Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Friday, September 30, 2005

War Against Terrorism Not

It is time for Americans to stop talking about a war against terrorism and start talking about what in the broad scheme of things we are really engaged upon, a war against Islamo-fascism. Note that a distinction is made between mainstream Islam and Islamo-fascism, which probably only accounts for around 1% of Muslims.

Terrorism is a process, a mechanism, often employed by a lesser strength opponent against a stronger opponent. It is called asymmetrical warfare. It is the only practical choice for a lesser strength opponent when there are no non-violent mechanisms available and/or desirable. There are a number of definitions for terrorism, but the general consensus is that it is an act of violence with a purpose of forcing change to a political, social, or religious system. Think about the Boston Tea Party as a rather benign but highly significant act against property. It is the symbolism and message that are important. Death and destruction are the attention grabbers for the true message.

I hate to admit that Europe has actually gotten something right, but they have in this instance. Britain and France criminalized Islamo-fascism. Australia is joining the fold. Why is it that America does not see the light?

That’s an easy question; it is our history of near fanatical guarantees of religious pluralism. Europe does not have such a history, nor does much of the rest of the world. So it turns out that one of the most treasured of American traditions may well be our Achilles’ heel. But, it does not have to be so.

We already recognize that our Constitutional rights are not absolute. For instance, freedom of speech is limited such that we cannot yell “fire” in a theater. It is, therefore, possible to make a distinction between mainstream Islam, which lives in harmony with us, and Islamo-fascism, which is intent upon our destruction.

Until America grasps the significance of this dilemma, we are destined to flounder and inadequately prepare and execute a competent defense.

We Can No Longer Trust the News During Emergencies

Today the fire in Simi Valley was under control for the entire day and there were absolutely no evacuations nor threats of evacuations within the city. Nevertheless, the media continued to advised that evacuations were ordered even in areas not threatened within the last 24 hours. So much for accurate reporting. Now where are the citizens expected to turn to for accurate information? It seems that New Orleans media reporting does not have anything on us.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Simi Valley Dodged a Bullet Today

It’s been two years since we had a big fire. That time it was on the north sided of town. This time on the south side. Fire departments from all over the state are fantastic. Keep your fingers crossed for tonight and tomorrow.

Rhma is On Her Way to Albuquerque

As Michael Yon wrote, most Americans are good people. Rhma is on her way to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to get her heart procedure. Thank you to all the people who contacted their representatives and thank you to the U.S. Embassy in Jordan. Read Rhma’s predicament here and Michael’s latest dispatch here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

After Iraq, America

Hugh Hewitt interviewed Frank Gaffney this week and discussed what would happen if there is a pre-mature withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Gaffney voiced the wisdom of intelligence analysts who actually know what they are talking about when it comes to Islamo-fascism. In short, a pre-mature withdrawal from Iraq will hasten attacks on the U.S. Leftist and anti-war talking points ignore the logic and claim that the Iraq conflict is creating terrorists. That is utter nonsense, and here is why.

There are approximately 1.1 billion Muslims and about 401 million of them reside in Iraq and in nearby countries. Knowledgeable analysts postulate that approximately 1% of the Muslims are fundamentalists wishing to convert the world into a new Islamic Caliphate. That is about 11 million Islamo-fascists, and 4 million of them surround Iraq. Compare that to 5.5 million and 55,000 respectively in North America. And, the Iraq conflict did not create these people; they were born and bred into it.

Muslims must at some point engage in jihad, which may be accomplished in any one of three ways: 1. Giving money to support war against the infidels; 2. Recruiting non-Muslims into the faith; or 3. Taking an active role in war against infidels.

The Koran, 009.123, commands that Muslims take up the fight against the infidels near to him,
O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him).

The current fight against the infidels is in the midst of 4 million Islamo-fascists. If Islamo-fascists win in Iraq, or perceive that they have won by premature troop reductions, where do you think that they might next target in earnest to defeat the “Great Satan?”

Friday, September 23, 2005

Rhma-A Little Girl Needs Our Help

Michael Yon highlights in his dispatches from Iraq the heroism of the American military personnel in regards to not only supporting each other but for their humanity in interacting with the Iraqi people. One such story tugs on our heartstrings and despite the best efforts of the soldiers the miracle has not yet happened. They need our help to develop the political will sufficient to overcome impediments blocking a life saving surgery of a little girl, Rhma Taha Ahmed. She is five years old and will die a painful death if she does not receive a medical procedure. Read what Michael wrote here and here,

During one late-night sweep in Isla Zeral, Lt. Dan Kearney entered a house where a man asked for help with his five-year-old daughter. She is five years old and her name is Rhma Taha Ahmed and she is afraid of the soldiers, but the father asks the Americans to slow down and look at his daughter. Rhma hid her face while her dad showed her fingers and toes to Lt. Kearney. Her nails were receded and there was blood-blistering, her fingers and toes were tones of red and purple. SFC Joel Lundak called a medic who checked Rhma's vital signs and said she seemed to have a heart condition.

Her father produced papers from a doctor, medical records of a sort, and the interpreter said the documents reported that Rhma has an inoperable congenital heart defect. She will die slowly and painfully. Lt. Kearney calls for Captain Paul Carron, the B company commander, who looks at Rhma and decides to do something. As it happens, a journalist named Sandra Jontz was riding along with Deuce-Four on this mission, and Sandra decides to do something, too. She snaps pictures and takes notes.

Today is the day Sandra Jontz's story about little Rhma and her heart condition will hit the streets. While a scandal-starved media is about to feast on the 7-course "desecration of the Quran" meal, Sandra Jontz's story is quietly tucked inside the latest edition of the Stars & Stripes. Despite her story being nearly hidden from view, it gets enough spotlight to generate offers of real support. When the story and photos run, medical professionals from coast to coast in America jump on it, offering to fund or provide free treatment.

The good news prompts a return visit to Rhma's house from CPT Paul Carron and his Bravo Company men; only now, instead of being afraid of the soldiers, she is merely shy, and her mother says that when the soldiers are away, Rhma says, "The Americans are going to take care of me."

But all that political mumbo-jumbo means nothing to little Rhma. Major David Brown, an Army doctor for Deuce-Four, told me that if Rhma still has time, it's running out. Sooner or later, she'll reach a point, beyond which it will be too late to operate. While the clock ticks mercilessly driving her diseased heart muscle closer to failure, her visa paperwork is clogged in the system.

Little Rhma has no idea how many doctors and soldiers are working to help her. At different times, I observe teams of soldiers trying to figure out how to smooth over the bureaucratic snags that keep catching Rhma, preventing her from boarding an airplane to America. Captain Paul Carron writes a plea to Senator Elizabeth Dole. Everybody knows that the obstacles can be cleared if the plea lands in the right hands.

I wanted to give this update, along with an explanation about the fate of a very sick little Iraqi girl named Rhma, who is mentioned in Battle for Mosul III. As much as I would like to say that this little girl’s case has met a happy ending, so far that has not happened. After incredible amounts of work from soldiers in the Deuce Four, who had the assistance of civilians back home, our surgeon, Major David Brown, helped arrange for Rhma to get treatment in the United States.

This was the best news I had heard in a long time. Few people will ever know the terrific efforts that went into saving this little girl’s life.
Sadly, due to a snag in paperwork with US Immigration, a very sick child is stuck in Jordan. Her well being, possibly her life, is on hold over some trivial forms. It was as if she had been found and lifted by angels, only to be stopped and left to sit outside the gates while nameless guards check her ID card against the roster. The only thing certain is that without treatment Rhma will die.

This situation is untenable. I ask each and every reader to write a letter to your federal representatives imploring them to take action to insure Rhma can get to this country now! If you don’t want to write the letter, send a copy of this blog, make a call, but do something.

Here’s where you can send your message to the government asking them to issue a visa to Rhma. I suggest both the U.S. Embassy in Jordan (go here for the contact page) and go here for your federal representative.

Here’s a suggested message:

Gentlemen, (or fill in the name of your representative)

Rhma Taha Ahmed, a five year old Iraqi girl is dying of a painful congenital heart condition. American doctors have already stepped forward to provide her with a life saving procedure. Little Rhma is sitting somewhere in Jordan stymied from flying to the U.S. because of some visa problem.

You may learn more about her situation by visiting the web site of Michael Yon, an embedded author in Iraq: Michael Yon Online Magazine

Please do all that you can do to immediately resolve this issue.


Feel free to copy and use this sample message. Let’s make this mission of mercy work.

UPDATE: Thursday, 9/29/05
Rhma is on her way to the U.S. Read it here.

Al Martinez on the Illegal Alien Issues

LA Times columnist Al Martinez has a big heart, and he has again weighed in on the illegal alien issue. Today’s column, Taking sides on border issue, is illustrative of Mr. Martinez’s soft voice. Mr. Martinez writes,
That civilian army of minutemen calls itself Friends of the Border Patrol. They marched down, symbolically anyhow, to San Diego, expecting hundreds to join them in an organization that began forming months ago. Only about 40 showed up.

What they had intended, said their leader, Andy Ramirez, was to patrol the imaginary line between California and Mexico to observe and report illegal aliens crossing into the U.S. Some would be packing guns but only, one presumes, for show.

Their plan was foiled by the small numbers who showed up and by the presence of a counter-group that called itself the Border Angels.

Through the words of “Rico,” a pseudonym for an illegal alien, Martinez supports his thesis that the presence of armed citizens on the border between the U.S. and Mexico is an invitation to violence.

And then there's Rico. He's distressed by the potential for real trouble that looms in their confrontation. Guns aren't usually carried as symbols of reconciliation.

Interestingly, to date I don’t know of any violence perpetrated upon the illegal aliens during any of the citizen border observer group gatherings. But, when the counter-demonstration folks show up there are problems.

Its adherents gathered to protest the civilian border-watchers, a confrontation that ended up in a scuffle and an arrest. Later, hundreds of anti-vigilantes marched through Calexico, claiming victory.

Mr. Martinez insists upon calling the civilian border patrol folks “vigilantes.” A vigilante by definition is outside the law and takes the law into his own hands. That is not being done by citizen border patrol folks. They are not enforcing the law. They are simply reporting suspected immigration law violators to the appropriate U.S. authorities. To characterize them as vigilantes is intellectually dishonest. And yes, Pres. Bush was intellectually dishonest when he used the term.

Mr. Martinez writes,

Unable or unwilling to create a movement that would seek compromise instead of confrontation, the civilian vigilantes run the risk of stirring dormant hatreds against any of those from south of the border, and like an albatross at sea, it will return to haunt us all.

As to stirring up dormant hatreds, I doubt it. Haters are not dormant. It is not in their nature. They are here regardless of whether or not some citizen stands on the border and makes reports to the U.S. Border Patrol. And, a good number of those haters can be found in the ranks of the neo-Hispanic nationalists intent on “returning” California to the fold of some mythical indigenous native American nation.

Rico, it turns out, is a highly motivated person, and he has taken advantage of our educational system to make himself a highly productive individual. As a matter of fact, he is probably more highly productive than most American citizens.

Rico taught himself English, enrolled in school, earned straight A's and won the praise of teachers and counselors.

…he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration, did volunteer work to help other Latino kids learn English, donated his time to a program that offered free tax assistance to low-income residents, joined in founding a charter school to foster the notion of pride in all ethnic/racial groups and is thinking about going for a PhD in architecture and urban planning to help the poor obtain dignifying and affordable housing.

Now Mr. Martinez, why did you have to take this cheap jab?

…and he's one hell of a lot smarter than probably 99% of the people who want to keep him out.

But, the real issues have nothing to do with Rico’s smartness and his positive accomplishments. For every one Rico there are thousands of uneducated illegal workers just getting by and living on the margins of this society, sucking-up and clogging-up public resources. Far worse are the illegal aliens engaging in significant criminal activity. The jails and prisons are becoming overrun with illegal aliens. A case in point: recently Ventura County, CA, law enforcement arrested 23 aliens for a massive commercial burglary ring. I wrote in my blog, Welcome to America, Now Please Rip Us Off,

…the burglars have plagued the Southwestern U.S. for 3 ½ years. The task force arrested 23 people and recovered 25,700 pieces of stolen property worth 3 ½ million dollars and $200,000 in cash. A total of 215 victims were identified. For the most part, the victims of the thefts were landscaping and construction companies. A number of those companies went out of business as a result of the thefts.

At the time that I wrote the blog, it was known that every single arrested suspect is an alien. Twenty two of the 23 arrested aliens are from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. I now have been advised that they are all illegal aliens.

Mr. Martinez concludes,

It's a shame that they all can't be as wise and gentle as Rico.

Mr. Martinez is referring to the civilian border patrol folks. But, I counter that it is a shame that all of the illegal aliens can’t be as wise, gentle and productive as Rico. If they were, I’d be standing on the border directing them northward. At the same time, I’d be directing our non-productive, parasitic citizens southward. Nothing wrong with exporting the dregs of our society to someone else’s country. It’s been done to us. Hey, this just came to me; Here’s a great idea. How about an exchange program with our neighbors to the south? For every worker that they send us, we’ll send them one or more of our HAVE NOT parasitic citizens. We can start by emptying out the Astrodome.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Risky Jobs

Jobs are not equal when it comes to the risk of injury or death, and employees accept that fact when taking the job. That’s rather obvious isn’t it? You would not know it if you listen to Cindy Sheehan and now Simi Valley’s own Melanie House. Melanie and her mother-in-law, Susan, have been traveling around in opposition to the war in Iraq and hobnobbing with Cindy Sheehan. Melanie’s husband,

John House, 28, a Navy corpsman third class, died Jan. 26 when the helicopter he was traveling in with 30 Marines crashed in Iraq.

In eight months, House, 27, became a mother, a widow and a vocal, committed opponent of the war that claimed her husband. She stepped from her hometown of Simi Valley into the vastness of the national stage.
For House, the activism is a gift to her late husband, an honoring of his own desire to speak out against the policies leading to the war and the troubling execution of the mission that found him and his Marines ill-equipped for the tasks they were given.
"This is something my husband would want me to do," House said.

Melanie tells us that John was in opposition to the war prior to being deployed to Iraq. Without any evidence to the contrary, I’ll accept the statements as true.

Melanie and John House weren't always against the war. Their support gradually began to wane before John arrived in Iraq, with the release of the 9/11 Commission's report, the film "Fahrenheit 9/11," mounting casualties, the acknowledgement that no weapons of mass destruction were found and the lack of an exit strategy.

Certainly accepting a risky job and supporting the foreign policy that drives the execution of the job are two entirely different propositions. However, the evidence suggests that John House’s alleged opposition is a minority position among military personnel.

Melanie House is understandably distraught with the circumstances that have rendered her a widow and her child fatherless. But, the death of her husband and the foreign policy that put her husband in the circumstances of his death are only tangentially connected. John House did not die in battle or at the hands of a hostile opponent. He and his comrades died in a helicopter crash in bad weather. Unfortunately, these sorts of things happen all too frequently in both peace and war.

John House knew that he had a risky job. Flying in a helicopter is an accepted risk when employed in the military whether or not it is a time of peace or war. Both Melanie and Susan should have plenty of appreciation for the accepted risks of risky professions. Melanie’s father-in-law and Susan’s husband, Larry, is a deputy sheriff. Every day that he straps on his handgun and gets behind the wheel of his car, he is accepting a much greater risk than does the ordinary citizen. If Larry should be killed in the line of duty, will the two women start demanding that the police withdraw from the cities and their crime work?

Melanie and Susan have a first amendment right to voice their opposition to the war in Iraq. The fact that John died in Iraq is immaterial to their argument. His death does not give their argument any greater relevance.

My sympathies go out to the House family and to all the other military families who have lost loved ones.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Big Easy HAVE NOTS Have Not

I imagine that you, like me, are likely to have received via the internet various alleged observations upon the demeanor and character of the evacuees from the Superdome and N.O. Convention Center upon their arrival and stay in Texas. Each missive that I received stressed that a minority of the evacuees do not match the descriptions attributed to the remaining 70% or so. Here is compilation of characteristics, or lack thereof, for the majority of HAVE NOTS.

The HAVE NOTS as a group have not:

Delayed Gratification
Civilized manners
Work Ethic

To the contrary, the HAVE NOTS manifest the opposite negative values. Why be surprised? Can you expect anything more from of the entitlement society? You reap what you sow.

If government insists on subsidizing the perennially unproductive portion of society, at least it ought to do so with required employment in a federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) style of work program. No work-no food-no money, with limited exceptions. To do otherwise simply coddles and encourages the expansion of the parasitic underclass. I know that is not the intention, but it is the result. These people, like those making up the majority percentage of N.O. HAVE NOTS, create a hell-hole living environment sucking down and obliterating the potential for the HAVE NOTS who do have the desire and values to strive for improvement.

The tragedy in our country is that there is a large political group that does not understand the realities of the HAVE NOTS. The practice of patronizing and throwing money at the problem obviously does not work. It is time to stop thinking with the heart and start thinking with the brain. You heart thinkers know who you are. I know that it is hard for you because you just feel so bad about all of this unpleasantness. I know, I know; it just should not be that way!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

FBI Agent Gets the Message-Politicians Don’t

I just got through blogging about law enforcement, and in particular the FBI, needing to develop a competent domestic intelligence network. I pointed out that the FBI needs to divest itself of much of its classic criminal investigations and direct its attention to the detection of terrorism threats. If you add the responsibility of the FBI to combat espionage, you have more than enough work for the existing size of the FBI.

The FBI is apparently not reading my work and/or heeding my advice; Gee what a surprise. It seems that the FBI is recruiting agents to join a new pornography squad.

The FBI is joining the Bush administration's War on Porn. And it's looking for a few good agents.

The new squad will divert eight agents, a supervisor and assorted support staff to gather evidence against "manufacturers and purveyors" of pornography -- not the kind exploiting children, but the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults.

It is heartening that there is at least one FBI agent who gets the big picture.

"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."

You can never be too sure about the accuracy of news reports, so I am a bit skeptical about the claim that the porn squad will be targeting the “…kind (of pornography) that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults.” If it is true, then I will start wondering about just how much influence the religious right has on the direction of government.

Monday, September 19, 2005

You Don’t Squeak at Your Representatives Enough

The arrest of members of Jam'iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh (JIS) points out a serious problem in law enforcement and highlights governments’ reactive response to terrorism. Read about the JIS from Daniel Pipes, Frank Gaffney, Hugh Hewitt, and Simi Valley Sophist.

The armed robbery arrests in the JIS case were a result of good reactive police work. When it was subsequently discovered that there were links to terrorism, the FBI reactively responded with a massive interrogation effort in the prison system. That was good. The problem is that everything done was reactive. Where was the predictive element pointing out the developing terrorism threat?

Law enforcement agencies from the feds to the locals must develop their infantile domestic intelligence network (DIN) into a robust, cooperative venture. Read here about the FBI’s current inability to field an optimal DIN.

There are a number of reasons why the nation’s law enforcement agencies do not have an optimal DIN. The chief reason is that the DIN lacks a high enough priority in the scheme of things. Ultimately everything comes down to differing philosophical persuasions and competing budget requests. And, it is political will that determines which philosophy will prevail and which budget request gets filled.

If we had a dictatorial system of government, things could be so much simpler. If the power figure says we need it, it is done. In a representative system we must depend upon our representative to get things done. This is best described as the squeaky wheel system. As the squeak becomes a roar, political will develops and things get done.

The cost of not developing the DIN quickly enough is measured in lost American lives. It has already begun. Start squeaking more at all of your representatives from the local to the federal. SPEAK UP, I CAN’T HEAR YOU!

UPDATE: This blog is up for Blog of the Week on Details are forthcoming.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Can the FBI Cut the Intelligence Mustard?

The FBI is considered the premier law enforcement agency in the nation. Or, at least the FBI considers itself to be the premier agency. The same could be said for the Los Angeles Police Department and probably several other law enforcement agencies. There is considerable disagreement on the matter. What is in agreement is that the New Orleans Police Department is not in the running.

For as long as anyone can remember there has been a deep rift between the FBI and local agencies. That is not to say that there has not been considerable success with the FBI and locals cooperating on cases. And, it is certainly true that a considerable amount of respect exists between and among individuals in federal, state and local agencies. Nevertheless, the FBI has a well earned reputation of taking information from locals, not sharing information with locals, and taking the credit. The problem was so bad in the 1950's that local and state law enforcement agencies created their own networking organization, the Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit (L.E.I.U.). Until this year, federal agencies were not allowed to join L.E.I.U., not that they were clamoring to join anyway. L.E.I.U. formally recognized this year that if law enforcement is going to step up to the bat and provide the necessary services to the country in terms of developing a competent domestic intelligence network, it is necessary that the rift be mended. Accordingly, L.E.I.U. made the first step and invited federal agencies to join L.E.I.U. in an attempt to facilitate information sharing and training.

Over the years, there have been important improvements in law enforcement information sharing. Playing a significant role in the improvement is undoubtedly the formation of the regional Joint Terrorism Task Force groups consisting of federal, state and local participants.

Sixteen years ago, when I began the intelligence portion of my local law enforcement career, it was not uncommon for someone to take a shot at the FBI from the podium at law enforcement intelligence conferences and training seminars. As an indicator of the improving environment, those shots occur infrequently now. However, on a local individual investigator level, it is still common discussion that the FBI does not share information.

Quite a number of years ago, the FBI held a training session for local intelligence officers on the militia and white supremacy movements. While general information and trends were discussed, virtually no groups nor significant individuals were cited. I returned to my office and found a mailing from the Southern Poverty Law Center naming and describing all of the major players in the country. In other words, the FBI did not give to me information already in the public domain.

In fairness to the FBI, it should be noted that they have had investigative cases burned, as we say, by local law enforcement. Nevertheless, in today’s environment it is imperative that all law enforcement work together. No single agency can hope to handle the challenge posed by Islamo-fascism. An example: Torrance Police Department in Southern California arrested a couple of armed robbers and subsequently uncovered information indicative of pre-incident terrorism indicators. In stepped the FBI and the JTTF. Even though it is known by the law enforcement intelligence community that Islamo-fascism has infiltrated black prison gangs and the black community, there is no indication that the FBI had prior knowledge of this particular group, which was on a short count-down to committing terrorist attacks. I wrote on the Torrance case here and here. Read Daniel Pipes and Hugh Hewitt’s interview of Frank

Law enforcement is primarily reactive in nature, and it is slowly beginning to recognize that it is far more efficient to engage in predictive or "intelligence led policing." More on that subject in a future blog. The FBI is no exception to the reactive mold, and the majority of its investigations are strictly criminal in nature. With the FBI’s limited resources and recognizing that the FBI is designated as the lead law enforcement agency in response to terrorism, it is time for the FBI to begin shedding its role in criminal investigations and turning most of that responsibility over to state and local law enforcement. It is time for the FBI to begin an evolution in earnest of converting from a criminal investigative agency into a domestic intelligence agency. I liken such a task to be similar to a giant ship bearing down on a collision course with an ice berg. The ship’s captain orders the pilot to turn the ship to another course, but it takes a long time to actually turn the ship. Everyone crosses his fingers and hopes that the course will change before a crash. That’s what law enforcement is hoping relative to the FBI and terrorism. Certainly, reforming the monolithic FBI is problematic to say the least. It will take the political will of both the federal legislative and administrative branches of government. Frankly, the Democratic Party does not have an admirable record on these matters.

As in all well entrenched bureaucracies, the FBI is not without its resistors to migrating into the intelligence function. A bright light in the picture is, or was, Maureen Baginski. Baginski began here intelligence career with the NSA as an intelligence analyst. FBI Director Muller brought Baginski into the FBI and put her in charge of developing a new FBI intelligence directorate. She made significant strides toward improving the picture including creating a new Field Intelligence Group (FIG) in each FBI field office. Baginski is, or was, a breath of fresh air to the domestic intelligence community as she reached out to make contact with the state and local intelligence community. It would not surprise me if she made many enemies within the FBI. Read here about Baginski’s efforts and the struggles that the FBI is having with its evolving intelligence function.

I recently heard a rumor that Bagisnki is no longer heading up the FBI’s intelligence function. A corroborating article states,

Baginski, former head of the FBI's intelligence directorate and now an outside adviser to Muller, said field offices were given just three months to have the groups up and running by December 2003, with no additional money to do it.

Baginski, who spent 25 years at the National Security Agency, says analysts must be able to speak to their colleagues in other agencies. "Talking to other analysts is critical,..."

She said desktop Internet access, for example, is "very important" but often too expensive. Even analysts in the New York office cannot access the Internet from their desks.

The current state of the FBI is deplorable. The biggest part of the problem is the lack of political will to fund and task the FBI with the proper function. However, a secondary and significant part of the problem is bureaucracy and a self-induced better-than-thou culture. To best prepare and answer the already begun Islamo-fascist terror war on this country, we, the public, must do the following:

  • Task the FBI with a primary responsibility for terrorism and require them to no longer engage in most criminal investigations.
  • Task the FBI with reforming itself into an efficient domestic intelligence agency.
  • Task the FBI with reaching out to and actively embracing and sharing information with other federal, state and local law enforcement.
  • Adequately fund both the FBI and greatly expanded joint domestic intelligence task force units involving federal, state and local law enforcement.
  • Task state and local law enforcement to shoulder most of the criminal investigations currently carried by the FBI.
  • Task state and local law enforcement to join the FBI in joint domestic intelligence task forces.
  • Task the FBI, state and local law enforcement with educating the public on the necessity of the domestic intelligence functions and enlist the assistance of the public.
Islamo-fascism is escalating its direct attack on the U.S. and U.S. interests. The FBI must take the lead and be followed closely by state and local law enforcement. That takes the political will of you and me. STAND UP AND DEMAND THAT IT BE DONE.

Big Brother 2007

Increasing the power of government to track the lives of citizens raises the probability of abuse, intrusion into individual freedoms and setting the stage for fascism. That’s why civil liberty advocates are concerned about the Patriot Act. But, the Patriot Act is a far cry from the broad sweeping invasion planned by the Dutch.

The Dutch government plans to open an electronic file on every child at birth as a tool to spot and protect the troubled kids of the future. Beginning Jan. 1, 2007, all citizens will be tracked from cradle to grave in a single database — including health, education, family and police records...

The Dutch claim that there is a safeguard in their system in that no single individual nor agency will have full access to the entire database. That is an empty promise. With a few strokes to a keyboard, any computer system firewall can be broached.

The Europeans stress equality, which is the philosophical basis for their socialistic systems. The U.S. stresses liberty. American civil libertarians are correct to be alert to any infringement of liberty. Unfortunately, total liberty facilitates Islamo-fascist designs to destroy our way of life. While our intelligence and law enforcement agencies need expanded tools to thwart the Islamo-fascist plans, we must be constantly vigilant to assure that we don’t give government too much power. U.S. needs to expand investigative tools are limited to averting threats. European tools are designed to advance socialism and have nothing to do with protecting itself from terrorism.

Friday, September 16, 2005

It’s All About Me-Oh, and My Wife

Guest Blog

Welcome to the Clinton Global Initiative, which is reported upon here.

If you don’t think it is all about me and my wife, why the heck would I have named it the “Clinton Global Initiative?” Why not just Global Initiative or something like that?

I am only 59 years old and I need something to do. Something to keep all those women interested in me. Everyone knows women are attracted to men of power, and I once was the most powerful man in the world. It really is a shame that there is that pesky rule that a President can only serve two terms. Heck, I’m in the prime of my life. I have so much potential, and there is a world full of women just begging to service my obsessive ego.

And, there is one more important reason for my CGI. I’ve got to rehabilitate the Clinton name so that the stain will not cost Hillary the White House. Heck, I owe it to her. She’s really a great old gal and with out her I would never have been President nor had so many women. You probably don’t realize that Hillary has always known and been complicit in my endless quest for a continuous variety of women. She had to; it was her ticket to power. And, I really don’t think she minded because I wasn’t bugging her for you know what.

Besides, I’m thinking of running for World Emperor. Now if I could get Kofi Annan’s job, that would be a good start.

Wake Up Americans, Even Our Own Want to Kill Us

Americans are a good people; a people who have a hard time thinking ill of others. And there is another thing; despite our successes we are neither particularly worldly nor knowledgeable about the intricacies of other cultures. Maybe that is why it is reported,

A U.S. military report says intelligence analysts are trapped in American mindsets and cannot comprehend the culture of Islamic militants.


An army report says seasoned intelligence analysts have failed to understand Al Qaida and its goals because they could not move beyond American culture, values and reasoning.

You would think that with all of our disposable income and abilities to travel, that we would have a better understanding of other cultures. That week or two in Europe, Asia or where ever else you might travel only exposes a thin veneer of other cultures. It really doesn’t reveal that which makes another culture tick. And, with the multitude of cultures living in this country, you might think that we would have a better understanding of others. But, we don’t.

The American experiment, with limited duplications elsewhere, has created a unique people with boundless enthusiasm and good will toward others. It is hard for us to realize that there are segments of other societies that want nothing more than our total destruction in their quest for world dominance. And, those cultural influences are powerful and have the ability to infest even people bred and raised in the lap of our relative great luxuries and freedoms. That’s how we have gotten Jihad Johnny (John Walker Lindh), Jose Padilla (would-be Dirty Bomber), Adam Pearlman (Azzam the American), and recently the three members of an American prison spawned Islamo-fascist group, Jamiyyat Ul Islam Is Saheeh (JIS).

The great American experiment strips away many of the cultural components which reinforce insular and in-bred emotional reactions and thinking processes characteristic of other cultures. It’s our great advantage and our Achilles Heel all rolled into one.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

“Making Progress and Winning”

Elias Banales is a soldier on the ground in Iraq. Read what he says about how we are winning in his blog. Also read his message posted at Brian Dennert Here.

Hillary’s Bid for Katrina Publicity Blocked

It did not take opportunistic Hillary long to recognize that she could make political hay in the wake of the Katrina disaster by chairing a commission to investigate governmental response to the event. Had Hillary been successful, she could have ridden the storm investigation right into the 2006 elections. The Senate GOP blocked her attempt. Read it here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

LA Times Headline Lacks Respect

Here’s the headline in the LA Times today, “Mexican Cancels Campaign Trip to Los Angeles.” Mexican? Which Mexican? It turns out the “Mexican” is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a leading presidential candidate. Obrador was scheduled to visit Los Angeles and woo as many as 100 thousand expatriate voters at a Mexican Independence Day celebration.
…tens of thousands gather annually to reenact "El Grito," the ceremonial cry that urged Mexicans to revolt against their European rulers in 1810.

Obrador canceled the visit because Mexican federal campaign authorities declared that a visit would violate campaign regulations.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Big Easy Had A Plan-Unused

It turn out that New Orleans had a disaster/evacuation plan for those without cars. There were videos prepared and churches that were supposed to play a part in the evacuation. The plan was never distributed and training barely started. But, what the heck, let’s just blame FEMA and Pres. Bush.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

LTC Kuirlla Thinks MSM is Failing the Public

LTC Erik Kuirlla of the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, AKA Deuce Four” was seriously injured in Mosul in a dramatic battle. Read about the battle in Michael Yon’s Dispatch “Gates of Fire.”

Michael writes in his dispatch “Battle for Mosul: Progress Report,”

In between the daily secret reports Kurilla has brought to his hospital room so he can track his battalion, the Commander watches television news, increasingly frustrated by what he sees as a clear, and inaccurate, negative bias. “When you get the news back here in the states, it’s all doom and body counts. I only wish the American public could see the incredible progress that is being made every day in Iraq, particularly in places like Mosul.”
For accurate reporting, read Michael Yon’s Online Magazine frequently.

Michael has a new Comments & Feedback section to his blog.

Blood of Heroes—Never Forget!

Bookmark this address and go there every year on this date.

“The way to be safe is never to be secure.”
—Benjamin Franklin

“The liberties of our Country and the freedom of our Civil Constitution, are worth defending at all costs.”
—Samuel Adams

"Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, 'What should be the reward of such sacrifices?' ... If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!"

—Samuel Adams

“If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”
—Thomas Paine
"The tree of life must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
— Thomas Jefferson

Military Photos

Go here for some nice military photos. Be patient if it takes a bit to load.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Maureen Dowd Joins the Race Card Dishonor Roll

Maureen Dowd joins the disgraceful Race Card Dishonor Roll for her comments,

And when they look at New Orleans, they see glaring incompetence and racial injustice, where the rich white people were saved and the poor black people were left to die hideous deaths.
Go here for additional members of the Race Card Dishonor Roll.

Simi Valley Sophist Profiled in the VC Reporter

In today’s issue of the Ventura County Reporter, Simi Valley Sophist and the companion blog, Simi Valley Soapbox, are profiled.
One of the most attractive blogs we’ve seen, Simi Valley Sophist, looks like it’s printed with expensive ink on parchment paper. But it’s not just a pretty face — the content is substantive enough that on Aug. 29 it was named Blog of the Week on, an influential blog run by national radio personality and author Hugh Hewitt.
The blog’s author is… a massage therapist and public speaker who’s also been a criminal intelligence detective in Southern California for 16 years.

Though… (SVS) has only been blogging for a few months, he’s already been quoted in The Washington Post alongside other so-called right-wing bloggers. Though… (SVS) doesn’t consider himself a right-winger, he says he is more right than left; and he doesn’t necessarily mind the mis-categorization in The Post. “Even bad publicity is good publicity,” he said.

New Orleans is Violating Constitutional Rights

First New Orleans Mayor Nagin fails to evacuate the city and now that the major danger has passed, he is intent on violating constitutional rights by evicting citizens from their homes and confiscating legally owned firearms from competent citizens who are provisioned to stay in the city for a long time.

The New York Times reported,

They are defying Mayor C. Ray Nagin's orders to leave, contending that he will violate their constitutional rights if he forces them out of the homes they own or rent.

Mr. Nagin has said the city is not safe for civilians because of the risk of fire and water-borne diseases.

If there is so much disease, how is it that rescue and reconstruction workers can work safely?

NO residents had this to say,
They cannot understand why. They live on high ground in the Bywater neighborhood, and their house escaped structural damage. They are healthy and have enough food and water to last almost a year.

They have a dog to protect them, a car with a full tank of gasoline should they need to leave quickly and a canoe as a last resort. They said they used it last week to rescue 100 people.

"We have food, we have water, we have antibiotics,"

So, during the crisis at the Superdome and the Convention Center, the city administration blocked food and water from being delivered because they did not want to encourage people to stay in the city. Now the city fathers are confiscating firearms which increases the danger to the remaining citizens.
To reduce the risk of violent confrontation, the police began confiscating firearms on Thursday, even those legally owned.

New Orleans police have a bad reputation for being corrupt. Will it never end?
In general, residents say the active-duty soldiers and National Guard troops had treated them well. Local police officers, many of them working for almost two weeks straight and having lost families or possessions, have been much more aggressive,

Mr. Dobbs said. Two New Orleans police officers stole $50 and a bottle of whiskey from him last week after finding him on the street after dark,…

Jihad Jane’s Vegetable Oil Tour Goes Rancid

Jane Fonda, AKA Hanoi Jane, AKA Jihad Jane made a big splash when she announced her Anti-War bus tour powered by vegetable oil. Read about it here, here and here.

Fox News now reports that that JJ has cancelled her bus tour, but she will still continue to support the anti-war effort by,
…making only two appearances this month on another rally with controversial British politician George Galloway,…
…she said that she didn't want to distract people from Cindy Sheehan's bus trip, already under way and gathering support.

Do you suppose that translates that she can’t compete with Sheehan for media attention?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Race Card Dishonor Roll

I wrote on Playing the Race Card Cripples Society about Jesse Jackson, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., and Kanye West.

Add to the Race Card Dishonor Roll.

Howard Dean,
Race was a factor in the death toll from Hurricane Katrina, Howard Dean told members of the National Baptist Convention of America on Wednesday at the group's annual meeting.

"We must ... come to terms with the ugly truth that skin color, age and economics played a deadly role in who survived and who did not,"…
Rep. Diane Watson D-Los Angeles.
"These are American citizens, plus they are the sons and daughters of slaves," said Rep. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles). "Calling them refugees coming from a foreign country does not apply to their status. This shows disdain for them. I'm almost calling this a hate crime."

Sheepdogs Keep the Wolves at Bay

George Orwell wrote, “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

LTC (RET) Dave Grossman, author of "On Killing" writes,
"Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident."
If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.
Read LTC Dave Grossman’s whole article here.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Dissolution from Within-Fate of Our Country?

Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI profiler writes on the looting in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Here is a section of his piece entitled, Looting as a Measure of Society,
Eighty percent of the people who drowned when the Titanic sunk were men, yet another maritime example of "Women and Children First!" In 1992 one northeastern U.S. newspaper asked its readers if they would give up their seat on a lifeboat in a situation similar to that of the Titanic. Thirty-five percent of the men said they'd sacrifice themselves for an unrelated woman or child while two-thirds said they would give up their seat to their wife. Although only one major city, such results suggest how many of us have become increasingly self-centered in many aspects of our lives. Looting is both opportunistic and infectious, with many believing that "if they don't get theirs," others will simply take their share. In 'A Study of History' historian Arnold J. Toynbee tells us that most civilizations collapse not by invasion from aggressors, but by dissolution from within, what some refer to as a kind of cultural suicide. As the days and weeks go by, I hope that the many incidents of self sacrifice that are related to this disaster far outweigh those of selective looting, and that more of us are able to consider who we would really give our life boat seat to and why.
Dennis Prager often recounts that he routinely asks college student audiences to answer this question: If your dog or a stranger was drowning and you could only save one, which would you save? Prager says that the majority choose their dog.

Playing the Race Card Cripples Society

Racists in the United States come in all colors. Isn’t it interesting that the most prominent racists, when it comes to the extent of media coverage, are from the black leadership.

The recovery from Katrina has barely begun and the racist tirade begins,

Jesse Jackson, en route to Louisiana for what he said was a humanitarian effort, said racial injustice and indifference to black suffering was at the root of the disaster response.
"We cannot allow it to be said by history that the difference between those who lived and those who died in the great storm and flood of 2005 was nothing more than poverty, age or skin color," said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md.

Rev. Al Sharpton gave similar statements on Fox News today.

Unfortunately, if you sing the same song day in and day out, a certain number of people will believe it. Rather than accepting that bad things happen to good people, these racist beliefs are reinforced at every opportunity and excuse people from taking personal responsibility for their lives. The race game creates a culture of victim hood and entitlement mentality. Here’s what a farmer had to say,
Ben Burkett, a black farmer whose fields of kale, spinach and broccoli and acres of soft pine trees were wiped out by the hurricane, said the initial disaster made no distinctions, but he expects relief to be inherently biased.
"The eye of the storm made everybody equal, black or white, rich or poor, big house or small house," he said. "But believe me, when the relief comes -- and we haven't seen anything yet -- the small farmer is going to be at the end, and the small black farmer is going to be at the end of that.

Securing your power base and lining your pockets at the expense of a people and your constituents is at best described as parasitic. It is a sophisticated form of theft stealing the hopes, dreams and potential of an entire race of people. It has created and nourished an entitlement community among a portion of the black populous which will never be able to pull itself out of the morass. A person can never get anywhere if he does not believe that you can do so.

It is time to stand up and say it as it is. These race card playing parasites are immoral.

Addendum: 9/4/05
The race card playing does not just reside with black leadership, it includes the entertainment industry as well. Kanye West, a prominent rapper, stated, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

Geraldo Hysteria in the Big Easy

Last night, Fox News had Geraldo Rivera at the New Orleans Convention Center, which is a shelter for the Katrina displaced. Geraldo was completely over-the-top with grief about the conditions at the Convention Center. He kept picking up babies and wailing about the poor babies and the lack of emergency help. The babies and mothers looked fine, and it was not until Geraldo got his hands on the babies that they started crying. Speaking of crying, I could not tell if Geraldo was actually crying or just on the verge of it.

This morning, Sat., Geraldo was back on the air and now jubilantly exclaiming about the miracle of the relief efforts. He interviewed a Nat Guard Col. and she stated that the health problems were primarily existing among the elderly. She related that the mothers were taking good care of their babies, and that the babies were in good condition.

So much for Geraldo and balanced reporting. What a joke!

Update on Jeff in New Orleans-9/2/05 1626 Hours PDT

Jeff is stranded by the flood in New Orleans. See my blog here for the start of the story.

Here’s the latest,

Just got off the phone with Jeff who called from a public land line phone. He sounded OK, but said he hasn't seen the presence of the National Guard yet over in his sector near the French Quarter. When I told him there were Guard Units deployed all around the Superdome he acted surprised! I don't know what this means other than the "word out on the street" is that support may still be lacking in parts of the city.

Jeff also mentioned that the explosion which went off earlier this morning was a warehouse very close to him wherein propane was set off by a fire.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Rep. Jessie Jackson, Jr. Calls Out God

Rep. Jessie Jackson, Jr., a member of the Black Caucus speaking about Hurricane Katrina, made a series of confusing statements. See the comments at Radio Blogger.

Jackson starts off with an assumption and a clear case of hyperbole about Pres. Bush’s state of mind after he declared that this nation would hunt down those responsible for 9/11. Jackson states,
That sense of righteous indignation about what happened on our soil drove the president to declare unilateral action, essentially in Iraq.

That “righteous indignation” sure lasted a long time from 9/11 through the Afghanistan invasion and all the way to Iraq. Really now Mr. Jackson, did Pres. Bush confide that little pearl of wisdom to you? Must be that Jackson is clairvoyant.

Next Jackson has Pres. Bush blaming and threatening God for Hurricane Katrina,
…he will look up to the heavens and say to God, "You're responsible for this. And soon you will hear from us."

How did you make such a leap of faith Mr. Jackson? I know that you believe that God is responsible for Katrina because you said so,
God is responsible for this. And in His own time, He will reveal why.

Finally, Jackson rebukes Pres. Bush for an alleged slow response to the calamity. And states that it is, obligation as Americans, as people who care about Americans, to help rebuild their lives. And the president of the United States can set the tone for that rebuilding effort.

What in the heck does Iraq have to do with a hurricane that was caused by God for an unknown reason? Are you saying Mr. Jackson that it is God’s will to punish the citizens of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama for some holy transgression by Pres. Bush concerning the invasion of Iraq?

And, if it God’s will that Katrina smote the South, won’t the President’s assistance in the amelioration of the catastrophe be contrary to God’s will?

Can anyone make any sense of this?

Jackson probably truly feels empathy with the hurricane victims. His brand of religion must instruct him that God is vengeful and willing to strike 90,000 square miles for a reason that we don’t fathom.

The root of Jackson’s confused statements undoubtedly lie in the fact that he is plagued with liberal thinking, which is classically controlled by emotions rather than intellect. He is apparently unable to muster the intellectual talents required to process the vast array of information and construct a logical deduction. He feels their pain and is all over the emotional playing field. And, that’s a good sign if you’re a liberal.

My Friend’s Rant on New Orleans

From my friend Bob,

I have now watched several nights of news regarding the disastrous circumstances in the South East. It seems to me that as many people are trying to figure out a way to donate their hard earned money to the victims of Katrina. Instead that I am thoroughly disgusted with the behavior demonstrated by many of those that are being shown by the media.

Where did we go wrong? What have we done to take away dignity from generations of people who apparently no longer do anything for themselves. What have we done that would cause a segment of our society to completely trash a place of refuge (the Super dome) and within 48 hrs. turn it into a place that is to dangerous and to filthy with human excrement and urine to be tolerated by the people that have no where else to go.

How can a portion of this society behave in such a violent manner that Doctors and Medical volunteers have to flee for their own safety. Did you see the trash, have you heard of the violence, the murder, the rapes. My God!

Certainly there are those whose plight tugs at my heart and I think that we should do anything to help them. But for what seems to me far too great a percentage of the people that were affected by this hurricane, I personally find their conduct to be disgusting and repugnant.

Can anyone explain the looting by citizens and even sworn police officers and their indifferent attitude when caught red handed.

Since when are people in need allowed to shout demands and threaten violence to get what they want. Is that how we ask for help? I thought we did not respond to terrorist threats in this great county.

Katrina is no doubt a catastrophic event, but far more serious problems are in our future if we continue to allow this direction that a segment of our society has taken to be tolerated.

Isn't there any journalist in any media market that is willing to call it the way it is.

There, I feel a little better. Bob

Earthquake Swarm in California

Earthquakes occur continuously in California, most of them we don’t feel. But, there is a big one out there just waiting. Science knows that and predicts it. The problem is we just don’t know when. It is kind of like the problem of predicting a category 4 or 5 hurricane. Read my blog here.

Tim Rutten Politicizes Katrina

A Tim Rutten piece in today’s Los Angeles Times, “A warning sent but left unheeded” wastes no time doing two things; politicizing Katrina; and complaining about the new media. I suspect that Rutten is just a little sensitive on the latter issue.
Nowadays, it often seems like every other third person with access to a mike or computer is a press critic, who thinks that their particular beef could be resolved by simply resorting to the good old-fashioned practice of shooting the messenger.

In the last three years, there were indeed a number of MSM reports detailing the probable destruction that could eventually be visitied upon New Orleans. Recounting these reports, Rutten spends a goodly number of words setting up this political shot at the Bush administration.
… the combination of tax cuts, the war in Iraq and the demands of homeland security had led President Bush's administration to repeatedly reject urgent requests from the Army Corps of Engineers and Louisiana's congressional delegation that it allocate the money to save New Orleans.

Were the MSM reports three years ago the discovery of some new information? They were not. When the levee system was built, some 40 years ago or so, it was known that they were only designed for a category 3 storm. Did the designers and financiers of the levee system think that there would never be a category 4 or 5 storm? No, certainly not. Was there some new information three years ago indicating that there is now a greater risk for a category 4 or 5 storm that did not exist when the levee system was built. No, certainly not.

Public policy is based upon risk assessment which asks questions of probability and the cost of insuring against that risk. Mother nature is a powerful foe and public policy can never insure 100% against her fury.

Rutten states,
Politics may have failed the people of New Orleans. Politicians certainly failed them. They may have failed themselves by not demanding better.

Clearly the residents of New Orleans did not consider living there to be an unnecessary risk. If they had, they would have moved elsewhere.

Tim Rutten’s cheap political shot at the Bush administration is another example of how the LA Times continuously demonstrates its irrelevance to the reading public. And, the irrelevance is measured in a declining circulation. Read the interchange between Rutten and Hugh Hewitt and my previous post here.

The one good thing about the Tim Rutten piece is that it appeared as a column and not a “news” piece. We expect that there is likely to be bias and shaded reporting in an opinion piece. But, when we find it the credibility of the writer decreases. Do that enough and people will stop reading you. That leads to decreased circulation. Is there a pattern here?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Veneer of Civilization Eroded in the Big Easy

There are only two types of people: the Decent; and the Indecent. That’s what Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) wrote in his seminal book, Man's Search for Meaning. Frankl, a Neurologist and psychiatrist, had his far share of suffering by living through the holocaust in a death camp. Frankl did not divide man according to race, nationality, class, or economic status. That’s why he did not hate the Germans for wiping out most of his family and a good portion of his Jewish people.

Seeing television coverage of the looting and hearing reports of robberies, rapes, murder, beatings, and thefts in New Orleans has an impact. But, there is something rather personal when hearing a testimonial from someone with whom you are evenly remotely acquainted. Jeff is the son of our friends Larry and Jean. In a phone call Monday, Jeff stated he thought that he had enough food and water for a month. He last left a message Wednesday mid-day. Larry and Jean wrote,

Jeff lives a few blocks from the French Quarter in a house built in 1865. All we can say about his gun comment is that on Monday, just before ending our call, he said "this place is utter chaos, I wish I had a gun". He is well aware of the mentality of a lot of people there, having been a victim in 2001. He was riding his bike home late one night and was run down, asked for his money (of which he didn't have any), and left lying in the street with an injured leg. (He thought they would finish the job and run him over). In the morning, most people he asked for help passed by. Luckily a good samaratin did not approach but called emergency services.

Jeff has not been heard from since.

It is clear that a vicious, indecent populous lives amongst us. If you live in the ghettos of most big cities, that statement is no surprise. What we are seeing in New Orleans, and witnessed during the Los Angeles riots in 1992, is an acceleration, a compression, an intensification of the everyday circumstances in many less fortunate communities. We expect that sort of activity to accompany riots, but we don’t really expect much of it with natural disasters. I wrote about values and the eroding away of civilization’s veneer here.

Under the conditions of riot, and now we know to include natural disasters, if there is not an overwhelming law enforcement or military presence, chaos and anarchy will reign. Beyond the loss of property and the destruction of businesses and livelihoods, the real victims are the “decent” members of the community. The trauma of beatings, rapes, stabbings, shootings and the murder of friends and family can not be healed by throwing relief monies at the victims. Many will remain scarred for a lifetime.

Reflecting upon the current events in New Orleans, it is clear that American civil society exists in a tenuous state of uncertainty depending upon the success of the state to protect the citizens. When the state fails, it behooves the citizens to have the ability and will to protect themselves.
News reports yesterday and today reported instances wherein ordinary citizens realized that their safety was in there own hands, took up arms and successfully protected themselves and their property. Next time the anti-gun crowd begins to spout off, tell them to mind their own business because you have learned the lessons of New Orleans and Los Angeles.