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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Geopolitical Weekly: Pakistan, Russia and the Threat to the Afghan War November 29, 2011

By George Friedman

Days after the Pakistanis closed their borders to the passage of fuel and supplies for the NATO-led war effort in Afghanistan, for very different reasons the Russians threatened to close the alternative Russia-controlled Northern Distribution Network (NDN). The dual threats are significant even if they don’t materialize. If both routes are cut, supplying Western forces operating in Afghanistan becomes impossible. Simply raising the possibility of cutting supply lines forces NATO and the United States to recalculate their position in Afghanistan.

The possibility of insufficient lines of supply puts NATO’s current course in Afghanistan in even more jeopardy. It also could make Western troops more vulnerable by possibly requiring significant alterations to operations in a supply-constrained scenario. While the supply lines in Pakistan most likely will reopen eventually and the NDN likely will remain open, the gap between likely and certain is vast.

The Pakistani Outpost Attack

The Pakistani decision to close the border crossings at Torkham near the Khyber Pass and Chaman followed a U.S. attack on a Pakistani position inside Pakistan’s tribal areas near the Afghan border that killed some two-dozen Pakistani soldiers. The Pakistanis have been increasingly opposed to U.S. operations inside Pakistani territory. This most recent incident took an unprecedented toll, and triggered an extreme response. The precise circumstances of the attack are unclear, with details few, contradictory and disputed. The Pakistanis have insisted it was an unprovoked attack and a violation of their sovereign territory. In response, Islamabad closed the border to NATO; ordered the United States out of Shamsi air base in Balochistan, used by the CIA; and is reviewing military and intelligence cooperation with the United States and NATO.

The proximate reason for the reaction is obvious; the ultimate reason for the suspension also is relatively simple. The Pakistani government believes NATO, and the United States in particular, will fail to bring the war in Afghanistan to a successful conclusion. It follows that the United States and other NATO countries at some point will withdraw.

Some in Afghanistan have claimed that the United States has been defeated, but that is not the case. The United States may have failed to win the war, but it has not been defeated in the sense of being compelled to leave by superior force. It could remain there indefinitely, particular as the American public is not overly hostile to the war and is not generating substantial pressure to end operations. Nevertheless, if the war cannot be brought to some sort of conclusion, at some point Washington’s calculations or public pressure, or both, will shift and the United States and its allies will leave Afghanistan.

Given that eventual outcome, Pakistan must prepare to deal with the consequences. It has no qualms about the Taliban running Afghanistan and it certainly does not intend to continue to prosecute the United States’ war against the Taliban once its forces depart. To do so would intensify Taliban attacks on the Pakistani state, and could trigger an even more intense civil war in Pakistan. The Pakistanis have no interest in such an outcome even were the United States to remain in Afghanistan forever. Instead, given that a U.S. victory is implausible and its withdrawal inevitable and that Pakistan’s western border is with Afghanistan, Islamabad will have to live with — and possibly manage — the consequences of the re-emergence of a Taliban-dominated government.

Under these circumstances, it makes little sense for Pakistan to collaborate excessively with the United States, as this increases Pakistan’s domestic dangers and imperils its relationship with the Taliban. Pakistan was prepared to cooperate with the United States and NATO while the United States was in an aggressive and unpredictable phase. The Pakistanis could not risk more aggressive U.S. attacks on Pakistani territory at that point, and feared a U.S.-Indian entente. But the United States, while not leaving Afghanistan, has lost its appetite for a wider war and lacks the resources for one. It is therefore in Pakistan’s interest to reduce its collaboration with the United States in preparation for what it sees as the inevitable outcome. This will strengthen Pakistan’s relations with the Afghan Taliban and minimize the threat of internal Pakistani conflict.

Despite apologies by U.S. and NATO commanders, the Nov. 26 incident provided the Pakistanis the opportunity — and in their mind the necessity — of an exceptional response. The suspension of the supply line without any commitment to reopening it and the closure of the U.S. air base from which unmanned aerial vehicle operations were carried out (though Pakistani airspace reportedly remains open to operations) was useful to Pakistan. It allowed Islamabad to reposition itself as hostile to the United States because of American actions. It also allowed Islamabad to appear less pro-American, a powerful domestic political issue.

Pakistan has closed supply lines as a punitive measure before. Torkham was closed for 10 straight days in October 2010 in response to a U.S. airstrike that killed several Pakistani soldiers, and trucks at the southern Chaman crossing were “administratively delayed,” according to the Pakistanis. This time, however, Pakistan is signaling that matters are more serious. Uncertainty over these supply lines is what drove the United States to expend considerable political capital to arrange the alternative NDN.
(click here to enlarge image)

The NDN Alternative and BMD

This alternative depends on Russia. It transits Russian territory and airspace and much of the former Soviet sphere, stretching as far as the Baltic Sea — at great additional expense compared to the Pakistani supply route. This alternative is viable, as it would allow sufficient supplies to flow to support NATO operations. Indeed, over recent months it has become the primary line of supply, and reliance upon it is set to expand. At present, 48 percent of NATO supplies still go through Pakistan; 52 percent of NATO supplies come through NDN (non-lethal); 60 percent of all fuel comes through the NDN; and by the end of the year, the objective is for 75 percent of all non-lethal supplies to transit the NDN.

Separating the United States yields a different breakdown: Only 30 percent of U.S. supplies traverse Pakistan; 30 percent of U.S. supplies come in by air (some of it linked to the Karakoram-Torkham route, probably including the bulk of lethal weapons); and 40 percent of U.S. supplies come in from the NDN land route.

Therefore, Dmitri Rogozin’s threat that Russia might suspend these supply lines threatens the viability of all Western operations in Afghanistan. Rogozin, the Russian envoy to NATO, has been known to make extreme statements. But when he makes those statements, he makes them with the full knowledge and authorization of the Russian leadership. Though he is used to making statements that the leadership might want to back away from, it is not unusual for him to signal new directions in Russian policy. This means the U.S. and NATO militaries responsible for sustaining operations in Afghanistan cannot afford to dismiss the threat. No matter how small the probability, it places more than 100,000 U.S. and allied troops in a vulnerable position.

For the Russians, the issue is the development and deployment of U.S. ballistic missile defenses in Europe. The Russians oppose the deployment, arguing it represents a threat to the Russian nuclear deterrent and therefore threatens the nuclear balance. This was certainly the reason the Soviets opposed the initial Strategic Defense Initiative in the 1980s. Carrying it forward to the 2010s, however, and the reasoning appears faulty. First, there is no nuclear balance at the moment, as there is no political foundation for nuclear war. Second, the U.S.-European BMD scheme is not designed to stop a massive launch of nuclear missiles such as the Russians could execute, but only the threat posed by a very small number of missiles such as might be launched from Iran. Finally, it is not clear that the system would work very well, though it has certainly proven far more capable than the turn-of-the-century predecessor systems.

Nevertheless, the Russians vehemently opposed the system, threatening to deploy Iskander short-range ballistic missiles and even tactical nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad and other locations in response. The Russian concern is obviously real, but it is difficult to believe it is the nuclear balance they are concerned about. Rather, it is the geopolitical implications of placing BMD infrastructure in Central Europe.

Opposition to a Second Containment

Elements of the weapons, particularly radars and interceptors, are being deployed around the periphery of Russia — in Poland, Romania, Turkey and Israel. From the Russian point of view, the deployment of radars and other systems is a precursor to the deployment of other military capabilities. They are extremely valuable installations that must be protected. Troops therefore will be deployed along with air defenses, and so on. In other words, the deployment of the BMD infrastructure itself may have no practical impact on the Russians, but the indirect consequences would be to set the stage for more expansive military deployments. The Russians must assume this could entail a return to containment, the principle employed by the United States during the Cold War to limit Soviet power.

The Russians see the inclusion of other military forces at the locations of the interceptor and radar deployment as creating a belt of nations designed to contain Russia. Given the uncertain future of Europe and the increasing relative power of Russia in the region, the United States has an interest in making certain any disruption in Europe doesn’t give the Russians opportunities to extend their political influence. While the extent to which American planners chose the sites with the containment of Russia in mind isn’t clear, from the Russian point of view the motive doesn’t matter. Planning is done based on capability, not intent. Whatever the U.S. intent, the move opens the door for containment if and when U.S. policy planners notice the opportunity.

The Russians have threatened actions for years, and in the past few weeks they have become increasingly vocal on the subject of BMD and on threats. Rogozin obviously was ordered to seize on the vulnerability created by the Pakistani move and introduced the now-indispensible NDN as a point where the Russians could bring pressure, knowing it is the one move the United States cannot tolerate at the moment. Whether they intend to shut down the supply line is questionable. Doing so would cause a huge breach with the United States, and to this point the Russians have been relatively cautious in challenging fundamental U.S. interests. Moreover, the Russians are worried about any instability in Afghanistan that might threaten their sphere of influence in Central Asia. However, the Russians are serious about not permitting a new containment line to be created, and therefore may be shifting their own calculations.

It is a rule of war that secure strategic supply lines are the basis of warfare. If you cannot be certain of supplying your troops, it is necessary to redeploy to more favorable positions. The loss of supply lines at some point creates a vulnerability that in military history leads to the annihilation of forces. It is something that can be risked when major strategic interests require it, but it is a dangerous maneuver. The Russians are raising the possibility that U.S. forces could be isolated in Afghanistan. Supply lines into the landlocked country never have been under U.S. or NATO control. All supplies must come in through third countries (less than a third of American supplies come by air, and those mostly through Russian airspace), and their willingness to permit transit is the foundation of U.S. strategy.

The United States and NATO have been exposed as waging a war that depended on the willingness of first Pakistan and now increasingly Russia to permit the movement of supplies through their respective territories. Were they both to suspend that privilege, the United States would face the choice of going to war to seize supply lines — something well beyond U.S. conventional capacity at this time — or to concede the war. Anytime a force depends on the cooperation of parties not under its control to sustain its force, it is in danger.

The issue is not whether the threats are carried out. The issue is whether the strategic interest the United States has in Afghanistan justifies the risk that the Russians may not be bluffing and the Pakistanis will become even less reliable in allowing passage. In the event of strategic necessity, such risks can be taken. But the lower the strategic necessity, the less risk is tolerable. This does not change the strategic reality in Afghanistan. It simply makes that reality much clearer and the threats to that reality more serious. Washington, of course, hopes the Pakistanis will reconsider and that the Russians are simply blowing off steam. Hope, however, is not a strategy.

Pakistan, Russia and the Threat to the Afghan War is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

OK...this is an unusual one!

A few years ago at my Army Reserve unit we received a digital fingerprint machine and the tech was showing us how to use it. When going through the subject description, we came up to "Sex" and I made a comment like that should be easy. The tech laughed and said "...you would think..." The possible answers included "Male claiming to be Female", "Female claiming to be Male", "Undetermined" and "Unknown".

I didn't want to get any further after that. Kinda ties into this. Yes, these are male suspects.

Crossdressing muggers charged in Lincoln Park assaults

Michael T. Burns (top) and Brandon D. Arnold (Police photos)

Two men dressed as women were charged with mugging a teenage girl Friday as she walked near Lincoln Park Zoo, only minutes after they allegedly assaulted another pedestrian and tried to take his wallet, prosecutors said.

Brandon Arnold, 24,...and roommate Michael Burns, 21, appeared in Cook County Central Bond Court charged with robbery and attempted armed robbery, both sporting long, styled hair and gray leggings. Their bond was set at $100,000 each.

Court records say the pair approached a 16-year-old girl as she walked past an alley in the 2300 block of North Lincoln Park West around 2:24 p.m.

Arnold asked the girl for directions, then raised a can of pepper spray and said, "Give me your camera or I'll mace you." The girl gave up her camera, then Arnold allegedly demanded the girl's iPhone and ran off with Brandon down Fullerton Avenue.

Five minutes earlier, prosecutors said Arnold and Burns had attacked a man about half a mile away in the 2600 block of North Cannon Drive.

The victim said one of the men grabbed him from behind and tried to take his wallet, but the man was able to wrestle free....

...The teenage victim was following her attackers down Fullerton when a squad car responding to the first victim's call arrived. Burns and Arnold dropped the phone and camera in some bushes, then dropped the can of pepper spray, court records said.

"It wasn't funny at all," the male victim said Saturday. "These guys attacked two people, minutes apart, in broad daylight in the park."

All I can say is Nice Shooting Tex!

This is an efficient way to handle a f#$%ing thief!

1 dead, 1 in custody after shooting outside southeast Houston home
by khou.com staff November 27, 2011 at 11:06 AM

HOUSTON – One man is dead and another in custody following a shooting outside a home in southeast Houston early Sunday.

Police said a man was at his home near Gulf Valley and Springtime around 2:30 a.m. when he heard noises coming from the driveway.

He went outside and saw three men inside his fiancée’s car with the trunk open. Police said he yelled at them to get out of the car, but the suspects ignored him and continued grabbing stuff from his vehicle.

The homeowner told police he thought the suspects pointed a gun at him, so he opened fire as they got into their car, striking the driver’s side several times.

The driver was hit in the head and died at the scene after driving about two blocks down the road.
Police said the other two suspects got out of the car and ran.

An HPD unit responding to the shooting spotted them and told them to get on the ground. One of the suspects, identified as Jesus Alaniz, surrendered. The other suspect ran away.

Knowing a Harris Country grand jury, I think they will call this justified use of deadly force!

Charlie Brown finally broke...

Lucy, you've pulled the football for the last time!

Charlie Brown arrested for shooting at kids

By Jeramia Trotter

(WMC-TV) - A man named Charles Brown is behind bars after police say he opened fire at a father holding his infant son last week.

The victim told officers that Brown attacked him as he was returning home from the store with his nine-month-old son last Friday. The man told police the 55-year-old Brown punched him in the mouth and then fired several shots as he ran away.

The victim and his child made it back to their apartment without being injured. Inside the home, the man, his son, two other children and a woman hid in the apartment while Brown fired at least two more shots, according to court records. Police say one of the bullets hit the apartment's front door and another came through a bedroom window....

...Charles Brown is currently behind bars facing five counts of aggravated assault. He's being held on $350,000 bond.

Snoopy and Linus are trying to raise the bail.

Man, that was close

Video from a shootout....it get's interesting at 1:00 and 1:10

Here is the story that came with it.

Video: 2 Ga. cops' narrow escape from hail of bullets
Dash cam shows two officers evading a man they said was shooting to kill

By PoliceOne Staff

DULUTH, Ga. — Dash cam shows suspected robbers shoot at two police officers who narrowly escape the hail of gunfire.

Police responded to a 911 call of a robbery at a massage studio last week, WSBTV reported. When the first responding officer arrived, an armed man who police said was shooting to kill pointed his gun at her.

In the video, she calls for help. “He’s armed, pointing the gun at me,” the officer says. “Sir, get down on the ground, get down on the (expletive) ground.”

A second officer is seen diving to avoid the bullets as a puff of dust rises after it hits the ground only a few feet from him. Neither officer was hurt, according to reports.

Police said the officers gave the shooter a chance to give up the fight.

"The officers give the individual the opportunity to surrender," Maj. Don Woodruff said. "(In the video) she tells him to put the gun down several times."

The gunman and a female passenger left the scene in their vehicle, and police are seeking the pair...

For once I'll agree with a turd on death row

I agree Governor Kitzhaber....stick a needle in his arm!

Death row inmate Gary Haugen now criticizes governor for giving him a reprieve

Convicted killer Gary Haugen walks out of Marion County Courthouse after appearing at a hearing where a judge considered the prosecutors' request to issue a death warrant.

A condemned inmate who was scheduled to be executed next month is now slamming Gov. John Kitzhaber for giving him a reprieve, saying the governor didn't have the guts to carry out the execution.

Two-time murderer Gary Haugen had voluntarily given up his legal challenges, saying he wants to be executed in protest of a criminal justice system he views as broken. But Kitzhaber on Tuesday said he won't allow anyone to be executed while he is in office, calling Oregon's death penalty scheme "compromised and inequitable."

But in a telephone interview with the Statesman Journal on Friday, Haugen mocked Kitzhaber.

"I feel he's a paper cowboy," he said. "He couldn't pull the trigger."

Haugen's criticism reverses his earlier praise of Kitzhaber's decision during an interview with The Oregonian. He told the Portland newspaper that Kitzhaber cited some of the same criticism of the death penalty that Haugen has raised.

After further reflection, Haugen said he came to the conclusion that the governor "basically pulled a coward's move" by acting on his personal beliefs instead of carrying out the will of Oregon voters, who reinstated the death penalty in 1984.

Kitzhaber called Oregon's death penalty system "a perversion of justice," saying the state only executes people who volunteer. Since capital punishment was legalized 27 years ago, only two people have been executed. Both of them, like Haugen, waived their legal challenges.

Kitzhaber encouraged "all Oregonians to engage in the long overdue debate that this important issue deserves" and said he would ask lawmakers to consider potential reforms during the 2013 legislative session.

The 49-year-old inmate said he plans to ask lawyers about possible legal action to fight Kitzhaber's temporary reprieve, which lasts until the governor leaves office. A Marion County judge had twice signed a death warrant ordering Haugen's execution. The first was reversed when the state Supreme Court intervened; the second was overruled by Kitzhaber two weeks before the Dec. 6 execution.

"I'm going to have to get with some serious legal experts and figure out really if he can do this," Haugen said. "I think there's got to be some constitutional violations. Man, this is definitely cruel and unusual punishment. You don't bring a guy to the table twice and then just stop it."
I wish more people on death row could see this man's wisdom! :<)

News from the Iranian Nuclear Weapon, err Energy Program

From the Washington Post, a report with pictures of the Iranian missile plant being destroyed. With pictures. Intel geeks like me aint't that bright and pictures help

Image shows Iranian missile site was destroyed
By Jason Ukman



(Courtesy DigitalGlobe — Institute for Science and International Security)

Two weeks after a mysterious explosion at an Iranian missile base, a Washington-based research group has released a satellite image showing extensive damage to the site.

The image of the compound, near the city of Malard, doesn’t provide any clues as to what caused the Nov. 12 explosion, which Iranian authorities described as an “accident” involving the transport of ammunition. But it does make clear that the facility has been effectively destroyed.

Paul Brannan, a senior analyst for the Institute for Science and International Security, which specializes in the study of nuclear weapons programs, said it’s impossible to tell from the image whether the blast was caused by sabotage, as has has been speculated in this explosion and others at transport facilities, oil refineries and military bases in Iran.

When performing work with missiles, there are a variety of “volatile processes” that could cause an explosion, Brannan said.

Brannan said ISIS had recently learned from “knowledgable officials” that the blast had occurred just as Iran had achieved a milestone in the development of a new missile and may have been performing a “volatile procedure involving a missile engine at the site.”

As with the cause of the blast, the nature of that milestone is unclear

I have my doubts the CIA did it. Our current administration wants to engage with the Iranians. Israeli's? They have the means, motive and maybe opportunity. Dumb back luck (from the Iranian point of view)?. Maybe.

Whatever caused it, couldn't have happened to nicer people!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Another RINO is concerned about his party....

I've read David Frum occasionally and find him to be a typical moderate who compromises with liberals. In other words he accepts their ideas with hardly an once of protest and encourages his fellow Republicans to go along to get along. Of course he backs Romney and Huntsman. I recall the words of Mark Steyn about the coming election, "we don't need a compromise, we need a choice.". But now little David is concerned the party can't put put up a good candidate so we may bolt the party.

Hey Dave, don't let the door hit you in the ass!

When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?
Some of my Republican friends ask if I’ve gone crazy. I say: Look in the mirror.

By David Frum Published Nov 20, 2011

...I’ve been a Republican all my adult life. I have worked on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, at Forbes magazine, at the Manhattan and American Enterprise Institutes, as a speechwriter in the George W. Bush administration. I believe in free markets, low taxes, reasonable regulation, and limited government. I voted for John ­McCain in 2008, and I have strongly criticized the major policy decisions of the Obama administration. But as I contemplate my party and my movement in 2011, I see things I simply cannot support.
No kidding tou've been a Republican all your life. A Blue Blood wishey washie moderate who loved it when men like Bob Michaels would compromise, that is roll over for anything the left wanted.
America desperately needs a responsible and compassionate alternative to the Obama administration’s path of bigger government at higher cost. And yet: This past summer, the GOP nearly forced America to the verge of default just to score a point in a budget debate. In the throes of the worst economic crisis since the Depression, Republican politicians demand massive budget cuts and shrug off the concerns of the unemployed. In the face of evidence of dwindling upward mobility and long-stagnating middle-class wages, my party’s economic ideas sometimes seem to have shrunk to just one: more tax cuts for the very highest earners. When I entered Republican politics, during an earlier period of malaise, in the late seventies and early eighties, the movement got most of the big questions—crime, inflation, the Cold War—right. This time, the party is getting the big questions disastrously wrong.
No, it was Obama and his underlings who led us to the disaster that was the Super Committee Compromise. And for that we got what? Two trillion more in debt over a matter of months and a downgrade of our debt rating. And yes, conservatives in the 70s/80s got the big things right Dave...against the efforts of people like you.

Now I'll try and summarize this moron's delusions with a few points.
...In 2000, candidate Bush routinely invoked “churches, synagogues, and mosques.” By 2010, prominent Republicans were denouncing the construction of a mosque in lower Manhattan as an outrageous insult....
Yea David, Bush did invoke churches for helping the poor in this country get ahead as an alternative to wasteful and ineffective bureaucracies. But Bush did not suggest building a mosque in hallowed ground to insult this country and the memory of 3000 slain citizens.
Today, health reform that combines regulation of private insurance, individual mandates, and subsidies for those who need them is considered unconstitutional and an open invitation to “death panels.” A dozen years ago, a very similar reform was the Senate Republican alternative to Hillarycare.
The insurance industry is already heavily regulated, their is Medicare for the truly needy and we have started the establishment of a panel that will determine if you get life saving treatment based on a cost-benefit analysis. Hell, B Hussein Obama said we would just give some people a pill and make them comfortable. Funny, he didn't suggest that of Teddy Kennedy. I wonder why? Also little Davie, the Constitution does not authorize Congress to force individuals to enter into a civil contract.

A long read but you get the point...this clueless moron really needs to leave the Republican Party and just all himself a leftist hack which he is. To borrow the quote from Mark Levin, "Why just leave the GOP, moron? Why not leave the country? That would be a real act of principle."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

As the old XO would tell me, "Attention to detail"

But you gotta say someone screwed up here...

Texas Murder Suspect Free After DA Fails To Fill Out Paperwork « CBS Houston

HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – A Texas man charged with killing his 17-year-old friend walked out of prison Monday after prosecutors forgot to file paperwork for an indictment.

Richard Mendoza Jr., 26, was arrested and accused of murdering Christopher Daigle in 2002 while hunting near Missouri City, Texas. Daigle was shot in the back of the head.

Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey confirmed that his office made a mistake and accepted responsibility.

Daigle was considered a missing person and an endangered runaway when he disappeared on Nov. 7, 2002. In the years following, the Houston Chronicle said his grandmother had bought a burial site and waited for bad news that was finally delivered this past August when police found his remains in a field.

Mendoza was arrested shortly afterward, and he was originally held on $250,000 bail. But prosecutors let the 90 days pass during which paperwork for an indictment should be filed.
Pending reindictment....but this is not good!

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights...

It's time to watch the Muppets on the movie screen tonight!

Got to spend a Friday night with the wifie. For cops out there, you know that is a few and far between item. But we even had the kids out of the house...the only children were furry and four legged, so we had dinner and a movie. And who couldn't love watching The Muppets. Growing up in the 70s and 80s they were always something the entire family could love.

The plot was simplistic and the non Muppet characters a bit stereotypical but who cares...you're seeing Ms Piggy do her Karate chop, Animal go to town on the drums and Kermit do Rainbow Connection. Do you need more!

Work starts tomorrow...waaaaaaa. But at least LSU kicked ass on the way to the National Championship.

Have a great weekend

Again, wisdom is not shown by our operations in Libya...

The Law of Unintended Consequences is in full effect in Tripoli.

One question.  Why in a country where the primary language
is Arabic are the protest signs always in English?

Patrick Cockburn: This was always a civil war, and the victors are not merciful

The detention of 7,000 people in prisons and camps by the anti-Gaddafi forces is not surprising. The conflict in Libya was always much more of a civil war between Libyans than foreign governments pretended or the foreign media reported.

The winning anti-Gaddafi militia are not proving merciful. Often they have had relatives killed in the fighting or imprisoned by the old regime who they want to avenge. Sometimes they come from tribes and towns traditionally hostile to neighbouring tribes and towns. Gaddafi supporters are being hunted down. According to one person in Gaddafi's home town of Sirte, they are facing a "continuing reign of terror".

"There is a deep and spreading frenzy, particularly among some of the youth militia and the Islamists, to hunt down anyone associated with the former regime," the source said.

The National Transitional Council, whose control is largely theoretical, is not in a position to stop this purge because many of its members are themselves frightened of being accused of links with the old regime.

Some groups are particularly vulnerable. The then-rebels were convinced earlier this year that many of those they were fighting were mercenaries recruited in Central or West Africa. But when these alleged "mercenaries" were arrested in Tripoli, many turned out to be black migrant labourers without identity papers.

According to Amnesty International, some of those who were put on television by the rebels as mercenaries were later quietly freed because they were migrant workers. Others faced mob justice before they were able to prove their identities.

The international media was overwhelmingly hostile to Gaddafi's regime and tended to highlight atrocities committed by it and disregard or underplay human rights violations carried out by his opponents. An example of this occurred when eight or nine bodies of Libyan soldiers were found who appeared to have been executed. The rebels claimed they had been shot by Gaddafi's men because they tried to change sides. But Amnesty located a film of the soldiers being captured alive by the rebels and it was presumably the rebels who killed them.

The purge of Gaddafi supporters is made more dangerous by the infighting between the militias, and between them and the politicians. Association with the old regime can be used to discredit an opponent. There may also be self-interest since death squads are reported to be taking their property.

After the disaster that was Vietnam the powers that be in Washington wanted (among other things) to have victory defined before America sends troops overseas. Does this look like victory?

Like it or not the economy of the Western nations depend on the free flow of oil at market prices from the Middle East. For that we need order. To say the least after sticking his nose and ears into the region we have anarchy in Libya, Egypt and Syria. This can lead to economic disaster for the US and Europe. Did anyone at Foggy Bottoms or the White House thing this through before we started to bomb Libya? I think we know the answer.

Let's all say it again, "Thanks Barrack!"

A classic dumb criminal story for Black Friday

Is comment needed.

Boy asks for job, then shoplifts from same store, police say

A Santa Clarita teenager applying for a job at a hobby shop dropped off his resume then grabbed a $129 Airsoft gun and strolled out the door, police said Tuesday.

The 17-year-old, whose name was not released because he's underage, explained his thinking this way:

“Honestly, I wasn't planning on stealing anything," he told KTLA-TV. "I was actually trying to get a job. And... what can I say? I'm a teenager, that's stupid.”...

I sleep well at night thinking this moron will be paying my Social Security! :<)

Have a great weekend.

It's ain't RoboCop, but it's a start

RoboCop: Clarence Boddicker, you are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent... 

Clarence Boddicker: [Spits blood in Robo's face] F{}# you. 

[Robocop sends him flying through a window] 

Clarence Boddicker: Hey, wait a minute. Wait a minute! I'm protected, man. I got protection. 

RoboCop: ...you have the right to an attorney... 

Clarence Boddicker: What is this sh23......... 

[Robocop sends him flying through another window] 

Clarence Boddicker:  Listen to me! Listen to me, you f]{}! There's another guy. He's OCP. He's the senior president. 

RoboCop: ...anything you say can be used against you. 

Clarence Boddicker: It's Dick Jonessssss... 

[Robocop sends him flying through another window] 

Clarence Boddicker: You cock]\{|~}! I work for Dick Jones! Dick Jones! He's the Number Two Guy at OCP. OCP runs the cops. 

[Robocop grabs his throat] 

Clarence Boddicker: You're a cop. 

[Robocop's program intervenes to prevent him from killing Clarence in cold blood. He releases Clarence from his grasp] 

RoboCop: Yes, I am a cop. 

This is cool, but Murphy was bad ass!

Prison guard robot: Three robots will be tested at a correctional facility in the southeastern city of Pohang next March when development is completed

'RoboCop' guards to patrol South Korean prisons
Robot guards with sensors to detect abnormal behaviour will soon begin patrolling South Korean prisons to ease the burden on their human counterparts, researchers said on Thursday.

A group of scientists has developed the robot warders under a one billion won (£546,000) project organised by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

The robots – 1.5 metres (five feet) high and running on four wheels – will mostly be used at night.

They can connect prisoners with officers through a remote conversation function, according to a statement from the Asian Forum for Corrections (AFC), a South Korea-based group of researchers in criminality and prison policies...

...The robots' sensors will enable them to detect abnormalities such as suicidal behaviour and violence and report it to officers in charge, the statement said.

Professor Lee Baik-Chul of Kyonggi University, who led the design process and heads the AFC, said it was intended to let human guards focus more on correction and rehabilitation efforts.
"As we're almost done with creating its key operating system, we are now working on refining its details to make it look more friendly to inmates," Lee was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying...

...South Korea aims to be a world leader in robotics. It has already designed models to teach English in schools, stand guard on the border with North Korea, fight taekwondo bouts, act in plays and clean a home.

Take this, I'm getting that PS3!

Another reason why I go nowhere near a store on Black Friday.
Woman pepper sprays other Black Friday shoppers

(AP)  LOS ANGELES — A woman shot pepper spray to keep shoppers from merchandise she wanted during a Black Friday sale, and 20 people suffered minor injuries, authorities said.

The incident occurred shortly after 10:20 p.m. Thursday in a crowded Los Angeles-area Walmart as shoppers hungry for deals were let inside the store...

..."Somehow she was trying to use it to gain an upper hand," police Lt. Abel Parga told The Associated Press early Friday.

He said she was apparently after some electronics and used the pepper spray to keep other shoppers at bay...

Hopefully we can find the woman and get her charged with assault. Then again we're talking Los Angles...the DA there will probably prosecute the Wal-Mart for causing the near riot by opening to sell merchandise.

So personally, I will do my shopping the traditional way...Amazon.com!

Happy Black Friday!


Caught on tape: Riot over $2 waffle maker in Walmart - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC-

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Amid all of the ruckus on Black Friday one video that has caught the attention of the nation is one uploaded to Twitter.

The video shows dozens of people in a Walmart near Little Rock, Arkansas, fighting over a limited supply of the small kitchen appliance.

The $2 version of the waffle maker is a machine that only produces two waffles at a time. Walmart has another 4-waffle version with a much higher price per waffle....
Thanks...I'll pay full price for a waffle maker...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Happy Thanksgiving message from Action Figure Therapy

After Beth kicks me out of bed ("Mike it's time for you to take Elmer out...") I figure I might get a few minutes quiet downstairs with my boy. Naaaaa, that don't happen. Beth comes down and starts checking out Facebook and somehow finds Action Figure Therapy. She found this site and it's great.

WARNING: Adult Language.

Many things to be thankful for these days....family, friends and hopefully the Lions upsetting the Pack!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

News, etc on police actions

Interesting read here.

HOUSTON - Aman Abdulaziz had a goal at Sam Houston State University. The 19-year-old was majoring in history and planned to be a lawyer.

But all of that changed when he had an encounter with SHSU Campus Police. It left him with this
impression of law enforcement officers:

"I don't trust police officers at all now, and I really hate police officers now to be honest."
No, I'll bet you really didn't like cops before.
Let's go back to October when Abdulaziz was a freshman living on campus at Sam Houston State. He says he was picking up a friend at a nearby dorm when he parked illegally and attracted the attention of campus police.

"They asked for license and registration so I went to my car to get it and when I went to get it and I started looking around and that's when I was asked by him to give me what was in my pocket and the incident went from there," Abdulaziz said.

Police accused him of having marijuana in his pocket.

This was all caught on a police dashboard camera.

"The largest police officer who assaulted me the most,” he said. “He came up to me and started kicking me in the face with his shoes."

After the dust settled, you hear an officer brag about physically assaulting the college freshman.

“I was choking the s*** out of him,” one officer said.

You also hear in the article the officers scream "he's swallowing the marijuana...." and multiple times you hear an officer say "put you hands behind you back!" If someone is trying to swallow evidence (in this case a bag of weed) grabbing the neck to prevent swallowing is something to do. Also he was instructed loudly to put his hands behind his back. If he would have and not tried to destroy evidence maybe he would have not been handled so strongly.

Abdulaziz says he's angry because after this run-in, “he” was charged with assaulting an officer. That charge didn't stand up in court and he was found not guilty.

"For them accused me of assault on a police officer when I obviously didn't put my hands on him in any way or manner, It seems a bit corrupt to me that they can do something like thatm," he said.
In the meantime, Abdulaziz is still in court fighting the marijuana possession and tampering with evidence charges...

..."It's made me lose about an entire year of possible education I could've received, but not only has that happened, but it's been emotional and a roller coaster for me since then," he said.
SHSU officials would not comment because Abdulaziz still has pending charges.

Well, this country has more than enough lawyers, thank you. Get a degree in something useful like medicine or nursing.

One thing I'm wondering is why the journalist didn't ask Mr Abdulaziz "Well did you have marijuana on you and did you try and swallow it?" Oh, he can't answer that because of a pending trial. Then you know the Sam Houston Police can't comment because of a pending trial and possible civil litigation, right? And your are smart enough to know that, right? Then why ask the questions. Then again, what's the entire point of this report.

Now, onwards to Occupy Houston.

Gunman charged after shooting during Occupy Houston rally

A 21-year-old Houston man shot by police after allegedly firing a rifle into the air at Tranquility Park during an Occupy Houston rally was charged with aggravated assault on a public servant, authorities said.

Joshua Anthony Twohig, who lives in far north Houston, remained hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries Tuesday morning, said Jodi Silva, a Houston Police Department spokeswoman.

Twohig, who has no known association with the Occupy Houston movement, walked into the park about 5:15 p.m. Monday dressed in a black suit and carrying a .40-caliber rifle, authorities said.

Strange. A maniac goes on a shooting rampage in Arizona last year and in minutes every fool in media was trying to tie him to the TEA Part in general and Sarah Palin in particle. But immediately this objective and non-partizan media source says the man has no relation to Occupy Houston. Gee, is there some bias in this?

...Two HPD special operation bike patrol officers arrived quickly and told Twohig to drop the weapon, but he refused and said, "Shoot me! Shoot me!" according to witnesses and police....

...The officers fired at Twohig, and he fell to the ground, but he stood back up and reached for his rifle and was shot again, police said. None of his injuries was life threatening.

...Occupy Houston volunteers issued a statement saying the gunman was "not a recognized participant in Occupy Houston, nor has he been determined to have any affiliation with any of its members."

"At this time, Occupy Houston is not speculating on the motives of the gunman, but we extend our sympathies to the seemingly troubled young man who perpetrated (Monday's) act of violence," the statement said. "We are thankful that no one other than the assailant was injured, and we extend our gratitude to the officers on scene who reacted quickly and with the appropriate amount of force as dictated by the situation."

Again, let's look into this and ask questions like is Mr Twohig a "99%er", a member of Occupy Whatever. Or is inquisition something to ask from a modern journalist.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Agent Mariano Rodríguez-Maldonado
Puerto Rico Police Department
End of Watch: Monday, November 21, 2011
Age: 37
Tour: 7 years

Agent Mariano Rodríguez-Maldonado was killed in an automobile accident as he and his partner responded to a call in Luquillo at approximately 3:30 am.

He and his partner were responding to a call involving a mental patient causing a disturbance at a gas station. They were traveling along PR-3 when their patrol car left the roadway at the intersection of Fortuna and struck the highway divider, which impaled the vehicle's passenger side. Agent Rodríguez-Maldonado, who was riding as the passenger, suffered fatal injuries. His partner suffered severe leg injuries.

Agent Rodríguez-Maldonado had served with the Puerto Rico Police Department for seven years.
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: Syria, Iran and the Balance of Power in the Middle East Read more: Syria, Iran and the Balance of Power in the Middle East November 22, 2011

By George Friedman

U.S. troops are in the process of completing their withdrawal from Iraq by the end-of-2011 deadline. We are now moving toward a reckoning with the consequences. The reckoning concerns the potential for a massive shift in the balance of power in the region, with Iran moving from a fairly marginal power to potentially a dominant power. As the process unfolds, the United States and Israel are making countermoves. We have discussed all of this extensively. Questions remain whether these countermoves will stabilize the region and whether or how far Iran will go in its response.

Iran has been preparing for the U.S. withdrawal. While it is unreasonable simply to say that Iran will dominate Iraq, it is fair to say Tehran will have tremendous influence in Baghdad to the point of being able to block Iraqi initiatives Iran opposes. This influence will increase as the U.S. withdrawal concludes and it becomes clear there will be no sudden reversal in the withdrawal policy. Iraqi politicians’ calculus must account for the nearness of Iranian power and the increasing distance and irrelevance of American power.

Resisting Iran under these conditions likely would prove ineffective and dangerous. Some, like the Kurds, believe they have guarantees from the Americans and that substantial investment in Kurdish oil by American companies means those commitments will be honored. A look at the map, however, shows how difficult it would be for the United States to do so. The Baghdad regime has arrested Sunni leaders while the Shia, not all of whom are pro-Iranian by any means, know the price of overenthusiastic resistance.

Syria and Iran

The situation in Syria complicates all of this. The minority Alawite sect has dominated the Syrian government since 1970, when the current president’s father — who headed the Syrian air force — staged a coup. The Alawites are a heterodox Muslim sect related to a Shiite offshoot and make up about 7 percent of the country’s population, which is mostly Sunni. The new Alawite government was Nasserite in nature, meaning it was secular, socialist and built around the military. When Islam rose as a political force in the Arab world, the Syrians — alienated from the Sadat regime in Egypt — saw Iran as a bulwark. The Iranian Islamist regime gave the Syrian secular regime immunity against Shiite fundamentalists in Lebanon. The Iranians also gave Syria support in its external adventures in Lebanon, and more important, in its suppression of Syria’s Sunni majority.

Syria and Iran were particularly aligned in Lebanon. In the early 1980s, after the Khomeini revolution, the Iranians sought to increase their influence in the Islamic world by supporting radical Shiite forces. Hezbollah was one of these. Syria had invaded Lebanon in 1975 on behalf of the Christians and opposed the Palestine Liberation Organization, to give you a sense of the complexity. Syria regarded Lebanon as historically part of Syria, and sought to assert its influence over it. Via Iran, Hezbollah became an instrument of Syrian power in Lebanon.

Iran and Syria, therefore, entered a long-term if not altogether stable alliance that has lasted to this day. In the current unrest in Syria, the Saudis and Turks in addition to the Americans all have been hostile to the regime of President Bashar al Assad. Iran is the one country that on the whole has remained supportive of the current Syrian government.

There is good reason for this. Prior to the uprising, the precise relationship between Syria and Iran was variable. Syria was able to act autonomously in its dealings with Iran and Iran’s proxies in Lebanon. While an important backer of groups like Hezbollah, the al Assad regime in many ways checked Hezbollah’s power in Lebanon, with the Syrians playing the dominant role there. The Syrian uprising has put the al Assad regime on the defensive, however, making it more interested in a firm, stable relationship with Iran. Damascus finds itself isolated in the Sunni world, with Turkey and the Arab League against it. Iran — and intriguingly, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — have constituted al Assad’s exterior support.

Thus far al Assad has resisted his enemies. Though some mid- to low-ranking Sunnis have defected, his military remains largely intact; this is because the Alawites control key units. Events in Libya drove home to an embattled Syrian leadership — and even to some of its adversaries within the military — the consequences of losing. The military has held together, and an unarmed or poorly armed populace, no matter how large, cannot defeat an intact military force. The key for those who would see al Assad fall is to divide the military.

If al Assad survives — and at the moment, wishful thinking by outsiders aside, he is surviving — Iran will be the big winner. If Iraq falls under substantial Iranian influence, and the al Assad regime — isolated from most countries but supported by Tehran — survives in Syria, then Iran could emerge with a sphere of influence stretching from western Afghanistan to the Mediterranean (the latter via Hezbollah). Achieving this would not require deploying Iranian conventional forces — al Assad’s survival alone would suffice. However, the prospect of a Syrian regime beholden to Iran would open up the possibility of the westward deployment of Iranian forces, and that possibility alone would have significant repercussions.

(click here to enlarge image)

Consider the map were this sphere of influence to exist. The northern borders of Saudi Arabia and Jordan would abut this sphere, as would Turkey’s southern border. It remains unclear, of course, just how well Iran could manage this sphere, e.g., what type of force it could project into it. Maps alone will not provide an understanding of the problem. But they do point to the problem. And the problem is the potential — not certain — creation of a block under Iranian influence that would cut through a huge swath of strategic territory.

It should be remembered that in addition to Iran’s covert network of militant proxies, Iran’s conventional forces are substantial. While they could not confront U.S. armored divisions and survive, there are no U.S. armored divisions on the ground between Iran and Lebanon. Iran’s ability to bring sufficient force to bear in such a sphere increases the risks to the Saudis in particular. Iran’s goal is to increase the risk such that Saudi Arabia would calculate that accommodation is more prudent than resistance. Changing the map can help achieve this.

It follows that those frightened by this prospect — the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — would seek to stymie it. At present, the place to block it no longer is Iraq, where Iran already has the upper hand. Instead, it is Syria. And the key move in Syria is to do everything possible to bring about al Assad’s overthrow.

In the last week, the Syrian unrest appeared to take on a new dimension. Until recently, the most significant opposition activity appeared to be outside of Syria, with much of the resistance reported in the media coming from externally based opposition groups. The degree of effective opposition was never clear. Certainly, the Sunni majority opposes and hates the al Assad regime. But opposition and emotion do not bring down a regime consisting of men fighting for their lives. And it wasn’t clear that the resistance was as strong as the outside propaganda claimed.

Last week, however, the Free Syrian Army — a group of Sunni defectors operating out of Turkey and Lebanon — claimed defectors carried out organized attacks on government facilities, ranging from an air force intelligence facility (a particularly sensitive point given the history of the regime) to Baath Party buildings in the greater Damascus area. These were not the first attacks claimed by the FSA, but they were heavily propagandized in the past week. Most significant about the attacks is that, while small-scale and likely exaggerated, they revealed that at least some defectors were willing to fight instead of defecting and staying in Turkey or Lebanon.

It is interesting that an apparent increase in activity from armed activists — or the introduction of new forces — occurred at the same time relations between Iran on one side and the United States and Israel on the other were deteriorating. The deterioration began with charges that an Iranian covert operation to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States had been uncovered, followed by allegations by the Bahraini government of Iranian operatives organizing attacks in Bahrain. It proceeded to an International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran’s progress toward a nuclear device, followed by the Nov. 19 explosion at an Iranian missile facility that the Israelis have not-so-quietly hinted was their work. Whether any of these are true, the psychological pressure on Iran is building and appears to be orchestrated.

Of all the players in this game, Israel’s position is the most complex. Israel has had a decent, albeit covert, working relationship with the Syrians going back to their mutual hostility toward Yasser Arafat. For Israel, Syria has been the devil they know. The idea of a Sunni government controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood on their northeastern frontier was frightening; they preferred al Assad. But given the shift in the regional balance of power, the Israeli view is also changing. The Sunni Islamist threat has weakened in the past decade relative to the Iranian Shiite threat. Playing things forward, the threat of a hostile Sunni force in Syria is less worrisome than an emboldened Iranian presence on Israel’s northern frontier. This explains why the architects of Israel’s foreign policy, such as Defense Minister Ehud Barak, have been saying that we are seeing an “acceleration toward the end of the regime.” Regardless of its preferred outcome, Israel cannot influence events inside Syria. Instead, Israel is adjusting to a reality where the threat of Iran reshaping the politics of the region has become paramount.

Iran is, of course, used to psychological campaigns. We continue to believe that while Iran might be close to a nuclear device that could explode underground under carefully controlled conditions, its ability to create a stable, robust nuclear weapon that could function outside a laboratory setting (which is what an underground test is) is a ways off. This includes being able to load a fragile experimental system on a delivery vehicle and expecting it to explode. It might. It might not. It might even be intercepted and create a casus belli for a counterstrike.

The main Iranian threat is not nuclear. It might become so, but even without nuclear weapons, Iran remains a threat. The current escalation originated in the American decision to withdraw from Iraq and was intensified by events in Syria. If Iran abandoned its nuclear program tomorrow, the situation would remain as complex. Iran has the upper hand, and the United States, Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia all are looking at how to turn the tables.

At this point, they appear to be following a two-pronged strategy: Increase pressure on Iran to make it recalculate its vulnerability, and bring down the Syrian government to limit the consequences of Iranian influence in Iraq. Whether the Syrian regime can be brought down is problematic. Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi would have survived if NATO hadn’t intervened. NATO could intervene in Syria, but Syria is more complex than Libya. Moreover, a second NATO attack on an Arab state designed to change its government would have unintended consequences, no matter how much the Arabs fear the Iranians at the moment. Wars are unpredictable; they are not the first option.

Therefore the likely solution is covert support for the Sunni opposition funneled through Lebanon and possibly Turkey and Jordan. It will be interesting to see if the Turks participate. Far more interesting will be seeing whether this works. Syrian intelligence has penetrated its Sunni opposition effectively for decades. Mounting a secret campaign against the regime would be difficult, and its success by no means assured. Still, that is the next move.

But it is not the last move. To put Iran back into its box, something must be done about the Iraqi political situation. Given the U.S. withdrawal, Washington has little influence there. All of the relationships the United States built were predicated on American power protecting the relationships. With the Americans gone, the foundation of those relationships dissolves. And even with Syria, the balance of power is shifting.

The United States has three choices. Accept the evolution and try to live with what emerges. Attempt to make a deal with Iran — a very painful and costly one. Or go to war. The first assumes Washington can live with what emerges. The second depends on whether Iran is interested in dealing with the United States. The third depends on having enough power to wage a war and to absorb Iran’s retaliatory strikes, particularly in the Strait of Hormuz. All are dubious, so toppling al Assad is critical. It changes the game and the momentum. But even that is enormously difficult and laden with risks.

We are now in the final act of Iraq, and it is even more painful than imagined. Laying this alongside the European crisis makes the idea of a systemic crisis in the global system very real.

Syria, Iran and the Balance of Power in the Middle East is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

Monday, November 21, 2011

News from the Occupy infestiations.

I have little tolerance for the Occupy New York, etc crowds that are harassing the people trying to make a living. We've heard of the rapes, lice, harassing of children. All from people who are not even staying overnight in New York.

How we hear from a my old home town and Occupy NOLA (for those you non NOLA types, that is a abbreviation of New Orleans LA. From The Nooner, a daily email from The Hayride.
Wasted Away In Obamaville

Tom Bonnette on Sunday, November 20, 2011

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” –Thomas Jefferson

You’ve seen them on television, proclaiming to be the voice of the 99-percent linked in opposition to the economic oppression the wealthiest one-percent is inflicting on our society. Those who stand in front of television cameras speak in platitudes that decry profit over people and greedy corporations extracting wealth from ordinary folks.

Not all of the demonstrators are anxious to leap in front of a television camera, however, so I was curious who the rank-and-file protestors are and how deeply they have thought through the movement that they have joined.

A recent sojourn to the encampment at Duncan Plaza, across from New Orleans City Hall, revealed the intellectual desert that exists in Occupy NOLA and how useful idiots are acting as foot soldiers in a movement they don’t really understand.

To any Occupiers that have stumbled upon this blog and think I am taking a cheap shot at them by referring to them as “useful idiots,” understand that I use the term as it relates to the
historical context of young idealists who allow themselves to manipulate by people who want to seize power for their own ends.

The term dates back to Bolshevik times, in which students supported the rise of Vladimir Lenin without understanding that they would be among the first to be disposed of when the revolution was complete. Much the same is happening here, I fear. I mean no disrespect with the term.
Okay, maybe a little. Call it tough love, hippies.

There is an eclectic mix of protestors at Occupy NOLA, but most that I encountered were 20-something, mostly white, transients who describe themselves as anarchists and put the welfare of the collective above individual rights.

You mean these places are not filled with Mr and Mrs John Q Public. People oppressed by the man. Not filled with middle class middle aged salt of the earth types just oppressed by the 1%. Who would have thunk it?
The right of the collective is a central theme and it’s something that I’ll come back to later in this post.

These are drifters who move around the country, sleeping where they can and often relying on handouts for sustenance. If they weren’t at Occupy New Orleans, they might be found at a homeless shelter or under a bridge. There are those that have a criminal history that includes violent crimes.

It should be noted that of the dozen or so I spoke with, only two were from Louisiana. More often than not, they called places thousands of miles away home. I even met one from Hawaii.
This video is indicative of the life-style that many of the occupiers lead....

...For those who might think the occupiers demonstrating across the country are simply grass-roots protesters in the vein of the tea party movement, you’re mistaken. It’s a well-financed, top-down movement with ties to leftist billionaire hedge-fund manager George Soros’ Open Society Institute, Big Labor and a hodgepodge of anti-capitalist interests.

Stephen Lerner of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) laid out plans weeks before the first Occupy protests of the “spectacular things planned in Boston and New York” among many other American cities for a movement in the street to “create a crisis for the super-rich.”

Does the term rent-a-mob come to mind.

Now just curious. If the TEA Party was back by these groups would it escape notice of Chris Matthews, the New York Times, etc.
Fringe elements in this country that are supporting the Occupy Wall Street include the Communist Party USA and the American Nazi Party. Even Louisiana’s favorite Nazi, David Duke, has lent his support to the movement.

Hello Jesse Jackson...oh wait, he's as anti-Semitic as the Nazi's. Well Al Sharpton...Let me stop the count while I'm ahead.
As I interviewed the New Orleans occupiers, I didn’t want to be confrontational or challenge them too much. I wanted to get into their heads and understand how deeply they thought about what the movement is advocating...

...While the Occupiers have an abstract understanding of the freedom and equality that is their birthright, their argument is missing a key ingredient. ..What’s missing is their fidelity to individual rights above collective rights.

The most in-depth conversation I had was with an occupier from Wisconsin named Chad...He is a sincere man and a nice person, but, sadly incorrect in his beliefs that collective rights and individual rights can equally co-exist. They can’t. History teaches that the collective always consumes the individual and a lot of individuals end up in mass graves because they were a drag on the collective. He said that things could be different this time.

I explained to him about Karl Marx’s vision of the New Man that never materialized and instead led to the murder of millions. The most astonishing thing he said was, “Marx wasn’t radical enough, because he only dealt with the economy and not with the true nature of our being.”

I recall these words, "We Are The People We've Been Waiting For!"...oh yea, B Hussein Obama in Chicago, November 2008.

...With all this said, I do feel a twinge of sadness for these useful idiots. It is a seductive argument they make and, who knows, as a younger man I might have been sucked in. I might have, but I doubt it.

Good article all in all and well worth a few minutes. Also these videos give you a taste of the useful idiots out there.

Now this kinda pisses me off.

Retired Pa. cop arrested at Occupy demonstration

Retired Philadelphia police captain Ray Lewis was dressed in full uniform

By Stephanie Farr

The Philadelphia Daily News

NEW YORK — In full uniform and with his head held high, a retired Philadelphia police captain was arrested in New York yesterday while participating in an Occupy Wall Street demonstration.

Ray Lewis — who left the Philadelphia department in 2004 after serving as captain of the 25th Police District, headquartered at Front and Westmoreland streets — reportedly was among more than 170 protesters who were arrested.

Several representatives with the NYPD's public-information office said they could not confirm Lewis' arrest because there were so many people taken into custody who had not yet been processed.

The arrests and demonstrations came on the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Demonstrations raged across the country yesterday as part of a "national day of action."

Chanting "All day, all week, shut down Wall Street!" more than 1,000 demonstrators gathered near the New York Stock Exchange and staged sit-ins at several intersections.

Helmeted police broke up some of the clusters, but most of the crowd reassembled in Zuccotti Park, where the encampment that served as the unofficial headquarters of the Occupy movement was broken up by police earlier this week in an early-morning raid. Protesters later streamed toward the Brooklyn Bridge, where dozens more were arrested.

Lewis joined the protest at Zuccotti Park in his uniform Tuesday night, according to the New York Observer.

In a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday, Lewis said that police are "just workers for the 1 percent, and they don't even realize they're being exploited."

"They're trying to get me arrested, and I may disappear, OK," Lewis said. "But as soon as I get out of jail, I'll be right back here."

In photos posted to Twitter yesterday morning, Lewis is seen at the protest holding up an orange sign that read "NYPD Don't Be Wall Street Mercenaries."...

My friend Darren made a good point that people in uniform are held to a higher standard. And one thing we've always been told is you don't show your politics while in uniform. I had more than a few issues with B Hussein Obama while I was in the US Army Reserve but while I was in my uniform he was the Commander-in-Chief. Period. I don't go to TEA Party rallies in my current uniform because my agency takes no position and a presence of a uniformed officer implies it does. Suffice to say Captain, you had no business there while in uniform. Take it off and protest all you want.

Scary....Chris Matthews is showing he may have a clue

I never thought this day would come and it may be a sign of the Apocalypse, but Chris Matthews has said something insightful and intelligent.

A lot of it is tripe but what he said at the beginning.
There is no Peace Corps. There is no Special Forces…. There is no Moon program. There’s nothing to root for. What are we trying to do in this administration? Why does he want a second term? Will he tell us? What is he going to do in a second term? More of this? Is this it?”

Chris, your asking for leadership for a man-child who doesn't know the definition of the word. He is quite content to let things guide him and he jumps in to say "I did it." He's not a leader but a Chicago hack politician but unlike the Daley's he is also quite determined to take this country down. He doesn't want America to have great accomplishments like the man-moon shot.

BTY Chris, if there is not a history of accomplishment who can you measure or judge his leadership?

Mr Matthews we all know you're a leftist hack and your love of Obama hasn't really changed. However it is nice to see you saying something critical of the man-child. It would have been been nice if you had done this during the 08 election.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Officer Down


Police Officer James Capoot
Vallejo California Police Department
End of Watch: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Age: 43
Tour: 19 years
Badge # 497

Officer James Capoot was shot and killed during a foot pursuit of bank robbery suspects following a high-speed chase. 

Officer Capoot pursued the suspect vehicle through a residential area, where he executed a PIT maneuver and disabled the suspect vehicle. He pursued the suspect on foot until he was shot several times while in the back yard of a residence.

He was transported to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, where he succumbed to his wounds.

The suspect was arrested near the scene.

Officer Capoot was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and served with the California Highway Patrol before joining the Vallejo Police Department. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.
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. 


Occupy Plymouth Rock...

The bad thing is the moron college professors out there are supporting the punk on the hill.

Hey crybaby, get a job! McDonald's is hiring.

Occupy Plymouth Rock

Let me get this straight. The men would lay around the house and the women come and go....

And this guy thought he could improve on the situation.
Our Male Ancestors Stayed Close to Home, While Females Wandered About

At the outset, the researchers wanted to learn something about how ancient hominids used their landscape — that is, whether they covered far distances, or stayed closer to home. The goal was to discover whether their travel habits contributed to their becoming bipedal, since moving on two legs is far more efficient and takes less energy than using all fours.

But, as is often the case with science, they found something unexpected, a novel insight into the social behavior of our earliest human ancestors. It turns out that the males of two bipedal hominid species that roamed the South African savannah more than a million years ago were the stay-at-home types, compared to the wandering females, who went off on their own, leaving the men behind....

..."Our results don't necessarily imply that females were strong-willed and struck off on their own upon adulthood in search of new mates, but that is, indeed, still a possibility," she said. "In most primates, females don't transfer and males do. But, in the few species in which females are the ones to leave, they generally do so under circumstances in which their home primate group comes into contact with another community."

Rather than the females being completely on their own — and becoming likely targets for predators — they typically transfer directly into a new group, according to Copeland: "The females appear to have been the ones to leave the community to find new mates, while males did not leave, but this pattern is also found in modern chimpanzees, our closest relatives."

"In chimpanzees, the pattern does not result from female power so much as a reaction to male power, in which the males choose to stay at home and defend their territory with their male kin," she said. "Females are indirectly forced to leave the community to find unrelated males as mates."

Chimpanzee females are independent and, although part of a "community," often will travel by themselves with their offspring within the community's territory, Copeland said.

"The pattern we found in the hominids for female — but not male — dispersal actually suggests…[that] perhaps hominid females were fairly independent, like chimpanzee females," she said. "In that case, maybe they did literally strike out and venture into new territories looking for mates. It's also possible that the community was more tight-knit, and that females transferred directly into other groups as part of big community meetings."...
So it is as I suspected. A guy could sit on his ass, the women come to him (probably with a beer), they we'd change the ladies regularly.

And the problem was? How stupid were they? We had it made.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A very ugly situation at UC Davis...for the cops and the students

Here is a report on a really bad situation at UC Davis. Take a look at the video.

Here is the article attached to this.

Police at the University of California at Davis dismantled an Occupy encampment Friday, arresting at least 10 protesters, nine of whom were students.

Videos have surfaced on YouTube of police in riot gear pepper spraying a line of protesters who had linked arms and sat down cross-legged on the pavement to protect their camp. In the footage, an officer is seen spraying the demonstrators at point-blank range...

“Police came and brutalized them and tore their tents down and all that stuff. It was really scary. It felt like there was anarchy everywhere,” student Hisham Alihbob told local station KCRA-TV.

And they had no right to set up tents moron. This is not their property but a university where people have business to attend to. If this is what they are paying thousands of dollars to do they really have no legit complaint about not getting a job, etc. Corporate America doesn't have many activist-protester positions to fill. Unfortunately the federal government does.
UC Davis officials had said the group may occupy the quad for as long as it wants, but could not set up camp.

“It’s not safe for multiple reasons,” UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza said.

Police reportedly gave the students a 3 p.m. Friday deadline to remove the 28 tents from campus and showed up at the appointed time when they did not comply.

Reportedly gave a deadline. If you are a journalist in training this is a easy enough thing to verify....like be out there when the cops say "Be out of here by three o'clock or you will be arrested". Or maybe ask some of the protesters if they were warned....just a suggestion. Then again that would require actual work and reporting and we know how journalist hate that.
Spicuzza defended the use of pepper spray, saying officers used force out of concern for their own safety after they were surrounded by students.

“If you look at the video you are going to see that there were 200 people in that quad,” Spicuzza told CBS Sacramento. “Hindsight is 20-20 and based on the situation we were sitting in, ultimately that was the decision that was made.”

Authorities are reviewing video of the incident, Spicuzza said.

Officers left the quad area after making their arrests, leaving the field in a direction not obstructed by seated protesters, CBS reported.

And there is the problem. The field should have never been "obstructed by seated protesters" but cordoned off so the idiots on the ground could have been arrested one at a time without use of spray. More to the point if those idiots (standing or on the ground) got crazy it would be dangerous for everyone.

Yes, I know this is 20/20 hindsight but crowds are very unpredictable. Better to segregate the target audience. Again, the cops were outnumbered something like 5 to 1.

Now these punks were doing their civil duty for a good cause.
Demonstrators were protesting a recently approved tuition increase in the University of California system, according to KTXL.

Wil someone please give these idiots job applications to McDonalds so they can start learning something. The formerly great California university system is obviously failing in that mission.

Hey cops out there, am I wrong on this with handling the protest? Let me know.

Politico showing again why it's a Democratic Party eRag

Even for Politico, home of "women are coming up with sexual harrassment claims against Cain, we got the goods...but you can't see them just trust Us....and Cain should give you the details..." this is rich.

Musician Rocky Twyman says Obama needs to take a page out of Tebow's playbook.


Is the secret to success for President Barack Obama to be more like … Tim Tebow?

It is for Rocky Twyman, a musician and self-described “prayer warrior” at Baltimore’s Rising Sun Baptist Church, who’s spearheaded such previous movements as the “Pray at the Pump” to seek God’s help in lowering gas prices.

Pray at the Pump....really helped.
Twyman, who’s known among Washington reporters for his PR savvy and attention-getting quirky rallies, is out with his latest: “Call for President Obama to Emulate Tim Tebow Now” (Tebow, quarterback for the Denver Broncos, has made his spirituality a part of his public persona and is known for “Tebowing” — getting down on one bended knee and lowering his head in prayer after touchdowns).

“The entire sports world has been amazed at Tim Tebow’s success in winning games in the last five minutes,” writes Twyman in a release the day after Tebow’s game-winning drive in the final minute against the New York Jets on Thursday. “He does not have the long arm of most NFL quarterbacks, but is a terrific runner. The answer is simple: Tebow GIVES GOD GLORY FOR HIS SUCCESS AND GOD IN TURN BLESSES HIM. Those of us who study the Bible recall the text that says God is a jealous God.”

This is where Obama comes in.

“I and many of my prayer warriors firmly believe that the Obama administration would be able to solve the serious unemployment and economic problems facing this nation if he gave praise and glory to God publicly for the blessings that he has received as president,” Twyman said.

“We have never heard him PUBLICLY thank God for allowing him to become the first black United States president or for awarding him the Nobel Peace Prize after being in office for only 10 days. I dare President Obama to start publicly praising God at his upcoming campaign stops and State of the Union speech. Such acts will result in prosperity for a nation that is on the verge of a financial and spiritual collapse.”

If only it were that easy.

I thank God for sending us B Hussein Obama so we could be bankrupt.....so he could socialize our nation's great industries...make double digit inflation, unemployment and three to four dollar a gallon gas prices "the new norm"...making the once proud United States a laughingstock on the world stage.

Maybe this joke will help Mr. Twyman understand te joke President.
John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama all die and go to heaven. God looks down from his throne and asks McCain, "Do you think you deserve to be in heaven?"

McCain takes a breath and then replies, "Well, I think so because I was a great leader and tried to follow the words in your great book."

God looks down and then says, "You can sit to my left side."

So, McCain takes his seat and then God asks the same question to Hillary,
"Do you think you deserve to be in heaven?"

Hillary thinks for a second and then replies, "I think so because I have been fighting for the rights of so many people for so long."

God again looks down and this time says, "You can sit to my right side."

Finally God turns to Barack Obama and asks, "Do you think you deserve to be in heaven?"

Obama smiled and replied, "I think you're in my seat."

Whomever this fool is he is almost as clueless as the moron currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Where is hell did this year go?

One the way home around 300am after some overtime I caught Do You Hear What I Hear? My first question was of course "It's almost Christmas!....NOOOO" I was about to change the channel when I caught this:

Who doesn't love this!

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Call me Jack.......

And another thing....chill out Mayor Joe Fontana

The minor leaque baseball team London Rippers has presented its logo. Personally I think it's real cool.

London baseball team under fire for nickname
The London Rippers have created a stir with their name and logo.Canadian Press
A new professional baseball team is trying to create some buzz in London, Ont., but not all of it is turning out to be positive.

The minor league London Rippers introduced their logo this week — a nefarious-looking man in a black top hat and cloak holding a baseball in one hand and a bat in the other.

To add a Canadian touch to the cartoonish logo, the 'i' in Rippers is dotted with a tiny red Maple Leaf.

But some say the name and logo together are a reference to Jack the Ripper, the notorious serial killer of women, who terrorized east-end London, England, in the late 1880s.

London Mayor Joe Fontana said in a statement he has "serious concerns" about the name "in light of our focus on ending woman abuse" and said he plans to speak to the owner about changing it.

Megan Walker, executive director of the London Abused Women's Centre, said Thursday it's not so much the name of the team but the "very creepy-looking man" in the logo that puts it over the line.

The new logo was introduced with the tagline: "Lurking in Labatt Park this spring," she added.

"When you have a name 'The Rippers' and a top-hatted man named Jack, it's very easy to put together the connection to Jack the Ripper," she said.

David Martin, president and general manager of the team, has said the name is simply a play on words since "rip" is a baseball term....
Mr Fontana, if a man assaults a woman it won't be because of this logo. It's because he's a POS. Ms Walker.....you tripe deserves no comment. And Mr Martin, please. Yes it's a play off Jack The Ripper. And I love it. Don't be put off by these idiots who live to be offended.

...But Walker said Martin has shown "incredible disrespect" towards London, pointing out that the new logo was announced on the same day the community marked Wear Purple Day to show support for abused women. The local reaction to the logo has been "overwhelminglyo negative," she added.

Walker said she met with Martin on Thursday and asked him to get rid of the logo and the "lurking" reference. The team's owner said he'd take it into consideration, she said.
Your timing is classic. Another great one.
Martin could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Mr Martin, come on. Tell these people to get bent and get a life!
The team's Facebook page features a video of "The Story of Diamond Jack" which tells the history of the character in the logo, a slugger who hit baseballs hard enough to "rip" open their covers.

"When all were asleep he would creep into Labatt Park, to practise his skills and hit some balls in the shadows of the dark," a voice intones.

"Each morning baseball covers were mysteriously found in the town, leaving signs of a great hitter around."

The video ends with Diamond Jack promising to give "all opponents a great scare" as he erupts into evil laughter.

Other teams in the Frontier League sport names like the Lake Erie Crushers, the Traverse City Beach Bums and the Washington Wild Things.

When I get to London I will get to that park. Too damned cool not to.