From On Cowardice and Violence by Ken O'Keefe
... I remember being asked during the TJP Human Shield Action to Iraq if I was a pacifist, I responded with a quote from Gandhi by saying I am not a passive anything. To the contrary I believe in action, and I also believe in self-defence, 100 per cent, without reservation. I would be incapable of standing by while a tyrant murders my family, and the attack on the Mavi Marmara was like an attack on my Palestinian family. I am proud to have stood shoulder to shoulder with those who refused to let a rogue Israeli military exert their will without a fight.
And yes, we fought.
When I was asked, in the event of an Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara, would I use the camera, or would I defend the ship? I enthusiastically committed to defence of the ship. Although I am also a huge supporter of non-violence, in fact I believe non-violence must always be the first option. Nonetheless I joined the defence of the Mavi Mamara understanding that violence could be used against us and that we may very well be compelled to use violence in self defence.
I said this straight to Israeli agents, probably of Mossad or Shin Bet, and I say it again now, on the morning of the attack I was directly involved in the disarming of two Israeli Commandos. This was a forcible, non-negotiable, separation of weapons from commandos who had already murdered two brothers that I had seen that day. One brother with a bullet entering dead center in his forehead, in what appeared to be an execution.
I knew the commandos were murdering when I removed a 9mm pistol from one of them. I had that gun in my hands and as an ex-US Marine with training in the use of guns it was completely within my power to use that gun on the commando who may have been the murderer of one of my brothers. But that is not what I, nor any other defender of the ship did. I took that weapon away, removed the bullets, proper lead bullets, separated them from the weapon and hid the gun. I did this in the hopes that we would repel the attack and submit this weapon as evidence in a criminal trial against Israeli authorities for mass murder. I also helped to physically separate one commando from his assault rifle, which another brother apparently threw into the sea.
I and hundreds of others know the truth that makes a mockery of the brave and moral Israeli military. We had in our full possession, three completely disarmed and helpless commandos. These boys were at our mercy, they were out of reach of their fellow murderers, inside the ship and surrounded by 100 or more men. I looked into the eyes of all three of these boys and I can tell you they had the fear of God in them. They looked at us as if we were them, and I have no doubt they did not believe there was any way they would survive that day. They looked like frightened children in the face of an abusive father.
But they did not face an enemy as ruthless as they. Instead the woman provided basic first aid, and ultimately they were released, battered and bruised for sure, but alive. Able to live another day. Able to feel the sun over head and the embrace of loved ones. Unlike those they murdered. Despite mourning the loss of our brothers, feeling rage towards these boys, we let them go. ...
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010
From On Cowardice and Violence by Ken O'Keefe
The addition of sound cannons to the arsenal available to security forces managing G20 protests comes as no surprise to groups planning to demonstrate in Toronto at next month's summit.
They say it's just one more signal amid an unprecedented security operation that dissenting voices are being muzzled.
“We were expecting the use of sound cannons, sound grenades, Tasers, tear gas — they've been used in the past against Canadian protesters,” Sharmeen Khan, spokeswoman for the Toronto Community Mobilization Network, said Thursday.
“We definitely are concerned that this will scare people away.”
The sound cannons are capable of emitting ear-piercing and hearing-damaging alerts, not unlike that of a smoke detector, that can be heard up to 1.5 kilometres away.
Formally known as long-range acoustical devices, they can also be used to broadcast pre-recorded and other messages to protesters.
“It will allow our officers to speak to the crowd over and above chanting, yelling, screaming — noise that is most commonly part of protests,” said Const. Wendy Drummond, spokeswoman for Toronto police.
“It will allow us to communicate, most effectively, our demands to the crowd.”
Toronto police have purchased four of the devices — three hand-held and one mounted — from Vancouver-based Current Corp.
The devices — some call them weapons — use an array of tweeters familiar to any hi-fi enthusiast that work in tandem to produce the high volume levels.
They can be pointed at specific targets to minimize the impact on bystanders and have been used around the world for a variety of functions, including against protesters at last year's G20 summit in Pittsburgh.
While the sound cannons can cause hearing damage, police said they planned to follow both manufacturer and internal guidelines in their use, including firing alert bursts of only two to three seconds.
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Every minute, one person dies as a result of armed violence. As the United States prepares for the first session of the Preparatory Committee to deliberate on the content of an international Arms Trade Treaty in July 2010, we write to stress the urgent need for an effective treaty that will stop irresponsible arms transfers in places such as Myanmar where the violence is great.
A Foxconn Technology worker tried to kill himself Thursday, becoming the 13th person to commit suicide or attempt to do so this year at the company, which makes high-tech products for industry giants such as Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, state media said.
Police said the man survived after cutting himself in his dormitory room at the factory, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. It said the 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen, migrated from central Hunan province and began working at Foxconn two months ago.
Foxconn officials and police did not immediately answer calls by The Associated Press.
The 12 previous suicide attempts at Foxconn Technology Group's operations in southern China involved workers who jumped from buildings. Two survived. Another worker killed himself in January at a factory in northern China.
On Wednesday night, a 23-year-old worker from the northwestern province of Gansu killed himself by leaping from a dormitory balcony. Hours earlier, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou had led a media tour of the industrial park and promised to work harder to prevent more deaths.
Gou said he couldn't sleep at night and dreaded answering his phone in off hours, fearing more news about deaths.
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Jim Kouri writes for the Examiner:
Psychopathy is a personality disorder manifested in people who use a mixture of charm, manipulation, intimidation, and occasionally violence to control others, in order to satisfy their own selfish needs. Although the concept of psychopathy has been known for centuries, the FBI leads the world in the research effort to develop a series of assessment tools, to evaluate the personality traits and behaviors attributable to psychopaths.
Interpersonal traits include glibness, superficial charm, a grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, and the manipulation of others. The affective traits include a lack of remorse and/or guilt, shallow affect, a lack of empathy, and failure to accept responsibility. The lifestyle behaviors include stimulation-seeking behavior, impulsivity, irresponsibility, parasitic orientation, and a lack of realistic life goals.
Research has demonstrated that in those criminals who are psychopathic, scores vary, ranging from a high degree of psychopathy to some measure of psychopathy. However, not all violent offenders are psychopaths and not all psychopaths are violent offenders. If violent offenders are psychopathic, they are able to assault, rape, and murder without concern for legal, moral, or social consequences. This allows them to do what they want, whenever they want. Ironically, these same traits exist in men and women who are drawn to high-profile and powerful positions in society including political officeholders.
The relationship between psychopathy and serial killers is particularly interesting. All psychopaths do not become serial murderers. Rather, serial murderers may possess some or many of the traits consistent with psychopathy. Psychopaths who commit serial murder do not value human life and are extremely callous in their interactions with their victims. This is particularly evident in sexually motivated serial killers who repeatedly target, stalk, assault, and kill without a sense of remorse. However, psychopathy alone does not explain the motivations of a serial killer.
What doesn't go unnoticed is the fact that some of the character traits exhibited by serial killers or criminals may be observed in many within the political arena. While not exhibiting physical violence, many political leaders display varying degrees of anger, feigned outrage and other behaviors. They also lack what most consider a "shame" mechanism. Quite simply, most serial killers and many professional politicians must mimic what they believe, are appropriate responses to situations they face such as sadness, empathy, sympathy, and other human responses to outside stimuli.
Understanding psychopathy becomes particularly critical to law enforcement during a serial murder investigation and upon the arrest of a psychopathic serial killer. The crime scene behavior of psychopaths is likely to be distinct from other offenders. This distinct behavior can assist law enforcement in linking serial cases.
Psychopaths are not sensitive to altruistic interview themes, such as sympathy for their victims or remorse/guilt over their crimes. They do possess certain personality traits that can be exploited, particularly their inherent narcissism, selfishness, and vanity. Specific themes in past successful interviews of psychopathic serial killers focused on praising their intelligence, cleverness, and skill in evading capture.
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