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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Officer Down

Police Officer Shawn Schneider
Lake City Minnesota Police Department
End of Watch: Friday, December 30, 2011
Age: 32
Tour: 8 years
Incident Date: 12/19/2011

Police Officer Shawn Schneider succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained 11 days earlier while responding to a domestic disturbance call on West Lyon Avenue at approximately 8:30 am.

After arriving at the scene and attempting to make contact with the male subject, Officer Schneider was shot once in the head. The suspect retreated into the home, where he was found dead after a daylong standoff.

Officer Schneider was transported to a local hospital where he remained until succumbing to his wounds.

Officer Schneider had served with the 10-officer Lake City Police Department for eight years.
Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

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

Time Flies....

Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to get a jump of the New Year's clean up and found these two. Kinda put me in a mood to look back. In a great song entitled Like a Rock, Bob Seger laments, “Twenty years, where’d they go...twenty years, I don’t know. I sit and and I wonder sometimes, where they’ve gone.” Now I gotta wonder about 25!

These are two photo’s taken at the 40th Anniversary of the End of the War in Europe (I know you can’t make a great acronyms out of it but that’s life). The foundation that established the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans (now the National World War Two Museum) hosted it with the guest speaker retired General William Westmoreland. For a twenty year old this was dream like. One of my treasured memento’s from college is a copy of Pegasus Bridge signed by several of the key players in the book: MAJ John Howard, leader of D Company who took the bridge; COL Hans Von Luck the German commander Howard faced. As I recall he started his address with “Now the view from the other side of the hill....” Others legends of the Longest Day.

The University of New Orleans Army ROTC Color Guard presented the colors there and we got in for free. Everyone else paid as I recall 40 buck a head. A lot more money than it is today. But to have an evening with these men was unreal.

L-R MSG Richard E Chism (RIP), Cadet (now LTC retired) Kevin J,
Cadet (COL USAR) Randolph J D., Sorry Don't remember but he was always fun,
GEN Westmoreland (RIP), Cadet Hale D, Cadet Jim ?, your's truly and MAJ Steve Dody (RIP)
Small world.  A few years later Lt Col Steve Dody was one of the people killed at a Luby's in Kileen TX.   

Switch camera takers...on the right that's then Captain Anthony W B.,
now retired LTC.The man who swore me in a couple of years later.

Now I look back at these men from my college days and I wonder what happened...damned I was thin back then! But life goes on.

2011 wasn’t half bad.  LSU gets the National Championship come Monday and Saints kick ass in the playoffs...here’s to a great 2012!

Officer Down

Special Agent Daniel "Danny" Lee Knapp
Federal Bureau of Investigation
End of Watch: Thursday, December 29, 2011
Age: 42
Tour: 6 years

Special Agent Daniel Knapp drowned while attempting to rescue a distressed swimmer in the ocean at Playa Escondida, Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

Agent Knapp was on vacation at the beach with a friend when they saw the man calling for help and struggling in the water. Agent Knapp immediately entered the water in an attempt to rescue the man, but became distressed himself. The man he was attempting to rescue was pulled from the water and survived, however, Agent Knapp drowned.

Agent Knapp had served with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for six years.
Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

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

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tough old dude....

I don't think I want to mess with this old man...the officer is a little off but should be back on his feet soon. You know he ain't hearing the end of it from his work buddies....

San Jose suspect fights through Taser, breaks officer's nose - San Jose Mercury News

An enraged suspect fought through a Taser shot and then punched a San Jose police officer in the face, breaking his nose, before finally being arrested on Christmas morning, authorities said.

Paul Pierce, 69, faces felony charges of battery on an officer, resisting arrest and hit-and-run after he was unwilling to go quietly when officers confronted him east of downtown, police said.

Police were investigating a Sunday morning fender bender in which the suspect sped off. They tracked the suspect, Pierce, to a house on 24th and San Fernando streets around 10:25 a.m., police said.

When officers showed up, they discovered Pierce had a $50,000 warrant for his arrest.

"The suspect basically said, 'No, you're not arresting me,' he basically took on the officers," said Sgt. Jason Dwyer, a police spokesman.

They shot a Taser at him, but for whatever reason it didn't slow him down, leading Pierce to break an officer's nose with a punch. Pierce is 6 feet and 220 pounds.

"The Taser isn't 100 percent effective all the time," Dwyer said. "Usually it is, but every once in a while people will fight through it or it doesn't penetrate heavy clothing; there could be a lot of reasons."...

A radio morning show called Walton and Johnson likes to review local discharges of Tasers to the tune of Shock the Monkey. After that a man called in and went over his experience. "Guys, the first one hit me and one of the needles didn't go in and I screamed something at the cops like 'that all you got'...and then they fired the second one and both needles hit me that time. I never felt pain like that before or since..."

Not a perfect weapon but a good thing to have in the arsenal.

About says it all.....

From a Facebook post...sorry I don't know who to give proper credit!

Officer Down

Police Officer Clifton Lewis
Chicago Police Department
End of Watch: Thursday, December 29, 2011
Age: 41
Tour: 8 years
Badge # 4103

Police Officer Clifton Lewis was shot and killed while attempting to take action during a robbery at a grocery store on North Austin Boulevard.

He was working an overtime security detail at the store, which had been robbed several weeks earlier, when two male subjects entered the store at about 8:30 pm. One of the men shot Officer Lewis multiple times before grabbing his service weapon and badge and fleeing the store.

Officer Lewis was transported to Stroger Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. The two suspects remain at large.

Officer Lewis had served with the Chicago Police Department for eight years and was assigned to the 15th District's Tactical Team. He is survived by his daughter, mother, and fiancee.
Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

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

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Another interesting article from of all things the NY Puke, err Times

News from "...This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England!" that shows how socalism is a failure and fails to socalize.

11 Detained Over Attack at a Store in London

LONDON — Eleven people between 16 and 22 years old were in custody on Tuesday after a fatal stabbing 24 hours earlier shut down London’s main shopping street during one of its busiest days of the year, a move that prompted frustrated consumers to surge against police lines and a police officer to fire a stun gun.

The stabbing, part of a wave of knife crime that has swept through many of Britain’s largest cities in recent years, stunned many here. It seemed likely to renew pressure for stiffer penalties against those who carry knives, and demands that Prime Minister David Cameron fulfill promises in a general election 20 months ago that all those caught carrying knives would face prison terms.

Interesting. I remember in the 1997s the parliament banned gun ownership in Great Britain after the Dunblane massacre. Everyone would be safe now that no one but the army and the cops could have a gun. Well it seems it hasn't worked out that well. Gun crime is soaring in Britain as illegal firearms flood in. And if someone will kill you with a gun he will likely kill you with a knife.

...The episode unfolded on Monday, as thousands of local residents and tourists flocked to Boxing Day sales. British newspaper reports said members of rival youth gangs had clashed over a pair of sneakers in a Foot Locker store....

...With shoppers looking on, police officers and paramedics came to his (DOA Seydou Diarrassouba. 18 YOA) aid. Armed officers deployed in the area stood guard, repeatedly pushing back angry youths seeking to reach the victim as the paramedics tried in vain to revive him.

A few hours later, a second man, 21, was stabbed in the leg near the Oxford Circus Underground station, a few hundred yards from of the first attack. His wounds were not life-threatening.

Commenting on a possible connection between the stabbings, a police inspector, Bruce Middlemiss, was quoted by The Guardian newspaper as saying: “There’s nothing firm. However, they are a similar sort of circumstances, youths possibly from the same South London area.”

News reports said that various weapons had been recovered in the first case, and that the police were questioning a 16-year-old, three 17-year-olds, five 19-year-olds and two 22-year-olds. The police were focusing their investigation across the Thames in South London, setting up an incident room at Lewisham, a district where youth gangs rioted in August in the wave of rioting that struck dozens of British cities and towns.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Dunne told the BBC, “There appear to be two groups of young people involved in this incident and opposing each other.”...

I think I get it. If you are a piece of s#$%, you really don't value your life or the life of your fellow man then killing or severely wounding a man is no real issue for you. You haven't been raised to value yourself or others and expect others to give you every thing you want. So if some fool gets in the way between you and your shoes I guess stabbing them is justified in your worldview.

I recall the end of the The Lord of the Flies, detailing the moral decay of a group of British boys marooned on an island. Eventually two of the boys are killed and at the end a British Naval Officer looks upon the group,
The officer nodded, as if a question had been answered.

“Are there any adults—any grown-ups with you?”

Dumbly, Ralph shook his head. He turned a halfpace on the sand. A semicircle of little boys, their bodies streaked with colored clay, sharp sticks in their hands, were standing on the beach making no noise at all.

“Fun and games,” said the officer.

The fire reached the coconut palms by the beach and swallowed them noisily. A flame, seemingly detached, swung like an acrobat and licked up the palm heads on the platform. The sky was black.

The officer grinned cheerfully at Ralph.

“We saw your smoke. What have you been doing? Having a war or something?”

Ralph nodded.

The officer inspected the little scarecrow in front of him. The kid needed a bath, a haircut, a nose-wipe and a good deal of ointment.

“Nobody killed, I hope? Any dead bodies?”

“Only two. And they’ve gone.”

The officer leaned down and looked closely at Ralph.

“Two? Killed?”

Ralph nodded again. Behind him, the whole island was shuddering with flame. The officer knew, as a rule, when people were telling the truth. He whistled softly.

Other boys were appearing now, tiny tots some of them, brown, with the distended bellies of small savages. One of them came close to the officer and looked up.

“I’m, I’m—”

But there was no more to come. Percival Wemys Madison sought in his head for an incantation that had faded clean away.

The officer turned back to Ralph.

“We’ll take you off. How many of you are there?”

Ralph shook his head. The officer looked past him to the group of painted boys.

“Who’s boss here?”

“I am,” said Ralph loudly.

A little boy who wore the remains of an extraordinary black cap on his red hair and who carried the remains of a pair of spectacles at his waist, started forward, then changed his mind and stood still.

“We saw your smoke. And you don’t know how many of you there are?”

“No, sir.”

“I should have thought,” said the officer as he visualized the search before him, “I should have thought that a pack of British boys—you’re all British, aren’t you?—would have been able to put up a better show than that—I mean—”

“It was like that at first,” said Ralph, “before things—”

He stopped.

“We were together then—”

The officer nodded helpfully.

“I know. Jolly good show. Like the Coral Island.”

Ralph looked at him dumbly. For a moment he had a fleeting picture of the strange glamour that had once invested the beaches. But the island was scorched up like dead wood—Simon was dead—and Jack had. . . .

The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.

The officer, surrounded by these noises, was moved and a little embarrassed. He turned away to give them time to pull themselves together; and waited, allowing his eyes to rest on the trim cruiser in the distance.
I recall when there were riots last summer in Great Britain. A writer there came up with the term "feral humans". They were unable to function in society by taking care of themselves. The kids in Lord of the Flies decayed under a lack of guidance and supervision. The punks we saw last summer and this week never had it to begin with. And the lack of child raising is showing.

In Britain the nanny state replaced parents in the 50 and 60s and we are seeing the results with each passing generation being less functioning and socialized. The same is happening to America and we are doing little to recognize it, much less stop it.

Intel will be light for a while.

As many of you know I'm a STRATFOR addict and I put a lot of their intel on this blog. However last week I got an email from them saying they had been hacked by a group called Anonymous and they would be off line for a while. If you go to STRATFOR.COM right now this is what you get:

You have have heard about this in the news and I'm like a lot of their customers waiting. Will advise when they are back on. Until then, Happy New Year!

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Matt Miller
Seminole County Florida Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Monday, December 26, 2011
Age: 53
Tour: 27 years
Badge # MT60

Deputy Sheriff Matt Miller was killed in a motorcycle accident on Maitland Boulevard, at the intersection with Gateway Drive, while attempting to make a traffic stop.

He had activated his emergency equipment and was attempting to catch up to a speeding vehicle when a car made a left hand turn in front of him, causing a collision. Deputy Miller was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.

Deputy Miller had served with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office for 24 years and had previously served with the Longwood Police Department for three years.
Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

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

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This blows! Cheetah croaked!

Tarzan's chimp pal dies at age 80: MyFoxTAMPABAY.com

Tarzan's chimp pal dies at age 80

'Cheetah' lived at Florida sanctuary for decades

PALM HARBOR - Debbie Cobb cares for 14 chimps at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary. But on Christmas Eve, the most famous of them passed away -- 'Cheetah,' the old movie star who'd lived there since Debbie was a little girl.

"Fifty-one years I got to spend with him," Debbie explained. "I was there when he passed away. And I can tell you that it's been an honor to be in his presence for 51 years."

Millions of others knew him too, from the movies.

Cheetah was Tarzan's loyal primate sidekick in the Johnny Weissmuller films of the 1930's. He was one of a number of different chimps used for the role in different scenes and filming locations.

Cheetah was probably 4 or 5 years old when he appeared in movie scenes filmed at Silver Springs near Ocala. He was brought to the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in the early 1960's, back when it was known as 'The Chimp Farm.'

..."He loved the women," Debbie recalled. "He loved to play feetsies, he loved to run up and down, he loved to finger-paint for us. He was just a real playful chimp."...

For young kids like me we preferred the animals on the Tarzan movie to anything and Cheetah was my favorite. Oh well, another great one passes. RIP.

Preparing for the end....

I spent several hours today working in the garage and one of the good things was getting stuff organized with some new shelve units. The two are set up for nonfood and food items. On top of the nonfood shelve...

Yes, over 100 light bulbs. I have stock piled over 100 non-mercury, inexpensive not requiring a hazmat team to clear up incandescent light bulbs. It's absurd I have to do this but I really don't like the curly fry bulbs. And in the most advanced nation on earth, the greatest empire in history and the world's largest economy they are banned. With this I should be OK until a new administration comes in and repeals the ban on real light bulbs.

Happy New Year!

Good news from the Perry Campaign

And the AP shows how objective it is.

From the AP a few minutes ago:

Perry challenges exclusion from VA primary ballot

OSCEOLA, Iowa (AP) — Republican Rick Perry is challenging his exclusion from Virginia's primary ballot.

The Texas governor's presidential campaign filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Virginia in an attempt to get his name on Virginia's March 6 primary ballot. Perry failed to collect the required 10,000 signatures.

At present, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are the only GOP presidential candidates who have qualified for Virginia's ballot. Newt Gingrich also failed to gather enough signatures.

In explaining the lawsuit, Perry campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan says Virginians should be able to choose among all the candidates — not just two. Sullivan says Virginia's ballot access rules are among the most onerous in the country and that the 10,000-signature requirement is unrealistic.

But that's not exactly accurate: From the Washington Post of last week:
Gingrich, Perry disqualified from Va. primary ballot

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry failed to submit enough valid signatures to qualify for the Virginia primary ballot, state GOP officials said Friday evening and early Saturday.

The Republican Party of Virginia announced early Saturday that Gingrich and Perry failed to submit 10,000 signatures of registered voters required to get their names on the ballot for the March 6 primary.

“After verification, RPV has determined that Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary,” the party announced on Twitter.

The rejection is a significant setback for the Gingrich campaign since he is leading the polls in Virginia among likely Republican voters and is seen as a strong contender for the nomination.

Perry’s campaign told state election officials it had submitted 11,911 signatures, and Gingrich’s campaign said it submitted 11,050 signatures. State party officials spent Friday night validating the signatures....

So in other words the Republican Party of Virginia, which really doesn't want a conservative nominated has conviently disqualified at the last moment two conservative alternatives to Romney, and leaving the choice between a RINO and a nutcase, Ron Paul.

Governor Perry, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Good luck! You have my vote come the Texas primary.

Kinda puts a wasted Thursday night in perspective

From a friend of Beth's via Facebook:

Marge F

REMEMBER THE DATE FEBRUARY 2, 2012 Somehow the truth hurts, and this may be it. In the coming New Year, 2012, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union address will occur on the same day. This is an ironic juxtaposition of events. One involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to an insignificant creature of little intelligence for prognostication. The other involves a groundhog.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Congratulations Drew Brees!

23 of 39, 307 yards, 5087 yards for his forth touchdown of the night!

And you got over a game left!

You are awesome!

UPDATE: Post game in the locker room:

Miranda Warning Update

From the Far Side of the Moon, sometimes know as the California Supreme Court, a ruling on the Miranda warning that actually is intelligent. Many people have a misconception of an interview and an interrogation. If a cop has detained you and is asking general questions (e.g. Name, address, phone number, etc) then a Miranda warning is not required, Law and Order, et all not withstanding. Once the questions become accusatory (did you know the dead guy?...did you see the dead guy the night he had hit head chopped open?...) then you have to have a warning given. Now the question is always when to draw the line of general and accusatory questions. From the Land of Fruits, Flakes and Nuts, a rarely intelligent ruling on the law.

Miranda Custody – Patrol Car
December 26, 2011 in Case Law & Legal Updates, Featured, Posts by Enrique

REFRESHER ALERT: A Miranda violation can only occur when two things are present, 1. Custody 2. Interrogation.

Courts are constantly struggling with the issue of custody. Under what circumstances is a suspect in custody, not in custody, kinda maybe in custody. Each fact pattern is unique but keeping in mind the general rules will allow you to avoid mistakes that can lead to the suppression of statements and the losing of cases.

In People v. Moore (2011) 51 Cal.4th 386, the California Supreme Court recently took up the issue of custody for Miranda purposes in an interesting case.


Moore moved to suppress his statements to Monterey County Sheriff’s Deputies that he made while in a patrol car and in an interview room on the basis that he was in custody and should have been given his Miranda warnings.


Nicole Carnahan was an 11 year-old girl who lived with her mom Rebecca in Monterey. On the day of her death, Nicole left for school around 7 a.m. taking the bus. Nicole’s habit was to take the bus home after school, feed the animals, lock the front door and work on her homework. Rebecca left for work about an hour later.

Just before leaving for work, Rebecca went out in the backyard to feed the animals. There were no holes in her fence. That afternoon a neighbor noticed three boards were missing. When Rebecca returned from work at around 5:00 p.m. Nicole didn’t come out to greet her or answer the front door. Rebecca went around back and found the backdoor unlocked and the house had been ransacked. Rebecca did not see Nicole.

Less than a minute later Rebecca saw the defendant, her next door neighbor Moore who lived with his mother, running away from her toward the back fence where there was a hole. Rebecca yelled after him what was he doing and where was Nicole and the defendant answered “I didn’t do it.”


Rebecca called the sheriff’s office. A deputy arrived on scene and went to Moore’s trailer where he tried to speak to him. The trailer was cold, dark and had no electricity so the officer asked whether Moore would talk to him in his patrol car. Moore said he would and got into the back seat. Moore was not handcuffed or searched before getting in the car. The deputy shut the rear-locking door. The deputy would testify later that Moore had complained of the cold.

During a 15-minute interview defendant gave a confusing story that conflicted with what he had told Rebecca. At the end, the deputy asked whether Moore would be willing to wait in the car while he talked to someone else. Moore said yes. The deputy opened the back door so that Moore could smoke a cigarette.

After the interview while still seated in the car Rebecca began screaming. Defendant asked “did they find her?”

They had. She had been brutalized and stuffed between her bed and her bedroom wall. The crime scene was bloody. Nicole’s blood, along with items from her home, were found in defendant’s house.


A detective went back to Moore at the patrol car. He was sitting in the back seat with the door open. The detective asked whether Moore would volunteer to come down to the station to give a statement. Moore asked if he could go the next day. He was told no, but that he would be given a ride home after the interview. Moore said “okay” and “very good.”

Moore was driven down in the same car he had been in before. He was not handcuffed nor was he searched before the ride. Moore asked why Rebecca was screaming. During the ride back Moore asked again whether he was going to be driven back home and was assured repeatedly that he was.


At the station, Moore was lead into an interview room. A doorstop of some type was placed in the door jamb so the door didn’t shut. The detective told Moore he wasn’t under arrest, that he was free to go and was there to give a statement because he was the last to see Nicole alive.

Moore told a different story than he had given to Rebecca. He was then asked whether he burglarized the house, whether he had a weapon with him and then was told he must have had a knife he normally carried with him when he went inside. Moore refused to consent to search his residence. The interview turned contentious and accusatory.

The detectives pressed Moore and he soon asked to go home. He also questioned whether he was going to be charged. The detectives ultimately decided to arrest Moore, at which point they gave him his Miranda warnings which Moore did not waive.


At trial, both the statement from the patrol car and from the department, were entered into evidence. Moore was found guilty and sentenced to death.


Moore argued that he was in custody from the time he was seated in the patrol car until the time he was informed of his Miranda rights at the station. He argued that all of his statements should have been suppressed.

The court held that a suspect is in custody if he had been arrested or if he reasonably believed that his freedom was limited like an arrest. The test is an objective one. The court found that Moore was not in custody at the time of the patrol car. The deputy didn’t want to talk to him in the trailer, that was cold and dark and explained that to Moore. Moore was also left by himself in the patrol car with the door open.

At the station, the court held it was not custodial until Moore wanted to be driven home and he was told no. Moore was given a Beheler warning, the door was ajar, and was not handcuffed or restrained. Any statement after Moore’s request to leave should have been suppressed. In this case it really didn’t matter because his statements after that point were of no importance.

The key to this case, was that the deputy left the patrol car door open, Moore was told he was free to leave, and the door to the station interview room was left open. Had those facts been different, or had Moore been handcuffed, this case probably would have turned out differently....

Thank you SC of California....I have faith you will be off the cliff on many other issues soon enough but you were right here.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The K9 officer needed to warn his partner

Merry Christmas to all!

The UN shows how worthless it really is...

I have many friends who want the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US. I have resisted that but this is more than a feather to break a camel's back.
U.N. assembly holds "minute" of silence for Kim Jong-il

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. General Assembly granted a request from North Korea and held a few moments of silence on Thursday for Kim Jong-il, the country's former leader who died on Saturday, though Western delegations boycotted it.

Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, president of the 193-nation assembly, called for a "minute of silence" before the start of a routine meeting at 3:00 p.m. EST in the half-empty U.N. General Assembly hall.

"It is my sad duty to pay tribute to the memory of the late Kim Jong-il, Secretary-General of the Workers Party of Korea, Chairman of the National Defense Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, who passed away on Saturday, December 17," he said.
Sad duty? Sad duty? The only place that bastard was welcome was the gates of hell. Millions are dead or impoverished because of him and he's pursued nuclear weapons only to blackmail the Japan and South Korea and to sell to terrorist organizations. And this fool thinks we should be sad?
The minute of silence lasted for 25 seconds before Nasser proceeded with the scheduled meeting. The United States, European Union member states and Japan were among the countries that boycotted the tribute to Kim Jong-il.

North Korea's U.N. mission made a similar request to the Security Council, but Western diplomats said it was rejected.

"We didn't think it would be appropriate," a diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Several Western diplomats said Pyongyang's request for Kim to be honored was highly unusual. They voiced surprise that Nassir had granted it and added that their delegations would most likely boycott the moment of silence in the assembly.

Speaking at a news conference, Nasser cited "protocol" as the reason for agreeing to the request from North Korea, a full U.N. member. One diplomat said the reason for granting the request was probably because Kim was an acting head of state.

Pyongyang is under Security Council sanctions due to Kim Jong-il's nuclear weapons program, which Western officials say ate up huge sums of money that could have been used to help feed North Korea's starving population.

One of the things that has really annoyed me since 911 is we have not rebuilt the Twin Towers in over a decade since the attack. That is parochially due to idiots arguing over the new design. I've often said we should do three things:

1. Build the same design, only taller.

2. Put a couple of Patriot batteries on top of the towers. Hey guys, will be ready next time.

3. Move the UN to the top of the towers. Hey guys you've supported these murderers over the years so they will never attack you right?

The growing arrogance of this organization shows how worthless it has become. I have come to the conclusion it is time for the UN to either go through major reforms or join the League of Nations on the ash keep of history.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Women explained from a HAZMAT point of view

This really clears up a lot...be careful out there guys!

Cops and their toys. Some people don't like that.

War is evolving. See previous comments. But so is law enforcement. And cops need to chagne to adapt to the changing threat. But the people here at the Daily Beast don't seem to like that.

Local Cops Ready for War With Homeland Security-Funded Military Weapons

A decade of billions in spending in the name of homeland security has armed local police departments with military-style equipment and a new commando mentality. But has it gone too far?

by Andrew Becker , G. W. Schulz | December 21, 2011 4:45 AM EST

Nestled amid plains so flat the locals joke you can watch your dog run away for miles, Fargo treasures its placid lifestyle, seldom pierced by the mayhem and violence common in other urban communities. North Dakota’s largest city has averaged fewer than two homicides a year since 2005, and there’s not been a single international terrorism prosecution in the last decade.

But that hasn’t stopped authorities in Fargo and its surrounding county from going on an $8 million buying spree to arm police officers with the sort of gear once reserved only for soldiers fighting foreign wars.

Every city squad car is equipped today with a military-style assault rifle, and officers can don Kevlar helmets able to withstand incoming fire from battlefield-grade ammunition. And for that epic confrontation—if it ever occurs—officers can now summon a new $256,643 armored truck, complete with a rotating turret. For now, though, the menacing truck is used mostly for training and appearances at the annual city picnic, where it’s been parked near the children’s bounce house.

By military-style assult rifles you likely mean a varaint of the AR-15 which is a non-automatic firing version of the M-16. Sorry but it's not an assault-rifle. From the Encyclopedia Britannica definition
assault rifle, military firearm that is chambered for ammunition of reduced size or propellant charge and that has the capacity to switch between semiautomatic and fully automatic fire...
It's a semi-automatic firing rifle. Simliar to the Ruger Mini-14 I carried on duty for almost ten years. Only the Ruger doesn't look evil.
...Like Fargo, thousands of other local police departments nationwide have been amassing stockpiles of military-style equipment in the name of homeland security, aided by more than $34 billion in federal grants since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a Daily Beast investigation conducted by the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

Interactive Map: States Spend Billions on Homeland Security

The buying spree has transformed local police departments into small, army-like forces, and put intimidating equipment into the hands of civilian officers. And that is raising questions about whether the strategy has gone too far, creating a culture and capability that jeopardizes public safety and civil rights while creating an expensive false sense of security.

...Local police bristle at the suggestion that they’ve become “militarized,” arguing the upgrade in firepower and other equipment is necessary to combat criminals with more lethal capabilities. They point to the 1997 Los Angeles-area bank robbers who pinned police for hours with assault weapons, the gun-wielding student who perpetrated the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, and the terrorists who waged a bloody rampage in Mumbai, India, that left 164 people dead and 300 wounded in 2008.

...Adds Fargo Police Lt. Ross Renner, who commands the regional SWAT team: “It’s foolish to not be cognizant of the threats out there, whether it’s New York, Los Angeles, or Fargo. Our residents have the right to be protected. We don’t have everyday threats here when it comes to terrorism, but we are asked to be prepared.”

The skepticism about the Homeland spending spree is less severe for Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and New York, which are presumed to be likelier targets. But questions persist about whether money was handed out elsewhere with any regard for risk assessment or need. And the gap in accounting for the decade-long spending spree is undeniable. The U.S. Homeland Security Department says it doesn’t closely track what’s been bought with its tax dollars or how the equipment is used. State and local governments don’t maintain uniform records either.

A government bureaucracy spending money without taking in actual need. Who would have ever though they would see that in DC.
...To assess the changes in law enforcement for The Daily Beast, the Center for Investigative Reporting conducted interviews and reviewed grant spending records obtained through open records requests in 41 states. The probe found stockpiles of weaponry and military-style protective equipment worthy of a defense contractor’s sales catalog.

In Montgomery County, Texas, the sheriff’s department owns a $300,000 pilotless surveillance drone, like those used to hunt down al Qaeda terrorists in the remote tribal regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Yes, used for observation (e.g. SWAT situation) when you need a something overhead for a while. With a lot less cost than a manned helicopter.
...The flood of money opened to local police after 9/11, but slowed slightly in recent years. Still, the Department of Homeland Security awarded more than $2 billion in grants to local police in 2011, and President Obama’s 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contributed an additional half-billion dollars.
Anothe shovel ready job...thanks Barrack.

Law enforcement officials say the armored vehicles, assault weapons, and combat uniforms used by their officers provide a public safety benefit beyond their advertised capabilities, creating a sort of “shock and awe” experience they hope will encourage suspects to surrender more quickly.

“The only time I hear the complaint of ‘God, you guys look scary’ is if the incident turns out to be nothing,” says West Hartford, Conn., Police Lt. Jeremy Clark, who organizes an annual SWAT competition...“Luck is not for cops. Luck is for drunks and fools,” Clark said, explaining his devotion to training.
And to borrow a phrase from my army days, hope is not a plan. As far as being scary it's called overwhelming the target. He doesn't know what hits him until after he's in cuffs. That way he can't shot a cop. Do you get the concept now.

...Many of America’s newly armed officers are ex-military veterans from the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Charles Ramsey, who was police chief in Washington, D.C., on 9/11, upgraded the weaponry when he moved to Philadelphia in 2008. Today, some 1,500 Philly beat cops are trained to use AR-15 assault rifles.

“We have a lot of people here, like most departments, who are ex-military,” Ramsey says. “Some people are very much into guns and so forth. So it wasn’t hard to find volunteers.”

One, see my comments on assault rifles. And two, is there a problem with a vet of the recent wars being in law enforcment?

Now this is an intersting input to this story.

“With local law enforcement, their mission is to solve crimes after they’ve happened, and to ensure that people’s constitutional rights are protected in the process,” says Jesselyn McCurdy, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. “The military obviously has a mission where they are fighting an enemy. When you use military tactics in the context of law enforcement, the missions don’t match, and that’s when you see trouble with the overmilitarization of police.”

As usual from the American Criminal Lovers Union, wrong. The duty of law enforcement is to deter crime from happening and should deterrance fail, then solve it for prosecution.

Interesting end I gotta say.

...Back in Fargo, nearby corn and soybean farmer Tim Kozojed supports the local police but questions whether the Homeland grants have been spent wisely. ”I’m very reluctant to get anxious about a terrorist attack in North Dakota,” Kozojed, 31, said. “Why would they bother?”
Why would two loner high school kids go after fellow students and shoot up the place? Why would a maniac place a rented truck in a federal building in Oklahoma and kill over one-hundred people? Why would a deranged army doctor scream "Allah Akbar" while shooting up injured soldiers at Fort Hood? Crime is changing. A few generations ago the St Valentine's Massacre made national news when 7 gang members were killed in a Chicago garage. More people than that get killed over a weekend in many city cities now. And police have to be prepared for the worse.

I wonder if these morons and The Daily Beast/Newsweek would be nice enough to look into the waste at school lunch programs like they do with this. Or is that too much to ask?

News from Atlanta...Air Jordans do it again

Last night at work we heard about some idiots getting roudy around a shoe store because they believed the Air Jordan shoes were there. I for one didn't know a new Air Jordan came out because at almost 47 I readily don't care if they come out. That being said you wanna waste your money on something like that be my guest. When I was 18 I camped out in front of a theater all night to be first to see Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. But this from Atlanta is absurd.

Race for New Air Jordan Sneakers Turns Ugly

LITHONIA, Ga. - The quest for some limited edition sneakers took an ugly turn early Friday morning outside the Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia.

DeKalb police say several people have been arrested , including one woman who left two young children in her car, after the new Nike Air Jordan 11 Concords went on sale.

Hundreds of people began lining up in the early hours at the Mall at Stonecrest to get their hands on a pair of Nike's new Michael Jordan sneakers. Several stores inside the mall were offering the sneakers.

Apparently, some people could not wait until the mall opened its doors at 8 a.m. Police were called to the scene.

DeKalb police responded with as many as 20 squad cars after a large crowd apparently made an illegal entry into the mall, breaking down the door. Police escorted most of the people back outside. At least four people were arrested in that incident.

...According to police, one woman left two young children in her car in the mall parking lot. Officers with DeKalb police had to break her car window to get the children out. They say the woman's car had been in the parking lot for quite a while.

Police waited for the woman to return to her car and when she did, she was arrested.

The woman told FOX 5 she was looking for her cousin and not buying sneakers. She says she did not know if her cousin was there to buy the sneakers.

However, several people told FOX 5 that she was there to purchase the sneakers.

The children -- a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old -- have been released to the woman's family and are ok.

You know everyone is famous for 15 minutes and at the Star Wars camp out I got on TV, comparing this to being the first to climb Mount Everest. And I know there were thousands of people who saw this report and said "What an idiot..." That being said I was 18 and had graduated high school a few weeks prior. Young and stupid. I was not the mother of two deciding to leave two children alone in a car. Woman you need your ass kicked.

Here is news report on this.

Wars and rumors of war....

Interesting read from the NY Times. I cannot agree with the entire premise but I don't question the nature of interstate conflict is evolving.
War Really Is Going Out of Style


… The invasion of Iraq was the most recent example of an all-out war between two national armies. And it could very well be the last one.

The idea that war is obsolescent may seem preposterously utopian. Aren’t we facing an endless war on terror, a clash of civilizations, the menace of nuclear rogue states? Isn’t war in our genes, something that will always be with us?

The theory that war is becoming passé gained traction in the late 1980s, when scholars noticed some curious nonevents. World War III, a nuclear Armageddon, was once considered inevitable, but didn’t happed. Nor had any wars between great powers occurred since the Korean War. European nations, which for centuries had fought each other at the drop of a hat, had not done so for four decades.

World War III, a nuclear Armageddon? I remember when Reagan challenged the Soviets on the land, air and sea and said communism was destined for the ash heap of history. You know he was right about that. And that having a strong America makes people not want to challenge us. I wonder is there is a pattern there.
…“War” is a fuzzy category, shading from global conflagrations to neighborhood turf battles, so the organizations that track the frequency and damage of war over time need a precise yardstick. A common definition picks out armed conflicts that cause at least 1,000 battle deaths in a year — soldiers and civilians killed by war violence, excluding the difficult-to-quantify indirect deaths resulting from hunger and disease. “Interstate wars” are those fought between national armies and have historically been the deadliest.

These prototypical wars have become increasingly rare, and the world hasn’t seen one since the three-week invasion of Iraq in 2003. The lopsided five-day clash between Russia and Georgia in 2008 misses the threshold, as do sporadic clashes between North and South Korea or Thailand and Cambodia.

Countries remain armed and hostile, so war is hardly impossible. But where would a new interstate war plausibly erupt? Robert Gates, the former secretary of defense, said this year that “any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined.”

Mr Gates similar things were said in 1945 at the dawn of the nuclear age. And after Gulf War I. Sorry, the old thing still keeps coming back. I don’t argue large deployments will become less frequent but they will occur.
Chinese leaders would deserve a similar workup if they blew off the very basis of their legitimacy, namely trade-based prosperity, by starting a war. (China has not fought a battle in 23 years.)…
No but they are building up for a reason, to dominate the far east and challenge our control of the sea lanes.
…Neither North nor South Korea could win a war at an acceptable cost…
Wrong on Korea. This is not 1950 and South Korea can handle a conventional attack from the North. And the idiots in the North do have a primitive nuclear weapon it is more than counterbalanced by nuclear subs the US Navy has off the coast at all times. We used to have a Lance missile battalion with a special weapons unit attached. Somewhat Orwellian but the threat of a nuclear holocaust north of the DMZ ended the Korean War in 53 and has kept a peace since then. Kinda like MAD did with the Soviet Union for a half century.
As the political scientist John Mueller has pointed out, today’s civil wars are closer to organized crime than traditional war. Armed militias — really gangs of thugs — monopolize resources like cocaine in Colombia or coltan in Congo, or terrorize the locals into paying tribute to religious fanatics, as in Somalia, Nigeria and the Philippines.

…Why is war in decline? For one thing, it no longer pays. For centuries, wars reallocated huge territories, as empires were agglomerated or dismantled and states wiped off the map. But since shortly after World War II, virtually no borders have changed by force, and no member of the United Nations has disappeared through conquest …

War also declines as prosperity and trade rise. Historically, wealth came from land and conquest was profitable. Today, wealth comes from trade, and war only hurts. When leaders’ power depends on delivering economic growth, and when a country’s government becomes richer and stronger than its warlords, war loses its appeal.

Kinda like Israeli/Arab trade.
Perhaps the deepest cause of the waning of war is a growing repugnance toward institutionalized violence. Brutal customs that were commonplace for millennia have been largely abolished: cannibalism, human sacrifice, heretic-burning, chattel slavery, punitive mutilation, sadistic executions. Could war really be going the way of slave auctions? Nothing in our nature rules it out. True, we still harbor demons like greed, dominance, revenge and self-deception. But we also have faculties that inhibit them, like self-control, empathy, reason and a sense of fairness. We will always have the capacity to kill one another in large numbers, but with effort we can safeguard the norms and institutions that have made war increasingly repugnant.
I wonder where they get this. I don’t argue a lot of the “brutal customs” mentioned have declined immensely over the centuries. A great deal of the credit is technology showing us these barbaric acts and rousing international will and force against it. Apartheid in South Africa comes to mind. However you can in certain African nations you can still openly buy humans. Several of the 3rd world dictatorships use torture and “sadistic executions” not to mention the rise of extreme groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt hasn’t been a step forward. If you want an opinion of the empathy and fairness of these groups you may want to ask the women who have been raped in Cairo recently (including western reporters) or witnesses to stoning in Iran.

I believe it was written in the Bible “There will be wars and rumors of war till the end of time…” I don’t question the methods of war have evolved over the century. Large draftee armies have been replaced by smaller, better trained volunteer forces. Instead of deploying corps or armies to a country we send in Special Forces teams or reinforced battalions now. But war is far from obsolete or going out of style. If you want an opinion on that please ask the Israeli’s or the people in Taiwan.

I wonder what would happen if they accidentally baned the Koran?

This I find kinda interesting.
Walter Reed accidentally bans Bibles | Washington Examiner

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is backtracking on an order that banned family members from bringing Bibles and other religious materials to injured soldiers and a religious organization is demanding an explanation.

Issued on the date of the official consolidation of the region's two military medical centers, the memo on visitor and patient policy contained a section stating "No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit." The Sept. 14 memo came from the desk of Col. Norvell Coots, the commander of the Walter Reed Healthcare system.

A spokeswoman for Walter Reed told The Washington Examiner on Friday that the policy was "written incorrectly," and that a ban on religious items was never enforced.

"Family can and always have been able to bring in any religious materials," said spokeswoman Sandy Dean, adding that the hospital provides chaplain services for many faiths.

The medical center rescinded the policy in early December after the Family Research Council brought it to the attention of several members of Congress who then contacted Walter Reed.

"It should have been more thoroughly reviewed," Dean said.

...The policy was signed by Coots' chief of staff, C.W. Callahan. But Dean said a "group of people" wrote the four-page memo and could not attribute the line on religious items to one person.

Dean said the policy's intent was to "preserve people's religious rights," but many have lambasted the wording, saying it was a far cry from that intent.

In the Army more routine memorandums, policy letters, etc are often signed by someone under the authority line "FOR THE COMMANDER:". This frees the boss up to concentrate on more pressing matters and not have to sign off on every simple request. And by regulation anything from a command must be signed off by the commander or his designated representative. So it is conceivable the commander didn't really know about this memo (and the link to it has been removed). But if he didn't know the Chief of Staff needs his ass kicked. He did not serve his commander well by no letting him know (deliberately or accidentally). And any green lieutenant would look at a draft memo like this and know it would start up a storm.

Please Congress look into this. Someone's head needs to roll.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Occupy Wall Street is really not a leftist version of the TEA Party

Anyone with a half brain knows the TEA party is not OWS. The TEA Party is loosely organized, grassroots and fed by people with jobs, families and lives. And after they protest over an afternoon they have paid the park fee, left the area cleaner than they found it and the participants then go back to their lives. Anyone looking at the morons (aka Occupy groups) in the country see groups that have destroyed private and public property, tried to cover up sexual assault of women and just want to stay there until someone tells them to leave. It was not a ground up movement but a deployment of rent a mobs with useful idiots as cannon fodder.

With that in mind Mr Cooke has a great one here. A look at the people in the Occupy movement and what is missing in their lives.

OWS Anatomized - Charles C. W. Cooke - National Review Online

It turns out not to be the Tea Party.

...The report, Shortselling America, reveals that, below the surface, there is a lot more going on than meets the eye, and most of it has very little to do with “social justice.” Its author, Frontier Lab takes an interesting approach, applying techniques of market research to political science. The group’s aim is to move away from the short-term model employed by political pollsters — which, although valuable, essentially provides just a fleeting snapshot — and instead to conduct a more thorough assessment of participants’ values. From these data, they then seek to predict future behavior. An example: Surface-level polling will see consumers tell us that the reason they buy a particular dish soap is because it is green, or cheap, or conveniently sized. But research shows the deeper truth is that, overwhelmingly, people buy the same brand as their mother did. (Nobody will write that on a survey.)

What did Frontier Lab discover? First, that many of the rank-and-file occupiers feel isolated in their lives, and appear to lack basic community ties such as are provided by participation in clubs, churches, and strong families. Indeed, much of the report could have come from the early chapters of Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone. They thus attach to their political causes with something like a religious fervor. For many, a commitment to “social justice” is “not the end, but rather a means to an inflated sense of self and purpose in their own lives.” Crucially, involvement with others who agree with them provides an “overwhelming feeling of being part of a family.” I noticed this on my first trip down to Zuccotti Park, when I saw a telling sign adorning the entrance to the tent city: “For the first time in my life, I feel at home.” On subsequent visits I was struck by the importance of the commune to the project. As much as anything else, vast swathes of occupiers were simply looking for a new club. This group, Frontier Lab dubs the “Communitarians.”

The second group, which to all intents and purposes forms the leadership, is less existentially lost, and derives its fulfillment from the “prestige,” “validation,” and “control” afforded by the movement’s coverage in the media. Frontier Lab calls this group the “Professionals.” Its members fill the ranks of the professional Left and boast long histories of attending and organizing protests. For them, indignation is quotidian, “community action” is a career, and they feel “validated by the fame and attention” and “rewarded for their life choices.” Unlike the Communitarians, the Professionals actually want tangible change, or a “win,” but politics is still playing second fiddle to self. There is nothing spontaneous or organic about the movements they lead. They are waiting for the revolution and hope to be in its vanguard. Their careers depend upon it...

...The Tea Party, conversely, appears to derive its enthusiasm from a sense of responsibility to others and is primarily working for the children and grandchildren of those involved. In the main, its members are not veterans of political protest, nor do they need to be involved to satisfy their souls. Tea partiers seem concerned with preventing fundamental change to the United States in order to bequeath to others a nation they love, not to gain for themselves. When was the last time you saw a tea partier stand up and say, “I’m unemployed, and . . . ” or “I have college debt, and . . . ”? (In Zuccotti Park, this was the default formulation.)...

The full article is well worth a few minutes. I wonder if the Communitarians have realized the are just hobbits of the rent a mob professionals out there? I doubt it. See previous post on intelligence and education.

Professor Obama and his world view...

I've often made the point you should not confuse intelligence and education. Both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did not finish college yet arguably they changed the world for the better. And no one questions their intelligence. And many a moron I know has the title PhD after his name. Paul Krugman comes to mine immediately.

Now here is a great article on the destruction of a great industry by the geniuses of today.

Obama's Electric Car Aid Goes Bust
No one, no matter how bright, can possibly know what is in the best interest of

If Tolkien was right that the burned hand teaches best, then a question arises: Will President Obama ever learn?

In a recent appearance on 60 Minutes, Obama traded in his old analogy about the car in the ditch for a new one, about a ship in rough seas. No matter how well the captain—Obama—steers it, if the ship is being tossed about with violent abandon, then the passengers will not enjoy the ride.

The implication is that Obama is doing a fine job, so don’t blame him. The president is right, in part: The voters should not blame him. But he is wrong about why. It’s not because the president is a great economic helmsman. He is an awful one. Consider his performance in just one sector: energy. The Obama administration has shoveled boxcars full of money to “green” energy, with demonstrably deplorable results.

Those results go well beyond Solyndra. Take the administration’s policy of pushing electric cars, in which it has invested billions of taxpayer dollars. As The Washington Post reported recently, “analysts say the risk is rising that taxpayers in many cases will not see a return on their money soon, if ever. Instead, they warn that some federally subsidized companies could be forced to shut down in coming months.” A123 Systems, a battery maker the administration supported to the tune of nearly $400 million, recently announced layoffs “instead of up to 3,000 new Michigan jobs as Obama and the company had predicted,” the story reported.

Despite a $7,500 tax credit for each vehicle sold, in October GM unloaded about 1,000 Chevy Volts out of 187,000 total cars sold that month. Even if the administration’s rosy prediction of 1 million electric vehicles by 2015 proves correct, that is a drop in the bucket in a nation with 250 million cars, so the effect on greenhouse-gas emissions—the ostensible justification for all this intervention—would be negligible.

What’s more, electric cars get their juice largely from coal-fired power plants, making claims about emissions highly dubious. Battery disposal is a huge environmental problem. Electric cars and plug-in hybrids are dangerous and expensive to work on. (Ask your local mechanic for an education on that score.) And they are hugely impractical. The Volt, a four-door compact, averages 30-40 miles on battery power alone. Then it needs to recharge for 10 hours.

Clara Ford, Henry Ford’s wife, owned an electric car. There’s a reason the idea has been collecting dust for the past century. Electric cars one day may take their place alongside the Internet as one of the great life-changing innovations of our time. But right now it looks as though they will join what Jimmy Carter called the “keystone” of his energy policy, the Synthetic Fuels Corporation, in the rogues’ gallery of gawdawful government flops.

In short, then, the president is using political power to reallocate economic resources to make people adopt an inferior technology that nobody wants. So much for his stellar performance as captain of the economy.

But Obama is less concerned with what the public wants than what he thinks is best for it. This is modern liberalism’s chief project: empowering a cognitive elite to correct what it sees as the poor choices of the stupid, venal masses. (Energy Secretary Steven Chu neatly summarized this approach when he argued for new lightbulb standards by saying, “We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money.”) And the president is more cognitively elite than most. Or at least he thinks he is, referring sometimes to “teachable moments," i.e., occasions for people to be given the gift of his enlightenment.

As California Rep. Dennis Cardoza, a Democrat, wrote recently in The Hill, “President Obama has behaved more like Professor Obama,” constantly lecturing others about their shortcomings and trying to impose his will on them. “In the president’s first year in office, his administration suffered from what I call ‘idea disease.’ Every week, and sometimes almost every day, the administration rolled out a new program for the country.” You don’t get to the Oval Office through a surplus of humility. Still, it takes a remarkable amount of hubris to come up with so many great new ideas about how other people ought to live their lives.

No one, no matter how bright, can possibly know what is in the best interest of everybody. Nor can any government, no matter how large, possibly manage the monumental complexity of the modern economy, or even one sector of it. Much of the current economic mess is indeed beyond Obama’s control. The trouble is, he doesn’t think so. And the harder Washington tries to run everything, the more likely it will bollix everything up. The pages of history are littered with case studies, which now include Solyndra and (probably) electric cars.

Perhaps one day Obama will look back on them as teachable moments, too.

I remember one of the other things the Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, excuse me, Dr. Steven Chu, PhD, said "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,". In Europe gas cost 7-10 dollars a gallon. That would destroy this economy but then again that is the purpose of the administration. God help us if this idiot is reelected.

Security Weekly: U.S. Diplomatic Security in Iraq After the Withdrawal December 22, 2011

By Scott Stewart

The completion of the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq on Dec. 16 opens a new chapter in the relationship between the United States and Iraq. One of this chapter’s key features will be the efforts of the United States and its regional allies to limit Iranian influence inside Iraq during the post-Saddam, post-U.S. occupation era.

From the 1970s until the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, Iranian power in the Persian Gulf was balanced by Iraq’s powerful military. With Iraqi military might weakened in 1991 and shattered in 2003, the responsibility for countering Iranian power fell to the U.S. military. With that military now gone from Iraq, the task of countering Iranian power falls to diplomatic, foreign-aid and intelligence functions conducted by a host of U.S. agencies stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and consulates in Basra, Kirkuk and Arbil.

Following the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad became the largest embassy in the world. Ensuring the safety of as many as 11,000 people working out of the embassy and consulates in such a potentially hostile environment will pose a huge challenge to the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), the agency with primary responsibility for keeping diplomatic facilities and personnel secure. The CIA’s Office of Security (OS) will also play a substantial, though less obvious, role in keeping CIA case officers safe as they conduct their duties.

Both the DSS and the OS are familiar with operating in hostile environments. They have done so for decades in places such as Beirut and, for the better part of a decade now, in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. However, they have never before had to protect such a large number of people in such a hostile environment without direct U.S. military assistance. The sheer scope of the security programs in Iraq will bring about not only operational challenges but also budgetary battles that may prove as deadly to U.S. personnel in Iraq as the militant threat.


The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad sits on a 104-acre compound in Baghdad’s Green Zone. The size of the compound provides significant standoff distance from the perimeter to the interior buildings. The chancery itself, like the consulate buildings, was constructed in accordance with security specifications laid out by the U.S. State Department’s Standard Embassy Design program, standards first established by the Inman Commission in 1985 in the wake of the U.S. Embassy bombings in Beirut. This means that the building was constructed using a design intended to withstand a terrorist attack and to provide concentric rings of security. In addition to an advanced concrete structure and blast-resistant windows, such facilities also feature a substantial perimeter wall intended to protect the facility and to provide a standoff distance of at least 100 feet from any potential explosive device.

(click here to enlarge image)

Standoff distance is a crucial factor in defending against large vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) because such devices can cause catastrophic damage to even well-designed structures if they are allowed to get close before detonation. When combined, a heavy perimeter wall, sufficient standoff distance and advanced structural design have proved successful in withstanding even large VBIED attacks.

Working inside the heavily fortified embassy and consulates in Iraq are some 16,000 personnel, 5,000 of whom are security contractors. The remaining 11,000 include diplomats, intelligence officers and analysts, defense attaches, military liaison personnel and aid and development personnel. There also are many contractors who perform support functions such as maintaining the facilities and vehicles and providing needed services such as cooking and cleaning.

When considering the 5,000 security contractors, it is important to remember that there are two different classes of contractors who work under separate contracts (there are contracts for perimeter guards and personal security details in Baghdad as well as for security personnel at the consulates in Basra, Erbil and Kirkuk). The vast majority of security contractors are third-country nationals who are responsible for providing perimeter security for the embassy and consulates. The second, smaller group of contract security guards (from 500 to 700, many of whom are Americans) is responsible for providing personal security to diplomats, aid workers and other embassy or consulate personnel when they leave the compound. A parallel team of OS contract security officers, funded under the CIA’s budget, provides security for CIA officers when they leave the compound.

In Iraq, a team of some 200 DSS special agents now oversees U.S. security operations (by contrast, a typical U.S. Embassy has two or three DSS special agents assigned to it). These agents are charged with implementing all the security programs at the embassy and consulates, from physical security and counterintelligence to cyber security, visa fraud and the investigation of crimes that occur on official premises. (With 16,000 full-time personnel assigned to these posts in Iraq, there are bound to be fights, thefts and sexual assaults.) DSS special agents also provide close oversight of the contract guard programs and directly supervise protective details during moves off the compound.

U.S. embassies are designed to incorporate concentric rings of security. The outermost ring is provided by host-country security forces that are charged, under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, with keeping foreign diplomats safe. Inside that ring is the local guard force, contract security guards who protect the outer perimeter of the facility. They also screen vehicles and pedestrians entering the compound.

The chancery itself is also designed to have concentric rings of security. Inside the outside walls of the building there is an additional ring of physical security measures called the “hardline,” which serves to protect the most sensitive areas of the embassy. The integrity of the hardline is protected by a security detachment of U.S. Marines, which in Baghdad is a company-sized element. Inside the hardline there is also an additional layer of physical security measures intended to provide a safe haven area, the final fallback defensive position for embassy personnel.

Threats and Challenges

Because of the size and construction of the chancery and the consulate buildings, there is very little chance of an armed assault or IED attack succeeding against these facilities. While an indirect-fire attack using mortars or artillery rockets could get lucky and kill an American diplomat outside of the building, the biggest threat posed to American personnel is probably when they travel away from the compound. The large number of people assigned to these posts means there are many movements of personnel to and from the facilities (we’re hearing approximately 20 to 30 per day from the embassy alone).

Baghdad’s Green Zone only has three exits, and there are multiple chokepoints such as bridges and security checkpoints throughout the city. These geographic constraints can be even more heavily exploited in planning an attack if a militant actor can also narrow the time factor by developing a source inside the embassy who can warn of an impending move. The time factor can also be narrowed if militants are allowed to operate freely by host-country security forces due to incompetence or collusion.

Of course, the most dire physical threat to a hardened diplomatic facility is mob violence. If a large mob storms an embassy and the host-country security forces either cannot or refuse to act to stop it, there is no facility in the world that can withstand a prolonged assault by a determined crowd equipped with even primitive hand tools. The high-security doors on the exterior of a U.S. embassy and at the interior hardline can withstand an assault with a sledgehammer for 30 or 40 minutes, but the doors will eventually be defeated. Crowds armed with incendiary devices or explosives pose an even greater threat. During the November 1979 assault on the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, the mob that stormed the embassy compound lit a fire in the chancery that nearly burned the embassy staff alive as they hid in the building’s safe haven.

So the real key for security of American diplomatic facilities in Iraq, as in any country, is in the hands of the Iraqi government. Currently, there is a Brigade Combat Team from the U.S. Army’s 1st Cavalry Division on station in Kuwait, and a Marine Expeditionary Unit will likely be stationed in the region for the foreseeable future. However, if the security environment in Iraq degrades significantly, it might prove quite difficult to get those forces to a besieged diplomatic facility in time, even if the United States is able to maintain a secure area at the Baghdad International Airport it can use to fly troops into Baghdad and evacuees out. (Getting 16,000 personnel out of Baghdad is no small task, and the number needing to leave would likely be augmented by non-official Americans in country.)

While much ado is being made in the news over the use of contract security guards in Iraq, it must be remembered that the DSS has used contract security guards to provide local guard services on the perimeter of almost every U.S. embassy and consulate in the world for decades. Even small embassies have dozens of contract guards who provide 24/7 perimeter security. In many cases, contract guards provide residential security for diplomats and their families. The DSS also has decades of experience operating in countries where the governments and populace are hostile to their security programs. The anti-contractor sentiment in Iraq in the wake of the 2009 Blackwater shooting incident is not unique, and U.S. embassies operate in many places where anti-American sentiment is quite high.

The concept of a diplomatic facility where diplomats cannot go off embassy grounds unless they have a security escort is also not new. The U.S. Embassy in Beirut has operated that way since the 1980s. In Beirut, DSS agents supervise these security details, but the security personnel manning the details are contractors. However, while such measures have long been in effect in Lebanon, the size of the U.S. Embassy there is quite small. In Iraq, such measures have been applied to a far larger number of people. The sheer scale of this security effort means that the budget to pay for it will have to be immense. The State Department has estimated that it will cost some $3.8 billion to get the system running the first year, and it is then projected to cost roughly $3.5 billion per year. And that number represents just the operating costs; it does not include pre-deployment training for personnel assigned to the mission and other important measures.

Over the many years that the DSS has been overseeing guard contracts, the service has learned many lessons (some the hard way). One instructional incident was the September 2007 shooting of civilians in Nisoor Square in Baghdad by Blackwater contractors. Indeed, that incident spurred the DSS to mandate that a DSS agent be present to oversee every motorcade move. This is a big reason why there are now 200 DSS agents in Iraq. Since the DSS only has 2,000 agents to cover its global responsibilities, the mission in Iraq is placing a lot of strain on the organization.

The presence of these agents on motorcades will undoubtedly assist the DSS in monitoring the performance of its contractors, but experience has shown that wherever there are guard contracts there will inevitably be instances of guard company managers attempting to pad profits by claiming compensation for services they did not render or skimping on services. Such problems tend to be relatively small in the case of, say, a 72-man local guard force in Guatemala, although it is not unusual to see a company lose its guard contract due to irregularities or incompetence. When you are talking about billions of dollars worth of guard contracts in Iraq covering thousands of security personnel, however, the potential for contract issues and the size of those issues is magnified. Because of this, the DSS, the State Department Inspector General and the Government Accounting Office will undoubtedly pay very close attention to ensure that contracts are properly fulfilled. The DSS, like many other government agencies, has been heavily criticized for its contract oversight in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past several years and has instituted new controls. Today the service is far better at overseeing such massive contracts than it was at the beginning of its operations in Iraq.

With a total budget of only about $50 billion for the State Department and U.S. Agency of International Development, and with only $14 billion of that total going to fund operations worldwide, the billions earmarked for security in Iraq will certainly appear as a tempting pot of money for someone to raid — much like the funding provided to security programs in the 1980s following the recommendations of the Inman Commission.

As STRATFOR has previously discussed, spending for diplomatic security often follows a discernable boom-and-bust cycle. During the boom, there is plenty of money to cover security expenses, but during the bust times, security programs often suffer death by a thousand cuts. Following the infusion of funding for diplomatic security programs in the 1980s, the 1990s saw a period of prolonged program cuts. Indeed, in the wake of the 1998 bombing attacks against the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam, the Crowe Commission, tasked with investigating the matter, concluded in its final report that its members “were especially disturbed by the collective failure of the U.S. government over the past decade to provide adequate resources to reduce the vulnerability of U.S. diplomatic missions to terrorist attacks in most countries around the world.”

As the United States moves further from 9/11 with no significant attacks taking place, and as a mood of fiscal austerity takes hold in Washington, it is likely that budgets for foreign affairs and diplomatic security will be cut and a new security bust cycle will occur. In the long term, budget cuts and unsustainable DSS staffing levels will dictate that diplomatic security programs in Iraq will have to be reduced. Such reductions will also require cuts in the overall size of the diplomatic mission in Iraq unless there is a dramatic change in the security environment.
U.S. Diplomatic Security in Iraq After the Withdrawal is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

OWS attacks the cops....

From punks who can't hold a job but find time to destroy other people's work and lives, their latest..

Hackers post cops' personal data to avenge Occupy movement

Computer hackers are avenging the Occupy movement by exposing the personal information of police officers who evicted protesters and threatening family-values advocates who led a boycott of an American Muslim television show.

In three Internet postings last week, hackers from the loose online coalition called Anonymous published the email and physical addresses, phone numbers and, in some cases, salary details of thousands of law enforcement officers all over the country.

The hackers said they were retaliating for police violence during evictions of Occupy protest camps in cities around the country...
If an investigator leaked the personal information of a witness to a crime to compel their cooperation, or the suspect of a case to allow the family of his victim's some alone time with the guy who raped a girl the usual suspects (ACLU, et all) would be screaming from their hind legs over this. For some reason they are silent. I wonder why. Not to mention the investigator would be subject to administrative discipline, civil penalties and criminal prosecution. Gee I wonder what will happen to these punks...and will the American Criminal Lovers Union come to their defense?
...Another hacker calling himself ihazcAnNONz struck the website of the Florida Family Association. The group opposes gay marriage and has promoted a successful but highly controversial boycott of advertisers on the reality TV show "All-American Muslim."

The group says the show is "propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Shariah law."

Supporters of the show say it depicts ordinary Muslim-American families living their normal lives, and they accuse its critics bigotry.

The hacker, ihazcAnNONz, warned the Florida family group, "Your hatred, bigotry and fear mongering towards Gays, Lesbians and most recently Muslim Americans has not gone unnoticed!"...

I wonder where is the Holder Just-Us department's Civil Rights division on this. These people are using criminal methods to intimidate people exercising their freedom of expression and association. Come on Eric, shouldn't you (in your bosses words) know "whose ass to kick" in this? Or will this he handled like the Black Panther's voter intimidation case? I know, it's a rhetorical question but no one else seems to want to ask so I will.

We're all waiting for an answer Mr. Attorney General.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The NY Times shows some intelligence in an editorial

Rarely do I find myself agreeing with the editorial page of the NY Times, or the front page for that matter. Then again, front page and editorial page, I repeat myself. But I have to say I found this intriguing.
Who Controls Montana’s Rivers?
The Great Falls Reach of the Upper Missouri River in Montana cannot be navigated by boat. In that 17-mile stretch, as Lewis and Clark documented in 1805, the river cascades down nine waterfalls. The explorers’ journals are evidence in a Supreme Court case that turns on whether the Missouri and two other rivers were navigable in 1889 when Montana became the 41st state.

Though the history is esoteric, the legal issue is straightforward: can a state seek compensation for the use of a riverbed if it did not do so for a century?

The Constitution gives states control of navigable waters within their boundaries at the time of statehood and nonnavigable stretches to the federal government. If the court concludes that the Montana rivers were navigable in 1889, the state could potentially collect more than $50 million from a power company that owns hydroelectric dams, licensed by the federal government, on the rivers. The power company appealed the Montana Supreme Court ruling that the rivers were navigable routes of commerce, despite obstructions in parts. It contends the court should analyze the rivers section by section, with some stretches like the Great Falls Reach deemed not navigable.

Justice Antonin Scalia zeroed in on what makes the case quite odd: from 1891 until 2004, the state never asked for compensation from the companies. He said, “Now they come back, what, 100 years later, and they not only want to get the land back, they want to tax them for their use of it over all these 100 years?”...

What can raise an eyebrow here?

1. The Times seems to indicate the Constitution means what it says and says what it means. What a radical conservative view of a living and breathing document. I would have believed they would find something next to the Right to Abortion, Privacy and Health Care. You would think they would say "...right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." actually applies to the people individually, not an organized militia.

2. They are agreeing with Justice Scalia. I for one am delighted to find these lovers of judicial activism (hell they love justices amending the Constitution by fiat) aligning with one of the greatest strict constructionist Times has no shame. And I doubt anyone will notice their blatant hypocrisy.

All in all it's nice to show their real motives.