beck's image was used here because he is simply the most outrageous propagandist of this decade, perhaps surpassing Rush Limbaugh. Here's a link to some profile information about Beck from journalist Dana Milbank, in his book "The Tears of a Clown".

Let's take a deep breath and hope for some civility...


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Form Review at the Gilman Studio

Last weekend we went to visit and train with Michael Gilman, our Tai Chi Chuan instructor. For several sessions, we have been reviewing the 2-man 88-movement San Shou fighting form. This form takes nearly all the techniques from the Yang-style long form and pairs them up like pieces in a puzzle. The form is the most complex I have learned, with 44 movements for each side - and you have to learn both sides.
Here's us doing the form when we first were learning it, about three years ago:

It's fun to look back on this video, as we attempt to smooth it out and get the moves right. I think it took us three cuts to get it without mistakes. Still, our postures and intent are lacking and we have made many improvements with time.

We always have a great time with Michael. He's a truly great instructor, a push-hands champion who has worked with other famous masters. In fact, the San Shou form was taught to him by the late Jou Tsung Hwa. The form is very rare, seldom taught, and difficult to learn. But within it are arm breaks, pressure-point strikes and takedowns. Michael has thought through this form for many years, and has tweaked it here and there with improvements and alternative methods of application. I think one of the benefits of reviewing a form that we are already familiar with is in observing Michael's teaching method. Following a good teacher's methodology also allows us to teach others better.
Now, this form will certainly not transform the average Tai Chi Chuan student into a serious fighter. What it does however, is show how the often mysterious solo form techniques work in application. There is a strong emphasis on blending and continual motion, the quintessence of good Tai Chi Chuan.
It's probably time to film a new video so we can compare our current level of training to the stumble-bum video we shot several years back.

Goofing off after class

Here's a link to Michael Gilman's website, and "The Gilman Studio" in Port Townsend, Wa.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Old Chinese People Getting "Horny"?

First mass animal die-offs, now another sign the end is near...

From AOL news:

"Huang Yuanfan, 84, of Ziyuan, China, is the latest person to report an unusual growth protruding from the head. His horn began growing two years ago and has reached a length of 3 inches"
"Doctors say they don't know what caused it, but if they try to take it off it will just come back," Huang told the press. "I try to hide it beneath a hat, but if it gets much longer it will be sticking out the top."
Last year, Zhang Ruifang, a 101-year-old from China, made news when a second horn began emerging from her head. Her first horn had already grown 2 1/2 inches."

Chinese woman also has horns

"These types of horns are typically cutaneous horns, which are composed of the same substance found in our fingernails, called keratin. While bizarre, they are usually harmless."


Horny old people.
And no Viagra.

Monday, January 10, 2011

South Korean Soldiers: Winter Training

I came across this photo essay in "The Huffington Post", showing South Korean soldiers in winter training. It brought back lots of memories, as my first martial arts master was Tae Hong Choi in Portland Oregon. I have lots and lots of stories about training with, drinking with, and working for Mr. Choi to pay for tuition and Black Belt tests.
Back in the 1970's, Tae Kwon Do was a little newer and slightly more exotic than Japanese Karate and Judo. I had been a gymnast in high school and took well to the crazy spin-kicking as well as the Hapkido-type stuff. Mr. Choi had trained South Korean and South Vietnamese military along with American special forces in Vietnam. He later went on to train Secret Service and CIA agents in Washington DC.

Journalist P.J. O'Rourke called the Koreans "The Irish of Asia". He suggested they had drinking and fighting in their DNA. I think I can attest to that. We heard many stories about the R.O.K. Rangers and some kind of feared "Tiger Squad"
that operated with the U.S. military in Vietnam.
But one of the guys in our school was a Special Forces guy that went on missions on the DMZ, the border between North and South Korea. Stuff happened that he wasn't supposed to talk about. Guys got killed in firefights as they probed the border, and this was in "a time of peace".
But he saw a lot of South Korean soldiers training, and he said the American Special Forces guys were actually much better in hand-to-hand combat. The U.S. has a volunteer Army (for now), and the South Koreans have mandatory military service. They would rotate out of college, pull two years in the military and go back to college. The American guys were in it for the career. This could have simply been his bias, but he saw lots of demonstrations. He implied that the Korean army kind of "handed out Black Belts".
Before people get pissed at me, keep in mind this was told to me by a Ranger who served and was under fire on the Korean border.
This doesn't affect my early love for the Korean martial arts. They provided me with a strong foundation and a tremendous sense of camaraderie with Master Choi and my fellow students. Many people simply believe that the Olympics probably ruined aspects of Tae Kwon Do by turning it into a sport.

Looking at this picture it appears that the Korean military may have altered some of it's technique to resemble a boxing posture. This is a welcome sight, as Korean fighters play such a kicking game they keep their hands too low and risk getting punched in the face.
One of these days, I'll put together a good article about my experiences with Mr. Choi, a man of strength, humor and compassion that helped me keep my young life together.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Key to Recent Mass Animal Deaths ?

Link to collected articles and map of mass animal deaths

Around the world people have been puzzled by the mass deaths of birds, fish, crabs, sea mammals and who knows what else.
End of the world?
Military projects?
Climate change?
All of the above???

Worker in Haz-Mat suit picks up dead birds

How about this: The earth's magnetic alignment is rapidly shifting:

Earths Magnetic Fields May Be causing Bird and Fish Die-off:

"Scientists at Goethe-Universitat in Frankfurt, Germany, have discovered that a bird can see the Earth's magnetic fields through photoreceptor cells in the bird's right eye. Birds use this navigational tool to migrate north and south during the autumn and spring. Before this discovery, it was believed that birds could sense the magnetic field either through their eyes or beaks. These photoreceptor cells create shades of light, which tell the birds if they are on or off course during migration.
The Goethe-Universitat study revealed that if birds could not see the magnetic field when migrating, they lost their "bearings" and could hurt themselves or even die. NASA reported in 2008 that there was a "massive breach" in the Earth's magnetic field, detected by THEMIS spacecraft. Solar wind can flow through this breach, causing enormous geomagnetic storms. It is very possible that such a geomagnetic storm is responsible for the current deaths of thousands of birds across the planet."

Combine the above information with this:
Shift of Earth's magnetic north pole affects Tampa airport

TAMPA - Scientists say the magnetic north pole is moving toward Russia and the fallout has reached -- of all places -- Tampa International Airport.

"The airport has closed its primary runway until Jan. 13 to repaint the numeric designators at each end and change taxiway signage to account for the shift in location of the Earth's magnetic north pole.
The closure of the west parallel runway will result in more activity on the east parallel runway and more noise for residential areas of South Tampa.
The busiest runway will be re-designated 19R/1L on aviation charts. It's been 18R/36L, indicating its alignment along the 180-degree approach from the north and the 360-degree approach from the south.
Later this month, the airport's east parallel runway and the seldom used east-west runway will be closed to change signage to their new designations.
The Federal Aviation Administration required the runway designation change to account for what a National Geographic News report described as a gradual shift of the Earth's magnetic pole at nearly 40 miles a year toward Russia because of magnetic changes in the core of the planet"

Here's another idea; there have been swarms of earthquakes, some in Arkansas where the biggest bird die-off was. It is said that in such cases gasses are released, strange lights are seen and other strange occurrences. Animals are very sensitive to such changes. Perhaps they are an early warning sign of serious earthquake activity that may hit soon.
And perhaps this is related to the magnetic pole shift...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Using Martial Posture to Survive Your Job

I live and work outside every day, rain or shine. Lately I've been thinking more about proper alignment in work dynamics as extending my 'shelf life" as a guy that works with his hands every day. Martial arts training has been a huge help. The stretching, posture and general body awareness is key to staying strong and healthy in a hard-labor job.
Many times I've seen young strong guys that work-out at gyms hire on as laborers. You give them a shovel and they go at it like crazy - for the first forty-five minutes. Then they look at you and wonder how you can keep going all day long. The key is obviously pacing yourself and keeping the workload close to your center - much like controlling your opponent in a grappling situation.

Safe ladder work is a major survival skill. I know people that have been injured from a three-foot fall. You can easily get killed if you land badly in a fall, or fall on dangerous objects. I am doing tree work this time of year, and I'm on tall ladders and in the trees around five hours a day. The first thing is to be confident that your ladder is secure. Then, you must be extremely aware of balance, posture, and how your movement affects the ladder. Once again, being aware of your center, and "joining" with the ladder like you would when engaging and throwing an opponent is the key. Additionally, ladder work often means reaching overhead all day long. That's why you're on the damned ladder. One time in a push-hands class, my instructor could hear the arthritis in my shoulder. He reminded me to drop my shoulders, not lift and extend them up. Even when I reach up, I try to keep my shoulders in their proper working range. If I can't reach the object I'm working on, I need another tool or taller ladder. This has been extremely important and hopefully will allow me to continue without fatigue and damage to the joints.

But you say; "Hey RatMan, I work in a stinkin' office and wear the monkey suit every day - how does this affect me?"
Well, there is always the workplace confrontation. In cases like this, it doesn't help to argue and butt heads. Think of the principles of good Aikido, attempt to blend with the opponent. Make them find a point that you can both agree on and move on to resolve the conflict from a mutual viewpoint.
Remember, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinager...

If you have any stories of how martial arts has helped you at work (aside from a fight) let us know!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cute Hippie Chick of the Month; TSA Part 2

If the TSA screening was this much fun I'd have to try it.
I have to say, "The New Yorker" has the best cover art of any magazine I've ever seen, and I love this cover.

On a more serious note, this lady stripped down to a Bikini for the pat down:

They still wouldn't let her on the plane because of suspicious lumps around her buttocks. Here's the full story, brief commercial first:

The whole thing is a dog-and pony show. Ground crew can still access, board and load cargo without any screening.

And this, from The Guardian.UK:

"The TSA's state-mandated molestation - The humiliations of the patdown policy, which Janet Napolitano wants to expand, are an Orwellian assault on American freedom"

"The ACLU maintains an ever-growing database of these indignities, many so graphic they're illegal to broadcast over public airwaves. Actions that violate FCC standards are embraced by the TSA. "Mary in Texas" reported:

The TSA agent used her hands to feel under and between my breasts. She then rammed her hand up into my crotch until it jammed into my pubic bone ... I was touched in the pubic region in between my labia ... She then moved her hand across my pubic region and down the inner part of my upper thigh to the floor. She repeated this procedure on the other side. I was shocked and broke into tears.
A woman named Chris said:
"In the four times she explored the area where my inner thigh met my crotch, she touched my labia each time, and one pass made contact with my clitoris, through two layers of clothing. I told her I felt humiliated, assaulted and abused ... In my work as a nurse, if I did what the TSA did against a patient's will it would be considered assault and battery, and I did not see how the TSA should have different rules."
Recipients of such treatment aren't allowed to show distress."


I hope all those armchair "Patriots" out there, who supported Bush's "War on Terror" and allowed "The Patriot Act" to be rammed through will recognize the slippery slope we were on.
By my reckoning, we have compromised the First Amendment, and completely lost the Fourth and Fifth.

Hippie New Year...