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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Another sign the terrorist have won

One of the indisputable facts of life is no matter how screwed up a situation is, the federal government can hit the warp drive and screw it up even more. From the greatest current example of a federal bureaucracy that needs to be deleted from the budget. To borrow the phrase from the Pharaoh,

Let the name of Transportation Security Administration be stricken from every book and tablet, stricken from all pylons and obelisks, stricken from every monument of America. Let the name of the TSA be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of men for all time








Vibrators "okay," according to TSA

According to an article that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle over the weekend, your special friend is a-okay to pack in your carry-on luggage.

"The Transportation Safety Administration, whose job it is to consider fully such matters, has decreed that vibrators are OK. The TSA says whips, chains, leashes, restraints and manacles are OK, too." the article states.

That's the crux of it. But the article goes on to discuss the issue of whether or not you should carry your vibrator onto the plane. Are you a nervous traveler already? Prone to looking shifty in line? Yep, you're going to get flagged. And when you're flagged, you're inspected.

Our favorite quote?

"They sell vibrators at Walgreens," said Good Vibrations salesman Mike Korcek. "You can't get more mainstream than that. Remember, vibrators have been around longer than airplanes."

Size Matters

Be careful of the above statements being taken at face value. While vibrating devices themselves are allowed, they are still subject to the same stipulations as other carry-on luggage. This applies to objects that are "club-like," which the article refers to as "anatomically correct cylinders of roughly a foot or so in length."

Nico Melendez, a TSA spokesperson, reminds us of the prohibition against carrying on items such as "billy clubs, black jacks, brass knuckles, nunchakus and martial arts weapons."

Generally speaking, you're safe with anything under seven inches in length.

Thank you, Chronicle, for this gem. "In other words, according to the TSA, size matters."

Travel Tips

Don't want to get caught? Follow these tips:

Remove the batteries. It will prevent your travel companion from going off unexpectedly and in inopportune places - like the security line and overhead bin.

Make sure all liquids and gels are 3-1-1 compliant. You may want to transfer that KY into an unmarked container as well.

Handcuffs are legally allowed, but you may want to check them ... or opt for a less conspicuous silk or cotton variety.

Whips and leather floggers are legal. Do not back down, says Carol Queen, owner of the Good Vibrations website. She suggests that a simple "that's my whip" should suffice.

Be careful where you are traveling - foreign countries may have different restrictions.In Saudi Arabia, the article notes, alcohol, weapons, pork and pornography are not permitted.

We leave you on this note from the Chronicle: "Sometimes after a hard flight," said Queen, "what a woman really needs to do is go to the hotel and plug in."

I cannot get on a plane with my Swiss Army pocket knife but I can bring on handcuffs (full disclosure I own five sets...I am a cop ;<) ) or a whip. Do these people think I cannot use those as a weapon? Please, next president and congress, please send these fired Wal-Mart greeters, former homeless mental patients and perverts who used to get their jollies from the seat of a van at the park while drinking from a paper bag and watching the kids play through binoculars sent back to their formerly more useful lives.

God, if this is the crap we have to pay billions to harass flyers so they can capture....not one terrorist in the miserable life of the TSA. What has this nation come to?

Somewhere down there from hell UBL is smiling...he's won.

Security Weekly: The Seattle Plot: Jihadists Shifting Away From Civilian Targets? June 30, 2011

By Scott Stewart

On June 22 in a Seattle warehouse, Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif pulled an unloaded M16 rifle to his shoulder, aimed it, and pulled the trigger repeatedly as he imagined himself gunning down young U.S. military recruits. His longtime friend Walli Mujahidh did likewise with an identical rifle, assuming a kneeling position as he engaged his notional targets. The two men had come to the warehouse with another man to inspect the firearms the latter had purchased with money Abdul-Latif had provided him. The rifles and a small number of hand grenades were to be used in an upcoming mission: an attack on a U.S. Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in an industrial area south of downtown Seattle.

After confirming that the rifles were capable of automatic fire and discussing the capacity of the magazines they had purchased, the men placed the rifles back into a storage bag intending to transport them to a temporary cache location. As they prepared to leave the warehouse, they were suddenly swarmed by a large number of FBI agents and other law enforcement officers and quickly arrested. Their plan to conduct a terrorist attack inside the United States had been discovered when the man they had invited to join their plot (the man who had allegedly purchased the weapons for them) reported the plot to the Seattle Police Department, which in turn reported it to the FBI. According to the federal criminal complaint filed in the case, the third unidentified man had an extensive criminal record and had known Abdul-Latif for several years, but he had not been willing to undertake such a terrorist attack.

While the behavior of Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh in this plot demonstrates that they were amateur “wannabe” jihadists rather than seasoned terrorist operatives, their plot could have ended very differently if they had found a kindred spirit in the man they approached for help instead of someone who turned them into the authorities. This case also illustrates some important trends in jihadist terrorism that we have been watching for the past few years as well as a possible shift in mindset within the jihadist movement.

Trends

First, Abu-Khalid Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh, both American converts to Islam, are prime examples of what we refer to as grassroots jihadists. They are individuals who were inspired by the al Qaeda movement but who had no known connection to the al Qaeda core or one of its franchise groups. In late 2009, in response to the success of the U.S. government and its allies in preventing jihadist attacks in the West, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) began a campaign to encourage jihadists living in the West to conduct simple attacks using readily available items, rather than travel abroad for military and terrorism training with jihadist groups. After successes such as the November 2009 Fort Hood shooting, this theme of encouraging grassroots attacks was adopted by the core al Qaeda group.

While the grassroots approach does present a challenge to law enforcement and intelligence agencies in that attackers can seemingly appear out of nowhere with no prior warning, the paradox presented by grassroots operatives is that they are also far less skilled than trained terrorist operatives. In other words, while they are hard to detect, they frequently lack the skill to conduct large, complex attacks and frequently make mistakes that expose them to detection in smaller plots.

And that is what we saw in the Seattle plot. Abdul-Latif had originally wanted to hit U.S. Joint Base Lewis-McChord (formerly known as Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base), which is located some 70 kilometers (44 miles) south of Seattle, but later decided against that plan since he considered the military base to be too hardened a target. While Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh were amateurs, they seem to have reached a reasonable assessment of their own abilities and which targets were beyond their abilities to strike.

Another trend we noted in this case was that the attack plan called for the use of firearms and hand grenades in an armed assault, rather than the use of an improvised explosive device (IED). There have been a number of botched IED attacks, such as the May 2010 Times Square attack and Najibullah Zazi’s plot to attack the New York subway system.

These were some of the failures that caused jihadist leaders such as AQAP’s Nasir al-Wahayshi to encourage grassroots jihadists to undertake simple attacks. Indeed, the most successful jihadist attacks in the West in recent years, such as the Fort Hood shooting, the June 2009 attack on a military recruitment center in Little Rock, Ark., and the March 2011 attack on U.S. troops at a civilian airport in Frankfurt, Germany, involved the use of firearms rather than IEDs. When combined with the thwarted plot in New York in May 2011, these incidents support the trend we identified in May 2010 of grassroots jihadist conducting more armed assaults and fewer attacks involving IEDs.

Another interesting aspect of the Seattle case was that Abdul-Latif was an admirer of AQAP ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki. Unlike the Fort Hood case, where U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan had been in email contact with al-Awlaki, it does not appear that Abdul-Latif had been in contact with the AQAP preacher. However, from video statements and comments Abdul-Latif himself posted on the Internet, he appears to have had a high opinion of al-Awlaki and to have been influenced by his preaching. It does not appear that Abdul-Latif, who was known as Joseph Anthony Davis before his conversion to Islam, or Mujahidh, whose pre-conversion name was Frederick Domingue Jr., spoke Arabic. This underscores the importance of al-Awlaki’s role within AQAP as its primary spokesman to the English-speaking world and his mission of radicalizing English-speaking Muslims and encouraging them to conduct terrorist attacks in the West.

Vulnerabilities

Once again, in the Seattle case, the attack on the MEPS was not thwarted by some CIA source in Yemen, an intercept by the National Security Agency or an intentional FBI undercover operation. Rather, the attack was thwarted by a Muslim who was approached by Abdul-Latif and asked to participate in the attack. The man then went to the Seattle Police Department, which brought the man to the attention of the FBI. This is what we refer to as grassroots counterterrorism, that is, local cops and citizens bringing things to the attention of federal authorities. As the jihadist threat has become more diffuse and harder to detect, grassroots defenders have become an even more critical component of international counterterrorism efforts. This is especially true for Muslims, many of whom consider themselves engaged in a struggle to defend their faith (and their sons) from the threat of jihadism.

But, even if the third man had chosen to participate in the attack rather than report it to the authorities, the group would have been vulnerable to detection. First, there were the various statements Abdul-Latif made on the Internet in support of attacks against the United States. Second, any Muslim convert who chooses a name such as Mujahidh (holy warrior) for himself must certainly anticipate the possibility that it will bring him to the attention of the authorities. Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh were also somewhat cavalier in their telephone conversations, although those conversations do not appear to have brought them to the attention of the authorities.

Perhaps their most significant vulnerability to detection, aside from their desire to obtain automatic weapons and hand grenades, would have been their need to conduct preoperational surveillance of their intended target. After conducting some preliminary research using the Internet, Abdul-Latif quickly realized that they needed more detailed intelligence. He then briefly conducted physical surveillance of the exterior of the MEPS to see what it looked like in person. Despite the technological advances it represents, the Internet cannot replace the physical surveillance process, which is a critical requirement for terrorist planners. Indeed, after the external surveillance of the building, Abdul-Latif asked the informant to return to the building under a ruse in order to enter it and obtain a detailed floor plan of the facility for use in planning the attack.

In this case, the informant was able to obtain the information he needed from his FBI handlers, but had he been a genuine participant in the plot, he would have had to have exposed himself to detection by entering the MEPS facility after conducting surveillance of the building’s exterior. If some sort of surveillance detection program was in place, it likely would have flagged him as a person of interest for follow-up investigation, which could have led authorities back to the other conspirators in the attack.

A New Twist

One aspect of this plot that was different from many other recent plots was that Abdul-Latif insisted that he wanted to target the U.S. military and did not want to kill people he considered innocents. Certainly he had no problem with the idea of killing the armed civilian security guards at the MEPS — the plan called for the attackers to kill them first, or the unarmed still-civilian recruits being screened at the facility, then to kill as many other military personnel as possible before being neutralized by the responding authorities. However, even in the limited conversations documented in the federal criminal complaint, Abdul-Latif repeated several times that he did not want to kill innocents. This stands in stark contrast to the actions of previous attackers and plotters such as John Allen Mohammed, the so-called D.C. sniper, or Faisal Shahzad, who planned the failed Times Square attack.

Abdul-Latif’s reluctance to attack civilians may be a reflection of the debate we are seeing among jihadists in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan and even Algeria over the killing of those they consider innocents. This debate is also raging on many of the English-language jihadist message boards Abdul-Latif frequented. Most recently, this tension was seen in the defection of a Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan faction in Pakistan’s Kurram agency.

If this sentiment begins to take wider hold in the jihadist movement, and especially the English-speaking jihadist community in the West, it could have an impact on the target-selection process for future attacks by grassroots operatives in the West. It could also mean that commonly attacked targets such as subway systems, civilian aircraft, hotels and public spaces will be seen as less desirable than comparably soft military targets. Given the limitations of grassroots jihadists, and their tendency to focus on soft targets, such a shift would result in a much smaller universe of potential targets for such attacks — the softer military targets such as recruit-processing stations and troops in transit that have been targeted in recent months.

Removing some of the most vulnerable targets from the potential-target list is not something that militants do lightly. If this is indeed happening, it could be an indication that some important shifts are under way on the ideological battlefield and that jihadists may be concerned about losing their popular support. It is still too early to know if this is a trend and not merely the idiosyncrasy of one attack planner — and it is contrary to the target sets laid out in recent messages from AQAP and the al Qaeda core — but when viewed in light of the Little Rock, Fort Hood and Frankfurt shootings, it is definitely a concept worth further examination.

The Seattle Plot: Jihadists Shifting Away From Civilian Targets? is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

Officer Down











Deputy Sheriff Kyle Pagerly
Berks County Sheriff's Department, Pennsylvania
End of Watch: Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Age: 28
Tour of Duty: 5 years

Deputy Kyle Pagerly was shot and killed while serving a warrant as part of a fugitive task force at a home on Pine Swamp Road in Albany Township.

When task force members arrived at the scene the suspect ran into the woods. Deputy Pagerly and his canine pursued the suspect. When officers located him he opened fire with an AK-47, striking Deputy Pagerly in the head. Other officers returned fire and killed the subject.

Deputy Pagerly was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

Deputy Pagerly was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Berks County Sheriff's Department for five years. He also served with the Spring Township Fire Department.

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, June 29, 2011

Ding Dong the Witch is....Back!!!!!!! No!!!!!!!

Last year I, as well as millions of others, jumped for joy at the end of Helen Thomas's time in the White House Press Corps. And man she is still pissed off about it.  But the witch may be back.....

Helen Thomas claims to have reapplied for White House press credentials

By Jeff Poor - The Daily Caller

She might be gone, but she’s not completely forgotten. And now, as a columnist for the Falls Church (Va.) News-Press, she might be making a comeback.

In an appearance at the Busboys & Poets bookstore in Washington, D.C., on Sunday afternoon, embattled former Hearst newspapers columnist Helen Thomas, once known as the dean of the White House press corps, said she misses her spot in the White House briefing room.

“Nothing can replace being there when you’re a reporter,” Thomas said. “Seeing with your own eyes — no, nothing can replace that. I was very lucky to cover history for so long.”

Thomas lost her spot in 2010 after making some ill-advised remarks some regarded as anti-Semitic. Anas “Andy” Shallal, the owner of Busboys & Poets and moderator for her appearance Sunday, followed up by asking her if she had reapplied for those credentials. According to Thomas, she said she had but hadn’t gotten an official response and assumed she had been denied.

“In a back way,” Thomas said. “I’ve been denied — I think so, I never heard.”...
No it was not that her remarks were thoughts  regarded as anti-Semitic, they were blatantly anti-Semitic.  And is was an open secret she was an anti-Semite and Jew hater over the years and it finally bit her in the ass. And it looks like the White House won't give her a ticket back....oh well, as Harry Truman said, buy a dog!

...Later in her appearance, Thomas was asked for her insight on the state of the country going forward. The columnist said she was troubled, not just about the domestic state of the nation, but by the state of the entire globe — more so than at any other time in her life.

“I think our country — world, not just the country — has never been in worse shape,” she said. “I went through the Great Depression, World War II, Vietnam, Korea, Vietnam and now Iraq and Afghanistan. What the hell is going on? Don’t we ever learn anything … There is no inspiration from the top. President Obama doesn’t have enough courage to do the right thing. And I think there is no real leadership in this country and there is no inspiration.”
Gee Helen, who did you vote for in 2008?  How is that hope and change working out for you?  

For once you got something straight, we are in bad shape, here and all over the world.  But for some reason I don't see you don't see the current administration as liable for anything.  And people are supposed to believe you when you give them news.  

Helen, as the saying goes, Don't go away mad....just go away.

H/T Darren at RotLC

NY cop suing liquor store...and not for a bad selection of beer

I don't think I can agree with this. The suspect committed the act that forced the officer to shoot him...not the liquor store.
NY police officer who fatally shot Pace University student sues liquor store

By NewsCore June 28, 2011

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- A Westchester County police officer who fatally shot a Pace University football player was suing a liquor store he claims sold alcohol to the student, making him drunk and causing the altercation, The Journal News reported Tuesday.

Pleasantville, N.Y., officer Aaron Hess claims the store is responsible for the injuries he suffered during the incident, which culminated in Hess being hit by a car and subsequently shooting its 20-year-old occupant, Danroy Henry Jr...

...Henry was shot early on the morning of Oct. 17 while behind the wheel of his car outside Finnegan's Grill in Mount Pleasant, N.Y., where a brawl had broken out following the Pace homecoming game.

Police claimed Hess and fellow officer Ronald Beckley opened fire after Henry abruptly tried to drive his car out of a fire lane, hitting Hess, a third cop and then a police car outside the restaurant.

An autopsy found Henry had a blood alcohol reading of 0.13, but the sportsman's family strenuously denied that he was drunk when the shooting occurred...
As Doctor Evil said in Austin Powers, R i g h t. I am sorry for your loss but that is almost twice the DWI standard of .08. The young man was wasted...another example of why alcohol and guns don't match.

Again the reason for this incident was Henry was drunk and got stupid... but something tells me he was stupid a long time before he got drunk.
Another crime you don't see every day...




Driver charged after pedestrian's body found in front seat

Deputy Constable Paul Armand was making what he thought was a routine traffic stop early Tuesday morning when he pulled over a car that didn't have headlights on.

As he approached the black Mazda 626, the Precinct 8 deputy noticed the driver had blood on his face. He also saw that the front windshield was shattered and partially inside the vehicle.
The deputy constable then saw a body in the passenger seat, partially underneath the dashboard and with a severed leg.

"He (Armand) was shocked," said Precinct 8 Capt. Jason Finnen.

The driver, James John Onak, 45, told the deputy he didn't realize a dead body was in the passenger seat, Finnen said.

Police allege Onak struck 32-year-old Fadel Steadman with his car on the Gulf Freeway in southeast Houston and kept on driving for three miles while the man's body lay in his passenger seat.

Onak was later arrested and charged with felony failure to stop and render aid involving a fatality and driving while intoxicated.

Houston police, who took over the investigation, estimate that the accident occurred in the southbound lanes of the 12200 block of Gulf Freeway around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, about 10 minutes before Armand pulled Onak over.

Investigators believe Steadman had pulled his Ford Explorer into the emergency lane on the left side of the freeway near Fuqua after the vehicle broke down.

Witnesses told police Steadman was running back and forth across the freeway when he was struck by the Mazda.

The collision forced Steadman's body through the windshield, and he landed in the front passenger seat inside the car, police said.

However, Onak did not stop driving. Police said he got off the freeway and drove a few more blocks before he was pulled over by Armand on Kirkvalley near Beamer, police said.

Onak told Armand he thought he had hit something while driving down the Gulf Freeway, but he was not sure, Finnen said.

After discovering the body in the seat, Armand called paramedics and additional deputy constables to the scene. While searching the freeway, another deputy constable located the Mazda's licence plate as well as what appeared to be Steadman's leg, Finnen said...

...Onak, who is jailed in lieu of a $55,500 bail, faces two to 10 years in prison as well as up to a $10,000 fine for the felony charge...

Drunk off his ass and hopefully the DA doesn't plea bargain this....he needs to go away for many moons. Bastard.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My experience with socialized medicine

Today I went to the VA Hospital in Houston.

After calling my VA office two months ago for an appointment they said "...we'll let you know when the appointment is...", have a nice life. A month ago I get a letter saying we want your bloodwith an appointment date, but they did say you could walk in before that date to give blood. What the letter did not say is "no eating for 12 hours before blood draw" or words to that effect...actually it did (below).

After arriving two weeks ago for blood work I rode my motorcycle around for ten minutes before I was directed to a reserve spot for two wheelers. Cool, it was across the street from the entrance. I go to the information desk and after a few minutes of helping another group the lady asks me "Can I help you?", and I got directed to the blood lab. About dozen other patients standing in the line. After about 10 minutes I get to a clerk who puts me in and ask some basic questions then the big one, "Have you eaten within the last twelve hours?"

Not wanting to go back to the line tomorrow, my answer was of course, "No I haven't....". Hey, I've told bigger ones than that in my life. He asks a few more questions and then I'm banished to the lobby to await my meeting with a vampire.

Surprisingly after only five minutes I get called forward and Dracula asks "Have you had anything to drink this morning?". Ok man think fast, "Coffee."

Drac looks and asks again, "No sugar?" and speak truthfully for one of the few times this morning, "Splenda."

Well he does it again, "Cream or milk?" and in a spasm of honesty I say "Coffee Mate."

"Well we have to cancel one of the tests but everything else can go on."

As he does a very professional job drawing my blood I asked him "Is this the normal turn it takes for a blood draw?" and he said "We're fully staffed today...". From the time I walked into The Vampire's Lair till I left was about 20 minutes.

Well a few days after they take my blood they send me a letter with an appointment date for two weeks from now at 1100am. I get on the campus of the VA Center at 1040....big mistake. I had to use my truck today and I looked for parking spaces for over 15 minutes, including some at a quarter mile distance from the entrance. No joy. So as cheap as I am (and hoping not to have my appointment rescheduled for next year) I go for valet parking....

At least I'm not driving around for the fifteen minutes I'm in the valet line. The crew was working it's ass off but they were just overwhelmed. Three lines of vehicles going in, two for non-disabled vehicles, the closest one for disabled people. I called in to the VA main line and it first sent me to an automated answer program. I use some disparaging words to describe the mother of the program, dial again and hit a "0". To my shock in less than a minute I am speaking with a human being and explain to her I'm trying to park, please the clinic know. She puts me on hold and after about two minutes she told me in a pleasant voice "The clinic knows you are outside sir... just get in as soon as you can...."

Oops, gun belt and rifle are still in the back....cover them up and hope the valet is somewhat honest.

After finally dropping off my truck I walk in and look at the help desk to get directions to the clinic...and there is no one there. A gentlemen sitting nearby saw me and said "She's at lunch...." but when I asked he did direct me to the clinic. After walking in I asked the female clerk "Where do go?" and she answered almost in a snarl "Over there!", pointing at a sign. After a few minutes both clerks say "Next in line!" and not wanting to deal with Ms Smart Ass again I speak with the other clerk. Explaining to him I have not moved in over ten years we discover my phone number is listed wrong, my phone last four are -0314, but they have it as -0317. Simple typo. It takes three tries to get that corrected.

"Have a seat until called pease.."

I take a quick rest room break (this may take a while) and while walking discover the chess tournament the center has going. Young and old going at it....pretty cool.



I sit down and start on my book then almost immediately hear my name being called. From the time I'm told to sit down to being called, around ten minutes. Not bad.

The nurse asks me to get on the scale and I don't want to look....but if the scale is accurate I have lost five pounds....progress.

The nurse speaks to me and conducts the initial interview, takes my blood pressure, etc, then checks with the LNP where I will have the full exam, After ten minutes I get into the LNP's office where she spends a lot of time checking my medical history, current condition, etc and then examines me. She refers me to a clinic for a more detailed exam so I can receive some medications. Two to four weeks. Oh well.

I spend a few minutes walking around and I notice a few things.

All the volunteers walking around, helping with simple directions, handing out coffee to patients and their families. God bless for this effort...simple things like directions, a cup of coffee make a big difference to someone dealing with the VA bureaucracy.

All the people walking around...the vets. The place is packed more than any hospital I have ever scene. You got some as old as Korea as I can see...a good number of Vietnam vets...but mostly I saw vets under 45. Some were definitely in their 20's, at least on 20 something in a wheelchair.

Overall impressions are we have a staff trying to assist people but they are just overwhelmed by the load. And I fear it will get worse as more vets come in for assistance after our recent wars. And I think I've found a good job to keep me busy after I retire...I can handle giving out popcorn to the vets there.

Take a walk around the facility and snap a few pictures...good to see some of these.

A rather famous picture from WWII

















Atomic Veterans memorials





































This was originally was a Navy hospital.






















Finally walking out and to my pleasant surprise the valet was no charge...but it took over twenty minutes to get the truck back. Hey you get what you pay for.

The point of this....in a recent post in the New York Puke,err Times, Nicholas Kristof described the VA as a socialist institution. Although it has some aspects of socialized medicine (lines, longer times to see doctors) their are some major differences. One, unlike the socialist model (Great Britain) where there is notional universal access, people in this system have to do more than be born for services. Two, they generally deal with service related conditions so unlike England or Canada there is limited treatment for cancer as an example....then again, GB and Canada have their Death Panels....so far we don't have them in the VA system ....well last year the administration threatened to cut medications for vets for service related conditions.

Updates when I see the specialist....life goes on.

Oh, the vampire letter did say FAST at the end of the line...missed it..but it didn't say something like "No eating or drinking (except water) for 12 hours prior to blood draw). Hey, gotta deal with people like me <;)

Officer Down

 








Constable Garrett Styles
York Ontario Regional Police Service
End of Watch: Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Age: 32
Tour of Duty: 7 years

Constable Garrett Styles was killed after being struck by a vehicle while making a traffic stop at approximately 4:50 am.

He had stopped a vehicle at the intersection of Herald Road and Highway 48 in East Gwillimbury. He was outside of his vehicle when he was struck by another car and pinned underneath it. Despite being severely injured, he was able to radio for assistance.

Constable Style was transported to South Lake Regional Health Centre, in Newmarket, where he succumbed to his injuries.

The driver of the vehicle that struck him was taken into custody.

Constable Styles had served with the York Regional Police Service for seven years. He is survived by his wife and two young children.

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. 

What's going on in the World Today 110627

 HYPERLINKS MAY REQUIRE AN EMAIL:  
 
USA

U.S. Naval Update Map: June 22, 2011 | STRATFOR

EUROPE

Poland: Warsaw May Join Mobile Anti-Missile Program June 24, 2011

Poland may join a mobile anti-missile program that Washington is due to withdraw from, Bloomberg reported June 24, citing Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, chairman of Finmeccanica SpA (FNC). Guarguaglini’s company is one of those involved in the system’s development. While at the Paris Air Show on June 23, he said the Italian Defense Ministry wants to save the program, adding that negotiations are under way with Poland. A Lockheed spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail that several countries are interested in the system.

ASIA

NOTHING SIGNIFICANT TO REPORT

RUSSIA

NOTHING SIGNIFICANT TO REPORT
 
IRAN

Iran: EU Sanctions IRGC Commanders Over Syria June 24, 2011

The European Union imposed sanctions on three commanders of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on charges that they provided equipment and support to aid the Syrian regime in suppressing protests in Syria, the EU’s Official Journal reported June 24. IRGC chief Brig. Commander Mohammad Ali Jaafari, IRGC Qods unit chief Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani and IRGC deputy intelligence chief Hossein Taeb will all have their assets frozen and a travel ban imposed. Four Syrians and four businesses were also hit with the new sanctions.
 
IRAQ

Iraq: Sadr Supporters Ready To Attack U.S. Troops June 25, 2011

Supporters of Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr say they are ready to attack U.S. troops in Iraq, according to a statement from Sadr’s office in Najaf on June 25, AFP reported. Sadr thanked supporters in the letter. The offer comes from a group from the disbanded Mahdi Army. They say they are ready to carry out suicide attacks against foreign targets “without hitting civilians or public institutions,” according to the statement.
 
ISRAEL

Israel: Security Cabinet Approves Interception Of Gaza Flotilla June 27, 2011

The Israeli Security Cabinet approved the interception of the Freedom Flotilla 2 that will attempt to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s adviser said June 27, RIA Novosti reported. The adviser said Israel will avoid contact with the ships’ passengers and make efforts to prevent violence.
 
Turkey: Israel Warns Journalists Against Joining Gaza Flotilla June 27, 2011

Israel on June 26 threatened to ban foreign journalists from the country for 10 years if they participate in the aid flotilla due to sail to the Gaza Strip next week, RIA Novosti reported June 27. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on June 27 ordered Israel’s government press office to retract its threat. Eleven ships will attempt to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, which was tightened in 2007 after Hamas took over the Palestinian territory. Oren Helman, the director of Israel’s government press office, said that participation in the flotilla is an intentional violation of Israeli law.

AFGHANISTAN

Obama's Announcement and the Future of the Afghan War | STRATFOR

MIDDLE EAST

Pakistan and the Challenges of U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan | STRATFOR

SOUTH OF THE BORDER

Mexico: Military Authorities Deploy 2,290 Soldiers To Tamaulipas State June 23, 2011

Mexican military authorities have deployed 2,290 soldiers to the 22 municipalities in Tamaulipas state to aid state security forces, Vanguardia reported June 23. Municipal mayors have established contact with military commanders and are prepared to officially introduce the soldiers to their law enforcement duties.
 
MISC

Intelligence Guidance: Week of June 26, 2011 | STRATFOR

 
Except where noted courtesy www.stratfor.com
 

 

This is bad...because Mrs Bill Clinton is actually one of the adults in this administration

Hillary: State Dept. ‘Instrumental in Sealing Deal’ For Lady Gaga’s Gay Pride Gig in Rome

(CNSNews.com) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday that the State Department played an instrumental role in “sealing the deal” for pop-rock star Lady Gaga to perform at a gay pride rally in Rome, Italy.

Clinton specifically pointed to a letter that David Thorne, the U.S. ambassador to Italy, sent to Lady Gaga urging her to participate in the event.

“And then there is the work that our embassy team in Rome has been doing,” Clinton said. “Two weeks ago they played an instrumental role in bringing Lady Gaga to Italy for a Euro Pride concert.

“Now as many of you know Lady Gaga is Italian American and a strong supporter of LGBT rights,” said Clinton. “And the organizers of the Euro Pride event desperately wanted her to perform and a letter to her from Ambassador Thorne was instrumental in sealing the deal.

Mrs. Clinton made the remarks at the State Department at a celebration of LGBT Pride Month co-hosted by the department and Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA), a group that, according to its website, “represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) personnel and their families in the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and other foreign affairs agencies and offices in the U.S. Government.”...
Back in 2008 B Hussein Obama feared that Mrs Bill Clinton could lead the internal opposition to his reign and followed the advise of The Godfather, "Keep you friends close, your enemies even closer.". He neutered her...put her in a position she was completely unqualified for and then stopped many of the powers from her (Czars anyone).  Brilliant.  Let's see....we get a Middle East in turmoil, America is looked as a joke, our military is tied up all over the world shooting missiles for no reason...

Is it  2012 yet?

Geopolitical Weekly: The Divided States of Europe, June 28, 2011


The Divided States of Europe is republished with permission of STRATFOR.
By Marko Papic

Europe continues to be engulfed by economic crisis. The global focus returns to Athens on June 28 as Greek parliamentarians debate austerity measures imposed on them by eurozone partners. If the Greeks vote down these measures, Athens will not receive its second bailout, which could create an even worse crisis in Europe and the world.

It is important to understand that the crisis is not fundamentally about Greece or even about the indebtedness of the entire currency bloc. After all, Greece represents only 2.5 percent of the eurozone’s gross domestic product (GDP), and the bloc’s fiscal numbers are not that bad when looked at in the aggregate. Its overall deficit and debt figures are in a better shape than those of the United States — the U.S. budget deficit stood at 10.6 percent of GDP in 2010, compared to 6.4 percent for the European Union — yet the focus continues to be on Europe.

That is because the real crisis is the more fundamental question of how the European continent is to be ruled in the 21st century. Europe has emerged from its subservience during the Cold War, when it was the geopolitical chessboard for the Soviet Union and the United States. It won its independence by default as the superpowers retreated: Russia withdrawing to its Soviet sphere of influence and the United States switching its focus to the Middle East after 9/11. Since the 1990s, Europe has dabbled with institutional reform but has left the fundamental question of political integration off the table, even as it integrated economically. This is ultimately the source of the current sovereign debt crisis, the lack of political oversight over economic integration gone wrong.

The eurozone’s economic crisis brought this question of Europe’s political fate into focus, but it is a recurring issue. Roughly every 100 years, Europe confronts this dilemma. The Continent suffers from overpopulation — of nations, not people. Europe has the largest concentration of independent nation-states per square foot than any other continent. While Africa is larger and has more countries, no continent has as many rich and relatively powerful countries as Europe does. This is because, geographically, the Continent is riddled with features that prevent the formation of a single political entity. Mountain ranges, peninsulas and islands limit the ability of large powers to dominate or conquer the smaller ones. No single river forms a unifying river valley that can dominate the rest of the Continent. The Danube comes close, but it drains into the practically landlocked Black Sea, the only exit from which is another practically landlocked sea, the Mediterranean. This limits Europe’s ability to produce an independent entity capable of global power projection.

However, Europe does have plenty of rivers, convenient transportation routes and well-sheltered harbors. This allows for capital generation at a number of points on the Continent, such as Vienna, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Rotterdam, Milan, Turin and Hamburg. Thus, while large armies have trouble physically pushing through the Continent and subverting various nations under one rule, ideas, capital, goods and services do not. This makes Europe rich (the Continent has at least the equivalent GDP of the United States, and it could be larger depending how one calculates it).

What makes Europe rich, however, also makes it fragmented. The current political and security architectures of Europe — the EU and NATO — were encouraged by the United States in order to unify the Continent so that it could present a somewhat united front against the Soviet Union. They did not grow organically out of the Continent. This is a problem because Moscow is no longer a threat for all European countries, Germany and France see Russia as a business partner and European states are facing their first true challenge to Continental governance, with fragmentation and suspicion returning in full force. Closer unification and the creation of some sort of United States of Europe seems like the obvious solution to the problems posed by the eurozone sovereign debt crisis — although the eurozone’s problems are many and not easily solved just by integration, and Europe’s geography and history favor fragmentation.

Confederation of Europe

The European Union is a confederation of states that outsources day-to-day management of many policy spheres to a bureaucratic arm (the European Commission) and monetary policy to the European Central Bank. The important policy issues, such as defense, foreign policy and taxation, remain the sole prerogatives of the states. The states still meet in various formats to deal with these problems. Solutions to the Greek, Irish and Portuguese fiscal problems are agreed upon by all eurozone states on an ad hoc basis, as is participation in the Libyan military campaign within the context of the European Union. Every important decision requires that the states meet and reach a mutually acceptable solution, often producing non-optimal outcomes that are products of compromise.

The best analogy for the contemporary European Union is found not in European history but in American history. This is the period between the successful Revolutionary War in 1783 and the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788. Within that five-year period, the United States was governed by a set of laws drawn up in the Articles of the Confederation. The country had no executive, no government, no real army and no foreign policy. States retained their own armies and many had minor coastal navies. They conducted foreign and trade policy independent of the wishes of the Continental Congress, a supranational body that had less power than even the European Parliament of today (this despite Article VI of the Articles of Confederation, which stipulated that states would not be able to conduct independent foreign policy without the consent of Congress). Congress was supposed to raise funds from the states to fund such things as a Continental Army, pay benefits to the veterans of the Revolutionary War and pay back loans that European powers gave Americans during the war against the British. States, however, refused to give Congress money, and there was nothing anybody could do about it. Congress was forced to print money, causing the Confederation’s currency to become worthless.

With such a loose confederation set-up, the costs of the Revolutionary War were ultimately unbearable for the fledgling nation. The reality of the international system, which pitted the new nation against aggressive European powers looking to subvert America’s independence, soon engulfed the ideals of states’ independence and limited government. Social, economic and security burdens proved too great for individual states to contain and a powerless Congress to address.

Nothing brought this reality home more than a rebellion in Western Massachusetts led by Daniel Shays in 1787. Shays’ Rebellion was, at its heart, an economic crisis. Burdened by European lenders calling for repayment of America’s war debt, the states’ economies collapsed and with them the livelihoods of many rural farmers, many of whom were veterans of the Revolutionary War who had been promised benefits. Austerity measures — often in the form of land confiscation — were imposed on the rural poor to pay off the European creditors. Shays’ Rebellion was put down without the help of the Continental Congress essentially by a local Massachusetts militia acting without any real federal oversight. The rebellion was defeated, but America’s impotence was apparent for all to see, both foreign and domestic.

An economic crisis, domestic insecurity and constant fear of a British counterattack — Britain had not demobilized forts it held on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes — impressed upon the independent-minded states that a “more perfect union” was necessary. Thus the United States of America, as we know it today, was formed. States gave up their rights to conduct foreign policy, to set trade policies independent of each other and to withhold funds from the federal government. The United States set up an executive branch with powers to wage war and conduct foreign policy, as well as a legislature that could no longer be ignored. In 1794, the government’s response to the so-called Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania showed the strength of the federal arrangement, in stark contrast to the Continental Congress’ handling of Shays’ Rebellion. Washington dispatched an army of more than 10,000 men to suppress a few hundred distillers refusing to pay a new whiskey tax to fund the national debt, thereby sending a clear message of the new government’s overwhelming fiscal, political and military power.

When examining the evolution of the American Confederation into the United States of America, one can find many parallels with the European Union, among others a weak center, independent states, economic crisis and over-indebtedness. The most substantial difference between the United States in the late 18th century and Europe in the 21st century is the level of external threat. In 1787, Shays’ Rebellion impressed upon many Americans — particularly George Washington, who was irked by the crisis — just how weak the country was. If a band of farmers could threaten one of the strongest states in the union, what would the British forces still garrisoned on American soil and in Quebec to the north be able to do? States could independently muddle through the economic crisis, but they could not prevent a British counterattack or protect their merchant fleet against Barbary pirates. America could not survive another such mishap and such a wanton display of military and political impotence.

To America’s advantage, the states all shared similar geography as well as similar culture and language. Although they had different economic policies and interests, all of them ultimately depended upon seaborne Atlantic trade. The threat that such trade would be choked off by a superior naval force — or even by North African pirates — was a clear and present danger. The threat of British counterattack from the north may not have been an existential threat to the southern states, but they realized that if New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania were lost, the South might preserve some nominal independence but would quickly revert to de facto colonial status.

In Europe, there is no such clarity of what constitutes a threat. Even though there is a general sense — at least among the governing elites — that Europeans share economic interests, it is very clear that their security interests are not complementary. There is no agreed-upon perception of an external threat. For Central European states that only recently became European Union and NATO members, Russia still poses a threat. They have asked NATO (and even the European Union) to refocus on the European continent and for the alliance to reassure them of its commitment to their security. In return, they have seen France selling advanced helicopter carriers to Russia and Germany building an advanced military training center in Russia.

The Regionalization of Europe

The eurozone crisis — which is engulfing EU member states using the euro but is symbolically important for the entire European Union — is therefore a crisis of trust. Do the current political and security arrangements in Europe — the European Union and NATO — capture the right mix of nation-state interests? Do the member states of those organizations truly feel that they share the same fundamental fate? Are they willing, as the American colonies were at the end of the 18th century, to give up their independence in order to create a common front against political, economic and security concerns? And if the answer to these questions is no, then what are the alternative arrangements that do capture complementary nation-state interests?

On the security front, we already have our answer: the regionalization of European security organizations. NATO has ceased to effectively respond to the national security interests of European states. Germany and France have pursued an accommodationist attitude toward Russia, to the chagrin of the Baltic States and Central Europe. As a response, these Central European states have begun to arrange alternatives. The four Central European states that make up the regional Visegrad Group — Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary — have used the forum as the mold in which to create a Central European battle group. Baltic States, threatened by Russia’s general resurgence, have looked to expand military and security cooperation with the Nordic countries, with Lithuania set to join the Nordic Battlegroup, of which Estonia is already a member. France and the United Kingdom have decided to enhance cooperation with an expansive military agreement at the end of 2010, and London has also expressed an interest in becoming close to the developing Baltic-Nordic cooperative military ventures.

Regionalization is currently most evident in security matters, but it is only a matter of time before it begins to manifest itself in political and economic matters as well. For example, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been forthcoming about wanting Poland and the Czech Republic to speed up their efforts to enter the eurozone. Recently, both indicated that they had cooled on the idea of eurozone entry. The decision, of course, has a lot to do with the euro being in a state of crisis, but we cannot underestimate the underlying sense in Warsaw that Berlin is not committed to Poland’s security. Central Europeans may not currently be in the eurozone (save for Estonia, Slovenia and Slovakia), but the future of the eurozone is intertwined in its appeal to the rest of Europe as both an economic and political bloc. All EU member states are contractually obligated to enter the eurozone (save for Denmark and the United Kingdom, which negotiated opt-outs). From Germany’s perspective, membership of the Czech Republic and Poland is more important than that of peripheral Europe. Germany’s trade with Poland and the Czech Republic alone is greater than its trade with Spain, Greece, Ireland and Portugal combined.

(click here to enlarge image)
The security regionalization of Europe is not a good sign for the future of the eurozone. A monetary union cannot be grafted onto security disunion, especially if the solution to the eurozone crisis becomes more integration. Warsaw is not going to give Berlin veto power over its budget spending if the two are not in agreement over what constitutes a security threat. This argument may seem simple, and it is cogent precisely because it is. Taxation is one of the most basic forms of state sovereignty, and one does not share it with countries that do not share one’s political, economic and security fate.

This goes for any country, not just Poland. If the solution to the eurozone crisis is greater integration, then the interests of the integrating states have to be closely aligned on more than just economic matters. The U.S. example from the late 18th century is particularly instructive, as one could make a cogent argument that American states had more divergent economic interests than European states do today, and yet their security concerns brought them together. In fact, the moment the external threat diminished in the mid-19th century due to Europe’s exhaustion from the Napoleonic Wars, American unity was shaken by the Civil War. America’s economic and cultural bifurcation, which existed even during the Revolutionary War, erupted in conflagration the moment the external threat was removed.

The bottom line is that Europeans have to agree on more than just a 3 percent budget-deficit threshold as the foundation for closer integration. Control over budgets goes to the very heart of sovereignty, and European nations will not give up that control unless they know their security and political interests will be taken seriously by their neighbors.

Europe’s Spheres of Influence

We therefore see Europe evolving into a set of regionalized groupings. These organizations may have different ideas about security and economic matters, one country may even belong to more than one grouping, but for the most part membership will largely be based on location on the Continent. This will not happen overnight. Germany, France and other core economies have a vested interest in preserving the eurozone in its current form for the short-term — perhaps as long as another decade — since the economic contagion from Greece is an existential concern for the moment. In the long-term, however, regional organizations of like-minded blocs is the path that seems to be evolving in Europe, especially if Germany decides that its relationship with core eurozone countries and Central Europe is more important than its relationship with the periphery.



(click here to enlarge image)
We can separate the blocs into four main fledgling groupings, which are not mutually exclusive, as a sort of model to depict the evolving relationships among countries in Europe:
1. The German sphere of influence (Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Switzerland, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland): These core eurozone economies are not disadvantaged by Germany’s competitiveness, or they depend on German trade for economic benefit, and they are not inherently threatened by Germany’s evolving relationship with Russia. Due to its isolation from the rest of Europe and proximity to Russia, Finland is not thrilled about Russia’s resurgence, but occasionally it prefers Germany’s careful accommodative approach to the aggressive approach of neighboring Sweden or Poland. Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are the most concerned about the Russia-Germany relationship, but not to the extent that Poland and the Baltic states are, and they may decide to remain in the German sphere of influence for economic reasons.

2. The Nordic regional bloc (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia): These mostly non-eurozone states generally see Russia’s resurgence in a negative light. The Baltic states are seen as part of the Nordic sphere of influence (especially Sweden’s), which leads toward problems with Russia. Germany is an important trade partner, but it is also seen as overbearing and as a competitor. Finland straddles this group and the German sphere of influence, depending on the issue.

3. Visegrad-plus (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria). At the moment, the Visegrad Four belong to different spheres of influence. The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary do not feel as exposed to Russia’s resurgence as Poland or Romania do. But they also are not completely satisfied with Germany’s attitude toward Russia. Poland is not strong enough to lead this group economically the way Sweden dominates the Nordic bloc. Other than security cooperation, the Visegrad countries have little to offer each other at the moment. Poland intends to change that by lobbying for more funding for new EU member states in the next six months of its EU presidency. That still does not constitute economic leadership.

4. Mediterranean Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Malta): These are Europe’s peripheral states. Their security concerns are unique due to their exposure to illegal immigration via routes through Turkey and North Africa. Geographically, these countries are isolated from the main trade routes and lack the capital-generating centers of northern Europe, save for Italy’s Po River Valley (which in many ways does not belong to this group but could be thought of as a separate entity that could be seen as part of the German sphere of influence). These economies therefore face similar problems of over-indebtedness and lack of competitiveness. The question is, who would lead?

And then there are France and the United Kingdom. These countries do not really belong to any bloc. This is London’s traditional posture with regard to continental Europe, although it has recently begun to establish a relationship with the Nordic-Baltic group. France, meanwhile, could be considered part of the German sphere of influence. Paris is attempting to hold onto its leadership role in the eurozone and is revamping its labor-market rules and social benefits to sustain its connection to the German-dominated currency bloc, a painful process. However, France traditionally is also a Mediterranean country and has considered Central European alliances in order to surround Germany. It also recently entered into a new bilateral military relationship with the United Kingdom, in part as a hedge against its close relationship with Germany. If France decides to exit its partnership with Germany, it could quickly gain control of its normal sphere of influence in the Mediterranean, probably with enthusiastic backing from a host of other powers such as the United States and the United Kingdom. In fact, its discussion of a Mediterranean Union was a political hedge, an insurance policy, for exactly such a future.

The Price of Regional Hegemony

The alternative to the regionalization of Europe is clear German leadership that underwrites — economically and politically — greater European integration. If Berlin can overcome the anti-euro populism that is feeding on bailout fatigue in the eurozone core, it could continue to support the periphery and prove its commitment to the eurozone and the European Union. Germany is also trying to show Central Europe that its relationship with Russia is a net positive by using its negotiations with Moscow over Moldova as an example of German political clout.

Central Europeans, however, are already putting Germany’s leadership and commitment to the test. Poland assumes the EU presidency July 1 and has made the union’s commitment to increase funding for new EU member states, as well as EU defense cooperation, its main initiatives. Both policies are a test for Germany and an offer for it to reverse the ongoing security regionalization. If Berlin says no to new money for the newer EU member states — at stake is the union’s cohesion-policy funding, which in the 2007-2013 budget period totaled 177 billion euros — and no to EU-wide security/defense arrangements, then Warsaw, Prague and other Central European capitals have their answer. The question is whether Germany is serious about being a leader of Europe and paying the price to be the hegemon of a united Europe, which would not only mean funding bailouts but also standing up to Russia. If it places its relationship with Russia over its alliance with Central Europe, then it will be difficult for Central Europeans to follow Berlin. This will mean that the regionalization of Europe’s security architecture — via the Visegrad Group and Nordic-Baltic battle groups — makes sense. It will also mean that Central Europeans will have to find new ways to draw the United States into the region for security.

Common security perception is about states understanding that they share the same fate. American states understood this at the end of the 18th century, which is why they gave up their independence, setting the United States on the path toward superpower status. Europeans — at least at present — do not see their situation (or the world) in the same light. Bailouts are enacted not because Greeks share the same fate as Germans but because German bankers share the same fate as German taxpayers. This is a sign that integration has progressed to a point where economic fate is shared, but this is an inadequate baseline on which to build a common political union.

Bailing out Greece is seen as an affront to the German taxpayer, even though that same German taxpayer has benefited disproportionally from the eurozone’s creation. The German government understands the benefits of preserving the eurozone — which is why it continues bailing out the peripheral countries — but there has been no national debate in Germany to explain this logic to the populace. Germany is still waiting to have an open conversation with itself about its role and its future, and especially what price it is willing to pay for regional hegemony and remaining relevant in a world fast becoming dominated by powers capable of harnessing the resources of entire continents.

Without a coherent understanding in Europe that its states all share the same fate, the Greek crisis has little chance of being Europe’s Shays’ Rebellion, triggering deeper unification. Instead of a United States of Europe, its fate will be ongoing regionalization.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Officer Down
















Deputy Sheriff Charles Allen VanMeter
Brazoria County, Texas Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Sunday, June 26, 2011
Age: 27

Deputy Charles VanMeter was killed in an automobile accident on State Highway 6, in Manvel, at approximately 10:30 pm.

An eastbound pickup truck caused a collision when it turned left off of Highway 6 to enter a gas station near FM 1128, failing to yield to the oncoming patrol car. Deputy VanMeter, the passenger in the patrol car, sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene. His partner was flown to a hospital in critical condition.

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. 

A young Brit singer is showing some independence

I have to say I had not hear of this singer Adele.  Then again I'm in my mid forties and things like this do pass me by more often now....over the hill, what hill, I don't remember their being any hill...







But it seems our little Ms Adele is learning about the welfare state...and she don't like it.

Adele vs. Taxes
The pop singer rants about tax rates and the welfare state.

Singer Adele is on top of the charts and her taxes, but that hasn’t stopped critics from trying to drag her down for comments she made about footing the bill for the British welfare state.

On average, British subjects earning more than £122,000 (about $200,000) take home only about 60.9 percent of their earnings, according to a UHY International study released earlier this month. In contrast, the wealthiest Americans typically keep around 70 percent of the money they make. In the midst of the 2009 recession, Alistair Darling, Britain’s previous chancellor, announced a new 50 percent income-tax rate. Tax rates have remained there, despite David Cameron’s pledge to take a look at a reduction once the economy stabilizes.

In the meantime, Adele isn’t pleased. Her first album, 19, released in 2008, sold 2.2 million copies by mid-July — and then the tax bill came due. Now she’s“mortified” to pay half her income in tax, and told Q Magazine:



I use the NHS, I can’t use public transport any more, doing what I do, I went to state school . . . ! Trains are always late, most state schools are s[***], and I’ve gotta give you like 4 million quid, are you ’avin a laugh? When I got my tax bill in from 19, I was ready to go ’n’ buy a gun and randomly open fire.
The way these idiots take things too damned literal now you may want to tone it down a bit....


At only 23 and worth a rumored £6 million, the chanteuse could be forgiven her harsh words. Careening from award to award — her latest album, 21, became the first in 2011 to sell 2 million copies last week and tops the charts in 15 countries — she hasn’t had time to learn the diva deal that the political Left affords stars: Make your music, but don’t have any politics but ours. And predictably, the Guardian’s Rob Fitzpatrick attacked her for her heresy and joined in the cacophony on Twitter by calling her “as greedy as the most moat-friendly port-stained Tory grandee.”

I wonder if little Mr Fitzpatrick has a problem with the tax dodges of Paul McCartney or Bono to avoid taxes. At least this woman is open about it. But I love the fact this woman is telling people where to go...and how she lives her life.
But Adele, born to a single teenage mum in working-class London, neither looks nor acts the part of Scrooge and spends her days hanging out with her mates and drinking cider in the afternoon. She won’t give up smoking, though it could end her singing career. And she’s far more generous than the cradle-to-grave welfare state she’s supposed to love. She dotes upon her mother and has endowed trust funds for her cousins who are “young mums.” Indeed, Adele aspires not to sing forever, but to motherhood: “I feel like I’m here to be a mum. I wanna look after someone and be looked after, give my all to someone in marriage and have a big family, have a proper purpose.”
I've never smoked a cigarette in my life but I kinda like the Independence it's showing now...hey, I like to smoke so kiss my ass. And taking care of your own family...that has to be some type of heresy. Not to mention saying out loud her goal is motherhood. Gotta love someone not cowed by the welfare state in a former great nation.

...If Adele finds her taxes too high, she can always come to America, where taxes, at least for celebrities, have long seemed optional. The IRS most recently hit rapper DMX with a tax lien in May. Actor Wesley Snipes didn’t even file from 1999 to 2004, and as a result is currently serving a three-year prison sentence. Another rapper, Lil Wayne, owes taxes from 2004, 2005, and 2007. And singer and actress Dionne Warwick, according to the LA Times, owes $2.2 million in back taxes.

— Charles C. Johnson is both the Eric Breindel Collegiate and Robert F. Bartley Fellow at the Wall Street Journal.

Hey Adele, join the long list of conservative celebrities (and liberal ones too...they just don't like to mention it out loud) to tax havens like Florida or Texas. Please. I'll even check out your music if you tell the government where to stick it's 50% tax rate!

Now here are some questions for the Hen-Hawks in BOs administration

God knows Egypt was not the perfect world for women, but relatively it was a bastion of liberty in a region of oppression.

But the flatters in the Obama regime such as Mrs Bill Clinton, Samantha Power, et all told BO "Let's get rid of Mubark, it will be a great place...."

Well, again, will anyone ask Mrs Bill Clonton about this.

Amnesty: Egypt army acknowledges 'virginity tests'

CAIRO (AP) -- Amnesty International said Monday that Egypt's military rulers have acknowledged carrying out so-called "virginity tests" on female protesters - the first time the army has admitted to the much-criticized practice.

Maj. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a member of the military council ruling Egypt since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, justified the tests as a way to protect the army from rape allegations, Amnesty said.

But the rights watchdog said al-Sisi vowed the military would not conduct such tests in the future.

The "virginity test" allegations first surfaced after a March 9 rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square that turned violent when men in plainclothes attacked protesters and the army intervened forcefully to clear the square.

Amnesty has found 18 female detainees were forced to undergo the tests.

"Subjecting women to such degrading procedures hoping to show that they were not raped in detention makes no sense, and was nothing less than torture," the Amnesty International secretary general, Salil Shetty, who met with the military council, said in a statement issued by the group...

OK Mrs Clinton, Egypt was not a favorite of Amnesty International but I don't recall mass rape by the army under Mubarak. Gee Mrs Clinton, ain't you glad you pushed to get the Muslim Brotherhood in charge of what was a relatively secular nation and a quiet border nation for Israel.

God, how did we ever get this bad....oh yea, a majority of the voters in votes for a moron....do we need adults back in the executive branch again.

Officer Down












Police Officer Russell Anthony George
Ball Louisiana Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, June 26, 2011
Age: 47
Tour of Duty: 18 years
Badge Number: BL-4

Officer Russell George was killed in an automobile accident while responding to a call for assistance from another officer from his department at approximately 2:50 am.

He was traveling south on US Highway 165 when his patrol car collided with an abandoned bicycle that was located in the roadway. After colliding with the bicycle, Officer George lost control of his patrol car, left the roadway and collided with several trees. The collision with the trees caused his patrol car become engulfed in flames. Officer George died at the scene.

Officer George was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Ball Police Department for 18 years. He is survived by his wife, daughter, two step-daughters, mother, and four siblings.

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. 

Officer Down

 









Sergeant Darrell Curley
Navajo Division of Public Safety, Arizona, Tribal Police
End of Watch: Saturday, June 25, 2011
Age: 48
Tour of Duty: 26 years
Date of Incident: June 25, 2011

Sergeant Darrell Curley was shot and killed when he and another officer responded to a domestic disturbance in Kaibito, Arizona.

The dispute involved a fight between two brothers. Another officer who had responded to the scene was also shot and wounded. Sergeant Curley was transported to a hospital in Page, Arizona, where he succumbed to his wounds.

Sergeant Curley had served with the Navajo Division of Public Safety for 25 years and was assigned to the Tuba City District. He is survived by his wife, three children, parents, and siblings.


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. 

Changing of the Chair

There I was, 24 years old, newly stationed at Fort Carson Colorado in the fall of 1989. The post itself was a dump but the area is beautiful. And I'm living in an apartment by myself for the first time so what do I need but furniture.

Like all men I needed My Chair as Archie Bunker would say and the people at Montgomery Ward in Colorado Springs did me good.

Elmer likes Daddy's chair

Between it, the sofa and love seat I didn't fall asleep in my bed for the first month after getting my living room set. All the pieces have served me well but time has taken its toll. It's been 22 years since I picked it up and we got rid of the sofa last year (Beth hated it actually and I wanted to keep the peace :<) ) and the love seat we had placed in our bedroom will be going to the Salvation Army soon. Well a couple of months ago the in-laws suggested I take this seat...it's fairly new and they were going to get rid of it so I said "What the hell...thanks" And Elmer does like it...

Time goes on...but I still got My Chair!








In with the new

Sunday, June 26, 2011

OK, this is good...the dog has a knife in his mouth

Sunday night, taking it easy, watching Sons of Anarchy and drinking...coffee. Man, please don't tell me I'm middle aged. But my friend Scott looks over and announces from the sofa, "The dog has a knife in his mouth."

And all of us had this dead look in our faces and I asked "What?"

Scott again said, "The dog has a steak knife in his mouth!"

So I get up and I can see he has something in his mouth. So I say what comes to mind, "We gotta get a picture of this!"

Where is the cat...he's going down!
Too cool not to put up.

Hope you had a great weekend.

I wonder why we haven't heard much on this....

Got this from Atlas Shrugs....kinda sobering.

Washington state: Man shot during traffic stop had armor-piercing bullets, Qur'an, books on converting to Islam - Atlas Shrugs

Here is the full story.

Man Police Shot During Traffic Stop Was Armed With Armor-Piercing Bullets

KEY PENINSULA, Wash. -- A man who was fatally shot by Tacoma police during a traffic stop early Wednesday morning pointed a gun loaded with armor-piercing bullets at the officer who stopped him and was carrying a large amount of ammunition in his truck, the Tacoma Police Department said.

Wednesday afternoon, the Medical Examiner's Office identified the man as Brooks Papineau of Gig Harbor. He died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

"The driver exited his vehicle armed with a gun, and the officer opened fire, striking the subject," said Mark Fulghum of the Tacoma Police Department.

When police searched Papineau's truck, they found a large amount of ammunition and additional ammunition magazines.They also said they found a Koran and several books on converting to Islam.

Police said Papineau went home sick from his job at the U.S. Postal Service at about 8 p.m. Tuesday.

The Tacoma officer who shot Papineau was on her way home from work when she pulled him over on State Route 302 near 97th Avenue Northwest just after 2 a.m. Police said the officer suspected Papineau had been drinking and driving.
Now here is my favorite part.
Fulghum said the man's intention with the gun is unknown and the situation "went down quickly."
Mr Fulghum, if a man is pulled over on traffic and gets out of his car with a pistol in his hands I think his intention with the gun is quite clear. Nice shooting officer.


...Police said Papineau was hit at least once in the stomach. He was taken to St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor and was later pronounced dead.

Police are still trying to figure out if Papineau fired any shots before he was shot. It was not immediately known how many shots were fired, but there were several shell casings found at the scene.

I am a little curious...when a nutcase went on a shooting spree in Arizona the overeducated moron Paul Krugman within minutes announced Sarah Palin was responsible. After the Time Square bombing the idiot mayor immediately said the suspect was "Home-grown, maybe a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill…"

These people are strangely silent now. And why isn't our objective media asking CAIR about this? Or is the Brady Foundation going to raise awareness of the hazard of federal empoloyees going postal with cop-killer bullets? How about a new movie on this premise.

I think we know the answers.

Good Grief, you're the Captain now Charlie Brown

A picture posted on Brete Spiner's Facebook page.

Officer Down









Trooper Adam M. Bowen
Virginia State Police
End of Watch: Friday, June 24, 2011
Age: 28
Tour of Duty: 3 years

Trooper Adam Bowen was killed when his patrol car was involved in a collision in King George County.

Trooper Bowen was responding to call for assistance from a Virginia State Police special agent. He was traveling westbound on Route 3 and as he entered the intersection of Route 3 and Madison Drive his patrol car collided with a vehicle that was traveling eastbound. The impact forced the patrol car to run off the road and strike a traffic pole. The patrol car was split in half by the force of the impact and the front end of the vehicle continued into a nearby parking lot where it struck three parked cars. Trooper Bowen died at the scene.

Trooper Bowen had served with the Virginia State Police for three years. He had previously served with the U.S. Air National Guard and participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He is survived by his parents and fiancĂ©e.  
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.
 

Deadfish's new Top Cop for Chicago

A few months ago Chicago dropped off the deep end again and elected Rahm Emanuel, aka Deadfish as Mayor.  Well HIONORDAMAER has appointed a new police superintendent and he's making the rounds with the usual suspects



CHICAGO (WLS) - Chicago's new top cop says the accessibility to firearms in America is an extension "of government-sponsored racism" that goes back to the days of slavery and Jim Crow.

Speaking to parishoners at St. Sabina Church earlier this month, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy took to the microphone after Father Michael Pfleger spoke about gun control.
McCarthy said the topic of race is a sensitive issue "because everybody's afraid of race" but that he wasn't afraid to broach to subject.

"So here’s what I want to tell you. See, let’s see if we can make a connection here. Slavery. Segregation. Black codes. Jim Crow. What, what did they all have in common? Anybody getting’ scared? Government sponsored racism."
I love the comment someone made on Legal Insurrection,

John Bradley | June 24, 2011 at 10:00 pm
“See, let’s see if we can make a connection here. Slavery. Segregation. Black codes. Jim Crow. What, what did they all have in common? Anybody getting’ scared? Government sponsored racism.”

See, I was thinking “the Democratic Party”… which, I suspect, is one of many reasons why I wasn’t offered that speaking gig.

"Now I want you to connect one more dot on that chain of the African American history in this country, and tell me if I’m crazy. Federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms, into our urban centers across this country, that are killing our black and brown children," he said.

You mean like the ATF supervised by a black Attorney General who works for a black President who sold weapons to Mexican gangs....oh wait, you means weapons may come back....don't go there Mike...

McCarthy illustrated his point by recalling a crime scene investigation while he was a police official in Newark, New Jersey where five children were shot, two of whom were killed. McCarthy said when he got home, he turned on his television to unwind and found an episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" showing.

"She was caribou hunting and talking about the right to bear arms. Why wasn't she at the crime scene with me?"
Another thing that gets me is this 25 year veteran of law enforcement is saying how he was “walking over shell casings…bullets…they were getting caught up in my shoes…”

Excuse me Superintendent, a rookie I’m training knows to not walk across a crime scene like that…you got stuff called evidence and we kinda like it undisturbed until the crime scene unit comes over, takes photo’s, documents where the bullets are, etc. It’s called processing a crime scene which an investigator and district attorney (you know, the lawyers who prosecute the crimes) like to handle the case. If you are not familiar with this process I suggest you get to your CSU and have them educate you.

Chicago, you got another winner here...

UPDATE:

Yo Sup, maybe you and Deadfish can look into this.

Teen Mob Hits Walgreens On The Mag Mile

CHICAGO (CBS) — The teenage robbery mobs are at it again on North Michigan Avenue.

Some 50 young people barged into a Walgreens at Michigan and Chicago on the Magnificent Mile on Tuesday afternoon. They took bottled drinks and sandwiches off the shelves, then ran off, CBS 2′s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.

A police report says authorities were able to nab three of the thieves....

...The Mag Mile earlier this year was hit by similar mobs of young thieves. Attacks on commuters and bicyclists have become violent, and police have stepped up patrols.