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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Motorcycle gangs....

Got this article on the capture of a Hell's Angle in California. The article is pretty straight forward but one of the comments caught my eye.

Add caption
Note the "Filthy Few" patch on his cut, learn these patches brothers, they could save your life. These guys are the more violent of the Hells Angels. The patches on their cuts are not handed out to just anyone, they are earned and each one means a specific thing. I worked UC in the biker world during my younger and dumber days, these guys live in their own world and if you don`t understand the basics of the rules they live by, you will come up short everytime. Outstanding work by the LE that tracked him down, truth be known, he was running from his own as well as LE. A patched brother doesn`t kill another patched brother without the "knod" from above. Especially at the funeral of a chapter president. That comes from way up the ladder. Might be alittle more to the story.
Good to know...I'll say it I would have never know it.

Here is the full article from the AP:
Hells Angels member arrested in funeral shooting 
Steve Ruiz surrendered Saturday evening after San Jose police surrounded his motel in Fremont 
SAN FRANCISCO — Police have arrested a Hells Angel gang member several months after he was suspected of fatally shooting a fellow member at a funeral for the regional leader of the motorcycle gang. 
Steve Ruiz surrendered Saturday evening after San Jose police surrounded his motel in Fremont, police Sgt. Jason Dwyer said Sunday. 
Ruiz, 38, had been the subject of a widespread manhunt since Steve Tausan was shot and killed during memorial services for Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew on Oct. 15. Police believe that Ruiz shot Tausan when a fight broke out at the San Jose funeral, which was monitored by police... 
...Tausan, 52, was one of 4,000 people attending services for Pettigrew, the president of the Hells Angels' San Jose chapter. Pettigrew was slain during a brawl with a rival biker gang in a Nevada casino on Sept. 23. 
A week after Tausan was killed, police stormed a house in Stockton but came up empty. Investigators also said in December that they had "credible evidence" that Ruiz, a former San Jose resident, had been seen in the city....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Is anyone surprised with this news.....

I for one am not.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Rodney King has been sentenced to 20 days of house arrest and fined $500 for misdemeanor reckless driving in Southern California.

King is the black motorist whose beating by white Los Angeles police officers was videotaped in 1991. Four officers were acquitted of charges in state court a year later, leading to rioting in Los Angeles.

The 46-year-old King was arrested in Moreno Valley seven months ago for investigation of drunken driving.

But Riverside County prosecutors say his blood-alcohol reading was 0.06 percent, which is below the 0.08 legal threshold. He also had a trace of marijuana in his system.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise (http://bit.ly/wvr5GN ) says King, through his attorney, pleaded to a lesser so-called "wet reckless" driving charge on Monday.

King also was placed on three years' probation.

Now these Occupy punks are really peaceful....

From the Cereal State, California.
At least 2 officers injured at Calif. 'Occupy' protest
1 hurt by rock thrown while escorting members of other protest group

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — At least two law enforcement officers were injured Monday during a clash with members of the Occupy movement who were at the state Capitol to counter a rally by a group protesting violence by blacks against whites in South Africa.

The clash erupted in the afternoon as California Highway Patrol and Sacramento police officers were escorting about 35 members of the South Africa Project to a parking garage following their protest outside the Capitol building.

About 50 members of Occupy Oakland began throwing cans and bottles at the South Africa group and at the officers. The Occupy members then rushed the officers as people with the pro-whites group hurried into the parking garage.

CHP spokeswoman Fran Clader said the two officers suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital. The CHP arrested three Occupy members on suspicion of disobeying and officer.

One CHP officer was injured when a member of the Occupy group jumped on him, and another was hurt after being struck by an object...

...Many of the Occupy protesters, some wearing hoods or masks, said they came from the San Francisco Bay area to counter what they called a racist group affiliated with former Louisiana Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Occupy protesters had been cursing at the South Africa Project rally and at officers keeping the two sides apart.

Ryan Stark, 26, who said he is part of Occupy Sacramento, said he joined the protesters challenging the South Africa Project protesters because there needed to be a showdown.

"I didn't throw anything ... but these sorts of demonstrations need to happen," he said, referring to the counter protest. "They do have the right to say what they want, but we're not going to let it fly."
I love this quote, "but we're not going to let it fly." Can we taxpaying job holiding citizens use that on you moron?
...Earlier in the day, a teenage girl with Occupy Oakland was taken to Juvenile Hall after she became combative and assaulted an officer who asked her to pick up litter, California Highway Patrol Officer Sean Kennedy said. He did not have her age or city of residence...

Good to know the teenagers out there start young.

Security Weekly: The State of the World: Explaining U.S. Strategy, February 28, 2012

By George Friedman

The fall of the Soviet Union ended the European epoch, the period in which European power dominated the world. It left the United States as the only global power, something for which it was culturally and institutionally unprepared. Since the end of World War II, the United States had defined its foreign policy in terms of its confrontation with the Soviet Union. Virtually everything it did around the world in some fashion related to this confrontation. The fall of the Soviet Union simultaneously freed the United States from a dangerous confrontation and eliminated the focus of its foreign policy.

In the course of a century, the United States had gone from marginal to world power. It had waged war or Cold War from 1917 until 1991, with roughly 20 years of peace between the two wars dominated by the Great Depression and numerous interventions in Latin America. Accordingly, the 20th century was a time of conflict and crisis for the United States. It entered the century without well-developed governmental institutions for managing its foreign policy. It built its foreign policy apparatus to deal with war and the threat of war; the sudden absence of an adversary inevitably left the United States off balance.

After the Cold War

The post-Cold War period can be divided into three parts. A simultaneous optimism and uncertainty marked the first, which lasted from 1992 until 2001. On one hand, the fall of the Soviet Union promised a period in which economic development supplanted war. On the other, American institutions were born in battle, so to speak, so transforming them for a time of apparently extended peace was not easy. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton both pursued a policy built around economic growth, with periodic and not fully predictable military interventions in places such as Panama, Somalia, Haiti and Kosovo.

These interventions were not seen as critical to U.S. national security. In some cases, they were seen as solving a marginal problem, such as Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega's drug trafficking. Alternatively, they were explained as primarily humanitarian missions. Some have sought a pattern or logic to these varied interventions; in fact, they were as random as they appeared, driven more by domestic politics and alliance pressures than any clear national purpose. U.S. power was so overwhelming that these interventions cost relatively little and risked even less.

The period where indulgences could be tolerated ended on Sept. 11, 2001. At that point, the United States faced a situation congruent with its strategic culture. It had a real, if unconventional, enemy that posed a genuine threat to the homeland. The institutions built up during and after World War II could function again effectively. In an odd and tragic way, the United States was back in its comfort zone, fighting a war it saw as imposed on it.

The period from 2001 until about 2007 consisted of a series of wars in the Islamic world. Like all wars, they involved brilliant successes and abject failures. They can be judged one of two ways. First, if the wars were intended to prevent al Qaeda from ever attacking the United States again in the fashion of 9/11, they succeeded. Even if it is difficult to see how the war in Iraq meshes with this goal, all wars involve dubious operations; the measure of war is success. If, however, the purpose of these wars was to create a sphere of pro-U.S. regimes, stable and emulating American values, they clearly failed.

By 2007 and the surge in Iraq, U.S. foreign policy moved into its present phase. No longer was the primary goal to dominate the region. Rather, it was to withdraw from the region while attempting to sustain regimes able to defend themselves and not hostile to the United States. The withdrawal from Iraq did not achieve this goal; the withdrawal from Afghanistan probably will not either. Having withdrawn from Iraq, the United States will withdraw from Afghanistan regardless of the aftermath. The United States will not end its involvement in the region, and the primary goal of defeating al Qaeda will no longer be the centerpiece.

President Barack Obama continued the strategy his predecessor, George W. Bush, set in Iraq after 2007. While Obama increased forces beyond what Bush did in Afghanistan, he nevertheless accepted the concept of a surge -- the increase of forces designed to facilitate withdrawal. For Obama, the core strategic problem was not the wars but rather the problem of the 1990s -- namely, how to accommodate the United States and its institutions to a world without major enemies.

The Failure of Reset

The reset button Hillary Clinton gave to the Russians symbolized Obama's strategy. Obama wanted to reset U.S. foreign policy to the period before 9/11, a period when U.S. interventions, although frequent, were minor and could be justified as humanitarian. Economic issues dominated the period, and the primary issue was managing prosperity. It also was a period in which U.S.-European and U.S.-Chinese relations fell into alignment, and when U.S.-Russian relations were stable. Obama thus sought a return to a period when the international system was stable, pro-American and prosperous. While understandable from an American point of view, Russia, for example, considers the 1990s an unmitigated disaster to which it must never return.

The problem in this strategy was that it was impossible to reset the international system. The prosperity of the 1990s had turned into the difficulties of the post-2008 financial crisis. This obviously created preoccupations with managing the domestic economy, but as we saw in our first installment, the financial crisis redefined the way the rest of the world operated. The Europe, China and Russia of the 1990s no longer existed, and the Middle East had been transformed as well.

During the 1990s, it was possible to speak of Europe as a single entity with the expectation that European unity would intensify. That was no longer the case by 2010. The European financial crisis had torn apart the unity that had existed in the 1990s, putting European institutions under intense pressure along with trans-Atlantic institutions such as NATO. In many ways, the United States was irrelevant to the issues the European Union faced. The Europeans might have wanted money from the Americans, but they did not want 1990s-style leadership.

China had also changed. Unease about the state of its economy had replaced the self-confidence of the elite that had dominated during the 1990s in China. Its exports were under heavy pressure, and concerns about social stability had increased. China also had become increasingly repressive and hostile, at least rhetorically, in its foreign policy.

In the Middle East, there was little receptivity to Obama's public diplomacy. In practical terms, the expansion of Iranian power was substantial. Given Israeli fears over Iranian nuclear weapons, Obama found himself walking a fine line between possible conflict with Iran and allowing events to take their own course.

Limiting Intervention

This emerged as the foundation of U.S. foreign policy. Where previously the United States saw itself as having an imperative to try to manage events, Obama clearly saw that as a problem. As seen in this strategy, the United States has limited resources that have been overly strained during the wars. Rather than attempting to manage foreign events, Obama is shifting U.S. strategy toward limiting intervention and allowing events to proceed on their own.

Strategy in Europe clearly reflects this. Washington has avoided any attempt to lead the Europeans to a solution even though the United States has provided massive assistance via the Federal Reserve. This strategy is designed to stabilize rather than to manage. With the Russians, who clearly have reached a point of self-confidence, the failure of an attempt to reset relations resulted in a withdrawal of U.S. focus and attention in the Russian periphery and a willingness by Washington to stand by and allow the Russians to evolve as they will. Similarly, whatever the rhetoric of China and U.S. discussions of redeployment to deal with the Chinese threat, U.S. policy remains passive and accepting.

It is in Iran that we see this most clearly. Apart from nuclear weapons, Iran is becoming a major regional power with a substantial sphere of influence. Rather than attempt to block the Iranians directly, the United States has chosen to stand by and allow the game to play out, making it clear to the Israelis that it prefers diplomacy over military action, which in practical terms means allowing events to take their own course.

This is not necessarily a foolish policy. The entire notion of the balance of power is built on the assumption that regional challengers confront regional opponents who will counterbalance them. Balance-of-power theory assumes the leading power intervenes only when an imbalance occurs. Since no intervention is practical in China, Europe or Russia, a degree of passivity makes sense. In the case of Iran, where military action against its conventional forces is difficult and against its nuclear facilities risky, the same logic applies.

In this strategy, Obama has not returned to the 1990s. Rather, he is attempting to stake out new ground. It is not isolationism in its classic sense, as the United States is now the only global power. He appears to be engineering a new strategy, acknowledging that many outcomes in most of the world are acceptable to the United States and that no one outcome is inherently superior or possible to achieve. The U.S. interest lies in resuming its own prosperity; the arrangements the rest of the world makes are, within very broad limits, acceptable.

Put differently, unable to return U.S. foreign policy to the 1990s and unwilling and unable to continue the post-9/11 strategy, Obama is pursuing a policy of acquiescence. He is decreasing the use of military force and, having limited economic leverage, allowing the system to evolve on its own.

Implicit in this strategy is the existence of overwhelming military force, particularly naval power.

Europe is not manageable through military force, and it poses the most serious long-term threat. As Europe frays, Germany's interests may be better served in a relationship with Russia. Germany needs Russian energy, and Russia needs German technology. Neither is happy with American power, and together they may limit it. Indeed, an entente between Germany and Russia was a founding fear of U.S. foreign policy from World War I until the Cold War. This is the only combination that could conceivably threaten the United States. The American counter here is to support Poland, which physically divides the two, along with other key allies in Europe, and the United States is doing this with a high degree of caution.

China is highly vulnerable to naval force because of the configuration of its coastal waters, which provides choke points for access to its shores. The ultimate Chinese fear is an American blockade, which the weak Chinese navy would be unable to counter, but this is a distant fear. Still, it is the ultimate American advantage.

Russia's vulnerability lies in the ability of its former fellow members of the Soviet Union, which it is trying to organize into a Eurasian Union, to undermine its post-Soviet agenda. The United States has not interfered in this process significantly, but it has economic incentives and covert influence it could use to undermine or at least challenge Russia. Russia is aware of these capabilities and that the United States has not yet used them.

The same strategy is in place with Iran. Sanctions on Iran are unlikely to work, as they are too porous and China and Russia will not honor them. Still, the United States pursues them not for what they will achieve but for what they will avoid -- namely, direct action. The assumption underlying U.S. quiescence, rhetoric aside, is that regional forces, the Turks in particular, will be forced to deal with the Iranians themselves, and that patience will allow a balance of power to emerge.

The Risks of Inaction

U.S. strategy under Obama is classic in the sense that it allows the system to evolve as it will, thereby allowing the United States to reduce its efforts. On the other hand, U.S. military power is sufficient that should the situation evolve unsatisfactorily, intervention and reversal is still possible. Obama has to fight the foreign policy establishment, particularly the U.S. Defense Department and intelligence community, to resist older temptations. He is trying to rebuild the foreign policy architecture away from the World War II-Cold War model, and that takes time.

The weakness in Obama's strategy is that the situation in many regions could suddenly and unexpectedly move in undesirable directions. Unlike the Cold War system, which tended to react too soon to problems, it is not clear that the current system won't take too long to react. Strategies create psychological frameworks that in turn shape decisions, and Obama has created a situation wherein the United States may not react quickly enough if the passive approach were to collapse suddenly.

It is difficult to see the current strategy as a permanent model. Before balances of power are created, great powers must ensure that a balance is possible. In Europe, within China, against Russia and in the Persian Gulf, it is not clear what the balance consists of. It is not obvious that the regional balance will contain emerging powers. Therefore, this is not a classic balance-of-power strategy. Rather it is an ad hoc strategy imposed by the financial crisis and its impact on psychology and by war-weariness. These issues cannot be ignored, but they do not provide a stable foundation for a long-term policy, which will likely replace the one Obama is pursuing now.

The State of the World: Explaining U.S. Strategy COPYRIGHT STRATFOR.COM

After all these years I still like Ike

I've often got into debates with conservatives and liberals alike over the administration of Dwight D Eisenhower. I have great admiration of him as a general and as a President, even though some on my side of the aisle say "all he did was play golf".

Let's see.

1. Led the country through a post war boom. Granted America was in a position to dominate the world economically because the destruction of Europe and Asia after WWII, but he kept up going.

2. Ended the Korean War. Unlike the current occupant of the White House no one questioned the word of Ike. After visiting Korea he let the Chinese and North Koreans know he would use nuclear weapons to end the war and no one doubted he would. The result, a cease fire months into his administration.

3. What many people drive on daily, the Interstate Highway System was his dream. It's properly called The Eisenhower Interstate Highway System. A major named Eisenhower had to get a convoy across the US in 1939 and the lack of connected roadways cause this simple act to take two weeks. After seeing the Autobahns in Germany he envisioned a similar network for the US. And think how that transformed this nation's economy and society for the better.

4. Ike started the integration of the southern schools including federalizing the Arkansas National Guard in direct opposition of the Democratic governor there.

5. Kept the peace while a maniac was pounding his shoe at the UN. I would say this could be enough but damed, don't you remember fondly when America had the adults in the room.

That's off the top of my head. Oh, he did this while having two heart attacks and quitting a four pack a day smoking habit cold turkey. Hey Barrack, try that.

Now we can look at the statue being put up for the man. From this Sunday's New York Puke:

The concept monument
The Greatness of Ike


THIS year, two decisions will be made with long-term implications for how we think about the presidency. In November, voters will decide whether to give Barack Obama a second term in office. And sometime before then, the National Capital Planning Commission will decide whether to go forward with Frank Gehry’s plan for a Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial.

The Gehry design is, well, Gehry-esque: it reimagines the traditional monumental form, using huge metal screens to depict the landscape of Eisenhower’s Kansan childhood while devoting far less space to his accomplishments in World War II and the White House. (The only significant statue will portray Eisenhower as a barefoot boy, rather than a war leader or president.)

The design has been widely criticized — by the Eisenhower family, by architectural traditionalists and by right-of-center columnists like George Will and David Frum. Some of the critiques are purely aesthetic, but the most important ones are substantive: as planned, the critics argue, the memorial sells the supreme allied commander’s greatness short.

What’s interesting, though, is that by emphasizing Eisenhower’s ordinariness rather than his heroism, Gehry is arguably being conventional rather than radical. As conceived, his memorial would ratify Eisenhower’s current place in our national memory, not revise it.

Gehry’s vision, as The Washington Post’s Philip Kennicott writes, implies that while “Eisenhower was a great man ... there were other Eisenhowers right behind him, other men who could have done what he did.” Far from being a bold reimagining, this is a near-perfect summary of the way many Americans already regard their 34th president.

Sorry but Adlai Stevenson could not hold a hankie to Ike. Yes, there were many capable men out there qualified to hold the office. But at the time there was no one as seasoned, trained, experienced and knowledgable as Ike to lead the nation in the post war years.

...But he is not nearly as beloved as many of his midcentury contemporaries. He’s overshadowed as a war leader both by F.D.R. and by his many colorful subordinates, and his two-term presidency has attracted little of the posthumous enthusiasm that made his “give ’em hell” predecessor a folk hero and his martyred successor an icon.

In a 2011 Gallup poll on the greatest president, Eisenhower came in a lame 12th, in a tie with Jimmy Carter. He performs solidly in scholarly surveys, but he’s frequently ranked behind his prominent 20th-century rivals.

I don’t know the details on this poll but I wonder if these were the same morons who put Obama in the top ten. Ike definitely belongs there. Obama belongs at the other

...ultimately Eisenhower is underrated because his White House leadership didn’t fit the template of “greatness” that too many Americans pine for from their presidents. He was not a man for grand projects, bold crusades or world-historical gambles. There was no “Ike revolution” in American politics, no Eisen-mania among activists and intellectuals, no Eisenhower realignment.

Instead, his greatness was manifested in the crises he defused and the mistakes he did not make. He did not create unaffordable entitlement programs, embrace implausible economic theories, or hand on unsustainable deficits to his successors. He ended a stalemated conflict in Korea, kept America out of war in Southeast Asia, and avoided the kind of nuclear brinkmanship that his feckless successor stumbled into. He did not allow a series of Middle Eastern crises to draw American into an Iraq-style intervention. He did not risk his presidency with third-rate burglaries or sexual adventurism. He was decisive when necessary, but his successes — prosperity, peace, steady progress on civil rights — were just as often the fruit of strategic caution and masterly inaction....

Again an ability to act when needed, the judgement to not go when not needed and the wisdom to know the difference.

I visited the Eisenhower Center in 1986 and the impression you get (like the Truman Library and the Reagan Center) is how a simple man from America’s heartland can being himself up to the leadership of the greatest nation on earth.

RIP Ike...when you were needed you always were there for this country. Now hopefully your country builds a worthy monument to you.

Monday, February 27, 2012

An interesting look at the law....

I am not supportive of hate crime statues. If someone kills a black man or Hispanic woman while screaming epithets the crime is not his words but the act of violence. And it in blatenly unconstitutional to say if someone assaults a minority it's a hate crime with enhanced penalties but if the same assault occurs to a while man there is a lesser penalty.

Having said all this, I find this amusing.

Lawyer: Lesbians’ assault on gay man can’t be hate crime

Three women identified by their lawyers as lesbians were arraigned yesterday on a hate crime charge for allegedly beating a gay man at the Forest Hills T station in an unusual case that experts say exposes the law’s flawed logic.

“My guess is that no sane jury would convict them under those circumstances, but what this really demonstrates is the idiocy of the hate-crime legislation,” said civil liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate. “If you beat someone up, you’re guilty of assault and battery of a human being. Period. The idea of trying to break down human beings into categories is doomed to failure.”

Prosecutors and the ACLU of Massachusetts said no matter the defendants’ sexual orientation, they can still face the crime of assault and battery with intent to intimidate, which carries up to a 10-year prison sentence, by using hateful language.

“Someone who is Jewish can be anti-Semitic,” said ACLU staff attorney Sarah Wunsch. “The mere fact that someone is a member of the same class doesn’t mean they could not be motivated by hatred for their very own group.”

But Carolyn Euell, 38, mother of two of the defendants, Erika Stroud, 21, of Dorchester and Felicia Stroud, 18, West Roxbury, told reporters the alleged attack “can’t be hateful” because both her daughters are lesbians.

Prosecutor Lindsey Weinstein said the two sisters and one of their domestic partners, Lydia Sanford, also a defendant, viciously beat the man Sunday, repeatedly punching and kicking him after he bumped them with his backpack on a stairwell.

She said the victim, who suffered a broken nose, told cops he believed the attack was “motivated as a crime because of his sexual orientation” since the three women “called him insulting homophobic slurs.”

But attorney Helene Tomlinson, who represented Sanford, told the judge her client is “openly identified as a lesbian ... so any homophobic (conduct) is unwarranted.” She said the alleged victim was the aggressor and used racial slurs: “He provoked them.”

Felicia Stroud’s attorney, C. Harold Krasnow, said, “They don’t know what his sexual orientation is, just like he doesn’t know what theirs is.”

...But Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said prosecutors will have no problem proving the women committed a hate crime, even if they are lesbians.

“The defendants’ particular orientation or alleged orientations have no bearing on our ability to prosecute for allegedly targeting a person who they believe to be different from them,” he said.

Again how much more effort is being put into a case of assault here that should not be put in. These three ladies assaulted (allegedly) this man and if guilty they should pay. In the People's Republic of Massachusetts assault probably means probation. But again we are treating differently people in a different fashion in the eyes of the law. Then there is one simple question to ask. When is the last time a black, Hispanic or gay person been charged with a hate crime against a white? Would anyone believe there has not been a case when a minority suspect has assaulted a white person because of race?  If so, then why are we treating the punishment differently based just on the color of the skin of the criminal?

I think we've gotten a long way from a dream of judging people on the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

IMHO the Supreme Court got it seriously wrong in Wisconsin v. Mitchell. Hopefully after seeing the problems caused by this they will revisit the issue in the future.

Another sign of the decline of the family....

On patrol when I catch a juvenile for curfew violation or another issue where I only give them a ticket, I mail a copy of it addressed to "The Parents/Guardian" of Little Johnny. They can't fix it unless they know it's broke and the kid may forget to mention to Mom or Dad (aka Parental Units One and Two) that he was busted.

Now there is a lot wrong in this story. One is the kids are doing it, but let's be honest alcohol use is often a bit of growing up. A more serious issue is this guy is selling booze to kids and seems to not care. Hopefully DC handles him. But the reaction of some of the parents in this article is beyond the pale.

Here is the original story:

Here is the results:

TV Reporter Returns After Backlash from Teen Drinking Investigation

(from CBSDC.com) WASHINGTON - A CBS news reporter whose on-air coverage of teenage drinking led to threats against her children, a backlash across social media and her brief leave from reporting is now back at work and speaking out about the alcohol problem affecting Washington DC’s community.

Andrea McCarren, a reporter for WUSA-TV since 1991, investigated a report from a local parent that a store in northwest Washington DC was allegedly selling liquor to teenagers below the legal buying age.

“We watched and videotaped dozens of teenagers buying alcohol at Town Square Market in northwest Washington without being asked for identification,” reported McCarren in the story that was broadcast on Feb. 2.

Following the story, teens flooded the station’s Facebook page with angry messages such as “…you’re now the most hated woman in the dc (sic) metro area.” A follow-up report by McCarren about a police raid on an underage drinking party brought out further anger on social media against the reporter. In addition, parents of teens being arrested by police at the scene became upset with WUSA-TV’s coverage and questioned police as to why law enforcement was granting video access to the raid.

After her children were threatened at school, McCarren took herself off the air and reporter Derek McGinty continued the series of reports on the issue. McCarren said parents at the scene of the police raid also threatened to sue police and WUSA-TV.

In an interview Thursday on CBS This Morning, McCarren spoke about the backlash and its affect on her three children.

“At first I was frightened and then I became angry,” said McCarren. “It felt like an orchestrated Facebook and Twitter campaign of hate. People put my home address on the internet. There were calls for revenge and retaliation against my family. I’m now in about my 27th year as a reporter and I have never seen anything like this.”

WUSA-TV said 99 percent of the feedback they had received from the public had been positive about their investigation, and supportive comments on the station’s Facebook page have been growing.

“Shame on the parents for being angry because their child was caught drinking under age,” posted one user. “One parent actually said, why didn’t you run. We ask why this generation has less morals and respect.”
Couldn't have put it better. Another sign of the decline of the family. Years ago the parents would be the ones going to the cops demanding this place be shut down. Now they are mad their kid got caught. Then again the parents were't raised so why do we think they can handle raising children.

I really love the moron parents saying they will sue the cops and the TV station. If anyone you should be suing guys it's the liquor store owner for selling to your kids. We all know how stupid kids are without booze. And I'm not gonna say they will not get it. Given enough motivation they will get it (take it from their families, get an older friend/relative to buy for them, find another easy store). But this is a criminal act that can led to extremely serious criminal acts. I wonder is that piece of s%^& store owner will feel any regret if he sells vodka to a kid on a Friday night and later on the kid kills someone in an accident? Gee parents, will you be upset about your kid not running them?

BTY you can't sue. It was in a public place and they didn't show the kids face. Good luck with that you money grubbing waste. I don't know what is more pathetic, the fact you would think of trying to make money one you child doing this or the face you are responsible for this kid's upbringing.

Ms McCarren, I'm to say the least a critic of the media, more national than local. Local does actually do some good work in exposing issues like this. And I for one am glad you did it. Thank you. If you saved one kid from getting injured or killed in a DWI accident you did a hell of a lot more for the people of DC than John King ever did.

Please, keep up the good work.

Thanks again to Darren at RotLC for the link.

Almost as bad as a Lieutenant with a map and compass

Hope you have a great week!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

There is a house in Charming, they call The Rising Son...

And it’s been the ruin of many a poor girl, and me, I know, I’m one.

It’s Beth, Elmer and I in the bedroom tonight. Plus 12 other girls in the house. Katie turned 17 and she has all her friends oven. I got to BBQ some burgers and after they retired, Beth, Elmer and I watched the final three episodes of Sons of Anarchy.

I first heard of the series from of all things The American Spectator and an article comparing it to the life in The Godfather. In his time people who take their request of justice to others outside the civil authorities. At the beginning of The Godfather an undertaker takes his quest to Don Corleone. In SOA they go to SAMCRO.

After spending months using DVDs I finally got the forth season on download from Amazon. For those of you who don’t know the protagonist is Jax Teller, the VP of the club (and it’s a club, not a gang ;<) ). Jax is the step son of his chief antagonist Clay Morrow, the club (and don’t call it a gang) President. Over the last few seasons things have boiled over and now Jax has become the president. I won’t spoil the show completely but this is an awesome series. Not family entertainment but there is great characters, great stories and classic nobility in evil people. Jax, Clay and the other members of the club are not people you want as your neighbors but you would want them when the chips were down.  There is honor among the thieves.

An awesome finish to season four but that leaves one bad thing. Now we got to wait till September for the next season. Damned.

Meet friends for breakfast tomorrow, other friends for lunch. Hope you’re have a great weekend.

Friday, February 24, 2012

That's my Daddy holding a gun and he uses it to chase burglars and monsters away

I don't know who needs his ass kicked more. The principle who started this crap or the cops who need to get their head out of the asses.

I thought such stupidity was only from loony bins like California!

Police arrested a Kitchener, Ont., father outside his daughter's school because the four-year-old

Police arrested a Kitchener, Ont., father outside his daughter's school because the four-year-old drew a picture of him holding a gun.

Jessie Sansone told the Record newspaper that he was in shock when he was arrested Wednesday and taken to a police station for questioning over the drawing. He was also strip-searched.

"This is completely insane. My daughter drew a gun on a piece of paper at school," he said.

Officials told the newspaper the move was necessary to ensure there were no guns accessible by children in the family's home. They also said comments by Sansone's daughter, Neaveh, that the man holding the gun in the picture was her dad and "he uses it to shoot bad guys and monsters," was concerning.

Police also searched Sansone's home while he was in custody. His wife and three children were taken to the police station, and the children were interviewed by Family and Children's Services...

...Several hours later, Sansone was released without charges.
To say a bureaucracy has gotten out of control is not strong enough. How many cops, school bureaucrats and CPS workers flew off the handle for this? I thank God I don’t have to worry about this yet in Texas. And it’s another good reason for not living anywhere near New York, California or DC.

Hopefully this doesn’t trickle down to the states.

Thanks Darren at RotLC for the story.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Officer Down

Trooper Tony Radulescu
Washington State Patrol
End of Watch: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Age: 44
Tour: 16 years

Trooper Tony Radulescu was shot and killed while making a traffic stop on State Route 16 at Anderson Hill Road, in Gorst, shortly before 1:00 am.

He had radioed in his location and the pickup truck's license plate and description to dispatchers. When dispatchers were unable to contact him for several minutes a Kitsap County sheriff's deputy was sent to check on his status and discovered him laying wounded outside of his patrol car. He was transported to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma where he succumbed to his wounds a short time later.

The vehicle that Trooper Radulescu had stopped was found abandoned on a country road approximately three hours later. A SWAT team deployed to the registered owner's home and as they approached it the suspect committed suicide.

Trooper Radulescu was a military veteran and had served with the Washington State Patrol for 16 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. 

First John Conyers....

John Conyers is one of the worse members of the Congress and as dirty as the day is long. Anyone who thinks he should vote yes on a multi-trillion dollar take over of over a sixth of our economy without reading the bill.
During his speech at a National Press Club luncheon, House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), questioned the point of lawmakers reading the health care bill.

“I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill,’” said Conyers.

“What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”

But for some reason he is continually reelected. Just like Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee and Charlie Rangle they will die in office. Even if found in bed with a live or dead child they will win again.

But here is another example of what Mr Conyers is and what he thinks about his voters.

Blight causes woman's insurance to jump to $7,000

DETROIT (WJBK) - Remember when we told you about the blighted property Congressman John Conyers owns on Detroit's east side?

You know the one. The fallin' down, peelin' back, pile o'dump that looked like it was reverting back to nature?

It's winter time now, and all those wild greens have died and fallen to the ground. It might look better to some, but not to the neighbor next door who's now being forced to shell out her own green.

According to her, er yearly homeowners insurance jumped from $1,700 - to $7,000!

What in the world could have caused that?

"They raised it because of the abandoned house next door. They said my house is now being rated up because of the risk of the house next door catching on fire," she said.

Yup. The same house. Seven thousand dollars insurance for a house in the hood? These homes aren't worth that much!

So let's catch up. The home was originally owned by the Congressman's mother. She signed it over to him, then he signed it over to his wife Monica - who currently resides in a federal prison for bribery.

We have to pay for her legal bill, remember?...

Then again it's like he really lives in Detroit. He lives in Washington and keeps his residence for voting purposes in Detroit. But the people there are stupid enough to vote him in again and again and again. If his damage only afflicted his voters I would have no real issue. But he is inflicting pain on me and mine.

But the stupidity of Detroit is not limited to it's federal representation.

Toy Guns Becoming A Criminal Offense?

DETROIT (WWJ) – State lawmakers are currently reviewing legislation that targets the use of certain toy guns. A planned proposal before the Senate would make it a crime to possess a toy gun that has its required markings removed or by having a real gun that is made up to look like a toy.

State Senate Republican Rick Jones said that this has become a major problem, especially within the gang community. “People are taking imitation firearms that look real, cutting off the orange end and then threatening people,” he said.

Supporters of the proposed legislation have also cited a recent case where a police officer was forced to shoot a gang member who was aiming a toy gun without its required markings. Jones believes this proposal will be vital in preventing incidents such as this from occurring in the future.

“This is an important package to control this problem,” Jones said.

If the legislation is passed, people who possess these toy guns and use it to commit a felony, would be punishable for up to 18 months behind bars and be subject to fines.

Normally such stupidity is pushed by leftists but again Republicans have our idiots. John McCain anyone?

Mr Jones I really doubt the world is worse off for the death of the gang member. And I am more happy the cop went home. So get your focus right. The problem is not the plastic gun. It's the moron with it aiming it at a cop.

Damned Detroit, once such a great city and now you have this.

Security Weekly: The Myth of the End of Terrorism, February 23, 2012

By Scott Stewart

In this week's Geopolitical Weekly, George Friedman discussed the geopolitical cycles that change with each generation. Frequently, especially in recent years, those geopolitical cycles have intersected with changes in the way the tactic of terrorism is employed and in the actors employing it.

The Arab terrorism that began in the 1960s resulted from the Cold War and the Soviet decision to fund, train and otherwise encourage groups in the Middle East. The Soviet Union and its Middle Eastern proxies also sponsored Marxist terrorist groups in Europe and Latin America. They even backed the Japanese Red Army terrorist group. Places like South Yemen and Libya became havens where Marxist militants of many different nationalities gathered to learn terrorist tradecraft, often instructed by personnel from the Soviet KGB or the East German Stasi and from other militants.

The Cold War also spawned al Qaeda and the broader global jihadist movement as militants flocking to fight the Soviet troops who had invaded Afghanistan were trained in camps in northern Pakistan by instructors from the CIA's Office of Technical Services and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate. Emboldened by the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, and claiming credit for the subsequent Soviet collapse, these militants decided to expand their efforts to other parts of the world.

The connection between state-sponsored terrorism and the Cold War ran so deep that when the Cold War ended with the Soviet Union's collapse, many declared that terrorism had ended as well. I witnessed this phenomenon while serving in the Counterterrorism Investigations Division of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) in the early 1990s. While I was in New York working as part of the interagency team investigating the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a newly appointed assistant secretary of state abolished my office, declaring that the DSS did not need a Counterterrorism Investigations Division since terrorism was over.

Though terrorism obviously did not end when the Berlin Wall fell, the rosy sentiments to the contrary held by some at the State Department and elsewhere took away the impetus to mitigate the growing jihadist threat or to protect diplomatic facilities from it. The final report of the Crowe Commission, which was established to review the twin August 1998 bombing attacks against the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, explicitly noted this neglect of counterterrorism and security programs, as did the 9/11 Commission report.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks triggered a shift in international geopolitics by leading the United States to concentrate the full weight of its national resources on al Qaeda and its supporters. Ironically, by the time the U.S. government was able to shift its massive bureaucracy to meet the new challenge, creating huge new organizations like the Department of Homeland Security, the efforts of the existing U.S. counterterrorism apparatus had already badly crippled the core al Qaeda group. Though some of these new organizations played important roles in helping the United States cope with the fallout of its decision to invade Iraq after Afghanistan, Washington spent billions of dollars to create organizations and fund programs that in hindsight were arguably not really necessary because the threats they were designed to counter, such as al Qaeda's nuclear briefcase bombs, did not actually exist. As George Friedman noted in the Geopolitical Weekly, the sole global superpower was badly off-balance, which caused an imbalance in the entire global system.

With the continued diminution of the jihadist threat, underscored by the May 2011 death of Osama bin Laden and the fall in Libya of the Gadhafi regime (which had long employed terrorism), once again we appear on the brink of a cyclical change in the terrorism paradigm. These events could again lead some to pronounce the death of terrorism.

Several developments last week served to demonstrate that while the perpetrators and tactics of terrorism (what Stratfor calls the "who" and the "how") may change in response to larger geopolitical cycles, such shifts will not signal the end of terrorism itself.

The Nature of Terrorism

There are many conflicting definitions of terrorism, but for our purposes we will loosely define it as politically motivated violence against noncombatants. Many terrorist acts have a religious element to them, but that element is normally related to a larger, political goal: Both a militant anti-abortion activist seeking to end legalized abortion and a jihadist seeking to end the U.S. military presence in Iraq may act according to religious principles, but they ultimately are pursuing a political objective.

Terrorism is a tactic, one employed by a wide array of actors. There is no single creed, ethnicity, political persuasion or nationality with a monopoly on terrorism. Individuals and groups of individuals from almost every conceivable background -- from late Victorian-era anarchists to Klansmen to North Korean intelligence officers -- have conducted terrorist attacks. Because of the impreciseness of the term, Stratfor normally does not refer to individuals as terrorists. In addition to being a poor descriptor, "terrorist" tends to be a politically loaded term.

Traditionally, terrorism has been a tactic of the weak, i.e., those who lack the power to impose their political will through ordinary political or military means. As Carl von Clausewitz noted, war is the continuation of politics by other means; terrorism is a type of warfare, making it also politics by other means. Because it is a tactic used by the weak, terrorism generally focuses on soft, civilian targets rather than more difficult-to-attack military targets.

The type of weapon used does not define terrorism. For example, using a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device against an International Security Assistance Force firebase in Afghanistan would be considered an act of irregular warfare, but using it in an attack on a hotel in Kabul would be considered an act of terrorism. This means that militant actors can employ conventional warfare tactics, unconventional warfare tactics and terrorism during the same campaign depending on the situation.

Terrorist attacks are relatively easy to conduct if they are directed against soft targets and if the assailant is not concerned with escaping after the attack, as was the case in the Mumbai attacks in 2008. While authorities in many countries have been quite successful in foiling attacks over the past couple of years, governments simply do not have the resources to guard everything. When even police states cannot protect everything, some terrorist attacks invariably will succeed in the open societies of the West.

Terrorist attacks tend to be theatrical, exerting a strange hold over the human imagination. They often create a unique sense of terror dwarfing reactions to natural disasters many times greater in magnitude. For example, more than 227,000 people died in the 2004 Asian tsunami versus fewer than 3,000 on 9/11, yet the 9/11 attacks produced a worldwide sense of terror and a geopolitical reaction that has had a profound and unparalleled impact on world events over the past decade. 

Cycles and Shifts

A number of events last week illustrate the changes happening in the terrorism realm and demonstrate that, while terrorism may change, it is not going to end.

On Feb. 17, the FBI arrested a Moroccan man near the U.S. Capitol in Washington who allegedly sought to conduct a suicide attack on the building. The suspect, Amine el Khalifi, is a clear example of the shift in the jihadist threat from one based on the al Qaeda core group to one primarily deriving from grassroots jihadists. As Stratfor has noted for several years, while these grassroots jihadists pose a more diffuse threat because they are harder for national intelligence and law enforcement agencies to focus on than hierarchical groups, the threat they pose is less severe because they generally lack the terrorist tradecraft required to conduct a large-scale attack. Because they lack such tradecraft, these grassroots militants tend to seek assistance to conduct their plots. This assistance usually involves acquiring explosives or firearms, as in the el Khalifi case, where an FBI informant posing as a jihadist leader provided the suspect with an inert suicide vest and a submachine gun prior to the suspect's arrest.

While many in the media tend to ridicule individuals like el Khalifi as inept, it is important to remember that had he succeeded in finding a real jihadist facilitator rather than a federal informant, he could have killed many people in an attack. Richard Reid, who many people refer to as the "Kramer of al Qaeda" after the bumbling character from the television show Seinfeld, came very close to taking down a jumbo jet full of people over the Atlantic because he had been equipped and dispatched by others.

Still, the fact remains that the jihadist threat now predominantly stems from unequipped grassroots wannabes rather than teams of highly trained operatives sent to the United States from overseas, like the team that executed the 9/11 attacks. This demonstrates how the jihadist threat has diminished in recent years, a trend we expect to continue. This will allow Washington to increasingly focus attention on things other than jihadism, such as the fragmentation of Europe, the transformation of global economic production and Iran's growing regional power. It will mark the beginning of a new geopolitical cycle.

Last week also brought us a series of events highlighting how terrorism may manifest itself in the new cycle. On Feb. 13, Israeli diplomatic vehicles in New Delhi, India, and Tbilisi, Georgia, were targeted with explosive devices. In Tbilisi, a grenade hidden under a diplomatic vehicle was discovered before it could detonate. In New Delhi, a sticky bomb placed on the back of a diplomatic vehicle wounded the wife of the Israeli defense attache as she headed to pick up her children from school.

On Feb. 14, an Iranian man was arrested after being wounded in an explosion at a rented house in Bangkok. The blast reportedly occurred as a group was preparing improvised explosive devices for use against Israeli targets in Bangkok. Two other Iranians were later arrested (one in Malaysia), and Thai authorities are seeking three more Iranian citizens, two of whom have reportedly returned to Iran, alleged to have assisted in the plot. 

While these recent Iranian plots failed, they nonetheless highlight how the Iranians are using terrorism as a tactic in retaliation for attacks Israel and Israeli surrogates have conducted against individuals associated with Iran's nuclear program.

It is also important to bear in mind as this new geopolitical cycle begins that terrorism does not just emanate from foreign governments, major subnational actors or even transnational radical ideologies like jihadism. As we saw in the July 2011 attacks in Norway conducted by Anders Breivik and in older cases involving suspects like Eric Rudolph, Timothy McVeigh and Theodore Kaczynski in the United States, native-born individuals who have a variety of grievances with the government or society can carry out terrorist attacks. Such grievances will certainly persist.

Geopolitical cycles will change, and these changes may cause a shift in who employs terrorism and how it is employed. But as a tactic, terrorism will continue no matter what the next geopolitical cycle brings.

The Myth of the End of Terrorism COPYRIGHT STRATFOR.COM

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Hampshire used to be a beacon of common sense in the north east.

Then we hear about crap like this.
Man said he fired to stop burglar, now faces felony charges

FARMINGTON — A 61-year-old man is facing felony charges after he said he fired a shot into the ground to apprehend a burglar Saturday afternoon.

After discovering someone had rummaged through the drawers and taken items from his home on Ten Rod Road, Dennis Fleming said he grabbed a .38 caliber handgun from a shelf, went outside and spotted a man with a backpack walking down the road.

“It's a violation. I was pissed,” Fleming said, adding he realized he should have called police, but wasn't sure officers would arrive in time.

The sound of a crash at a neighbor's home — just over 1,000 feet away — drew Fleming's attention; he spotted the same man he'd seen on the road coming out of his neighbor's window.

Fleming said he wasn't sure he could stop the man, so he fired his pistol once into the ground — far off to the side — to detain the man, later identified as Joseph Hebert, 27, of 70 Bunker St.

“I just wanted him to take me serious,” Fleming said. “He did.”

Fleming said he unloaded the pistol and put it on a nearby rock after a couple of his neighbors arrived to restrain Hebert, who police said had broken his heel jumping out of Fleming's second-floor window.

Bastard will probably sue the owner...
After searching the backpack, Fleming said he found two pocket watches, some decorative pins, a handful of rubber bands, some rubber gloves and some tape that Hebert had taken from his house.

...Police Chief Scott Roberge said officers had contacted the Strafford County Attorney's Office, which recommended Fleming be charged with reckless conduct, a class B felony, for discharging his weapon.

“My understanding is that he (Fleming) fired a warning shot,” Roberge said.

Strafford County Attorney Thomas Velardi could not be reached for comment.

Fleming said he takes responsibility for his actions, which could result in 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison if he is convicted.

“I'm hoping it won't come to that, but I've got broad shoulders, so I'll deal with it,” Fleming said, adding he has 14 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

“Even knowing what I face, I would do it again,” Fleming said.

Fleming said he's surprised at the reaction of his neighbors, many of who have shaken his hand and thanked him.

“This is something that has struck a chord — nationwide,” Fleming said, noting he's received a tremendous amount of support from around the area and has been contacted by people as far away as the Midwest and Utah.

Herbert, who remains at Strafford County Jail, entered no plea to the three felony charges — two counts of burglary and possession of Vicodin — during his video arraignment in Rochester District Court Tuesday.

He admitted to being an addict and asked to be released so he could get the help he needs. Herbert, who appeared on crutches, also asked to be confined at his home, arguing he is not a flight risk, as he broke his heel.

“I've been very cooperative to this point,” Herbert said, adding he'd showed police several homes he allegedly stole from in town.

The prosecution argued against releasing Herbert, noting he was convicted of possession of controlled drugs, criminal threatening, robbery, criminal mischief and for violating probation in New Hampshire between 2004 and 2006. He added Herbert also was twice charged with breaking and entering in Massachusetts in 2010 and 2011....

...Fleming, who was released on personal recognizance, is scheduled to be arraigned in Rochester District Court March 20.
Hopefully the grand jury will look at the DA and say "You're kidding...you want me to indict this man for protecting his friend's house...not here pal.." If Mr Flaming has a legal defense fund I will post it and donate to it.

Is there any question why Iran wants nukes...

From the widow of an assassinated nuke scientist.
Wife of Assassinated Scientist: Annihilation of Israel "Mostafa's Ultimate Goal"

TEHRAN (FNA)- The wife of Martyr Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan Behdast, who was assassinated by Mossad agents in Tehran in January, reiterated on Tuesday that her husband sought the annihilation of the Zionist regime wholeheartedly.

"Mostafa's ultimate goal was the annihilation of Israel," Fatemeh Bolouri Kashani told FNA on Tuesday.

Bolouri Kashani also underlined that her spouse loved any resistance figure in his life who was willing to fight the Zionist regime and supported the rights of the oppressed Palestinian nation.

Iran's 32-year-old Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan Behdast, a chemistry professor and a deputy director of commerce at Natanz uranium enrichment facility, was assassinated during the morning rush-hour in the capital early January. His driver was also killed in the terrorist attack.

Roshan was killed on the second anniversary of the martyrdom of Iranian university professor and nuclear scientist, Massoud Ali Mohammadi, who was also assassinated in a terrorist bomb attack in Tehran in January 2010.

The method used for Roshan's assassination was similar to the 2010 terrorist bomb attacks against the then university professor, Fereidoun Abbassi Davani - who is now the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization - and his colleague Majid Shahriari. Abbasi Davani survived the attack, while Shahriari was martyred.

Another Iranian scientist, Dariush Rezaeinejad, was also assassinated through the same method on 23 July 2011...

Granted an Iranian news agency is not exactly an objective news source but it's not a rag like the NY Times. Now it's open that they are building a nuclear capability for one purpose, to destroy Israel. A couple of weeks ago an Israeli official said (paraphrasing) "President Obama should stop warning Israel about attacking Iran and start warning Iran abut threatening Idrael"

At least the Israeli's don't take this moron seriously.
Israel dismisses warnings from US about attacking Iran

Israel’s foreign minister on Wednesday said it's not the business of the United States whether his country decides to attack Iran.

Foreign Minister Avigor Lieberman said that warnings from the United States and Russia about an attack would not affect Israel’s decision-making. 

“[It] is not their business,” Lieberman said in an interview with an Israeli TV station Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.
“The security of the citizens of Israel, the future of the state of Israel, this is the Israeli government’s responsibility,” he said...

I hate to say it Mr Lieberman but Israel cannot rely on America's government right now. Hopefully after January you can.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Security Weekly: The State of the World: A Framework, February 21, 2012

Editor's Note: This is the first installment of a new series on the national strategies of today's global power and other regional powers. This installment establishes a framework for understanding the current state of the world.

By George Friedman

The evolution of geopolitics is cyclical. Powers rise, fall and shift. Changes occur in every generation in an unending ballet. However, the period between 1989 and 1991 was unique in that a long cycle of human history spanning hundreds of years ended, and with it a shorter cycle also came to a close. The world is still reverberating from the events of that period.

On Dec. 25, 1991, an epoch ended. On that day the Soviet Union collapsed, and for the first time in almost 500 years no European power was a global power, meaning no European state integrated economic, military and political power on a global scale. What began in 1492 with Europe smashing its way into the world and creating a global imperial system had ended. For five centuries, one European power or another had dominated the world, whether Portugal, Spain, France, England or the Soviet Union. Even the lesser European powers at the time had some degree of global influence.

After 1991 the only global power left was the United States, which produced about 25 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP) each year and dominated the oceans. Never before had the United States been the dominant global power. Prior to World War II, American power had been growing from its place at the margins of the international system, but it was emerging on a multipolar stage. After World War II, it found itself in a bipolar world, facing off with the Soviet Union in a struggle in which American victory was hardly a foregone conclusion.

The United States has been the unchallenged global power for 20 years, but its ascendancy has left it off-balance for most of this time, and imbalance has been the fundamental characteristic of the global system in the past generation. Unprepared institutionally or psychologically for its position, the United States has swung from an excessive optimism in the 1990s that held that significant conflict was at an end to the wars against militant Islam after 9/11, wars that the United States could not avoid but also could not integrate into a multilayered global strategy. When the only global power becomes obsessed with a single region, the entire world is unbalanced. Imbalance remains the defining characteristic of the global system today.

While the collapse of the Soviet Union ended the European epoch, it also was the end of the era that began in 1945, and it was accompanied by a cluster of events that tend to accompany generational shifts. The 1989-1991 period marked the end of the Japanese economic miracle, the first time the world had marveled at an Asian power's sustained growth rate as the same power's financial system crumbled. The end of the Japanese miracle and the economic problem of integrating East and West Germany both changed the way the global economy worked. The 1991 Maastricht Treaty set the stage for Europe's attempt at integration and was the framework for Europe in the post-Cold War world. Tiananmen Square set the course for China in the next 20 years and was the Chinese answer to a collapsing Soviet empire. It created a structure that allowed for economic development but assured the dominance of the Communist Party. Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait was designed to change the balance of power in the Persian Gulf after the Iraq-Iran war and tested the United States' willingness to go to war after the Cold War.

In 1989-1991 the world changed the way it worked, whether measured in centuries or generations. It was an extraordinary period whose significance is only now emerging. It locked into place a long-term changing of the guard, where North America replaced Europe as the center of the international system. But generations come and go, and we are now in the middle of the first generational shift since the collapse of the European powers, a shift that began in 2008 but is only now working itself out in detail.

What happened in 2008 was one of the financial panics that the global capitalist system periodically suffers. As is frequently the case, these panics first generate political crises within nations, followed by changes in the relations among nations. Of these changes, three in particular are of importance, two of which are directly linked to the 2008 crisis. The first is the European financial crisis and its transformation into a political crisis. The second is the Chinese export crisis and its consequences. The third, indirectly linked to 2008, is the shift in the balance of power in the Middle East in favor of Iran.

The European Crisis

The European crisis represents the single most significant event that followed from the financial collapse of 2008. The vision of the European Union was that an institution that would bind France and Germany together would make the wars that had raged in Europe since 1871 impossible. The vision also assumed that economic integration would both join France and Germany together and create the foundations of a prosperous Europe. Within the context of Maastricht as it evolved, the European vision assumed that the European Union would become a way to democratize and integrate the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe into a single framework.

However, embedded in the idea of the European Union was the idea that Europe could at some point transcend nationalism and emerge as a United States of Europe, a single political federation with a constitution and a unified foreign and domestic policy. It would move from a free trade zone to a unified economic system to a single currency and then to further political integration built around the European Parliament, allowing Europe to emerge as a single country.

Long before this happened, of course, people began to speak of Europe as if it were a single entity. Regardless of the modesty of formal proposals, there was a powerful vision of an integrated European polity. There were two foundations for it. One was the apparent economic and social benefits of a united Europe. The other was that this was the only way that Europe could make its influence felt in the international system. Individually, the European states were not global players, but collectively they had the ability to become just that. In the post-Cold War world, where the United States was the sole and unfettered global power, this was an attractive opportunity.

The European vision was smashed in the aftermath of 2008, when the fundamental instability of the European experiment revealed itself. That vision was built around Germany, the world's second-largest exporter, but Europe's periphery remained too weak to weather the crisis. It was not so much this particular crisis; Europe was not built to withstand any financial crisis. Sooner or later one would come and the unity of Europe would be severely strained as each nation, driven by different economic and social realities, maneuvered in its own interest rather than in the interest of Europe.

There is no question that the Europe of 2012 operates in a very different way than it did in 2007. There is an expectation in some parts that Europe will, in due course, return to its old post-Cold War state, but that is unlikely. The underlying contradictions of the European enterprise are now revealed, and while some European entity will likely survive, it probably will not resemble the Europe envisioned by Maastricht, let alone the grander visions of a United States of Europe. Thus, the only potential counterweight to the United States will not emerge in this generation.

China and the Asian Model

China was similarly struck by the 2008 crisis. Apart from the inevitably cyclical nature of all economies, the Asian model, as seen in Japan and then in 1997 in East and Southeast Asia, provides for prolonged growth followed by profound financial dislocation. Indeed, growth rates do not indicate economic health. Just as it was for Europe, the 2008 financial crisis was the trigger for China.

China's core problem is that more than a billion people live in households earning less than $6 a day, and the majority of those earn less than $3 a day. Social tensions aside, the economic consequence is that China's large industrial plant outstrips Chinese consumer demand. As a result, China must export. However, the recessions after 2008 cut heavily into China's exports, severely affecting GDP growth and threatening the stability of the political system. China confronted the problem with a massive surge in bank lending, driving new investment and supporting GDP growth but also fueling rampant inflation. Inflation created upward pressure on labor costs until China began to lose its main competitive advantage over other countries.

For a generation, Chinese growth has been the engine of the global economic system, just as Japan was in the previous generation. China is not collapsing any more than Japan did. However, it is changing its behavior, and with it the behavior of the international system.

Looking Ahead

If we look at the international system as having three major economic engines, two of them -- Europe and China -- are changing their behavior to be less assertive and less influential in the international system. The events of 2008 did not create these changes; they merely triggered processes that revealed the underlying weaknesses of these two entities.

Somewhat outside the main processes of the international system, the Middle East is undergoing a fundamental shift in its balance of power. The driver in this is not the crisis of 2008 but the consequences of the U.S. was in the region and their termination. With the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, Iran has emerged as the major conventional power in the Persian Gulf and the major influence over Iraq. In addition, with the continued survival of the al Assad regime in Syria through the support of Iran, there is the potential for Iranian influence to stretch from western Afghanistan to the Mediterranean Sea. Even if the al Assad regime fell, Iran would still be well-positioned to assert its claims for primacy in the Persian Gulf.

Just as the processes unleashed in 1989-1991 defined the next 20 years, so, too, will the processes that are being generated now dominate the next generation. Still powerful but acutely off-balance in its domestic and foreign policies, the United States is confronting a changing world without yet having a clear understanding of how to deal with this world or, for that matter, how the shifts in the global system will affect it. For the United States strategically, the fragmentation of Europe, the transformation of global production in the wake of the Chinese economy's climax, and the dramatically increased power of Iran appear as abstract events not directly affecting the United States.

Each of these events will create dangers and opportunities for the United States that it is unprepared to manage. The fragmentation of Europe raises the question of the future of Germany and its relationship with Russia. The movement of production to low-wage countries will create booms in countries hitherto regarded as beyond help (as China was in 1980) and potential zones of instability created by rapid and uneven growth. And, of course, the idea that the Iranian issue can be managed through sanctions is a form of denial rather than a strategy.

Three major areas of the world are in flux: Europe, China and the Persian Gulf. Every country in the world will have to devise a strategy to deal with the new reality, just as 1989-1991 required new strategies. The most important country, the United States, had no strategy after 1991 and has no strategy today. This is the single most important reality of the world. Like the Spaniards, who, in the generation after Columbus' voyage, lacked a clear sense of the reality they had created, Americans have no clear sense of the world they find themselves in. This fact continues to define how the world works.

Therefore, we next turn to American strategy in the next 20 years and consider how it will reshape itself.

The State of the World: A Framework Copyright: STRATFOR.COM

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sums it up well....

For those of us who have memories (not fond) of the Carter years, enduring the current regime is déjà vu all over again.

Thanks Chris W for the link!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Captain we're taking fire from below!

A few weeks ago I posted on how the NY Police Department was going to use drones to observe activity in the city. Now it looks like someone didn't appreciate being observed. Have to say it couldn't have happened to a nice group of people.
Animal rights group says drone shot down
A remote-controlled aircraft owned by an animal rights group was reportedly shot down near Broxton Bridge Plantation Sunday near Ehrhardt, S.C.
Steve Hindi, president of SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness), said his group was preparing to launch its Mikrokopter drone to video what he called a live pigeon shoot on Sunday when law enforcement officers and an attorney claiming to represent the privately-owned plantation near Ehrhardt tried to stop the aircraft from flying.

"It didn't work; what SHARK was doing was perfectly legal," Hindi said in a news release. "Once they knew nothing was going to stop us, the shooting stopped and the cars lined up to leave."

He said the animal rights group decided to send the drone up anyway.

"Seconds after it hit the air, numerous shots rang out," Hindi said in the release. "As an act of revenge for us shutting down the pigeon slaughter, they had shot down our copter."

He claimed the shooters were "in tree cover" and "fled the scene on small motorized vehicles."

"It is important to note how dangerous this was, as they were shooting toward and into a well-travelled highway," Hindi stated in the release...

...The incident report went on to state that "once shot, the helicopter lost lift and crash landed on the roadway of U.S. 601."...

...Hindi estimated damage to the drone at around $200 to $300...

..."This was SHARK's first encounter with the Broxton Bridge Plantation, but it will certainly not be the last," Hindi said in the release. "We are already making plans for a considerably upscaled action in 2013."

Sorry pal you fly over my property like that and get hit, oh well. This group was engaging in a legal activity (dove hunting is still legal in SC last time I checked) so I for one will gladly send a few bird shot shells to this group.

Officer Down

Sergeant Michael Todd May
Monongalia County West Virginia Sheriff's Department
End of Watch: Saturday, February 18, 2012
Age: 41
Tour: 10 years

Sergeant Michael May was killed while pursuing a vehicle across the West Virginia - Pennsylvania state line.

The vehicle had been involved in a hit-and-run accident shortly before 1:00 am. Approximately 20 minutes later, officers from the Granville Police Department stopped the vehicle and called for assistance from the Monongalia County Sheriff's Department. The driver refused to exit the vehicle and then drove away with officers in pursuit.

The pursuit crossed into Pennsylvania and the driver got onto I-79 southbound back towards West Virginia. Approximately one mile north of the state line the driver rammed Sergeant May's patrol car, causing it to crash. Sergeant May was transported to a hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia, where he died a short time later.

The driver of the vehicle was charged with homicide by vehicle in Pennsylvania.

Sergeant May had served with the Monongalia County Sheriff's Department for 10 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.

Ebony and Ivory....

There is no black or white...only green. From The Smoking Gun:

In another instance of harmony in post-racial America, a white Aryan Nations member joined forces with a black gang member to distribute methamphetamine in Missouri, according to federal investigators.

The partnership between white supremacist Richard Treis, 38, and Robert “Biz” Swinney, 22, was torn asunder by an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration probe that resulted in this month’s indictment of Treis, Swinney, and five codefendants on a variety of drug distribution and conspiracy charges.

According to investigators, Swinney allegedly marshaled a network of friends, relatives, and fellow gang members in St. Louis to purchase decongestants containing pseudoephedrine from various stores. Swinney then allegedly sold the pseudoephedrine to Treis, who cooked it down into meth.

If convicted of the various felony charges, each man faces decades in prison (where they would be unlikely to share a cell)...
Good to see we're making progress in racial relations!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The entire campaign in one cartoon

"The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living."
Thanks Mark C for the cartoon.

Officer Down


Detective David White
Clay County Florida Sheriff's Office,
End of Watch: Thursday, February 16, 2012
Age: 35
Tour: 9 years
Detective David White was shot and killed during a raid of a suspected meth lab on Alligator Boulevard at approximately 6:30 p.m. Officers engaged a suspect as they approached the front of the house, and Detective White suffered a fatal gunshot wound.

Another detective was shot and wounded while participating in the raid. One suspect was shot and killed by officers as he fled out the back of the house. Several suspects were arrested.

Detective White was a military veteran and served with the Clay County Sheriff's Department for nine years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Rest in Peace Bro…We’ll Continue The Watch

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