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

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

An important message about texting and driving...

If a bit nerdy:

Thanks Buddy B for the link.

Cigarette box TASER

Got this off of Kennesaw GA Facebook page. Scary to say the least.

This item was found in a vehicle during a traffic stop. While the officer was speaking to the driver outside of the car, the driver repeatedly asked to have a smoke which was located inside the vehicle. The answer was no. In the end, the only “smokes” found was the item in the video. You would be surprised at the type of weapons that have been made to look like “normal items”.

So, forgive us when we seem to act “too rigid” and “mean” when we say no to your request to “smoke” or “make a phone call” with your phone, etc... We’re just trying to make it home at the end of our shifts like everyone else out here.

Stay safe, everyone- its another beautiful day in Kennesaw!

Monday, April 17, 2017

STRATFOR: Turkey's President Wins Sweeping Powers in Cliffhanger Vote, April 16, 2017

Turkey's President Wins Sweeping Powers in Cliffhanger Vote

In an apparent cliffhanger victory, with challenges from the opposition still outstanding, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President (and now party leader) Recep Tayyip Erdogan are claiming a hairline victory in a decisive referendum that will greatly empower the presidency. Some 48 million of 55 million eligible voters cast ballots on a raft of 18 constitutional amendments that will fundamentally alter the Turkish government, taking effect in the next scheduled election in 2019. With nearly all votes counted, the "Yes" vote garnered 51.34 percent of the vote with the "No" vote coming in close behind with 48.66 percent of the vote, according to state-run Anadolu Agency. Though the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) is not conceding the vote and is contesting at least 37 percent of the votes counted, the AKP is claiming victory. Still, the poll has shown just how deeply polarized the Turkish electorate has become: Erdogan has eked out a victory despite losing the three largest cities in the vote — Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. The AKP's razor-thin lead is a big reason why Erdogan feels compelled to resort to extraordinary measures to consolidate power.
A chart showing Turkish referendum results

Constitutional referendums are common in recent Turkish history, with six notable polls having taken place since 1961. The tug of war between granting powers to the parliament, the judiciary, the executive and the military is a decadeslong struggle in Turkey. But the April 16 referendum enables the most sweeping changes yet to the division of power between the executive and legislative branches, heaping additional powers on the president in an unprecedented way in Turkey. The vote is a culmination of a yearslong effort by Erdogan to formalize some of the powers he had already encroached upon as president. He will absorb the powers of the now-eliminated prime minister — historically the more powerful of the two positions — and will be able eschew nonpartisan rules and lead his own political party, dismiss parliament, choose judges that were once selected by their peers, announce a state of emergency, and enact some laws by decree. Overall, the legislative and judicial branches of the Turkish government will have diminished oversight on the presidency. The changes also allow Erdogan to run for two more terms, setting him up for possible rule until 2029.

It is highly unusual for an electoral victory in Turkey to be claimed without winning the largest metropolises. Istanbul and Ankara have been reliably in the AKP camp for years and Izmir, once an opposition CHP stronghold, has been trending toward the AKP in recent elections. According to results from state-run Anadolu Agency, in Istanbul, the "No" vote led with 51.34 percent against 48.66 percent "Yes;" in Ankara, 51.14 percent "No" to 48.86 percent "Yes;" and in Izmir, 68.78 percent "No" to 31.22 percent "Yes." The "No" vote was unsurprisingly ahead in predominantly Kurdish districts in Turkey's southeast, but the margin was smaller than expected. In the Mediterranean city of Antalya the results were: 59.06 percent "No" to 40.94 percent "Yes" and in Mersin, 64.01 percent "No" to 35.99 percent "Yes." Meanwhile, in overseas voting, 59.06 percent voted "Yes" while 40.94 percent voted "No," according to Anadolu Agency.

While "No" campaigners are casting suspicion on Turkish Electoral Board's decision to count unsealed ballots, this has been a common occurrence in recent Turkish polls. Opposition parties supporting the "No" vote, CHP chief among them, publicly doubt the legitimacy of the polls. Considering the state of emergency in place since last July's coup attempt in Turkey, there was concern among "No" voters that the government would use its institutional influence to secure victory in the April 16 poll. Should the ruling party feel the need to take a stronger hand in quelling opposition to the results, it could also leverage the ongoing state of emergency. Turkey's National Security Council is expected to decide on whether to extend or end the state of emergency shortly after the poll. It has been renewed in three-month increments since last July.

Turkey's shift toward a more authoritarian system under Erdogan will no doubt elicit further condemnation from the European Union, but European powers also understand that they still need Turkey's cooperation in containing migrant traffic and in keeping a check on Russia.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said last week that the government will revisit the stalled issue of EU visa liberalization for Turks and further threatened that Turkey's government could reassess the migrant deal with the bloc after the referendum. A more emboldened AKP following the vote will mean more friction in Turkey's already fragile negotiation with the European Union. As weather conditions improve and migrant traffic picks up, this will be a pressing concern for the European Union to manage with Turkey.

While the vote points to dramatic change for Turkey domestically in the long term, Turkey's foreign policy will remain largely unchanged. Regardless of a victory or defeat in the referendum, Turkey will still deepen its focus and presence in northern Iraq and Syria in an effort to contain Kurdish expansionism and face off with Iran in a broader proxy battle.
Turkey's President Wins Sweeping Powers in Cliffhanger Vote Turkey's President Wins Sweeping Powers in Cliffhanger Vote is republished with permission of Stratfor.

STRATFOR: The Islamic State Loses an Important Ideological Weapon, April 13, 2017

A summary of how IS uses articulate English speaking personnel to recruit followers, especially in the West.

Targeting the High Value Terrorists is republished with permission of Stratfor.
The Islamic State Loses an Important Ideological Weapon

Last week, the Islamic State released the eighth edition of its Rumiyah monthly magazine. Its cover story: an article lionizing Rumiyah's former editor, Ahmad Abousamra, who was killed in January by a U.S.-led coalition airstrike near Tabqa, Syria.

Other experts have already done a commendable job of retracing Abousamra's steps as he transformed from a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston's computer science program to a propagandist of terrorism. (I encourage readers interested in his past to look at the profiles compiled by CNN's Paul Cruickshank and the Long War Journal's Thomas Joscelyn.) Rather than repeating their good work, I'd like to use Abousamra's case to look at the importance of propagandists to extremist groups such as the Islamic State — and the impact their removal from the battlefield can have in the fight against terrorism.

Spreading the Word

As I noted a few weeks ago, propagandists have always played a crucial role in terrorist groups' recruitment and radicalization efforts. In fact, early anarchists viewed terrorism itself as a form of propaganda, spread with the help of the media. Advances in the printing press and telegraph enabled anarchists to transmit their messages worldwide; decades later, jihadists became the early adopters of the internet. The Islamic State is no exception, and it has used social media to give its propaganda an unprecedented global reach.

But technology is a tool that is only as effective as the message it conveys. Many different actors have tried to use social media to promote their ideologies or sell their products, but very few have seen the success that the Islamic State has. Part of the group's appeal can be attributed to the apocalyptic nature of its beliefs and the excitement it has generated by telling followers they can help bring about the final battle between good and evil. Yet such claims are hardly unique: There are plenty of other cults with similar views, some of which have even tried to bring about the end of days. What set the Islamic State apart were its dramatic victories on the battlefield in 2014, which lent credibility to the group's promises to conquer the world. But even so, those wins were greatly amplified by the skill of the propaganda team the Islamic State had assembled under Abu Muhammed al-Furqan, the man in charge of the group's media diwan, or department...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Radar for things other than speed..

As a part time libertarian (Sorry Reason magazine, but we don't need open borders, you are way off on that) I generally respect a "man in his castle," if you will. To the point my duties require me to go on, I don't try to invade another man's privacy.

Now this is something interesting. This would more accurate be called a scanner as opposed to a radar.
Police Start Using New Radar Guns That Detect More Than Just Speed

Police officers use radar guns to detect the speed of drivers. These tools come in handy because they make it easier for officers to pull over people who are speeding. The radar guns clock the driver’s speed. However, that is not the only thing that these radar guns can detect. Many people believe that police officers are only using these guns to track speed, but an officer can also use the gun to see whether a person is texting and driving.

Texting and driving is a serious problem. Despite the fact that there have been a lot of studies done to confirm that texting and driving is dangerous, many people still choose to do it. Some states have even made it illegal for people to text and drive. A company in Virginia has developed the guns.

These radar guns work by detecting radiofrequencies. The frequencies come from the cell phone. Sending a text message will give off a different frequency. If the police officers detect a text message frequency, then they will know that the person is texting while driving. This new radar gun is not on the market yet. However, it will be in the hand of officers soon.

I doubt they will be in the hands of cops anytime "soon." I gather it's still in development phase and it will have to be certified by the federal and state authorities. But point made, it's in the pipeline.

It will be very interesting to see how the courts rule on this.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

K9 Down

K9 Rooster
Wichita Police Department, Kansas
End of Watch: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Gender: M
Tour: 5 years
Cause: Gunfire

K9 Rooster was shot and killed while attempting an apprehension of a subject the scene of a domestic disturbance.

Officers had been sent to the mobile home in the 2300 block of East MacArthur Road to investigate the incident. A male subject exited the home with a firearm and the went back inside. The subject opened fire on K9 Rooster when he was released to attempt an apprehension.

Other officers on scene returned fire and killed the subject.

K9 Rooster had served with the Wichita Police Department for five years.

Rest in Peace Rooster…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

STRATFOR: The St. Petersburg Subway Bombing, April 4, 2017

Stratfor Vice President of Tactical Analysis Scott Stewart discusses the unsophisticated nature of the explosive device used in the April 3 attack.

The St. Petersburg Subway Bombing "The St. Petersburg Subway Bombing is republished with permission of Stratfor.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Kevin Michael Haverly
Greene County Sheriff's Office, New York
End of Watch: Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Age: 26
Tour: 4 years

Deputy Sheriff Kevin Haverly was killed in a single vehicle crash on Route 23, in Ashland, at approximately 6:15 am.

He was returning to the agency's satellite office in Ashland at the end of his midnight shift when his patrol SUV left the roadway and struck a utility pole.

Deputy Haverly had served with the Greene County Sheriff's Office for four years. He is survived by his wife, three children, mother, and sister.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

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

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Michael Butler
Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, Georgia
End of Watch: Saturday, February 25, 2017
Age: 39
Badge # 21B

Deputy Sheriff Michael Butler was killed in a vehicle crash while responding to a domestic violence call at approximately 8:25 pm.

He was responding to the call with his emergency equipment activated when a tractor trailer crossed the center line as it attempted to turn right onto Cat Creek Road from Norman Hall Road. Deputy Butler was unable to avoid a collision and struck the trailer portion of the truck. The driver of the tractor trailer pulled Deputy Butler from the burning patrol car.

He was transported to South Georgia Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

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

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

K9 Down

K9 Ranger
Forest Lake Police Department, Minnesota
End of Watch: Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Breed: German Shepherd
Origin: Czech Republic
Age: 9
Gender: M
Tour: 7 years
Cause: Heart attack
Incident Date: 2/7/2017

K9 Ranger suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after conducting an apprehension of a subject following a pursuit involving in the Minnesota State Patrol.

The vehicle pursuit ended in Forest Lake and the subject attempted to flee again in the area of U.S. Route 61 and Minnesota Route 97. K9 Ranger was released and performed an apprehension on the subject, who was then taken into custody.

Ranger began showing signs of a medical emergency after being placed back into his handler's vehicle. He was taken to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center, in St. Paul, where he died shortly before 1:00 am.

K9 Ranger was obtained from the Czech Republic and had served with the Forest Lake Police Department for seven years. He worked as an apprehension and narcotics detection dog.

Rest in Peace Ranger…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

K9,  K9 Down, Officer Safety, Police, Police Training

How the job drains you...

The Houston Police Department lost a sergeant last Friday. No, not, officially, in the line of duty. We went to his station and shot himself. A friend of mine knew him and is still in shock.

By all accounts he was a "good cop," but like all cops, like all people, he had issues. I'm not going to speculate why, I've had family and fiends who've killed themselves. You're just left to wonder why, did you miss the signs and if there was anything you could have done.

I'd seen this article a few weeks ago and it was on my "to post" list, but the last few days makes it more relevant.

Police Officers Face Cumulative PTSD 
Police Officers Face Cumulative PTSDEditor’s Note: This article was originally published on American Military University’s blog, In Public Safety.  We are grateful that they have permitted us to share it with our audience.

Even with all we know about its effects and ways to treat it, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among police officers and continues to take its toll on their lives and those of their families. 
Most of what people think of as PTSD relates to trauma suffered by soldiers and those in the military. However, police officers’ PTSD is different. Soldiers often get PTSD from a single or brief exposure to stress. However, for police officers PTSD tends to manifest over time, resulting from multiple stress-related experiences. This is better known as cumulative PTSD. 
Understanding Cumulative PTSD 
Cumulative PTSD can be even more dangerous than PTSD caused from a single traumatic event, largely because cumulative PTSD is more likely to go unnoticed and untreated. When a catastrophic event occurs, such as an officer-involved shooting, most departments have policies and professionals to help an officer address and deal with the aftermath of an event. 
However, the build-up of events that arise throughout an officer’s career generally do not warrant such specialized attention. As a result, an officer with cumulative PTSD is less likely to receive treatment. Unlike a physical injury, a mental traumatic injury can happen almost daily. When the demon of PTSD surfaces it often goes ignored. If untreated, officers can become a risk to themselves and others. 
Causes of PTSDNumerous events can cause PTSD in police officers, such as hostage situations, dangerous drug busts, responding to fatal accidents, and working other cases that include serious injury or death. But there are many less traumatic situations that can still be extremely stressful for an officer. Other stressful situations include, but are not limited to: long hours; handling people’s attitudes; waiting for the next call and not knowing what the situation will be; and even politics within the department. Then, on top of it all, officers are frequently criticized, scrutinized, and investigated for decisions they make. 
[Related: The Impact of Stress and Fatigue on Police and Steps to Control It] 
Signs of PTSD 
If recognized early and treated properly, officers and their families can overcome the debilitating effects of cumulative PTSD. The key to early intervention and treatment is recognizing the signs of PTSD and seeking help sooner rather than later.
Some of the physical signs officers should look for in themselves include:
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Twitches
  • Thirst
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Grinding of teeth
  • Profuse sweating
  • Pounding heart
  • Diarrhea or intestinal upsets
  • Headaches
[Related: How Police Can Reduce and Manage Stress] 
Behavioral signs family members of officers and officers should look for in themselves and in others include:
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Pacing and restlessness
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Anti-social acts
  • Suspicion and paranoia
  • Increased alcohol consumption and other substance abuse
Emotional signs include:
  • Anxiety or panic
  • Guilt
  • Fear
  • Denial
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Intense anger
  • Agitation
  • Apprehension
The situational training new recruits receive is simply not enough to prepare them for the reality of the experiences they will face throughout their careers. Most young officers do not understand the stressful events they are likely to experience during their years on the job. Many officers are also not adequately equipped with the emotional tools necessary to deal with the emotions they will feel when things happen. 
However, awareness continues to grow about the stress and trauma that officers’ experience. Organizations like the Station House Retreat offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment trauma therapy and peer-support services for police officers as well as all first responders. They also offer addiction treatment for first responders, and support for their family members.

About the Author: Michelle L. Beshears earned her baccalaureate degrees in social psychology and criminal justice and graduate degrees in human resource development and criminology from Indiana State University. She most recently completed her Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in Criminal Justice. Michelle served in the U.S. Army for 11 years. She obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant prior to attending Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia where she earned her commission. As a commissioned officer she led numerous criminal investigations and worked with several external agencies as well. As a civilian, she has worked with the local sheriff’s department, state drug task force and FBI. Michelle is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at American Military University and is full-time faculty in the School of Security and Global Studies. You can contact her at Michelle.Beshears(at)mycampus.apus.edu.
A few weeks ago I had a new officer tell me he had a family funeral to attend, but he could be in only an hour or two late.  I told him "No, you will not be here...you will be with your family.  

Something to ingrain in new officers as they are trained (and continue to remind the) is that they need something other than the job, as it will burn you out.  Family, friends, hippies, etc take you away from your routine and prevent burn out.  The job will always her there.  But your kid will once be a year old once, and your dad will need you in a very difficult time.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Michael Robert Foley
Alameda County Sheriff's Office, California
End of Watch: Thursday, February 23, 2017
Age: 60
Tour: 37 years

Deputy Sheriff Michael Foley was struck and killed by a prisoner transport bus in the parking lot of the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California, at approximately 6:00 am.

He was walking across the darkened parking lot when the bus accidentally struck him as it exited the facility. Deputy Foley was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Deputy Foley had served with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office for eight years and had previously served with the Concord Police Department for 29 years.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

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

STRATFOR: Negotiating the Terms of the Brexit, March 31, 2017

Negotiating the Terms of the Brexit is republished with permission of Stratfor.

Friday, March 31, 2017

In the air tonight....

I saw Phil Collins in concert back in 2005. There was one set of drums out on the stage, he walks out, holds up some sticks, and started to really get down on the drums. After around five minutes another set of drums comes up from the stage with a second drummer. Five minutes of two drummers. Then a third drummer, five more minutes of three drummers. Fifteen minutes of nothing but drums going wild. Awesome.

Here is another version of Phil Collins signature song. Heading to Nacogdoches for the weekend. Hope you have a great one also and enjoy the music.

This is how a cop thinks when he has overtime! :<)

I worked 17 hours of glorious overtime during the Super Bowl (and 13 hours the day before) and it ended in the greatest check of my career. I can related to this officer.

The bad thing was as I was dreaming about that great check, I knew it was already spent! :)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Latest example of the Ferguson Effect. The Windy City is blowing now...

Thanks in large part to the War on Cops, led by the Eric Holder "Just-Us" Department, cops thought out the nation are pulling back from assertive police actions. As before cops would go out, stop people who are conducting suspicious activity (e.g. making actions that show selling narcotics in an area know for narcotics sales) and finding on them weapons, drugs, or warrants. Well thanks to B Hussein Obama and his community activists, the police in Chicago are not going to go out and be forceful. They will hold back, run their calls for service and not get in trouble. If that means the turd who would have been stopped with a pistol in his pocket, booked for felon in possession of a firearm, stopping him from going to commit a murder, well....B Hussein Obama and his friends will have made their point.

From the Windy City...
Study: Chicago stop-and-frisk numbers drop, more work needed

The study revealed a dramatic decrease in the number of stops since an ACLU of Illinois lawsuit, but found that officers were still targeting racial minorities

By Don Babwin and Sophia Tareen Associated Press

CHICAGO — A study of the Chicago Police Department's stop-and-frisk procedures released Friday revealed a dramatic decrease in the number of stops since an American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois lawsuit, but found that officers were still targeting racial minorities.

The report by former U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys, the first one issued under an agreement the city reached with the ACLU in 2015, was not surprising to ACLU officials. The organization expected the decrease because of changes in the law and a deal the organization reached with the department that requires officers to fill out more detailed reports of stops than they once did.

According to the report, the number of investigatory stops fell from more than 1.3 million in 2014 and 2015 to just over 54,000 in the first six months of 2016...

Run those numbers. Assume 650,000 per year, you've dropped to around 110,000 per year now. One fifth of the previous numbers. Well how has that worked out:

Murders 2013: 422
Murders 2014: 428
Murders 2015: 495
Murders 2016: 747
Murders 2017: 134 (As of March 28, 2017)

Do you notice something. The "...agreement the city reached with the ACLU in 2015..." and next year murders once by 25%. Really working well there American Criminal Lovers Union. Sucks if you live on the South Side.
"...We needed something to change, those numbers just could not continue," said Karen Sheley, director of Police Practices Project at the ACLU of Illinois. She said the rate of stops in Chicago on a per capita basis was more than four times than it was in New York. The number of stops has dropped dramatically in New York as well...

Well, you got something changed alright. in three years, you got 300 more murders a year. Well done Karen, well done.
...Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the department would "carefully review the recommendations" and work on implementing reforms while "protecting civil rights of the public." And Chicago's city attorney, Edward Siskel, said the report documents the city's "dedication to fully adopting the new policies and procedures."
Mr. Guglielmi, I've reviewed the recommendations and they suck. Mr. Siskel, are you looking at the murder rate in your city? Perhaps you should check that.
But Sheley said more work needs to be done, pointing out that while the number of stops has dropped, blacks still make up more than 70 percent of those who are stopped even though they account for about a third of Chicago's population...

I am terrified to think what else would you want done. Ain't increasing the homicide rate 50% in three years enough?
The new report comes as Chicago police are trying to regain public trust in the wake of a video that shows a white officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald in 2014. An ensuing Justice Department report this year found the Police Department had a long history of civil rights violations and excessive force.

Suggestion. Maybe if the CPD brought the homicide rate down it would help their "public trust." You know, do "cop work."
The report also included a statistic that might surprise those who criticized the department, both on and off the force, when the 2015 agreement with the ACLU was reached. At the time, critics wondered if reducing the number of stops might decrease the number of illegal guns taken off the street. But the report found that of the 18,364 stops involving a pat-down search, frequently called stop-and-frisk, 465 weapons were recovered — a fraction of the thousands of guns the department takes off the street every year...

Lady, you are so brain vacuumed it's painful to think you made it out of high school, much less law school. Get this Karen, it's not the weapons, it's the people. I don't need a gun to murder you or injury you. But I'm stopped, arrested for the crack in my shoe and put away for a few days, I wasn't able to go down the street, see another thug with different bandanas on his jeans and have my homies shank him. Again, if I'm not on the street, I'm not committing more crime. See how that works out.

This is in no way the fault of the front line men and women of CPD. They've been targeted by the Holder/Lynch "Just-Us" Department and the B Hussein Obama regime. And the Emanuel administration has left you out to dry, so I understand why you're holding back. Hopefully we get this "agreement" lifted soon and you can start policing again. God help the city of Chicago.

STRATFOR: Russia's New Wave of Protests, March 28, 2017

Russia's New Wave of Protests
Russia's New Wave of Protests is republished with permission of Stratfor.

A new version of a classic...

For kids of the 60s and 70s, Loony Tones cartoons were awesome. Now someone has made a new cartoon, with modern technology. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

London crying....

Trump, the doer

Long time friend, fellow retired Army officer, and occasional writer Mike Ford has another great piece in the American Thinker. Enjoy.
Trump, the doer

The Democrats have once again rolled the Republicans. They did it, as always, by controlling the terms of the discussion.

All throughout the Obama era, Republicans (quite rightly) complained about Obamacare. They passed a seemingly unending series of repeal bills, some of which made it through the Senate and one of which actually made it to President Obama's desk...for an ultimate veto.

How did the Democrats win this time? By constantly harping on the Republican Party: So what's your plan, Republicans? The Republicans, true to form, backed down and bought into the Democrat/Statist narrative of the necessity for federal involvement intervention in medicine and promised a replacement plan. Their campaign slogan changed from Repeal! to Repeal and Replace. Thus, no matter what, the least that would happen is that medical care in the United States would remain to the left of where it was in 2008, giving the Statists the win. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once referred to this as the "ratchet effect."

Speaker Ryan owns a large chunk of this, along with his long serving establishment posse. However, President Trump also has some ownership, and here is why. Donald J. Trump has two major attributes. On the upside, he is a doer. He knows and has demonstrated that he can get things done...on time and under budget. Not only was he a success in the business community, but as a political novice, he beat the well funded Clinton machine...a machine that spent almost twice what he did and employed over six times as many paid operatives. Any way you look at it, President Trump is a guy who gets stuff done, does it in a cost-effective way, and does so with his very own form of panache.

On the downside, there is Trump's attribute: he's a doer. When confronted with a problem, his first instinct is to jump right in and begin to solve it. And, as I mentioned above, he is usually, or should I say unusually, successful. However, as president of our constitutional republic, this might not always be the best method, as recently demonstrated by his active support of the failed Ryan plan to "repeal and replace" Obamacare. Ryan's plan, often referred to as "Obamacare Lite," failed to garner enough votes, forcing him to pull it from consideration on the floor of the House.

In his remarks after Speaker Ryan pulled the bill, President Trump spoke of the future, saying, "But I want to have a great health care bill and plan, and we will. It will happen. And it won't be in the very distant future."

Although Trump's remarks and earlier actions were those of a doer, conservatives have issue with this philosophy when applied to federal legislation in general and health care specifically. It's a big reason why Ryan's plan failed to garner support from the House Freedom Caucus. Conservatives don't want a (Trump's words in italics) "Big beautiful (federal) health care plan." Such a plan would, by necessity, be run from D.C., continuing the growth of the federal government and its pervasive influence in our daily lives. Conservatives want full repeal of Obamacare – and, after that, a series of standalone bills that remove the federal government from health care decision-making and funding, constraining it to its constitutional functions while allowing the free market to regulate innovation, quality, and costs.

In the future, Trump, the doer, might consider asking one question before jumping in to fix a problem, whether it be health care or anything else. The first thing he should ask is, "What part of this problem, if any, is a federal (per the U.S. Constitution) issue?" Had he done this with Obamacare, he might have found that the "federal issue" with Obamacare and the rest of health care environment in the United States is that the federal government is way too involved in the first place. Instead of a federal plan that does things, the plan might have been simply for the federal government to stop doing some things.

Mike Ford is a sometime contributor to American Thinker who has learned over multiple decades that the first step in the Problem Solving Process is to Identify the Problem. As Ronaldus Magnus opined, "Government is the problem."

Nuclear blast from 1953

From Popular Science, the video of a 1953 nuclear test. It shows shows how the house is "slowly" destroyed over a fraction of a second.

Watch a 1953 nuclear blast test disintegrate a house in high resolution | Popular Science

Thanks Mike K for the link.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

What a week…

Just spoke with one of my fellow sergeants who was recovering from Thursday/Friday like me.

Wednesday, it started. The board of calls was just overloaded. I hate to leave Night Watch with so much, but we had to. Another agency asked for assistance with a non-emergency call. My dispatched asked about it and the only answer I could give her was, “When I got someone, I’ll send them.”

Thursday was actually pleasant. Things were going steady and I was thinking I would get off on time. I’m guessing someone said, “It’s really quiet tonight…”

At 915pm one of my units had a runner and fortunately the other sergeant went to handle the supervisor duties. Well five minutes after that I hear, “We need more units!,” and I drove off the help. We had two teenage siblings fighting themselves initially, then fighting the cops. We were just getting them under control when the family that called us is about to attack everyone.

We get our suspects moved off and we had just gotten the matter handled (charges accepted, booking blotters filled out, etc) when we hear, “Shots fired! Need back up now!” Needless to say we’re all heading over there. Fortunately the cops were fine.

After a ton of paperwork, I get home at just past 400am, let my uniform drop the to the floor and I don’t remember falling asleep. And waking up after 900am and not being able to go back to sleep. And I have more paperwork to complete so I need to be in at noon. Coffee, quick shower, fresh uniform, drive in, stop by Starbucks for a large Mocha Frap with a shot of espresso (caffeine…the all natural substitute for sleep!), pick up some fried fish from the local Catholic church (if I’m going to hell it’s not for eating meat on Friday during Lent!) and I get a jump on the paperwork. I looked at a couple of other sergeants who were not there on Thursday and said, “You picked a great day to take off!” And on a Friday, thank you God, managed to get off on time!

I get home and I’m too tired to sleep. I just get some whiskey and read a bit until I finally die off. SEVEN HOURS OF SLEEP, thank God!

My fellow sergeant had worked 24 straight on a couple of hours of sleep. Spoke to him this morning and he had also experienced the “sleep of the dead” and was sounding a lot better. I just didn’t believe all the energy I had after a good night’s rest.

To the cops out there, for all the burdens of this job (the strange hours, the missed family/friends) there is something about it. The Watch is a calling, something most can’t do. And thankfully, there are men and women to do it!

Be safe out there!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Use of force. On a woman.

I recall trying to take a man in a wheelchair into custody. My partner and I were at it for almost five minutes and damned I was exhausted.

Notice this officer is much larger than the woman he is trying to take into custody and it still takes over 4 minutes and the assistance of another officer to get her under control. And the driver could have gotten into the fight, where it might have elevated from there.

Good work on this and I'm glad you're ok:

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Some people just don't get it....

One of the questions I have when I pull someone over is, "Do they get a ticket or warning." With people like this, the question answered itself.

Friday, March 17, 2017


I've had my feet run over twice and it's no fun. In this short video a Saudi prince seems to not like getting a ticket and tries to drive off. Mistake.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The threat of cyber attack to our energy industry.....

Last year I finished my master's degree (Again, thank you God that's over!) in Intelligence Studies, with a focus in Homeland Security. I got interested in the threat of cyber warfare to our critical infrastructure. One of the books I read was Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon, documenting the development and deployment of the Student virus against the Iranian nuclear program. It also reviewed how control of large infrastructure systems (power generation, dam control, etc) started to be automated in the 1970s. But back then there was no Internet and few software companies, so the operating systems were proprietary. In the 1990s we started to standardize them to a Windows or Lynux system, which made them more functionals, but also gave adversaries a "in" to the system.

In 2007, the Department of Energy wanted to test this threat. They purchased an old 30mw generator and paid a contractor to build a virus to destroy it. The contractor put thirty lines of code into the operating system and within three minutes this generator was a pile of scrap metal. He blocked the liberation system while having the motor go at full speed, all the while having the monitoring stations reading normal reading. A sobering sight.

From the Sunday Houston Chronicle, a good article on the threat of the this type of attack on a critic asset.
Hackers prove oil networks are vulnerable to attack

By Collin Eaton

Refineries, such as this one along Texas 225 in Deer Park, can be vulnerable to
cyberattacks, even with fencing, high-tech sensors and security teams.

The computer hacker crouched low in thick brush on a cold December night, just beyond the fence line of his target — a massive U.S. oil refinery.

Wearing night-vision goggles and dressed in black, he swung a rubber mallet into the dirt, trying to produce vibrations to distract the plant’s ground-penetrating radar system. He swung again and again. Flashlights emerged from adistant building, then disappeared.

Soon a train roared by, providing the cover his team needed. Quickly, two more men appeared from the shadows. They threw a wool blanket over a 16-foot barbed wire fence, climbed over and rushed to a small building housing the facility’s vital computer controls.

The door had an electronic lock, a badge reader and a plate to thwart lock picking. But the intruders caught a break. The door didn’t sit properly in its frame, leaving just enough space to shimmy it open.

Within moments, they had planted a small device, about the size of a credit card, designed to begin penetrating the refinery’s controls systems.

“Bingo!” crackled from the radio inside a white SUV adorned with a phony logo of the refining company, some 200 yards away. From there, Jeremiah Talamantes gave the signal to leave — “Rabbit!”

As the other hackers hopped in the van, the driver’s nerves calmed. Then a stark reality set in.

“We’ve used a couple hundred dollars in gear, and we were able to break into a refinery without anyone knowing,” said Talamantes, president and managing partner of RedTeam Security in Minnesota. “The implication is pretty devastating.”

Talamantes was hired by the refinery to test its defenses against cyberattacks, and, like so many others, the mission was way too easy. Despite the refinery’s remote location, fencing, high-tech sensors and security team, his team was able to infiltrate its network and potentially wreak havoc.

In recent years, a growing cottage industry of boutique security companies has emerged as oil and gas companies seek outside help to protect their networks. In test after test, private specialists reveal what federal authorities say is a growing national security threat —control systems for valves, pumps, pipelines and refineries are among the most vulnerable targets to cyberattacks.

Often, security firms find that drillers, refiners and pipeline operators run facilities with outdated software and aging automated devices without built-in security. Some companies lack internal detection systems that would allow them to spot cyber intruders.

“We almost always get in,” said Jason Larsen, who leads a team at security firm IOActive that has operations in more than 30 countries. “Most of the time we’re not detected.”

Many energy companies are turning to security specialists to determine whether protocols and defensive software can withstand the creativity and determination of global hackers, said Larry Dannemiller, a cyber insurance broker for major U.S. insurance firms.

“Are all the dollars they’re spending actually making them more secure?” he said. “You have to test it.”

Talamantes shared a detailed account of his firm’s efforts to penetrate the refinery, located in the southeastern United States, so long as the company’s name wasn’t published. Executives were stunned by the intrusion, he said, believing a successful break-in would have taken a much larger team with more time, resources and expensive gear.

“We proved them wrong,” Talamantes said bluntly.

Global problem

From the mines of Chile to offshore platforms in the Indian Ocean to refineries in the United States, Jim Guinn has hacked just about every kind of energy facility.

“There’s not a refinery, power generation facility, oil terminal or platform that doesn’t have technology on it that we haven’t been able to infiltrate,” said Guinn, global cybersecurity leader for energy at Accenture Security consulting in Houston.

This grim assessment comes in spite of the industry’s hard-won progress in cybersecurity over the past few years. Before 2010, energy executives largely ignored the threat such attacks posed to their operations, said Gary Leibowitz, a board member of the Houston chapter of InfraGard, a group that works on cybersecurity issues with the FBI and private companies.

That year, the Stuxnet virus damaged thousands of centrifuges within Iranian nuclear facilities, demonstrating how computer viruses could be so destructive in the real world. Since then, many oil companies have made progress in hardening firewalls, bolstering anti-virus software and other defenses and improving cybersecurity practices.

“Companies are spending time and money on cybersecurity, and it’s across the board,” Leibowitz said.

Exxon Mobil, for example, bans its employees from using personal email and USB flash drives that can carry computer viruses and regularly sends simulated phishing emails to test whether workers will click on alluring links or open attachments, executives said at industry conferences. The company, like many other oil and gas companies contacted for this story, declined comment.

The oil and gas industry, however, remains at a disadvantage against sophisticated hackers, cybersecurity specialists said. The sheer size of the industry alone makes it difficult to secure thousands of devices in vast networks of pipelines, refineries and other facilities stretching across the continent.

In contrast, hackers have to look for only a small number of security flaws to exploit these systems, said Philip Quade, who recently retired as chief of the National Security Agency’s cyber task force.

“Just about anything,” he said, “can be penetrated by someone sophisticated and determined.”

Open to the public

In many cases, the resourceful hacker doesn’t need to develop new malware to get access to industrial controls — asimple internet search can do the trick.

A few years ago, Eireann Leverett, a cybersecurity researcher in the United Kingdom, used a public search engine to find more than 7,500 industrial devices that were linked to the internet. Fewer than 1 in 5 required any kind of authentication, such as passwords, to get inside.

Among the devices hackers have attacked through the internet are the lightweight sensors that run along thousands of miles of pipeline across the nation.

“We should be worried,” Leverett said.

Compromising a sensor on a pipeline could allow a hacker to alter readings of how much oil and gas is running through the pipeline, which could cause the systems to begin pumping more hydrocarbons, said Alvaro Cardenas, an assistant professor and cybersecurity expert at the University of Texas at Dallas.

“It might cause a pressure blast,” Cardenas said.

A few years ago, hackers succeeded in hijacking the modems attached to remote sensors owned by two North American pipeline and utilities companies, after finding them on a public search engine, said Guinn, one of the cybersecurity consultants that investigated the incident.

A power outage had caused the sensors to reset — effectively, turn off — their security settings, leaving them vulnerable to attack from the internet. In this case, the hackers used these devices to launch cyberattacks against other groups. If they had more nefarious ends, they could have crippled the pipelines, Guinn said.

“It’s possible to demonstrate catastrophic disruption in energy company assets,” he said. “We know it can be done.”

Wireless woes

Beyond the internet, industrial controls, sensors and other devices with wireless capabilities or radio transmitters are open to attack by hackers using long-range antennas.

In fact, an off-the-shelf drone attached with a wireless receiver could fly within range of a facility and intercept its wireless signals, according to cybersecurity specialists.

Jeff Melrose, principal security manager at industrial control vendor Yokagowa, piloted three white drones simultaneously over a parking lot in Stafford, demonstrating their maneuverability and potential for extending a hacker’s reach to capture wireless signals.

“Drones are coming into their own, and the things people can do with them will only increase,” said Melrose, noting that energy companies have reported drones buzzing by facilities or crashed with dead batteries nearby.

Security personnel at energy companies are more used to dealing with activists handcuffing themselves to valves, Melrose added. They rarely look up to see the threat from above.

“The question is,” he said, “are you thinking about the deviousness of your adversary?”

The Department of Homeland Security said network scanning and probing accounted for 79 cyber incidents involving industrial controls in 2014 and 2015, but it would not disclose additional details, citing security concerns.

Many companies have adopted advanced encryptions. Still, the most common security setting for wireless networks in energy and other industrial facilities remains the password-protected WPA-2 protocol, used for household wireless networks.

Skilled hackers could break into them in about two hours, said Kevin Dunn, senior vice president at the Austin offices of NCC Group, a security firm based in the United Kingdom.

“If this were a targeted attack,” Dunn said, “whether it be ‘hactivism’ or a nation-state, all they need is time and money and opportunity.”

Employee mishaps

Simple mistakes by workers can lead to devastating consequences.

Two years ago, Steve Mustard, a cybersecurity specialist for the nonprofit group Automation Federation, was delivering a lecture at a Western oil company’s office in Tunisia when the event came to an abrupt halt. The company’s anti-virus program had detected the destructive Stuxnet virus.

IT workers rushed to phones and computers, discovering an employee had accidentally uploaded the virus by plugging an infected thumb drive into his computer. They quickly tracked down and contained the virus.

Had the employee plugged that drive into a computer at a nearby oil production facility, chances are the company would never have caught the virus. It had no detection systems in place for the computer network controlling operations, Mustard said.

“Spills, potential worker injuries, explosions, fires — all of those things could happen,” Mustard said. “What you’ve got are very vulnerable systems that aren’t managed very well, and on the other side, an exponentially increasing number of threats.”

Physical threats

As Talamantes’ refinery caper shows, hackers don’t have to limit themselves to the internet to break into computer networks.

With long-range cameras, they can spend days watching workers entering front doors, so they can mimic their behavior and exploit weak spots to get inside, Talamantes said.

Before Talamantes and his team raided the oil refinery in December, they staked out the company’s corporate offices. They watched employees at nearby coffee shops and restaurants, managing to steal and clone badges.

Talamantes said he tries to stay within the bounds of what real hackers can do with a modest investment. In the refinery raid, his team carried only a small amount of gear, including a laptop, lock-pick set and a $35 device to tap the computer systems, all available on Amazon.

They used two 16-foot ladders, which they returned to Home Depot for a full refund, a set of four two-way radios and lock picks. Over the course of his career, Talamantes said, such tests have found plenty of security weaknesses, cyber and otherwise, that should worry the energy industry.

But the scariest part, he said, is that so much of hacking is low-tech, requiring little expertise.

“Anyone can do these types of things.”

Monday, March 13, 2017

STRATFOR: Russia's Evolving Borderlands, February 28, 2017

Stratfor Vice President of Global Analysis Reva Goujon and Senior Eurasia Analyst Eugene Chausovsky discuss the shifting political dynamics in Russia's periphery.

"Russia's Evolving Borderlands is republished with permission of Stratfor."

More detailed analysis on this issue can be found here:
In Europe's Borderlands, the Winds of Change Blow in Every Direction

February 28, 2017 | 08:00 GMT

By Eugene Chausovsky

Europe's borderlands are in flux. From the shores of the Baltic to the Black seas, and from the peaks of the Carpathians to the Caucasus mountains, each country in the borderlands between Europe and Russia is re-evaluating its foreign policy position in response to major geopolitical changes.

On the west of this group, the European Union is roiled by divisions in the wake of the Brexit vote and intensifying nationalist sentiments, as crucial elections take shape this year in France, Germany and possibly Italy. On the east, Russia has the ear of the new U.S. administration, which is seeking to improve ties with Moscow as it focuses more on the homefront. Though a major reconciliation is a stretch, even the possibility of an understanding or realignment with the United States has enabled Russia to grow more assertive in its periphery...

STRATFOR: The Marketplace in Space, November 18, 2016

I've been meaning to post this for the last few months. It's amazing what imagery is available now. In years past, getting a few pictures of large formations of troops or ships was a major effort. Now we apps for it. God knows we could not mount another Operation Overlord again. An interesting look at how satellite imagey has moved from the domain of governments to the commodity of the free market.

A satellite image shows an oil field burning near Iraq's Qayyarah
air base on Sept. 4. (DigitalGloba/AllSource Analysis)


Though commercial satellite imagery is now available to every corner of the economy, the industry will largely stay focused on its original customers: government intelligence agencies.

Thanks to a number of novel concepts and technologies, imagery collection satellites will continue to evolve and proliferate at a faster and faster pace.

As companies try to keep up with the ever-expanding volume of imagery available, they will have to find better ways to store, analyze and manage it.


DigitalGlobe, one of the largest commercial providers of satellite imagery, launched its WorldView-4 satellite into orbit last week, adding to the growing constellation of satellites circling the Earth. Thanks to these satellites, we have gotten accustomed to having vast amounts of imagery at our fingertips. From online mapping services like Google Maps to browsable databases like Microsoft's TerraServer, the widespread availability of aerial photographs has become the new norm.

But commercial satellite imagery was never intended to serve media outlets or households alone. Instead, the industry was largely built with one set of customers in mind: government intelligence agencies. Even now, the imagery that frequently makes its way to consumers in the private sector is still gathered with an eye toward intelligence requirements. In all likelihood this emphasis will not change much in the coming years, even as states' own collection capabilities continue to improve....

...Complete and Detailed Coverage

Since 1960, when the United States took its first photograph from space, nearly a dozen other countries have launched their own reconnaissance satellites. Over time, the capabilities of those satellites have evolved. At first, early models such as the Corona KH-1 took images with an equivalent resolution of 12 meters (39 feet). (In other words, the surface represented by a single pixel measured about 12 meters by 12 meters.) At this resolution, analysts could make out only large infrastructure, such as runways. But after a series of rapid innovations, satellites were able to take pictures at an equivalent resolution of 1.5 meters. By 1967, analysts could detect individual aircraft, ships and buildings from the images satellites produced. Of course, they still paled in comparison to today's photographs, whose 30-centimeter resolution allows analysts to identify specific weapons systems or even locate human silhouettes.

Modern satellites can deliver images more quickly now, too. The satellites belonging to the United States' initial Corona program carried film cassettes that were then dropped and recovered as they fell toward the Earth. Unsurprisingly, this method led to substantial delays in the photographs' arrival on the desks of analysts and policymakers. It wasn't until 1976, when Washington launched the first KH-11 Kennan spy satellite, equipped with a digital sensor, that images could be immediately transmitted to bases on the ground. Now the United States has 15 of these satellites — which are believed to be able to achieve resolutions as high as 15 centimeters — in orbit. Though much of Washington's satellite program since the KH-11's development remains classified, many believe the newer KH-13 series is operational as well. Regardless, the spread of cutting-edge satellites in space has dramatically increased the ability of the world's great powers to observe one another's actions — a change some have even credited with stabilizing the world by making it more difficult for countries to hide wrongdoing or secretly amass military power.

In Search of New Markets

Governments have not been the only ones pursuing better satellite abilities, either. In 1993, the first private satellite imagery company — WorldView Inc., which later became DigitalGlobe — burst onto the scene when it secured a U.S. license to sell its photographs. Since then, the market has grown exponentially as other giants such as Airbus and myriad smaller competitors followed in DigitalGlobe's footsteps. Thanks in part to increasing internet access and bandwidth worldwide, the industry has taken off, reaching corporations and publishing companies around the globe.

Nevertheless, the bulk of commercial satellite firms still receive most of their revenue from governments. The burgeoning businesses have given countries that are unable or unwilling to field their own satellites access to imagery they otherwise would not have had. Selling photographs to multiple clients has also made imagery far more affordable for consumers, and prices on most products are still falling. The cost of sending satellites into space is dropping quickly as well, reducing the amount of upfront investment required to develop private satellite fleets.

Plunging costs and rising demand have encouraged the sector to seek out new customers. Nongovernmental organizations have been of particular interest to commercial satellite companies, though beyond a small segment that cover conflict zones, nuclear proliferation and humanitarian crises, they have proved a difficult market to break into. The industry has had more success selling its goods to media outlets, but even then it faces tight restrictions on the sale of photographs that contain information on certain government activities, including the movement of troops....

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Arteries getting cleaner....

I spend a few hours this afternoon with my wife and 17 year old at the Bodyworlds exhibit at the Houston Health Museum. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and spend some time there if you can. Even for a non-medical nerd like me it is fascinating, seeing the parts of the human anatomy and how they interact. Here is the "Split Lady" exhibit:

I was just surfing Facebook and I found this interesting took being worked on for treating blocked arteries. It is nothing short of incredibly in how we can treat ailments these days. Take a look at this. It's still in development, but damn, it look promising.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Officer Down

Officer Lucas F. Chellew
California Highway Patrol, California
End of Watch: Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Age: 31
Tour: 8 years
Badge # 19402

Officer Lucas Chellew was killed in a motorcycle crash near the intersection of Stockton Boulevard and Fruitridge Road, in Sacramento, while pursuing another motorcycle.

Officer Chellew's motorcycle crashed during the pursuit. The motorcyclist he was pursuing fled the scene and remains at large.

Officer Chellew was a U.S. Army veteran. He had served with the California Highway Patrol for eight years and was assigned to the South Sacramento Area Office. He is survived by his wife, daughter, son, parents and sister. His father was a retired CHP officer and his sister also serves with the agency.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

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

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Officer Down

Police Officer Keith Boyer
Whittier Police Department, California
End of Watch: Monday, February 20, 2017
Age: 52
Tour: 27 years
Badge # 247

Police Officer Keith Boyer was shot and killed as he and another officer investigated an accident near the intersection of Colima Road and Mar Vista Street.

Unbeknownst to the officers, the vehicle that caused the crash was stolen and being driven by a gang member who had just been paroled. The parolee had just committed another murder hours earlier. As Officer Boyer attempted to conduct a pat down on the subject, the man suddenly pulled a handgun from his waistband and opened fire. Officer Boyer was killed and a second officer was wounded. Despite the wounds, the officers returned fire and wounded the subject.

Officer Boyer was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

Officer Boyer had served with the Whittier Police Department for 27 years and was preparing to retire. He is survived by three adult children and his parents.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

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

My contribution to the "Day without Women"

Let's just say I'm not exactly impressed with the "Day without Women," more accurately with the "Day without some women working." Personally I've met with several personnel working today and they generally don't have time for this bulls@#$, they have jobs, families to support, etc.

But seeing there are females out there protesting something, here is my contribution. One of Norman Lear's greatest shows, Maude, the cousin of Edith Bunker (if I have to explain this, you're too young for this blog) conducting a bicentennial play, commenting the women of the American Revolution.

As I haven't figured out how to cut the video, I recommend you just go to 20:00. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

San Diego Sheriff's K-9s Get Body Armor

A few weeks back a Houston Police K9 was shot by a Houston Police Officer during the pursuit of a robbery suspect. Thankfully Jake is recovering but he may need to take an early medical retirement.

Jake at the emergency room.

Knowing our K9s are fellow officers and family members, it's good to know more departments are equipping them with body armor.
San Diego Sheriff's K-9s Get Body Armor
The San Diego Sheriff’s Department has a brand new tool for its K-9 unit. All 30 dogs now have bullet-resistant vests.

"It offers an extra level of protection for the dogs to keep them from getting hurt out there in the field," says San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Jacob Pavlenko.

"When a handler knows they’re going into a situation where they could be confronting an armed subject, that’s where they’ll put the vest on the dog before they deploy," Pavlenko adds.

Since the vest won’t be on the dog all the time, it takes about 10 to 15 seconds to put on. The vests are lightweight, so the K-9 doesn’t get tired while wearing it. Similar to a bullet-resistant vest for a human, it also protects the dog's body and chest.

"These are ballistic vests, they are to defeat bullets. However, they will defeat slashing moves as well," says Georg Olsen from U.S. Armor.

Money for the vests was provided by the Deputy Sheriff’s Association. The organization paid $16,000 for all 30 of the vests, CW6 reports.

A little over 500 bucks to protect an animal costing almost ten times as much. Good investment.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Officer Down

Special Agent Rickey O'Donald
United States Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Government
End of Watch: Friday, February 17, 2017
Age: 54
Tour: 29 years

Special Agent Rickey O'Donald suffered a fatal heart attack immediately following the FBI's annual mandatory fitness assessment at the Miami Field Office.

After completing the test, he mentioned to other agents that he wasn't feeling well and left. He drove himself to a local hospital where he collapsed in the parking lot.

Special Agent O'Donald had served with the FBI for 29 years and was assigned to the Miami Field Office. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

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

Police, rioters, and social media

One of the points I've made over and over is that cops, like any other human being, have no right to privacy in the public. If I'm on the street,

The Switch: Police are spending millions of dollars to monitor the social media of protesters and suspects

Hundreds of local police departments across the United States have collectively spent about $4.75 million on software tools that can monitor the locations of activists at protests or social media hashtags used by suspects, according to new research.

The research, by the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonprofit organization focusing on criminal justice issues, aims to take a comprehensive look at the fast-growing phenomenon of social media-monitoring by law enforcement. Using public records, the Brennan Center tracked spending by 151 local law enforcement agencies that have contracted with start-ups that siphon data from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites, largely out of the public eye.

“The numbers we have are massively understated,” said Faiza Patel, co-director of the organization’s liberty and national security program, pointing out that agencies don’t always have any obligation to report their use of the software. “But it gives an indication of a phenomenon that is growing rapidly and flying under the radar.”

Top spenders were the City of Los Angeles, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the County of Sacramento, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the County of Macomb, which is a large county in Michigan. Each spent roughly $70,000 over the past three years, Brennan found.

Good to know Texas is in this group!
In recent years, a crop of start-ups — with names like Geofeedia, SnapTrends and Dataminr — has sprung up to analyze data posted publicly on popular social media sites. These start-ups buy information from the social sites and analyze the data to look for trends or monitor events taking place at a certain location. Corporations buy the analysis, along with nonprofits, financial firms and, increasingly, law enforcement. The law enforcement trend has exploded in the past two years, Patel said.

Law enforcement officials say the tools can be useful because sometimes people who commit crimes brag about them on social media. Witnesses also may offer up clues, such as posting that they heard gunshots or posting video of events.

But advocates worry that the tools are being increasingly used to monitor protests and other public gatherings, and to target individual activists. The Oregon Department of Justice, for example, used software called Digital Stakeout to monitor people who used more than 30 hashtags on social media including #BlackLivesMatter, according to the American Civil Liberties Union and a lawsuit filed by one of the people who claimed to have been monitored.

Last month, thousands of people used a location-based tool called "Facebook Check-In" at a protest against an oil pipeline at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Many who “checked-in” on Facebook were not physically at Standing Rock but wanted to thwart police who were reportedly monitoring people who were there. Police have denied using such tools at Standing Rock.

Brennan and other advocates say they fear that tracking could increase under President-elect Donald Trump. “Today the main way protesters organize is online,” Patel said. “This is a new administration that has been frankly threatening to the act of political protest.”

Brennan’s data, which tracked local law enforcement and did not examine the much larger spending by federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was largely obtained from public records requests. The International Association of Police Chiefs has reported that at least 550 law enforcement agencies across 44 states use such tools to gather intelligence.

The rise of social media for law enforcement has become an increasingly perilous issue for technology companies. The companies do not bar law enforcement agencies from buying their data. The companies prohibit its misuse but don’t aggressively track how third parties use it. Last month, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter cut ties with Geofeedia, a software company whose tools have been used by law enforcement to track racially charged protests in Baltimore and in Ferguson, Mo.

And again, what is the problem. You put out a threat to riot in a city, are officers supposed to be blind this warning? If anything, they should be open about this possible riot and be prepared.

A few months ago I was part of the response to a threat in Houston. Originally the rioters (BLM, No My President, etc) were supposed to number around 700. Less than 40 showed up and they were outnumbered more than three to one by the cops (damn near matched by the number of horses.) But according to the American Criminal Lovers Union and this author, the issue is not the threat to the general population by a riot, but the fact police are using public data for being prepared. Thank God these departments are using these assets to know when and where to be deploy. The public expects us to keep them safe from rioters. As Sun Tzu said, thousands of years ago, "Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster."