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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

You think politicians cannot get any dumber....

I've often said I've seen rock bottom for stupidity...then someone breaks the rock.
Tucson News Now
Jackson Councilman says' Let's throw rocks at police'


Jackson Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes wants to send a message to police from other jurisdictions who chase misdemeanor suspects through Jackson.

He says he wants to send that message with rocks, bricks and bottles.

Today the councilman told reporters that police from surrounding cities put Jackson children in danger when they chase people on neighborhood streets. He says he'd like black leadership to team up and use force.

"What I suggest is we get the black leadership together, and as these jurisdictions come into Jackson we throw rocks and bricks and bottles at them. That will send a message we don't want you in here," he says.

Stokes also suggests taking court action against outside police agencies that chase misdemeanor offenders into Jackson.

I wonder if the libtard Democrat realizes if they throw rocks, bricks and bottles at the cops, people open themselves up to being arrested for assault on a police officer and interference with public duties? Of if the cops are treated like this, there will be reaction from the police, like delays in response time for other calls for serve. Probably does, but he doesn't care.

Has to be an Obamaite.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

YouTube Lawyers....

Another great example of not hiring the professionals. Remember the Budweiser Frogs commercials had some advise:

Never send a ferret to do a weasel's job

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Security Weekly: How Protective Intelligence Can Prevent Armed Assaults, December 24, 2015

By Scott Stewart

Over the past several weeks, the Paris, Bamako and San Bernardino attacks have focused my writing on armed assaults. I've written about how, contrary to the hype, armed assaults are not a new tactic, and the threat they pose should not be allowed to push politicians to rashly adopt security measures that undermine personal liberties while doing little to actually keep people safe. I have also written about ways that security forces and individuals can respond to such attacks to help mitigate their impact. Finally, I discussed how advances in medical equipment and the procedures followed by medical first responders and trauma centers have helped to save the lives of many armed assault victims.

But all of these themes are reactive and do very little to help prevent such attacks. However, while I've been writing on these reactive topics, I have also been working with a team to forge a new Stratfor product that focuses on protective intelligence, which is inherently proactive. The confluence of these two concepts — armed assaults and protective intelligence — has me again thinking about ways to prevent armed assaults rather than merely responding to them. Obviously, prevention is always better than mitigation.

Understanding Attacks

The first step in working to prevent any type of attack is to understand how such attacks are conducted. This pertains not just to the tactics and techniques used in the actual attack but also to the planning process that must occur before the attack can be launched. Viewing attacks as the result of a discernible planning process — what we refer to as the terrorist attack cycle — and then breaking that process into its distinct phases and tasks makes it possible to identify times during the attack cycle when those conducting it are vulnerable to detection.

Different types of actors carried out the recent armed assaults. The operatives in the Paris attacks had received small-arms training at camps in Syria and had fought in Syria and Iraq, but the San Bernardino attackers were grassroots jihadists who had not received such training. However, despite differences in their levels of training and experience, all actors must follow the same steps if they are going to plan an attack. Individuals who have received advanced training in terrorist tradecraft skills such as pre-operational surveillance are likely to be more sophisticated during the attack cycle than untrained individuals, but training does not absolve them of having to follow it.

Sometimes individuals do conduct ill-conceived and poorly executed attacks that involve shortcuts in the planning process. But this type of spur-of-the-moment attack is usually associated with mentally disturbed individuals rather than terrorists. It is extremely rare for a terrorist to conduct a spontaneous attack without first following the steps of the attack cycle.

Furthermore, the cycle is independent of ideology. It does not matter if the person planning an attack is a white supremacist, a radical environmentalist, a grassroots jihadist or a member of the al Qaeda core. They must all follow the same steps, accomplish the same tasks and operate in the same predictable areas. Understanding this helps to guard against different types and levels of threats.

Protective intelligence is the process of studying the attack cycle and using an understanding of the cycle to proactively identify, assess and mitigate potential threats. Protective intelligence practitioners carefully study the tactics, tradecraft and behavior associated with militant actors. This then allows security teams to search for and identify elements of those tactics and behaviors that can provide indications of attack planning prior to the launch of an assault. Many of these indicators are not inherently criminal. For example, visiting a public building and observing security measures or standing on the street to watch the arrival of a VIP at an office building are not illegal, but they could indicate that someone is plotting an attack. Even in cases where such behaviors cannot be stopped legally, steps can be taken to identify the potential assailants and let them know that they have been detected, or measures can be put in place to help mitigate the threat.

Some of the points during the attack cycle when potential attackers are most vulnerable to detection are during surveillance, while they are acquiring weapons or building bombs, and while they are testing bomb components. There are other, less obvious points when people on the lookout can spot preparations for an attack, such as while the potential assailants are training for an attack or even during pre-attack deployment.

To really understand the intricacies involved in planning attacks, protective intelligence practitioners cannot simply acknowledge that something like surveillance occurs. They must carefully deconstruct the activity to gain an in-depth understanding of it. Dissecting an activity like pre-operational surveillance requires not only examining aspects such as the demeanor demonstrated by those conducting surveillance and the specific methods and cover used; it also requires identifying particular times when surveillance is most likely and noting certain optimal vantage points (called "perches" in surveillance jargon) from which a surveillant is most likely to observe a specific facility or event. This complex understanding of surveillance can then be used to help focus human or technological countersurveillance efforts to make them most effective. This same type of deconstruction must be done for every step and activity of the planning process.

Applying Knowledge Proactively

But in many cases, especially those involving grassroots jihadists and other poorly trained operatives, the selected target will not have the kind of formal protective intelligence assets mentioned above. Attackers with little training tend to avoid targets that have robust security and countersurveillance teams. Does this mean that armed assaults against such soft targets can't be stopped? The answer is an emphatic no.

Even though there are no formal security teams watching for signs of hostile surveillance at soft targets, aspiring attackers still need to conduct pre-operational surveillance, and this activity is vulnerable to detection by an outside observer. Such observation is aided by the fact that most terrorist operatives practice poor surveillance technique and exhibit terrible demeanor while conducting it — and grassroots terrorists tend to display even worse demeanor than professionals. This opens them up to detection by what I refer to as "grassroots defenders" — ordinary citizens who practice good situational awareness and who report people engaged in suspicious activity such as building or testing bombs, suspiciously acquiring weapons or conducting pre-operational surveillance. I also consider regular police officers to be important grassroots defenders. Attentive police officers on patrol and conducting traffic stops have discovered and thwarted a number of terrorist plots.

It is important to note here that grassroots defenders are not vigilantes, and this is not a call to institute the type of paranoid informant network that existed in East Germany. It is also not a call to Islamophobia; indeed, the Muslim community is an important component of grassroots defense, and many plots have been thwarted based on tips from the Muslim community. Grassroots defenders are simply citizens who possess the proper mindset to take responsibility for their own security and the security of others and who report possible terrorist behavior to the authorities. Some have scoffed at the "If you see something, say something" campaign, but the principle works, especially when people are educated about terrorist behavior — one of our goals at Stratfor.

If people know what they are looking for, it is often possible to tell if your neighbor is making bombs, or if someone is involved in other pre-operational activity. But aside from such discreet indicators, there are frequently far more overt signs. It is very common after an attack to hear witnesses talk about how the attacker had made threats or had showed signs of becoming increasingly radicalized. Reporting such signs to the authorities can stop — and has stopped —attacks.

One recent example of a grassroots defender saving lives by preventing an armed assault was when a concerned citizen called the police department in Waseca, Minnesota, to report a person with a suspicious demeanor entering a storage facility. When police responded, they found that the suspect was storing gunpowder, pyrotechnic chemicals, a pressure cooker, steel ball bearings and other items used in bombmaking inside the locker. After interviewing the suspect, 17-year-old John LaDue, the police learned that he was planning a Columbine-style gun and bomb attack against his school.

In another example, an alert gun store employee in Killeen, Texas, called the police after a customer behaved suspiciously while purchasing a large quantity of smokeless powder. The police were able to track the suspect based on the license plate the employee provided. Their investigation determined that the subject, Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, was an Army deserter who had planned to conduct a bombing and armed assault against a Killeen restaurant frequented by soldiers from the nearby Fort Hood.

Obviously, not every person lurking suspiciously outside a shopping mall is a terrorist, and not every small explosion indicates terrorist bombmaking activity. But reporting such incidents to the authorities will give them an opportunity to investigate and determine whether the incidents are innocuous or sinister. The grassroots threat may be amorphous, but it is not invisible; it can be detected and stopped.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I think I see the problem

A few years ago I was one of the responding officers in an officer down shooting. We had the suspect cornered in a building, there were over 100 cops out all with weapons, an armored vehicle and a helicopter surrounding the place. And we had idiots walking up to us asking, "What's going on?" We were screaming, "Get the hell out of here.." and forgive us, a few other choice words, to get them to move.

This was an article from this morning's Houston Chronicle, of the shooting in San Bernardino, CA, with the vetted imported terrorist. Decent read, but I want to point out something on this picture.

I've had disagreements with conservative/libertarian friends on the need for heavy vehicles in law enforcement.  If you want to know why, look at what happened in San Bernardino.  But this is what drives me nuts.  Look at the right side of the picture and you see a civilian, obviously in a business suit, in his personal vehicle with his phone out to photo it.  IDIOT!  If things start going south, you have an excellent shot (pardon the pun) of getting killed!  The cops have body armor on and an armored vehicle to stop small arms fire.

This desire to have the next Rodeny King video is going to lead to an unrelated third person getting shot.  And then the usual suspects who are always calling, "Cops are infringing on our rights!..." will not be screaming "Why didn't the police stop this civilian getting hurt?"

If we got guns drawn,  there is a reason.  Stay away.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The American Thinker: The Baltimore Judicial Railroad

The American Thinker was nice enough to publish another article by me, The Baltimore Judicial Railroad
The usual suspects are outraged Officer William Porter was not convicted of a felony in the transport and eventual death of Freddie Gray. From the Baltimore Sun editorial of December 17, "...after jurors failed to come to an unanimous decision on any of the four charges on Mr. Porter no doubt will serve as a disappointment to those wished for the verdict in this case to send a clear and unambiguous message."

In contrast, the statue of Lady Justice shows her with a blindfold and balance. She's not there to "send a message" but to determine if the accused is guilty of a criminal act. And one of the basic tenets of Western jurisprudence is the burden of proof falls upon the prosecution. The obvious desire for railroading the officer by the editors of the Sun (And let's be honest, the City Attorney and Mayor, the Department of Justice, and the usual race baiting poverty pimps like Jesse and Al) reminded me of something from my first district court case.

I booked a suspect for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and five months later I was subpoenaed. After the jury was selected, the judge spoke to them for a few minutes. After thanking them for doing their civic duty (Truthfully, a lot of people do dodge it), he explained masterfully to the jury of laypersons (and a rookie cop) how justice works. (From an almost 15 year old memory and the names have been changed to protect the guilty!):

"Ladies and gentlemen, the defendant, Mr. Smith, sits behind the table, he sits there innocent and only you can make him guilty in the eyes of the law. Mr. Smith has the absolute presumption of innocence. He is under no obligation to speak and none of us here, including myself, can force him to answer a question. Mr. Smith is under no obligation to present a defense, although he has hired one. And I am instructing you that you cannot make any inference of his guilt or innocence because of his not speaking or presenting a defense. Those are his rights.

The burden of proof in this matter falls completely on the shoulders of the prosecution, Mr.Jones. He must prove every element of his case to you, individually and in full. Mr. Jones must prove all elements of his case, in your mind, beyond a reasonable doubt (emphasis his). If he fails in doing that, or the defense successfully raises a reasonable doubt in just one element of the prosecution's case, you must acquit the defendant. Mr. Jones doesn’t have to prove beyond all doubt; that is an impossibility. And the prosecution is further at a disadvantage because he must present all of his evidence to the defense prior to trial so they can prepare for it. Mr. Jones cannot give the defense any surprises. However the defense is under no obligation to present any evidence to the prosecution until the trial."

Looking at the officers who have been railroaded by the Baltimore City State's Attorney, this case has been a travesty to the cause of justice. Ms. Marilyn Mosby, with at best evidence of department policy violation, indicted six officers for multiple felonies. Announcing the charges last summer, she praised herself multiple times, referred to “I” (26 times), “my” (12 times) but “me” thankfully only once (for a moment I thought I was listening to an Obama press conference) and basically condemned the defendants in a blatant attempt to poison the jury pool. Ms. Mosby then basked in the limelight, being the subject of multiple friendly news stories, brought up on the stage by Prince during his concert, and topped off by a full spread for Vogue magazine, a mélange of political ambition and inappropriate behavior. These facts did not stop the judge from refusing the defense motion for a change of venue because the defendants could not get an unbiased jury. So much for justice being blind.

Ms.Mosby denied the officers had probable cause to arrest Gray because he didn't have an "illegal weapon," yet her office refused to present the knife he was carrying to the officers’ lawyers for examination. She accused the officer of a false arrest, because the knife was found subsequent to his arrest. Any criminal attorney (or cop on the street) knows after a suspect has been detained he can be searched, and once the weapon is found, it’s fair game for prosecution. Knowing she had a very flimsily case, she tried to stop the release of the Gray autopsy report. Ridiculously she said her prosecutors, “…’have a duty to ensure a fair and impartial process for all parties involved’ and ‘will not be baited into litigating this case through the media.’”

Almost ten years ago America witnessed a major travesty of justice when a politically motived prosecutor named Mike Nifong attempted to make his career with the prosecution of a group of white college students accused of raping a black stripper. After his case fell apart, Nifong was removed from the case and the North Carolina Attorney General took over. The three students were completely exonerated and Nifong eventually lost his law license and was jailed. As she tried to railroad Officer Porter and the other officers, will Ms. Mosby face justice like Mr. Nifong? Time will tell. Only if she faces justice in the future, Ms. Mosby should pray she receives a more justice from the attorney who judges her.

Michael Thiac is a police patrol sergeant and a retired Army intelligence officer.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Our New Boris and Natasha....

A satire of our great vetting process....

Boris's and Natasha's new identities

Hammer and Loupe

Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, formerly known as Boris and Natasha, had changed their looks, names, and religion to make a new future and escape the harassment by Rocky and Bullwinkle.

The Fearless Leader joined the U.S. Department of Justice, making sure that Rocky and Bullwinkle be held responsible for disrupting any of Syed's and Tashfeen's activities.

Syed became a government health inspector to pay the bills, since bomb-throwing didn't bring much income. That allowed him to inspect many soft targets in the area unobstructed. Tashfeen stayed home making bombs, plotting, and communicating with the network.

In other words, they had a normal lifestyle of a well-adjusted family in Las Humanas, actively participating in social media, vacationing at training camps, and having a blast.

At the same time, Rocky and Bullwinkle continued to bitterly cling to their guns and religion, scorned by the mainstream media, shunned by Hollywood, and out of touch with the new generation of America's children. The patriotic duo was classified as "domestic terrorists" and placed under 24/7 government surveillance.

Yes, they are vetted.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Why cops can shoot unarmed people.....

And why we can't relax.

To all my liberal/libtard friends out there, who said of Darren Wilson “He din’t have to shoot Mike Brown…” watch this. The action starts at just past 5 minutes, but watch the whole video the first time to set it up. See how the turd-hopefully dead-sack of shit (forgive me, I’m a bit worked up after watching that video) was “acting’ calm, cooperative, he was in a hospital, being moved down the hall for treatment, completely unarmed, jumps out and grabs for the cop’s gun. For all you YouTube lawyers out there, that shows he intends to have a deadly weapon in his possession, while disarming the peace officer. That shows intent to potentially use the deadly force against the officer or a third person. Now, for all you legal geniuses out there, what have you now reached?

Come on, you know what a cop “shouldn’t have done”, you always love playing Monday morning quarterback, come on, what have you now know?

The officer has “reasonable fear for himself or a third person suffering loss of life or serious bodily injury”. And according to Graham vs O’Connor, USSC, 1989, he can now use deadly force, in this case a pistol.

Observed something else, see how the sack of shit, after being fired upon (don’t know if the first shot hit him) and having the officer, with his weapon pointed at him, says “fuck this!” and again charges the officer, after he’s already been shot. He acted like an animal, charging the officer.

To the officer in this scene, your restraint is incredible. You called for help, warned him multiple times, scream “do no do that!…you can’t go for my weapon!!!” and only shot his ass twice (that I can tell) when he charged. I think if that was me I would have unloaded my Sig-Sauer…don’t know if every round would have hit, but every one would have been fired.

I’ve had multiple discussions over law enforcement use of force over social media and in person, I’ve had several rather heated discussions recently, including the Mike Brown incident. This punk was already injured, was being treated at a hospital, was surrounded with, from his perspective, “hostiles”, and he tried to disarm the officer. Again to my liberal/libtard friends, you know, those of you who think “All we need are camera’s on cops to show the racism, sexism, Islamafobia (whatever is the flavor of the week)”, I say look at this. You are getting a look at the real world is like for police on the street. And to borrow the phrase from Jefferson Parish (LA) Sheriff Newell Normand, “WAKE UP!”

This is what this animal would try on an armed cop, what do you think he (Or Mikey Brown, or Treyon “B Hussein Obama Junior” Martin) would do to you when your unarmed.

Think about that as you walk to visit a sick friend in the hospital…where a prisoner may be being moved down the hall…if he had gotten the gun, do you think you would be safe?

Think about it.

Watch the full video first, but the rear action start at 5.00

Here is the story of the sack of shit. He was stopped for an accident with a stolen truck and suspicion of DWI.

Police release video from hospital shooting

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Police Department released video footage Thursday that depicts the violent struggle on Sept. 6 between Officer David Rock and Heriberto Nava-Martinez at San Juan Regional Medical Center moments before the officer shot the man.

The footage, which is from Rock's body camera, shows the officer conversing with Martinez in Spanish outside a hospital room shortly after 10 p.m. Sept. 6, less than an hour after Farmington police arrested Nava-Martinez on allegations he crashed a stolen pickup truck through the front gates of a Farmington business and then drove it erratically up and down East Main Street.

Nava-Martinez, 23, was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center after the incident due to health concerns and to have his blood tested for drugs and alcohol...

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart, what ya gonna do.....

Many a cop has had to deal with picking up a shoplifter from a store and the incumbent issues. Whenever I pick one up, the first thing I do is "Cuff em!", because they see me, they know it's up. Now here we go, what happens before we get there.

Hopefully the cop was able to get assault charges on the turds.

Seattle PD takes on thug and wins

From the great northwest, Seattle PD did a great job handling business. As we say in the Lone Star State, "Nice shooting Tex!"

At 2:26 notice how they held fire until the lady in the SUV got the hell out of dodge and for all the YouTube lawyers out there, yes, that is justified use of deadly force. The officers had reasonable fear for loss of life or serious bodily injury of themselves and others, seeing the suspect was driving with complete disregard for the safety of other.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

These are not the rights you are looking to take....

I've recently subscribed to Reason magazine and it's defiantly a good read. Libertarian point of view, I can see the writing appealing to the young people of today. But they put up this short video base on the Star Wars series, making points on current issues. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

The Star Wars Libertarian Special

Just in time for the holidays, The Star Wars Libertarian Special features Senate filibusters, border patrol stops, eminent domain, a guest appearance by Edward Snowden, and rarely seen footage from Chewbacca's galaxy-trotting documentary series about free-market economics. May the market forces be with you.

Posted by Reason Magazine on Friday, December 4, 2015

Drones and smuggling into prison. What to do?

From the "I never saw this one coming" file, prisons are having to deal with prisoners getting contraband into the prison. And they are limited to what they can do, which is understandable. Shotguns? Besides the FAA saying we can't shoot at them, I'll bet the guards have their weapons loaded with buckshot, more useful for large slower moving target. If anything, they would need bird shot to get the drones! :) And the FCC will have a hit if they try to interferer with the communication system.
Over the Wire: Prison Guards Handcuffed in Battle With Drones

Like firefighters and those who just want to relax in the privacy of their own backyards, U.S. prisons have a drone problem.

Guards at the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, S.C., recently found 17 illegal cellphones in one inmate’s cell — all of them (according to a report in the New York Times) smuggled in using drones.

In Mansfield, Ohio, a drone delivery of tobacco and drugs caused a near riot in a prison yard as inmates fought over the payload. In Cumberland, Md., officers had better luck, arresting two men in a car outside the Maryland state prison there. In the car were tobacco, pornography, and drugs — and a drone.

Similar reports have come in from Oklahoma and Georgia, as well as places outside the U.S., including Canada and Russia.

Breaking into jail

The point is that these unmanned aircraft systems are clearly capable of delivering contraband over prison walls. Furthermore, it’s hard to spot them, much less find out who is controlling them.

Worse, when it comes to policing the problem at federal prisons, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BoP) is severely handcuffed. Despite having tons of shotgun-armed guards at its prisons, the bureau can’t simply shoot down any drone that happens to appear near a prison; the Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t allow it.

Guards can’t blast drones with radio waves to interfere with the control signals from their operators either: Intentional interference of that sort is illegal, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

All of which is why the BoP has issued an RFI (request for information) looking for a solution.

The RFI — a preliminary step before the agency actually hires someone to implement a solution — is soliciting ideas that will help the BoP detect and neutralize drones trying either to conduct surveillance of prisons and the areas around them or to deliver contraband (such as weapons, drugs, or pornography).

(While the BoP has jurisdiction over federal prisons only, the solutions it finds should also be available eventually to state and local facilities.)

Unfortunately for the BoP, other federal government agencies aren’t being particularly helpful. The FAA would not discuss the issue, except to say that if anyone were to drop something into a prison, that person would be guilty of violating the law. The Department of Justice would not discuss the issue of drones on the record, except to say that Yahoo Tech should contact the FAA. The FCC did not respond to requests for comments.
Complicating matters, the BoP’s RFI seems to be attracting little interest. So far, only one question has been posted regarding the issue, and that was to find out whether the BoP will fund research. (It won’t.)

Detection and registration

Still, the agency does have some options. The law does not prohibit the deployment of sensors at prisons to alert guards that a drone is approaching. Nor does it prohibit sensors that would detect a drone launch at its source. This could allow law enforcement to get to the site of the drone launch and arrest those involved.

And, it should be stated, sending a drone into a prison does violate a long list of federal laws and, if it’s a state prison, state laws as well...

Good read all in all. I spent a year as a jail supervisor and we never had this issue to deal with because we did not have an outside area for the inmates. The only times they saw outside was when they entered and left the facility. Not much of an issue for the county prison but defiantly can be something for Texas Department of Corrections. Then again they can ask the locals for a little help, "Hey, you keep what you kill, no limit, we'll lose you in the pursuit..." :<)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Shoot/Don't Shoot

Not as cut and dry as it seems.

Yesterday I had a Facebook debate with an old friend over a recent officer shooting in Chicago. Today while I was checking my posts I found this and it's a good example of how things are difficult to judge, even when you have the weapon drawn.

Shoot or Don't Shoot

Suicide by cop scenario: Jonathan T Gilliam tells us if he presents the threat, then you have the right to present deadly force.

Posted by Carol Costello on Friday, November 27, 2015
Remember these words, to the day you die, "Action beats reaction, every time!"

Or this video:

Shoot or Don't Shoot

Inside the mind of a police officer: When do you decide to use deadly force? #RaceAndReality

Posted by Carol Costello on Friday, November 27, 2015
Saying this on a Sunday morning at home, no threat, I say I would have not let him get that close to me. Again, I'm saying that not on the scene. You can see she is excited (the heart rate is up) and she doesn't want to shoot. But she made a decision, in this case the right one.

War story from my career, we were searching for a robbery suspect on Main Street, and I discover a man who matched the description. I approached (he had two other males next to him) and he had his right hand in his packet, but his left hand was lying out. I asked "Let me see your right hand." He just gave me a strange look. I ordered him "Let me see your right hand, now!" He pulled his right hand out and immediatley put it behind his back. To say the least this concerned me and I pulled my pistol out, aimed it and screamed, "Let me see your f%^&ing hand, now!" He got the message and put both hands forward. And his buddies started to point to his ears, he was deaf. And not the suspect.

Could I justify deadly force in those circumstances, probably. But thank God it didn't go to that level.

Again, not as cut and dry on the street.

Obama's going after your pension.

                                                Even paranoids have enemies.

                                                Unofficial motto of the KGB.

With the Obama regime soon entering its final year (Thank you God!), we know his “pen and phone” will be working overtime to fundamental transform the United States into a second rate socialist nation.  He has made our foreign policy such a joke and weakened our military that our enemies don’t fear us, our friends don’t rely on us, and neither respect us.  With an administration that openly says the best way to handle ISIS is through a “Climate Change Summit”, can you expect much?  And with the  economy a disaster, Obama’s decided in the sunset of his administration to concentrate on gun control and “climate change” (Or whatever the hell it’s called next week  (Global cooling, global warming, criminate disruption, I loose track).

But an interesting article came out of the Wall Street Journal last week, below the radar, on something completely different.  The Obama regime’s Labor Department cleared regulatory hurdles to allow left leaning states (e.g. California, Illinois and Oregon) to establish publicly backed “individual retirement accounts”, which are IRAs in name only.  From the WSJ article,

California’s inchoate program requires all employers with more than five workers that do not offer retirement plans to enroll workers in a state plan that includes a to-be-specified guaranteed return. Employers will have to automatically deduct contributions from worker paychecks, though employees could opt out.

While Democrats call the plans IRAs, nothing in California’s law guarantees ownership or portability. Private financial institutions will putatively insure the plans, but with an implicit taxpayer guarantee. Illinois’s law allows the state retirement board to procure as needed, insurance against any and all loss” and accept any grants, appropriations, or other moneys from the State.” Rest assured that if Illinois officials refused to pay up, labor unions would cite this language in suing to make them pay.

It reminded me of something I wanted to blog about ages ago, 2010 to be exact.  I went into my files, found the unpublished post and the article from The Washington Examiner (link no longer working):

By: Mark Hemingway

October 31, 2010 Will the government outlaw your 401(k) plan? It seems like an absurd possibility, yet earlier this month two Democratic senators, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., held a hearing on Capitol Hill exploring the possibility of doing exactly that.

On Oct. 8, the two senators from the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on "Retirement (In)security in America." Among the proposals discussed was "Guaranteed Retirement Accounts," or GRAs.

The purpose of the GRA proposal is simple: To force Americans to stop putting their retirement savings money into private 401(k) accounts and send their money to the government instead.

GRAs would "eliminate the favorable tax treatment currently afforded to 401(k) plans, and instead use those dollars to fund government-invested GRAs into which all employees would be required to contribute a portion of their salary," according to a letter signed by House Minority Leader John Boehner and 12 other Republican representatives…

…Testifying at the hearing in favor of GRAs was Ross Eisbrey, vice president of the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal economic think tank located in the same building as the liberal Center for American Progress...

…EPI’s work on retirement security issues also has some suspect backing. The think tank has teamed up with two of the most powerful unions in the country -- the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union -- to push a public campaign for a "Retirement USA" initiative (see Retirement-USA.org).

One of the proposals being touted on Retirement USA's Web site is, you guessed it, GRAs. At the hearing, Eisbrey noted that Retirement USA had not specifically endorsed GRAs, but did "affirm that it meets all of the 12 principles the coalition set out as essential to deliver retirement income that is universal, secure, and adequate."

But why are unions pushing this? The average union pension plan is only 62 percent funded, far below the point at which the government considers a pension plan "endangered." Estimates suggest unions' multi-employer pension plans are underfunded by $165 billion and could be on the verge of collapse.

Union leaders see these "retirement security" ideas like GRAs as vehicles to a back-door pension bailout, where union leaders will no longer have to worry about the fact they've underfunded their rank and file members' pension plans. Just let Uncle Sucker take care of it.

Labor is the biggest source of campaign cash for Democrats (Retirement USA backers AFL-CIO and SEIU are spending $88 million this election),..

Regardless, forcing everybody into a government retirement system that pays out equally to Americans who have scrimped and saved and to those in organized labor who have grossly mismanaged their pension plans seems almost too crazy to contemplate…

This is not the first time the radical left has lusted after pension funds.  Jesse Jackson has proposed multiple times since the 1980s to seize thefunds to “rebuild” inner cites.  And there is money to get.  As of 2014, Americans have over 15 trillion in private pension funds.  Is there reason to be concerned?  “If you like your health care plan….”, need I say more?

The basics of the current IRA/401 system is you get an immediate tax advantage, the fund builds tax shielded (you generally pay taxes when it’s withdrawn) and if you die, the fund is passed to your estate.  This gives the individual a degree of independence.  With the proposed GSA, your money is pooled with others, you are guaranteed by “full faith and credit of the United States” and upon your death half (ain’t that nice of them) goes to your estate.  Don’t we already have things like this?  Social Security, the assets of which are only two safes of IOUs in a building in, I believe, West Virginia.  Similar to the Medicaid Trust Fund and the Federal Highway Trust fund, they have nothing but IOUs.  The “full faith and credit of the United States” ain’t worth much.

But again, look at something over the last seven years.  A point I’ve made countless times is Obamacare is working perfectly.  What is the purpose of Obamacare?  It is the bridge to single payer.  You destroy the private health care system and the only thing left is government, a form of “Medicaid for All”.  Remember him saying to AFL-CIO:
I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer health care plan. The United States of America–the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent–14 percent of its gross national product on health care and cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody and that’s what Jim is talking about when he says, ‘Everybody in. Nobody out.’ A single payer health care credit–universal healthcare credit. That’s what I’d like to see, but as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House and we’ve got to take back the Senate and we’ve got to take back the House.”
But I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There’s going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years out or 20 years out..”
Some of the first acts of B Hussein Obama in January 2009 included having the Department of Education take over student loans, increased government control of housing, establish government control over multiple industries (e.g. banking through Dodd-Frank).  Going full fore for gun control and industry regulation through climate regulation.  Do you see a pattern here?  All critical functions of life are now requiring government interaction.  Over the next 13 months you can see the metastasis of the Julia cartoon from the 2012 election campaign.  Retirement planning?  Need I say more.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Police Hiring

Fellow cop, retired chief of police, published author and friend, Scott Silverii, is publishing a series on his blog, SilverHart Writers, on policing, geared for the writer. Here is the first in the series,The Hiring Process.

Police Life Series: Part 1 – The Hiring Process

SilverHart’s Police Life Series will post each Wednesday to give writers an insight into the daily life of law enforcement officers. There are so many phases to the profession that writers miss the opportunity to see the depth of effort and effect for doing the job.

So you are ready to make the commitment. Now what?

Hiring into a law enforcement agency can be much more difficult than any other profession. The process is usually long and involves multiple stages before you may be considered for employment.

Hiring processes may take as long as one year before the applicant is contacted by the agency. Within that period many find work elsewhere, join the military or redeploy or enroll in college courses.

On average, less than 10% of applicants are hired into law enforcement. The many phases seem to DQ or wash candidates out.

Be Prepared
People base their knowledge of policing on what they’ve read in books or seen in TV, movies and myth. Watching Law & Order: SVU will not prepare you for a job in policing.

Know the requirements for the agency to which you are applying. Most have a minimum age of 21, but some allow applicants at age 18.

Does the agency DQ for felony arrests and/or convictions. What about misdemeanor arrests and / or convictions.

Is college required, and if so will they substitute military service?

Is there a residency requirement, and if so are you willing to relocate?

Know the basic requirements. Agencies will not bend the rules because you played through Call Of Duty on your PlayStation without getting killed.

Written Test
Most agencies require a written test. This is a standard exam and you may purchase study materials and guides to prepare. This is usually the big wash out for most hopefuls.

Most agencies also give additional points for military service, college credits, or prior law enforcement service. Know the rules and the point system.

Oral Exam
Lets say you pass the written portion. You will next move to an oral exam. This is a high-pressure interview before a panel of experienced law enforcement officers. They have a standardized selection of situational scenarios to read to you.

You will be graded not only on what you say, but how you say it. Posture, eye contact, voice inflection, tone and pronunciation are being graded.

There is also usually no “right” answer but you are being judged on your ability to use critical thinking and deductive reasoning skills. Think before you speak.

Background Investigation
Consider the fact that an experienced investigator will work to dig up anything they can to discredit you. Criminal history, DWI, domestic violence, termination, or an active arrest warrant. These are all situations investigators uncover.

Once the dirt has been dug up, you may be required to submit to a lie detector exam, and a drug test. It’s unfortunate that many apply with the hopes that their past transgressions remain uncovered – they won’t.

Make sure your references have references. It’s a tough squeeze to get into that 10%, and the agency wants to make sure you’re worthy of wearing the same shield they do.

Bolster Your Position
Don’t wait until you fill out an application to show you want the job. Volunteer to do service work or apply as a Reserve Officer. Ask to go on ride-alongs to get an understanding of the agency and the requirements of the job. Volunteer to do internships if you are in college, and make opportunities for you to get noticed.

Physical Fitness Exam
Get in shape. If you wait until they call you for the PT Exam then its already too late. Fitness is a basic requirement for hire and a major requirement to complete the academy. Before you hand in that application, make sure you are prepared to run, push up, sit up and complete an obstacle course.

Did We Say It Already? Be Prepared
If you truly want to work in law enforcement then it is incumbent upon you to get yourself in the academic, physical, social and moral condition to apply and compete for the job. Make no mistake, it is a competition and your chances of winning are at or less than 10%. Do you have what it takes?

How not to use policy technology....

I travel daily in a POV through gang infested drug trafficking areas where there is prostitution going on. It's called my daily commute to the station.

I support the use of license plate readers, they are a God send in finding stolen vehicles, felons, etc. But this is absurd. Lady, it may shock you but in Houston we have thousands of middle class early 20s something males driving through a known prostitution area daily. These are students driving to the University of Houston, which lies in the middle of the Third Ward, a crime infested neighborhood. Or a friend of mine, back when he lived in Los Angeles, used to drive across South Central daily to get to work. I guess he would get a nasty letter by your idea.

By your plan, they could have letters sent to their house just so for the crime of driving. Ms Martinez, you are an idiot.

Los Angeles Just Proposed the Worst Use of License Plate Reader Data in History.

Nick Selby

Last month, when I spoke on a panel called “Spying in Public: Policy and Practice” at the 25th Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference in Washington, DC, we were embroiled in a discussion of license plate readers. As a law enforcement technologist, and a working police detective, I generally support the use of license plate readers. I discussed at the conference a child pornography case in which the suspect (now indicted) had fled the city and the police located him using the technology.

From the back of the room came the comment, “The issue is the potentially chilling effect that this technology has on freedom of association and freedom of transportation.”

That’s literally the phrase that leapt into my mind when I read the monumentally over-reaching idea posed by Nury Martinez, a 6th district Los Angeles city councilwoman, to access a database of license plates captured in certain places around the city, translate these license plates to obtain the name and address of each owner, and send to that owner a letter explaining that the vehicle was seen in, “an area known for prostitution.”

Councilwoman Martinez feels that prostitution is not a “victimless” crime, and that by discouraging johns, the incidence of the crime can be reduced. Martinez told CBS Los Angeles, “If you aren’t soliciting, you have no reason to worry about finding one of these letters in your mailbox. But if you are, these letters will discourage you from returning. Soliciting for sex in our neighborhoods is not OK.”

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to ask the office of the District Attorney for their help implementing the plan.

Have Ms. Martinez and the Los Angeles City Council taken leave of their senses? This scheme makes, literally, a state issue out of legal travel to arbitrary places deemed by some — but not by a court, and without due process — to be “related” to crime in general, not to any specific crime.

There isn’t “potential” for abuse here, this is a legislated abuse of technology that is already controversial when it’s used by police for the purpose of seeking stolen vehicles, tracking down fugitives and solving specific crimes.

It is theoretically possible that a law enforcement officer could observe an area he understands to be known for prostitution, and, upon seeing a vehicle driving in a certain manner, or stopping in front of suspected or known prostitutes, based on his reasonable suspicion that he bases on his analysis of the totality of these specific circumstances, the officer could speak with the driver to investigate. This is very uncommon, because it would take a huge amount of manpower and time.

The City Council and Ms. Martinez seek to “automate” this process of reasonable suspicion (reducing it to mere presence at a certain place), and deploy it on a massive scale. They then seek to take this much further, through a highly irresponsible (and probably illegal) action that could have significant consequences on the recipient of such a letter — and they have absolutely no legal standing to write, let alone send it. There are grave issues of freedom of transportation and freedom of association here.

Worse, they seek to use municipal funds to take action against those guilty of nothing other than traveling legally on city streets, then access the state-funded Department of Motor Vehicle registration records to resolve the owner data, then use municipal moneys to write, package and pay the United States Postal Service to deliver a letter that is at best a physical manifestation of the worst kind of Digital McCarthyism. There are clearly Constitutional issues here.

Oh, and what happens to those records once they are committed to paper? As letters sent by the District Attorney or City Council, they would be rightly subject to Freedom of Information Laws. And mandatory retention periods that exceed those of automated license plate data, even though no investigation has been consummated.

Which means that, under Councilwoman Martinez’ scheme, anyone will be able to get a list of all vehicles driving in certain parts of town merely by requesting “all ‘John’ letters sent” between a date range.

Far from serving as, in the words of one proponent, a private “wake-up call,” these letters will surely be the basis of insurance, medical, employment and other decisions, and such a list can be re-sold to public records companies, advertising mailing list companies…the list is, literally, endless.

This wrong-headed law has, out of the gate, a chilling effect on association and transport.

No non-fascist state should ever allow this to happen.
Thank you Darren at Right on the Left Coast for the link.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Forecasting Japan: 25 Years Later


Editor's Note: Since the end of the Cold War, the Pacific Rim has seen China rise and Japan stagnate. However, Japan is approaching an epochal shift that will enable it to challenge the current order. This analysis is the fourth and final part of a series that forecasts the nature of that shift and the future of Japan. Part one explored the origins of Japan's slow-burning crisis. Part two examined the rise of China and its impact on Japan. Part three assessed the failure of Tokyo to enact meaningful reforms.

In the coming years, Japan will transition out of its slow-burning state of crisis as it seeks to make a radical break with its current, decaying Cold War political order. The transformation will take place against the backdrop of significant demographic changes. Since 2005, Japan has seen its 65-and-over population grow by more than 33 percent, faster than any past or future forecast rate. Over the next decade, this rate of aging will slow substantially, as will the decline in Japan's working-age population. These trends will persist until around 2040, when most of those born in the country's 1968-1976 baby boom will have entered retirement. Then, between 2035 and 2045, the rate of the working-age population's decline will pick up slightly, increasing pressure on the system. By 2060, the situation will become dire. Even under constant fertility conditions, Japan's population will fall to around 86 million; if fertility declines, population levels will drop further still to 79 million. As a result, Tokyo will likely be increasingly confronted with internal issues related to economic and social management in the years after 2040.


In the next five years, Japan's break from the post-Cold War period will begin. Tokyo will start to dismantle key elements of its current political order and the reforms that have made that order more democratically accountable. The process will require substantial changes in the relationships between the Liberal Democratic Party, civil service and keiretsu, and Tokyo will have to find some way to curb or eliminate the electoral strength of economically non-competitive public utilities while offsetting the growing power of the over-65 voting population. Meanwhile, the Japanese government will need to make reforms to improve the productivity, efficiency and competitiveness of Japanese businesses. Only these changes will ensure that Japan can cope with the acute population aging and workforce shrinkage it will face in the decades after 2020 while guaranteeing the country's national security.

Over the next two years, Tokyo will focus on achieving Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "virtuous circle." Each of Abe's proposed economic reforms aim to address the root causes of underemployment, with the hope that higher employment will drive up domestic consumption, thereby boosting the economy and raising employment levels even further. This cycle will need to be in place before the Bank of Japan pulls back on monetary easing or the central government is forced to improve its fiscal position by raising the national sales tax or increasing corporate taxes. The bank's current rate of bond purchasing is unsustainable, and Stratfor expects that the Bank of Japan will cut back on its bond purchases, perhaps significantly, before 2017.

While the prime minister's "Abenomics" measures will make some progress before 2017, the administration's efforts are not extreme enough to put Japan back on the path toward sustainable growth within the next two years. The weak economies of both China and Europe – key destinations for Japanese exports – will make this outcome even more unlikely. Therefore, when the Bank of Japan inevitably pulls back on its bond purchases, Japanese companies with extensive overseas operations will see repatriated funds decline in value, which will reduce their incentive to invest domestically. The cost of Japanese goods will also rise yet again, eroding the country's competitiveness with China and South Korea.

The drawdown in bond purchases and declining investment will lead to fiscal deficits for the Japanese government, putting pressure on Tokyo to raise taxes on either companies or individuals. Whichever Tokyo chooses, by the start of 2017, it will once again find itself facing a dilemma after a short period of economic growth.

But Abenomics will not implode. The Japanese government will likely find a way to avoid defaulting on its sovereign debt and the Bank of Japan will manage to implement a modest amount of monetary stimulus without undermining the country's sovereign debt markets. Inflation may hit 2 percent, wages may rise and Japan will likely succeed in attracting some foreign investment into long-protected sectors and new industries. Abenomics is fundamentally sound and economically rational, but its economic benefits in the long term will be preceded by hardship for individuals. In 2016, as Japan's growth picks up, these side effects will become slightly less glaring, but if the Bank of Japan pulls back on bonds and the government raises taxes, they will resurface.

Life will not substantially deteriorate for ordinary Japanese people, but events will hurt the prime minister and his administration at the polls. Abe survived the December 2014 elections because of an incoherent opposition, but Japan's fragmented playing field will not last forever. By 2017, dissatisfaction among older voters, especially those with ties to the agriculture lobby or to other keiretsu, as well as middle-aged and older small business owners, will begin to undermine Abe's electoral position.

A Quiet Revolution

The fate of the Abe administration will have relatively little bearing on whether the core policies of Abenomics persist. Over the next five years, two trends will emerge, the first being the rise of a new generation of bureaucrats dedicated to the reforms necessary to ensure Japan's long-term security. At the same time, an older population averse to those reforms, especially military normalization, will come to dominate the electoral system. Since avoiding reform is not an option, the government will move away from a system of electoral democracy.

Japan will continue to hold regular elections, and parties will exchange places at the head of Japan's legislature. Beneath the surface, however, the ministries that make and implement policy will begin to reassert their autonomy from the legislature. This will reverse two decades of reforms aimed at strengthening Japan's legislative and judicial branches and increasing the major parties' power relative to key ministries, harkening back to the early post-World War II decades when the bureaucracy was autonomous from politics and informally controlled the nation. This autonomous civil service itself had roots in a much longer tradition of governing through a small cadre of administrative elites that reaches back to the Meiji Restoration and deep into Japan's feudal past. Once the new generation of administrators has secured its position, it will work to ensure that the core elements of Abenomics survive.

China's Continued Rise

Over the next five years, the regional security situation will become increasingly volatile; economic dislocation and political turmoil within China will combine with China's expanding military power. Urged on by the United States, Japan will become more proactive not only in its own maritime patrolling and reconnaissance activity but also in deepening cooperation with Southeast Asian partners. The sheer quantity of vessels and aircraft deployed in the region will raise the risk of short, sharp crises. Such incidents will ultimately serve to bolster popular support within Japan for a defense posture against Chinese aggression.

Greater volatility in the Pacific will fuel the rise of the new generation of activist bureaucrats and keiretsu leaders by underscoring the need for reform. By 2020, these rising civil servants and business leaders will have made significant headway in consolidating their influence within key ministries. Meanwhile, Japan will seek to capitalize on the increased integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to expand Japanese influence in Southeast Asia and nearby India. Japan will pursue these goals with an eye toward containing Beijing, but they will yield benefits independent of China.

Forecast After 2020

Japan will enter the 2020s in a relatively strong position. Despite growing opposition from an electorate dominated by older voters, the government will be more successful than previous administrations in implementing reform. Breaking up the agricultural and other lobbies in the late 2010s will expedite the process. As the generation born before World War II leaves politics and tensions with China grow, nationalist sentiments in Japan will surge, allowing the government to more actively mobilize support for defense reforms.

The reform measures initiated under Abenomics will slowly come into force after 2020 but will fall short of generating sustained annual GDP growth above 1-2 percent. Demographics will undergird this poor performance: Between 2015 and 2020, Japan's workforce will shrink by 3.3 million, or about 4 percent, increasing the pressure on the economy's productive capacity. Reform measures, however, will help ensure relatively stable GDP, improved efficiency and productivity as well as constant quality of life. This will provide a workable basis for the government's efforts to revamp the country's regional and global image and extend its political, military and economic reach.

From 2020 to 2030, Japan's working-age population (ages 20-64) will fall by around 4.8 million to 5.6 million. This drop will be well below the decline of 7.7 million-8.3 million people from 2010 to 2020, but it will be substantial nonetheless. To maintain a constant GDP, Japan will need to ensure average annual productivity growth of at least 2 percent. Doing so will require securing labor reforms. It will also depend on the Japanese government's ability to stimulate higher value-added services (such as financial services) and computer technologies industries at home.

Fixing employment problems will be critical for supporting Japan's growing elderly population. Compared with the years between 2010 and 2020, when the country's over-65 population grew by 7.5 million, the rate of population aging will slow considerably in the 2020s. Still, the absolute burden of caring for Japan's elderly population will only grow. By 2030, people over 65 will account for 32 percent of Japan's population, as opposed to 56 percent of the population at working age.

Tokyo will make tangible progress throughout the 2020s in cementing reforms and encouraging the kinds of industries needed to improve the overall productivity of Japan's economy. But the Chinese and European economies will remain weak through the early 2020s, and Japan's internal changes are unlikely to generate enough taxable income to reverse Tokyo’s reliance on deficit spending. Japan probably will not default on its debt, given the high rate of domestic ownership, but the amount of debt will grow, as will debt servicing costs.

Japan's relations with China will be in flux between 2020 and 2030. Even as China's economy slows between 2015 and 2018 and the Chinese government struggles with rising unemployment and social dislocation at home, the United States, Japan and their partners in broader Asia will pull closer together to balance against the perceived Chinese threat.

Beijing will continue to invest in its military and maritime expansion, and the world will continue to expect an imminent Chinese economic recovery. This will fuel integration efforts by the United States and Japan. But before 2025, the limits to China's economic trajectory and military capabilities compared with those of the U.S.- and Japan-led coalition will have become unmistakably clear. This will coincide with the unleashing of long-suppressed social and political energies within China, a process that could reach a climax before the scheduled 2022 generational leadership transition. The extreme centralization of political power before 2020 will have thoroughly undermined the system of checks and balances within the Communist Party of China and will make for a tumultuous transition process.

Up to 2025, Japan's neighbors will continue to view it as the leading counterbalance to China. Before long, however, internal political turmoil and continued economic dislocation within China will start to put the brakes on this dynamic. Stratfor expects China's ongoing economic slowdown to bottom out sometime around 2020. Throughout the early 2020s, China will be engaged in a process of restructuring and rebuilding its economy, a process that will weigh on annual GDP growth through the late 2020s. It will not be until the end of the decade that China's painful restructuring comes to fruition and domestic consumption by the urban middle class emerges as a genuine driver of national economic growth. As a result, China will exist in a state of economic dysfunction between the leadership transition of 2022 and perhaps as late as 2029-2030, likely increasing regional economic fragmentation.

The United States will realize the state China is in and will begin to slowly adjust the U.S. position in the region. Washington will move to prevent a complete Chinese political and economic collapse, fearing that such an outcome would cause extraordinary disruption across East Asia and provide an ascendant Japan a chance to move beyond the United States. To prevent its displacement, the United States will move to constrain Japan while avoiding open displays of friction with the Japanese.

Thus, Japan will find itself in the second half of the 2020s caught between a recovering China and a United States more amenable to assist in that recovery. This strategic bind, combined with Japan's deepening demographic decline, could well pave the way for another period of relative introversion in the 2030s.

The rates of workforce decline and population aging will both remain moderate in the 2030s before picking up precipitously in the 2040s. Efforts to boost fertility rates in the late 2010s and 2020s may help counteract the effects of working-age and population decline after 2040, but by and large, their effects on Japan's workforce will not be felt in the 2030s. If fertility does improve, Japan's workforce (by 2040, only 52 percent of the population) could find itself even more financially strained than in the previous decade. By 2060, Japan's workforce will have declined by 50 percent since 2015, while the country's total population could fall by as much as 25 percent. With this in mind, the years after 2040 are likely to be increasingly dominated by internal economic and social management-related issues.