Police Work, Politics and World Affairs, Football and the ongoing search for great Scotch Whiskey!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Officer Down


Corrections Officer Coy D. Coffman, Jr.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Institutional Division, Texas
End of Watch Sunday, April 26, 2020
Age 65
Tour 9 years
Cause COVID19
Incident Date Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Corrections Officer Coy Coffman died after contracting COVID-19 while on duty at the Telford Unit in New Boston, Texas.

Officer Coffman was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for nine years. He is survived by his wife and one child.

In early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic due to requirements of their job. Many of these first responders died as a result of COVID-19.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Monday, November 30, 2020

Officer Down


Deputy Sheriff John Andrew Rhoden
Bell County Sheriff's Office, Texas
End of Watch Sunday, April 26, 2020
Age 31
Tour 10 years

Deputy Sheriff John Rhoden was struck and killed by a vehicle while attempting to deploy spike strips during a vehicle pursuit of a stolen car.

The pursuit had started in Williamson County and proceeded into Bell County along I-35 at about 1:40 am. Deputy Rhoden was preparing to deploy the spike strips near Exit 294 when he was struck by a tractor trailer.

Deputy Rhoden had served with the Bell County Sheriff's Office for 10 years.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Officer Down


Lieutenant Glenn Dale Hutto, Jr.
Baton Rouge Police Department, Louisiana
End of Watch Sunday, April 26, 2020
Age 45
Tour 24 years

Lieutenant Glenn Hutto was shot and killed as he and other officers attempted to locate a murder suspect at a home on the 3150 block of Conrad Drive at about 12:30 pm.

The subject had been involved in a domestic violence-related homicide at a home six miles away three hours earlier. Officers received a tip that the suspect was hiding in a home on Conrad Drive. Lieutenant Hutto and other officers responded to the home to contact the subject.

As Lieutenant Hutto and a second officer positioned themselves in the backyard prior to making contact the man opened fire on them with a semi-automatic rifle, striking both officers. The man then shot Lieutenant Hutto several more times at close range as he lay on the ground. Lieutenant Hutto succumbed to his wounds at the scene. The second officer was gravely wounded and transported to a local hospital.

The man retreated into the home where he remained barricaded for four hours before surrendering. He was charged with capital murder. He had previously made statements to a relative that he would ambush Baton Rouge officers in an attempt to mimic the subject who ambushed and murdered Corporal Montrell Jackson, Police Officer Mathew Gerald, and Deputy Sheriff Garafola on July 17th, 2016.

Lieutenant Hutto had served with the Baton Rouge Police Department for 21 years and had served in law enforcement for 24 years.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Officer Down


Senior Detention Officer Alexander Reginald Pettiway
Durham County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina
End of Watch Saturday, April 25, 2020
Age 55
Tour 23 years
Cause COVID19
Incident Date Monday, April 13, 2020

Senior Detention Officer Alexander Pettiway died after contracting COVID-19 during an outbreak at the Durham County Detention Center.

Officer Pettiway had served with the Durham County Sheriff's Office for 23 years. He is survived by his brother and sister.

In early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic due to requirements of their job. Many of these first responders died as a result of COVID-19.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Officer Down


Agent Miguel Martínez-Ortiz
Puerto Rico Police Department, Puerto Rico
End of Watch Friday, April 24, 2020
Age 56
Tour 28 years
Cause COVID19

Agent Miguel Martínez-Ortiz died after contracting COVID-19 while on duty.

Agent Martínez-Ortiz had served with the Puerto Rico Police Department for 28 years and was assigned to a federal Homeland Security Investigations task force.

In early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic due to requirements of their job. Many of these first responders died as a result of COVID-19.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

I wonder if a real James Bond will use this...

One of the great scenes of Thunderball was James Bond using a jet pack to escape from the bad guys. Looking it over, Bond really didn't have much to worry about from them. The way these dudes fired their pistols, they couldn't hit the side of a barn from inside, to use that old cliche.



Now we have a real flight pack, used in Her Majesty's Service. The navy that is:

The Royal Navy is testing jet pack assault teams
For decades, science fiction has been telling us that jet packs are right around the corner. But, while it seems there’ll still be some time before any of us are using them to get to work, the UK and US have been experimenting with jet suits for a number of applications, including defense.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Gravity Industries’ jet packs have been spotted flying around Royal Navy ships. That’s fitting, seeing as Gravity Industries’ founder Richard Browning served in the British Royal Marines prior to beginning his new life as a jet pack mogul. Last year, he had the opportunity to fly his 5-engine jet pack suit around the pride of the Royal Navy, the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

While the Royal Navy hasn’t announced any plans to adopt these jet packs for military purposes, both the Royal and U.S. Navies have acknowledged that they’ve been in contact with Gravity Industries. According to Browning himself, he’s already met with members of the U.S. Special Operations command — specifically, the Navy SEALs — to discuss what capabilities his jet packs could offer...

Last month, the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), a UK-based charity that provides helicopter emergency services, began testing jet suits from Gravity Industries to see if they might allow paramedics to fly directly up to hard-to-reach locations where hikers and mountain climbers find themselves injured.

As GNAAS pointed out, “The undulating peaks and valleys can often mean the helicopter is unable to safely land close to the casualty, forcing travel by vehicle or foot.” That’s not optimal for emergency situations and could potentially even put rescue workers in danger. That’s where these jet packs could come in...
I had to give up my private pilot license a few years back because of a medical issue. But who knows, with this I may be able to get up again, and experience the ...lifting mind I've trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand and touched the face of God. 

Or just have some fun and hopefully not get myself killed!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

This is not an initiation for an elite unit...

It's a felony.

Most elite groups (military, police, university or high school sports) have formal and informal entry requirements. An American soldier must pass the Special Forces Qualification Course and earn the Green Beret. He will then be assigned to a Special Forces Group, but his fellow soldiers in the group will have "other" qualifications for him.

Frat house hazing is good fun. However, if this is true, it's no joke. It's murder.

Australia reveals slaughter of helpless Afghans

MELBOURNE, Australia — They were the elite of the elite among this nation’s soldiers, with the confidence and competitiveness to match. But on the battlefields of Afghanistan, their win-at-all-costs attitude devolved into a “self-centered warrior culture” that encouraged killing helpless Afghans and covering it up.

Commanders ordered junior soldiers to execute prisoners so they could record their first “kill.” Adolescents, farmers and other noncombatants were shot dead in circumstances clearly outside the heat of battle.

Superior officers created such a godlike aura around themselves that troops dared not question them, even as 39 Afghans were unlawfully killed.

These are among the findings of battlefield misconduct released Thursday in a public accounting by the Australian military in a rare admission of abuses that often remain hidden on the battlefield...

...The inspector general’s inquiry, which examined the period from 2005 to 2016, stopped short of calling the killings war crimes. But the highly redacted report singles out “possibly the most disgraceful episode in Australia’s military history” and calls for the criminal investigation of 19 soldiers.

The country’s military chief, Gen. Angus Campbell, said he accepted the findings and would eliminate an elite unit at the center of the investigation. The report also recommends that the Australian government compensate the families of the Afghan victims...

...The investigation was initiated in 2015 by Jeff Sengelman, the commander of the special operations forces at the time, who commissioned a confidential “cultural review...”

..Disturbing revelations of unlawful killings, “competition killing” and “blood lust” prompted the army chief in 2016 to request that the inspector general conduct a formal inquiry..."


Again, if there is probable cause, present these men to a court martial and upon conviction, punish them. In my years, I’ve learned to not accept what’s in a paper at face value. But if true, this is bad. A disgrace to the men who have served in those units, and Australia in general.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Officer Down


Patrolman Gary Walker
Bloomingdale Police Department, New Jersey
End of Watch Friday, April 24, 2020
Age 53
Tour 20 years
Badge 1
Cause COVID19
Incident Date Friday, March 13, 2020

Patrolman Gary Walker died as the result of contracting COVID-19 while on duty.

Patrolman Walker had served with the Bloomingdale Police Department for 20 years. He is survived by his wife and one child.

In early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic due to requirements of their job. Many of these first responders died as a result of COVID-19.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

It’s funny because it’s true...

And I resemble this remark.

Officer Down


Police Officer Joseph Cappello
Melrose Park Police Department, Illinois
End of Watch Friday, April 24, 2020
Age 55
Tour 22 years
Badge 138
Cause COVID19
Incident Date Friday, March 20, 2020
Communicable Disease, COVID-19

Police Officer Joseph Cappello died after contracting COVID-19 through a confirmed exposure while on duty at a business in the 8400 block of West North Avenue.

Officer Cappello had served with the Melrose Park Police Department for two years after having retired from the Cook County Sheriff's Office with 20 years of service.

In early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic due to requirements of their job. Many of these first responders died as a result of COVID-19.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Suppose I say your an idiot. And suppose I say you’re the mayor of New York City.

But I repeat myself (Apologies to Mark Twain).

In the months since the death and beatification of George Floyd, a chant of "Defund the police" has arisen among several, generally very liberal, areas in America. And others have said to divert funding from cops to "social workers, mental health providers," etc, to get to the root cause of crime. Yo libtards, we found it. It's called criminals.

Now one issue police on the streets have had to handle is people in mental health crisis, And the idiot in New York's Gracie Mansion, HIZONORDAMAER Bill de Blasio, has figured out how to handle this crisis. First, he will put his wife in charge of it. I was interested in what qualifies her for this, so I checked her bio, from Wikipedia:

Chirlane Irene McCray (born November 29, 1954)[1] is an American writer, editor, and activist. She is married to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and has been described as de Blasio's "closest advisor."[2] She chairs the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City and leads ThriveNYC.[3] She has also published poetry and worked in politics as a speechwriter...

Yea, sounds like a mental health expert.

Well, they will not send the cops for people in mental crisis anymore. They will send in social workers and EMTs to handle these people. OK...

NYC To Send Social Workers, EMTs Instead Of Cops To 911 Mental Health Calls

New York, NY – New York City police dispatchers will soon be sending social workers and EMTs instead of police in response to some 911 calls that involve mental health emergencies and the unions representing the first responders is angry about it.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a pilot program on Nov. 10 that will launch in two of the city’s communities in early 2021 with a goal of eliminating the need for police response, FOX News reported.

“One in five New Yorkers struggle with a mental health condition,” de Blasio said. “Now, more than ever, we must do everything we can to reach those people before crisis strikes.”

“For the first time in our city’s history, health responders will be the default responders for a person in crisis, making sure those struggling with mental illness receive the help they need,” the mayor added...

...He also announced that he had put his wife, Chirlane McCray, in charge of the initiative, according to a press release from the Office of the Mayor. “This is the first time in our history that health professionals will be the default responders to mental health emergencies, an approach that is more compassionate and effective for better long term outcomes,” McCray said...

Well, my first question would be, "Mr. Mayor, I take it you will stop crisis intervention training for police. I mean, if you are not going to send them, why waste department time and money on unneeded training and skills, right?"

Well, maybe not.

...Police will be called in when there is a weapon involved or threat of harm, but the social worker will be in charge, according to the mayor...

Oh, I'm a 55 year old police sergeant with over 22 years experience. If I get called to a suspect in crisis, I will not be taking orders from some 22 year old just out of college punk on handling a man in crisis. Ain't happening, I am the adult supervision on scene. And the other adults are in agreement.
But the union that represents the EMTs that the mayor and his wife have proposed using to respond to the mental health emergencies has said that its members won’t be participating in the new initiative as it’s currently constructed, WCBS reported.

“This is a highly dangerous situation to our EMTs and paramedics at,” Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay said.

Barzilay that unless New York Police Department (NYPD) officers are also on the scene, he doesn’t plan to allow his EMTs to respond to mental health emergency calls with just a social worker, WCBS reported.

“On a daily basis, our members get assaulted as is, with the police present,” he said...


When I was a rookie officer, I got called to assist an ambulance crew with a man in crisis. I got there and a medic said, "Get in here man, he's kicking our ass!" Four medics on top of him, and he was still going nuts, and almost brook lose. I got on top of him, got one hand cuffed to the gurney, then spent over five minutes getting the second hand cuffed. And we still had to get other officers to get him under control.

I would really love to see a social worker handle a six-foot eight- inch three-hundred pound man in mental crisis under control. Hell, it took four cops and four orderlies at a hospital to get a woman under control, and then took almost thirty minutes for the sedative cocktail to tranquilize her. Again, I want to see that! I'll sit back with popcorn and beer.

NYPD and NY EMTs, stay safe, and God help you.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Officer Down


Chaplain II Akbar N. Shabazz
Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Institutional Division, Texas
End of Watch Thursday, April 23, 2020
Age 70
Tour 48 years
Cause COVID19
Communicable Disease, COVID-19

Chaplain II Akbar Shabazz died after contracting COVID-19 while supervising inmates at the Wynne Unit in Huntsville, Texas.

Chaplain Shabazz had served with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for 48 years. He is survived by his wife and five children.

In early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic due to requirements of their job. Many of these first responders died as a result of COVID-19.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

What's Going On In The World Today 201114

HYPERLINKS MAY REQUIRE AN EMAIL OR SUBSCRIPTION:


USA

Hypersonic Missile Tests Demonstrate 6-In. Accuracy, U.S. Army Says

U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy on Oct.13 said the accuracy of hypersonic missiles now in development is within half a foot of targets.

McCarthy’s remarks during a keynote speech at the Association of the U.S. Army’s virtual annual meeting appear to confirm the previously unannounced accuracy results from the Flight Experiment (FE)-2 test on March 19 of the Block 0 Common Hypersonic Glide Body (CHGB). FE-2 marked the first and only test of a hypersonic glide vehicle since the Navy’s FE-1 test in November 2017.

“Hypersonic missiles are hitting their targets with a variance of only a mere 6 in.,” McCarthy said...

U.S. Army Opens 5-Year Search For Stinger Missile Replacement

The U.S. Army has started a long-term search for a replacement for the Raytheon FIM-92 Stinger short-range air defense surface-to-air missile system, with a contract award for up to 8,000 missiles planned by fiscal 2026.

Any replacement for the Stinger must be compatible with the Initial Mobile-Short-Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD), which uses the Stinger Vehicle Universal Launcher, according to a market survey released on Nov. 10 by the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

“The Army is conducting a SHORAD study which will inform efforts to modernize and to address emerging threats, which may increase the demand for MANPADS capable missiles,” said the sources sought notice...

Missile Plan For Arleigh Burke
A hypersonic missile capability will be fielded on Arleigh Burke-class destroyers after the U.S. Navy fields the Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) weapon on Virginia-class submarines and Zumwalt-class destroyers, White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said Oct. 21.

“The Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike program will provide hypersonic missile capability to hold targets at risk from longer ranges,” O’Brien said in a speech to workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine.

“This capability will be deployed first on our newer Virginia-class submarines and the Zumwalt-class destroyers,” O’Brien added. “Eventually, all three flights of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers will field this capability.”...

U.S. Army Flexes New Land-Based, Anti-Ship Capabilities

Finding ever new and efficient ways to sink enemy ships is usually assigned to the U.S. Navy and, to a lesser extent, the Air Force, but not anymore. Though still focused on its primary role of maneuvering against land forces and shooting down air and missile threats, the Army is quietly developing an arsenal of long-range maritime strike options.

As the Army carves out an offensive role in the Pentagon’s preparations for a mainly naval and air war with China, service officials now seek to develop a capacity for targeting and coordinating strikes on maritime targets with helicopter gunships in the near term and with long-range ballistic missiles by 2025.

The Project Convergence 2020 event in September focused the Army on learning how to solve the command and control challenge for a slew of new land-attack capabilities scheduled to enter service by fiscal 2023. The follow-on event next year will expand to include experiments with the Army’s command and control tasks in the unfamiliar maritime domain.... AFRICA

Africa Is Officially Polio-Free
The continent has largely eradicated wild polio, the crowning achievement of a massive, globally coordinated public health effort.

Africa Declared Free of Wild Polio

Africa was certified free of wild polio this week, a significant milestone in efforts to eradicate the disease worldwide. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), described the declaration as “one of the greatest public health achievements of our time.”

Since 1988, when WHO launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, wild polio infections have been reduced by 99 percent worldwide. The virus, which once paralyzed some 75,000 children annually in Africa, is now only found in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where 165 people were affected by wild polio last year.,,



ASIA

Conflict Could Be a Thai Canal
India is beefing up its island defenses as Beijing seeks a quicker route to the Indian Ocean.

Forget the new Cold War in the Pacific between the United States and China. There’s a much warmer war already going on between India and China that has killed at least 20 on a disputed border in the high Himalayas. At sea, China is attempting to encircle India with a series of alliances and naval bases evocatively known as the string of pearls. China’s greatest vulnerability in its strategy to dominate the Indian Ocean—and thereby India—is the Malacca Strait, a narrow sea lane separating Singapore and Sumatra, through which so much marine traffic must pass that it’s both a lifeline for China’s seaborne trade and the main path for its navy toward South Asia, and points further west. With regards to China’s rivalry with India—and its strategic ambitions in Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and beyond—anything that reduces the dependency on one narrow chokepoint between potentially hostile powers is vital.

That’s where the most ambitious of all of Beijing’s regional infrastructure projects—the controversial Belt and Road Initiative—comes in: a long-mooted canal across southern Thailand’s Kra Isthmus, the narrowest point of the Malay peninsula, which would open a second sea route from China to the Indian Ocean. This could allow the Chinese navy to quickly move ships between its newly constructed bases in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean without diverting more than 700 miles south to round the tip of Malaysia. That would make the Thai canal a crucial strategic asset for China—and a potential noose around Thailand’s narrow southern neck. If Thailand allows China to invest up to $30 billion in digging the canal, it may find that the associated strings are attached forever...



EUROPE

Nord Stream 2 Comes Under Fire in Germany The ongoing debate within the German government on how to respond to the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is placing the future of Berlin’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline with Russia in doubt. On Sept. 8, the hospital in Berlin where Navalny is being treated said the Russian opposition figure had been removed from a medically induced coma after being poisoned on a flight to Moscow last month. That same day, Chancellor Angela Merkel told German lawmakers that she believes the European Union needs to react to the incident, but is skeptical of linking that crime to the natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Intensifying calls for sanctions within Germany’s coalition government, however — including from Merkel’s own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, as well as its governing partner the Social Democratic Party (SPD) — could potentially shift her position.

- In response to Navalny’s poisoning, the leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU) party, Manfred Weber, has repeatedly called for the freezing of construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as well. But on Sept. 3, Manuela Schwesig, the SPD state premier of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Pomerania (the state home to the landing points for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline), rejected such a construction freeze.

- On Sept. 3, Norbert Rottgen, the chair of the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee and a candidate to become the next CDU leader, tweeted that the European Union should jointly decide to stop Nord Stream 2. - On Sept. 6, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, another member of the SPD, said that if Russia does not cooperate with the Navalny investigation in the coming days, Berlin would consider stopping Nord Stream 2...

NORTH/SOUTH AMERICA

NOTHING SIGNIFICANT TO REPORT

AFGHANISTAN

NOTHING SIGNIFICANT TO REPORT

CHINA

China’s Amphibian Dilemma: Straddling Land and Sea Ambitions

"Land-based northerners have dominated Chinese culture throughout most of her history and whenever they have been in political control… China has been oriented primarily inwardly…. On the other hand, when control was exercised by South China groups… a strong maritime outlook was emphasized. … In the former instances, China functioned as a continental rimland state, in the latter as a maritime rimland state."

China borders the largest number of countries by land, and its navy now boasts the largest number of battle force ships by sea. With the pressures and opportunities of both a continental and maritime power, China faces an amphibian’s dilemma, as the characteristics best suited for life at sea and life at land may not always prove complementary. Traditional continental powers are more prone to autocratic leadership to manage their challenges, while traditional maritime powers lean toward democratic systems and more open markets. China’s attempt to straddle both can intensify sectionalism and exacerbate differences between the interior core that remains continental in outlook, and the coastal areas that become more maritime in outlook.

This challenge is also highlighted in China’s attempts to reshape global norms and standards, which themselves largely represent the maritime world order. The apparent global political and economic dissonance is not merely caused by China seeking change, but by the very continental nature of China’s history. China is bringing a continental mindset to a maritime system. And though it is able to rally sympathy with others with a more continental history, China may find it difficult to bridge the continental/maritime divide...



IRAN

For Iran, Negotiations Aren’t Optional With its economy in trouble, Tehran will have to talk to Washington. But the next administration shouldn’t rush things. Ariane TabatabaiSeptember 15, 2020, 4:42 PM Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during the inaugural session of the new parliament following February elections, in Tehran on May 27. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during the inaugural session of the new parliament following February elections, in Tehran on May 27. AFP / Getty Images No matter who wins the U.S. presidential election, Joe Biden or President Donald Trump, the next administration will have to confront a dangerous situation with Iran. Although Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign has wrecked the Iranian economy, it has failed to produce Iran’s capitulation or collapse. Instead, as international inspectors affirmed this month, Tehran is closer to having a nuclear weapon today than when Trump took office. The regime’s regional aggression is undiminished. And just this week, it was accused of plotting the assassination of the U.S. ambassador to South Africa in retaliation for the United States’ killing of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani in January. To address these threats, it will be crucial for the next U.S. president to make a credible effort at diplomacy; indeed, both Biden and Trump have stated a willingness to pursue negotiations. In a Sunday op-ed, Biden reiterated his pledge to reverse the current administration’s policy and re-enter the 2015 nuclear deal, which Trump left in 2018. The former vice president’s proposal can be boiled down to this: “If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations.” For his part, Trump has claimed on several occasions that if he were elected for a second term, he’d be able to strike a deal with Iran within weeks of his inauguration. A key question facing the next administration is how and when it would take the first step toward reengaging Tehran...


Tehran’s Worst Nightmare
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could spill over to Iran’s Azeri minority, setting off a battle the government can’t contain.
The fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan comes at a particularly bad time for Iran. At home, it faces an extremely difficult economic situation thanks to U.S. sanctions. Abroad, it is involved in multiple unfinished geopolitical adventures in the Arab world—from Iraq to Syria and beyond—in which it has invested considerably in recent years. Although it might like to involve itself in the conflict in the South Caucasus, where it has played the role of mediator before, Tehran’s bandwidth to do so is considerably less than its geographic proximity to the conflict might suggest. Worse still, Tehran does not enjoy the diplomatic independence it had in the early 1990s, when fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh last erupted on this scale and when the Iranians could more effectively work between the two sides. Instead, this time around, Tehran has to take a back seat to Russia, Turkey, and the West as those powers shape the trajectory of the conflict. And yet, thanks to Iran’s sizable Azeri minority, at around 20 million strong, there’s a real possibility that the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict could overflow and pose a serious risk to internal Iranian security. Tehran doesn’t want to lose in this conflict, but it holds a weak hand....

IRAQ

NOTHING SIGNIFICANT TO REPORT

ISRAEL

Israel: Cabinet Approves Three-Week Lockdown Starting Sept. 18

The Israeli Cabinet approved a three-week lockdown that will bar Israelis from traveling more than 500 meters from home except for essentials, closing schools and limiting the private sector in a repeat of the country's strict April lockdown aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19, The Times of Israel reported Sept. 13....

What Happened: The Israeli Cabinet approved a three-week lockdown that will bar Israelis from traveling more than 500 meters from home except for essentials, closing schools and limiting the private sector in a repeat of the country's strict April lockdown aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19, The Times of Israel reported Sept. 13. The lockdown will begin at 2 p.m. on Sept. 18, just as the country begins to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised new aid for those affected by the shutdown. The Israeli Health Ministry has said it aims to lift the lockdown when the country's daily case rate dropped below 1,000 a day. On Sept. 12, the case number stood at about 4,000, before depressed weekend figures showed 2,715 on Sept. 13.

Why It Matters: The new lockdown will strain Israel's political capital and economy, and will be a test for other countries/localities that might be considering a new round of lockdowns in the face of potential fall waves of COVID-19. Israel's security forces are capable of tempering unrest and enforcing lockdown measures, but the political viability of doing so will be widely watched, particularly in the United States, where the Israeli experience helped inform the debate as to the pace and scope of reopening schools in the United States.

Strategic Context: Many Israelis opposed a long-term lockdown in the spring, which facilitated the rapid normalization of the Israeli economy in May. But that normalization then spurred the second wave of the epidemic, which began in July. Other countries facing new waves include the United Arab Emirates and Oman in the Middle East and France, Spain and the United Kingdom in Europe.

Fearing a Biden settlement freeze, Jerusalem expedites construction beyond Green Line Nir HassonPublished on 12.11.2020

Jerusalem City Hall and the Israel Lands Authority have been identifying and expediting approval of building plans of construction beyond the Green Line over the next two months, to prevent them from being stopped once Joe Biden enters the White House in January. Once the administration in Washington changes, the municipality and the Lands Authority expect a construction freeze.

Biden had an important role in the building freeze in Jerusalem during the administration of Barack Obama. In 2010 he visited Israel as vice president. A short time after he had a festive dinner with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Jerusalem regional planning and building committee released an announcement of a plan to build 1,800 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood north of the capital, over the Green Line....

KOREAN PENINSULA

NOTHING SIGNIFICANT TO REPORT

RUSSIA

Russia's Emerging Arctic Maritime Frontier HIGHLIGHTS The thawing Russian Arctic is both a strategic opportunity and challenge, one that may fundamentally reshape Russia's foreign relations.... "Because of the inadequacy of the Arctic Coast as an outlet to the ocean, the great heartland can find access to the sea only by routes that cross the encircling mountain barrier and the border zone beyond." Nicholas J. Spykman, America's Strategy in World Politics (1942) Russia's surge of Arctic activity reflects the economic significance of the region and the impact of shifting climate patterns that now offer the prospect of an extended Russia maritime frontier. Russia has rebuilt and expanded its Cold War-era security architecture along its Arctic frontier, significantly increased natural gas production from its operations on the Yamal Peninsula, and laid out a 15-year plan to improve land-, air- and sea-based infrastructure connecting the Northern Sea Route to northern Russia and farther south. The thawing Russian coastline is both a strategic opportunity and challenge, one that may fundamentally reshape Russia's relations with its European and Asian neighbors, and with the United States...


MIDDLE EAST GENERAL


Russia Plans Red Sea Naval Base In Sudan
Russia plans to build a naval base in Sudan, according to a bilateral draft agreement between the two nations.

The agreement would allow Russia to establish a naval logistics base in Sudan for the repair and supply of warships as well as provide rest to sailors, according to the document published on November 11 on a Russian government website after Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved it.

The draft agreement says that up to 300 crew and four warships may stay at the naval logistics base, including ships with nuclear-propulsion systems....

CYBER ISSUES

NOTHING SIGNIFICANT TO REPORT

INTEL/ESPIONAGE/SPYING GENERAL

NOTHING SIGNIFICANT TO REPORT

TERRORISM

Brexit Is the IRA’s Biggest Recruitment Tool Despite a major crackdown, the uncertainty around the border is keeping militant republicanism alive. As Britain threatens to unilaterally ruin the border agreement in Northern Ireland, undermining the Good Friday deal that brought an end to the long nightmare of political violence, the threat of militant republicanism is growing again. The enduring threat of militant republicanism in Ireland was brought forcefully to public attention in August, after a massive crackdown on the paramilitary New Irish Republican Army (New IRA) led to nearly a dozen arrests on terrorism-related charges and serious rioting. If Brexit talks fail, worse is likely to follow, and the ranks of the New IRA and other groups may swell. The New IRA is the most prominent republican paramilitary group still active in Northern Ireland today, estimated by police to have had about 250-300 active members at the time of its formation in 2012. Like its predecessors, it is dedicated to the unification of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, and it has carried out a violent campaign against the security forces. It is firmly opposed to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, the peace accord that ended the three decade-long conflict known as the Troubles, during which more than 3,500 people were killed and almost 50,000 were injured. Dissident republicans like those in the New IRA differ from the mainstream brand of republicanism in that they reject the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, and believe that violence remains a legitimate means to achieve their objectives...

Austria, Not France, Is the Model for Europe’s Crackdown on Islamists

Sebastian Kurz’s government failed to stop a recent terrorist attack, but he has been saying—and doing—what Emmanuel Macron is proposing for years.

As tragic as it was, the terrorist attack in Vienna on Nov. 2 was not a major surprise for Europe’s counterterrorism experts. The events in Vienna and, a week earlier, in the French city of Nice have only brought back onto the radar of the general public a phenomenon that the European counterterrorism community knows well: The threat has never disappeared.

The terrorist threat is certainly less acute than it was in the years 2014-2017, when, spurred by the sirens of the Islamic State, European jihadis struck the continent regularly and sometimes with devastating attacks. But the European jihadi scene has certainly not evaporated.

The threat is multifaceted: There are lone wolves as well as small cells of self-radicalized sympathizers and jihadis who come from outside Europe to strike. (The Vienna attacker was a mix of the two dynamics, as he came from a transnational milieu of Islamic State sympathizers but acted alone when he carried out the attack...)

MISC


A Partial Ban on Autonomous Weapons Would Make Everyone Safer Great powers stand to lose the most from weapons like drone swarms and should back a limited ban on the most dangerous systems.


The United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Group of Governmental Experts met late last month to discuss lethal, autonomous weapons. The semiannual meetings are the first serious effort by global governments to control autonomous weapons. And the weapons pose serious risks to global security: Even the best artificial intelligence isn’t well suited to distinguishing farmers from soldiers and may be trained only on laboratory data that is a poor substitute for real battlefields.

As U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres wrote on Twitter, “Autonomous machines with the power and discretion to select targets and take lives without human involvement are politically unacceptable, morally repugnant and should be prohibited by international law.”

Organizations such as the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, and Human Rights Watch advocate for a comprehensive ban on all autonomous weapons, but such a ban is unlikely to succeed. The military potential of autonomous weapons is too great. Autonomous weapons guard ships against small boat attacks, search for terrorists, stand sentry, and destroy adversary air defenses... Reaper Replacement Reveals Bold New GA-ASI Vision
General Atomics MQ-9 replacement concept Two years after MQ-25 contract disappointment, GA-ASI is doubling down on next-generation UAS with a provocative concept rendering of an MQ-9 replacement. Credit: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems In December 2018, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems executives still felt the bitter sting of a losing bid two months earlier for the U.S. Navy MQ-25 contract, but a clearly disappointed company president vowed to return for the next competition against the aerospace industry’s largest companies. “If the [request for proposals] comes out for a major program of record, we’re all-in,” said David Alexander in that December 2018 interview in his offices in Poway, California. “We’ll maybe have a few more lessons learned on what to do and what not to do,” he added. "But we’ll go in with both feet planted again and go after it.” Eighteen months later, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) is doubling-down on Alexander’s commitment, releasing exclusively to Aviation Week a concept rendering of a next-generation unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that reflects the characteristics the company’s designers view as essential for the class of aircraft that could replace the MQ-9 by the early 2030s.



Friday, November 13, 2020

Officer Down


Police Officer Dan Walters
San Diego Police Department, California
End of Watch Thursday, April 23, 2020
Age 53
Tour 5 years
Badge 5523
Cause Gunfire
Incident Date Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Weapon Handgun; .357 caliber
Offender Shot and killed

Police Officer Dan Walters succumbed to complications of a gunshot wound sustained on November 12, 2003.

He and his partner were backing up another officer on 43rd Street near Gamma Street after the officer stopped to investigate a vehicle parked in the travel lanes with a subject standing nearby. The man immediately pointed a gun at the officer, causing him to seek cover. Officer Walters and his partner immediately confronted the man, who attacked Officer Walters. The man placed his .357 handgun against Officer Walters' neck and shot him, causing him to fall into the roadway. The man was then shot and killed by Officer Walters' partner.

A passing vehicle inadvertently struck Officer Walters, causing additional injuries. He was transported to a local hospital where it was determined that he had become paralyzed from the neck down.

It was later determined that the man who shot Officer Walters was involved in a violent domestic incident when the first officer encountered him.

Officer Walters remained paralyzed and died from complications from the original injuries on April 23, 2020.

Officer Walters had served with the San Diego Police Department for five years at the time he was shot.

Before serving with the San Diego Police Department, Officer Walters was drafted by the Houston Astros and then played two seasons of Major League Baseball with the San Diego Padres.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

I’m recalling the wisdom of two people...

My friend Darren at RotLC, a prisoner in the People's Democratic Republic of Kalifornia (PFRK). When the state went through a drought a few years back, the local water board asked people to use less water. He, and thousands like him, did that. And he water board realized they would loose money as fewer gallons were sold. So they increased water rates. Well, after the drought, the water rationing ended...but they didn't drop the increased rates. Shocking.

Well, with the pandemic of 2020 in full bloom, the tax man is again showing he wants his cut first.

Tax on working at home proposed

By Kelvin Chan ASSOCIATED PRESS

LONDON — White-collar staff reaping the financial benefits of working from home should be taxed to help other workers who aren’t getting the same advantages, experts at Deutsche Bank said in a new report.

In its report on how to rebuild the economy after COVID-19, the bank proposed a 5 percent daily tax on each employee who continues to work from home, which could raise tens of billions of dollars for governments. The money could be used to help lower-income workers who have taken on greater risk because their jobs can’t be done remotely, it said.

The bank noted that the global pandemic has turbocharged the shift to remote work, a trend that looks set to last for the long term, with many workers expecting to spend at least a few days of their workweek at home even after the pandemic ends.

These workers benefit from more convenience and flexibility. They also save money because they don’t have to pay for commuting costs, takeout lunches or buying and dry cleaning work clothes — but it means those businesses that have grown up to support office workers won’t be able to recover and that “the economic malaise will be extended,” the report said...


One of Margaret Thatcher's great quotes (paraphrasing from memory), "The way to not solve a problem is to establish a government agency. The bureaucracy will never want it solved, the agency would loose it's reason for eating at the public trough." Assume this temporary tax is put forth, when will it end?

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Officer Down


Corrections Officer V Jonathon Keith Goodman
Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Institutional Division, Texas
End of Watch Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Age 52
Tour 11 years
Cause COVID19
Incident Date Friday, April 17, 2020
Communicable Disease, COVID-19

Corrections Officer V Jonathon Goodman died after contracting COVID-19 while on duty at the William P. Clements Unit in Amarillo, Texas.

Officer Goodman had served with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for 11 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

In early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic due to requirements of their job. Many of these first responders died as a result of COVID-19.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Officer Down


Police Officer Christopher Eric Ewing
Smyrna Police Department, Georgia
End of Watch Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Age 34
Tour 2 years
Badge 1392
Cause Vehicular assault
Incident Date Monday, April 20, 2020

Police Officer Christopher Ewing was killed when his patrol car collided with a drunk driver at the intersection of South Cobb Drive and Oak Drive at about 11:00 pm.

The collision occurred when the other driver turned left in front of Officer Ewing's patrol car. The drunk driver was arrested and charged with homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence, and tampering with evidence.

Officer Ewing was a U.S. Air Force Reserves veteran. He had served with the Smyrna Police Department for two years and had recently applied to be part of the agency's DUI Task Force. He is survived by his wife and three children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Officer Down


Corporal Lawrence Onley
United States Department of Defense - Naval District Washington Police Department, U.S. Government
End of Watch Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Age 63
Tour 23 years
Badge 120
Location District of Columbia
Communicable Disease, COVID-19

Corporal Lawrence Onley died after having a confirmed exposure to a COVID-19 patient while on duty.

Corporal Onley had served with the Naval District Washington Police Department for 23 years and was assigned to the Naval Research Lab. He is survived by his daughter and fiancee.

In early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic due to requirements of their job. Many of these first responders died as a result of COVID-19.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Officer Down


Warden Wilmot Sandlin "Sandy" McCain
Louisiana Department of Corrections, Louisiana
End of Watch Monday, April 20, 2020
Age 67
Tour 24 years
Cause COVID19
Communicable Disease, COVID-19

Warden Sandy McCain died after contracting COVID-19 through a confirmed exposure while on duty at the Raymond Laborde Correctional Center.

Warden McCain had served with the Louisiana Department of Corrections for 24 years. He is survived by his wife, two sons, and several grandchildren.

In early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic due to requirements of their job. Many of these first responders died as a result of COVID-19.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Officer Down


Probation and Parole Agent Kaitlin Marie Cowley
Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections - Louisiana Probation and Parole, Louisiana
End of Watch Monday, April 20, 2020
Age 33
Tour 5 years
Badge 2260

Probation and Parole Agent Kaitlin Cowley was killed in a single vehicle crash at the I-12 and Millerville Road interchange in Baton Rouge at about 6:30 pm.

The crash occurred after she left an assignment assisting the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women with inmate security at the Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. Her vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree, causing her to suffer fatal injuries.

Agent Cowley had served with the Louisiana Department of Corrections for three years and had previously served with the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission for two years. She is survived by her husband, parents, and brother.
Rest in Peace Sis…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Friday, October 30, 2020

Officer Down


Correctional Officer Sheila Rivera
Cook County Sheriff's Office - Department of Corrections, Illinois
End of Watch Sunday, April 19, 2020
Age 47
Tour 7 years
Badge 16967
Cause COVID19
Incident Date Monday, April 6, 2020

Correctional Officer Sheila Rivera died after contracting COVID-19 during an outbreak among inmates and correctional staff at the Cook County Jail at 2650 S. California Avenue in Chicago.

Officer Rivera had served with the Cook County Sheriff's Office - Department of Corrections for seven years and had previously served with the Choctaw Nation Police Department in Mississippi. She is survived by her husband and son.

In early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic due to requirements of their job. Many of these first responders died as a result of COVID-19.
Rest in Peace Sis…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Officer Down


Police Officer Justin Putnam
San Marcos Police Department, Texas
End of Watch Saturday, April 18, 2020
Age 31
Tour 5 years, 6 months
Badge 442

Police Officer Justin Putnam was shot and killed when he and other officers responded to a domestic assault incident at an apartment complex in the 2900 block of Hunter Road at 6:15 p.m.

As the officers entered the apartment they were ambushed by a male subject with a rifle. Officer Putnam was killed and two other officers were wounded but survived.

The subject, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was wearing body armor, committed suicide after shooting the officers.

Officer Putnam had served with the San Marcos Police Department for 5-1/2 years. He is survived by his fiancee, sister, and other family members.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Officer Down


Police Officer Ronald Newman
Chicago Police Department, Illinois
End of Watch Friday, April 17, 2020
Age 59
Tour 19 years
Badge 6622
Cause COVID19
Incident Date Sunday, March 22, 2020
Communicable Disease, COVID-19

Police Officer Ronald Newman died as the result of contracting COVID-19 while on duty.

Officer Newman had served with the Chicago Police Department for 19 years and was assigned to the 4th District. He is survived by his wife and two children.

In early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic due to requirements of their job. Many of these first responders died as a result of COVID-19.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

Officer Down



Detective Alex Ruperto
Union City Police Department, New Jersey
End of Watch Thursday, April 16, 2020
Age 52
Tour 21 years
Badge 335
Cause COVID19
Incident Date Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Detective Alex Ruperto died after contracting COVID-19 while performing patrol duties.

Detective Ruperto had served with the Union City Police Department for 21 years. He is survived by his two adult children.

In early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic due to requirements of their job. Many of these first responders died as a result of COVID-19.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Don Rickles...

I've had a rough few weeks, and a friend put out a roast of Frank Senatra. The man of the hour was being punctured by Mr Warmth himself, Don Rickels. A man who can insult you all night, and all you say is, "More! More!"

Unfortunately the man died last year. I really wanted to see him live before he passed. but there is always YouTube, and great memories. Don Rickles' opeing on Saturday Night Live. Enjoy.