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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflections on New Years Eve

A look over the last few days.

Took the last week off to enjoy some leisure (which I have done too much of) and get some things done around the house (which I have done too little). But as the year comes to an end, let’s look at a few things to say were the good, the bad, the ugly and the great.

An excellent book. Saturday I killed the last 130 pages of The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965. Gotta love a book where you are going and going that your eyes are hurting but you don’t care. An insightful look at one of the greatest men of the 20th Century, warts and all. If you want an excellent bio, read the entire series by Manchester. In the man’s honor I had a Hoyo de Monerry cigar (Churchill size of course) and three fingers of Macallan 15 year old. Just started The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the final book in the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. After a serious book like a Churchill bio, you need something easy!

Some bad football. My Saints died out towards the end of the season, ending 7-9. All things considered (first two 2012 draft choices gone, the GM and other coaches suspended for up to a half season, the head coach suspended for the year) this wasn’t half bad. And we have something to look forward to next year. Full coaching staff back, a full draft, the GM will be able to staff the team right and our coaches will be able to coach them right. But what is the unknown factor for the Saints next year. Sean Peyton. He will be back next year with the biggest chip on his shoulder. He will really want to tell the NFL kiss my ass as he gets the Lombardi in February 2014. Next year should be fun. On the adopted home team, the Texans are not looking good right now. They need the by week to get their offense retuned.

The Ugly. Washington. B Hussein Obama is deliberately crashing the country over the fiscal cliff and the idiot leadership in the House will not stop him. The only silver lining in this mess is it may cost Boehner his speakership but the country is screwed. Greece and the Japanese lost decade are nothing compared to what we are about to go through. I still have my Romney/Ryan sign which will be put out on January 20th and selected other dates in the future. Hey guys, don’t blame me.

And the great. Beth and I will make it official on March 9th. How she puts up with me I still can’t fathom so she must love me! And I her. Hopefully we will remember that over the years to come as she endures my claims of “I’ll get to it!” and I endure her back seat driving! :)

Hope you had a Merry Christmas, you have a Happy New Year tonight and an even better year in 2013!

Another candidate for Mother of the Year

In almost a decade and a half on the street I've always loved DWIs, or dealing with drunks in general. Something about taking a rational and intelligent person (the suspect's term, not mine) into custody and having to explain the reason they are going to jail over and over again. They can't seem to understand why they are going in for Public Intoxication or DWI because, well, they are drunk.

Now now we have another example of why some people should not breed.

Woman accused of driving drunk, leaving kids at crash scene - FOX 35 News Orlando

A valley mom has been accused of crashing her car while driving drunk in Scottsdale. She fled the scene and police say she left behind her son.

The accident happened at 90th St and Raintree in north Scottsdale (AZ) Sunday night. Police say the woman left her 13-year-old son behind after crashing into a median and took off with her other two kids.

Brianna Railing, 35, was also allegedly driving with a drink in her car.

The police report states Railing was turning onto 90th St from Raintree, but turned way too wide, hitting the curbed median. Her car ended up stuck on the median.

Instead of staying at the scene, Railing apparently got a ride away from the scene from a friend. She took her two youngest kids with her, and left the 13-year-old behind, police say.

According to the report, in the car was a red Solo cup, three-quarters full of something that smelled like alcohol.

Police spoke to the boy and had to call Railing and tell her to come back. Her breath test revealed she had an alcohol level of .157.

Railing was booked into jail for DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, and child endangerment.

No more comment needed.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pretend journalist? Are you kidding me?

Found this and I got a laugh out of it. First Mr Zurawik's issue with Mrs Clinton

Chelsea Clinton, Still NBC’s Pretend Journalist

I know there are questions on my beat larger and more pressing than who’s worse as a TV journalist, Chelsea Clinton or Jenna Bush Hager, the presidentially-connected, pretend correspondents at NBC News.

But I continue to be fascinated by a network news division putting someone as outrageously unqualified as Clinton on a prime-time newsmagazine. I watched her again last week in a softer-than-soft piece on a weight loss program started by Pastor Rick Warren at his Saddleback Church, and I can say with absolute certainty that she has not improved one lick in the last year.

In fact, I think she is worse than when she started this job for which NBC News President Steve Capus said “it’s as if she had been preparing her whole life.”

That’s why I read with such fascination a piece at Politico this week suggesting Clinton was ready for the “next act” in her life.

Here’s the nut graph: “Family friends and supporters says Chelsea Clinton, who has evolved from a frizzy-haired little girl in the White House to a self-assured public figure in her own right, is ready to play an increasingly larger role in the national debate and may emerge as a pre-2016 surrogate of sorts as her mom mulls her future plans.”

The piece is filled with quotes from those family friends and supporters describing Clinton as “incredibly articulate and human…charmingly personal while at the same time substantively deep...”
OK, got it. Chelsea's there to help the Democrats in general and Mrs. Bill Clinton in specific. But if your issue is pretend journalist there Dave, take a look at NBC News period. It's filled with one Democratic hack after another. Can you tell me time Andrea Mitchell actually asked B Hussein Obama a tough question with follow up on the Libyan Embassy attack? The criminal David Gregory, has he ever asked Eric "Fast and Furious" Holder about the deaths caused by Mexican gangs using guns provided by the US government? You have to go to local or foreign media to actually get these issues covered.

Legit question, but Chelsea (and Jenna) are the most minor signs of the disease. David Gregory succeeded Tim Russert but he is no replacement. No one questioned Russert was a liberal but he was a fair, honest journalist. Many a Democrat was uncomfortable under actual questioning by him. David Brinkley was a conservative but on This Week he was someone to hold Washington's elites to account.

Maybe if NBC (and MSNBC, and ABC, and CBS et all) would think of challenging the power brokers in Washington they would be taken serious. But I doubt that. B Hussein Obama and his minions have more to destroy.

Piers Morgan will deport himself

Could America be so lucky!

From the Dailey Mail, our not favorite British idiot.

He's the typical leftist against guns (but I'll bet money has has armed security around him), but he only wants them to make sure the wrong people don't get a hold of the wrong type of guns. Just listen to him.

...My argument with guns is not based on some universal, pathological hatred of them. I’m not a pacifist. Guns win necessary wars and defeat tyrannical regimes like the Nazis.

Nor do I have a problem with those who use guns for hunting or for sport. I also understand, and respect, how there is an inherent national belief in America, based on their understanding of the 2nd Amendment, that everyone should be allowed to have a gun at home for the purposes of self-defence.

But where I have a big problem is when the unfortunately ambiguous wording of the 2nd Amendment is twisted to mean that anyone in America can have any firearm they want, however powerful, and in whatever quantity they want.

This has led to the absurd scenario where I can’t legally buy six packets of Sudafed in an American supermarket, or a chocolate Kinder egg, or various French cheeses, because they are all deemed a health risk.

Yet I can saunter into Walmart – America’s version of Tesco – and help myself to an armful of AR-15 assault rifles and magazines that can carry up to 100 bullets at a time.

That weapon has now been used in the last four mass shootings in America – at the Aurora cinema, a shopping mall in Oregon, Sandy Hook school, and the most recent, a dreadful attack on firemen in New York.

The AR-15 looks and behaves like a military weapon and should be confined to the military and police force. No member of the public has any need for a death machine that can fire up to six rounds a second when modified and can clear a 100-bullet magazine (as used in Aurora) within a minute.

The only apparent reason anyone seems to offer up is that using such weapons is ‘fun’. One gun-rights guy I interviewed last week even said admiringly that the AR-15 was ‘the Ferrari of guns’.

Well, I’m sorry, but ‘fun’ is just not a good enough excuse any more. Not when children are being killed by gunfire all over America...

First, the Red Herring about the Second Amendment and sport. The Founders had nothing like that in mind when the wrote the Bill of Rights. It was a recognition that the militia (not the National Guard but every abled bodied man) was formed by the people and they would need their right to arms protected in our founding documents.

Next, the Second Amendment does not have unfortunately ambiguous wording but is very clear. A well regulated militia, (formed of able bodied men)being necessary to the security of a free state, (again, formed to protect the states and their population), the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Piers, notice how it says right of the people and shall not be infringed. Rights are not granted by the Constitution but are protected by it. And rights are part of you as a free person. Something the left seems to miss from another of our founding documents, We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Again, rights are a part of you and cannot be denied without due process of law.

Oh, the NRA is very supportive of keeping firearms away from felons (like the murderer who killed the firemen) and mentally unstable people (like Adam Lanza). But leftist like you only scream "we need to keep these guns away from bad people" yet can't explain how anything you want to push on the American people will do that. Also, the AR-15 cannot fire six rounds a second no matter what you do it. If you know what you are doing you may illegally convert it to full auto but that will be 2-3 rounds am second.

Gee Piers, are you this ignorant of simple facts in other areas you stick your stuck up stupid nose into? Maybe you should go back to America's Got Talent or just get you ass back to England.

We can still build stuff

I found this article from the Houston Chronicle interesting. The l

This view of the Ursa tension leg platform shows the top 400 feet or so of its overall structure, which rests on the bottom almost 4,000 feet below sea level.

A view looking down into one of four circular steel columns 85 feet in diameter, 177 feet high, on the Shell Ursa tension leg platform in the Mississippi Canyon block 809 in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ursa a giant of the sea

FUELFIX.COM Deep-water exploration

Shell’s platform produces from 8 wells and could handle 14

URSA TENSION LEG PLATFORM: When the Guinness Book of Records was looking for the tallest structure in the world in 2009, it selected Shell’s Ursa platform, located about 130 miles southeast of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico.

The platform rests on the waterline, its visible structure measuring a mere 400 feet or so, but when the mooring tendons that hold it in place to the ocean floor are included, its total height from the seabed to the crown of the derrick is 4,285 feet — four times the height of Houston’s JPMorgan Chase Tower.

Shell made its decision to moor the Ursa with tension legs based both on the conditions at the platform site and on engineering expertise in the technology gained from previous Shell tension leg projects.

“Being the pioneers, you like to design something and get it right in all aspects,” said Bill Henry, Shell’s vice president for upstream development, noting that Shell built five tension leg platforms in close succession and the water depth for Ursa was appropriate for such mooring.

“It allowed us to focus on getting all the dimensions right, refining that design and improving on it,” Henry said.

Tension leg platforms are named for the steel tendons that reach straight down from the pontoon supporting the floating platform to the ocean bed, often more than a half a mile below.

Shell has used a tension leg system to moor five Gulf of Mexico floating deep-water platforms and is using tension legs on its next platform, Mars B-Olympus, scheduled for completion in 2015.

Mary Grace Anderson, a deep-water development manager for Shell who led visitors on a recent tour aboard Ursa, said its engineers have made safety and efficiency refinements with each platform.

“We learn new things about distance, the placement of equipment, how different modules fit together and how they compensate for motion,” she said.

Visible benefits

The 16 tendons — four on each corner of the pontoon — that keep Ursa moored to the ocean floor look like steel rods, each 32 inches in diameter. Earlier designs used four to eight tendons, but experience has shown that 16 provide greater stability.

While the tension legs that make it all possible are underwater, the benefits of the technology are visible on the Ursa. The buoyancy of the pontoon maintains the tension in the tendons, so that they never go slack, which minimizes vertical motion on the platform.

Reducing movement allows wellheads to be placed on the platform instead of the ocean floor. That makes it easier to monitor and operate the wellheads — assemblies containing production control valves and other equipment— said Tao Wang, a naval architect with Aker Solutions.

“Generally, the equipment itself is less expensive, because it is less sophisticated,” Henry said. “For subsea wellheads, we have to have subsea robots, equipment and lots of instrumentation that can only be remotely accessed.”

Ursa has six decks, each 300 feet by 300 feet, with enough total deck space for wellheads, drilling and processing equipment and crew quarters.

It produces 150,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from eight wells.

The high volume helped justify the larger platform and pontoon necessary to support the tremendous weight of the tension legs.

Anderson said Ursa’s design allows for up to 14 wells, and tension leg platforms are preferred when multiple wells are clustered to serve a single platform.

The larger structure also can accommodate both drilling and production facilities, she said, making it possible to drill for additional wells even after production has begun.

“It might also change your plans on other reservoirs you want to go after,” she said. “You learn things about the production characteristics of the reservoir that may cause you to change your development plans.”

Shell introduced its tension leg platform design with Auger in 1993, followed by Mars, Ram-Powell, Brutus and Ursa, which was built in 1999. All of these discoveries are in the Gulf of Mexico and fall within the 4,000-to 7,000-foot water depth considered appropriate for tension leg platforms.

For 1,000-year storms

Henry said the water must be deep enough to justify the complicated, costly technology, but not so deep that the steel tendons are too heavy for the platform to support and too costly to manufacture and install.

Ensuring stability, even in severe hurricane conditions, has driven improvements in tension leg design by Shell and others.

Chevron’s Typhoon tension leg platform flipped over during Hurricane Rita in 2005 and had to be scrapped. Its Bigfoot tension leg platform, now under construction, is designed to withstand 1,000-year storms, with improvements including 16 tendons....

Awesome job guys. Hopefully we get some of our oil before B Hussein Obama et all cut it all off or the Chinese drain the reserves in front of us. Really interesting article on how technology works.

I thought this wasn't supposed to happen with socialized medicine

Europe stared transitioning to public funded health care after WWII because, in the thinking of a leftist, health care is a right. So just turn over health care to the government and you have no problems. Right?

Germany accused of 'deporting' its elderly: Rising numbers moved to Asia and Eastern Europe because of sky-high care costs

Country's elderly and sick being sent abroad due to rising care costs

Situation described as 'inhumane deportation' and a huge 'alarm signal'

German pensioners are being sent to care homes in Eastern Europe and Asia in what has been described as an ‘inhumane deportation’.

Rising numbers of the elderly and sick are moved overseas for long-term care because of sky-high costs at home.

Some private healthcare providers are even building homes overseas, while state insurers are also investigating whether they can care for their clients abroad.

Experts describe a time bomb’ of increasing numbers unable to afford the growing costs of retirement homes....

Fascinating little article. But I find this really of interest.
...And they say the situation should be a warning to Britain, where rising numbers of pensioners are forced to sell their homes to pay for care...
I thought the NHS was going to guarantee older people financial security in their older age. They would go into their golden years knowing they would have their health expenses paid for. You mean that's the people of Britain were sold a bill of goods by the Labour Party, the ruling class of England and the Best and Brightest out there?

Is it possible the left in the US could be doing the same?????? Naaaaa, you can trust B Hussein Obama et all.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bad Dogs, Bad Dogs, What Ya Gonna Do, What Ya Gonna Do When I Come For You?!

A pursuit from Houston PD on the day after Christmas. Take a look at K9 at about 1:25.

Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Two in custody after wild police chase

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- We are learning more about what prompted the high-speed chase that stretched across much of Houston's south side and ended with the arrests of two suspects Wednesday morning.

A pair of 35-year-olds identified as Oscar Melvin Brown and Kimberly King are both in custody. Houston police say their first mistake was driving in a stolen truck, but that was just the beginning.

On the day after Christmas, the police chase traveled down Highway 288 and the South Loop, then on several side streets. Brown, who was the driver, nearly hit a garbage truck in the Third Ward area, then crashed into a parked vehicle. Soon after, the chase ended with a head-on collision in the Third Ward when the truck hit two HPD patrol cars, which were apparently trying to block him in.

What prompted the chase was a pair of felony warrants against King, who had been under surveillance by the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force.

"As they're conducting surveillance, she gets into a vehicle which is stolen. The undercover units asked for patrol backup. They go to initiate a traffic stop and the vehicle takes off," said HPD Sgt. Andrew Orozco.

After the truck crashed, Brown took off running with police in pursuit, plus an HPD K-9, who pulled Brown off a fence as well as some of his clothes.

Neighbors saw it all near Gray and Sauer.

"I saw him when they took his shirt off. They had him on the ground. I thought they had him handcuffed, then I saw his arm waving and when he did that, he got up," said Brenda Pruett.

Police used a Taser, but Brown fled. The K-9 attacked once more and was choked in the process, but he brought the foot chase to a halt. Nearly a dozen officers arrived to finally bring Brown into custody.

An officer involved in the pursuit had a makeshift splint on his wrist as well.

"The officer is at the hospital getting his hand looked at. The suspect was looked at by HFD personnel and determined to be OK," said Sgt. Orozco.

Brown was OK enough to be loaded into a police car. King was also taken into custody.

And Jake the police dog earned a treat.

King will be sent over to the Harris County Jail on those two outstanding felonies of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Brown is facing two charges of aggravated assault of a peace officer -- one against Jake the police dog -- as well as car theft.

Great work guys and Jake, thanks for taking a bike out of crime! I hope you got a great treat!

Security Weekly: The Benghazi Report and the Diplomatic Security Funding Cycle, December 27, 2012

By Scott Stewart
Vice President of Analysis

On Dec. 18, the U.S. State Department's Accountability Review Board released an unclassified version of its investigation into the Sept. 12 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack, so the report was widely anticipated by the public and by government officials alike.

Four senior State Department officials have been reassigned to other duties since the report's release. Among them were the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security; two of his deputy assistant secretaries, including the director of the Diplomatic Security Service, the department's most senior special agent; and the deputy assistant secretary responsible for Libya in the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

The highly critical report and the subsequent personnel reassignments are not simply a low watermark for the State Department; rather, the events following the attack signify another phase in the diplomatic security funding cycle. The new phase will bring about a financial windfall for the State Department security budgets, but increased funding alone will not prevent future attacks from occurring. After all, plenty of attacks have occurred following similar State Department budgetary allocations in the past. Other important factors therefore must be addressed.

Predictable Inquiries

The cycle by which diplomatic security is funded begins as officials gradually cut spending on diplomatic security programs. Then, when major security failures inevitably beset those programs, resultant public outrage compels officials to create a panel to investigate those failures.

The first of these panels dates back to the mid-1980s, following attacks against U.S. facilities in Beirut and Kuwait and the systematic bugging of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. These security lapses led to the formation of the Secretary of State's Advisory Panel on Overseas Security, chaired by former Deputy CIA Director Adm. Bobby Inman. The law that passed in the wake of the Inman Commission came to be known as the Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act of 1986, which requires that an accountability review board be convened following major security incidents.

There are a few subsequent examples of these panels. Former Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. William Crowe chaired an Accountability Review Board following the bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998. And after the Benghazi attacks, an Accountability Review Board was chaired by former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering. The Dec. 18 report was the findings of the Pickering board.

Predictably, the review boards, including Pickering's, always conclude that inadequate funding and insufficient security personnel are partly to blame for the security breaches. In response to the reports, Congress appropriates more money to diplomatic security programs to remedy the problem. Over time, funds are cut, and the cycle begins anew.

Funding can be cut for several reasons. In times of financial austerity, Congress can more easily cut the relatively small foreign affairs budget than it can entitlement benefits budgets. Cuts to the overall State Department budget generally result in cuts for security programs.

Moreover, rivalries among the various State Department entities can affect spending cuts. The Diplomatic Security Service's budget falls under the main State Department budget, so senior diplomats, rather than Diplomatic Security Service agents, represent the agency's interests on Capitol Hill. Some within the security service do not believe that senior diplomats have their best interests at heart when making the case for their budgets -- at least until a tragedy occurs and Congressional hearings are held to air these problems. For their part, others in the department resent the Diplomatic Security Service for the large budgetary allocations it receives after a security failure.

More than a Matter of Funding

With Congress and the presumed next Secretary of State John Kerry now calling for increased spending on diplomatic security, the financial floodgates are about to reopen. But merely throwing money at the problems uncovered by the accountability review boards will not be enough to solve those problems. Were that the case, the billions of dollars allocated to diplomatic security in the wake of the Inman and Crowe commission reports would have sufficed.

Of course, money can be useful, but injecting large sums of it into the system can create problems if the money provided is too much for the bureaucracy to efficiently metabolize. Government managers tend to spend all the money allocated to them -- sometimes at the expense of efficiency -- under a "use it or lose it" mentality. Since there is no real incentive for them to perform under budget, managers in a variety of U.S. government departments spend massive amounts of money at the end of each fiscal year. The same is true of diplomatic security programs when they are flush with cash. But the inevitable reports of financial waste and mismanagement lead to calls for spending cuts in these programs.

If the U.S. government is ever going to break the cycle of funding cuts and security disasters, the Diplomatic Security Service will need to demonstrate wisdom and prudence in how it spends the funds allocated to them. It will also be necessary for Congress to provide funding in a consistent manner and with an initial appropriation that is not too big to be spent efficiently.

Beyond money management and a consistent level of funding, the State Department will also need to take a hard look at how it currently conducts diplomacy and how it can reduce the demands placed on the Diplomatic Security Service. This will require asking many difficult questions: Is it necessary to maintain large embassies to conduct diplomacy in the information age? Does the United States need to maintain thousands of employees in high-threat places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan at the expense of smaller missions, or can the critical work be done by hundreds or even dozens? Is a permanent U.S. presence even required in a place like Benghazi, or can the missions in such locations be accomplished by a combination of visiting diplomats, covert operatives and local employees?

At the very least, the State Department will need to review its policy of designating a facility as a "special mission" -- Benghazi was designated as such -- to exempt it from meeting established physical security standards. If the questions above are answered affirmatively, and if it is deemed necessary to keep a permanent presence in a place like Benghazi, then security standards need to be followed, especially when a facility is in place for several months. Temporary facilities with substandard security cannot be allowed to persist for months and years.

Host Countries

As they consider these issues, officials need to bear in mind that the real key to the security of diplomatic facilities is the protection provided by the host country's security forces as dictated by the Vienna Convention. If the host country will not or cannot protect foreign diplomats, then the physical security measures mandated by security standards can do little more than provide slight delay -- which is what they are designed to do. No physical security measures can stand up to a prolonged assault. If a militant group armed with heavy weaponry is permitted to attack a diplomatic facility for hours with no host government response -- as was the case in Benghazi -- the attack will cause considerable damage and likely cause fatalities despite the security measures in place.

The same is true of a large mob, which given enough time can damage and breach U.S. embassies that meet current department security standards. The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, a state-of-the-art facility completed in 2009, was heavily damaged by a mob of pro-Gadhafi supporters in May 2011 and rendered unserviceable.

In another example, a large crowd caused extensive damage to the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and the adjacent American School just three days after the Benghazi attack. In that incident, Tunisian authorities responded and did not provide the attacking mob the opportunity to conduct a prolonged assault on the embassy. Though the mob caused millions of dollars worth of damage to the compound, it was unable to breach the main embassy office building. Without host country security support, there is little that can be done to assure the safety of U.S. diplomats, no matter what happens to security budgets.

The Benghazi Report and the Diplomatic Security Funding Cycle is republished with permission of Stratfor.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Officer Down

Corporal Jimmie Norman
Bellaire Texas Police Department
End of Watch: Monday, December 24, 2012
Age: 53
Tour: 20 years

Corporal Jimmie Norman was shot and killed after making a traffic stop near the intersection of Jessamine Street and Mapleridge Street shortly before 9:00 am.

During the stop the subject sped away, leading the officer on a short pursuit. The subject pulled into a service station in the 5600 block of Bellaire Boulevard. As Corporal Norman attempted to remove the subject from the car the man opened fire, fatally wounding him.

The subject then fired at bystanders, killing the service station manager. He then fired on other responding officers, but was wounded by return fire and taken into custody.

Corporal Norman had served with the Bellaire Police Department for 23 years. He is survived by his wife and children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

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

Houston Chronicle does it again....

Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story as the left likes to say....

1. The reason Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem was to pay taxes. If anyone would say you should pay more in taxes, his name would be Caesar Augustus, not Jesus Christ.

2. Liberals don't like religion, unless it suits their purposes. I don't see the "keep religion out of politics" crowd upset when a religious icon is misused in this way. This paper loves the War on Poverty and its welfare state. I think it was the Apostle Paul who wrote, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." (2 Thessalonians 3). For some reason that doesn't make the liberal's bible.

This is one you don't get every day.....

Tag this one under You Cant't Make This Up!
So a bunch of us coppers were in the squad room telling our “war stories” for the year, and I am proud to say that I was given the title of having the line of the year- “I got a sock down there.”

Here’s how it unfolded

I received a report one morning at approximately 1030am, of a possible drunk driver. I located the vehicle and stopped it for an equipment violation. The female driver failed field sobriety testing, and was placed under arrest for OWI third.

I knew the arrested person to be involved in a physical relationship and observed numerous cuts to her face. While searching her, I located a napkin from McDonalds located in her front pocket of her jeans. The napkin was covered in blood, so I asked what all the blood was from, figuring she would tell me that it was related to the cuts on her face. Nope was I ever wrong! She proceeded to tell me that she had her monthly visit from Mother Nature, and that she had been using the napkin in her pants. So now I’m standing there holding this makeshift pad in my gloved hand, and the only thought I had was that I was not going to put that thing in a property bag and then put it up front by my lunch. My backup officer had to walk away to prevent himself from laughing.

From there, we went to the hospital for a legal blood draw. While at the hospital, the arrested subject told me that she had to use the bathroom. Being the caring person I am, I asked her if she still had her period and needed any feminine products. She responded that she indeed still had her period, but she did not need anything because “I got a sock down there.” Perhaps the fact that the blood results came back at .37 had something to do with decision to give me way too much information!- Via Kimberly Kuehl

Happy New Year!

How effective are laws are in controlling criminals...

After a fellow officer was killed in Houston, I heard this report from NY. I noticed something from this incident.

Ambushed NY firemen shot dead; 2 police killed elsewhere

Gunman kills two firefighters in upstate New York

(Reuters) - A gunman who spent 17 years in prison for murder ambushed and killed two volunteer firefighters and wounded two others on Monday near Rochester, New York, as they responded to a house fire he deliberately set, police said.

William Spangler, 62, shot and killed himself after a gunfight with a police officer in Webster, a Rochester suburb, Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said.

"It was a trap set by Mr. Spangler, who laid in wait and shot first responders," Pickering told a news conference...

...Spangler was convicted of manslaughter in 1981 for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer, according to New York State Department of Corrections records, and after prison he spent eight years on parole....

...Spangler opened fire around 5:45 a.m. after two of the firefighters arrived at the house in a fire truck and two others responded in their own cars, Pickering said....

...Four houses were destroyed by the fire and four were damaged, Pickering said.
The article brings in a the murder of two officers (one in Houston, one in Wisconsin) on December 24. The suspect in the Houston murder has been arrested and is at least been arrested for theft while the Wisconsin killer is still unknown. Now one thing I will bring up about this POS who assassinated the firemen in NY. He was a convicted felon. By law, he cannot possess a firearm. So telling someone "you can't have a gun" means only the already law abiding will comply. The current criminal element will do as they always so, keep their guns. Only this time the sheep will not be able to shoot back.

And you can add me to the new criminal element. As Charlton Heston said it best, From My Cold Dead Hands!

Now there is something to add onto this. A couple of days ago a "journal-list" from New York named Dwight Worley decided the first names and addresses of legal gun owners in NY needed to be published so they can be harassed, maybe targeted by criminals, etc. So in the interest of full disclosure, someone was nice enough publish his address:

Merry Christmas Dwight!

Officer Down

Police Officer Jennifer Lynn Sebena
Wauwatosa Wisconsin Police Department
End of Watch: Monday, December 24, 2012
Age: 30
Tour: 2 years

Police Officer Jennifer Sebena was shot and killed near the intersection of Underwood and Harmonee while on patrol.

Shortly before 5:00 am dispatchers attempted to contact her but failed to received a response. Other officers began searching for her and found her body suffering from several gunshot wounds near the Wauwatosa Fire Department's parking lot.

The suspect(s) remain at large.

Officer Sebena had served with the Wauwatosa Police Department for two years. She is survived by her husband.
Rest in Peace Sis…We Got The Watch

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

Good intentions gone screwed up.....

A good friend of my told me something years ago that stuck with me. "Mike, I've always gotten pissed off when I hear 'Drugs and Alcohol', because alcohol is the most abused drug out there." Good point and the military has made efforts to handle abuse of alcohol by it's troops. But this time it may have gone a bit far.
Marines' new alcohol policy strictest in U.S. military - Washington Times

The Marine Corps‘ new on-duty standard for drinking alcohol is so strict that less than one drink at lunch would trigger a “positive” and get a warrior in hot water.

The Washington Times reported earlier this week that the Corps sent a Dec. 12 message to commanders officially beginning mandatory breath tests for all 197,000 Marines twice each year.

A reading of just .01 percent subjects a Marine to counseling. A Marine who registers a .04 must be examined by medical staff for fitness for duty.

The Corps is the first among the Army, Air Force and Navy to begin random mandatory testing of all personnel.

The Army leaves test decisions up to a commander and prohibits a blood alcohol content (BAC) at .05 percent or higher. The Air Force also instructs commanders to order alcohol tests when appropriate but has no compulsory program.

The Navy said last March it plans to conduct mandatory breath tests. A spokeswoman says the program will not start until next year.

Overall, this makes the new Corps anti-alcohol testing the military’s strictest.

The Marine memo calls a “positive test result” a reading of .01 or greater, which results in automatic “screening and treatment as appropriate.”

“I think it’s outrageously low,” said Neal Puckett, a defense attorney and retired Marine Corps judge advocate. “Guess it’s zero tolerance for alcohol just like the zero tolerance for drugs.”

“No one would be impaired at a 0.01 alcohol concentration,” said Bruce Goldberger, a University of Florida professor and a renowned forensic toxicologist, to The Times.

For an average-size man of 150 pounds, one drink would register a .02 reading, Mr. Goldberger said. For an average woman, he said, a single drink would result in a .03.

“So if you look at a scenario where someone in the Marine Corps goes to a bar and drinks two drinks, that would give him a BAC of a .04,” he said. “It would take him about two to three hours to clear the alcohol in the bloodstream.”

“It’s possible if a Marine goes to a bar and is drinking a substantial amount of alcohol over the course of an evening, and he gets himself to a BAC of 1.5 or 2.0, if they are tested first thing in the morning when they report to duty, they may still have some alcohol in their blood and test positive,” he added...

I've often complained that the Department of Defense treats its adults like children overseas. In the Middle East we are the only people under General Order Number One's more onerous regs, specifically no alcohol (with a few exceptions like Civil-Military Affairs personnel). I remember man a time the British Army soldiers would offer me a beer at Camp Arifjan and I would answer "God I want to but I can't!" Her Majesty's Army gives each soldier a ration of two beers a day. At the end of your shift you would be issued the two cans that were opened on the spot (you couldn't stockpile them) and enjoying unwinding with a brew. Like many a Brit does. The French has wine,etc and no one had problems. Only the Americans had to suffer through near beer.

The author seems to not know you can't drink at lunch while on duty but what about a more realist scenario. A Marine goes out with this buddies on a Tuesday night, gets drunk and they drive him home for 11:00 PM where he has a BAC of .18. Or he spends the evening with his buddies in the barracks drinking, them goes to sleep at 11:00 PM with the BAC of .18. After reporting to first formation at 6:00am he gets required to provide a breath test. The normal burn off of alcohol is .02 an hour so it will take at least nine hours to get him near .01. But will anyone really say someone who is at .04 after a night's sleep is impaired? I doubt it. Not to mention the Marine in these scenarios did the right thing. He went out and drank but he used a designed driver, or he drank in the barracks where he didn't have to drive. Putting a penalty on someone who is trying to comply with the rules can led to people showing contempt of authority.

Good intentions but I think this has to be retooled.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Officer Down

Police Officer Sean Louis Callahan
Clayton County Georgia Police Department
End of Watch: Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Age: 24
Tour: 4 months
Incident Date: 12/17/2012

Police Officer Sean Callahan succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained the previous day during a foot pursuit in Stockbridge at approximately 2:15 pm.

He and other officers had responded to a domestic disturbance at a motel on Davidson Parkway. As officers attempted to arrest the male subject he began to resist and fled on foot. The officers chased the man around the motel where the subject opened fire, striking Officer Callahan in the head twice. Other officers returned fire, killing the subject. The subject had a long criminal history and had just been released from prison seven months earlier.

Officer Callahan was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds the following morning.

Officer Callahan had only served with the Clayton County Police Department for four months.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

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

Going Postal takes on a whole new meaning!

Postal employees stole millions in federal checks

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night could stop these postal employees from stealing checks.

The former supervisor at an Atlanta mail distribution facility, a coworker and four others pled guilty this month to stealing $3 million in U.S. Treasury checks, including veterans benefits, tax refunds and Social Security checks. By the time authorities figured out the scheme, the small theft ring had stolen or cashed 1,300 federal checks, officials said.

And the Georgia workers aren't alone. Between April and September of this year, 171 Postal Service employees were arrested for theft, willful delay or destruction of mail, according to a new report by the USPS inspector general. The Service has about 546,000 employees.

"We have taken two corrupt postal workers, including a supervisor, off the streets who were responsible for stealing thousands of checks worth over $3 million," U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates in Atlanta said. "We will continue to target these theft rings, both those on the inside and their network of check cashers, to address this serious problem.”

Gerald Eason, 47, pled guilty to stealing more than 1,300 checks while working at the postal facility. His accomplice, mail handler Deborah Fambro-Echols, 49, has also pled guilty.

The two employees pled guilty to conspiracy and theft of government money. Eason pleaded guilty to several other charges including possession of stolen Treasury checks. There's a wide range of jail time they could be serving, though. Each charge carries anywhere from five to 30 years in prison...

..."Eason and Fambro-Echols reflect just a very small percentage of employees who failed to uphold the trust and integrity placed in them," said Paul Bowman, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General's special agent in charge. "The majority of Postal Service employees are honest, hardworking, and committed to providing the timely and reliable service that customers expect and deserve."...

I agree completely Mr Bowman, this is a very small percentage of Postal Employees. And thankfully you have caught them. Hopefully they serve their terms and this discourages other workers from being tempted.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hitchcock the movie.

Recently I posted on my hopes for rare decent movie from Hollywood when I saw the preview for Hitchcock. Finally Beth and I got through Christmas shopping, cleaning up the house, getting ready for the family events to have drinks and a movie (late lunch that was too damned big).

After almost two hours I have to say the wifie and I loved it. Hopkins has Hitch down cold, you get the man, the greatness and shortcomings. His brillance in developing the plans and the details. Hitch's ability to place the perfect actor in a role and his constant need for inspiration. You also get Hitch's obsession for his blond leading ladies and insecurities. Along with the story of the making of Psycho you see how his wife Alma is completely integrated into his great films endeavors. When Hitch accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute he spent much of his acceptance thanking his wife over 60 years.

Here is the Hitch and Alma finally getting some well deserved recognition and a few of the great comments from the stars at the location.

Ingrid thanks Hitch for some great advise on acting.

Janet Leigh on the shooting on the most famous shower scene in history

                                   And the shower scene

Finally Hitch receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award, although he never actually won an Oscar.

More stuff to do before Santa comes, but go see this movie. It was worth the ten bucks for a ticket.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Officer Down

Corporal David Gogian
Topeka Kansas Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, December 16, 2012
Age: 50
Tour: 8 years, 3 months
Badge # 408

Police Officer Jeff Atherly
Topeka Kansas Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, December 16, 2012
Age: 29
Tour: 1 year, 8 months
Badge # 155

Corporal David Gogian and Police Officer Jeff Atherly were shot and killed while checking on a suspicious vehicle in a grocery store parking lot, on the 1400 block of SW Huntoon Street, shortly after 6:00 pm.

Several minutes after making contact with the multiple subjects in the vehicle one them opened fire, fatally wounding Officer Atherly and Corporal Gogian. A third officer on the scene was not wounded. The subject who opened fire fled in the vehicle. He was located in a home on Third Street where he barricaded himself for several hours. He was eventually shot and killed after exiting the home while carrying a firearm.

Corproal Gogian was a U.S. military veteran and had served with the Topeka Police Department for eight years.

Officer Atherly had served with the Topeka Police Department for just under two years.
Rest in Peace Gentlemen…We Got The Watch
Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

When Will Death Spiral States Impose Taxes On Fleeing Citizens?

Our governments and universities are populated by bureaucrats and politicians screaming "You didn't build that....you had help...and now you need to put something back in....you need skin in the game..." (God knows how much I hate that saying). More than that they have a simple belief that all money is government's first and the government decides how much you can have back. And more and more they are deciding what you can do with it. Knowing that how can you see this happening in California or New York?
When Will Death Spiral States Impose Taxes On Fleeing Citizens?

By Bill Frezza

One of the most fascinating characteristics of government borrowing - whether at the local, state, or federal level - is that debts contracted over time are obligations tied to specific geographical boundaries but not to the citizens living there when those debts were incurred. For example, while it's customary to say that each of the 210,000 residents of Stockton, California, are on the hook for their share of the bankrupt municipality's estimated $700 million in unpaid bills, the day one of them picks up and moves, personal responsibility for that debt drops to zero.

Imagine if that type of tax "evasion" were eliminated. How would it change America?

Government debts are accrued on your behalf by elected officials for whom you had a chance to vote, all supposedly representing your interests. In a democracy, all citizens are obliged to pay the government's bills as determined by the duly empowered taxing authorities - regardless of whether they voted for a particular officeholder or not. What's to stop legislators from passing laws that make debt obligations due and payable by any citizen who decides to leave for another jurisdiction? After all, they don't hesitate to take your money when you die.

Mayors and governors of most tax-and-spend, heavily unionized, low-growth cities and states are both desperate for revenue and tired of watching disgruntled citizens vote with their feet. Think how politically attractive it would be for them to make "economic deserters" pay their "fair share" of old debts. I can see the arguments already: "You can't move away from credit card debt or commercial debt, so why should government debt be so easy to dodge?" Politicians could easily win kudos from both public employee unions and the overtaxed residents left behind, for the mere cost of enraging emigrants who won't be around to exact retribution at the next election.

And can't you just see the progressive commentariat lining up behind a movement designed to deter well-heeled blue state residents from seeking refuge in those despicable red hinterlands? Like Glenn Close rising from the bathtub to take one more stab in Fatal Attraction, don't be surprised when death-spiral states resort to exit taxes as a last ditch effort to forestall their impending bankruptcies.

Exit taxes imposed on emigrants have a long history, including their use in both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. They were imposed under the theory that, since citizens were educated by the government and were either provided benefits or allowed to profit from jobs and business held while living under the government's protection, they were obligated to pay back some of that money on their way out.

Sounds like something only a Hitler or Stalin would love? If only. Try surrendering your U.S. citizenship and moving to another country. Thanks to a series of expatriation tax laws passed by Congress dating back to the 1960s, with the most recent revision sponsored by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) (no stranger to tax evasion himself), emigrants leaving the U.S. must pay capital gains tax, including on unrealized gains, across all their holdings marked to market as of the day of departure. In addition, expats are liable for gift taxes on amounts above $12,000 a year given to anyone in the U.S., for the rest of their lives, even though they are no longer citizens themselves.

To date, the Supreme Court has had no problem with any of these laws. So what is to stop, say, California from imposing exit taxes on the steady stream of citizens heading off for Texas, Arizona, and Nevada? More than 200,000 people flee the Golden State every year, taking their money with them while leaving behind their share of the state's $617 billion in state debt, which comes to about $16,000 per resident. That's $3.2 billion a year in tax evasion!

If presenting every deserter with a $16,000 bill proves too unpopular, why not follow Uncle Sam's lead and make a grab for unrealized capital gains taxes? California taxes capital gains at the same rate as ordinary income - voters there recently passed a referendum to increase the top rate to 13 percent - so a tax like that would bite the richest nice and hard. That'll make those Silicon Valley millionaires think twice before escaping to a low-tax state before cashing in their shares! And who has any sympathy for them? After all, they didn't build that.

Perhaps class warfare politicians in the U.S. are waiting for their French role model to show them the way. French President Francois Hollande, proud of jacking the top income tax rate up to 75 percent, seems nonplussed about the fact that his wealthy subjects are decamping for London and Belgium. GĂ©rard Depardieu, France's richest movie star, recently made the news not for a repeat of his classic performance of peeing in an airplane aisle but for becoming a resident of Estaimpuis, Belgium, less than a mile from the French border. Isn't it time to make an example out of such economic villains?

Of course, if that fails, states could consider building walls and posting armed guards at their borders. That's been tried before too.

True, border walls are not beyond the possibility in deep blue states. But I wonder if these morons realize if there was something like that passed say in the California Assembly what would happen. Assuming you had this proposed countless businesses would instantly look at moving to other states to escape prior to the bill's being passed or taking effect. And if the ACME Widget company did get caught it would be bled dry by the bureaucracy in The Iron Pyrite State. So Mr Spacely, Mr Cogwell and George Jetson would all be out of a job. However they would have skin in the game for the Train from Nowhere to Nowhere!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Officer Down

Patrolman Angel Garcia
El Paso Police Department, Texas
End of Watch: Sunday, December 16, 2012
Age: 27
Tour: 9 months

Patrolman Angel Garcia was struck and killed by an automobile on I-10, near Hawkins Boulevard, while clearing a hazard out of the roadway.

He had stopped his vehicle in the travel lane, with his emergency equipment activated, to block traffic as he removed the ladder at approximately 7:15 am. Another vehicle swerved to avoid striking his patrol car but struck another car, causing a chain reaction crash. Patrolman Garcia was struck by on of the vehicles in the crash.

He was transported to Del Sol Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds.

Patrolman Garcia was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the El Paso Police Department for only nine months.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

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

Security Weekly: In Pakistan, Mixed Results From a Peshawar Attack, December 19, 2012

By Ben West

The Pakistani Taliban continue to undermine Pakistan's government and military establishment, and in doing so, they continue to raise questions over the security of the country's nuclear arsenal. On Dec. 15, 10 militants armed with suicide vests and grenades attacked Peshawar Air Force Base, the site of a third major operation by the Pakistani Taliban since May 2011. Tactically, the attack was relatively unsuccessful -- all the militants were killed, and the perimeter of the air base was not breached -- but the Pakistani Taliban nonetheless achieved their objective.

The attack began the night of Dec. 15 with a volley of three to five mortar shells. As the shells were fired, militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device near the perimeter wall of the air base. Reports indicate that all five militants inside the vehicle were killed. The other five militants engaged security forces in a nearby residential area and eventually were driven back before they could enter the air base. The next day, security forces acting on a report of suspicious activity confronted the militants, who all died in the resultant shootout.

Pakistani security forces came away from the incident looking very good. They prevented a large and seemingly coordinated team of militants from entering the confines of the base and thus from damaging civilian and military aircraft. Some of Pakistan's newly acquired Chinese-Pakistani made JF-17s, are stationed at the air base, and worth roughly $20 million each, they were probably the militants ultimate targets.

Another reason the militants may have chosen the base is its location. Peshawar Air Force Base is the closest base to the northwest tribal areas of Pakistan, where Pakistani and U.S. forces are clashing with Taliban militants who threaten Islamabad and Kabul. The air base is most likely a hub for Pakistan's air operations against those militants. The Dec. 15 attack killed one police officer and a few other civilians, but it did no damage to the air base, the adjacent civilian airport or their respective aircraft. Flights were postponed for only a couple of hours as security forces cleared the area.

Tactics and Previous Attacks

Major military bases in Pakistan have been attacked before. In May 2011, Pakistani Taliban militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and firearms destroyed two P-3C maritime surveillance aircraft and killed 10 soldiers during an attack on Mehran Naval Air Base in Karachi. The militants entered the base by cutting through the fence.

More recently, seven Pakistani Taliban militants scaled the walls of Minhas Air Force Base in Kamra before killing a soldier and damaging a Ukrainian transport aircraft. They were pushed back before they could damage the squadron of F-16 fighter aircraft stationed at the base.

The Dec. 15 attack was not nearly as destructive as these other attacks, probably because half the militants were killed immediately in the explosion at the perimeter. Their deaths suggest the device detonated earlier than expected or that they were not far enough from the device when it exploded. It is unclear why they died, but the device could have detonated prematurely for several reasons. There could have been a glitch in the construction or detonation of the device. Otherwise, it could have been the result of the security forces' countermeasures (something officials have not yet claimed). Had the militants survived the explosion and breached the perimeter, they might have been more successful against security.

The Dec. 15 attack also differs from the previous two attacks tactically. Whereas militants stealthily entered the bases in Kamra and Karachi, the militants who attacked the base in Peshawar used mortars and explosives because the wall -- roughly eight feet high and topped with barbed wire -- could not be cut or climbed easily. These tactics are much more aggressive than the two previous air base attacks, and therefore they immediately caught the attention of security forces. Indeed, security forces in the vicinity would have heard mortar shells and explosions. But just as important, mortar shells and explosions create flames that security forces can use to pinpoint the attack and respond quickly.

It is hard to say whether the combination and coordination of mortar fire, explosives and a direct ground assault with firearms would have resulted in a successful attack even if half the militants had not died in the initial explosion. They certainly would have been greatly outnumbered. The few mortar shells fired at the base may have suppressed forces momentarily, but the militants did not sustain their indirect cover fire, which eventually allowed security forces more mobility in responding. In any case, breaching the wall with an explosion sacrifices the element of surprise too early -- outside the base rather than inside -- reducing the amount of time the assailants have to find their targets before security could respond.

A final reason the attack failed may have been the fact that the threat was known about weeks earlier. In late November, authorities apprehended a would-be suicide bomber and his handler entering Peshawar on a motorcycle. The suspect later confessed that they were targeting the airport. Peshawar airport was already on high alert after the attack on the Kamra base in August. The November arrests heightened security, which lessened the militants' chance of surprise. Moreover, the arrests were made publicly available in open-source materials, so the militants should have known that security forces were on high alert.

As for the security forces, the protective intelligence available was obvious, and the attack came when they were most prepared to repel it. Yet they benefited greatly when the explosion did half their work for them. It appears that they just got lucky.

Strategic Value

The Dec. 15 attack appears to have been carried out by militants who intended to replicate the damage caused by their comrades' attacks in Karachi and Kamra. Tactically, they failed.

But that does not mean the operation wasn't valuable. Like previous attacks on Pakistani military installations, the Peshawar attack grabs headlines because of its high profile. Put simply, the sensitivity of the target demands media attention.

As in the Karachi and Kamra attacks, the Dec. 15 attack involves the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. There are no indications that there are nuclear weapons stored at the Peshawar base, and there is no evidence that the nuclear weapons that may have been stored at the Karachi and Kamra bases were compromised. But the attack nonetheless raises questions about the security of Pakistan's military installations and by extension their nuclear arsenal. For the United States and India, such attacks compel lawmakers to revisit debates over whether the United States should intervene to protect the weapons.

These headlines and discussions benefit the Pakistani Taliban because they call into question Islamabad's ability to rule. Meanwhile, the Pakistani Taliban will continue to try to destabilize the military, one of the strongest pillars of the state, and provoke fear of external involvement from the United States.

In fact, the Pakistani Taliban would benefit from U.S. involvement, which would create huge public backlash and chaotic conditions in which the militants could thrive. The Pakistani Taliban do not necessarily need to destroy aircraft or kill military personnel to raise these doubts in Pakistan and the wider world. From the perspective of the insurgents, all the coordination and firepower they brought to the attack was a strategic success if this attack nurtures that doubt, even if it wasn't as tactically successful as previous attacks.

In Pakistan, Mixed Results From a Peshawar Attack is republished with permission of Stratfor.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Did the Founding Fathers really think of this when they wrote the Commerce Clause

"Hairy Truman," a six-toed "Hemingway cat" walks on a table at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Fla.

I have debates with people of the more leftwing persuasion who are convinced our economoy is unregulated or Congress should handle this or that (Medicine, banking, cars, etc). Now, do we really need this.

Cat fight pits government against Hemingway museum

A popular tourist attraction has lost another round in the legal battle over who is in charge of the slinky creatures with nine lives and six toes roaming its grounds.

The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that the government does have the power to regulate the dozens of cats that live at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West, Fla. — a notion the attraction has fought for years....

...Some 250,000 visitors flock to the site each year to experience the house where the famed American writer lived from 1931 to 1938 and see the polydactyl (six-toed) felines whose company he enjoyed.

There is no doubt that the Hemingway home is one of the landmark attractions on Key West. Hemingway has been gone for more than 50 years, but he’s still a Key West icon,” said Andy Newman, a spokesman for the Florida Keys tourism council.

“Everybody knows about the six-toed cats and certainly they are part of the ambiance and the charm of the Hemingway Home and Museum.”

When he lived in the house, Hemingway — a famous cat lover — cared for a white polydactyl cat named Snowball that was given to him by a ship’s captain. Snowball’s offspring and other felines have been roaming the grounds ever since without much controversy. Court documents note that the museum has always kept, fed, and provided weekly veterinary care for the Hemingway cats, and spayed or neutered most of them “to prevent population beyond the historical norm of 50–60 cats.”

“They’re very much an important part of the history of the property. We want people to come and see it the way it was when Hemingway was here — to see it the same way he saw it, with the 50 cats running around the property,” said Dave Gonzales, a spokesman for the Hemingway Home & Museum, in a promotional video for the attraction posted on YouTube.

“Every corner you take on this acre of land, you’ll find a couple of cats either snoozing or eating or lapping up some water off the cat fountain.”

In 1935, famed author Ernest Hemingway received a cat named "Snowball" while living and writing in Key West. With paws featuring six toes, "Snowball" was the first of a long line of felines that has helped make the Hemingway Home and Museum one of the most popular visitor attractions in the Florida Keys.

But the government began taking a closer look at the operation several years ago, when a visitor complained about the museum’s care of the animals to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to court documents.

Yo Moron, do you have any life? The cats are well taken care of, that picture shows a cat that looks like he's enjoying life! Get a clue. BTY, if you have an issue with the treatment of the cat why didn't you get with the staff there?
In 2003, the USDA declared that the museum was an “animal exhibitor” subject to federal regulation under the Animal Welfare Act because it displayed the animals to the public for an admission fee and used the cats in its advertising. (The same act regulates circuses, zoos and carnivals.)

The museum balked at the decision, which would require it to do everything from cage the cats at night and tag each animal, to build “additional elevated resting surfaces” for the felines.

So in 2009, it filed a complaint in federal court arguing the Animal Welfare Act didn’t apply because it was only meant to protect animals “physically moving in interstate commerce” — while the cats spend their entire lives in one place. But the court ruled in favor of the government, and when the museum appealed, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the decision.

In his ruling on Friday, Chief Judge Joel Dubina acknowledged the unusual circumstances of the case.

“We appreciate the Museum’s somewhat unique situation, and we sympathize with its frustration,” Dubina wrote in the decision.

Nevertheless, he found the museum’s display of the cats is not merely local in nature because it markets to out-of-state tourists, many of whom are drawn by the felines.

“The exhibition of the Hemingway cats is integral to the Museum’s commercial purpose, and thus, their exhibition affects interstate commerce,” Dubina wrote.

“For these reasons, Congress has the power to regulate the Museum and the exhibition of the Hemingway cats.”

The museum has the option to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

And you ask why I say the only reason a bureaucracy exist is to insure its own survival. USDA, this is a waste of my tax money and lots of oxygen. BTY, look forward to more stupidity in the future.

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Christopher R. Parsons
Washington County Missouri Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Saturday, December 15, 2012
Age: 31
Tour: 2 months
Badge # 914

Deputy Sheriff Chris Parsons was shot and killed from ambush after responding to a 911 call on Nugget Road, in Mineral Point, at approximately 2:10 am.

An ambulance had also responded to the location as a result of the 911 call regarding an unconscious woman. As the woman was loaded into the ambulance her son exited the mobile home fired a single shot with a rifle, killing Deputy Parsons.

The subject fled into nearby woods. He remained at large for approximately 15 hours until he turned himself in at a checkpoint setup near Mineral Point.

Deputy Parsons had served with the Washington County Sheriff's Office for only two months.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

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

K9 Down

K9 Ivan
Tucson Arizona Police Department
End of Watch: Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Breed: Belgian Malinois
Origin: Czech Republic
Age: 2
Gender: M
Tour: 6 months

K9 Ivan was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend a carjacking suspect near the intersection of 2nd Street and Stewart Avenue at about 11:00 pm.

Ivan's handler spotted the truck within minutes of the carjacking and attempted to stop it, but the driver fled. The vehicle crashed following a short pursuit and several officers, including K9 Ivan, pursued him on foot. Both K9 Ivan and the subject were shot and killed during the ensuing confrontation.

Ivan was transported to a local animal hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

K9 Ivan had served as a patrol certified canine with the Tucson Police Department for six months.
Rest in Peace Ivan…and enjoy running the green grass of Heaven!

In Memory of all Police Dogs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By John Quealy

Security Weekly: When Things Go Bad, December 18, 2012

Editor's Note: In light of the shooting in an American elementary school on Dec. 14, we have decided to republish the following analysis, which includes guidance on how to react when caught in a situation with an armed assailant.
When Things Go Bad

By Scott Stewart

Over the past several weeks, we have discussed a number of different situations that can present a common problem to people caught up in them. First, we discussed how domestic terrorism remains a persistent threat in the United States, and that despite improvements in security measures since 2001, soft targets still remain vulnerable to attack by terrorist actors driven by a variety of motivations. Due to the devolution of the jihadist threat toward the grassroots, there is also a growing trend of jihadist actors using armed assaults instead of bombing attacks. We also discussed the continuing problem of workplace violence, and finally, we discussed last week evacuation plans for expatriates due to natural disaster, civil unrest or war.

People caught in any of these situations could find themselves either confronted by an armed assailant or actually coming under fire in an active shooter scenario. Of course, there are other situations where people can find themselves confronted by armed assailants, from street muggings and carjackings to bank robberies. Because of this, we thought it might be useful to our readers to discuss such situations and how to react when caught in one.


Perhaps the most important factor affecting a person's reaction to a life-threatening incident is their mindset going into the situation. As we have previously noted when discussing situational awareness, the way the brain is wired makes it very difficult for a person to go from a state of being "tuned out" and completely unaware of what is going on around them to a state of high alert. When confronted by such a jump, it is not uncommon for people to freeze, go into shock and become totally unable to respond to the situation confronting them. This type of panic-induced paralysis can be extremely deadly, and at that point the only hope of surviving an incident is sheer luck or divine providence. People in such a state can do nothing to save themselves.

Another factor of this mindset is the need for people to recognize that there are bad people in the world who want to hurt innocent people, and that they could be potential targets. This means that people must not only practice situational awareness but also trust their gut when they feel something isn't quite right. Denial can be a very dangerous thing when it overrides or rationalizes away gut feelings of danger. Over my former careers as a special agent and corporate security officer, I have interviewed numerous people who allowed denial to override suspicious indicators they noted, and who then proceeded to do things that resulted in their victimization -- all because they had the mindset that they could not possibly become victims. These situations ranged from a mugging victim, who thought there was something odd about the way three guys on the corner looked at her, to the kidnapping victim who spotted the deployed abduction team but proceeded into the attack zone anyway because he thought the team would target someone with more money than his family had. In shooting situations, I have spoken with victims who did not realize that shots were actually being fired and instead dismissed them as pranks or fireworks. I have seen media reports of similar remarks from witnesses regarding recent shooting incidents, such as the July 20 shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. In short, denial is deadly.

By practicing the proper level of situational awareness and understanding the possibility of being targeted, a person will be mentally prepared to realize that an attack is happening -- something we call attack recognition. The earlier a target recognizes the attack, the better. In the kidnapping case noted above, the victim recognized the attack before it was sprung, and could have avoided a long (and costly) hostage ordeal, had he taken immediate action to avoid the attack site. As we have mentioned repeatedly, criminal and terrorist attacks do not appear out of a vacuum. Instead, they are part of a planning process that can be recognized if one is looking for it. We have also noted over the years that criminals and terrorists tend to be very bad at camouflaging their actions, and their suspicious demeanors often leave them vulnerable to early detection.

Admittedly, there is the slight danger of embarrassment in the aftermath of a false reaction. I have blushed after hitting the ground and rolling to cover in response to unexpected celebratory gunfire in Yemen, but in general it is far better to initially overreact when there is no threat than it is to underreact in a truly dangerous situation.

But even if one cannot avoid an attack, recognizing danger immediately and then quickly taking action to avoid it can often mean the difference between survival and death.

Run, Hide, Fight

Some people have been critical of the simplicity of the "Run, Hide, Fight" public service video available on YouTube, which was produced by the City of Houston and funded by the Department of Homeland Security. In our assessment, the video does a good job achieving its goal of raising awareness of active shooter situations and of providing a simple, easy-to-remember mantra similar to the "stop, drop and roll" fire-prevention slogan. The video also discusses the necessity of having an evacuation plan and being aware of surroundings. Is the video a complete self-defense course? Clearly not, but it does meet its limited objectives.

Once a person has recognized that an attack is taking place, a critical step must be taken before they can decide to run, hide or fight -- they must determine where the gunfire (or threat) is coming from. Without doing so, the victim could run blindly from a position of relative safety into danger. We certainly encourage anyone under attack to get out of the attack site and run away from danger, but you must first ascertain that you are in the attack site before taking action. Many times, the source of the threat will be evident and will not take much time to locate. But sometimes, depending on the location -- whether in a building or out on the street -- the sounds of gunfire can echo and it may take a few seconds to determine the direction it is coming from. In such a scenario, it is prudent to quickly take cover until the direction of the threat can be located. In some instances, there may even be more than one gunman, which can complicate escape plans.

Fortunately, most attackers engaging in active shooter scenarios are not well-trained. They tend to be poor marksmen who lack tactical experience with their weapons. For example, in his attack on a Los Angeles Jewish community center daycare Aug. 10, 1999, Buford Furrow fired 70 shots from an Uzi-style submachine gun but only wounded five people. The Uzi is an effective and highly accurate weapon at short distances, meaning the only reason Furrow did so little damage was his poor marksmanship. During the July 20 shooting in Aurora, James Holmes only managed to kill 12 people -- despite achieving almost total tactical surprise in a fully packed theater -- due to a combination of poor marksmanship and his inability to clear a malfunction from his rifle.

This typical lack of marksmanship implies that most people killed in active shooter situations are shot at very close range. There are some obvious exceptions, like the shooting at the University of Texas on Aug. 1, 1966, when ex-Marine Charles Whitman shot several people from the top of a tower on the college campus. But even then, most of Whitman's victims were shot early on in his attack, and his ability to successfully engage targets declined rapidly as victims realized where the shots were coming from and either moved away from the threat or took cover and waited for the authorities to respond.


As seen in the Whitman case, potential victims can do several things to reduce their chances of being shot, even with a trained shooter. We use an old acronym to describe these steps: MDACC, which stands for motion, distance, angle, cover and concealment.

First, it is much harder to shoot a moving target than a stationary one, especially if that target is moving at a distance. Most tactical shootings happen at distances of less than 7 meters. Indeed, there are very few people who can consistently hit a stationary target beyond 25 meters with a pistol, much less a moving target. Most people can put 25 meters between them and an attacker in just a few seconds, so motion and distance are your friends.

The angle between the target and the shooter is also important, because shooting a target running away in a straight line is easier than shooting a target running away at an angle, since the second scenario would require the shooter to swing the barrel of the weapon and lead the target. Both require a good deal of practice, even with a rifle or shotgun. If the target can run at an angle behind objects like trees, cars, office furniture or walls that obstruct the shooter's view of the target (concealment) or stop bullets (cover), that is even more effective.

Whether running or trying to hide, it is important to distinguish between concealment and cover. Items that provide concealment will hide you from the shooter's eye but will not protect you from bullets. A bush or tree leaves may provide concealment, but only a substantial tree trunk will provide cover. A typical office drywall-construction interior wall will provide concealment but not cover. This means that if a person is forced to hide inside an office or classroom, they might be able to lock the door but the shooter will in all likelihood still be able to fire through the walls and the door, should they choose to do so. Still, if the shooter cannot see his or her target, they will be firing by chance rather than intentionally aiming.

In any case, those hiding inside a room should attempt to find some sort of additional cover, like a filing cabinet or heavy desk. It is always better to find cover than concealment, but even partial cover -- something that will only deflect or fragment the projectiles -- is better than no cover at all.

The Inner Warrior

Mindset also becomes critical when a person is wounded. In active shooter situations it is not unusual for many more people to be wounded than killed; this also relates to the issue of poor marksmanship discussed above. In such a situation, it is extremely important for the wounded person to understand that, unlike what is portrayed in the movies, most wounds are not immediately fatal and rarely immobilize the victim right away. However, it is not uncommon for people to drop to the ground when they are shot and freeze in panic or go into shock. This gives the shooter an opportunity to approach them for a point-blank coup de grace.

It is very important for people to realize that most gunshots are survivable and that, even after being wounded, their bodies can continue to function to get them away from the attack site and to safety. Certainly, once a target gets out of the immediate danger zone they will want to seek first aid or treat themselves with improvised pressure bandages to stop the bleeding and avoid going into shock. Modern trauma medicine is very good, and as seen in the Aurora shooting, most victims wounded in these types of attacks will survive if they get prompt medical assistance.

It is no mistake that training regimens for special operations forces soldiers and serious athletes place so much emphasis on the mental aspect of combat and sports -- that is, learning that your body can keep functioning and continue to do amazing things, even after your mind has told you that it is time to quit. That same sense of drive and determination, the inner warrior, can help keep a person's body functioning after they have been wounded. The inner warrior is also critical when it is time to fight rather than to run or hide, but that is a topic for another time.
When Things Go Bad is republished with permission of Stratfor.