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

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Saturday Night Live says what others will not

Saints fans, check out what the NFL Commissioner at 1:15. About right. Goodell, if you want sympathy, don't look to New Orleans!



GEAUX SAINTS!!!!!!!

Officer Down


Border Patrol Agent Tyler R. Robledo
United States Border Patrol
End of Watch: Friday, September 12, 2014
Age: 34
Tour: 3 years
Badge # S437

Border Patrol Agent Tyler Robledo was killed in an automobile collision on FM 2644 near Carrizo Springs, Texas.

His patrol car and another vehicle collided head-on at approximately 1:15 am. The driver of the other vehicle died at the scene. Agent Robledo was airlifted to San Antonio Military Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Agent Robledo had served with the United States Border Patrol for three years and was assigned to the Carrizo Springs Border Patrol Station. He is survived by his wife and two young children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got 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, September 26, 2014

Gilligan's Island and the longest three hour tour in history

Like most people who haven't been in a coma since the 1950s, I have fond memories of Gilligan's Island. I just refuse to believe it's 50 years old tonight! NOOOOOOOOO! I ain't that old yet.

In all seriousness, found this and I had to share it.
10 Things You Didn't Know About 'Gilligan's Island'

As anyone who's ever been on a three-hour boat ride can tell you, it gets pretty insufferable by the end. People are hungry, cranky and seasick, and all of them are trying like heck to avoid using the on-board bathroom.

That makes it all the more impressive that we, as viewers, managed to stomach an entire three seasons of "Gilligan's Island" (and to a lesser extent, its three made-for-TV movies). Ever since it premiered 50 years ago on September 26, 1964, we just couldn't get enough of those seven castaways, and that's despite our overwhelming frustration at their refusal to just build a darn boat already.

Then again, it's probably better they didn't get off that island. Otherwise, we'd never have all the fun little "Gilligan's Island" trivia tidbits below, each of which proves to be more interesting than a chartered boat tour, or that same boat's deplorable bathroom facilities.

#1. During the show's development, CBS chief of programming Jim Aubrey wasn't convinced that viewers would want to see the same seven castaways on the same deserted island week after week. When "Gilligan's Island" creator Sherwood Schwartz brushed off Aubrey's suggestions to change the show's premise and name (to "Gilligan's Travels"), Aubrey created his own series called "The Baileys of Balboa" (about a Southern California skipper and his offbeat crew) to compete and run concurrently with Schwartz's program. "Baileys" debuted just two nights before "Gilligan's Island," but was canceled within the year.

#2. Actress Natalie Schafer, who played Mrs. Howell, thought "Gilligan's Island" was too dumb to get picked up by a network, and only decided to star in the pilot episode because it offered her a free trip to Hawaii and a quick paycheck. As one story goes, she actually began to cry when CBS greenlit the show.

But come on Ms Schafer, you have to admit it was a steady job!
#3. After the pilot was ordered to series, television producer Hunt Stromberg Jr. tried to convince a horrified Sherwood Schwartz that Gilligan should find a gigantic dinosaur halfway through the first episode and keep it as a pet for the remainder of the show. Not wanting to offend Stromberg (who envisioned this dinosaur as a "Mister Ed"-type character), Schwartz simply questioned whether an animated dinosaur would break their budget. Fortunately, he turned out to be right, and the idea was scrapped.

Thankfully that got killed!
#4. According to the television special "Surviving Gilligan's Island: The Incredibly True Story of the Longest Three Hour Tour in History," it was Bob Denver who was responsible for getting "the Professor and Mary Ann" mentioned in the opening credits and theme song. (Prior to the second season, only Gilligan, the Skipper, Ginger, and Mr. and Mrs. Howell were mentioned by name; the Professor and Mary Ann were simply referred to as "the rest.") As the story goes, Denver had a clause in his contract stipulating how he could be credited, and threatened to remove his name from the opening credits unless Russell Johnson and Dawn Wells got their just due.

Thank you Bob for making sure these great people were recognized.
#5. Also, at about 22 seconds into the opening credits of first-season episodes of "Gilligan's Island," the U.S. Flag can be seen flying at half-staff off in the distance. This is because the show's pilot episode finished filming on November 22, 1963 — the same day President Kennedy was assassinated.

Sobering.
#6. Alan Hale Jr. was filming a Western in Utah (most likely "Advance to the Rear" or "Bullet for a Badman") when he was contacted to read for the role of the Skipper, but the producers of the film didn't authorize him to leave. So instead, on the morning of his audition, Hale rode one of the film's horses to the nearest main road, hitchhiked to a Las Vegas airport, and hopped a flight to Los Angeles with the intention of returning to Utah before anyone noticed.

With all the prima donnas they have in show business now, it's nice to see a man just bust his ass to get work. I wish other American's (won't go to Hollywood) would have that work ethic!
#7. A few months into the show's run, the U.S. Coast Guard asked to meet with Sherwood Schwartz about mail they received regarding "Gilligan's Island." Apparently, more than a few viewers believed the show to be real, and asked the Coast Guard why they couldn't simply rescue the castaways. “Now who did [these viewers] think was laughing at what was happening to these people?” Schwartz later joked in a 1997 interview with the Archive of American Television. “Where did they think the music came from, and the commercials?”

You know this had to be true. It's too stupid to not be false.
#8. Tina Louise, who studied under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio prior to the show, was the only castmember to decline numerous offers to reprise her role in the "Gilligan's Island" TV movies or animated series. "She simply has a fear that if she ever identifies herself with Ginger again, she will lose all chance to play other types of roles, dramatic or comic," wrote Schwartz in his 1988 book "Inside Gilligan's Island: From Creation to Syndication." However, Louise wasn't exactly ashamed of the show: When it debuted, she proudly touted that the convicts in the Kansas State penitentiary voted her "Miss Cellmate," and almost 20 years later, she appeared with the rest of the cast in a 1982 reunion on "Good Morning America":

#9. When asked why Mary Ann often gets picked over Ginger in fans' "Mary Ann or Ginger" debates, actress Dawn Wells (Mary Ann) suggested it was because "Ginger is a one-night stand while Mary Ann is for a lifetime." She further remarked that "Ginger would be exciting, but you’d have to take her to expensive places and buy her a martini [whereas] Mary Ann’s for the long haul."

See my comment about prima donnas.
#10. All of the castaways' full names have been revealed except for Gilligan's. Evidence suggests he was called "Willy Gilligan" when Sherwood Shwartz was putting together the original treatment for the pilot, yet this name was never uttered in any of the show's dialogue. In fact, viewers still debate whether Gilligan was his given name or last name. Even Bob Denver himself used to insist that Gilligan was indeed his character's first name whenever the subject was brought up.

I know most are gone, Russell Johnson was the last to pass I believe late last year. Only Ginger and Mary Ann are left.

In the big picture, is this great comedy or art, no. But as a friend of mine once said, "Mike, sometimes you have to put down War and Peace and read Bambi, stop with Henry V and watch Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!" It was great entertainment and millions are grateful for a half hour to get away from the problems of life without being lectured about crap the producers thought was important. A lesson Hollywood should relearn.

The three hour tour will continue in reruns. Thank you Gilligan, Skipper, Mr and Mrs Howell, Professor, Ginger and Mary Ann.

Officer Down


Deputy Sheriff Joseph Matuskovic
Charleston County South Carolina Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Monday, September 8, 2014
Age: 43
Tour: 17 years
Badge # 10480

Deputy Sheriff Joe Matuskovic was shot and killed as he and several other deputies responded to a disturbance call at an apartment complex at the intersection of Ashley River Road and Carriage Lane.

Two deputies working an overtime assignment at the complex had requested assistance from additional deputies to help deal with the subject who had been pounding on apartment doors and vehicles in the parking lot. The man then went inside his apartment. As the deputies attempted to make contact with the man he opened fire through the apartment door using an AK-47 style rifle, striking Deputy Matuskovic and another deputy.

Both deputies were pulled to safety and transported to the Medical University of South Carolina, where Deputy Matuskovic succumbed to his wounds.

The Charleston Police Department SWAT team made entry into the home several hours later and found the subject dead of a gunshot wound. It was determined that the subject had been shot at least twice by return gunfire and died as a result.

Mr. Larry Britton, an employee with the Charleston County’s Technology Services and Radio Operations, suffered a fatal heart attack while assisting the Charleston County Sheriff's Office with joint communications during the event. Mr. Britton also served as a South Carolina State Constable, but was not on duty in that capacity at the time of his death.

Deputy Matuskovic had served in law enforcement for 17 years. He is survived by three children and his fiancee.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got 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. 

Didn't the Romans show us to not man their military with foreigners, people with no allegiance to the country.

Why yes, they did. But don't let the facts of history get in the way of an agenda
Military to allow undocumented immigrants to serve

A small number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. will have an opportunity to join the military for the first time in decades under a new Department of Defense policy unveiled Thursday.

The new rules will expand an existing program allowing recruiters to target foreign nationals with high-demand skills, mostly rare foreign language expertise or specialized health care training.

For the first time, the program — known as Military Accessions in the National Interest, or MAVNI — will be open to immigrants without a proper visa if they came to the U.S. with their parents before age 16. More specifically, they must be approved under a 2012 Obama administration policy known as Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, or DACA...

...The Pentagon program is capped at 1,500 recruits per year. Officials say it's unclear how many of those might be unlawful DACA status immigrants as opposed to others who are also eligible for military service under MAVNI, including those with legal, nonpermanent visas such as students or tourists.

Estimates suggest between 1.2 million and 2.1 million children, teenagers and young adults in the U.S. have no legal immigration status but meet the criteria for the DACA program. Those targeted by recruiters under the MAVNI program likely will be immigrants with language skills critical to national security, such as Arabic, Chinese, Pashto or Persian.

But Pentagon officials don't know how many of those immigrants have actually learned their ancestral language to the proficiency required by the military.

"We're just not sure how many within that existing population of DACA would have the linguistic skills to qualify," said one defense official familiar with the policy change. "These are kids who entered the country at a fairly young age and have basically grown up in the United States, so the limit of their language talents would probably be the language that they received at home."

Don't argue there is a major issue with language skills. While I was overseas in Kuwait ten years ago we had a warehouse of Iraqi documents waiting translation. This was a painfully slow process and it highlighted the lack of translators we have. But it's not we didn't know that. War story, back in 1991 I was a platoon leader in the 104th Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort Carson CO. This was the end of the Cold War and I had a platoon of German and Russian linguists. As we no longer needed them, we gave these soldiers who had gone through 8-12 months language training a bonus to leave. We're talking 30-40K. And AT&T said "Come on in, we need linguists, here is 50K a year!" So here we go again.

Now here is another issue.
DACA status is granted by the Department of Homeland Security and includes a background check.

I handled security clearances for most of my career and one major issue is family. We need to know if the candidate's brother or step-sister is a known radical. Or half the family is in prison for felonies. The acorn don't fall far from the tree and this might bring the judgement of soldier into question when handing Top Secret codeword material. Or we may not be able to get to their families and check them out. My senior year in Tulane ROTC we had an excellent cadet who was originally branched Military Intelligence. She was also half Vietnamese. We could not check her family out and that ended her time in MI (She was rebranched into the Quartermaster Corps). This was one issue. Imagine ten-thousand of them.

As Princess Leia said, "I have a bad feeling about this."

K9 Down


K9 Petra
Colorado Springs Colorado Police Department
End of Watch: Monday, September 8, 2014
Age: 3
Gender: F

K9 Petra died from injuries sustained when she fell from a parking garage in the 700 block of South Nevada Avenue while conducting a scent detection training exercise with the Regional Explosives Unit.

She sustained serious injuries to her back as a result of the fall. She was transported to an emergency veterinarian clinic where she had to be euthanized as a result.

Petra had served with the Colorado Springs Police Department for 15 months.
Rest in Peace Petra…till our next roll call at the Rainbow Bridge!

In Memory of all Police Dogs

They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy

Officer Down


Corporal Jason E. Harwood
Topeka Kansas Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, September 7, 2014
Age: 40
Tour: 15 years

Corporal Jason Harwood was shot and killed while making a traffic stop in the 3200 block of SE Sixth Avenue at approximately 4:45 pm.

One of the vehicle's occupants opened fire during the traffic stop, fatally wounding Officer Harwood. The suspect believed to be the shooter turned himself in a short time later.

Corporal Harwood had served wit the Topeka Police Department for 15 years. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got 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. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Due process worked in this case.

In recent controversial police shootings, I have mentioned how we need to let the process play out.  In criminal justice, the nightmare is punishing an innocent man. In the most extreme case we can have an innocent person executed. In this case we found a woman trying to ruin a man's life for some really worthless reason.

Man held in reported Forestville rape may be cleared.

A man suspected of raping a woman at knife point after hours on the El Molino High School campus was to be released from jail Thursday after prosecutors said they found evidence that may clear him of the assault.

Sheriff’s officials initially said a masked David J. Kocalis, 24, of Guerneville sneaked up behind the woman Aug. 30, held a knife to her and raped her near the Forestville school’s tennis courts.

He was arrested the next day on charges carrying a possible life sentence after the woman identified a prominent tattoo, and the car he was driving was captured on videotape.

But prosecutor Brian Staebell said Thursday investigators have since uncovered evidence that may point to his innocence. A judge allowed Kocalis, who had been held on $1.2 million bail, to be released on his own recognizance.

His lawyer, Evan Zelig, said a review of cellphone records showed Kocalis and the 18-year-old woman knew each other. Earlier in the day, she sent him a text message inviting Kocalis for sex, Zelig said.

Their tryst began inside his borrowed Porsche SUV but moved to a spot near the tennis courts because the car’s alarm kept going off, Zelig said.

After it was over, Kocalis drove the woman home, the lawyer said. She fabricated a story about being raped because she missed her curfew and Kocalis refused to lend her $20, Zelig said.

“It was determined her story was not credible whatsoever,” Zelig said outside court. “It was completely made up.”

Zelig said he brought the new information to sheriff’s investigators who analyzed both cellphones. They confirmed the messages as well as attempts by the woman to delete her own texts, Zelig said....

I don't know what the law is here, but it looks like this woman made a false police report and if so, she needs to be prosecuted. There is no excuse for this and she needs to be held to account.

Thanks to Darren at RotLC for the link

Officer Down



Patrolman II Nickolaus E. Schultz
Merrillville Indiana Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, September 7, 2014
Age: 24
Tour: 1 year, 1 month
Badge # 365
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 9/5/2014

Patrolman Nickolaus Schultz succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained two days earlier while investigating reports of an evicted tenant moving back in to his condominium on the 8200 block of Lincoln Circle. The subject was wearing body armor and ambushed responding officers, striking Patrolman Schultz in the head.

The man then committed suicide.

Patrolman Schultz was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center where he was kept on life support until passing away two days later.

Patrolman Schultz had served with the Merrillville Police Department for 13 months.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got 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. 

Yo, Rick Perry, here is your third cabinet agency to get rid of. Department of Homeland Security.

From the DHS website, it's listed purpose:

Our Mission

The vision of homeland security is to ensure a homeland that is safe, secure, and resilient against terrorism and other hazards.


Now, knowing any bureaucracy has the purpose of justifying its existence and to accomplish that, mission creep is always useful, here is the latest.
US Homeland Security moves to tackle climate change risks

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Protecting the infrastructure of American cities from the effects of climate change is rising on the agenda of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a top agency official.

"Increasingly, we've moved not only from a security focus to a resiliency focus," said Caitlin Durkovich, assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at Homeland Security, an agency better known for its fight to curb terrorist threats.

Durkovich spoke Thursday on a panel at the Rising Seas Summit, a three-day conference organized by the U.S.-based Association of Climate Change Officers to discuss tools and ideas on building resiliency, particularly against rising sea levels.

OK, the Association of Climate Change Officers, less know as the ACCO. I only know that because I checked their website. But I looked at the "about" link and found this interesting.
About the Association of Climate Change Officers
ACCO's Board of Directors has adopted new vision and mission statements for the organization.

Mission

ACCO defines, develops and supports the functions, resources and communities necessary for effective organizational leadership in addressing climate-related risks and opportunities.

Vision

ACCO enables all organizations to be more sustainable by building enterprise capacity and empowering leadership to respond to climate change.

With the support of members, partners and sponsors, ACCO is advancing climate officers in the public and private sectors by:

Connecting members to peers, thought leaders and decision makers across sectors;

Synthesizing original and third party research findings to produce reports published in our Knowledge Center;

Producing a suite of industry leading education and training events, including the GreenGov Symposium, Climate Strategies Forum and ACCO’s
Climate Change Leadership Series; and

Helping organizations develop best practices for climate-related response strategies and identifying opportunities for collaboration with other experts and interested parties.

ACCO services climate change professionals worldwide from sectors including:

Public & private corporations;

Municipal, state, regional & Federal governmental organizations;

Colleges & universities; and

Non-profit organizations.

Sounds like a real fun place to work. More like a group of oxygen thieves taking federal grant money. Something this stupid has to be government funded.

In the aftermath of 2012's Hurricane Sandy, which devastated large swathes of the Northeastern U.S and caused over $60 billion in damages, Durkovich said her department reviewed the task of rebuilding with a new focus on "how to think about baking in resilience from the get-go."

To that end, she said, she has assembled a team of specialists, including city planners, in conjunction with the National Academy of Science to develop better tools for planning.

The Department of Homeland Security already has launched regional efforts to assess resilience of infrastruction and judge where gaps in adaptation and preparedness may be, she said.

For example, the Portland, Maine area is being looked at in terms of risks from rising sea level, how floods might be mitigated and how to deal with saltwater intrusion into what had been bodies of fresh water. The results will then be shared with other coastal communities, she said.

California, which has the country's second longest coastline after that of Alaska, also is looking increasingly at climate change adaptation and resilience, said fellow panelist Ken Alex, senior policy advisor and director of the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research...

Legitimate issues, all of them. Don't we already have an Corps of Engineers for flood control issues. Hasn't the Departments of Interior and HUD have their hands in this. Well why does DHS have to come into this. They aren't busy enough fingering children and 90 year olds in the airport.

Sounds like another worthless federal agency pushing mission creep to justify a larger budget and staff. Hopefully a conservative gets into office and removes this disgrace from the GW Bush administration. Unfortunately I have my doubts.

Officer Down


Police Officer Daryl Pierson
Rochester New York Police Department
End of Watch: Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Age: 32
Tour: 8 years
Badge # 32

Police Officer Daryl Pierson was shot and killed near the intersection of Hudson Avenue and Warsaw Street while involved in a foot pursuit of a suspect following a traffic stop.

The man that Officer Pierson was chasing had been paroled only three weeks prior while serving a sentence for attempted armed robbery.

A bystander was also wounded by the gunfire.

Officer Pierson was a veteran of the National Guard and had served with the Rochester Police Department for eight years. He is survived by his wife and two young children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got 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, September 24, 2014

David Brooks, the NY Times putative conservative

Or relative conservative.

David Brooks has been the purported Times conservative columnists for years and occasionally he has a good point. This is not one of those times.

Mr. Brooks seems to be ridiculing those of us (and yes, count me in this group) concerned that America is in a period of decline, economically, militarily, culturally, etc. He goes onto list of the points about New York, arguably the once greatest city in the country. If you wonder why I call it "once", ask why people are fleeing it left and right. But this paragraph is of particular interest.
Snap out of it
"... I mention all of this because of the despondency and passivity and talk of unraveling that floated around this summer. Now there is a mood of pessimism and fatalism evident in the polls and in conversations — a lack of faith in ourselves.

It’s important in times like these to step back and get clarity. The truest thing to say is this: We are living in an amazingly fortunate time. But we also happen to be living during a leadership crisis, and a time when few people have faith in elites to govern from the top. We live in a vibrant society that is not being led.

We don’t suffer from an abuse of power as much as a nonuse of power. It’s been years since a major piece of legislation was passed, and there’s little prospect that one will get passed in the next two.
No kidding Dave. That last major pieces of legislation, passed by a Democratic congress and signed by a Democratic president included the movement to single payer health care (Obamacare), taking over the banking industry (Dodd-Frank) and upping the federal budget baseline for liberal constituencies. Sorry, we can live without this. And Dave, don't you think we have enough laws on the books? How about we start repealing them?

Now this paragraph made me really think.

This leadership crisis is eminently solvable. First, we need to get over the childish notion that we don’t need a responsible leadership class, that power can be wielded directly by the people. America was governed best when it was governed by a porous, self-conscious and responsible elite — during the American revolution, for example, or during and after World War II. Karl Marx and Ted Cruz may believe that power can be wielded directly by the masses, but this has almost never happened historically.

This has been a question of the last few years, the Washington Class vs the Country Class. Dave, you mention the American Revolution and I don't question we had a group of extraordinary men who led this country back then. Now there is something we should look at. George Washington, for instance, was quite an accomplished man prior to his name even coming into the public realm. Adjusting for inflation, his wealth would be in the hundreds of millions as a very successful plantation owner. Thomas Jefferson was also a successful in his education, finishing his college in two years, working as a surveyor. Benjamin Franklin, successful in publication with relatively little education. Suffice to say they were men of accomplishment before they ever got into what we would now call "national politics".

Fast forward two-hundred years and what do we have. More on the liberal side than the Republican side, but you have people of no accomplishment claiming they know how to lead this nation. Examples:

1. B Hussein Obama. Of course, top of the list. I've often asked an Obamaite "In November 2008, you look at the two candidates (I don't question it was a miserable choice, but that's another post for another day) and how do you think this man is worthy of the highest office in the land? What has he done that makes you think he has the intelligence, experience and accomplishment to handle this job?" For a man-child who's only accomplishments was being selected by the Illinois machine for a senate seat after spending ten years in the state senate saying "present", this was quite a leap. And the years since have shown he is in over his ears.

2. Mrs. Bill Clinton. Talk about a woman who is out of her capability. No question, she was an honor graduate of Ivy League law school and probably had some great opportunities coming to her. However, she hitched her wagon to him and went to Arkansas, knowing Bill would go places. And she endured one abuse after another so she could become the senator from a state she has no attachment to. Name me one major piece of legislation with her name on it? Then she is selected as Secretary of State and her only accomplishment is flying over a million miles in 4 years.

3. Joe Biden. Just graduated law school, elected to the senate just before his 30th birthday, has spent his entire life in the senate until he was elected VP, only really famous for sticking his foot in his mouth, plagiarizing and running for president.

4. Charlie Rangle. Crook and Congressmen. That's all.

5. Pat Roberts: Other than being a USMC captain and reporter, the man has been on Capital Hill for over 45 years. Beginning as an administrative assistant to a congressman, then as a member of the house, then as a senator.

6. One word. Kennedy. Enough said.

7. Another word. Rockefeller. Again, enough said.

I've got my disagreements with George W Bush but I don't question he was a man of accomplishment and got his money openly. For some reason couples that go into "public service" come out very rich. The Clinton's are worth hundreds of millions and as far as I can tell have never held a real job.

Second, the elite we do have has to acknowledge that privilege imposes duties. Wealthy people have an obligation to try to follow a code of seemliness. No luxury cars for college-age kids. No private jet/ski weekends. Live a lifestyle that is more integrated into middle-class America than the one you can actually afford. Strike a blow for social cohesion.

I don't care if Teddy Kennedy inherited his fortune from his daddy's bootlegging or Bobby Kennedy has money from directly from daddy and indirectly his granddaddy's illegal activities. But I don't want them telling me to get into an oversize gulf cart as they get into a private jet and SUV. I really don't care if Mitt Romney has 7 houses. He's actually made the money to buy them and hasn't said I need to pay more in taxes

Powerful people might follow a code of public spiritedness. That means restraining your partisan passions and parochial interests for the sake of domestic tranquility. Re-establish the lines between public service and private enrichment.

May want to try with the liberals and their screaming. Remember, "I am sick and tired of people who say if you debate and disagree with this administration that somehow you are not patriotic, we should stand up and say we are Americans 'We are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration!'" But for some reason that don't count B Hussein Obama.

Third, discredit political bigotry. In 1960, 5 percent of Republicans and 4 percent of Democrats said they would be displeased if their children married someone of the opposite party. By 2010, Cass Sunstein observes, those numbers had jumped to 49 percent and 33 percent. How small-minded can you get?

Couldn't care less.

Fourth, put congressional reform atop the national agenda. More states could have open primaries. Nonpartisan commissions could draw district lines. Presidential nominees should get an up-or-down vote within 90 days. Representative Jim Cooper of Tennessee suggests that if Congress doesn’t pass a budget or annual spending bills on time, then members don’t get paid.

One, Dave, we all know open primaries only means let's liberal Republicans (you know, RINOs, e.g the Grahams that you like) win primaries because the Democrats will cross over.  This gives the American people the choice of suck more and suck slightly less.  And we both know anything that's called "nonpartisan" is basically liberal without the name. Also, for some reason you are conceded about presidential nominees getting an up or down vote. Gee, you din't seem so conceded from 2001 to 2009. I wonder why?

There is a reason the NY Times is a joke. But don't worry Dave, B Hussein still has the great crease in his trousers!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Don't talk to cops....

An old legal saying is "A lawyer who defends himself has fool for a client...and idiot for a attorney>" I was reminded of this watching a defense attorney give his points and the rebuttal witness of the police investigator.

The defense attorney makes valid points on how a person of an innocent state of mind may make statements that can come to bite him in the ass. And the investigator explains how he will use one trick after another to get a statement. Worth the 48 minutes if you want a good overall look at the investigation from both sides of the table.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Geopolitical Weekly: The Origins and Implications of the Scottish Referendum, September 16, 2014


By George Friedman

The idea of Scottish independence has moved from the implausible to the very possible. Whether or not it actually happens, the idea that the union of England and Scotland, which has existed for more than 300 years, could be dissolved has enormous implications in its own right, and significant implications for Europe and even for global stability.

The United Kingdom was the center of gravity of the international system from the end of the Napoleonic Wars until World War II. It crafted an imperial structure that shaped not only the international system but also the internal political order of countries as diverse as the United States and India. The United Kingdom devised and drove the Industrial Revolution. In many ways, this union was a pivot of world history. To realize it might be dissolved is startling and reveals important things about the direction of the world.

Scotland and England are historical enemies. Their sense of competing nationhoods stretches back centuries, and their occupation of the same island has caused them to fight many wars. Historically they have distrusted each other, and each has given the other good reason for the distrust. The national question was intertwined with dynastic struggles and attempts at union imposed either through conquest or dynastic intrigue. The British were deeply concerned that foreign powers, particularly France, would use Scotland as a base for attacking England. The Scots were afraid that the English desire to prevent this would result in the exploitation of Scotland by England, and perhaps the extinction of the Scottish nation.

The Union of 1707 was the result of acts of parliaments on both sides and led to the creation of the Parliament of Great Britain. England's motive was its old geopolitical fears. Scotland was driven more by financial problems it was unable to solve by itself. What was created was a united island, acting as a single nation. From an outsider's perspective, Scotland and England were charming variations on a single national theme -- the British -- and it was not necessary to consider them as two nations. If there was ever a national distinction that one would have expected to be extinguished in other than cultural terms, it was this one. Now we learn that it is intact. We need a deeper intellectual framework for understanding why Scottish nationalism has persisted.

The Principle of National Self-Determination

The French Enlightenment and subsequent revolution had elevated the nation to the moral center of the world. It was a rebellion against the transnational dynasties and fragments of nations that had governed much of Europe. The Enlightenment saw the nation, which it defined in terms of shared language, culture and history, as having an inherent right to self-determination and as the framework for the republican democracies it argued were the morally correct form of government.

After the French Revolution, some nations, such as Germany and Italy, united into nation-states. After World War I, when the Hapsburg, Hohenzollern, Romanov and Ottoman empires all collapsed, a wave of devolution took place in Europe. The empires devolved into their national components. Some were amalgamated into one larger nation, such as Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia, while others, such as Poland, were single nation-states. Some had republican democracies, others had variations on the theme, and others were dictatorships. A second major wave of devolution occurred in 1992, when the Soviet Union collapsed and its constituent republics became independent nation-states.

The doctrine of the right to national self-determination drove the first wave of revolts against European imperialism in the Western Hemisphere, creating republics in the Americas. The second wave of colonial rising and European withdrawal occurred after World War II. In some cases, nations became self-determining. In other cases, nation-states simply were invented without corresponding to any nation and actually dividing many. In other cases, there were nations, but republican democracy was never instituted except by pretense. A French thinker, Francois de La Rochefoucauld, said, "Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue." Even while betraying its principles, the entire world could not resist the compulsion to embrace the principles of national self-determination through republican democracy. This effectively was codified as the global gold standard of national morality in the charters of the League of Nations and then the United Nations.

The Imperfection of the Nation-State

The incredible power of the nation-state as a moral principle and right could be only imperfectly imposed. No nation was pure. Each had fragments and minorities of other nations. In many cases, they lived with each other. In other cases, the majority tried to expel or even destroy the minority nation. In yet other cases, the minority demanded independence and the right to form its own nation-state. These conflicts were not only internal; they also caused external conflict over the right of a particular nation to exist or over the precise borders separating the nations.

Europe in particular tore itself apart in wars between 1914 and 1945 over issues related to the rights of nation-states, with the idea of the nation-state being taken to its reductio ad absurdum -- by the Germans as a prime example. After the war, a principle emerged in Europe that the borders as they stood, however imperfect, were not to be challenged. The goal was to abolish one of the primary causes of war in Europe.

The doctrine was imperfectly applied. The collapse of the Soviet Union abolished one set of borders, turning internal frontiers into external borders. The Yugoslavian civil war turned into an international war once Yugoslavia ceased to exist, and into civil wars within nation-states such as Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia. At the same time, the borders in the Caucasus were redrawn when newly independent Armenia seized what had been part of Azerbaijan. And in an act that flew in the face of the principle, NATO countries divided Serbia into two parts: an Albanian part called Kosovo and the rest of Serbia.

The point of all this is to understand that the right to national self-determination comes from deep within European principles and that it has been pursued with an intensity and even viciousness that has torn Europe apart and redrawn its borders. One of the reasons that the European Union exists is to formally abolish these wars of national self-determination by attempting to create a framework that both protects and trivializes the nation-state.

Scotland's Case

The possibility of Scottish independence must be understood in this context. Nationalism, the remembrance and love of history and culture, is not a trivial thing. It has driven Europe and even the world for more than two centuries in ever-increasing waves. The upcoming Scottish election, whichever way it goes, demonstrates the enormous power of the desire for national self-determination. If it can corrode the British union, it can corrode anything.

There are those who argue that Scottish independence could lead to economic problems or complicate the management of national defense. These are not trivial questions, but they are not what is at stake here. From an economic point of view, it makes no sense for Scotland to undergo this sort of turmoil. At best, the economic benefits are uncertain. But this is why any theory of human behavior that assumes that the singular purpose of humans is to maximize economic benefits is wrong. Humans have other motivations that are incomprehensible to the economic model but can be empirically demonstrated to be powerful. If this referendum succeeds, it will still show that after more than 300 years, almost half of Scots prefer economic uncertainty to union with a foreign nation.

This is something that must be considered carefully in a continent that is prone to extreme conflicts and still full of borders that do not map to nations as they are understood historically. Catalonia, whose capital is Barcelona, the second-largest and most vibrant city in Spain, has a significant independence movement. The Treaty of Trianon divided Hungary so that some Hungarians live in Romania, while others live in Slovakia. Belgium consists of French and Dutch groups (Walloons and Fleming), and it is not too extreme to say they detest each other. The eastern half of Poland was seized by the Soviet Union and is now part of Ukraine and Belarus. Many Chechens and Dagestanis want to secede from Russia, as do Karelians, who see themselves as Finns. There is a movement in northern Italy to separate its wealthy cities from the rest of Italy. The war between Azerbaijan and Armenia is far from settled. Myriad other examples can be found in Europe alone.

The right to national self-determination is not simply about the nation governing itself but also about the right of the nation to occupy its traditional geography. And since historical memories of geography vary, the possibility of conflict grows. Consider Ireland: After its fight for independence from England and then Britain, the right to Northern Ireland, whose national identity depended on whose memory was viewing it, resulted in bloody warfare for decades.

Scottish independence would transform British history. All of the attempts at minimizing its significance miss the point. It would mean that the British island would be divided into two nation-states, and however warm the feelings now, they were not warm in the past nor can we be sure that they will be warm in the future. England will be vulnerable in ways that it hasn't been for three centuries. And Scotland will have to determine its future. The tough part of national self-determination is the need to make decisions and live with them.

This is not an argument for or against Scottish nationhood. It is simply drawing attention to the enormous power of nationalism in Europe in particular, and in countries colonized by Europeans. Even Scotland remembers what it once was, and many -- perhaps a majority and perhaps a large minority -- long for its return. But the idea that Scotland recalls its past and wants to resurrect it is a stunning testimony less to Scottish history than to the Enlightenment's turning national rights into a moral imperative that cannot be suppressed.

More important, perhaps, is that although Yugoslavia and the Soviet collapse were not seen as precedents for the rest of Europe, Scotland would be seen that way. No one can deny that Britain is an entity of singular importance. If that can melt away, what is certain? At a time when the European Union's economic crisis is intense, challenging European institutions and principles, the dissolution of the British union would legitimize national claims that have been buried for decades.

But then we have to remember that Scotland was buried in Britain for centuries and has resurrected itself. This raises the question of how confident any of us can be that national claims buried for only decades are settled. I have no idea how the Scottish will vote. What strikes me as overwhelmingly important is that the future of Britain is now on the table, and there is a serious possibility that it will cease to be in the way it was. Nationalism has a tendency to move to its logical conclusion, so I put little stock in the moderate assurances of the Scottish nationalists. Nor do I find the arguments against secession based on tax receipts or banks' movements compelling. For centuries, nationalism has trumped economic issues. The model of economic man may be an ideal to some, but it is empirically false. People are interested in economic well-being, but not at the exclusion of all else. In this case, it does not clearly outweigh the right of the Scottish nation to national-self determination.

I think that however the vote goes, unless the nationalists are surprised by an overwhelming defeat, the genie is out of the bottle, and not merely in Britain. The referendum will re-legitimize questions that have caused much strife throughout the European continent for centuries, including the 31-year war of the 20th century that left 80 million dead.

The Origins and Implications of the Scottish Referendum is republished with permission of Stratfor.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Officer Down



Constable Cleve Johnson
Titus County Texas Constable's Office - Precinct 2
End of Watch: Thursday, August 28, 2014
Age: 57
Tour: 34 years
Badge # 2200

Constable Cleve Johnson was killed in an automobile crash on FM 1734 at approximately 10:00 am.

His patrol car left the roadway and struck a concrete culvert.

Constable Johnson had served as constable of Titus County Precinct 2 for for 17 years and had served in law enforcement for a total of 34 years. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and two grandchildren.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got 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. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Our country's future....

Working in police work can make you cynical. But nothing could be as depressing as the working the jail. Granted, this is all the turds from all around Harris county and they are (for the most part) the dregs of society. An unschooled guesstimate of the jailers (who have handed this more than I) and I is 90% of our inmates are frequent flyers, to one degree or another. Jail and prison are just part of the their life. The remaining 10% are the store managers who got busted for DWI, the college students drunk and disorderly, etc. After seeing what jail is like, they don't need another taste.

Then we have the up and coming generation of career criminals. God help us all



Galveston Police Dismantle Organized Crime Gang

At a press conference today at Galveston Police Headquarters, Police Chief Henry Porretto announced the arrest of about 30 members of a gang made up mostly of juveniles who have been robbing and terrorizing people on Galveston Island and in neighboring communities since March...

..."This summer the City of Galveston has seen an alarming increase in Property Crimes and Crimes against Persons; specifically robberies, burglaries, stolen vehicles, and carjackings. Many of these crimes involved similarly described suspects and Modus Operandi (MO’s). In response this marked increase Galveston Police Chief Henry Porretto organized a task force of Galveston Police Officers comprised of a Sergeant and 5 officers to investigate and apprehend the suspects associated with these crimes.

"As a result of this investigative effort Galveston Police were able to identify and systematically dismantle an Organized Criminal Street Gang, closely affiliated with the nationally recognized street gang identified as the Crips. The investigation resulted in identifying a leadership hierarchy for this Organized Criminal Street Gang and was able to link them to the majority of the above crimes. The Crips street gang is one of the three largest, most widely recognized, and dangerous Organized Criminal Street Gangs in these United States.

"Officers assigned to the task force immediately began collecting intelligence regarding the known members and associates of the Omega Organized Criminal Street Gang. Within one week the task force identified and arrested 12 confirmed members or associates of the criminal organization for the following offenses; Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, Aggravated Robbery, Burglary of a Motor Vehicle, Narcotics Possession, outstanding warrants, and probation violations.

"It was quickly recognized by the task force the majority of the Omega Organized Criminal Street Gang members were juvenile offenders. These preliminary arrests led to the recovery of a large amount of stolen property, much of which has already been returned to the rightful owners. The evidence recovered during these arrests and the statements obtained from the arrestees allowed the task force to assist the Galveston Police Criminal Investigations Division in clearing several previously unsolved burglaries and stolen vehicle offenses.

"To date the task force has arrested 15 juveniles, all of which are members or associates of the Omega Organized Criminal Street Gang. The majority of these juvenile offenders has been charged with Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity and includes many of the Omega Criminal Street Gangs leadership. The investigation is still ongoing and likely to yield further Felony charges. Due to the fact these arrestees are juveniles’ state law prohibits the release of their photographs and names.

"While the investigation into the Omega Organized Criminal Street Gang is still very active the bulk of the leadership, members, and associates have been identified, arrested, and charged.


"Concurrent to the task forces’ investigation of the Organized Criminal Street Gang they were able to arrest over 30 individuals that were ultimately not confirmed as associates of the gang but were suspected as being involved in multiple crimes unrelated to the gangs operation. The task force noted a rise in Methamphetamine and made 4 cases involving this particular narcotic with arrests made for both possessing and manufacture/delivery. The task force was also able to make numerous other narcotics related arrests for the possession of cocaine (both powder and crack cocaine), illegal prescription pills, and marijuana. The task force was ultimately able to recover numerous firearms from these offenders that were linked to a burglary in League City and multiple robberies within the City of Galveston.

The Galveston Police task force was able to identify and apprehend a suspect with an Aggravated Assault warrant in Texas City. This could not have been accomplished without the assistance of the US Marshals, Texas City Police Department, and Galveston Police SWAT team...

..."The task force was able to recover numerous narcotics, seize 5 firearms from felonious subjects, and seize over $17,000 in cash...

These are kids as young as ten years old. What a waste of life. I don't argue the chances are they were born into a rough life (single mothers who didn't raise them, fathers who abandoned them, etc) but this is beyond hope. As I've said, I'll always have a job. And that is sad.

K9 Down


K9 Simmie
East St. Louis Police Department
End of Watch: Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Breed: German Shepherd
Age: 3
Gender: M

K9 Simmie was participating in a canine training exercise when he began to show signs of weakness. His handler transported him to a nearby animal hospital where he died as a result of heat exhaustion.

Simmie had served with the East St. Louis Police Department for 14 months.
Rest in Peace Simmie…till our next roll call at the Rainbow Bridge!

In Memory of all Police Dogs

They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy

Officer Down


Agent Geniel Amaro-Fantauzzi
Puerto Rico Police Department
End of Watch: Monday, August 25, 2014
Age: 35
Tour: 16 years
Badge # 27010
Incident Date: 8/19/2014

Agent Geniel Amaro-Fantauzzi succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained one week earlier when he and several other agents were conducting a narcotics investigation at the April Gardens 1 public housing complex, on Carretera 917, in Las Piedras.

A subject in the complex opened fire on the agents, wounding Agent Amaro-Fantauzzi and a second agent. The man who shot them was arrested and charged with five counts of attempted murder in addition to other charges.

Agent Amaro-Fantauzzi was transported to Rio Piedras Medical Center, where he remained on life support until succumbing to his wounds.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got 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. 

Another example of the media's one being somewhat one sided.

Saw this in the Washington Post and found it interesting.
Cruz pushes to punish traitors

Effort to revoke citizenship of Americans who join Islamic State meets resistance

WASHINGTON — In light of intelligence reports that more than 100 Americans have signed on as fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and other Republicans in Congress have launched legislation to revoke their passports and strip them of their U.S. citizenship.

But while the idea has found some surface appeal in Congress, it has run into some resistance in the intelligence community, where there’s
debate about whether that is the best way to gather information and combat terrorism.

While Cruz said “we should not permit them to return to America,” some analysts say that in at least some cases that’s exactly what we should do — in order to detain, interrogate or follow those bent on doing harm inside the United States.

“It reflects a broader debate with the intelligence community about whether it’s preferable to take direct action against a threat immediately or monitor that threat to see if it leads to other associated threats,” said James Phillips, a national security analyst at the Heritage Foundation. “One terrorist may lead to other terrorists.”...

A legitimate question, I agree. However, remember when we raided the compound and killed Osama bin Laden at approximately 400pm (Eastern US time) on Saturday, September 1, 2011. Per the book and movie Zero Dark Thirty, his room and compound were filled with computers and other information. That was invaluable intelligence that could have been better exploited if we had waited a couple of days before confirming to the world UBL was dead, but B Hussein Obama confirmed his death within 24 hours. But for some reason the Washington Post has no issue with the possible loss of intelligence there. Just saying.

How the world changes...

I found these while on the web last night. Shows you how much the world has changed over the years.

1000 years of Europe:



And some facts about the world.




UPDATE:

In the days after Hurricane Katrina, STRATFOR.COM founder George Freeman authored a piece on how New Orleans was a geopolitical prize. How without New Orleans, America's wealth, generated by the vast farms of the midwest could not have found inexpensive routes to the world market. And without that money, the American Industrial Revolution would have not found it's genesis.
New Orleans: A Geopolitical Prize

By George Friedman

The American political system was founded in Philadelphia, but the American nation was built on the vast farmlands that stretch from the Alleghenies to the Rockies. That farmland produced the wealth that funded American industrialization: It permitted the formation of a class of small landholders who, amazingly, could produce more than they could consume. They could sell their excess crops in the east and in Europe and save that money, which eventually became the founding capital of American industry.

But it was not the extraordinary land nor the farmers and ranchers who alone set the process in motion. Rather, it was geography — the extraordinary system of rivers that flowed through the Midwest and allowed them to ship their surplus to the rest of the world. All of the rivers flowed into one — the Mississippi — and the Mississippi flowed to the ports in and around one city: New Orleans. It was in New Orleans that the barges from upstream were unloaded and their cargos stored, sold and reloaded on ocean-going vessels. Until last Sunday, New Orleans was, in many ways, the pivot of the American economy.

For that reason, the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815 was a key moment in American history. Even though the battle occurred after the War of 1812 was over, had the British taken New Orleans, we suspect they wouldn't have given it back. Without New Orleans, the entire Louisiana Purchase would have been valueless to the United States. Or, to state it more precisely, the British would control the region because, at the end of the day, the value of the Purchase was the land and the rivers — which all converged on the Mississippi and the ultimate port of New Orleans. The hero of the battle was Andrew Jackson, and when he became president, his obsession with Texas had much to do with keeping the Mexicans away from New Orleans.

This map from the video above shows how critical the Mighty Mississippi, and New Orleans, is to American industry and farming.  It shows the Mississippi River and it's tributaries, covering over half the land mass of this country.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Even Kermit can see through it.....

K9 Down


K9 Kye
Oklahoma City Police Department, Oklahoma
End of Watch: Monday, August 25, 2014
Breed: German Shepherd
Origin: Belgium
Age: 3
Gender: M
Incident Date: 8/24/2014

K9 Kye succumbed to stab wounds sustained the previous day while attempting a take down on a subject who had led officers on two separate pursuits.

Officers and troopers had pursued the subject for over 30 minutes before he crashed on I-35, at the exit for Goldsby. He then fled on foot, at which point K9 Kye was released.

As Kye bit the subject, the man held onto him and stabbed him several times. Kye's handler was unable to separate them and fatally shot the subject when he refused to drop the knife.

Kye was transported to an animal hospital where he died the following day.
Rest in Peace Kye…till our next roll call at the Rainbow Bridge!

In Memory of all Police Dogs

They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy

Officer Down


Chief of Police Michael Pimentel
Elmendorf Texas Police Department
End of Watch: Saturday, August 23, 2014
Age: 64
Tour: 43 years
Badge # 9100

Chief of Police Michael Pimentel was shot and killed after stopping a vehicle in a residential area near the intersection of South 1st Avenue and East 9th Street at approximately 11:30 am.

A struggle ensued during the stop and Chief Pimentel was shot multiple times. He was flown to University Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

Bexar County deputies responded to the scene and took the suspect into custody.

Chief Pimentel was a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War. He served in law enforcement for 43 years and had previously served as the police chief of the San Antonio Independent School District Police Department.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got 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. 

Security Weekly: The Biggest Threat Dirty Bombs Pose is Panic, September 11, 2014

By Scott Stewart

The government of Kazakhstan announced Sept. 2 that it was searching for a container of radioactive cesium-137 that fell off a truck in the western part of the country. Such radioactive sources are commonly used for medical, commercial and industrial purposes, and from time to time are reported lost or stolen. The material was recovered, but the incident highlighted the risks of radioactive material falling into the wrong hands.

Occasionally, the loss or theft of a radioactive source will result in an accidental dispersal of radioactive material. For example, in 1987, a small radiotherapy capsule of cesium chloride salt was accidentally broken open in Goiania, Brazil, after being salvaged from a radiation therapy machine at an abandoned health care facility. Over the course of 15 days, the capsule containing the radioisotope was handled by a number of people who were fascinated by the faint blue glow it emitted. Some victims reportedly smeared the substance on their bodies. These people then further spread the radiation to various parts of the surrounding neighborhood, and some of it was even taken to nearby towns. In all, more than 1,000 people were contaminated during the incident, and some 244 were found to have significant radioactive material in or on their bodies.

In another case, this time in a slum outside New Delhi, India, eight people were admitted to hospitals in 2010 for radiation exposure after a scrap dealer dismantled an object containing cobalt-60. The cleanup operation was easier in the Indian incident because, unlike the cesium in Goiania, the radioactive material was in metallic form and in larger pieces.

Stolen radioactive material is sometimes released accidently, but it could also be used to make dirty bombs or other radiological dispersal devices intended to cause harm. However, this threat is sometimes dramatically hyped, creating unnecessary fear and panic.

Even if the radioactive source lost in Kazakhstan had fallen into the wrong hands, it is highly unlikely that it could have been transported to the United States or Europe for an attack. Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity to once again place the threats -- and very real limits -- of dirty bombs in perspective.

Radiological Dispersal Devices

A dirty bomb is a type of radiological dispersal device (RDD), and RDDs are, as the name implies, devices that disperse a radiological isotope. Depending on the motives of those planning the attack, an RDD could be a low-key weapon that surreptitiously releases aerosolized radioactive material, one that dumps out a finely powdered radioactive material or something that dissolves a radioactive material in water. Such methods are intended to slowly expose as many people as possible to the radiation for as long as possible without becoming detected. Unless large amounts of a very strong radioactive material are used, however, the effects of such exposure are limited. To cause adverse effects, radiation exposure must occur either in a very high dose over a short period of time or in smaller doses sustained over a longer period. This is not to say that radiation is not dangerous, but only that small amounts of radiation exposure do not necessarily cause measurable harm. In fact, people are commonly exposed to heightened levels of radiation during activities such as air travel and mountain climbing.

By their very nature, RDDs are prone to be ineffective. To maximize the harmful effects of radiation, victims must be exposed to the highest possible concentration of a radioisotope. But by definition and design, RDDs dilute the radiation source, spreading smaller amounts of the substance over a larger area. Additionally, the use of an explosion to spread the radioisotope alerts the intended victims, who can then evacuate the affected area and be decontaminated. These factors make it very difficult for an attacker to administer a deadly dose of radiation through a dirty bomb.

It is important to note that a dirty bomb is not a nuclear device, and no nuclear reaction occurs. A dirty bomb will not produce an effect like the nuclear devices dropped on Hiroshima or Nagasaki. A dirty bomb is quite simply an RDD that uses explosives to disperse a radioactive isotope; the only blast effect or damage produced is from conventional explosives and not from the radioactive material itself. In a dirty bomb attack, radioactive material is spread in an obvious manner, causing mass panic. In other words, the RDD is a weapon intended to create fear and terror.

The radioisotopes that can be used to construct an RDD are fairly common. Those materials considered most likely to be used in an RDD, such as cobalt-60 and cesium-137, have legitimate medical, commercial and industrial uses. Organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency warn that such radioisotopes are readily available to virtually any country in the world, and they are almost certainly not beyond the reach of even moderately capable non-state actors. Indeed, given the ease of obtaining radiological isotopes and the simplicity of constructing a dirty bomb, it is surprising that we have not yet seen one successfully used in a terror attack, especially considering jihadist groups in Iraq, Syria and Libya have captured cities that likely contain radioactive sources. In light of this, let's examine what effectively employing a dirty bomb would entail.

Creating An Effective Dirty Bomb

Like nonexplosive RDDs, unless a dirty bomb contains a large amount of very strong radioactive material, the radiological effects of the device are not likely to be immediate or dramatic. In fact, the explosive effect of the RDD is likely to kill more people than the device's radiological effect. Moreover, the need for a large quantity of a radioisotope not only creates challenges for obtaining the material but also means the resulting device would be large and unwieldy -- and therefore difficult to smuggle into a target such as a subway or stadium.

In practical terms, a dirty bomb can produce a wide range of effects depending on the size of the improvised explosive device (IED) and the amount and type of radioactive material involved. (Powdered radioisotopes are easier to disperse than materials in solid form.) Environmental factors such as terrain, weather conditions and population density also play an important role in determining the effects of such a device.

Significantly, while the radiological effects of a dirty bomb may not be instantly lethal, the radiological impact of an RDD would likely affect an area larger than the kill radius of the IED itself and persist far longer. The explosion from a conventional IED is over in an instant, but radiation released by an RDD can remain for decades unless the area is decontaminated. While the radiation level may not be strong enough to affect people exposed briefly during the initial explosion, the cumulative effects of such radiation could prove very hazardous. Again, the area contaminated and the ease of decontamination depends on the type and quantity of the radioactive material used. Materials in a fine powdered form are easier to disperse and harder to clean up than solid blocks of material. In any case, it would be necessary to evacuate people from the contaminated area, and people would need to stay out of the area until it could be decontaminated, a process that could prove inconvenient and expensive.

Though dirty bombs are not truly weapons of mass destruction like nuclear devices are, they are frequently referred to as "weapons of mass disruption" or "weapons of mass dislocation" because they can temporarily render areas uninhabitable. The expense of decontaminating a large, densely populated area, such as a section of London or Washington, would be quite high. This cost also makes a dirty bomb a type of economic weapon.

Historical Precedents

The world has not yet witnessed a successful dirty bomb attack by a terrorist or militant group. This does not necessarily mean groups are not interested in using radiological weapons. Chechen militants have perhaps been the most active in the realm of radioactive materials. In November 1995, Chechen militants under the command of Shamil Basayev placed a small quantity of cesium-137 in Moscow's Izmaylovsky Park. Rather than disperse the material, however, the Chechens used the material as a psychological weapon by directing a TV news crew to the location, thus creating a media storm and fostering public fear. It is believed the material in this incident was obtained from a nuclear waste or isotope storage facility in the Chechen capital of Grozny.

In December 1998, the pro-Russian Chechen Security Service announced it had found a dirty bomb consisting of a land mine combined with radioactive materials next to a railway line frequently used to transport Russian troops. It is believed that Chechen militants planted the device. In September 1999, two Chechen militants who stole highly radioactive materials from a chemical plant in Grozny were incapacitated after carrying the container for only a few minutes each; one reportedly died later. This highlights another hurdle to producing an effective dirty bomb: The strongest radioactive material is dangerous to handle, and even a suicide operative might not be able to move and employ it without being disabled first.

Still, none of these Chechen incidents provide a clear example of what a dirty bomb detonation would actually look like. To do this, we need to look at incidents where radiological isotopes were dispersed by accident, such as the Goiania and New Delhi incidents mentioned above. Despite widespread contamination and sustained exposure to the radioactive material in the Goiania case, only four people died from the incident. However, in addition to the human toll, the cleanup operation in Goiania cost more than $100 million. Many houses had to be razed and substantial quantities of contaminated soil had to be removed from the area.

Perhaps the largest radiological dispersal incident in history was the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in northern Ukraine, in which a 1-gigawatt power reactor exploded. It is estimated that more than one hundred times the radiation of the Hiroshima bomb was released during the accident -- the equivalent of 50 million to 250 million grams of radium (55 to 275 tons). More than 40 different radioisotopes were released, and there was a measurable rise in cesium-137 levels across the entire European continent. No RDD could ever aspire to anything close to such an effect.

Chernobyl wrought untold suffering, and estimates suggest that it may ultimately contribute to the deaths of 9,000 people. But many of those affected by the radiation are still alive more than 20 years after the accident. While Stratfor by no means seeks to downplay the tragic human or environmental consequences of this disaster, the incident is helpful when contemplating the potential effects of a dirty bomb attack. Despite the incredible amounts of radioactive material released at Chernobyl, only 31 people died in the explosion and its immediate aftermath. Today, 5.5 million people live in the contaminated zone. Many are within or near the specified EU dosage limits for people living close to operational nuclear power plants.

It is this type of historic example that makes us so skeptical of claims that a small dirty bomb could cause hundreds or even thousands of deaths. Instead, the most strategic consequences of this sort of destruction are economic. By some estimates, the Chernobyl disaster will ultimately cost well in excess of $100 billion. Again, in our opinion, a dirty bomb should be considered a weapon of disruption -- one that could cause significant economic loss but that would not cause mass casualties or any real mass destruction.

Fighting Panic

Analytically, based on how easily dirty bombs can be manufactured and the historical interest militants have shown in them -- which ironically, may be partly caused by the hype around the RDD threat -- it is only a matter of time before militants successfully employ one. Because the contamination created by such a device can be long-lasting, more rational international actors would probably prefer to detonate such a device against a target outside their own country. In other words, they would lean toward attacking a target within the United States or Europe rather than against an American or European embassy in their home country.

Considering that it is not likely to produce mass casualties, a dirty bomb attack would likely be directed against a highly symbolic target, such as one representing the economy or government of a Western nation, and would be designed to cause the maximum amount of disruption at the target site. The device would not destroy these sites but would limit access to them for as long as it took to decontaminate them.

As noted above, we believe it is possible the panic created by a dirty bomb attack could well kill more people than the device itself. This analysis is necessary because people who understand the limitations of dirty bombs are less likely to panic than those who do not. An important way to avoid panic is to carefully think about such an incident before it happens and to craft a contingency plan for your family and business. Contingency plans are especially important for those who work in close proximity to a potential dirty bomb target, but they are useful in any disaster, whether natural or man-made, and are something that should be practiced by all families and businesses. Such knowledge and planning will enable individuals to conduct an orderly and methodical evacuation of an affected area, allowing them to minimize their exposure to radioactivity while also limiting their risk of injury or death due to mass hysteria. Although a dirty bomb attack could well be messy and disruptive, it does not have to be deadly.

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