Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sotomayor & Me

Top row: Nunchakus, brass knuckle knife, push dagger
Middle row: Ninja claw, throwing stars
Bottom row: Balisong Philippine knife, and my favorite: a razor sharp double-edged dagger made from plastic rather than metal so you could easily sneak it aboard commercial airplanes.

Sotomayor on martial arts weapons

While I don’t agree with Ms. Sotomayor playing the race/gender card or her ruling upholding reverse discrimination in the Connecticut firefighter case (recently overturned by the Supreme Court) we wholeheartedly agree about Martial Arts weapons.

Back in the mid-1970’s (yeah, well before that tank ride with goofy oversized helmet) Governor Mike Dukakis signed "emergency legislation" outlawing double-edged knives, samurai swords, throwing stars, nunchakus and such because they were being used against Boston Police trying to keep order during the tumultuous busing crisis.

A very sad use of the American flag


After I first opened a Karate school in the early 1980’s we did an anonymous survey of what else could we offer to customers, and a bunch of responses craved “weapons classes”. We could tell by the handwriting they came from young children.

I then discovered lots of kids were getting their na├»ve little hands on dangerous mail-order martial arts weapons. Because, after all, the mail carrier does not check I.D’s. “Latchkey kids” could order anything and monitor the mailbox over the next month before Mom or Dad returned home.

The martial arts industry went from the Bruce Lee era (mid 1970’s) to the Ninja mania craze in the early 1980’s. Now it is of course the Mixed Martial Arts which has better staying power then either of the previous fads (although to this day they don’t come any better than Bruce Lee.)

Ninja’s were Japanese assassins who would kill their grandmother in her sleep if the price were right; not something you want American kids worshipping. And of course they used all sorts of nasty weapons to achieve that ignoble end.

The martial arts media hyped it because they sold advertising and magazines. And the weapons dealers loved it because they sold tons of cheap weapons.

So around 1984 in the middle of my five year run as Top Ten nationally ranked tournament karate competition (and professional writer for the national karate magazines) I started my crusade against mail-order martial weapons into states—like Massachusetts and New York—who had declared them illegal.

My theory was the Federal Government should not overrule state government especially on this public safety issue.

And precisely because of my use of the term “states rights” in a cover letter to all US Senators containing a throwing star with the tag line "illegal weapon legally enclosed" on the outside of the envelope, southern Senator Strom Thurmond (Judiciary Chair) co-sponsored legislation with northern Senator Edward Kennedy. Yikes!

At that point even a novice like me could get the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Springfield Union, Boston Globe and Boston Herald, New York Times and NY Post, and finally LA times and LA Herald (where the karate magazines were based) to do editorials supporting the Kennedy/Thurmond bill.

The Senate Bill 1363 passed the Judiciary Committee 11-1 with only Arlen Specter dissenting. Although Orrin Hatch (grilling Sotomayor on nunchakus yesterday) was a Judiciary member back then, he did not show up to vote that morning.

The bill never made it before the full Congress and thus died. But because of all the national press the industry started to police itself (using the disclaimer “will not ship to where prohibited by law” and something about only “adults” can order.)

I never wrote another word for the martial arts media; and I was blackballed on the national karate tournament circuit. A small price to pay.

The Christian Science Monitor reported (way back then):

Typical ads circa 1985 (click to enlarge)

UPDATE: Thursday 11:40 AM

AOL main page is doing an interesting "poll" about Sotomayor: So far 57% do NOT want her approved but (Question #2) 84% think she "will win" approval. Politically speaking is it a BIG enough deal (I would guess not) for those unhappy campers to vote against their Senator in the next election who approved Sotomayor.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow Larry, you are a bigger liberal than I thought. What about my second amendment right to own throwing stars?

I like you standing up for states rights though. Perhaps only you could bring Teddy and Strom together, seems unbelievable.

LarryK4 said...

Actually the Second amendment (as Ms Sotomayor pointed out) only applies to Federal authority and not State.

Kind of like the First Amendment only applies to government squelching your right to free speech.

But if it is my private parade or ad in a newspaper I can squelch you as much as I want (or my blog for that matter.)

Anonymous said...

Larry I thought you were smart enough to see through the propaganda about Sotomayor.

She is more conservative than 2/3 of Amherst. Most of the things Republicans are saying about her are untrue.

It's clear to me that you get your news from right-wing sources and have not watched the SJC hearings about her nomination in order to form your own opinion.

Anonymous said...

"and I was blackballed on the national karate tournament circuit"

You have an over-active fantasy life.

LarryK4 said...

Saying somebody is "more conservative than 2/3 of Amherst" allows room for truck bomb driven by Che Guevara.

But seriously, you don't actually worry her appointment will be turned down?

I thought Anons were smarter than that.

Anonymous said...

These weapons where sold in a shop in Amherst during the late 90's. Kids were standing outside the shop flipping switchblades. The shop closed and the owner started selling on the internet. I was surprised the town didn't shut it down. However there is very little oversight in Amherst unless you want to start a store selling fur coats. Then you better watch out.

Anonymous said...

"Sotomayor & Me"

Because in the world of a true narcissist everything traces back to you.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, and this one only took 25 years.

Title is a play on "Roger & Me"; you know, that fellow conservative...

Anonymous said...

Are those your weapons? Can I try out those frickin awesome shuriken? How bout them numbchucks?

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, as a matter of fact they are.

And all of them are illegal. So please, some Nitwit call Amherst PD. They are currently in my home/castle protected from "unreasonable search," although you could make the argument that I just publicly admitted possession of illegal material.

And IF it were heroin or cocaine I would expect a sudden loud knock, knock, knocking "at my chamber door."

Tell you what, Nitwit: I'll let you have use of ANY of the weapons in the photo--or ALL of them; and I teach a stand up karate class tonight (filling in for my wife) at 6:15 PM.

Let's see how much good they do a coward like you.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you certainly seem like a nice stable guy who should possess such deadly weapons. Please keep ranting, er talking.

LarryK4 said...

You miss my KEY point, Nitwit:

I don't need weapons.

Anonymous said...

Hey aren't you supposed to be AVOIDING conflict?


Woops, failed there as well...


Flush.

LarryK4 said...

Certainly not with Nitwit cowards like you.

And you flush W-A-Y too often (ever look at the price of water/sewer bills lately?)

Anonymous said...

Where else can you go to witness such a slow and well-documented descent into madness?

He has no idea how this comes across to the people around him.

Yes, it's narcissism, an absolutely insatiable appetite for attention and self-congratulation.

LarryK4 said...

Glad you like it Nitwit (seems like you come here pretty often)

Ed said...

And all of them are illegal. So please, some Nitwit call Amherst PD. They are currently in my home/castle protected from "unreasonable search,"

Your honor, Mr Kelly put this picture on the internet and then he further wrote that the items, which he knows to be illegal, are in his residence, which town voting records indicate is at...

We therefore believe that we have probable cause that we will find these items at said address. May we have a warrant?

I *know* of cases where the police did this with drugs, the idiots put the stuff up on the web without knowing that cops know how to use computers. Even better, I know of two cases at UMass where students reported that someone had just stolen their pot. The first time the cops thought they were being set up, the next time they just went.

ed said...

Actually the Second amendment (as Ms Sotomayor pointed out) only applies to Federal authority and not State.

Prior to the passage of the 14th Amendment in 1867. Now it does.
As does the First Amendment.

Abortion is a First Amendment right, owning weaponry is a Second Amendment right, both written in the "Congress" restrictive fashion. So, Larry, you are saying that Massachusetts could ban abortion???

OR are you taking the racist approach of saying that "white" weapons such as guns are protected, but those of another culture (Japanese) are not?

Either way, you are inconsistent....

Anonymous said...

Larrey Kelly wants a supreme court nominee (who respects the rule of law) NOT looks the other way when citizens possess illegal weapons in violation of the law.

Anonymous said...

Hey Larry, Jose Candalario called and wants him Nunchakus back - who remembers the day Jose Candalario layed out Mort Matuzko with one wack with Nunchakus in the hallway outside the gym at the high school?

Anonymous said...

I do, and it wasn't Jose, it was his younger brother Edgardo.

LarryK4 said...

Okay Nitwit Ed 6:08 PM:

Try to spell my name correctly (It is, after all, my blog). It's now about 8:20 PM and the other cowardly Nitwit I asked to show up at my Club tonight where I taught a 6:15 PM stand-up karate class, amazingly, did not show.

And I would have given him whatever weapons he wished from my stash of illegal pernicious paraphernalia.

Also, amazingly, the Amherst PD did not show up to arrest me for said possession.

Anonymous said...

That's right! It was Eduardo.

LarryK4 said...

Sorry boys, I graduated from St. Mike's in Northampton.

Anonymous said...

St. Michaels? But you became an athiest, right?

Anonymous said...

He became an atheist when it became apparent that the universe wasn't large enough to contain both God and Larry's ego.

Anonymous said...

Is that true, Larry?

LarryK4 said...

And I'm supposed to tell the difference between you two Anon Nitwits exactly how?

My ego is large enough to run this blog, and somehow it seems to attract Nitwits like you (although fortunately, I'm sure YOU are a tiny minority)

Realist said...

St. Mike's...absolutely NO FUN to play basketball against those guys in their home "gym" (more like a small cafeteria) back in the days when Amherst played schools like St. Mike's (and Smith Academy...and Hopkins...and Turners Falls...). Those guys were always so darned TENACIOUS!

LarryK4 said...

Yeah...kind of where I get it from (that combined with being Irish.)

Ed said...

Also, amazingly, the Amherst PD did not show up to arrest me for said possession.

Maybe a phone call to the State Ethics Commission is in order. If they are going to arrest UMass Students for less, but ignore a Town Meeting Member (an elected official) then we have an ethics violation...

Sorry Larry, I personally think the law is BS, I suspect most of the cops agree, but if you are going to flaunt it, well.....

LarryK4 said...

So you're going to call state officials and complain about a guy who protected state law 25 years ago and in so doing made the streets a tiny bit safer. Yeah, that should go far.

Besides, if memory serves, the state law allows for "display" (to keep the collectors happy) of the weapons.

And clearly my photo shows them on display.

Anonymous said...

Amherst is a festering CESSPOOL of corruption... It's just shameful and disgusting!

From Larry Crummy's weapons collection (and "connections" within the APD) to this:

"A divided Amherst School Committee approved 2 percent cost-of-living raises for a group of 24 non-union district employees that includes all administrators."

Rhodes, Anderson and Jorgensen have proven to be above the corruption. The others are a part of it.


"Sanderson said she voted in favor of cost-of-living raises for the elementary principals in part because the teachers union did not give them up. She said the principals have had a difficult year, with much turnover in the superintendent position, the need to manage budget pressures, and the resulting challenges involving morale and workloads."


What nonsense. EVERYONE has been working hard. EVERYONE has been paying more. But not everyone has the same salary... and not everyone can access and lobby the school committee for their own pay increases (like Mazur and others)... or understands the unwritten rule of the money flow in Amherst. Disgusting. And not a peep from cool hand Larry! Nothingggggg... Very interesting...


"The Personnel Board has also approved 2 percent cost-of-living raises for department heads and

3.5 percent (!!)

for other non-union employees on the municipal side."


Are you friggan kidding me?

ARE YOU FRIGGAN KIDDING ME???!!!!???


Wake up Amherst. You live in the belly of the beast!! And they are going to try to steal your money again and again and again...And they are going to spin it in a way that makes you feel guilty and ashamed if you don't go along with it. These are very clever and crafty people. One can even rightfully describe them as "vicious"...

Anonymous said...

And don't forget, they tried to STEAL by BULLYING what they had agreed to pay (teachers and other employees) in a written and signed contract...

Sadly for most in Amherst, this don't matter...

And so, for all its' massive egos,
for all its' Larry Crummys and others too many to mention, Amherst is and will be for years to come, just another STOOPID and typical little village, in a stoopid and shameful little state..

Anonymous said...

Correction: "this doesn't matter"

Anonymous said...

This does matter to me. The question is what can be done about it.

Anonymous said...

Larry, I love it when you do these crazed PR stunts. Calling for the police to come and arrest you. That's great! I can't wait to see you hauled off and issuing press releases from your jail cell.

LarryK4 said...

But it is now 12:45 PM (the next day) Nitwit, and thus far I'm not under arrest.

If you wish to file an official complaint with Amherst PD about my possession of said weapons you will, amazingly, actually have to give them your full name (and probably address).

And "Anon Nitwit" does not qualify.

Of course relatively long-time readers of this blog probably know well that I would not have been so ballsy a few years back when Czar Awad was in control of the Select Board or even a 1.5 years ago when her puppy "His Lordship" Gerry Weiss was Chair because either of them would have brought pressure to bear on APD to have me arrested.

But now we have a "new majority" and they are--at least by Amherst standards--pretty normal.

Anonymous said...

"But now we have a "new majority" and they are--at least by Amherst standards--pretty normal."


Larry, enough is enough. You'd be on which-ever side was winning.

Tool.

Ed said...

Of course relatively long-time readers of this blog probably know well that I would not have been so ballsy a few years back when Czar Awad was in control of the Select Board or even a 1.5 years ago when her puppy "His Lordship" Gerry Weiss was Chair because either of them would have brought pressure to bear on APD to have me arrested.

The same principles of due process and equal protection that protected you back then should be encouraging you to obey the law now. I think the law is bulls*** in this case, remember that it was BOX CUTTERS that the terrorists used...

But at the very least, your cop buddies ought to be encouraging you to say that those things aren't in your house. And if you are friends with these cops, you would do this because you are putting them into a very difficult situation.

Can you say "Jason Vassell" - and even though the UMPD has this lovely video of this perp going across the lobby, knife out, and stabbing those kids with murderous intent, they are having to prove that they have arrested enough white people. Otherwise, it doesn't matter that Jason stabbed away on tape.

So lets say that the APD makes a drug bust and arrests someone from the Latin Kings, or MS13 or La Familia for having this stuff. And then his lawyer goes "racism racism, white Larry Kelly was bragging about his weaponry."

This *is* Massachusetts, after all..

Ed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LarryK4 said...

So just to protect by buddies at Amherst PD (both male and female) I have decided to move the illegal weapons (although I'm pretty sure displaying them is legal) to an "undisclosed, secure location."

Now the only problem is keeping former VP Dick Chaney from taking them on a hunting expedition.

Anonymous said...

Right up inside Amherst, just like all the other "pigs" (for lack of a better word), eh?


All the corrupted things they do, you'd do too, given the power. EH?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrntecBoS6E&feature=related


Indeed.

LarryK4 said...

"Given the power." Ever seen their average salary?

To Hell with guns REAL power is economic, Nitwit.

Anonymous said...

""Given the power." Ever seen their average salary?"


Stop playing games, Larry.


"Of course relatively long-time readers of this blog probably know well that I would not have been so ballsy a few years back when Czar Awad was in control of the Select Board or even a 1.5 years ago when her puppy "His Lordship" Gerry Weiss was Chair because either of them would have brought pressure to bear on APD to have me arrested."


You know exactly what we're talking about. If you don't, re-read your paragraph (thrice, if necessary).

You play the same exact game as the people you've been fighting Larry.

Game of chess, is all it is.

You really could give a fu ck about the city, and you know it.

LarryK4 said...

Actually Nitwit, the People's Republic of Amherst is NOT a city; just a town (although WE SHOULD have a city Mayor/Council form of government.)

Realist said...

Uh, oh...looks like you have "Mr. It's Over" getting up in YOUR face now, Larry. Have fun with him - he's as slippery & evasive as a greased eel! (and, just wondering, Mr. It's Over...is it finally OVER now or are we still waiting for that elusive state of "over-ness" to arrive?)

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, I can't win: Damned if I do and damned if I don't.

That's why I always simply try to be me (although some days it's hard.)

Anonymous said...

Hi Larry, Anon. 9:01 a.m.July 17th, made some really, really great statements about the coruptness within the Amherst schools. I wonder why you haven't addressed this here on your blog....the schools are so out-of-control....so big time out-of-control and the SC members, newly elected, are disgustingly in cahoots with the overall mismanagement of school money. It's outrageous that the vote went forward to close MM....I don't care what rationale was used and (abused) to back that vote....dumb, dumb, dumb. A group of 'adults' voted to assure the well-being of our children's education and lives from 7:40 in the morning until 3:05 and later in the afternoon, five days a week, who cannot balance a checkbook! Who would rather dish out money they are screaming we don't have, to their buddy administrators, which are way too many (if anyone would ever check that one out).What on earth is going on here??
Off topic with Sotomayor--but pretty relevant given this post...Thanks...

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