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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Another intellectual genius shows why he should be no where near the public debate.

I recall an interview with Justice Antonin Scalia when he said he would refer to dictionaries and other references from the late 1700s when he is handing a case. He looks at the issue as a man who wrote the document would.

Now with have an idiot with the Washington Post saying the document that founded this country is confusing because it's too old.

I guess I'm confused and can't understand the First Amendment...you said it's too old. I guess the words "Congress shall make no law..." and "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." is too confusing for a Washington Post genius.

Typical leftist horse crap...unfortunately he will be called for intelligent commentary by the usual suspects.

Liberal Star Blogger Ezra Klein: Constitution ‘Has No Binding Power on Anything’; Confusing Because it’s Over 100 Years Old

A new version of NFL 60...how you really want it to end...

Enough said......

Thanks you Claude Z for the link

Another of the Greatest Generation passes....

She wasn't the guy who climbed the cliffs at Normandy or stormed a beach in the Pacific but she was great. And she didn't know she was this woman until 30 years ago.

RIP Mrs Doyle...
Geraldine Hoff Doyle, a World War II factory worker whose bandana-wearing image in a wire-service photo is said to have been the model for the woman depicted in the 1942 "We Can Do It!" poster, has died. She was 86. The iconic wartime poster became an enduring symbol of women's power from the Rosie the Riveter era.

...Doyle was a 17-year-old high school graduate when she took a job at the American Broach Machine Co. in her hometown of Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1942, a time when millions of women across the country were going to work to replace men who had gone to war.

"She had just graduated, and some of the young men had left school to volunteer to fight," Gregg said. "A couple had been killed, and she felt she wanted to do something for the war effort."

Doyle was operating a metal-stamping machine when a United Press photographer took a picture of the tall, slender and glamorously beautiful brunet wearing a polka-dot bandana over her hair.

Her photo, according to an account on the Pop History Dig website, was seen by Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller, who was commissioned by the Westinghouse War Production Coordinating Committee to create a series of morale-building posters to inspire Westinghouse factory workers.

Miller's "We Can Do It!" poster portrays a woman in a red-and-white polka-dot bandana and a blue uniform, rolling up a sleeve over a flexed right bicep.

Gregg said her mother, who was not as muscular as the woman depicted in the poster, had no idea her photograph had been used as a model for Miller's poster until the mid-1980s.

"She was tickled to recognize that she was the inspiration for so many women," said her daughter.

...The "We Can Do It!" poster image has been reproduced frequently in recent decades on a variety of items, including on a U.S. postage stamp issued in 1992.

"You're not supposed to have too much pride, but I can't help to have some in that poster," Doyle told the Lansing State Journal in 2002 after she was invited to speak at the Michigan state Senate.

"It's just sad I didn't know it was me sooner," Doyle said. "Maybe it's a good thing. I couldn't have handled all the excitement then."

Doyle appeared at a number of poster signings and events at the Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame over the years.

"She was a very gracious woman," said former executive director Gladys Beckwith.

...Doyle's husband of 66 years died in February. A son, Gary, died in 1980.

In addition to her daughter Stephanie, Doyle is survived by her other daughters, Jacqueline Drewes, Deidre Doyle and Lauretta Doyle; her son, Brian Doyle; her sister, Virginia Watson; her brother, Clifford Hoff; 18 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Security Weekly - Separating Terror from Terrorism December 30, 2010

By Scott Stewart
On Dec. 15, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent a joint bulletin to state and local law enforcement agencies expressing their concern that terrorists may attack a large public gathering in a major U.S. metropolitan area during the 2010 holiday season. That concern was echoed by contacts at the FBI and elsewhere who told STRATFOR they were almost certain there was going to be a terrorist attack launched against the United States over Christmas.
Certainly, attacks during the December holiday season are not unusual. There is a history of such attacks, from the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on Dec. 21, 1988, and the thwarted millennium attacks in December 1999 and January 2000 to the post-9/11 airliner attacks by shoe bomber Richard Reid on Dec. 22, 2001, and by underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Dec. 25, 2009. Some of these plots have even stemmed from the grassroots. In December 2006, Derrick Shareef was arrested while planning an attack he hoped to launch against an Illinois shopping mall on Dec. 22.
Mass gatherings in large metropolitan areas have also been repeatedly targeted by jihadist groups and lone wolves. In addition to past attacks and plots directed against the subway systems in major cities such as Madrid, London, New York and Washington, 2010 saw failed attacks against the crowds in New York’s Times Square on May 1 and in Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland, Ore., on Nov. 26.
With this history, it is understandable that the FBI and the DHS would be concerned about such an attack this year and issue a warning to local and state law enforcement agencies in the United States. This American warning also comes on the heels of similar alerts in Europe, warnings punctuated by the Dec. 11 suicide attack in Stockholm.
So far, the 2010 holiday season has been free from terrorist attacks, but as evidenced by all the warnings and concern, this season has not been free from the fear of such attacks, the psychological impact known as “terror.” In light of these recent developments, it seems appropriate discuss the closely related phenomena of terrorism and terror.
Propaganda of the Deed
Nineteenth-century anarchists promoted what they called the “propaganda of the deed,” that is, the use of violence as a symbolic action to make a larger point, such as inspiring the masses to undertake revolutionary action. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, modern terrorist organizations began to conduct operations designed to serve as terrorist theater, an undertaking greatly aided by the advent and spread of broadcast media. Examples of attacks designed to grab international media attention are the September 1972 kidnapping and murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics and the December 1975 raid on OPEC headquarters in Vienna. Aircraft hijackings followed suit, changing from relatively brief endeavors to long, drawn-out and dramatic media events often spanning multiple continents.
Today, the proliferation of 24-hour television news networks and the Internet have allowed the media to broadcast such attacks live and in their entirety. This development allowed vast numbers of people to watch live as the World Trade Center towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001, and as teams of gunmen ran amok in Mumbai in November 2008.
This exposure not only allows people to be informed about unfolding events, it also permits them to become secondary victims of the violence they have watched unfold before them. As the word indicates, the intent of “terrorism” is to create terror in a targeted audience, and the media allow that audience to become far larger than just those in the immediate vicinity of a terrorist attack. I am not a psychologist, but even I can understand that on 9/11, watching the second aircraft strike the South Tower, seeing people leap to their deaths from the windows of the World Trade Center Towers in order to escape the ensuing fire and then watching the towers collapse live on television had a profound impact on many people. A large portion of the United State was, in effect, victimized, as were a large number of people living abroad, judging from the statements of foreign citizens and leaders in the wake of 9/11 that “We are all Americans.”
During that time, people across the globe became fearful, and almost everyone was certain that spectacular attacks beyond those involving the four aircraft hijacked that morning were inevitable — clearly, many people were shaken to their core by the attacks. A similar, though smaller, impact was seen in the wake of the Mumbai attacks. People across India were fearful of being attacked by teams of Lashkar-e-Taiba gunmen, and concern spread around the world about Mumbai-style terrorism. Indeed, this concern was so great that we felt compelled to write an analysis emphasizing that the tactics employed in Mumbai were not new and that, while such operations could kill people, the approach would be less successful in the United States and Europe than it was in Mumbai.
Terror Magnifiers
These theatrical attacks have a strange hold over the human imagination and can create a unique sense of terror that dwarfs the normal reaction to natural disasters that are many times greater in magnitude. For example, in the 2004 Asian tsunami, more than 227,000 people died, while fewer than 3,000 people died on 9/11. Yet the 9/11 attacks produced not only a sense of terror but also a geopolitical reaction that has exerted a profound and unparalleled impact upon world events over the past decade. Terrorism clearly can have a powerful impact on the human psyche — so much so that even the threat of a potential attack can cause fear and apprehension, as seen by the reaction to the recent spate of warnings about attacks occurring over the holidays.
As noted above, the media serve as a magnifier of this anxiety and terror. Television news, whether broadcast on the airwaves or over the Internet, allows people to remotely and vicariously experience a terrorist event, and this is reinforced by the print media. While part of this magnification is due merely to the nature of television as a medium and the 24-hour news cycle, bad reporting and misunderstanding can also help build hype and terror. For example, when Mexican drug cartels began placing small explosive devices in vehicles in Ciudad Juarez and Ciudad Victoria this past year, the media hysterically reported that the cartels were using car bombs. Clearly, the journalists failed to appreciate the significant tactical and operational differences between a small bomb placed in a car and the far larger and more deadly vehicle-borne explosive device.
The traditional news media are not alone in the role of terror magnifier. The Internet has also become an increasingly effective conduit for panic and alarm. From breathless (and false) claims in 2005 that al Qaeda had pre-positioned nuclear weapons in the United States and was preparing to attack nine U.S. cities and kill 4 million Americans in an operation called “American Hiroshima” to claims in 2010 that Mexican drug cartels were still smuggling nuclear weapons for Osama bin Laden, a great deal of fearmongering can spread over the Internet. Website operators who earn advertising revenue based on the number of unique visitors who read the stories featured on their sites have an obvious financial incentive for publishing outlandish and startling terrorism claims. The Internet also has produced a wide array of other startling revelations, including the oft-recycled e-mail chain stating that an Israeli counterterrorism expert has predicted al Qaeda will attack six, seven or eight U.S. cities simultaneously “within the next 90 days.” This e-mail was first circulated in 2005 and has been periodically re-circulated over the past five years. Although it is an old, false prediction, it still creates fear every time it is circulated.
Sometimes a government can act as a terror magnifier. Whether it is the American DHS raising the threat level to red or the head of the French internal intelligence service stating that the threat of terrorism in that country has never been higher, such warnings can produce widespread public concern. As we’ve noted elsewhere, there are a number of reasons for such warnings, from trying to pre-empt a terrorist attack when there is incomplete intelligence to a genuine concern for the safety of citizens in the face of a known threat to less altruistic motives such as political gain or bureaucratic maneuvering (when an agency wants to protect itself from blame in case there is an attack). As seen by the public reaction to the many warnings in the wake of 9/11, including recommendations that citizens purchase plastic sheeting and duct tape to protect themselves from chemical and biological attack, such warnings can produce immediate panic, although, over time, as threats and warnings prove to be unfounded, this panic can turn into threat fatigue.
Those seeking to terrorize can and do use these magnifiers to produce terror without having to go to the trouble of conducting attacks. The empty threats made by bin Laden and his inner circle that they were preparing an attack larger than 9/11 — threats propagated by the Internet, picked up by the media and then reacted to by governments — are prime historical examples of this.
In recent weeks, we saw a case where panic was caused by a similar confluence of events. In October, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) issued the second edition of Inspire, its English-language magazine. As we discussed in our analysis of the magazine, its Open Source Jihad section pointed out a number of ways that attacks could be conducted by grassroots jihadists living in the West. In addition to the suggestion that an attacker could weld butcher knives onto the bumper of a pickup truck and drive it through a crowd, or use a gun as attackers did in Little Rock and at Fort Hood, another method briefly mentioned was that grassroots operatives could use ricin or cyanide in attacks. In response, the DHS decided to investigate further and even went to the trouble of briefing corporate security officers from the hotel and restaurant industries on the potential threat. CBS news picked up the story and ran an exclusive report compete with a scary poison logo superimposed over photos of a hotel, a dinner buffet and an American flag. The report made no mention of the fact that the AQAP article paid far less attention to the ricin and cyanide suggestion than it did to what it called the “ultimate mowing machine,” the pickup with butcher knives, or even the more practical — and far more likely — armed assault.
This was a prime example of terror magnifiers working with AQAP to produce fear.
Groups such as al Qaeda clearly recognize the difference between terrorist attacks and terror. This is seen not only in the use of empty threats to sow terror but also in the way terrorist groups claim success for failed attacks. For example, AQAP declared the failed Christmas Day 2009 “underwear” bombing to be a success due to the effect it had on the air-transportation system. In a special edition of Inspire magazine published in November following the failed attack against cargo aircraft, AQAP trumpeted the operation as a success, citing the fear, disruption and expense that resulted. AQAP claimed the cargo bomb plot and the Christmas Day plot were part of what it called “Operation Hemorrhage,” an effort to cause economic damage and fear and not necessarily kill large numbers of people.
As we’ve noted before, practitioners of terrorism lose a great deal of their ability to create terror if the people they are trying to terrorize adopt the proper mindset. A critical part of this mindset is placing terrorism in perspective. Terrorist attacks are going to continue to happen because there are a wide variety of militant groups and individuals who seek to use violence as a means of influencing a government — either their own or someone else’s.
There have been several waves of terrorism over the past century, but it has been a fairly constant phenomenon, especially over the past few decades. While the flavors of terror may vary from Marxist and nationalist strains to Shiite Islamist to jihadist, it is certain that even if al Qaeda and its jihadist spawn were somehow magically eradicated tomorrow, the problem of terrorism would persist.
Terrorist attacks are also relatively easy to conduct, especially if the assailant is not concerned about escaping after the attack. As AQAP has noted in its Inspire magazine, a determined person can conduct attacks using a variety of simple weapons, from a pickup to a knife, axe or gun. And while the authorities in the United States and elsewhere have been quite successful in foiling attacks over the past couple of years, there are a large number of vulnerable targets in the open societies of the West, and Western governments simply do not have the resources to protect everything — not even authoritarian police states can protect everything. This all means that some terrorist attacks will invariably succeed.
How the media, governments and populations respond to those successful strikes will shape the way that the attackers gauge their success. Obviously, the 9/11 attacks, which caused the United States to invade Afghanistan (and arguably Iraq) were far more successful than bin Laden and company could ever have hoped. The London bombings on July 7, 2005, where the British went back to work as unusual the next day, were seen as less successful.
In the final analysis, the world is a dangerous place. Everyone is going to die, and some people are certain to die in a manner that is brutal or painful. In 2001, more than 42,000 people died from car crashes in the United States and hundreds of thousands of Americans died from heart disease and cancer. The 9/11 attacks were the bloodiest terrorist attacks in world history, and yet even those historic attacks resulted in the deaths of fewer than 3,000 people, a number that pales in comparison to deaths by other causes. This is in no way meant to trivialize those who died on 9/11, or the loss their families suffered, but merely to point out that lots of people die every day and that their families are affected, too.
If the public will take a cue from groups like AQAP, it too can separate terrorism from terror. Recognizing that terrorist attacks, like car crashes and cancer and natural disasters, are a part of the human condition permits individuals and families to practice situational awareness and take prudent measures to prepare for such contingencies without becoming vicarious victims. This separation will help deny the practitioners of terrorism and terror the ability to magnify their reach and power.

This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Revenge for Christmas Past

Hey who hasn't wanted revenge on the jolly fat man at one time or another!

Thanks to Robert W for the picture!

What's going on in the World Today 101229

Wisdom of a fifteen year old. Leaving my sister's place Monday night where we watched the Saints beat the Falcons (and I won a ticket and beer at the Astro's season opener this spring...thanks Adrian ;<) ) the 15 YOA was giving the wifie grief over her level of intoxication. "You gonna have a overhang tomorrow." She did...but it was a great game. Happy New Year! Don't have an overhang on Saturday. HYPERLINKS MAY REQUIRE AN EMAIL:


Kyrgyzstan: Terrorism Network Uncovered December 29, 2010

Kyrgyzstan has uncovered a terrorist network operating within the country, Chairman of the State National Security Committee Keneshbek Duyshebayev announced Dec. 29, Interfax reported. The Kyrgyz special services have detained nine individuals — all of whom are supporters of jihadism — for their involvement in organizing the failed attack near police headquarters in Bishkek on Nov. 30, Duyshebayev said, adding that authorities are looking for five more individuals. Though all the members of the network are Kyrgyz citizens, they have contacts throughout Russia and the Caucasus, according to Duyshebayev. Kyrgyz authorities will cooperate with their partners in other countries to prevent terrorism, Duyshebayev added, noting that they are already cooperating with the Russian Federal Security Service

Dispatch: Suspected Terrorists Arrested in Denmark | STRATFOR
Denmark: 4 Suspected Militants Arrested December 29, 2010

The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) has arrested four individuals for their alleged involvement in planning an attack against the Jyllands-Posten daily newspaper, which printed cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, AP reported Dec. 29. Three of the four individuals were residents of Sweden and had entered the country the night of Dec. 28. The suspects, who according to PET chief Jakob Scharf are militant Islamists, include a 44-year-old Tunisian citizen, a 29-year-old Lebanese citizen, and a 30-year-old Swedish resident of unknown origin. The fourth individual is a 26-year-old asylum seeker living in Copenhagen. The suspects were arrested after close cooperation with the Swedish police and will face a custody hearing on Dec. 30.

Washington Times July 26, 2010 China has carrier-killer missile, U.S. admiral says

China's military is deploying a new anti-ship ballistic missile that can sink U.S. aircraft carriers, a weapon that specialists say gives Beijing new power-projection capabilities that will affect U.S. support for its Pacific allies.

Adm. Robert F. Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, disclosed to a Japanese newspaper on Sunday that the new anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) is now in the early stages of deployment after having undergone extensive testing.

"An analogy using a Western term would be 'initial operational capability (IOC),' whereby I think China would perceive that it has an operational capability now, but they continue to develop it," Adm. Willard told the Asahi Shimbun. "I would gauge it as about the equivalent of a U.S. system that has achieved IOC."...

...The new weapon, the "D" version of China's DF-21 medium-range missile, involves firing the mobile missile into space, returning it into the atmosphere and then maneuvering it to its target

Military officials consider using ballistic missiles against ships at sea to be a difficult task that requires a variety of air, sea and space sensors, navigation systems and precision guidance technology - capabilities not typical of other Chinese missiles.

Asked about the integrated system, Adm. Willard said that "to have something that would be regarded as in its early operational stage would require that system be able to accomplish its flight pattern as designed, by and large."

The admiral said that while the U.S. thinks "that the component parts of the anti-ship ballistic missile have been developed and tested," China's testing has not gone as far as a live-fire test attack on an actual ship.

"We have not seen an over-water test of the entire system," he said.

Adm. Willard said he did not view the new missile as a greater threat to U.S. and allied forces than China's submarine forces, which also have been expanded greatly in the past decade.

"Anti-access/area denial, which is a term that was relatively recently coined, is attempting to represent an entire range of capabilities that China has developed and that other countries have developed," he said.

...The new weapons can threaten "archipelagos" in Asia, such as Japan and Philippines, as well as Vietnam and other states that "are falling within the envelope of this, of an A2/AD capability of China," Adm. Willard said....

...Andrew S. Erickson, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College, stated ..."China must have conducted a rigorous program of tests, most likely including flight tests, to demonstrate that the DF-21D [missile] is mature enough for initial production, deployment and employment,"...

Mr. Erickson estimates that at least one unit of China's Second Artillery Corps, as its missile forces are called, must be equipped with the road-mobile system.

...Currently, U.S. military strategy calls for the Pentagon to send several strike groups to waters near Taiwan in the event China follows through on threats to use force to retake the island. The lone U.S. aircraft carrier strike group based permanently in the region is the USS George Washington, whose home port is inYokosuka, Japan. A second carrier is planned for Hawaii or Guam.

Carrier forces also provide air power in the event of a new war in Korea and are used to assure freedom of navigation, a growing problem as the result of recent Chinese military assertiveness in the South China Sea, East China Sea and Yellow Sea. ...

Range fan

India: Fighter Squadrons To Patrol South December 28, 2010

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to deploy fighter aircraft squadrons in the southern areas of the country to confront militant threats from non-state actors and to secure the sea-lanes, Press Trust of India reported Dec. 28. IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal P.K. Barbora said two Light Combat Aircraft squadrons and squadrons of either Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft or Su-30 MKI fighters will be based in South India.

Dispatch: A Case Study of Russian Influence in the Baltics | STRATFOR
Iran's Challenge: Keeping Domestic Stability While Managing International Pressures | STRATFOR

Iran: Accused Israeli Spy Is Hanged December 28, 2010

On Dec. 28, Iranian-national Ali Akbar Siadat was hanged inside Evin prison in Tehran after Siadat was convicted on charges of relaying sensitive information to Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, state-owned IRNA reported, citing a statement from the Iranian judiciary. Siadat reportedly confessed to receiving $60,000 and specialized equipment like a laptop in exchange for transferring classified information on Iranian military activities to Mossad. IRNA reported Siadat met with Israeli agents in countries including Turkey, Thailand and the Netherlands and delivered information on Iranian military bases, aircraft and drills as well as missile systems operated by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Iran: Gasoline Project To Be Inaugurated February 2011 December 29, 2010

Iran will increase its daily gasoline production capacity by 6.5 million liters (1.7 million gallons) when the southwestern Abadan refinery comes online in February, the managing director of Abadan Oil Refinery Company said Dec. 29, Fars News Agency reported. Abdolreza Mehraban said the project was 90 percent complete and would be officially inaugurated Feb. 11, 2011.

Iran: Fuel Consumption Falls After Subsidy Cut December 29, 2010

Fuel consumption in Iran has fallen by 20 percent since the government began cutting energy subsidies earlier in December, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Royanian said Dec. 29, AP reported. Gasoline consumption now stands at 50 million liters (13 million gallons) per day, while diesel consumption stands at 42 million liters per day, Royanian said. Senior Oil Ministry official Farid Ameri said the hike in the increased fuel prices have contributed to a reduction in smuggling in Iran’s border regions, though he did not provide further details.

Iraq: PM Addresses Oil Logistics Issues December 28, 2010

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said his government will address the logistical obstacles facing international oil firms working in Iraq, especially the backlogs at airports and the border crossings in Basra, while continuing to give firms unrestricted access to Iraqi markets, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 28. Iraq needs to boost oil revenues to meet its infrastructure investment needs, al-Maliki said. To that end, al-Maliki said he would meet with senior officials this week to address logistical bottlenecks and look for other ways for firms to bring in equipment.

Iraq: Al Qaeda Official Arrested December 28, 2010

Abdul Wahid Mustafa Ahmad Said, believed to be al Qaeda’s administrative official for the western Iraqi province of Mosul, was arrested on charges he supplied documents and instructions to suicide bombers and arranged the entry of militants into targeted areas, Aswat al-Iraq news agency reported Dec. 28. According an official source in Ninawa province’s Rapid Deployment Forces, Iraqi authorities also arrested Dawud Hassan Abdullah, the leader of the so-called al Qaeda “Mohammad Rasul Allah” Brigades, in a security operation in central Mosul province. Abdullah is the former Director of Police of the northern Iraqi town of Tall Afar.

Iraq: Suicide Attack Kills Police Chief In Mosul December 29, 2010

Three suicide bombers detonated their devices in a police battalion headquarters in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, killing a police chief, Reuters reported Dec. 29, citing police sources. The attack killed Lt. Col. Shamil Ahmed, who led the battalion in Mosul’s western Bab Sinjar area, and sources said Ahmed was likely targeted because of his efforts against al Qaeda. A fourth bomber was killed by police before he could enter the main building.

Israel: London Palestinian Center Supports Terrorism - Defense Ministry December 28, 2010

The Palestinian Return Center in Ealing, north London, is involved in initiating and organizing radical and violent terrorist activity against Israel in Europe, a Dec. 28 Israeli Defense Ministry statement said, AFP reported. The center organizes many conferences in European countries for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the statement said, adding that the center is part of the broader Hamas network in the United Kingdom and in Europe.

Israel: Massive Natural Gas Field Discovery Confirmed December 29, 2010

Noble Energy and its Israeli exploration partners have confirmed reports that the Leviathan natural gas field, located 129 kilometers (80 miles) off Israel’s Mediterranean coast, is the country’s largest natural gas discovery to date, Reuters reported Dec. 29. According to Noble, pre-drill estimates show a gross mean capacity range of 450 billion cubic meters (16 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas. However, the Leviathan field covers more than 325 square kilometers (125 square miles), so it will require two or more appraisal wells to further ascertain its total capacity, Noble added.

Kyrgyzstan: No New U.S. Base - Defense Minister December 28, 2010

Kyrgyzstan has no plans to deploy a new U.S. military base, Kyrgyz Defense Minister Abibilla Kudayberdiyev said, Interfax reported Dec. 28. Kudayberdiyev said that the United States was planning on completing the building of a base in the city of Osh to train special divisions of the Kyrgyz Defense Ministry but that after several cantonments were built by the United States, no U.S. personnel or infrastructure remain there. The project has been frozen, Kudayberdiyev said.

Afghanistan: Iran Only Partially Opens Border To Oil Tankers December 28, 2010

The port at Islam Qala between Iran and Afghanistan remains mostly closed to oil tankers, Afghan Islamic Press reported Dec. 28, citing the head of Herat province’s oil and gas directorate, Khalilollah Khaliq. The Afghan official said only 20 fuel supply trucks have been allowed to cross into Afghanistan in recent days. Afghan First Vice President Mohammad Qasim Fahim led a delegation to Iran, and Iranian officials promised to allow tankers to cross the border. Fuel prices are soaring in Afghanistan and problems are arising, Khaliq added.

Egypt: Syrian Official Received $1.5 Million From Israel - Accused Spy December 29, 2010

An Egyptian man charged with spying for Israel told authorities that his Syrian counterpart received $1.5 million to give Israel information on Syria’s nuclear activities, according to Egyptian media, DPA reported Dec. 29. The Syrian intelligence official, Saleh al-Nijm, disclosed the location of an alleged nuclear reactor that probably resulted in the facility’s bombing in 2007, Egyptian media said. The Egyptian suspect, Tareq Abdelrazeq, allegedly was paid $37,000 by Israel for his role, Egyptian officials said.

Guatemala: Los Zetas Threaten To Attack Civilians December 28, 2010

Alleged members of Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas threatened to attack civilians in the northern Guatemalan department of Alta Verapaz if Guatemala City does not lift the stage of siege in the area, EFE reported Dec. 28. Local radio station reporters said they have received messages from alleged Los Zetas members threatening attacks on shopping malls and public places if security forces persist with operations against drug traffickers. A Guatemalan Interior Ministry spokesman said authorities are aware of the threats and are attempting to verify their authenticity.

Colombia: Police Confirm Killing Paramilitary Leader December 29, 2010

Colombian police on Dec. 29 confirmed killing Pedro Oliverio Guerrero, known as “Cuchillo,” a drug lord and paramilitary leader, DPA reported. One of Colombia’s three most wanted criminals, Cuchillo was killed Christmas Day in the central province of Meta, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said. Cuchillo’s lieutenant, Harold Rojas, was arrested in the operation.

Dispatch: Making the Taliban Politically Legitimate? | STRATFOR

Except where noted courtesy www.stratfor.com

500 heroin pills for grandma...thanks sonny!

Well, it's only for medicinal purposes!
Man caught with $50k in heroin at Detroit Metro Airport: It's for my ailing grandmother

A 53-year-old Oklahoma man says $50,000 worth of heroin found during a customs inspection at Detroit Metropolitan Airport was intended as a pain reliever for his ailing grandmother.

Federal authorities say Stevan Patong Thao was arrested after arriving about noon Sunday on a flight that originated in Laos and stopped in Narita, Japan.

Thao was caught transporting two pill bottles containing 490 heroin capsules. Thao said he had a prescription for the illegal drugs, then said his nephew bought them in Laos and were intended for his diabetes and high blood pressure. Authorities say both stories were false....
Cool! :<)

Officer Down

Police Officer Jillian Michelle Smith
Arlington Texas Police Department
End of Watch: Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Age: 24
Tour of Duty: 10 months
Badge Number: 2650

Police Officer Jillian Smith was shot and killed after responding to an apartment for a report of a domestic dispute.

Officer Smith responded to a call of a domestic dispute between a husband and wife. When she arrived, the husband had already left the apartment. Officer Smith was inside the apartment taking a report from the female victim when her husband returned and shot and killed both Officer Smith and his wife. The suspect then shot and killed himself.

Officer Smith had served with the Arlington Police Department for 10 months and had finished her field training 15 days prior to
her murder.

Rest in Peace Sis…We’ll Continue The Watch

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

Chris Liu screwed up bad...he told the truth about TSA. Big Sis doesn't like that.

I first heard about this before Christmas and I was glad someone showed how worthless TSA is. And I'm glad he's out of the closet. I'll gladly give him some money for a legal defense fund if needed.

Chris Liu: I am the YouTube airline pilot | News10.net | Sacramento, California | News

COLFAX, CA - WORLD EXCLUSIVE: The airline pilot who lost his federally-issued gun and badge for posting video on YouTube critical of airport security has chosen to go public with his identity.

"My name is Chris Liu and I'm an airline pilot," Liu said during an exclusive interview Monday with News10 at his home in Colfax.

Liu's cell phone video tour of security at San Francisco International Airport led to a team of six federal agents and sheriff's deputies coming to his home on Dec. 2 to take his handgun and Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) credentials.

Liu's state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon was also suspended by the Placer County sheriff.

Liu contacted News10 last Tuesday to share his story, but insisted that neither he nor his airline be identified for fear of retaliation.

Liu decided to reveal his identity Monday because he wants to become actively involved in changing what he believes is a major flaw in airport security.

"I just found a disparity between what happens upstairs and what happens downstairs," Liu explained.

As Liu pointed out in the video, pilots and flight crew are subjected to real-time TSA

...Although Liu is no longer an FFDO, his flight status with his airline has not changed. Liu's wife, Sandra, said she worries about repercussions from the publicity, but supported her husband's decision to go public.

"I think my husband was very courageous. He did what he believed what right," Sandra said. "It's not all about us. It's about the safety of every American."
Agreed...if you haven't seen the video report from Channel 10 News here is it...he's the captain of the plane and he has to get groped by the TSA idiots...yet the crews that service the plane (food service, baggage handlers, etc) don't get molested...they could put a bomb on a plane and not get noticed. But our captains are safe ain't they.

Typical government incompetence

I really don't care if B Hussein Obama likes Mike Vick being back

Look, I'm no fan of the president but I'm not offended he made a comment on Mike Vick being back in the NFL.
Obama is glad Eagles signed Michael Vick - KARIN TANABE | POLITICO CLICK

The president called Eagles' owner Jeffrey Lurie to congratulate him for giving Vick a second chance.

Everyone deserves a second chance was President Barack Obama’s message when he called Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie last week to congratulate him and the team for giving quarterback Michael Vick a take two

Again, this doesn't annoy me. This does:

Update: The Huffington Post reported on Monday that it connected with White House spokesman Bill Burton about Obama's phone call, and Burton issued the following statement:

"The President did place a call to Mr. Lurie to discuss plans for the use of alternative energy at Lincoln Financial Field, during which they spoke about that and other issues. He of course condemns the crimes that Michael Vick was convicted of but, as he's said previously, he does think that individuals who have paid for their crimes should have an opportunity to contribute to society again."

This man child is the President of the United States, we're involved with two wars, the Russians and Chinese are making moves on us, our economy is in shambles, we're bankrupt and all he can concern himself with is solar panels at a football field.

Well...at least he can't screw up much if he's occupied with that national issue.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oh....we're going to save the nation and save B Hussein Obama...those two do not compute

Not that I'm expecting intelligence and insightful commentary from the likes of a Washington Post columnist but even this is something. The fact that Social Security is bankrupt is not the issue...in these guy's typical inside the Beltway thinking this is a opportunity for B Hussein Obama to be saved.

Michael Gerson - Social Security reform is the answer to Obama's problems - and the nation's

The main achievements of the lame-duck session of Congress were reminders of what might have been. President Obama gave something to get something. To secure a second stimulus, he accepted Republican economic methods. To pass the New START treaty, Obama offered assurances to Republican senators on nuclear modernization and missile defense. Contrast this with health-care reform, imposed in party-line maneuvers that left an aftertaste of ideological radicalism.
One, he didn't accept Republican economic methods. In true Republican, or more to the point Conservative economic methods we would have cut spending, cut marginal tax rates permanently and repealed Obamacare. Unfortunately the RINOs in the Senate caved...what a shock. Obama offered assurances to Republican senators...his word is worthless...they caved...thanks Lisa from Alaska...and the RINO twins from Maine...with friends like this who needs Lindsey Graham.

...Overhauling the tax system seems the easier approach. It isn't. Most serious plans, including the options raised by the president's debt commission, would broaden the tax base, consolidate and lower rates, and eliminate most tax deductions and exemptions. But even a revenue-neutral tax overhaul would create a complicated system of winners and losers. Especially if the mortgage interest deduction, the charitable deduction and the child tax credit were modified or eliminated, the losers would know immediately who they are. The winners must be persuaded of abstract, future benefits.
There is only one true reform and that's either a flat tax or a consumption tax preceded by the repeal of the 16th Amendment. That will never happen...too much power would be stripped from Washington.
Republicans would have an easy time criticizing a thinly disguised tax increase for millions of Americans. It would seem like another Obama overreach that fundamentally changes the economy in frightening ways - confirming an image that the president desperately needs to change.
It's not the image that needs changing...he needs to change. And that will never happen.
...While Social Security is a relatively small contributor to future deficits, reforming it would be a large symbol and a logical place to begin...

...A member of the House Republican leadership recently told me that bipartisan Social Security reform could be written "on the back of a napkin" - which is essentially what Obama's debt commission did. It set out a plan that would cut benefits for high-income earners, make the payroll tax more progressive and gradually raise the retirement age (with a hardship exception for those engaged in manual labor).
Which is why that commission was worthless. Social Security needs to be reformed, i.e. changed at its core. What is it at its core...a Ponzi Scheme. It's not a matter of if it will collapse like the house of cards it is but when. And the basic failure of anything listed above is the assumption that money from increased payroll taxes will be used to support Social Security. It will be squandered like any loose change in Washington. Real reform will take the shape moving from the pay into a pot to pay current benefits to a pay into a "mandated retirement account" controlled by the taxpayer. Again, that is why it will never happen with Obama...that's real change and he doesn't want anything to strengthen the nation.
Obama's liberal base contends that the Social Security trust fund is not in immediate trouble. But this argument depends on an elaborate accounting trick. The trust ...is filled with debt issued by the government to itself. The surpluses of the trust fund are in fact liabilities for the government as a whole. And these illusory surpluses are regularly used to subsidize the rest of the budget. The scheme begins to collapse in 2037, when promised benefits for Social Security recipients will suddenly drop by about 25 percent - unless the system is reformed.
Thank you Lyndon Johnson...his accounting trick to hide the cost of the War on Poverty...BTY what is the exit strategy for that...just an aside. But I am glad to see some kind of truth from the editorial page of the Washington Post. Yes, the trust fund is just a bunch of promises written by politicians (living and dead, Democrat and Republican) who will not be held to account. And these members of Congress don't care...they have their own plan.
...Social Security restructuring is not the obvious choice for Obama, but it is the smart one. It is achievable. It would invest Republican leaders in a constructive national enterprise. It would reassure global credit markets that America remains capable of governing itself. It would result in a more progressive, sustainable system. And it would make a dramatic, timely political statement: that the president is capable not only of expanding government but of reforming it.
If B Hussein Obama puts something like this forward I pray the Republicans are smart enough not come within fifty feet of it. I have my doubts...never underestimate the ability of the RINOs who run the party to screw up something obvious. Only in the mind of a Washington insider would giving Congress more money be reform...and the Post wonders why it's almost bankrupt.

Officer Down

Trooper First Class Chadwick T. LeCroy
Georgia State Patrol
End of Watch: Monday, December 27, 2010
Age: 38
Tour of Duty: 2 years
Badge Number: 744

Trooper Chadwick LeCroy was shot and killed in Atlanta after a short vehicle pursuit.

He had attempted to stop a vehicle with a broken headlight on Bolton Road near James Jackson Parkway. The vehicle fled until it crashed at the intersection of St. Paul Avenue and Hightower Road.

As Trooper LeCroy approached the vehicle the suspect opened fire on him, striking him twice. The subject then stole Trooper LeCroy's patrol car and fled the scene. He was arrested a short distance away by members of the Atlanta Police Department and Cobb County Police Department.

Trooper LeCroy had served with the Georgia State Patrol for two years. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

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

Geopolitical Weekly: Making Sense of the START Debate December 28, 2010

By George Friedman

Last week, the U.S. Senate gave its advice and consent to the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which had been signed in April. The Russian legislature still has to provide final approval of the treaty, but it is likely to do so, and therefore a New START is set to go into force. That leaves two questions to discuss. First, what exactly have the two sides agreed to and, second, what does it mean? Let’s begin with the first.

The original START was signed July 31, 1991, and reductions were completed in 2001. The treaty put a cap on the number of nuclear warheads that could be deployed. In addition to limiting the number of land- and submarine-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and strategic bombers, it capped the number of warheads that were available to launch at 6,000. The fact that this is a staggering number of nuclear weapons should give you some idea of the staggering number in existence prior to START. START I lapsed in 2009, and the new treaty is essentially designed to reinstate it.

It is important to remember that Ronald Reagan first proposed START. His initial proposal focused on reducing the number of ICBMs. Given that the Soviets did not have an effective intercontinental bomber force and the United States had a massive B-52 force and follow-on bombers in the works, the treaty he proposed would have decreased the Soviet quantitative advantage in missile-based systems without meaningfully reducing the U.S. advantage in bombers. The Soviets, of course, objected, and a more balanced treaty emerged.

What is striking is that START was signed just before the Soviet Union collapsed and implemented long after it was gone. It derived from the political realities that existed during the early 1980s. One of the things the signers of both the original START and the New START have ignored is that nuclear weapons by themselves are not the issue. The issue is the geopolitical relationship between the two powers. The number of weapons may affect budgetary considerations and theoretical targeting metrics, but the danger of nuclear war does not derive from the number of weapons but from the political relationship between nations.

The Importance of the Political Relationship

I like to use this example. There are two countries that are historical enemies. They have fought wars for centuries, and in many ways, they still don’t like each other. Both are today, as they have been for decades, significant nuclear powers. Yet neither side maintains detection systems to protect against the other, and neither has made plans for nuclear war with the other. This example is from the real world; I am speaking of Britain and France. There are no treaties between them regulating nuclear weapons in spite of the fact that each has enough to devastate the other. This is because the possession of nuclear weapons is not the issue. The political relationship between Britain and France is the issue and, therefore, the careful calibration of the Franco-British nuclear balance is irrelevant and unnecessary.

The political relationship that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1980s is not the same as the relationship that exists today. Starting in the 1950s, the United States and Soviet Union were in a state of near-war. The differences between them were geopolitically profound. The United States was afraid that the Soviets would seize Western Europe in an attack in order to change the global balance of power. Given that the balance of power ran against the Soviet Union, it was seen as possible that they would try to rectify it by war.

Since the United States had guaranteed Europe’s security with troops and the promise that it would use nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union to block the conquest of Europe, it followed that the Soviet Union would initiate war by attempting to neutralize the American nuclear capability. This would require a surprise attack on the United States with Soviet missiles. It also followed that the United States, in order to protect Europe, might launch a pre-emptive strike against the Soviet military capability in order to protect the United States and the balance of power.
Until the 1960s, the United States had an overwhelming advantage. Its bomber force gave it the ability to strike the Soviet Union from the United States. The Soviets chose not to build a significant bomber force, relying instead on a missile capability that really wasn’t in place and reliable until the mid-1960s. The Cuban missile crisis derived in part from this imbalance. The Soviets wanted Cuba because they could place shorter-range missiles there, threatening the B-52 fleet by reducing warning time and threatening the American population should the B-52s strike the Soviet Union.

A complex game emerged after Cuba. Both sides created reliable missiles that could reach the other side, and both turned to a pure counter-force strategy, designed to destroy not cities but enemy missiles. The missiles were dispersed and placed in hardened silos. Nuclear submarines, less accurate but holding cities hostage, were deployed. Accuracy increased. From the mid-1960s on the nuclear balance was seen as the foundation of the global balance of power.

The threat to global peace was that one side or the other would gain a decisive advantage in the global balance. Knowledge of the imbalance on both sides would enable the side with the advantage to impose its political will on the other, which would be forced to capitulate in any showdown.

The Russo-American Strategic Balance

Therefore, both sides were obsessed with preventing the other side from gaining a nuclear advantage. This created the nuclear arms race. The desire to end the race was not based on the fear that more nuclear weapons were dangerous but on the fear that any disequilibrium in weapons, or the perception of disequilibrium, might trigger a war. Rather than a dynamic equilibrium, with both sides matching or overmatching the other’s perceived capability, the concept of a treaty-based solution emerged, in which the equilibrium became static. This concept itself was dangerous because it depended on verification of compliance with treaties and led to the development of space-based reconnaissance systems.

The treaties did not eliminate anxiety. Both sides continued to obsessively watch for a surprise attack, and both sides conducted angry internal debates about whether the other side was violating the treaties. Similarly, the deployment of new systems not covered by the treaties created internal political struggles, particularly in the West. When the Pershing II medium-range ballistic missiles were deployed in Europe in the 1980s, major resistance to their deployment from the European left emerged. The fear was that the new systems would destabilize the nuclear balance, giving the United States an advantage that might lead to nuclear war.

This was also the foundation for the Soviets’ objection to the Reagan administration’s Strategic Defense Initiative, dubbed “Star Wars.” Although Star Wars seemed useful and harmless, the Soviets argued that if the United States were able to defend itself against Soviet attack, then this would give the United States an advantage in the nuclear balance, allowing it to strike at the Soviet Union and giving it massive political leverage. This has always been the official basis of the Russian objection to ballistic-missile defense (BMD) — they said it upset the nuclear balance.

The United States never wanted to include tactical nuclear weapons in these treaties. The Soviet conventional force appeared substantially greater than the American alliance’s, and tactical nuclear weapons seemed the only way to defeat a Soviet force. The Soviets, for their part, would never agree to a treaty limiting conventional forces. That was their great advantage, and if they agreed to parity there it would permanently remove the one lever they had. There was no agreement on this until just before the Soviet Union collapsed, and then it no longer mattered. Thus, while both powers wanted strategic stability, the struggle continued on the tactical level. Treaties could not contain the political tension between the United States and the Soviet Union.

And now we get to the fundamental problem with the idea of a nuclear balance. The threat of nuclear war derived not from some bloodthirsty desire to annihilate humanity but from a profound geopolitical competition by the two great powers following the collapse of European power. The United States had contained the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union was desperately searching for a way out of its encirclement, whether by subversion or war. The Soviet Union had a much more substantial conventional military force than the United States. The Americans compensated with nuclear weapons to block Soviet moves. As the Soviets increased their strategic nuclear capability, the American limit on their conventional forces decreased, compensated for by sub-strategic nuclear forces.

But it was all about the geopolitical situation. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the Soviets lost the Cold War. Military conquest was neither an option nor a requirement. Therefore, the U.S.-Soviet nuclear balance became meaningless. If the Russians attacked Georgia the United States wasn’t about to launch a nuclear war. The Caucasus is not Western Europe. START was not about reducing nuclear forces alone. It was about reducing them in a carefully calibrated manner so that no side gained a strategic and therefore political advantage.

New START is therefore as archaic as the Treaty of Versailles. It neither increases nor decreases security. It addresses a security issue that last had meaning more than 20 years ago in a different geopolitical universe. If a case can be made for reducing nuclear weapons, it must be made in the current geopolitical situation. Arguing for strategic arms reduction may have merit, but trying to express it in the context of an archaic treaty makes little sense.

New START’s Relevance

So why has this emerged? It is not because anyone is trying to calibrate the American and Russian nuclear arsenals. Rather, it goes back to the fiasco over the famous “reset button” that Hillary Clinton brought to Moscow last March. Tensions over substantial but sub-nuclear issues had damaged U.S.-Russian relations. The Russians saw the Americans as wanting to create a new containment alliance around the Russian Federation. The Americans saw the Russians as trying to create a sphere of influence that would be the foundation of a new Moscow-based regional system. Each side had a reasonable sense of the other’s intentions. Clinton wanted to reset relations. The Russians didn’t. They did not see the past as the model they wanted, and they saw the American vision of a reset as a threat. The situation grew worse, not better.

An idea emerged in Washington that there needed to be confidence-building measures. One way to build confidence, so the diplomats sometimes think, is to achieve small successes and build on them. The New START was seen as such a small success, taking a non-objectionable treaty of little relevance and effectively renewing it. From here, other successes would follow. No one really thought that this treaty mattered in its own right. But some thought that building confidence right now sent the wrong signal to Moscow.

U.S. opposition was divided into two groups. One, particularly Republicans, saw this as a political opportunity to embarrass the president. Another argued, not particularly coherently, that using an archaic issue as a foundation for building a relationship with Russia allowed both sides to evade the serious issues dividing the two sides: the role of Russia in the former Soviet Union, NATO and EU expansion, Russia’s use of energy to dominate European neighbors, the future of BMD against Iran, Russia’s role in the Middle East and so on.

Rather than building confidence between the two countries, a New START would give the illusion of success while leaving fundamental issues to fester. The counter-argument was that with this success others would follow. The counter to that was that by spending energy on a New START, the United States delayed and ignored more fundamental issues. The debate is worth having, and both sides have a case, but the idea that START in itself mattered is not part of that debate.

In the end, the issue boiled down to this. START was marginal at best. But if President Barack Obama couldn’t deliver on START his credibility with the Russians would collapse. It wasn’t so much that a New START would build confidence as it was that a failure to pass a New START would destroy confidence. It was on that basis that the U.S. Senate approved the treaty. Its opponents argued that it left out discussions of BMD and tactical nuclear weapons. Their more powerful argument was that the United States just negotiated a slightly modified version of a treaty that Ronald Reagan proposed a quarter century ago and it had nothing to do with contemporary geopolitical reality.

Passage allowed Obama to dodge a bullet, but it leaves open a question that he does not want to answer: What is American strategy toward Russia? He has mimicked American strategy from a quarter century ago, not defined what it will be.

This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR

Officer Down

Police Officer John MaguireWoburn Massachusetts Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, December 26, 2010
Age: 60
Tour of Duty: 34 years

Officer John Maguire was shot and killed when he responded to a robbery in progress at a local department store.

Two men entered a department store at 9:00pm, just as the store was about to close. The men robbed the jewelry counter, and then fled on foot.

Officer Maguire responded along with several other officers. As the two men fled the store they were confronted by Officer Maguire, who engaged them in a foot pursuit. During the foot pursuit, one of the suspects opened fire, striking Officer Maguire twice in the chest. Officer Maguire returned fire, killing the suspect.

The second suspect ran to a waiting car, where he attempted to flee with a third suspect. Both men were apprehended and face multiple charges, including murder and robbery.

Officer Maguire was transported to a hospital in Burlington where he succumbed to his wounds.

Officer Maguire had served with the Woburn Police Department for 34 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

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

Officer Fatalities 2010

Not good news...a lot more officers went down in the line this year.

Law Enforcement Fatalities Spike Dangerously in 2010

Following a two year decline, law enforcement fatalities in 2010 spiked to 160. This was an increase of nearly 40 percent compared to last year, when 117 officers were killed in the line of duty.

Preliminary data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund show that for the 13th year in a row, traffic fatalities were the leading cause of officer fatalities, with 73 officers killed in the line of duty—an increase of 43 percent from 2009.

Of the 73 traffic-related fatalities in 2010, 50 officers died in automobile crashes, 16 were struck and killed by automobiles while outside of their vehicles, 1 died in a bicycle accident, and 6 died in motorcycle crashes.

Firearm fatalities increased 20 percent, from 49 deaths in 2009 to 59 in 2010. Even more alarming, multiple fatality shootings accounted for nearly 20 percent of all fatal shootings....

The average age of the officers killed in 2010 was 41; the average length of their law enforcement service was nearly 12 years and on average each officer left behind 2 children....

What's going on in the World Today 101227

Hopefully over the weekend you got to see that family Christmas classic, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

As an entourage of suits - lead by Clark's boss - passes by single file:

Clark: Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah.



U.K.: Recognition Of Palestinian Diplomats Under Consideration December 27, 2010

U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is considering the possibility of upgrading the delegation from the Palestinian Territories in London to the status of a diplomatic mission, YNet News reported Dec. 27. An FCO spokesman said the matter was being examined thoroughly.

U.K.: U.S. Embassy Was A Target n Terror Plot December 27, 2010

A group of men arrested the week of Dec. 20 in Britain planned to target the U.S. Embassy in London, among other locations, the U.S. State Department said Dec. 27, Reuters reported. U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said department personnel in London were aware of the threat. The suspects were charged with conspiracy to cause explosions and preparing acts of terrorism.

Germany: Probe Launched Into Possible Poisoning Of Russian Dissidents December 27, 2010

German prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation into the possible poisoning of two Russian dissidents in Berlin, a spokesman for the public prosecutors’ office said Dec. 27, AFP reported. The probe is being conducted by a department that deals with politically motivated crimes, the spokesman said. Dangerously high levels of mercury were detected in former KGB Col. Viktor Kalashnikov and his historian wife, Marina Kalashnikov, Germany’s Focus reported earlier in December.


Dispatch: A Case Study of Russian Influence in the Baltics

Iran: Fuel Consumption Down After Subsidy Cuts December 27, 2010

Iran’s fuel consumption has declined since the government launched its subsidy removal plan Dec. 19, Iranian Deputy Economy Minister Mohammad Reza Farzin said Dec. 27, AFP reported. Gasoline consumption has fallen from about 60 million liters (nearly 16 million gallons) per day to 55 million liters, Farzin said. Diesel consumption has dropped from 54 million liters to around 40 million liters, according to the Oil Ministry, while cooking gas consumption has fallen 6 percent and water consumption 5 percent, Farzin said. A planned privatization drive will help curb inflation, according to Farzin, who also said transport sector price hikes in various provinces have been implemented to a maximum of 15 percent, ensuring that inflation stays below that level.

Iraq: 10 Percent Of Al Qaeda In Iraq Foreign - Report December 27, 2010

Around 10 percent of Al Qaeda in Iraq is composed of non-Iraqi citizens, most of whom are young, according to a confidential report from the Iraqi Interior Ministry, AKnews reported Dec. 27. A ministry official quoted the report as saying the majority of the insurgents are young unemployed people, while others suffer from mental illness. Al Qaeda uses beggars and people with mental health disorders to plant bombs in vehicles, the report said.


Afghanistan: Provincial Haqqani Network Leader Captured December 26, 2010

Afghan and NATO-led troops captured a Haqqani network leader and three suspected insurgents during a Dec. 25 operation in Khost province, according to a Dec. 26 NATO statement, Xinhua reported. The detained had been responsible for recruiting suicide bombers to attack Afghan schools, district centers, Afghan security forces and coalition troops in Sabari, Terayzai and Bak districts in Khost, the statement said.

Afghanistan: Medvedev Signs Into Law Transit Pact With French December 27, 2010

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev signed into law ratification of an agreement with the French on the transit of military equipment and personnel to Afghanistan through Russia, RIA Novosti reported Dec. 27, citing the Kremlin. Aircraft with French weapons and military equipment will make a stopover on Russian territory, but personnel transiting Russian airspace will not have to land, according to the agreement.


Mexico: Rebranding the Cartel Wars | STRATFOR

Mexico Security Memo: Dec. 27, 2010 | STRATFOR

Intelligence Guidance: Week of Dec. 26, 2010 | STRATFOR

December 21, Help Net Security – (International) Worm blocks access to Facebook. A relatively new worm Symantec named “W32.Yimfoca” presents a never before seen modus operandi. A variant of the worm spreads via Yahoo! Messenger and, once installed, downloads and installs W32.Yimfoca on the target system. Lately, it has been noticed it specifically targets Facebook users by denying them access to their accounts if they do not complete a survey. Every time a user lands on the Facebook homepage, a window offering the surveys pops up. Also, while the victim fills out the survey, a progress bar is shown accompanied by a “threat” — “You have only 3 minutes to fill out the selected survey or you will not have access to your account.” Once the user has completed a survey he/she can access his/her account. If the user does not complete the survey within 3 minutes, the worm will not allow him/her to access the account while it is running — and it resets even after a reboot of the infected computer. The worm blocks access to Facebook only if Internet Explorer is being used. Using any other browser fails to trigger the worm and a user can access his/her Facebook account without being sidetracked by pop-ups. Source: http://www.net-security.org/malware_news.php?id=1575

Except where noted courtesy www.stratfor.com

Monday, December 27, 2010

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Michael SchaeferUvalde County Texas Sheriff's Department
End of Watch: Saturday, December 25, 2010

Deputy Michael Schaefer suffered a fatal heart attack while struggling with a 16-year-old female who was possibly under the influence of narcotics and alcohol.

He and another deputy had responded to a domestic disturbance involving a fight between the girl and another family member. When they arrived at the scene they attempted to place the girl into custody but became involved in a struggle. Deputy Schaefer collapsed moments later.
Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

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

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Police Monopoly...I want one

If I had only seen this a few months ago I would have dropped a hint or two...

Police Monopoly

From the description:

As you buy, sell and trade your favorite properties, you'll need to outwit your fellow police buddies to build and take command of all the precincts and headquarters on the board. If you succeed, not only will your board be safe from criminals, but you'll get an instant promotion to Commish -- until the next game anyway!

Take a roll of the dice to round Larceny Lane and head for Handcuff Highway. You could win big if you're named 'Officer of the Year' or go directly to Jail if you're called into Internal Affairs when you pick up a Roll Call or Pursuit card. And, just remember -- while you might not be under arrest, going to Jail in this game will still hurt your rep, so watch out and stay safe as you enjoy this special Law Enforcement Edition of the world's most popular board game, MONOPOLY.

Grab a token, hit the streets and Advance to GO!

In a matter of days a lot of very qualified human life forms (won't call them people) will be going on the job market...

This damned Great Recession has claimed more victims...there are going to be dozens of former members of Congress and hundreds of Ivy League educated staffers who never contemplated being outside of government paid six figure salaries, little real work (that's a four letter word for Washington bureaucrats) and lifetime significance. God knows they can't get real justification for their miserable lives in true public service (e.g. police, fire, EMTs, teachers)...and you know the business world would not care for them.

But in this season of giving I'm glad to see Iowa Hawk is offering advise for these people who need help getting real jobs. It's a bit long but worth the read...I'll hit the highlights here:

So you lost your election: A outplacement transition guide to life beyond Washington for former members and associates of Congress

Losing a job can be a challenging and stress-filled time. Especially during the holidays, and especially for someone like you - the soon-to-be former team associate of the United States Congress. ....

...And that's where this brochure comes in. At Iowahawk Congressional Outplacement Services our primary goal is to orient, retrain, and mainstream former employees of Capitol Hill for productive careers outside Washington. While we can't get you back your seniority, your perks, or your mahogany-paneled office in the Dirksen Building, we can give you the tools you'll need after your ignominious rejection by those bastard ingrates you'll soon be living among. Follow this step-by-step guide and you'll be back on your feet in no time! Probably.

Step 1: Assess Your Skills and Competencies

The road to your new non-Washington career begins with an inventory of your personal strengths and competencies. Read the critical skill list below, and circle the ones that you possess.

Telling other people what to do
Demanding money
Peddling influence
Talking loudly over others
Condescension / arrogance
Threatening, browbeating, arguing
Evading responsibility
Spin control

As a former Washington professional, you probably circled four or more of the above. Yes, there are some private sector industries where these skills are valued - such as journalism, bill collection, professional wrestling, higher education, and carnival barking. Unfortunately, these are all declining industries with low wages and/or fierce job competition. In order to maintain your standard of living, you will probably have to seek employment in other industries where you will find surprisingly little demand for your skills.

FAQs (frequently asked questions)

Instead of seeking a job, what if I decided to leverage my congressional skills in my own business?

While entrepreneurship can sometimes be very lucrative, it is a good idea to check with law enforcement officials. Under some federal and local statutes your new business may be interpreted as organized crime.

Step 2: Familiarize Yourself With Your New Industry

In order to land that good job back in your home district, you first need to understand the ins and outs of the non-Washington economic system. Unlike Washington's easy-to-understand system of leveraging raw unbridled rulemaking and police power to extract tribute from fearful and/or favor-seeking constituents, non-Washington industries are largely based on the production of "goods" or "services." It sounds complicated, but the basic idea boils down to making things or doing things that other people will pay for. The complicated part is to remember that they must pay for them voluntarily.

For example, let's consider a hypothetical barber, and let's call him 'Joe.' Joe does something - namely, he cuts people's hair. The people whose hair Joe cuts enter his barbershop voluntarily, and pay him for his service, also voluntarily. Why? Probably because they desired a haircut, or possibly because they enjoy his amusing patter and racy magazine selection. The important thing to remember is that they paid for the haircuts voluntarily. Obviously, with his sharp implements and razors, once a customer is in his chair Joe could threaten to stab him or slit his throat unless he forks over his wallet and jewelry. Unfortunately, this would probably reduce the number of customers coming to Joe's barbershop.

As a former member of Congress the challenge for you is to identify those things you can make, or things you can do, and target employers accordingly. List them in the spaces below.

Things I can make*: ____________________________________________________________________

Things I can do*: _______________________________________________________________________

*remember, list only those things that people will pay for voluntarily

Are you finished? If your space is blank, don't worry. This is true of most Capitol Hill professionals. There are ways you can gain these skills which we will cover in Step 3.


I have been told I was a good legislative salesman when I was in Congress. Does this count as a 'thing I can do'?

There is always demand for good salesmen and saleswomen in the private sector, but peddling influence and selling goods and services often require different skill sets. For example, you will not be allowed to persuade customers by outlawing your competition.

What if Joe hung a big sign on his barber pole announcing expensive fines and penalties for people who stop coming to his barbershop?

In principle this is a good idea, but Joe will need someone to voluntarily enforce his fines. He could subcontract enforcement to the Mafia, but even if this was legal the Mafia would probably demand a large commission of any fines they collect for Joe.

...Step 7: Going on Public Assistance

After a few months of job interviews, you will likely find that you are still unemployed. Even if you somehow manage to get a job, it is only a matter of time before your employer observes your performance and you find yourself back on the street. In either case, your next stop is applying for public assistance.

Yes, there once was a stigma associated with being "on the dole," but that is largely a thing of the past. Today, more Americans than ever are receiving unemployment checks, food stamps, and welfare -- in large part thanks to your years of hard work in Washington. So don't be embarrassed, go for all the government funded gusto you can. That's what it's there for! After all, haven't you really been on public assistance since you were first elected?


Is it too much to ask my benefits caseworker to address me as 'Senator'? I've worked so hard to get this job.

Uhh... sure, whatever. Senator.

Don't push your religion on me

ALGORE, the head of the Church of Global Warming has gone too damned far this time.

Eagles-Vikings postponed until Tuesday night - ESPN

...The NFL moved the Vikings at Eagles game from Sunday night to Tuesday because of an expected blizzard that could dump more than a foot of snow on Philadelphia...Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter declared a snow emergency as of 2 p.m. EST Sunday.

...The Vikings already have had two home games affected by the weather this season. Their game against the Giants on Dec. 12 was postponed a day after Minneapolis got 15 inches of snow. It was then moved to Detroit when the Metrodome roof collapsed.

Their game against Chicago the following week was played at the University of Minnesota's outdoor stadium because of the damaged roof...

Hey look at the latest news.....

ICE AGE: Columbia, SC has first Christmas snow since records first kept in 1887...Atlanta's First Since 1882...and this is all caused by Global Warming...

Now if you want to put your faith in something with no real evidence like Global Cooling...err Global Warming...ohhh Climate Change, I don't care. Just don't push your religion on me and don't expect the taxpayers to fund your religious beliefs...


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Suspects are greasing up...

This is a bit unusual...but it makes sense.

Safety warning: Beware of slippery suspects

Safety warning: Beware of slippery suspects

Chuck Remsberg, PoliceOne Senior Correspondent

Is hand lotion the newest threat to officer safety?

In California, sheriff’s deputies stopped a vehicle with occupants that included an ex-con gangbanger who’d recently escaped from an unsuccessful buy/bust operation. Ordered out, he “remained calm and appeared to be very cooperative, allowing himself to be placed into a cursory search position” for a pat-down, according to a report of the incident.

But “as soon as his hands were gathered behind his head, he slipped out of the deputy’s grasp and fled on foot.” He reached to his waistband several times as he ran, but never produced a weapon or fired a shot.

Good thing! The searching deputy discovered that he was “unable to grasp his pistol because his hands were made extremely slippery from something on the suspect.”

Others from the car explained: As soon as the deputies pulled behind them, the ex-con began “applying an extremely large ‘coating’ of hand lotion on his hands, wrists, and arms — readying himself for a physical confrontation.”

A safety alert from the LAPD warns that “it is reasonable to assume” that applying copious amounts of lotion, cream, or other lubricant is “a new tactic being taught” among prison inmates to escape from being searched or physically detained.

“It is important to remember this tactic when coming in contact with any street gang member, especially those belonging to Hispanic gangs,” the alert advises.

...“Gangbangers and other criminals expect to get stopped. Their whole lives revolve around how to defeat the police. Unfortunately, they often engage in when/then thinking more than cops do.”

...From a practical standpoint, he adds, “Always reach for contact first with your reaction hand so your gun hand stays safe.”

Another trainer, Officer Gary Monreal of the New Berlin (Wisc.) PD, suggests that “the use of certain ‘tactile’ gloves may help” deal with the slippery-hands problem, providing the glove can “withstand a substance and still have gripping ability.”

Likewise, having backup present, if available, may discourage suspect resistance.

“If, at any time during the contact, an officer perceives that a substance has been applied to the suspect, the officer needs to escalate force or disengage from the subject,” Monreal says. One option might be to have the suspect kneel during the pat-down, in an effort to better control him.

“The key is for the officer to identify the risk associated with a subject’s ‘greasing’ up,” Monreal says. “Why else would a subject do that, other than to resist an officer’s attempts at control? Having knowledge of this offender tactic may help an officer articulate why he or she took ‘extra measures’ during a pat-down.”

My first Christmas with a family

OK, made it through the early Christmas morning, the long Christmas day, the screaming kids and the now larger crazy family.

Now here I am, exhausted, in my easy chair with a Scotch, Beth next to me and us watching one of her gifts to me, Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Life is good....hope you had a great day!

What's going on in the World Today Christmas 2010

In this season I have to think of forgiveness and I recall a war story from a friend who was sharing MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat, aka Meals Rejected by Ethiopians) with an Islamic relief group in Afghanistan. He was pulling out the ones with pork and the man asked Jim “What are you doing?”

Jim answered “These have pork and I don’t want to offend your religion.”

The response was “A hungry man knows no religion and Allah forgives.”

I though the story of forgiveness was great on this day.

Merry Christmas to all….and too all a Good Night!


Agenda: With George Friedman | STRATFOR

U.S. Naval Update Map: Dec. 22, 2010 | STRATFOR

Italy: Anarchists Claim Rome Bombings December 23, 2010

Italian anarchist group Federazione Anarchica Informale claimed responsibility for two parcel bombings that targeted the Swiss and Chilean Embassies in Rome on Dec. 23, according to Italian news agency Ansa, DPA reported. A statement was recovered from a small box found next to an embassy worker who was injured in one of the explosions.


China Security Memo: Dec. 22, 2010 | STRATFOR

Japan: Surveillance Of Chinese, North Korean Subs To Increase December 23, 2010

Japan will increase its surveillance of Chinese and North Korean military activities, particularly submarine movements, at the suggestion of the United States as part of Japan’s enhanced intelligence role in the countries’ alliance, Asahi Shimbun reported Dec. 23, citing Japanese government sources. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and U.S. President Barack Obama will issue a joint declaration with U.S. officials’ suggestion that Japan increase the frequency of patrols by the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s P-3C anti-submarine surveillance aircraft.

India Between China and Russia | STRATFOR



Iran: 4 Militants Arrested December 22, 2010

Four militants were arrested while attempting to plant explosive devices in densely populated areas in Mahabad city, Iran, IRNA reported Dec. 23. All four of the militants are from the same family with three arrested in Mahabad and another while fleeing towards Bukan, Mahabad General and Revolutionary Courts Prosecutor Samad Hazrati stated. Hazrati said four Kalashnikov rifles were confiscated from the militants who were attempting to carry out the attack in the first ten days of the mourning month of Moharram.

Nigeria: U.N. Panel To Visit Over Iranian Arms Shipment December 23, 2010

The United Nations will send an eight-man panel of experts to Nigeria on Jan.18-21 for investigations over an arms shipment recently intercepted from Iran, an unnamed senior official said Dec. 23, Xinhua reported.

China: Ship Detained Over Loan Defaults December 23, 2010

Hong Kong officials detained a Maltese flagged ship, The Decretive, linked to Iranian companies blacklisted by the United States on Nov. 14, the South China Morning Post reported Dec. 23. Hong Kong authorities acted after four European banks, led by the German-based HSH Nordbank moved over alleged loan defaults totaling $268 million. The Decretive is one of five vessels linked to the Islamic Republic or Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) that the banks want to seize over the defaults but is not directly linked to international sanctions against Iran. The Decretive was anchored on Dec.22, 2.3 kilometers southeast of Lamma, Hong Kong.

An Alternative View on Iran's Subsidy Reforms | STRATFOR

Iraq: 93 Arrested In Anbar Province December 23, 2010

Ninety-three suspects, including 60 wanted men, were arrested by Iraqi forces during a crackdown on al Qaeda in the western Anbar province, Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Askari said, AFP reported Dec. 23. An overnight raid was launched late Dec. 22 and included army, police, tribal forces and members of Sahwa, an anti-Qaeda militia, al-Askari said. The operation aimed to secure Baghdad and deprive al Qaeda the opportunity to conduct terrorist attacks, he said.


A Week in the War: Afghanistan, Dec. 15-21, 2010 | STRATFOR

Egypt: Cooperation Led To Israeli Spy Ring Discovery December 23, 2010

Egyptian-Lebanese-Syrian cooperation led to the exposure of the Israeli espionage network operating in the telecommunications sectors of the three countries, Al-Arab news reported Dec. 23, citing unnamed Egyptian security sources. Interrogations conducted by Egyptian authorities revealed information about another network operating in Syria, information that Egypt passed on to Syria, leading to the arrest of a prominent Syrian security official who had been allegedly spying for Israel. The information gathered from the suspect, Tarek Abdul Razzak, will soon be made public, according to the sources.

Mexican Drug Wars: Bloodiest Year to Date | STRATFOR

Venezuela: Students Protest New Law On Universities December 23, 2010

Thousands of Venezuelan students demonstrated in Caracas against a new law passed by the National Assembly giving the government more power over the country’s universities, AP reported Dec. 23. The protesters planned to march to the National Assembly building but were stopped outside the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas by riot police and soldiers, who used water cannons and fired plastic bullets into the air. Hundreds of students later restarted the march on another route through Caracas.

Chinese Microblogs and Government Spin | STRATFOR

Intelligence Guidance: Week of Dec. 19, 2010 | STRATFOR

Except where noted courtesy www.stratfor.com