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, December 30, 2005

Angel Responds

I have three previous blogs on massage and the California attempt to regulate the business. Chronologically they are, and may be read at: Massage Therapist, Masseuse, or Whore -Take your Pick; An Open Letter on Massage to CA State Sen. Figueroa; and When an Angel Whispers & You Hear the Devil.

In the latter blog, I originally included a quote from a woman I called Angel because she had used the phrase, “…sometimes an angel can whisper in your ear, and you hear the voice of the devil.” I used the pseudonym “Angel” for her because I did not know whether or not she wanted to be identified. Turned out she was not happy about being quoted at all because it was not an example of her best writing. Besides that, she figured that knowledgeable people in the industry would know it was her writing anyway based upon the content. I redacted the quotation from the blog with the intent of posting a more detailed quote from Angel. That quote is listed below.

To set-up the quote, you should know the writer’s credentials. She is Beverly May, the legislative guru for the California chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA-CA). Beverly is a tireless worker striving to better the conditions for massage therapists in California. She is extremely credible and well respected. Here’s her statement:

It has always been the intent of AMTA-CA to create legislation which would remove all massage therapists from local regulations. From the start, both AMTA-CA and ABMP supported the 2 tier structure of 250 and 500 hours. Both organizations realized that we have members who wanted each of the tiers – although AMTA-CA members did not support tiers at all, the organization supported a structure with broader support. AMTA has lobbied for full grandfathering from the start. The grandfather provisions in SB 412 were written by Sen Figueroa’s staff. But the California legislature is not very supportive of either grandfathering or licensing, which is why we have this compromise bill. In the public venue, you either fight for the pure version of what you want, disrespecting the fact that other stakeholders have their own perspectives, or you work with them to get the best you can. Neither AMTA nor ABMP are finished trying to ease the grandfathering criteria. Now, both associations are on the same page as to changes we want to see in the bill – so to write a blog that strongly commends ABMP for protecting the low trained massage person vs AMTA-CA as out to get them is wrong.

This session, there was not a single legislator willing to carry a bill to license massage, for numerous reasons, mostly having to do with the Governor trying to abolish most regulatory boards. Senator Figueroa, Chair of the powerful Joint Commission on Boards, Commissions and Public Safety (the first committee to review the Sunrise applications justifying the rationale for new state regulation) became convinced that having to obtain permits in every city one works in, under widely varying and mostly onerous ordinances, is oppressive to the profession, bad for CA business, and an inefficient way to govern. So she offered to author her own bill. The result is this somewhat weak certification bill. It does exempt those who choose to be certified from most local regulations. Historically, groups that will not compromise for anything less than their own ideal law often lose – working incrementally for change is more often effective, and allows time to convince sway opponents in a more peaceful manner.

As for education, there are schools that feel that they have compromised up to a tier of 250 hours. There are other schools that want nothing less than 500 hours, represented by an organization that has no relationship with AMTA. There is a large spa group that wants 750 hours, and proposed phasing out the lower tier over time. Either everyone budges a little, or we stay where we are, subject to local ordinances ranging from zero to 1,000 hours of education, and the rest of the local vice regulations.

I would prefer that no one be left subject to local ordinances, if they did not want to be. But the alternative to “everyone or no one” is no one – the massage profession alone does not seem to have the influence to assure that everyone be included under the bill without some needing more education over time.

In areas with no local ordinance, or reasonably fair ones, people may choose not to become certified, and I for one am not going to insist that they become certified. I know of a number of people practicing massage who have no intent of becoming certified or licensed under any state law, if they can help it. SB 412 gives them that freedom. In my own business, there are 2 massage therapists who have been practicing for years with 100 hours of education – they left school believing that they had everything they need for a lifetime in massage. They give good, safe basic massage. They rarely receive massage, never touch a textbook or journal that I have available, nor converse about techniques or theory. Although I’d prefer that they had more education, they are reliable and good massage therapists. Keeping them in my business uncertified means that my business is not exempt from local ordinance. But I am willing to continue to deal with that as long as they care to remain with me. It is their choice whether to obtain further education. If I oppose the bill because they will not be grandfathered in without further education, we are all subject fully to local regulation.

As an aside, I am noticing that there are more and more continuing education classes available inexpensively – through the internet and other correspondence methods. These can be effective and easy ways for some to obtain more education, if we cannot ease the grandfathering provisions sufficiently to include everyone currently practicing.

As you know, support of the CA League of Cities is crucial. I am the one who submitted names to the League of law enforcement officials who could speak from experience in helping developing language that would not back-fire by leaving loopholes for prostitution. Do you suppose that I gave your name in hopes that you would not mention your support for the lower tier? If that was the case, I would not have named you.

AMTA-CA has one goal only with this bill – to get those of us who choose the new certification one stop shopping for permission to work, to pre-empt them from non-public health & safety regulation at the local level, and to allow them fair zoning & business license fees. Raising standards, becoming medical, mandating certification have never been our goals, and I have been very clear to both our membership and outsiders that these are not appropriate reasons for state regulation.

Please, Paul, the world is so full of anger and conflict. I have never treated a client in a way that brings more anger, guilt or disrespect to the world – even those men who have asked for “other services”. Likewise, I have from the start understood that the process by which easing burdensome laws occurs will define the healing and spirituality of the resulting work. I am so disappointed to read that you have not seen that in me, or understood anything you have heard me say.

This is indeed a time for me to reflect on how my message comes through. However, I learned not too long ago that sometimes an angel can whisper in your ear, and you hear the voice of the devil. When that happens, both the angel and the listener have work to do.

Now I believe that we have an accurate lay of the land. Some of the various stakeholders in this issue want a substantially greater number of training hours than are necessary. Why are they unnecessary? I’ll use Beverly’s own words to demonstrate,
In my own business, there are 2 massage therapists who have been practicing for years with 100 hours of education – they left school believing that they had everything they need for a lifetime in massage. They give good, safe basic massage. They rarely receive massage, never touch a textbook or journal that I have available, nor converse about techniques or theory. Although I’d prefer that they had more education, they are reliable and good massage therapists.

I thank Beverly for her time in writing. Now a little clarity on the issues is of prime importance. Here’s the reality:

  • The State has no legitimate public safety interest in regulating the massage industry because it is a non-invasive and safe practice, unlike the currently regulated health modalities.
  • The only legitimate reason for the State to regulate the massage business is to relieve the massage therapists from the often draconian and discriminatory local regulations and to create a license that is portable from local jurisdiction to local jurisdiction.
  • The current practice with other State health modality regulation is to license at an entry training level only. Unlike the proposed massage bill, State licensing of other health modalities does not include multiple tiers. The proposed two tier system of certification in this bill is elitist. The drafters of the bill obviously feel that those with 500 hours of training deserve the title of massage therapists, while those with 250 hours of training should only be called massage practitioners. The inference is that massage therapist is a more prestigious title. Well, perhaps so. But, designating 500 hour level with the premier title, as opposed to 250 hour level, is intellectually dishonest considering that there is no evidence to support such a supposition.
  • There is no industry evidence that entry level massage training needs to exceed 100-200 hours. Please note that Beverly, a representative of an organization with a 500 hour requirement, states unequivocally that her employees with 100 hours of training are competent massage therapists.
  • For their own purposes, there are a number of stakeholders who wish to require training levels far exceeding that which is needed for entry level work. The fact that they desire members of their organizations or employees to have a higher level of education is no reason for the State to accommodate their wishes by requiring excessive hours.
  • Any massage therapist currently licensed by a local jurisdiction should be grandfathered.

Here are my closing comments relative to Beverly’s text and this blog. I am a passionate advocate for the underdog with little inclination to compromise the principles outlined herein. Beverly’s words reveal her to be currently much more politically pragmatic than I. That could be because she has been intimately involved in the proposed legislation for a long period of time. She is probably correct about the current political prospects.

Thank you Beverly for having a good heart and working on this bill. But you are mistaken, this is not where we need to be. The spirituality of massage is far bigger and more inclusive than the elitism of this bill. Just because much of the rest of the country is foolishly charging ahead does not mean that California has to follow.

That having been said, I don’t want to give up. I want the stakeholders to rise above their self-interest for the good of the state citizenry and for the good of all massage therapists. I want the underdog to have a voice that is heard. I don’t want this bill as it is written. Without substantive philosophical changes to the bill, I say kill the bill and try again some other time. Does anyone want to join me for a little windmill jousting? It’s the right thing to do.

Monday, December 26, 2005

When an Angel Whispers & You Hear the Devil

It’s not a good thing to get an Angel upset. I’ve done it. This Angel believes that she whispered in my ear and now she thinks that I believe that I heard the Devil. No, what I read in the proposed CA state legislation on the massage therapy industry (SB 412), despite the good intentions of the Angel for a well intentioned effort, is that a good number of her fellow massage therapists are to the abandoned to the will of the Devil. Maybe it is the reality of politics, but it does not matter because it is not right.

I have written two blogs, here and here, on the current attempts to create CA legislation governing the massage industry.

Angel, not her true name, is a significant person in the massage industry, and she is a tireless worker attempting to better the lot of massage therapists. I am including her response to me because she believes that I have maligned her organization, and she deserves to be heard. I’ve quoted her e-mail to me in its entirety with the exception of excerpting her name and the name of another person mentioned in the e-mail.

Quote Redacted--Update Pending

For the record, let me unequivocally state that I am in-favor of state legislation. It there is anyone who has read my previous blogs and does not understand that fact, the fault is probably mine for not writing clearly enough.

Having said that, let me also unequivocally state that I am in-opposition to any state legislation that does not unconditionally grandfather-in any practicing massage therapist, who is currently licensed by any CA local governmental agency.

I am unequivocally in-opposition to any state legislation that does not pre-empt local government agencies from regulating the massage industry. As I have stated in my previous blogs, this is the only justification for state licensing for entry level massage practice.

I am unequivocally in-opposition to any state legislation that creates a two tier system wherein the top tier requirement can not be demonstrated to guarantee a more competent massage therapist. Such is the case in the proposed CA legislation with two tiers of 250 and 500 hours. I know of no competent research that can support the theory that 500 hours of training produces a more competent massage therapist than does 250 hours. Now, if you want to make the top tier similar to British Columbia, which is, if I recall correctly, 3300 hours, now were talking about something significant.

As to my assertion that AMTA is the genesis for the 500 hour requirement, perhaps I would have been more accurate to have included the other stakeholders in the discussion. But, I have no direct knowledge of their specific interests. I do know that 500 hours is the AMTA standard for membership in the organization and for qualifying to take their private national certification test. And, I do know that somehow a number of other states just happen to have 500 hour requirements and/or the AMTA national certification test as their state requirement. That is not just by happenstance. So to be absolutely correct, no Angel I have never heard you advocate for a single 500 hour requirement. You do, however, represent the CA chapter of AMTA, and you are speaking with the weight of AMTA and not as a private person. Please note, I not only object to the two tiers, I object to the 500 hours because that number of hours is not objectively supported by research to be significant as an indicator of competence.

If I were to bet on the subject, I’d include the massage school interests in the list supporting the 500 hour requirement because they stand to garner more business. Come to think of it, AMTA is likely to benefit as well as schools begin to churn out students with enough hours to qualify for membership in AMTA.

From your statement on ABMP, it may well be that I’ve given them too much credit. That would be too bad, because then there will be no major organization speaking for the abandoned massage therapists, who don’t fit the special criteria of the proposed legislation.

Who are the abandoned massage therapists? They are the ones who, in good faith, got the 100, 200 or some other number of training hours because that is what the local massage school provided and what the local municipal agencies required to be licensed. These massage therapists are often single mothers holding down two jobs to make ends meet. Many can not afford the time and money (tuition and lost wages) to return to massage school. They don’t have an extra $200 for each weekend class nor $300-400 plus transportation, room and board to attend an AMTA conference. And, many will not have the current requirement, nor documentation, of 400 hours of massage practice for each of the last 5 years.

I like the idea of more hours of education for foundational massage training, but until it can be demonstrated that 500 hours, for instance, creates a significantly more competent massage therapist than some lesser number of hours, there is no justification for that high a level of required education. And there is no justification for the 5 years of 400 hours of massage work experience for each year for lower tier massage therapists I would like to hear from those massage therapists who routinely hold down a full time job, raise a family and also complete an additional 400 hours of massage work each year.

The arguments that state certification is not required of massage therapists simply means that a class of massage therapists will remain under the jurisdiction of the municipalities. They will remain in the same untenable condition that they currently exist under. That is until the local municipalities adopt the state standard and all of the aforementioned class of massage therapists will suddenly become unlicensed and out of work.

Personally, I would like to see a 500 hour state requirement, but until it is justified with research, I will remain in opposition. I argue that what is good for me as a massage therapist needs to be good for the remainder of the licensed massage therapists, who do not currently meet the proposed state requirements.

So to Angel I say, I’ve heard you and your message. You have a good heart and good intentions. But, you are stuck in a political situation wherein you represent an organization with a 500 hour base requirement. That’s a fine requirement for membership in the organization. But, that organization has entered the political field nationally in efforts to enact their standard as state standards. It is a standard which is not supported with data concerning the number of training hours and competency. If you proposed a one tier system wherein all currently municipally licensed massage therapists are grandfathered in with no further requirements, I’d support the legislation. In reality, it would not be too terribly long before the grandfathered class disappears with attrition. I don’t expect you to support a tier less than 500 hours because your membership is not in that category. I don’t suppose you would support a 1,000 hour requirement, would you?

These battles are contentious, and there is a need for public debate in order that the positions of all sides see the light of day. There is no other way for the public to become educated. It is how special interest is kept at bay for the good of all. I thank all who enter the debate. Until the proposed legislation treats all of the state’s massage therapists well, I remain a voice for the unrepresented.

Update: 12/30/05

Explanation for quote redaction:
I originally posted here the quote from Angel because I thought it important that the readers hear her point of view. I subsequently redacted the quote because she did not intend to have me post it, and she did not feel that her e-mail was the best of her writing. As a policy, I do not support changing original text after it has been posted, except for minor grammatical errors. Though she did not ask me to redact the quote, I did so in the interest that she be given an opportunity to fairly and fully present her case.

I have not changed a single one of my words in the original blog. Therefore, the above text might be a little confusing without the quote to reference. The new text by Angel is posted at: Angel Responds.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Terrorism—Lack of Clarity

“I would suggest that the principal missing ingredient is clarity about our enemies’ ideas and objectives—their ideology. This lack of clarity proceeds in part from naming our efforts a war against “terrorism,” which is after all only a tactic, albeit a terrible one. But we might bypass the nomenclature issue if we would just recognize with whom we are at war.”

R. James Woolsey
Former CIA Director
War Footing, Frank Gaffney, Naval Institute Press, 2006, pg ix.

Here’s my previous blog on the subject matter, War Against Terrorism Not.

Risk & Race in the Auto Insurance Business

People’s Republic of California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi announced that he intends to change the auto insurance rate formula to soak rural county drivers to the benefit of urban county drivers. Actually, what Garamendi means to do is soak drivers in predominantly white areas to pay for the drivers in predominantly minority areas. At least, that is what an article in the Los Angeles Times would lead you to believe. Here’s a flash for you; insurance companies have no way of knowing the insured’s race or ethnicity. They could make some guesses by types of names, but try justifying that to some judge.

Currently auto insurance rates are determined by risk factors such as place of residence, age, sex, driving history, etc. The entire concept of insurance is to determine the risk of claims and to charge a fee sufficient to pay all claims and return a profit to the company. One way to do that is to throw every one in the same pot and charge everyone the same rate for the insurance. This, of course, is the ultimate socialized answer, which penalizes drivers with low risk factors and benefit drivers with high risk factors. That’s apparently Garamendi’s agenda, or least start to approach that concept by reducing the influence of using zip codes as a factor. The intended result is that drivers in “Los Angeles, Orange, San Francisco, Sacramento and Stanislaus counties would on average pay less, while drivers in 52 other counties would pay more …”

Consumer advocates, however, said the current system was unfair, because it raised rates for minority group members and others who could least afford the payments.

That’s a good socialist statement using race as a justification.

A female motorist with 22 years of driving experience and a good record who lives in predominantly white Westchester would pay $1,443 a year with Farmers Insurance Group, advocacy group Consumers Union said in a study released this week.

That same driver would pay $2,394 a year if she lived in the African American neighborhood of Baldwin Hills, the group said. Similar disparities occur for customers of other major insurance companies, Consumers Union said.

Minorities are paying more for insurance than whites? That’s terrible, if it were true. It’s not! Individual drivers are not paying more or less dependent upon their race. They are paying more or less dependent upon proven risk factors including areas of residence expressed as zip codes. Whites living in an “African American neighborhood” pay the same zip code related penalty as do minorities.

Using the above example comparing the female (note that her race is not mentioned) living in Westchester or Baldwin Hills, the proof is that the very same woman can move from one jurisdiction to the other and change her rate without anyone knowing her race. And, guess what. She is less likely to have a claim in Westchester and thus she should be entitled to a lower insurance rate.

This insurance proposal is a good example of the liberal/left playing a race card that is non-existent. It is really a scam to institute a more socialist environment. The god of socialism is well and alive in California.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Emergency Room-Socialized Medicine

I spent a bit of time visiting at an emergency room recently. Anyone who does not think that we have socialized medicine, think again.

You can’t tell much about patients in an emergency room except for general impressions and bits and pieces gleaned from overheard conversations. And granted, when people end up there they are probably not in their Sunday finest nor best state of mind. In my middle to upper income community, it seemed as if most of the people receiving treatment were from a lower than average socio-economic level.

The hospital was stuffed to the gunnels with no beds available for admittance. Hence, those waiting for a bed remained housed in the emergency room. Needless to say, all of the emergency room’s rooms were occupied and patients were on gurneys lining the walls. That is apparently a common practice because on the wall adjacent to each gurney is a permanently mounted letter designating an official station. It didn’t used to be that way 16 years ago when I prowled those halls as a uniformed police officer.

There was a little Hispanic girl, about 1 ½ years old, with a rash all over her body there with a Spanish speaking female adult, maybe her mother. There was the Hispanic boy, probably about 4 years old, being cradled by possibly his father. Then there was the young Caucasian woman with a tattoo for a bracelet lying on her gurney groaning and crying out between bouts of trying to vomit. She was all alone and without comfort save an occasional nurse tending to her needs. The place was full of discomfited people.

Qualifying for a bed in a two person room was a 71 year old man with what was thought to be Bell’s palsy. His speech was slurred and difficult to discern. He spent about 20 hours in the emergency room before he got a bed in the regular portion of the hospital.

Immediately replacing the gentleman was a pregnant Caucasian woman, about 25, diabetic and in for pregnancy related bleeding. This was her eighth pregnancy: one child; five miscarriages; and an abortion. Seems that she got pregnant two weeks after the abortion and that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. The woman was distraught that the father would not come to the hospital to be with her. In a telephone conversation with the father she stated, “You wanted me to get pregnant and have this baby and now you don’t want anything to do with it.” In a telephone conversation with someone else, she described the father’s character with a few colorful expletives. By the tenor of her telephone conversations, I gathered that she and the father were not married. The capper to the woman’s saga was a statement to hospital personnel that she had no medical insurance and that she had applied for Medi-Cal last week. Did I mention that she had been in the emergency room two weeks prior?

This country is said to not have socialized medicine, and that is certainly true when compared to the medical systems in Canada and Europe. Is it a coincidence that the American medical system is superior in terms of access and quality when compared to the fully socialized systems?

To return to the opening sentence of this blog and in spite of the above statements about the American emergency system not being socialized medicine, the American emergency room system is socialized medicine. The defining difference between the fully socialized medical systems and the American emergency room system is that the direct paying patients pays directly for the non-paying patients rather than the general public paying through taxation. How so? The hospital emergency rooms are required by law to provide services to non-paying patients, and naturally those costs are directly passed on to the paying patients.

Most Americans are generous and don’t begrudge helping out the less fortunate. However, there is something innately wrong with the government in a capitalistic system requiring medical services be provided to non-payers at the expense of the responsible and insured public.

Two classes of non-paying patients are clogging the emergency rooms and driving up the cost of services for the paying patients: the unemployed/underemployed without medical insurance; and the irresponsible. Sometimes they are one in the same. Hospitals are closing emergency rooms to curb expenses that are driving the hospitals into insolvency.

The unemployed/underemployed without medical insurance has no choice but to turn to the emergency rooms for non-emergency ailments that the insured and those with assets take to their personal physicians. Fueling the overload of the emergency rooms in So. CA is the illegal alien populous, who are without medical insurance and substantive income to pay for the services out-of-pocket. If for no other reason than to unburden the emergency rooms, it is imperative that the illegal immigration problem be resolved. As cruel as it may seem, it is time to refuse non-emergency treatment in the emergency rooms.

Solving the illegal alien problem will not solve the problem of the values lacking legal citizens, who act irresponsibly and suck unashamedly at the public medical tit. There is no doubt that the bleeding pregnant patient needed emergency medical services. But, why should the public pay for this example of total personal and social irresponsibility? The pregnant woman is a social parasite with her unabashed, irresponsible fornicating and deliberate impregnating. If there ever was a candidate for sterility, she’s one.

I propose that those who choose to act irresponsibly, like this pregnant woman, are forced to pay a price for medical services. And, that price should be sterilization. The public paying for that medical procedure will save lots of money in the long run.

Before it starts, I know that the liberal/left are going to start yelling racism and eugenics. But, it is neither. It is simply recognizing the principle of individual responsibility and affirming that everyone should pull his own weight in society. There is nothing wrong with the concept that there is no free lunch and that you have to pay to play. Curbing non-emergency use of emergency rooms and eliminating repetitive uses of the emergency rooms by the irresponsible will unclog the system and allow for the delivery of superior emergency room services.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

An Open Letter on Massage to CA State Sen. Figueroa

Dear Sen. Figueroa,

Thank you for taking on the project of ushering through a state massage bill. I can only imagine how the various stakeholders are pushing and shoving at you. Having said that, I’ll now take my turn.

I have been a massage therapist for 6 years and a police officer for 26 years. The last 16 years of police work have been in criminal intelligence. In that capacity, I have had experience working on Asian prostitution/organized crime. A specialty of Asian prostitution is the camouflaging of itself within the legitimate massage industry.

I was also instrumental in the adoption of a local massage ordinance that met the needs of the police department in combating prostitution and treats the massage therapists with respect as lawful citizens providing a valuable service to the community.

I have several opening points to make to you

  • Many local cities and their police departments are victimizing the legitimate massage community and treating them as if they are criminals in an effort to suppress prostitution.
  • State licensing of the massage industry is not warranted as a mechanism to protect the safety of the public.
  • There are massage industry entities interested in carving out a competitive niche in the growing medical/health financial pie at the expense of the majority of the massage community.
  • The vast majority of massage therapists in CA are not members of the two large national massage therapy organizations. As such, they have virtually no voice in the state licensing debate.

From a public needs perspective, unlike the medical industry, there is no need for state regulation of the massage industry because massage is not physically invasive and there is almost no history of malpractice related injury.

The vast majority of the massage community is not by nature in favor of state regulation. But, they have been so abused by local regulators that they are willing to embrace the state concept. Preemption from local regulations is mandatory for their support of the bill. See my previous blog for additional details.

There is no justification, nor objective evidence, that 500 hours of entry level massage training lends itself to a more professional massage therapist than does the 250 hours stipulated as entry level for the proposed massage practitioner tier. The magic number of 500 hours comes from the American Massage Therapist Association’s requirements for membership in their organization and for qualifying to take the AMTA’s private national certification test. Many states have adopted the 500 hour standard, as if it were the Holy Grail.

For massage therapists desiring to work in the medical field, and reap the benefits of insurance reimbursement, 500 hours of general massage training is not sufficient education. They need specialized medical massage training above and beyond basic massage training.

Based on state licensed health industry standards, there is no justification to adopt an elitist two tier educational requirement for entry level massage licensing. A two tier system panders to a minority who want to unjustifiably elevate themselves in name as “massage therapists” while demeaning the majority as “massage practitioners.”

Physicians, chiropractors, dentists, physical therapists, etc. are not licensed by the state at various tiers. They are licensed to practice by the state, and they demonstrate special training by certification from various specialty boards. Why should massage therapists be any different?

The Grandfathered and Conditional Grandfathered Massage Practitioner requirement of 5 years of work experience at 250 massage hours/year is unworkable and unfair to those who trained in good faith, and who are part-time licensed massage therapists. A great number of competent massage therapists provide a valuable public service while working in massage part-time as they balance family and other work responsibilities. They can ill afford the cost and time of mandatory additional training of 30 hours/year just to be state licensed.

Grandfathering should be based wholly upon whether or not the individual qualified and was locally licensed. The high rate of the massage industry attrition will eventually eliminate this category of licensing.

Here is the only workable and fair method of introducing state licensing, which is only needed to protect the massage community from local regulatory abuse anyway:

  • Preempt local regulation.
  • Set a one tier entry level hourly training level to go into effect sometime in the future.
  • Grandfather all local massage licensees up to a designated cut-off date.

I am an advocate for more education, but I advocate it for personal development and to provide a better service to my clients. I don’t seek it so that I can create an artificial competitive advantage for myself by my title. It is the business of the state to protect the public, not create an artificial competitive advantage for a select portion of the massage community.

The proposed massage law as written will:

  • Do nothing to qualitatively improve the competence of massage therapists;
  • Do nothing to reduce the infiltration of prostitution into the massage industry;
  • Create an elitist and unjustified two tier system;
  • Put many competent massage therapists out of business;
  • Drive some currently licensed massage therapists underground to join those who have fled the tyranny of local regulators.

I previously posted a blog on the subject matter including pertinent links.

Thank you for your attention.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Muslim Public Affairs Council Convention

The Muslim Public Affairs Council sponsored a one day convention in Long Beach, CA, entitled “Examining Our role in America.” That was probably quite an interesting convention, and I would have liked to have attended it, if I had only known about it. The program listed on MPAC’s website lists Chaplain James Yee, Mark Levine, Alina Romanowski (Dep. Sec. Of State for Educational & Cultural Affairs), and Ambassador Joe Wilson, among others.

An API article said that the conference was about combating extremism within the Islamic community,

"The real battle is for the soul of Islam," said Maher Hathout, founder and senior adviser of Muslim Public Affairs Council, which is organizing the one-day conference in Long Beach. "Islam needs to be reclaimed from extremists, but only Muslims can do that."

That sounds pretty good.

What wisdom do you think Joe Wilson can bring to the table? Wilson is not exactly a paragon of virtue when it comes to veracity. And, how about “…James Yee, a former chaplain at Guantanamo Bay who was accused and later cleared of spying for al-Qaida.”? Do you think either of these two gentlemen might just have an anti-George Bush Administration slant? Kind of makes you wonder about where MPAc falls on the political spectrum.

We have not heard much out of the Muslim community about combating Islamo-fascism. Of course, we know that most Muslims are not fundamental and presumably do not support the Islamo-fascist agenda. Presumably! Could it be that large amounts of so-called moderates Muslims secretly yearn for a return to the rule of the Caliphate? You would not think so; the moderates will suffer right along with the infidels. For some reason the moderates just have not found their tongues, with the limited exception after the London bombings.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

NSA Spying & Blocking the Patriot Act

It does my heart good to learn that the NSA has been monitoring, by directive of the President, international e-mail and phone traffic of individuals linked to terrorism investigations. Even though I am a local intelligence detective, I am not privy to that type of information any more than the general public. Dissemination of the information is on a right-to-know & need-to-know basis. I am, however, much more aware and knowledgeable of our vulnerabilities, and I worry that the problems are not properly addressed. And, the truth is they probably are not.

Everything done in Washington, D.C., is about politics, power and money. So it is no coincidence that the New York Times release of the information about the intelligence gathering procedures was timed to influence and maximize exposure.

On the front page of today's NEW YORK TIMES, national security reporter James Risen claims that "months after the September 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States... without the court approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials."

Risen claims the White House asked the paper not to publish the article, saying that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny.

Risen claims the TIMES delayed publication of the article for a year to conduct additional reporting.

But now comes word James Risen's article is only one of many "explosive newsbreaking" stories that can be found -- in his upcoming book -- which he turned in 3 months ago!

There is something very rotten here! How convenient to release the information at the same time as a crucial Senate vote on the Patriot Act. The spying story was a great excuse for Patriot Act opponents to balk at the bill. Here’s the golden words of that great patriot Sen. Edward Kennedy,
"With these new developments," Kennedy said, "we must take a step back and not rush the Patriot Act."

"They are saying, 'Trust us, we are following the law.' Give me a break," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.). "Across the country and across the political spectrum, no one is buying it anymore. There is no accountability. There is no oversight…. This is Big Brother run amok.

Really? Not according to the President,
Leaders in Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this authorization and the activities conducted under it.

Kennedy is a real trip. Many of these legislators act like pompous asses, but they are not stupid. That leaves the only conclusion to be that they are dishonest. That’s not so hard to believe now is it?

The real disgrace is that they are willing to play political games with the safety of the nation for potential political gain. That’s not really just disgraceful, it’s traitorous.

Michael Yon Contest Updates

See the Updates on Michael Yon's entries in the Weblog and Times Magazine photo contest.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Massage Therapist, Masseuse, or Whore--Take Your Pick

It’s the end of a hard week and the muscles in your shoulders and neck are rock hard and aching. There is a constant throb in your head and pain shoots down one of your legs. You want relief, but what to do? One idea to take the edge off is to go have a few rounds of your favorite adult beverage with the guys at the local pub. That will also go a long way toward polluting your liver. Same thing for lawful and unlawful drugs. A colleague at work suggested that you try getting a massage, but you just don’t know about that idea. You would have to get naked in front of a stranger, wouldn’t you? And, are these people really legit? You’ve heard so many thing; and what’s this deal about a “happy ending” that your bud mentioned and gave you that knowing wink? That’s your dilemma America. We are uptight and over-stressed, and many of us, especially men, do not make healthy choices to ameliorate the situation.

Along comes the massage therapy business and offers to us an incredible opportunity to get in touch with our bodies and begin to change our lives toward a healthy lifestyle. The massage industry is beginning to boom as millions of people discover the magic of healthy physical touch. Read Ashley Montague’s famed work “Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin” Harper & Row, for an in-depth understanding of the importance of touching the human skin.

Sex has been associated with massage for thousands of years, and there is nothing wrong with it in the proper context. Commercially offered sex in any form is called prostitution. Set aside for a moment the debate on the merits and morality of prostitution and realize that because the prostitution business generates lots of cash, it will exploit any venue it can to exist. Currently, prostitution is heavily masquerading as legitimate businesses including massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, and tanning salons.

So now there is a problem folks. Well, really two problems. First, massage, like the practice of medicine, is part scientific technique and part art. A good percentage of the massage people heavy on the art side of the equation have been very successful delivering their art to a grateful clientele. Now comes along the medically oriented massage folks with dreams and aspirations of penetrating the medical field and reaping the financial benefits of associating with physicians and gathering in the insurance money. To be believable to the medical field requires that the massage industry appear to be professional and scientific with a large number of training hours to their credit. Thus, there is a push to increase the training requirements for entry level massage certification. The process is laughably called “professionalization."

One particular massage organization, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), is leading the charge to increase the entry level required massage training hours, and they have been successful in a large number of states. AMTA developed a private national certification test with a minimum of 500 hours of formal training required to be eligible to sit for the test. Unfortunately, there is no objective evidence that the magic number of 500 hours is germane to the creation of a “professional” massage practitioner. Some jurisdictions require a far greater number of hours of training. When a jurisdiction accepts the AMTA standards, a good many competent massage therapists are barred from lawfully practicing their art. Some go out of business and some go underground.

California currently has no state regulation of the massage industry and regulation is left to the local jurisdictions. Thus, there is a hodge-podge of requirements and regulations. A tremendous number of massage therapists have built successful businesses with far less than 500 hours of training. And, these people could not remain in business if they were incompetent.

Senate bill 412 has been introduced in CA in an attempt to impose State regulation on the massage industry. Naturally, some entities are pushing to impose significantly increased training hours that will put many people out of businesss, even with a limited grandfathering provision. A second professional massage organization, Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), seems to be responsive to the needs of all massage professionals. Go here to the ABMP link to the current proposed legislation.

There is certainly nothing wrong with more training in any business and massage is no exception. However, there is no convincing evidence that the AMTA standard is credible. As you might guess, a great number of currently practicing massage therapists are opposed, as a general principle, to: state regulation; and AMTA’s desired requirements. Despite their objections, many reluctant massage therapists are willing to explore the state regulation potential for one reason and one reason only. That is they wish to escape the prejudicial, arbitrary and discriminatory local governmental treatment, as if they are the criminals. Criminals, you say? Yes, prostitutes to be specific. That’s problem number two.

Local law enforcement is charged with reducing prostitution. Along comes the prostitution business sneaking in and masquerading as part of the massage industry. Asian prostitution has grown in this field exponentially, and it is frustrating traditional law enforcement prostitution suppression techniques. As a result, law enforcement has chosen to visit upon the entire lawful massage industry draconian regulations, which in essence treat massage therapists as prostitutes. The invasive law enforcement techniques constrain lawful commerce and violate the public’s right to be free of excessive and intimidating government presence. Local law enforcement is often acting as if they operate within a police state.

The legitimate massage industry is victimized twice by prostitution. First, the prostitution besmirches the good name of the industry and suppresses the public’s willingness to seek out a beneficial health modality. And, second the governments’ anti-prostitution techniques treat lawful business people as if they are criminals by imposing requirements and conditions not visited upon other health business modalities. The governments’ techniques are intimidating and insulting. The end result is that a good amount of the massage industry has a strong distaste and dislike for both law enforcement and city administration. No other lawful industry is treated as if they are the criminal when it is their industry that is victimized. The end result is that many in the massage industry are more than willing to accept the concept of state regulation in order to be free of the oppressive local regulations. That certainly is not a positive statement about local government. And, it is certainly no way to treat law abiding citizens.

A word or two about the term “masseuse.” Masseuse and masseur are old words for massage/body worker. Unfortunately “masseuse” is also associated with sleazy massage practitioners and prostitution. The use of the term is like fingernails on a chalk board to many massage therapists, who prefer the designation “massage therapist” in order to disassociate themselves from prostitution.

If I may be so bold as to make this request. Take a moment or two to think about what you have read herein, then e-mail, pickup your pen or phone and tell your local representatives to support the massage professionals in your jurisdiction. Next, contact your CA state representatives and the author of SB 412, Sen. Liz Figueroa, and tell them to pass a state bill that is inclusive of all of the current professional massage therapists. Then book yourself a massage and enjoy.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Erwin Chemerinsky Wears Leftist Blinders

The "Smart Guys," Erwin Chemerinsky & John Eastman, joined Hugh Hewitt on his radio show on Wednesday, 12/15/05, for a discussion of an Iraqi comparison to the formation of this country in the 1700’s. John Eastman started off in the affirmative followed by Erwin’s dismissal:

I just don't think there's a parallel. I hope that the election is successful. I hope they have a constitution that works for them, a government that brings them peace, a government that allows us to withdraw as soon as possible. But the reality is, the American Revolution was led by Americans who wanted independence from England. This was a military action by the United States, to overthrow a government, in the words of the president, a regime change, that I think has done nothing but make that country much worse off. A terrible loss of lives for Iraqis and Americans, and a huge waste of money.

Both John and Hugh were stunned. Read the interchange at Radioblogger.

Erwin is a very smart guy when it comes to knowledge about the law. That’s what you would expect of a law professor at the Duke University Law School. But the glasses through which leftists see the world skew reality almost beyond belief.

Hugh followed up with,

Erwin, do you think Iraq is worse off today than it was three years ago?

Erwin replied,

Very much so. How many people have died as a result of this? How much have we destroyed the infrastructure as a result of this? What have we gotten for the hundreds of billions of dollars that we've just thrown down the drain, is what we've done? I think that this was a war that the president got us in, through nothing but lies. It's as ill-advised as anything the United States has done militarily,…

Really? Wow! Erwin succinctly defined the leftist view of the world, “What have we gotten for the hundreds of billions of dollars…?” And, this is from a leftist who is supposed to be compassionate for the less fortunate in our world. Erwin is worried about dollars.

But wait, he follows up with a claim that the President got us into the war on nothing but lies. I can understand the ill-informed man on the street holding such a position, but Erwin, the intellectual law professor? We are not talking about the nuances of law here; we’re talking about objective changes in the Iraqi society and life. If someone as bright as Erwin can’t see past the blinders of leftism, heaven helps us to ever convince them of anything. We really are in a cultural civil war.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Will Clarence Allen be the New Anti Execution Poster Child?

Now that Tookie is pushing up daisies, so to speak, I wonder who will be in the mix of the next anti-execution crew. Will the Hollywood elites grace the gates of San Quentin again on January 17TH, 2005 for the scheduled execution of Clarence Ray Allen? Read it here, & here. Will we have Fox, Farrell, Baez and the Snoop Dog? And, how about that all time publicity vampire, Rev. Jesse Jackson?

Clarence should be a good draw because he is old, infirmed and not white. That’s right, don’t be confused by his picture. He is a Choctaw American Indian. Now, there’s a minority if you ever saw one. Far more than the Took.

But, to the best of my knowledge Clarence never wrote any children’s books (not that Tookie did) nor was he nominated for the Nobel prize by some liberal stooge. Of course, anybody can be nominated for the Nobel prize, and you can even win regardless of whether or not you did anything worthwhile. The proof is the Nobel prize awarded to the murdering terrorist Arafat.

Speaking of children’s books and the alleged thousands of ghetto youth saved from a life of gangbanging by Tookie, did you see the response from the streets of Los Angeles about Tookie’s death? It could well have been characterized as Tookie who? Oh yeah, Tookie made a big impression on the ghetto youth even with the books written by his ghost writer. What a crock. Probably the best thing you can say about Tookie is that he was true to himself. A big cold-blooded murdering thug.

So Clarence, what do you think? Can you get the attention of these Hollywood elites? I don’t know, but you will have the anti-execution diehards (sorry about that word) clamoring for your clemency. But, you just might not have the stuff to attract the star power. Not to worry; they don’t offer any advantage anyway. They are just a bunch of self-absorbed publicity whores.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

2005-The Year of Michael Yon

Michael Yon is an author who just completed a long stint imbedded with the Army in Iraq. I have written about Michael several times in this blog. If you are not reading Michael’s blog, you are missing a tremendous source of information, information that you will not get from the mainstream media.

2005 is definitely Michael’s year. He is well on his way to winning the top spot in the Weblog Awards of 2005 for best media/journalist blog. Go and vote for your favorite blogs here. Michael is also way out front in the Time Magazine contest for the best picture of the year. There are ten finalist photos. Go here to see the top ten photos and vote.

Congratulations Michael.

Update: Fri, 12/16/05

Michael handily won his catagory in the Weblog contest with 44.14% of the vote. Just goes to prove that the web users know quality when they see it.

Update: Sat, 12/16/05

The voting for the Time Mag photo contest is still going on. As of this date, Michael's photo has garnered 69% of the vote. His closest competitior has 5%. That photo is powerful!!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Democratic White Flag

The GOP is releasing a video ad that features a white flag waved over the faces of Democrats making their anti-war cut and run statements. Needless say, the Democrats have started screaming. Too bad, it’s about time that conservatives start calling it as it is. It is time for a countering message to the mainstream media, which endlessly rebroadcasts the words of the liberal/left. The Democratic leaders talk like the French, so it is appropriate to fly the white flag for them.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Spineless Boomers Mirror Europe

Powerline published a letter from Col. Joe Repya wherein Repya stated that he is 59 years old and that he is tired of nay Sayers and those who run down our country. He wrote,

I'm tired that my generation, the Baby Boom - Vietnam generation, who have such a weak backbone that they can't stomach seeing the difficult tasks through to victory.

I'm tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican who lack the courage, fortitude, and character to see these difficult tasks through.

I'm tired of the so called "Elite Left" that prolongs this war by giving aid and comfort to our enemy, just as they did during the Vietnam War.

On the occasion of Pearl Harbor Day, I contrasted the character of the World War II generation with the “Baby Boom - Vietnam generation,”

There must have been grit in my father’s generation. That something was lost to my generation when it came to the Vietnam War.

Despite the attempts to rewrite history, the U.S. military did not lose the war in Vietnam. The U.S. public, and consequently the members of Congress, lost their collective spine and abandoned the sacrifices of our soldiers and our Vietnamese allies. It was decidedly a disgraceful era in American history.

Spineless seems to be an apt description for a distinctly ungrateful group of people. Of course, there will always be a certain percentage of these type people in any group. One would hope that the percentage is small. Otherwise, there is a deterioration of the national character.

Certainly self-gratification, appeasement, shallowness, and an unwillingness to make moral judgments have become key characteristics in a large percentage of today’s American population. How else can you explain the clamor by the elite left for granting clemency to convicted four time murderer and condemned to die Tookie Williams?

This nation has entered an era of danger greater than it has ever seen before. Previous wars were fought and won on the battlefield. Today’s war must be fought for the mind’s of man. And, those who cannot abide by the conventions of civil society must be destroyed. That goes for all of the Tookie Williams and Usama bin Ladins in the world.

America has the advantage of being able to watch what is going to happen to us if the elite left has it way. Just watch Europe. Take a look. You can see Kennedy, Kerry, Murtha, Dean, Hillary and the rest looking back at us from the mirror of Europe. You do realize that the European mirror is on fire. The flames are most recently from the arson of thousands of cars and scores of buildings and the bombings of railways, subways and buses.

No Justice, No Peace: Again?

Los Angeles local leaders are calling for calm and restraint from the community in the event that Stanley Tookie Williams is to be executed next week.

Authorities have received reports of possible plans to commit violence if Williams is denied clemency, calling the threats a ``credible concern.''

Tookie is the co-founder of the notorious Crips black street gang, which fostered the degeneration of the inner cities and surrounding communities in much of the country. The amount of attendant misery is incalculable.

The chant championing the 1992 Los Angeles riots after the acquittal of the LAPD officers in the Rodney King incident was “No Justice, No Peace.” Some people undoubtedly would like to hear it again. The question is, can disruptive influences ignite a spontaneous eruption again?

Despite the concerns, Los Angeles police have received no credible threats of possible violence, whatever the outcome of Williams' case, according to Lt. Paul Vernon, a department spokesman. Police have no plans to deploy more officers or step up security…

No plans? That’s hogwash! By “plans” I’ll bet that means no decision yet to deploy more officers. We better hope there are contingency plans.

China: Mixture of Capitalism, Fascism & Riots

Western capitalism is battering at the Great Wall of China with foreign investment in an attempt to get a piece of the Chinese action. The Chinese are churning out vast amounts of exportable goods. One article on the World Socialist Website stated,

The combination of plentiful cheap labour, low tax, low cost infrastructures and brutal police-state repression made China one of the most attractive investment sites for transnational corporations.

But all is not well with the Chinese populous. The NY Times reported,

By the government's tally there were 74,000 riots or other significant public disturbances in 2004…

Until this week, the Chinese authorities did not resort to deadly force when putting down the social unrest. Read about it here, here & here. But, that has changed as authorities opened fire and killed 10-20 or more protesting citizens. Read it here and here.

China and India are expected to be the future’s biggest economic engines requiring vast amounts of resources to feed the expansion. India is a democracy with a history of freedom, which will bode well for it’s future growth. China, on the other hand, is a ruthless fascist state without such a history. The gaps between the Chinese haves and have nots is growing and social unrest is plentiful. It remains to be seen whether the Chinese authorities can successfully marry capitalism to the socialist state. 74,000 riots in one year does not bode well for the Chinese status quo.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Changing Challenge to U.S. Law Enforcement

The tragic death of Rigoberto Alpizar at the hands of U.S. Air Marshal’s at Miami International Airport is an opening salvo to a problem that terrorism is bringing to western law enforcement. A similar problem occurred in Britain subsequent to the recent subway bombings when police shot a man as a potential bomber.

The application of deadly force on the part of domestic law enforcement is one of the most volatile of public issues. Police officers are faced with split-second decisions and often their decisions, whether or not they employ deadly force, result in the death of others and/or the death of others and themselves. The public and mainstream media will instantly rush to judgment based upon perceptions and bias. The judiciary will take an interminable amount of time to adjudicate the issue.

The gold standard when judging whether or not the use of deadly force is lawful is whether or not a reasonable man in the same circumstances would conclude that there was a perceived grave danger to the officer or others. The fact that there may not actually have been a grave danger is immaterial.

Most of the time for law enforcement, the officer will not conclude a grave danger until there is evidence of a weapon about to be deployed. For example, an officer observes a subject holding a firearm but the firearm is not pointed in the direction of any person. The officer perceives a hazardous situation based upon the circumstances of the incident and orders the subject to put the gun down. If the subject fails to comply but does not turn the weapon toward any person, the threat has not risen to the level of employing deadly force. Should the subject make any motion that is construed to be bringing the weapon into action or aiming it at another person, the threat has risen to a level such that the application of deadly force is appropriate.

Thanks to the world of suicide-homicide bombers, the application of deadly force dilemma has been ratcheted up a notch. Since a bomb can be concealed in and detonated within most anything, how are officers to know whether or not the application of deadly force is appropriate? Well, there really is no difference. The totality of the circumstances will dictate an action. Unfortunately, with potential bombers there will be many more mistakes made in the form of deaths of innocent people taken for bombers. And, there will be deaths of officers and innocent bystanders when necessary deadly force is not taken.

It is anticipated that the Western world will begin to suffer an increased number of suicide-homicide bomber incidents. As that happens, more innocent people will die at the hands of police as a result of mistakes. It is a price that free people pay when Islamo-fascism knocks at the door.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

From Pearl Harbor to Today

On December 7th, 1941, 64 years ago, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and drew the U.S. into World War II. While there must have been a number of anti-war fanatics in those days, this country recognized the necessity of shifting to a wartime footing. And, they did so with a determination to win the war despite numerous setbacks and failures. There must have been grit in my father’s generation. That something was lost to my generation when it came to the Vietnam War.

Despite the attempts to rewrite history, the U.S. military did not lose the war in Vietnam. The U.S. public, and consequently the members of Congress, lost their collective spine and abandoned the sacrifices of our soldiers and our Vietnamese allies. It was decidedly a disgraceful era in American history.

On September 11, 2001 the U.S. was again under attack; only this time it is from an enemy that fights an asymmetric war. Once again the anti-war crowd and their fawning representatives in Congress are beating the cut & run drum. Thanks in part to the liberal/left agenda of the mainstream media, a portion of the public is demonstrating well that spineless appeasement is not dead.

As we reflect on the significance of Dec. 7th, let’s take note that a portion of our populous no longer embodies, or is losing, the values and character that made this country great. The “it’s all about me” Vietnam generation is in power and some of us are not demonstrating much of the character of the World War II generation. They were a generation of survivors and community. What the heck went wrong with us?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Biker War: So You Think It’s Cool to Hang with these Nitwits

In case you missed it; Two of the major outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMG) on the West Coast are in a shooting war. On April 28, 2002, Laughlin, Nevada, witnessed the hazards of being around warring OMG’s. The result: numerous injuries and 3 dead in a casino; one more dead on the highway out-of-town. Read about it here and here.

There are those who wish to think of OMG members as just a group fun-loving, but eccentric motorcycle buffs. Not only that, but they like to rub elbows with these motorcycle riding “outlaws” of society. For a good view of what an OMG is all about, go here and read about it.

There is an old adage that if you play with fire, you will get burned. That’s exactly what happened to a Norco, CA, fireman who was picking up toys at a Hessian OMG Toys for Tots event this last Sunday. It seems that the Hells’ Angels and the Mongols chose the event to be an extension of their war. The result was two Hells’ Angels and the fireman shot.

It is time for the public to start repudiating the motorcycle-riding miscreants in society. Recognize these people for what they are: a bunch of organized crime individuals who often engage in some rather un-organized crime. Read here about the Toys for Tots shooting.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Miami Police & the ACLU = Ineffective on Terrorism

In the news this week was a report that the police in Miami, Fla., are going to be conducting surprise, random sweeps to thwart terrorism.

Miami police announced Monday they will stage random shows of force at hotels, banks and other public places to keep terrorists guessing and remind people to be vigilant.

"This is an in-your-face type of strategy. It's letting the terrorists know we are out there,"…

The operations will keep terrorists off guard, Fernandez said. He said al-Qaida and other terrorist groups plot attacks by putting places under surveillance and watching for flaws and patterns in security.

…officers might, for example, surround a bank building, check the IDs of everyone going in and out and hand out leaflets about terror threats.

Who thought up this gem of a plan? If Miami P.D. has so much money to spend, maybe they could hire some more officers and train them to become first-rate intelligence detectives. Then maybe Florida could develop sources of information of their own and not have to depend upon a certain federal agency that is notorious for not sharing information.

It is true that terrorists do conduct surveillance on potential targets. They do so for a number of years in advance of an attack. Now with police announcing that they are going to randomly detain people and check identification, they might just stop a jihadist in the midst of surveilling a potential target. So now what? Are the police going to run the name of every detained person through national databases? If so, the detention will be more than a minor infringement upon the free movement of the people. If there is no hit in a potential jihadist database, which is liable to be the case, the police will not have a clue whether or not they have detained a potential jihadist. But, don’t worry; The American Civil Liberties Union will never stand for such a plan. Not!!! Here’s what an ACLU spokesman said.

Howard Simon, executive director of ACLU of Florida, said the Miami initiative appears aimed at ensuring that people's rights are not violated.
"What we're dealing with is officers on street patrol, which is more effective and more consistent with the Constitution," Simon said. "We'll have to see how it is implemented."

Police officers do have the power to stop, detain and ask for identification, but they need some articulable suspicion of criminality to do so. Now, if an officer merely requests that a person voluntarily submit identification, the person may decline to be interviewed or provide identification. So what is going on here?

The police state that they want to deter terrorism. This is a noble cause with an ineffective technique and a lot of intrusion into the privacy of the citizens. The police administrators are jerking us around.

The ACLU alleges that the “…Miami initiative appears aimed at ensuring that people's rights are not violated.” and “What were dealing with is officers on street patrol, which is more effective and more consistent with the Constitution,"…”

Clearly the only way for the street police to be effective thwarting surveillance of and targeting by jihadists is to continually saturate areas and interview everyone. This is a manpower intensive effort. You can be sure that is not what the ACLU has in mind. So, my guess is that the ACLU already has an agreement with Miami P.D. that ensures that the street program is non-intrusive and therefore totally ineffective. You can be sure the ACLU does not want to see Miami P.D. invest in more intelligence detectives, who would have the potential to identify jihadists. But, that would require the type of investigative techniques that drives the ACLU batty. You know, like develop a database of potential jihadists.