Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Defining Terms, 5

Continued from "Defining Terms, 4"

The final element that went into creating my concept of Christian Martialism is the sheepdog concept.

Once upon a time my barber (before he was my barber) and I worked in the security department of a health care facility. It was one of those jobs where your employer (and more that one felllow-worker) sees you as useless, but from time to time you may have to put yourself on the line.

As fellow-believers, we became friends and offered each other mutual support to survive our daily run of the soul-crushing gauntlet. We also shared and discussed every bit of information, insight and philosophy that would further our training to face the confrontational aspects of our job.

Some time later, when I was working at another place, my friend (who had now finished barber school) brought a book by for me to read. It was Lt. Col Dave Grossman's On Killing.

"You've got to read this book. We're in here," he told me. I wasn't sure exactly what he meant, but I read the book, and when I reached the page where Grossman describes sheepdogs, I knew.

I called my barber on the phone and told him that I knew exactly what he meant when he said we were in the book. It described us in a way that, up to that point would have been hard for me to articulate.

Later, when I put it all together, I saw the sheepdog concept as the vocation or calling of the Christian Martialist. He is the sheepdog whom God has appointed to physically protect the flock. (Of course, if he's the right kind of sheepdog, he will also strive to see that the sheep thrive in every way.)

This evidently has struck a chord with a small but [I believe] highly significant niche of readers. Perhaps you came to this blog and recognized yourself (as my barber and I did in Grossman's book). Or perhaps the ideas were new, but you came to embrace them.

Either way, I am gratified and humbled that some of you have found value in my writing (and writhing) as I struggle with the challenges of our vocation.

As I look ahead, I see before us an enemy host who think they are an advancing tide. They are, in reality, merely a wave in the power that is ebbing before Him who rules until all His enemies are under his feet. (see Psalm 110)

The battle is nonetheless dangerous. Therefore, may this new year find us all a little better prepared -- spiritually, mentally & physically -- for the challenges that lie ahead. And may my WARSKYL blog have its part in that preparation.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Lutheran Sheepdog

This account of a Lutheran sheepdog comes from an email my barber sent me entitled a "Christmas Story for You". He accompanied his church's choir to a sister church for their Christmas service. In his words,

The pastor was waiting for me. He was wearing an NRA life member pin on his lapel. . . . Upon entering his office, I saw the Louis L'Amour book on his desk! He told me that another parishoner exchanges the books with him. He was very warm,accepting,and gracious.

The parishoners began to arrive,and I was warmly greeted by all but about 10. Attendance was in the 50's. Seated up front,next to the pastor's wife,as the prelude began,I instinctively glanced to the rear of the sanctuary. That was when I saw him.

He was seated at the rear,near the only entrance. He was about our age. Black dress pants and a dress shirt. Slightly bigger than you and I. Solid,no flab. When I saw his face,I froze. You and he may not be identical twins,but you sure are close brothers. The same moustache, same color. . . .

During the passing of the peace,the strength of his grip curled my toes! He looked me straight in the eye as we shook hands. He slowly circulated through the congregation,shaking hands,then returned to his position,(I mean seat).

After the service, he was the last to leave the sanctuary. During the fellowship time,he seemed to float in and out of the area,I would look for him,not see him,then later,he would appear in another place,talk with some people,I would look again,and he would be gone. Sadly,I was so engaged with the other people,that I did not get a chance to talk to him.

As the fellowship time was winding down,I was seated with a family,and their children. I looked over to the entrance to see him walking out,wearing a black leather jacket. As he approached the door,he donned a black cowboy hat. My mouth dropped open. He slowly walked to his car,head scanning slowly left and right. I was speechless for a moment. A lump in my throat. I thought of you. I thought of sheepdogs.

There were two sheepdogs watching over that small flock during that service. Out of the 50 present, I'm sure that 48 had no idea. Sometimes, it just takes one to know one.

(Thanks, Bro.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Too Late for Christmas . . .

. . . but maybe for birthday or Father's Day? I think my barber may already have one of these;-)

The new nail gun made by DeWalt can drive a 16D nail through a 2 X 4 at 200 yards. This makes construction a breeze, you can sit in your lawn chair and build a fence. Just get the wife and kids to hold the fence boards in place while you sit back, relax with a cold drink, when they have the board in the right place just fire away.
With the hundred round magazine, you can build the fence with a minimum of reloading. After a day of fence building with the new DeWalt Rapid fire nail gun, the wife will not ask you to fix or build anything else.

Pressure Point Article by Keith Pascal

Happy Michaelmas, everyone. I can't send you three french hens, so consider this my gift to you for the 3rd day of Christmas (or celebration of the Nativity).

The Easiest Pressure Point For Self Defense
by Keith Pascal

Beginners in the martial arts are always looking for instant answers. Being able to press one spot on the body and completely control your attacker is very attractive to the novice martial-arts practitioner. To become a real martial arts master, you have to "learn" the art. There really isn't an instant answer.

However, there are some tricks here and there, that definitely help in practical self defense. For example, there is a fairly effective pressure point, that is super easy to find.

Pressure Point Goals

There are different pressure points for different goals. Some pressure points are great for moving the person. The attacker feels the discomfort of your finger pressing into his body, so ... he moves.

Other pressure points cause pain. You press; your assailant cries out in agony and immediately stops the attack.

Some pressure points prohibit movement by your opponent. Trying to move would cause pain, so the attacker is forced to remain stationary.

And still other pressure points are used to effect a release. Your opponent has you in a hold. You press and voila', the hold is released.

Thinks about how you could use the following information on finding a quick and easy pressure point. (And no, we are not talking about Dim Mak, The Death Touch.)

Finding the Pressure Point

If you are in search of easy-to-apply pressure points, first look to the areas on the body that are, well, sensitive to pressure. Makes sense, right?

So, where are there nerve centers on the body?

The answer is ... almost everywhere. (Of course, there is an entire chapter in Wrist Locks (Revised) on pressure points, and it goes into more detail.)

Of course there are clusters of nerves and areas that are much more sensitive than others. But if you think about it, pressing almost any spot hard enough on a person's body will cause pain. Examples:

  • Under the cheekbone
  • Above the elbow on the fleshy part of the inside of the arm
  • The inner thigh
  • Between the shoulder and the neck
  • The neck

Pressure Point Disappointment

Do you feel cheated by the information just provided? Were you looking for some fancy spot, that would instantly drop your opponent?

Knowing that almost any spot on the body can be turned into an impromptu pressure point is very useful. Whenever I apply a wrist lock, I try to control with just the lock itself. Still, if someone resists the lock, I use my forefinger of my free hand to press, and then I reapply the lock.

It's also a wonderful distraction. You press; your enemy focuses on the pressure point, and completely misses your other counterattack with your feet or other hand.

Can you think of other uses?

If you can predict how someone will try to avoid your pressure, then you can manipulate their movements. This is more important tha[n] many can imagine.

To get on a great list all about effective self defense (free) sign now: Practical Application. (You get a great free ebooklet on elbow strikes, checks and blocks, when you join.)

Keith Pascal has taught martial arts for over 25 years. He left his job as a high school teacher in 2000, to become a full-time writer.

Keith is the author of several books, including Wrist Locks (Revised). Read more: Wrist Locks Book

Keith Pascal - EzineArticles Expert Author

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Stephenmas

The Feast of Stephen (or Stephenmas) falls on December 26th. It's close proximity to the Nativity celebration (or Christmas) explains why we sing "Good King Wenceslaus" (a Stephenmas carol) at this season.

Although primarily associated with Saint Wenceslaus (or Vaclav, in Czech) the first, Duke of Bohemia in the early 10th century, I like to think of it in conjunction with a later Wenceslaus.

Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia was the king who provided political protection for John (or Jan) Hus, the proto-reformation figure who inspired Martin Luther a century later. We remember Hus for his courageous stance that Christ alone is head of the Church.

According to Wikipedia:

[Hus's] book on the Church and on the power of the pope contains the essence of the doctrine of Hus. According to it, the Church is not that hierarchy which is generally designated as Church; the Church is the entire body of those who from eternity have been predestined for salvation. Christ, not the pope, is its head. It is no article of faith that one must obey the pope to be saved. Neither external membership in the Church nor churchly offices and dignities are a surety that the persons in question are members of the true Church.

His ecclesiastical opponents condemned Hus as a heretic and had him burned at the stake. One student of history observed that Wycliffe kindled the spark; Hus lit the torch; and Luther illumined the land.

As we think of John Hus on this Feast of Stephen, let's not forget the "good king" whom God used for a season to provide protection for the reformer:

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel

"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither."
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather

"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Holiday WARSKYL Warm Fuzzy

There are a number of new readers who did not see this when I first posted it. May this story warm your heart with good Christian Martialist cheer:

A Holiday WARSKYL Warm Fuzzy (click on link)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Meditation

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
(Isa 9:6-7)

There is much in life that is hard, and there is much in the Christian's life that is even harder. At Nativity-tide, however, we set it all aside to celebrate the birth of the King who has come to set all things right.

We have a an absolute right to rejoice in His coming. Yes, there is a time for solemn reflection, but Merry Christmas is the appropriate wish for this time of year. So, I hope each of you will have occasion to dive into the celebration with a spirit of good cheer.

Don't hold back. First, reflect, then rejoice that our King lives and reigns and will bring peace and righteousness. It has been written:

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
(Isa 11:1-9)

We know this will come to pass because our King's character is unimpeachable and His word is irreproachable. As Christian Martialists, we should strive to be the same in character, and word.

As I think of unimpeachable character and irreproachable words, I am reminded of a great story that illustrates this. It's told by Jay Thomas on the Letterman show every year around Nativity-tide, and I think it's hands-down the greatest Lone Ranger story ever.

Here it is. Reflect, rejoice and enjoy:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Toward a Police State, 2

A series begun in Toward a Police State

On 12/10/08, the California Highway Patrol issued a press release that stated, in part:

The Morongo office of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in conjunction with the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department and the USMC military police will conduct a joint sobriety/driver license checkpoint on Friday, December 12, 2008, somewhere in the unincorporated/incorporated area of San Bernardino County.

Is this part of a conditioning process to the end that federal troops man checkpoints nationwide? "Papers, please!" "Where are you going? What business do you have there? How long do you expect to stay?"

Thirty-five years ago, as I recall, I was traveling by car to Mexico City with two Mexican nationals to preview the film "Flame in the Wind" which had been dubbed into Spanish. I was somewhat surprised that we had to pass through a customs checkpoint to show our papers.

As an American, I had assumed that Mexicans could also travel freely within their own country. Naive!

In New York & Washington DC, travelers on those cities' respective subway systems are subject to random searches by police. We used to think checkpoints, random searches and midnight visits by the police were confined to Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union (and other Communist nations).

We also used to think that we backed a strong military to keep such methods of totalitarian control out of this country. Maybe we were wrong.

God help us.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Protestant Rationale for Christmas

From ancient times the people of God have appointed special occasions for remembering and observing the great works of God, and for calling upon God in times of special need. Through the ages the Church has also appointed special days for remembering and rejoicing in the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ; His death, resurrection, and ascension; and the sending of the Holy Spirit. There may also be days recommended for recalling the heritage of the Church, proclaiming its mission, and forwarding its work. All of these may be observed in the public worship of God on the Lord’s Day. While worship on the Lord’s Day is a duty one owes to God, observing special occasions of worship is not obligatory and in such matters the believer’s conscience is not bound. (The ARP Directory of Worship)

There was a day when Puritans, both in England and America banned the celebration of Christmas as a holdover from Romish practices. They appealed to their Regulative Principle of Worship (i.e., that whatever Scripture did not expressly command in worship is forbidden).

I believe their error, as well as that of many today is to think of Christmas primarily as something belonging to the institutional Church. I see it, rather, as an affirmation and an assertion of Christendom: Christ's dominion over every people and nation.

I think Christmas is more about carrying the crown rights of King Jesus into the streets than about retreating into our safety zones for a feel-good time.

Our church is going caroling at 5PM today. The songs proclaim Christ, and we leave a piece of Gospel literature with them, as well. It may be one of the most appropriate evangelistic efforts we make all year long.

I have cross-posted this in Access To Destiny, my new blog.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Eating Tips

This may have made the rounds, but it's always good to remind ourselves at this time of year. Thanks to my barber for pointing me to the Ruger Forum where this was posted:

> 1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.
> 2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. [Note from gravelbelly: the best rum flavoring is rum; accept no substitutes.]
> 3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
> 4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or who le milk.. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
> 5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
> 6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
> 7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted cookies in the shape and size of, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
> 8. Same for pies. Apple , Pumpkin, Mincemeat . Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day ?
> 9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
> 10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:
> "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
> Remember who the party is for!
> Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Vintage Self Defense

I like to collect old books on self defense & jujitsu (although I prefer an older spelling: jiujitsu). It doesn't matter if they're original or reprints or even in electronic form.

I thought today I'd share a couple of older items I ran across on the internet. Don't bother trying to read them. Just savor the pictures from a past age.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tragic Death

Deolexrex sent me a link to an article about a tragic death in the Front Sight Blog. I passed it on to a few people whose email addresses I have, but after some reflection, I think it's worth putting in a blog post.

The article contains to a video from a surveillance camera, and it depicts a shooting in which one of the subjects is killed. If you are easily upset, I am warning you beforehand. If you are a minor, you should check with a parent before viewing.

Here is a link to the article over at Front Sight Blog:

The Survival Triad

Ignatius Piazza, the author of the blog gives his evaluation of the incident:

What went wrong is these four citizen only possessed TWO of the THREE aspects of the Survival Triad.

Although they demonstrated the Combat Mindset with their willingness to fight and they demonstrated Action by taking the fight to their opponent, they lacked the skill to inflict immediate and incapacitation damage to finish the fight.

As a result, the four of them cannot incapacitate an average sized, street punk. The first private citizen who moves to deflect and disarm the gun is later critically wounded and the fourth citizen who is hitting the armed criminal with the effectiveness of a junior high school girl ends up paying for his lack of skill with his life.

This is so unfortunate, because these four citizens did what was right. They just lacked the skill to use the tools that they had.

Even unarmed, once the gun was deflected and grabbed, had any of the four citizens used a thumb to gouge out an eye of the gunman, or smashed the lateral aspect of the gunman’s knee with a forceful kick, or crushed his windpipe with a directed punch, or any number of empty hand defensive moves that are easily learned in a basic course, the outcome of this lethal encounter would have been completely different.

Notice that those skills that he mentions are not the self-defense equivalent of nuclear physics. Stick your thumb in the orc's eye and keep pushing -- hard! Disarticulate his knee with a powerful kick. Smash a half-fist into his windpipe.

You can learn these rudimentary skills in a matter of minutes. (Do NOT practice them on a partner, except at extreme slow motion speed.) Practice them full-force on a heavy bag or practice dummy (no, NOT your brother!).

My barber sent me the following quote:

Don't hit at all if you can help it; don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep. (Theodore Roosevelt New York City, February 17, 1899)

That's just another way of saying, if at all possible, avoid violence, but when violence is unavoidable, you must neutralize the threat.

On dealing with armed assailants, you may wish to review Poetry and Other Deadly Pursuits and Knife Defense Video.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My New Blog

I have just finished my first post for my new blog: Access To Destiny. I hope to post there about twice a week.

I do not plan to neglect this blog, either, so pray for me that I may carve out the time necessary to dedicate to both these ministries.

Although you will not know the actual focus of the blog until next Tuesday, I hope you will visit today's post and perhaps even bookmark the location. I think you will find the focus to be one that will meet believers' needs at this time in history.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Home Invasion

Here in the upstate of South Carolina, there have been frequent news reports recently of home invasions. A home invasion is different from theft or burglary, in that the orcs will enter the house even though they know people are home.

These individuals tend to be desperate, vicious and therefore highly dangerous. They seem to target the dwellings of the weak & elderly. After all, as Jesus said,

When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace. (Luke 11:21)

The pundits blame these violent manifestations on the economic climate. They are wrong. The present depression is a catalyst, not a cause.

The cause is a lack of moral restraint on the part of the perpetrators. Hard times merely provide the occasion for their criminality.

But what of the other home invaders? I'm talking about the advance guard of the police state? They now can invade homes and terrorize the occupants on simple suspicion of wrongdoing. In the eyes of officialdom, questioning political policy, homeschooling or selling food in a co-op may now all be signs of terrorism.

(Drpaleophd sent me a forward just this morning that says the new administration is likely to ratify the treaty called the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This would put your family under international law, opening up new opportunities for the civil authorities to invade the privacy of your home and your family affairs.)

Do good, moral people think and act that way? Do they break down the doors of otherwise peaceful fellow-citizens and hold them at gunpoint? To my way of thinking, both those who give the orders nor those who carry them out are the institutional moral equivalent of the orcs who force their way into the homes of the elderly and forcibly take their money and goods.

We, as Christian Martialists, know what we would do if the first type of home invader came through the door. We'd dial 911, right? We'd dial 911 and tell them where to send the ambulance to pick up the would-be robbers.

The second type of invader is more problematic. "When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace," it is true. What Jesus said after that is also true:

But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. (Luke 11:22)

To resist the hooded, jackbooted troops of the police state you would need three things:;
  1. Good conscience (springs from the legitimacy of your actions, & political legitimacy must ultimately rest on theological & moral legitimacy);
  2. The will to resist;
  3. Solidarity (lest they pick you off one by one).
Is this the proper forum to discuss these things? I want to know what you think before I write a series on this topic.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Warrior's Cross

Some of you are familiar with Gabe Suarez, who is an internationally recognized teacher & trainer in the field of armed & unarmed close combat. He also professes faith in Christ.

I became aware of this article by Suarez over at a relatively new blog, The Sword of Christ. Here are the first few paragraphs of the article:

As Christians we spend a great deal of time in study about the teachings of our Lord in reference to "Picking Up Your Cross." Often, the presumption in Bible commentaries is that a "cross" is some sort of an unpleasant or painful test or burden for a Christian. As Christians...particularly Christian Warriors, we need to look beyond this meaning of the cross to its meaning as a calling or mission to us today. Think of it as a test or a challenge from the Lord.

The cross was certainly intended as the most horrific of punishments by the Romans. It must have truly been a truly ugly way to die. Nevertheless, the cross was Our Lord's mission. He went willing to the cross to set us free from our well-deserved penalty. Thus the cross, among other things, was Jesus Christ's mission on earth. To us, to pick up our cross signifies an example...accepting our mission, or our calling.

There are many missions in the church body. Some Christians are called to be teachers. Others are called to be pastors, prophets or evangelists. Some of us are also called to be warriors. That is the cross that God has put in front of us.

Think of yourself standing just outside of a shopping mall or a school when the shots from an active shooter ring out. As a warrior, God has put a challenge in front of you. “Run and save yourself”, says the enemy. What would Christ do? He would advance boldly to the sound of the guns and taske out the minion of evil sent to kill the innocents. Are you up to the task? Are you strong enough to pick up THAT cross? Are you strong enough with the help of the Lord God of Hosts?

In conversations with a brother - who is also a Pastor, he told me that in a recent conference they were asked what their "cross" was. He said his particular cross was to die protecting his flock - if he had to, to kill an evil man who would come to harm his flock - if he must, and to be an example to his flock at such times. Needless to say, and sadly, many in attendance had no idea how to take that.

You can read the rest of the article over at Suarez's Warriortalk Forum.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Toward a Police State

The infamous incident at Waco was an illustration of the fact that the U.S military was being groomed as an enforcement arm of their Uncle in Washington (as opposed to our Father in Heaven). The intervening years have seen a steady erosion of the Posse Comitatus.

A parallel development has been the militarization of local police departments. A study sponsored by the Cato Institute entitled Warrior Cops: The Ominous Growth of Paramilitarism in
American Police Departments
(by Diane Cecilia Weber) details both of these developments.

Since its publication in 1999, the sitiuation described in the study has only worsened. Here is a brief statement of the problem:

Over the past 20 years Congress has encouraged the U.S. military to supply intelligence,
equipment, and training to civilian police. That encouragement has spawned a culture of paramilitarismin American law enforcement.

The 1980s and 1990s have seen marked changes in the number of state and local paramilitary
units, in their mission and deployment, and in their tactical armament. According to a recent academic survey, nearly 90 percent of the police departments surveyed in cities with populations over 50,000 had paramilitary units, as did 70 percent of the departments
surveyed in communities with populations under 50,000.

There's a major problem with this:

State and local police departments are increasingly accepting the military as a model
for their behavior and outlook. The sharing of training and technology is producing a shared mindset. The problem is that the mindset of the soldier is simply not appropriate for the civilian
police officer. Police officers confront not an “enemy” but individuals who are protected by
the Bill of Rights. Confusing the police function with the military function can lead to dangerous
and unintended consequences—such as unnecessary shootings and killings.

The paper also exposes the other side of the issue, which is increasing use of the military for law enforcement purposes:

•The U.S. military played a role in the Waco incident. In preparation for
their disastrous 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound, federal
law enforcement agents were trained by Army Special Forces at Fort Hood,
Texas. And Delta Force commanders would later advise Attorney General
Janet Reno to insert gas into the compound to end the 51-day siege. Waco
resulted in the largest number of civilian deaths ever arising from a law
enforcement operation.

•Between 1995 and 1997 the Department of Defense gave police departments 1.2
million pieces of military hardware, including 73 grenade launchers and 112
armored personnel carriers. The Los Angeles Police Department has acquired
600 Army surplus M-16s. Even smalltown police departments are getting into
the act. The seven-officer department in Jasper, Florida, is now equipped with
fully automatic M-16s.2 •In 1996 President Bill Clinton appointed
a military commander, Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, to oversee enforcement of the
federal drug laws as the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

•Since the mid-1990s U.S. Special Forces have been going after drug dealers in
foreign countries. According to the U.S. Southern Command, American soldiers
occupy three radar sites in Colombia to help monitor drug flights. And Navy
SEALs have assisted in drug interdiction in the port city of Cap-Haitien,

•The U.S. Marine Corps is now patrolling the Mexican border to keep drugs and
illegal immigrants out of this country. In 1997 a Marine anti-drug patrol shot and
killed 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez as he was tending his family’s herd of goats
on private property. The Justice Department settled a wrongful death
lawsuit with the Hernandez family for $1.9 million.

•In 1998 Indiana National Guard Engineering Units razed 42 crack houses in
and around the city of Gary. The National Guard has also been deployed
in Washington, D.C., to drive drug dealers out of certain locations.

•In 1999 the Pentagon asked President Clinton to appoint a “military leader”
for the continental United States in the event of a terrorist attack on
American soil. The powers that would be wielded by such a military commander
were not made clear.

Did that last point resonate with you? Plans were made for military involvement in civil enforcement two years before the 9/11 attacks. That tragedy provided the occasion to implement the plans. According to the website of the U.S Northern Command:

U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) was established Oct. 1, 2002 to provide command and control of Department of Defense (DoD) homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities.(emphasis added)

Doesn't "coordinate defense support of civil authorities" sound so much nicer than "enforce martial law"? Bureaucrat-speak! You have to love it.

It bears repeating that, although the powers that be tout these developments as "anti-terrorist" measures, they also carry within them the potential of becoming instruments of terror in the hands of power-hungry, corruptible, sin laden human beings.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Defining Terms, 4

Continued from "Defining Terms, 3"

The third -- and, I hope the biggest -- influence on my concept of Christian Martialism is my Biblical worldview studies. I had to learn that Scripture applies to all of life, not just personal salvation and devotional use.

I began to see this as a young Christian in high school, where I took my lumps in biology class for my stand against evolution and for creation. In college I was early exposed to R.J. Rushdoony, but was not prepared to deal with issues on that level, yet.

My reading of C.S. Lewis (particularly Miracles: A Preliminary Study) and Francis Schaeffer led me begin a quest to find the Biblical underpinnings of all the facets of human life and thought. After college and grad school, I did some reading in Cornelius Van Til, and I embraced a presuppositional epistemology.

Then I came back around to Rushdoony, North and others. I found that my efforts to hammer out a Biblical philosophy of government, law, etc. were redundant efforts. Others had already laid the foundations.

I began to see the Bible differently. As the Word of the Living God, it provided the template for a much broader view of salvation than I had previously thought. The Gospel promises personal redemption, it is true.

But it also provides for individuals, families and society (the Church is the center of Christian society) to take dominion over this world that is both wild and fallen.

This means that my every legitimate pursuit -- martial arts, shooting, studies in power politics, as well as theology -- must be brought, by the Word, under the dominion of Christ the King.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
(2Co 10:3-5)

Continued in "Defining Terms, 5"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Woman Tells Legislators Purpose of 2nd Amendment

RPC sent me the link to this video last week. I see that it's also posted over at "Iron at 500" as well.

Very few men would have the testosterone to sit before public officials and lay it on the line as Suzanna Gratia-Hupp did. May her tribe increase, and may our civil authorities get the message.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Beware the Food Police

In my post, "The Food Riots of 2009?", I dealt with the advisability of having an emergency food supply, in case disruptions occur in production or channels of distribution.

After what happened last week, I feel a need to warn you to be discreet in any preparations you may make. There are bureaucrats out there who would like to control every bite of food you put in your mouth.

The incident-in-question took place in rural Ohio, where a SWAT team descended on a homeschool family that operates a food co-op. An op ed article by Paul Mulshine tells what happened:

On Monday, December 1, a SWAT team with semi-automatic rifles entered the private home of the Stowers family in LaGrange, Ohio, herded the family onto the couches in the living room, and kept guns trained on parents, children, infants and toddlers, from approximately 11 AM to 8 PM. The team was aggressive and belligerent. The children were quite traumatized.

Police seized their records, two computers, over $10,000 worth of co-op food, and their personal food supply for the coming year.

The issue may be over whether or not a co-op needs a retail license, or it may have been over a small amount of non-institutional meat found in a freezer at Oberlin College. And, of course, the proper response to these technical infractions in the minds of bureaucrats is a full-blown SWAT raid.

The storm troopers did not inform the family of what crimes they were charged with, nor have any charges been brought yet, as far as I know. The police are evidently acting under provisions of homeland security that allows them to detain suspected terrorists with no fourth- amendment restrictions.

In point of fact, who are the terrorists, here? We know well that the Hitlers, Stalins and Maos of the world routinely used terror to gain compliance to their regimes. It has begun under "Christian, conservative," Republican GW Bush. What lies ahead under President-elect Obama?

Read more about the food co-op raid here and here.

Gary North has said, "Keep your convictions visible and your assets hidden." Good advice, perhaps, in these times.

There is more info on this topic in the post "Food Riots and Food Police Update"

Sunday, December 7, 2008

James Cagney Does Judo

Hope you enjoy this.

It's a Hollywood fight scene from "Blood on the Sun" that goes on much longer than a real one would. (That hasn't changed, has it?) It's interesting to see screen legend James Cagney & opponent using real judo (or jujitsu) moves, though. Great fun, & thanks to my barber for sending me the link.

Did you notice the use of the judo chop (edge of hand blow) by both actors?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Defining Terms, 3

Continued from "Defining Terms, 2"

The second influence on me in molding my concept of Christian Martialism is a lifelong interest in the combat arts. Guns, martial arts, hand-to-hand combat.

As a child, I was looking for a magic bullet to protect me from bullies. As I became older, I was impelled to look for how these things fit together with my faith. Did the Word of God speak to these issues?

I did not begin formal training in the martial arts until I was 48 years old. By this time, I had the perspective to examine the philosophy behind the practices common to both the Eastern arts as well as the practices of their Americanized permutations. (See "Martial Art as Way")

At this time I also began to look for the simplest, most effective skills for defense and combat. These have become the core of WARSKYL. But more on that, later.

Continued in "Defining Terms, 4"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Defining Terms, 2

Continued from "Defining Terms"

My concept of Christian Martialism comes from at least three influences in my life. First, I have for much of my adult life had loose connections with the patriot movement.

The patriot movement is a very broad agglomeration of organizations and individuals that includes tax rebels, conspiracy theorists, survivalists and militia groups. There is just enough truth in some parts of the movement to be interesting, but enough racism and just plain weirdness to discredit any valid information you might find there.

You hear the term Christian patriot bandied about in these circles, but a lot of that "Christianity" would seem rather strange and foreign to Bible believers.

In the late 1980's (or early 1990's), I attended some "patriot meetings" where various people took turns presenting their theories & ideas (black helicopters and Chinese troops training in the USA were hot topics at the time). It gave me the idea of holding Puritan meetings at the small, rural church where I was pastor.

Here, we would discuss some of the issues that drew people into the patriot movement, but we would do so from a strictly Scriptural perspective. No UFOs or aliens, no humanism in populist garb, no claims based on "secret" or unknown sources.

I called them "Puritan meetings" because I intended them to help others see the world's conflicts and problems from the worldview perspective that arose out of the Protestant Reformation. They did not last long, for they attracted one particular patriot-movement man who tried to hi-jack the meetings for his own purposes.

The meetings stopped, but the idea of a coalition of Christian men looking for Biblical ideas and explanations as alternatives to the Establishment line stuck with me.

Continued in "Defining Terms, 3"

Monday, December 1, 2008

Defining Terms

It occurs to me that there may be those who recently became readers for whom it would be beneficial if I defined some basic terms that I use here on the blog. So, let's talk organization, philosophy & lifestyle, and skills.

In my last post I talked about my dream of a Cherethite Order. If it existed, it would be the organizational expression of Christian Martialism and of WARSKYL.

Christian Martialism is a philosophy and a lifestyle. It is my understanding of the motives, values and beliefs of the warrior who submits to the authority and discipline of Jesus. Christ is the great warrior King who has definitively vanquished evil and who will press that victory until every knee bows and every tongue confesses Him as Lord.

Christian Martialists, then, are men in training "for the King and by the Book." There are Christian martialists (lower case "m") who are not Christian Martialists (upper case "M"). I'm talking about Christian men who know they are warriors and who prepare themselves to protect the weak, even though they may never have read this blog.

Many of you, I'm sure, fall into that category. Then, after reading this blog awhile, you find that your beliefs and values are in accord with what you read. You realize that you are part of something larger than yourselves. You are not my followers; you are my brothers and fellow-warriors.

You have become (capitalized) Christian Martialists.

Continued in "Defining Terms, 2".