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Friday, August 31, 2012

Officer Down

Trooper Eric M. Workman
West Virginia State Police
End of Watch: Friday, August 31, 2012
Age: 26
Tour: 1 year, 8 months
Incident Date: 8/28/2012

Trooper Eric Workman and Corporal Marshall Baileywere shot and killed after they stopped a vehicle for reckless driving at the commuter parking lot adjacent to I-79, in Clay County, at approximately 8:30 pm.

The troopers determined the subject was intoxicated and placed him under arrest and hancuffed in front of his body. The subject was searched and placed in the back of the patrol car when he was able to reach a concealed 9mm pistol that was not discovered in the search. He shot both troopers inside of the vehicle and took Corporal Bailey's service weapon.

After climbing out of the vehicle he shot a tow truck driver who had been called to the scene to impound his car. The tow truck driver was able to get away from the scene and call for help.

The subject then fled on foot and set up an ambush in a ditch. He later opened fire on officers from multiple agencies who responded to the scene, wounding a Roane County deputy in the arm, hand, and stomach. The responding officers returned fire, killing the subject.

Corporal Bailey succumbed to his wounds at the scene. Trooper Workman was transported to CAMC General Hospital where he remained on life support until succumbing to his wounds two days later.

Trooper Workman had served with the West Virginia State Police for 20 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. 

The guns are the problem I see.

I wonder if that idiot Bloomberg will make a comment on this?
Armed bystander stops stabbing outside school

SAN ANTONIO - A woman is in critical condition after she was stabbed outside her child's school Tuesday morning.

The attack happened around 10:00 a.m. Tuesday outside the Bonham Academy on St. Mary's Street. Teresa Barron, 38, had just dropped off her child at the school when the child's father showed up, and the two got into an argument. The child's father, 38-year-old Roberto Barron allegedly then stabbed the woman several times in the upper body and neck area.

Police say a bystander who happened to be a concealed handgun license holder pulled his weapon and ordered Barron to drop the knife. Barron surrendered and was taken into custody by the bystander and a school district officer...

I wonder if this was an illegal gun Mr Bloomturd?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Someone got Breitbarted.....

And it's good.

I for one was shocked, shocked that Yahoo news fired David Chalian after being caught saying Republicans were happy about Hurricane Isaac, "They're not concerned at all. They are happy to have a party with black people drowning." Shocked he thought it and said it, no, not on your life. The fact Yahoo showed some integrity and actually fired the man is absolutely astonishing. Marissa Mayer is a big Obamaite.

But this has led to another term and it's a good one. David Chalian was Breitbarted!
...Breitbart died of a heart attack in March, but his crusade against media bias lives on, so that it is possible to name what happened to the former D.C. bureau chief of Yahoo News: David Chalian got Breitbarted.

A lot of other journalists here in Tampa -- where an estimated 15,000 members of the press have converged to cover the GOP convention -- share the same partisan prejudice that resulted in Chalian becoming a sudden addition to the unemployment statistic. Consider, for example, MSNBC's coverage of the Tuesday night's proceedings: Every time a black or Hispanic speaker appeared on stage, the cable-news division of the NBC network cut away from live coverage. No one watching MSNBC saw the speeches by Texas GOP Senate candidate Ted Cruz, former Alabama Democrat Artur Davis, or Utah GOP congressional candidate Mia Love. It seemed as if the network's coverage was orchestrated to protect MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who has relentlessly accused the Republican Party of racism. This is not a new accusation, nor one made exclusively by Matthews, but it was one that particularly enraged Breitbart.

Hating Breitbart examines several examples of Breitbart's battles against the Republicans-as-racists meme, including an incident in 2010 when Democrats claimed -- and major news organizations reported as fact -- that Tea Party protesters had shouted racial epithets at members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis. After examining multiple videos of the confrontation, which occurred during a "Kill the Bill" rally against the Democrats' health-care legislation, Breitbart concluded that no such incident had happened: Democrats were lying, and the liberal media were merely repeating those lies. So he publicly offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who could provide proof of the alleged epithets. Then Breitbart upped the ante, first to $20,000 and a few days later to $100,000. In a moment captured in the new film by director Andrew Marcus, Breitbart joked to a friend that he might as well increase the reward to a trillion dollars.

No one ever collected the reward, rather conclusive proof that Breitbart was right: Democrats had manufactured a false accusation of Tea Party racism out of whole cloth, and the media had purveyed it as true, without even bothering to examine the evidence...

Wow, reporters actually challenging the politicians. What a concept.

Journalist in DC (the people you see on the Sunday shows) often lament how everyone is a journalist now, that the media used to have standards, things would be checked, etc. Well, they are right. They would check to see if it was against the Democrats and if so, it would never see the light of day. If it wasn't for the bloggers would Dan Rather still be on CBS News?

Now anyone with a camera and a computer can do what the major media refuses to do. Actually challenge the left. And they (journalist) don't like it when their people are made to look bad.

Great article. Worth the read. And somewhere up there Andrew Brietbart is smiling!

Security Weekly: Countering Workplace Violence, August 30, 2012

By Scott Stewart

On the morning of Aug. 24, Jeffrey Johnson returned to his former place of work, Hazan Import Corp., and waited on the street outside the building. Johnson, who was wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase, blended into the crowd of people on the street who were rushing to work that morning. As one of Hazan Import's executives, Stephen Ercolino, approached the building, Johnson drew a pistol from his bag and gunned Ercolino down with no warning, making Ercolino a victim of workplace violence. Media reports suggest that Johnson and Ercolino had been involved in several confrontations, at least one of which became physical, and that Johnson held Ercolino responsible for his being laid off. Each of the men had also reportedly filed police reports claiming the other had threatened him.

Violence in the workplace is a serious security problem in the United States and elsewhere, although it is not nearly as widespread as the media coverage suggests. On average, there are around 500 workplace homicides per year in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2010, the latest year for which statistics are available, there were 518 workplace homicides, and only 12 percent were conducted by a co-worker or former co-worker. This means that while workplace violence incidents tend to get a lot of media attention -- even more so when an incident occurs near the Empire State Building, like the Johnson incident -- they are not common.

Still, while not all that common, incidents of workplace violence are serious. They are also, in most cases, preventable.

Incident Profiles

Threats or other indicators, like Johnson's previous confrontations with Ercolino, almost always precede a workplace homicide involving a co-worker. In workplace violence cases, it is very unusual for a person to just snap and go on a shooting rampage. Almost every case of workplace violence is planned, and the perpetrator intentionally targets a specific individual -- usually a supervisor, human resources manager or co-worker -- whom he believes is responsible for his plight. (We say "he" here because while women are sometimes involved in workplace violence, such incidents are predominately conducted by men.)

In most cases of workplace violence, the violent outburst is driven by factors that build up over a long period of time, rather than by sudden, traumatic events. Failed romantic relationships or marriages, stress from financial problems, lack of job advancement and perceived (or actual) injustice at the hands of a co-worker or superior are all factors that have led to violent incidents in the workplace.

The Johnson case fits very closely into the model described above. Confrontations between Johnson and Ercolino had reportedly taken place for about a year before the attack, so there was an obvious buildup. This was also a premeditated attack targeting a specific individual, and the perpetrator was male.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 22 percent of workplace homicides involve former employees, like Johnson, while approximately 43 percent involve current employees. This means that while there are many examples of workplace violence involving fired employees, such incidents are almost twice as likely to be committed by a current employee than by an employee who was terminated. In other words, workplace violence is not only a concern for companies in the process of letting an employee go; it should be an everyday concern for all companies.

Incident Indicators

As with school shootings, it is rare for a case of workplace violence to happen in which the shooter does not exhibit warning signs of the impending attack. In many past workplace violence cases, the perpetrators clearly presented warning signs, and in several cases, investigations later found that those warning signs were downplayed or outright ignored. Although the investigation of the Johnson shooting is not yet complete, it would not be surprising if it is determined that Johnson gave indications of his intent to kill Ercolino to friends, family members and former co-workers and that these warning signs went unheeded.

Warning signs that an employee or former employee is at risk for committing an act of workplace violence can include sudden changes in behavior, decreased productivity, uncharacteristic problems with tardiness and attendance or withdrawal from one's circle of friends. The theft or sabotage of employer or co-worker property is another sign, as is the sudden display of negative traits such as irritation, snapping at or abusing co-workers or even a sudden disregard for personal hygiene.

Perhaps the most indicative signs of impending violence are talk about suicide or the expression of actual or veiled threats. If co-workers or supervisors feel afraid of a person, even when the reason for that fear cannot be clearly articulated, that is also a significant warning sign (and has been noted in several past incidents). Another indication is when an employee suddenly begins carrying a gun to work and shows it to co-workers.

Since the police and corporate security departments are not omnipresent, they require other people within the company to be their eyes and ears and alert them to the potential for workplace violence. Co-workers and first-line managers generally know when the man in the cubicle next to them has suddenly become really creepy and talks about killing the boss or when the woman down the hall is being stalked by her obsessively jealous ex-boyfriend in accounting.

Companies that are serious about preventing workplace violence should establish clear workplace violence policies -- and ensure they are widely communicated and strictly followed. Any and all threats of violence expressed by employees must be taken seriously, even those that appear innocuous at first. Employees, managers and human resources personnel must be educated about workplace violence and should be encouraged to report all threats or other overt signs immediately. Most important, supervisors and human resources managers must be cognizant of the other, more subtle warning signs -- and be encouraged to take them seriously. Clearly, in such a situation, a false alarm is better than no alarm at all.

A Proactive Stance

One dangerous perception common in many companies is that workplace violence is the corporate security department's problem. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most corporate security departments are bare-bones operations, and they are quite often among the first departments to be cut when companies face tough economic times. Most corporate security departments focus on physical security, loss prevention and theft of company property. With their limited staff and large responsibilities, they have very little ability to learn what is going on with the angry guy sitting in that middle cubicle on the third floor. Even in companies with dedicated executive protection teams charged with covering senior company officials, those teams are largely focused on the outside threat. They pay far more attention to protecting the CEO during a trip to Mexico or India than during a walk through the company cafeteria. Senior company executives also often seem to believe there is no internal threat -- not in their company -- but this is clearly not the case.

With corporate security departments having limited manpower, it is not uncommon for companies to attempt to augment or replace human security officers. However, while items like closed-circuit television cameras are very good aids for investigating things like theft after the fact, they are rarely useful in preventing such incidents from occurring. This same principle applies to incidents of workplace violence, where physical security systems rarely help stop a workplace violence incident and instead can act as a psychological crutch that induces a false sense of security or even complacency.

This is not to say that physical security measures should not be employed or that companies should not use technology to help them establish proper access control measures. However, such measures should be viewed as supplemental to the company's main line of defense: its employees.

As noted above, employees have regular access to far more people and places than corporate security can ever hope to have, no matter how many officers and cameras the security department employs. When employees take ownership of their company's security and are educated and encouraged to practice situational awareness, they can form an alert and robust network of trip wires that can identify a person who does not belong in their area or when one of their colleagues is showing warning signs of workplace violence. In light of this, communication is vital -- not only communication coming from the workforce to the management and the security team, but also going the other way. If an employee is terminated, access control officers and co-workers need to be informed so they know that the person is no longer permitted in the workplace.

Remember that current employees account for 43 percent of workplace violence incidents. Even if a company has state-of-the-art physical security systems, current employees can normally walk right through them. Additionally, former employees who are familiar with the systems can find ways to bypass them. These insiders know the security systems and procedures in place and are often also aware of gaps in the system. They know which side door gets propped open with a trash can when employees take their midmorning smoke break or how to "tailgate" and get in through gates or doors controlled by card readers.

Brute force has also proved effective in overcoming technology. In some past shootings, intruders have forced employees to open doors at gunpoint, shot employees and taken their building passes to gain access to the rest of the facility or simply shot the security guard at the main access point. Someone with determination and intent can overcome most access controls. Because of this, effective security programs must be proactive by looking for threats rather than reactive and initiating a response only once an attack has begun to unfold. One very effective way to achieve a proactive stance is to use a combination of surveillance detection and protective intelligence as a critical element of a facility's (or executive protection detail's) security plan.

Protective intelligence teams can coordinate with managers, human resources professionals, mental health professionals and law enforcement to identify, investigate and flag potential perpetrators of workplace violence before an attack occurs. Additionally, surveillance detection teams, which are proactive by their very nature, can help by noticing out-of-place behavior occurring in parking lots and outside of entrances -- places a uniformed guard sitting inside the facility has very limited ability to monitor. By focusing on behavior and demeanor, surveillance detection teams can frequently pick out angry or mentally disturbed individuals before they can get to the building. When combined with an educated and alert workforce, these proactive measures can help provide protection that no technological system can match.

Countering Workplace Violence is republished with permission of Stratfor.

Chief of Police Herbert Proffitt
Tompkinsville Kentucky Police Department
End of Watch: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Age: 82
Tour: 55 years
Chief of Police (Ret) Herbert Proffitt was shot and killed from ambush in the driveway of his home by a man whom he had arrested multiple times over the past 40 years. He was walking down his driveway to check his mail when the subject drove up and opened fire, killing him.

The suspect fled the scene but was arrested several hours later.

It was later determined that Chief Proffitt had first arrested the man for domestic violence in the 1970s. The conviction resulted in the man spending several years in the state penitentiary. Chief Proffitt arrested the man several more times after his release from prison. When he was arrested for Chief Proffitt's murder, he had copies of the original citations in his possession.

Chief Proffitt was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War. He had served in law enforcement for 55 years, including as chief of the Tompkinsville Police Department and sheriff of Monroe County. He returned to work as a bailiff with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office after retiring the first time in 2000. He retired again in 2009 at the age of 79.
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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

 What's going on in the World Today 120829


U.S. Naval Update Map: Aug. 29, 2012


The Netherlands: Schiphol Airport Reopens August 29, 2012 

The Schiphol airport in Amsterdam reopened Aug. 29 after having closed its runways and terminals Aug. 28 because of the discovery of an unexploded World War II bomb and a possible hijacking, Reuters reported. Reports of the hijacking were unfounded, and the unexploded German bomb buried underground near Schiphol's Terminal C was removed so it can be safely disarmed

France: 500 Roma Expelled From Camp August 29, 2012

French police expelled about 500 Roma from a camp in the Paris suburbs Aug. 29, AFP reported.


In China, a New Inland Economic Zone

Turkey: Woman Responsible For Pipeline Explosion Was Syrian Citizen - Report August 29, 2012 

The woman who caused an explosion Aug. 26 along the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik oil pipeline from Iraq to Turkey was a Syrian citizen, Hurriyet Daily News reported Aug. 29. The woman died in the blast.




The Future of Russia's Military: Part 3

Ukraine, Russia: Compromise on the Horizon?

Russia: Kuril Islands To Get New Military Equipment August 29, 2012 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the military position in the Kuril Islands be upgraded and strengthened, Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said Aug. 29, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported. Moscow will not send more troops; rather it will redeploy advanced equipment such as Tor-M2 surface-to-air missile systems, Mi-28N attack helicopters, mobile shore-based missile complexes and communications systems, Makarov said. There will not be tanks because the islands do not offer enough room to maneuver such heavy equipment. The plans also include the construction of two military compounds on the islands, and Makarov is confident everything will be complete by 2015 at the latest.

Russia: Security Bloc To Increase Combat Components August 28, 2012 

The military component of the Collective Security Treaty Organization will be reorganized to increase combat components, Russian Chief of the General Staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov said Aug. 28 in Moscow, Interfax-AVN reported. Makarov added that the reorganization needs to take place as quickly as possible so that the security bloc can strengthen its forces amidst world tensions

Russia: Ruling Party Plans to Regulate Anonymous Internet Speech - Source August 29, 2012 

The ruling One Russia party is planning to introduce legislation this autumn that would allow authorities to punish anonymous criticism on the Internet, daily newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported Aug. 29, citing a source close to the presidential administration. Current media law does not regulate behavior on the Internet, where many violations are being registered, the source said

The Geography of Iranian Power by Robert D. Kaplan

Iraq: Kurdistan Regional Government Threatens To Halt Oil Exports In September August 28, 2012 

Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government threatened to begin halting oil exports again in September due to Baghdad's failure to pay oil companies in the region, an unnamed senior Kurdistan Regional Government official said Aug. 28, Reuters reported. According to Iraqi Deputy Finance Minister Fadhil Nabi, Kurdish authorities have not yet presented receipts with company expenses to Baghdad and more auditing is needed before payments can be approved.
Iraq: Kurdistan Region Needs Multilateral Alliance - Official August 28, 2012 

A multilateral agreement should be signed among political parties and forces in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, the region’s vice president, Kosrat Rasul Ali, said to the Awena newspaper, AK News reported Aug. 28. The strategic agreement between the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan was useful during the period after the civil war, he added. Ali also said the Kurdistan region needs a clear and flexible oil policy.

Egypt's Diplomacy in Israel

Helmand Province After the Western Withdrawal

Afghanistan: President Dismissed Intelligence Chief - Source August 29, 2012 

President Hamid Karzai has dismissed National Directorate of Security chief Rahmatullah Nabeel, Khaama reported Aug. 29, citing an unnamed Afghan lawmaker. Karzai will introduce Asadullah Khalid as the new intelligence chief, the source said.


Syria: Rebels Say They Seized 10 Missiles From Regime August 29, 2012 

Syrian rebels have seized 10 missiles from the regime’s arsenal in eastern Damascus province, rebels said Aug. 28, AFP reported Aug. 29. Activists calling themselves the Gathering of Ansar al-Islam Battalions posted a video on YouTube that showed a tank burning, several armed men, and a warehouse the militants said they seized from the army. A Free Syrian Army spokesman said the rebels seized surface-to-surface missiles, four of which were ready to launch at the time of their seizure.

Turkey: 8 Arrested On Charges Of Spying For Iran August 29, 2012 

Turkish police arrested eight Turkish citizens Aug. 29 on charges of spying for Iranian intelligence, according to a statement from the Igdir province governor's office, Today's Zaman reported. These arrests stem from three arrests Aug. 19, 2011, under Article 327 of Turkey's Penal Code, which criminalizes the unauthorized acquisition of information regarding state security.

Libya: New Government To Form Sept. 8 August 30, 2012 

Members of Libya's National Congress decided at a Aug. 29 meeting to allow the nomination of ministers and the formation of the new government Sept. 8, a parliament spokesman said at a press conference in Tripoli, Xinhua reported


Mexico Security Memo: New Leadership for Los Zetas

Mexico: Los Zetas Split Confirmed August 28, 2012 

According to Mexican intelligence, Los Zetas is divided between factions supporting either Heriberto "El Lazca" Lazcano Lazcano or Miguel "Z-40" Trevino Morales, the head of Mexico's Attorney General's office said Aug. 28, Milenio reported.

Mexico: Government Green-Lights Non-Hydraulic Shale Oil Extraction August 30, 2012 

Mexico will allow the United States' Chimera Energy Corp. to deploy a new, non-hydraulic shale oil extraction technology in the country's Chicontepec Basin, UPI reported Aug. 29. The company believes its technology can replace hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as an extraction method

The Grain Market and the State

Malware Campaigns Impersonating U.S. Government Agencies added Tuesday, August 28, 2012 http://www.us-cert.gov/current/#malware_campaigns_impersonating_u_s

US-CERT is aware of multiple malware campaigns impersonating multiple U.S. government agencies, including the United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Once installed on a system, the malware displays a screen claiming that a Federal Government agency has identified the user's computer as being associated with one or more crimes. The user is told to pay a fine to regain the use of the computer, usually through prepaid money card services.

Affected users should not follow the payment instructions. US-CERT encourages users to follow the recommendations in Security Tip ST05-006, Recovering from Viruses, Worms, and Trojan Horses. Users may also choose to file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

August 27, Nextgov – (National) White House plans to regulate contractor computer security. The Presidential Administration has drafted plans to require federal contractors to adopt specific cybersecurity safeguards for company equipment that transmits government information, Nextgov reported August 27. NASA, the Defense Department, and the General Services Administration, which purchases goods and services for agencies across government, released the draft rules August 24. Under the plan, doing business with the government would be contingent on agreeing to protectcorporate-owned devices and federal data on Web sites. The provision calls for only a few computer protections and leaves vendors substantial flexibility, which troubles some computer security experts. A research director for the SANS Institute who frequently advises the Administration said the proviso does not elaborate on the degree to which antimalware software must be ―current and regularly updated‖ or provide a timeline for the ―prompt‖ application of patches. And the clause is silent on limiting administrative privileges, which grant network-wide access, he added.
Source: http://www.nextgov.com/cio-briefing/2012/08/white-house-plans-regulate- contractor-computer-security/57668/?oref=ng-channelriver

Except where noted courtesy STRATFOR.COM

Officer Down

Trooper Marshall L. Bailey
West Virginia State Police
End of Watch: Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trooper Marshall Bailey was shot and killed after he and another trooper stopped a vehicle for reckless driving at the commuter parking lot adjacent to I-79, in Clay County, at approximately 8:30 pm.

The subject had been arrested and placed into the back of a patrol car when he was able to get out of his handcuffs. He then drew a concealed handgun and shot both troopers inside of the vehicle, killing Trooper Bailey. After climbing out of the vehicle he shot a tow truck driver who had been called to the scene to impound his car.

The man then fled on foot and setup an ambush in a ditch. Approximately one hour later he opened fire on a Roane County sheriff's deputy who was searching for him, wounding the deputy in the arm, hand, and stomach. The injured deputy was able to return fire, killing the subject.

Trooper Bailey is survived by his wife and two 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.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Geopolitical Weekly: Poland's Strategy, August 28, 2012

By George Friedman

Polish national strategy pivots around a single, existential issue: how to preserve its national identity and independence. Located on the oft-invaded North European Plain, Poland's existence is heavily susceptible to the moves of major Eurasian powers. Therefore, Polish history has been erratic, with Poland moving from independence -- even regional dominance -- to simply disappearing from the map, surviving only in language and memory before emerging once again.

For some countries, geopolitics is a marginal issue. Win or lose, life goes on. But for Poland, geopolitics is an existential issue; losing begets national catastrophe. Therefore, Poland's national strategy inevitably is designed with an underlying sense of fear and desperation. Nothing in Polish history would indicate that disaster is impossible.

To begin thinking about Poland's strategy, we must consider that in the 17th century, Poland, aligned with Lithuania, was one of the major European powers. It stretched from the Baltic Sea almost to the Black Sea, from western Ukraine into the Germanic regions. By 1795, it had ceased to exist as an independent country, divided among three emerging powers: Prussia, Russia and Austria.

It did not regain independence until after World War I -- it was created by the Treaty of Versailles (1919) -- after which it had to fight the Soviets for its existence. Poland again was brought under the power of a foreign nation when Germany invaded in 1939. Its statehood was formalized in 1945, but it was dominated by the Soviets until 1989.

Informed by its history, Poland understands that it must retain its independence and avoid foreign occupation -- an issue that transcends all others psychologically and practically. Economic, institutional and cultural issues are important, but the analysis of its position must always return to this root issue.

Poland's Elusive Security

Poland has two strategic problems. The first problem is its geography. The Carpathian Mountains and the Tatra Mountains provide some security to Poland's south. But the lands to the east, west and southwest are flat plains with only rivers that provide limited protection. This plain was the natural line of attack of great powers, including Napoleonic France and Nazi

During the 17th century, the Germans were fragmented in the Holy Roman Empire, while Russia was still emerging as a coherent power. The North European Plain was an opportunity for Poland. Poland could establish itself on the plain. It could protect itself against a challenge from any direction. But Poland becomes extremely difficult to defend when multiple powers converge from different directions. If Poland is facing three adversaries, as it did in the late 18th century with Prussia, Russia and Austria, it is in an impossible position.

For Poland, the existence of a powerful Germany and Russia poses an existential problem, the ideal solution to which is to become a buffer that Berlin and Moscow respect. A secondary solution is an alliance with one for protection. The latter solution is extremely difficult because dependence on Russia or Germany invites the possibility of absorption or occupation. Poland's third solution is to find an outside power to guarantee its interests.

This is what Poland did in the 1930s with Britain and France. This strategy's shortcomings are obvious. First, it may not be in the interests of the security guarantor to come to Poland's assistance. Second, it may not be possible at the time of danger for them to help Poland. The value of a third-party guarantee is only in deterring attack and, failing that, in the willingness and ability to honor the commitment.

Since 1991, Poland has sought a unique solution that was not available previously: membership in multilateral organizations such as the European Union and NATO. Such memberships are meant to provide protection outside the bilateral system. Most important, these memberships bring Germany and Poland into the same political entity. Ostensibly, they guarantee Polish security and remove the potential threat of Germany.

This solution was quite effective while Russia was weak and inwardly focused. But Polish history teaches that Russian dynamics change periodically and that Poland cannot assume Russia will remain weak or benign in perpetuity. Like all nations, Poland must base its strategy on the worst-case scenario.

The solution also is problematic in that it assumes NATO and the European Union are reliable institutions. Should Russia become aggressive, NATO's ability to field a force to resist Russia would depend less on the Europeans than on the Americans. The heart of the Cold War was a struggle of influence across the North European Plain, and it involved 40 years of risk and expense. Whether the Americans are prepared to do this again is not something Poland can count on, at least in the context of NATO.

Moreover, the European Union is not a military organization; it is an economic free trade zone. As such, it has some real value to Poland in the area of economic development. That isn't trivial. But the extent to which it contains Germany is now questionable. The European Union is extremely stressed, and its future is unclear. There are scenarios under which Germany, not wanting to shoulder the cost of maintaining the European Union, may loosen its ties with the bloc and move closer to the Russians. The emergence of a Germany not intimately tied to a multinational European entity but with increasing economic ties with Russia is Poland's worst-case scenario.

Obviously, close ties with NATO and the European Union are Poland's first strategic solution, but the viability of NATO as a military force is less than clear and the future of the European Union is clouded. This is at the heart of Poland's strategic problem. When it was independent in the 20th century, Poland sought multilateral alliances to protect itself from Russia and Germany. Among these alliances was the Intermarium, an interwar concept promoted by Polish Gen. Jozef Pilsudski that called for an alignment comprising Central European countries from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea that together could resist Germany and Russia. The Intermarium concept never took hold, and none of these multilateral alliances has proved sufficient to address Polish concerns.

A Matter of Time

Poland has three strategies available to it. The first is to do everything it can to keep NATO and the European Union viable and Germany contained within them. Poland doesn't have the power to ensure this. The second is to create a relationship with Germany or Russia that guarantees its interests. Obviously, the ability to maintain those relationships is limited. The third strategy is to find an outside power prepared to guarantee its interests.

That power is currently the United States. But the United States, after the experiences in the Islamic world, is moving toward a more distant, balance-of-power approach to the world. This does not mean the United States is indifferent to what happens in northern Europe. The growth of Russian power and potential Russian expansionism that would upset the European balance of power obviously would not be in Washington's interest. But as the United States matures as a global power, it will allow the regional balance of power to stabilize naturally rather than intervene if the threat appears manageable.

In the 1930s, Poland's strategy was to find a guarantor as a first resort. It assumed correctly that its own military capability was insufficient to protect itself from the Germans or the Soviets, and certainly insufficient to protect itself from both. Therefore, it assumed that it would succumb to these powers without a security guarantor. Under these circumstances, no matter how much it increased its military power, Poland could not survive by itself.

The Polish analysis of the situation was not incorrect, but it missed an essential component of intervention: time. Whether an intervention on Poland's behalf consisted of an attack in the west or a direct intervention in Poland, the act of mounting such an intervention would take more time than the Polish army was able to buy in 1939.

This points to two aspects of any Polish relationship to the United States. On one hand, the collapse of Poland as Russia resurges would deprive the United States of a critical bulwark against Moscow on the North European Plain. On the other hand, intervention is inconceivable without time. The Polish military's ability to deter or delay a Russian attack sufficiently to give the United States -- and whatever European allies might have the resources and intent to join the coalition -- time to evaluate the situation, plan a response and then respond must be the key element of Polish strategy.

Poland may not be able to defend itself in perpetuity. It needs guarantors whose interests align with its own. But even if it has such guarantors, the historical experience of Poland is that it must, on its own, conduct a delaying operation of at least several months to buy time for intervention. A joint Russo-German attack, of course, simply cannot be survived, and such multifront attacks are not exceptional in Polish history. That cannot be dealt with. A single-front attack could be, but it will fall on Poland to mount it.

This is a question of economics and national will. The economic situation in Poland has improved dramatically over recent years, but building an effective force takes time and money. The Poles have time, since the Russian threat at this point is more theoretical than real, and their economy is sufficiently robust to support a significant capability.

The primary issue is national will. In the 18th century, the fall of Polish power had as much to do with internal disunity among the Polish nobility as it had to do with a multifront threat. In the interwar period, there was will to resist, but it did not always include the will to absorb the costs of defense, preferring to believe that the situation was not as dire as it was becoming. Today, the will to believe in the European Union and in NATO, rather than to recognize that nations ultimately must guarantee their own national security, is an issue for Poland to settle.

Some diplomatic moves are possible. Polish involvement in Ukraine and Belarus is strategically sound -- the two countries provide a buffer that secures Poland's eastern border. Poland likely would not win a duel with the Russians in these countries, but it is a sound maneuver in the context of a broader strategy.

Poland can readily adopt a strategy that assumes permanent alignment with Germany and permanent weakness and lack of aggressiveness of Russia. They might well be right, but it is a gamble. As the Poles know, Germany and Russia can change regimes and strategies with startling speed. A conservative strategy requires a bilateral relationship with the United States, founded on the understanding that the United States is relying on the balance of power and not the direct intervention of its own forces except as a last resort. That means that Poland must be in a position to maintain a balance of power and resist aggression, buying enough time for the United States to make decisions and deploy. The United States can secure the North European Plain well to the west of Poland and align with stronger powers to the west. A defense to the east requires Polish power, which costs a great deal of money. That money is hard to spend when the threat might never materialize.

"Poland's Strategy is republished with permission of Stratfor."

Monday, August 27, 2012

FCC wants to tax the Internet to "expand coverage"

Whatever you tax, you get less of.
Alan Greenspan

I head the words of some some men and I know they are right. Great example is above. So why is it the bureaucracy wants less internet service.

FCC eyes tax on Internet service - The Hill's Hillicon Valley

The Federal Communications Commission is eyeing a proposal to tax broadband Internet service.

The move would funnel money to the Connect America Fund, a subsidy the agency created last year to expand Internet access...

"If members of Congress understood that the FCC is contemplating a broadband tax, they'd sit up and take notice," said Derek Turner, research director for Free Press, a consumer advocacy group that opposes the tax.

Numerous companies, including AT&T, Sprint and even Google have expressed support for the idea.

Consumers already pay a fee on their landline and cellular phone bills to support the FCC's Universal Service Fund. The fund was created to ensure that everyone in the country has access to telephone service, even if they live in remote areas.

Last year, the FCC overhauled a $4.5 billion portion of the Universal Service Fund and converted it into a broadband Internet subsidy, called the Connect America Fund. The new fund aims to subsidize the construction of high-speed Internet networks to the estimated 19 million Americans who currently lack access...

OK, a temporary service charge, the Universal Service Fund, was supposed to fund expansion of telephone service to under serviced areas and then end. I think it's still ongoing. And can anyone tell me people in Ten Buck Nowhere cannot get phone service. Now we have the internet stage of this.

Now here is another issue that is tied to this:
Republicans could soon champion the protection of Internet Freedom as an official party issue, The Daily Caller has learned. Language in the final draft of the Internet freedom proposal was obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller.

The language was finalized on Tuesday, a source in the Republican Party told The Daily Caller, but it awaits party approval next week at the upcoming Republican National Convention.

Approval of the newly finalized draft language, however, would make the party the first of the two dominant political parties to fully and officially embrace Internet freedom. It also signals what Republicans view as important and necessary to keep the Internet open and free.

“Internet Freedom”, according to the finalized draft language, would entail the removal of “regulatory barriers” for technology businesses, resistance to international governance of the Internet and the “constitutional protection” of personal data.

“We will remove regulatory barriers that protect outdated technologies and business plans from innovation and competition, while preventing legacy regulation from interfering with new technologies such as mobile delivery of voice and video data as they become crucial components of the Internet ecosystem,” said the finalized draft...

We do know DHS likes to monitor the internet. Remember, ever paranoids have enemies.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A sobering sight of the man....

Beth and I see few movies these days. When a discount ticket is 8 bucks and I'm paying 16.50 for two cokes and popcorn, we must want to see this film. And it was worth the aggravation.

I was never impressed with the current occupant of the White House. Obama reads the teleprompter well but he was a man of limited achievements and no real history. Voting present is not a way show yourself a leader. And in an act of national madness this country voted for him in 08.

I used to believe the man-child was just incompetent but my view has "evolved". He is destroying this country on purpose. But what was the end game I always wondered. Now after this movie I have an answer, if not the answer.

Obama's bio Dreams from My Father show how he was raised to an almost religious degree to be anti-colonialist. He idolized his absent father who opposed the colonalism of the European powers and was guided by mentors who nurtured it further. He now sees his mission to weaken America, the ultimate colonial power, and the strengthen former colonies to "even things out" thought out the world.

Classic example is shutting down the American oil industry while using borrowed money in our budget to support Mexican and Brazilian oil.

Now add to this an almost religious idol worship from some in this country. In case you need reminding this is a New Jersey elementary school's idea of civics education:

Of this:

Kinda reminds you of this:

It's a clique but this time it's true. This is the most important election in at least two generations. I shutter to think what will happen to this country with this man unleashed and unrestrained by another election.

One of the commenters in the movie made a point that "People wanted to tell their grandchildren I voted for Obama..." I don't have say that thank God. But I won't argue it was a suck choice between Obama and McCain. I looked up and asked "Is this the best we have..." So I'm actually giving the Romney campaign money and will probably volunteer this fall.

God, how are we this bad off.

We need to limit the number of Frappuccinos you can have in a month.

That's what that idiot mayor of New York will probably think after seeing this:

Police: Man Robs Hotel By Using Hot Coffee

ARLINGTON, Va. (CBSDC) – Arlington County authorities say a local hotel was robbed after the thief threw hot coffee at the front desk clerk.

Police told the Washington Post that after dousing the Arlington Best Western employee in the scalding liquid, he proceeded to steal cash from the drawer behind the counter.

The perpetrator ultimately took $450 and a cell phone....

Well we as a society must ask some questions:

1. Was the coffee registered?

2. Was the drinker/criminal licensed?

3. Was he trained in use of the the coffee?

4. Was a background check conducted prior to his getting the container filled?

5. Has he been put on Starbucks's "Do Not Serve" list?

6. Was it regular, expresso with one or two shots (sorry about the pun)?

7. Were there children in his house when he had the coffee with him?

8. Was it Starbucks, Maxwell House or Folgers?

9. Was it Starbucks coffee or service station drivel?

Can you think of anything else that may have stopped this tragedy? Please let me know.

I'll leave you with this comment:

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Benjamin Franklin, 1759

What's going on in the World Today 120826

From True Lies,

Gib (Tom Arnold) to Harry (Arnold Schwarzenegger): Same thing happened to me with wife number two, 'member? I have no idea nothing's going on, right? I come home one day and the house is empty, and I mean completely empty. She even took the ice cube trays out of the freezer. What kind of a sick bitch takes the ice cube trays out of the freezer?
He's got a point. Great game with New Orleans and Houston. Go out and enjoy yourself today!

U.S. Naval Update Map: Aug. 22, 2012


Germany's Campaign to Save Europe


India's Riveting Centrality by Robert D. Kaplan

Kim Jong Un's Possible Trip to Iran

China: U.S.-Japan Security Treaty Should Not Apply To Islands August 25, 2012 

China strongly opposes any application of the U.S.-Japan security treaty in regards to the disputed Diaoyu Islands, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Cai Yingting said Aug. 25 during meetings with senior U.S. military and government officials in Washington, Xinhua reported. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will visit China in September, Cai said, adding that China is making serious preparations for Panetta's trip so that it can be fruitful.

South Korea: Tension With Japan Delays Military Drills August 25, 2012 

South Korea plans to conduct military exercises in waters near the Dokdo Islands starting Sept. 9, but Japan's claim to the islands (known as Takeshima in Japanese) may delay the drills, a South Korean military source said Aug. 25, Yonhap reported. The plan is pending confirmation at a government meeting during the week of Aug. 26. The drills would address a scenario in which the army, navy, air force and coast guard conduct a joint operation to repel a vessel that has invaded territorial waters.

India: Aircraft Carrier Launch Delayed Again August 22, 2012  

The launch of the Indian navy's first indigenous aircraft carrier has been postponed until 2013 due to delays in receiving various parts and equipment, Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony said in an Aug. 22 letter to the Indian Parliament, the Press Trust of India reported. The launch was originally planned for October 2010. Commissioning is now expected by 2018, Atony said.


Signs of a Possible Intervention in Mali


Russia's Budget Problems Part 1

Russia's Budget Problems Part 2

The Kremlin Refocuses on the Metals Industry

Canada: Russia To Join Military Exercise August 25, 2012 

A group of Russian armed forces will participate in Canada's Watchful Eagle 2012 military exercise Aug. 27-29 in Canada and the United States, a military official said Aug. 25, Xinhua reported. The exercise aims to improve coordination and interaction between the Russian military and the North American Aerospace Defense Command in the event of an aircraft hijacking.


Iraq: F-16 Fighter Jets To Arrive In March 2013 August 23, 2012 

Iraq will receive its first group of F-16 fighter jets in March 2013, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's spokesman said Aug. 23, AFP reported.




Syrian Air Force Incursion Into Iraq

Hezbollah's Pragmatism and Lebanon's Tenuous Calm

Pakistan: Haqqani Leader Presumed Killed August 25, 2012 

A U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle strike in Pakistan's North Waziristan region may have killed Badruddin Haqqani, the operational commander of the Haqqani network, Pakistani intelligence officials and militant sources said Aug. 25, Reuters reported. Badruddin was believed to have been in a house that was hit by two missiles Aug. 21 as militants were planting explosives in a vehicle meant to attack NATO forces in Afghanistan, sources close to the Haqqani network said. Pakistani Taliban and tribal sources also believe Badruddin was killed in the attack, which killed 25 people.

Russia: Syria Guarantees Chemical Arms Security August 24, 2012 

Russia is working closely with the Syrian government to ensure that Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons remains under firm control and has won promises that the weapons will not be used or moved, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Aug. 23, AP reported. Gatilov said the Syrian government guaranteed that it would not take any steps involving chemical weapons. Russia is counting on the United States and others to use their influence with opposition forces to prevent the chemical weapons from falling into the hands of militants, Gatilov said.


Mexico Security Memo: Splits Within Los Zetas

Mexico: Suspected Gulf Cartel Leader Arrested August 21, 2012 

Mexican authorities arrested Lauro "El M-33" Tijerina Murrieta, an alleged Gulf cartel plaza boss, in General Bravo, Nuevo Leon state, on Aug. 21, according to a Mexican navy statement, El Economista reported. Tijerina Murrieta had operational control of the cartel's operations in General Bravo, which is a critical location for the cartel due to its proximity to the border and the city of Reynosa, according to the statement.

Pakistan's Dilemma with Cellphones as a Militant Tool

Except where noted courtesy STRATFOR.COM


Never did I think I would agree with this man

Charlie Rangle, Harlem's more famous crook, but he's steel on target here. Referring to Joe Bite-Me:
“The Vice President said he’s going to put ‘y’all in chains.’ Was he talking about slavery? You bet your ass he was. Was he using the vernacular? Yes, he was. Did he think it was cute? Yes, he did. Was it something stupid to say? You bet your life it was stupid.”

Assassination insurance. Can't think of a better policy than Biden.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The definition of The Right Stuff

When I look at the men and women in our (formerly) great Space Program, I am reminded of the phrase, "If I have seen further is is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants." This man was a giant and further comment is not needed.

RIP Neil Armstrong. God do we need men like you now!

The Count counts no more

If you are more than 30 you will remember learning your numbers to The Count, a vampire like character from Sesame Street. Alas, he has returned to his castle to not return:

Jerry Nelson, Count of 'Sesame Street,' dies at 78 - Boston.com

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jerry Nelson, the puppeteer behind a delightful menagerie of characters including Count von Count on ‘‘Sesame Street’’ and Gobo Fraggle on ‘‘Fraggle Rock,’’ has died. He was 78.

Nelson, who suffered from emphysema, died Thursday night in his Massachusetts home on Cape Cod, the Sesame Workshop said Friday.

‘‘Every description of his characters describes Jerry as well,’’ said ‘‘Sesame Street’’ executive producer Carol-Lynn Parente. ‘‘Silly, funny, vulnerable, passionate and musical, for sure. That voice of his was superb.’’

Although he'd been in declining health for some time ‘‘his attitude was never bad,’’ Parente said Friday. ‘‘He was always so grateful for what he had in his life.’’

‘‘We’re having a rough day on the Street,’’ she said.

In a tribute posted online by the nonprofit Sesame Workshop, Nelson was lauded for his artistry and the ‘‘laughter he brought to children worldwide’’ with the Count and other Muppet puppets including Sherlock Hemlock, Herry Monster and the Amazing Mumford.

Nelson was part of other projects featuring Jim Henson’s Muppets, including the 1984 movie ‘‘The Muppets Take Manhattan’’ and TV series including the 1980s ‘‘Fraggle Rock’’ and 1990s ‘‘Muppets Tonight’’

In recent years, Nelson gave up the physically demanding job of operating the Count and other puppets on ‘‘Sesame Street’’ but still voiced the characters, the workshop said. The show’s new season launches in September and Nelson’s voice will be heard.

In 2010, he released the album ‘‘Truro Daydreams,’’ the title that referred to the Massachusetts town....
Millions of us learned our numbers from this man. RIP Jerry Nelson. You made a difference to countless kids (no pun intended)!

Friday, August 24, 2012

I thought I had a bad day....

But this dude tops me. It was in my 11th hour of the shift and my rookie and I were just about to finish up a screwed up watch when we were flagged down for what I thought was an accident. But a young woman comes up screaming “Sir my friend has been shot!....” I get up and see the man in a car and there is blood all down this leg.

I get backup and an ambulance and start to talk to people. From everyone there this guy got shot or stabbed (couldn’t tell) at a club. After his buddies see him bleeding they drive all over downtown to find a hospital.

Well my rookie and I turn this over to the officers who patrol the area and come back about a half hour later. There is one officer there who is laughing about this. According to him, the medics couldn’t find any injury, bullet hole or knife wound. But there was a lot of blood. They figured it out. He went to take a leak and pulled the zipper on his penis. That is where the blood is from.

Man, you know he’s never gonna live that one down!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

When Fido needs to go, don't get in his way!

Officer Down

Police Officer Adrian Morris
Prince George's County Maryland Police Department
End of Watch: Monday, August 20, 2012
Age: 23
Tour: 2 years, 6 months
Badge # 3510

Police Officer Adrian Morris was killed in a vehicle crash while pursuing a vehicle on I-95, near the Powder Mill Road interchange, shortly before 1:00 pm.

Officer Morris and his partner had been investigating a theft when they spotted a car being driven by the suspect and attempted to stop it. The officers pursued the vehicle onto southbound I-95 and chased it a short distance until the vehicle purposefully cut them off, causing the patrol car to leave the roadway and enter a ravine. Officer Morris was, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle.

Both officers were transported to a local hospital where Officer Morris succumbed to his injuries.

One occupant of the vehicle was arrested two days later and the other occupant remains at large.

Officer Morris had served with the Prince George's County Police Department for 2-1/2 years and had previously served as an Explorer with the department. He was assigned to the 6th District.
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: Domestic Terrorism: A Persistent Threat in the United States, August 23, 2012

By Scott Stewart

A string of incidents over the past month has served as a reminder that despite the intense, decadelong focus on the jihadist threat, domestic terrorism is still an issue in the United States. On Aug. 5, Wade Page opened fire on the congregation of a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., killing six and wounding three others. Though Page killed himself and did not leave any evidence explicitly listing his motives for the attack, his long association with the white supremacist movement was clearly a factor in his target choice.

On Aug. 15, Floyd Corkins shot and wounded a security guard in the lobby of the Family Research Council's office in Washington after the guard blocked him from entering the office. Corkins reportedly was carrying a bag containing a box of ammunition and a number of Chick-fil-A sandwiches. He apparently targeted the Family Research Council because of its public support for Chick-fil-A in the wake of the controversy over statements made by the fast food chain's founder regarding gay marriage. According to media reports, Corkins said, "I don't like your politics," before opening fire.

And on Aug. 16, an off-duty sheriff's deputy was shot and wounded while working as a security guard at an oil refinery in St. John the Baptist Parish, La. When two other deputies responded to a nearby trailer park where a vehicle reportedly associated with the shooting was spotted, the trailers' occupants ambushed and killed the deputies. An additional officer was wounded, along with two of the suspects involved in the shooting, Brian Smith and Kyle Joekel. Seven people have been arrested in connection with the incident, including Smith's father and brother. News reports indicate that the group was associated with the sovereign citizen movement, and members of it were under investigation for weapons offenses and previous threats to law enforcement officers in other states.

All three of these incidents stem from distinct ideological streams: the white supremacist skinhead movement, the radical left and the Posse Comitatus/sovereign citizen movement. While unrelated as far as timing and motive, when taken together they show that extremist ideologies subscribed to by certain individuals on the fringes of U.S. society continue to radicalize some to the point that they are willing to take violent action in accordance with those ideologies. Domestic terrorism is thus alive and well.

Old Streams

First, we need to remember that terrorism is a tactic practiced by actors from a wide array of ethnic and religious backgrounds who follow various ideologies stretching from anarchism to neo-Nazism. Terrorism does not equal jihadism. Long before jihadism reared its head in the United States, anarchist Leon Czolgosz assassinated President William McKinley, white supremacist James Earl Ray assassinated Martin Luther King Jr., and Posse Comitatus member Gordon Kahl killed three law enforcement officers in a multistate spree of violence.

Indeed, as we look at all of the recent attention being paid to lone assailants and small cells, it must be remembered that anti-government and white supremacist leaders in the United States embraced the leaderless resistance model of operations long before jihadist groups began to promote it.

In 1989, William Pierce wrote his novel Hunter, which detailed the exploits of a fictional lone wolf named Oscar Yeager and was loosely based upon real-life lone wolf Joseph Paul Franklin. In 1990, Richard Kelly Hoskins published a book titled Vigilantes of Christendom, in which he introduced the concept of a "Phineas Priest," or a lone wolf militant chosen and set apart by God to be his agent of vengeance upon the earth. In 1992, former Ku Klux Klan leader Louis Beam published an essay in his magazine, The Seditionist, that provided a detailed outline for moving the white supremacist movement toward a leaderless resistance model. Jihadists such as Abu Musab al-Suri first began to promote leaderless resistance only after the U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks began to severely affect al Qaeda. But even so, groups such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula did not really embrace al-Suri's concept of leaderless resistance until late 2009, and the al Qaeda core did not follow suit until 2010.

The recent spate of incidents is also not all that unusual. Other examples stand out in recent years of different streams of domestic radicalism leading to a confluence of attacks by different types of actors. For example, on April 19, 1995, a large truck bomb built by anti-government extremists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols detonated outside the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. Five days later, on April 25, timber lobbyist Gilbert Murray became the third fatality and final victim of Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski's long Neo-Luddite bombing campaign.

Another such convergence occurred in the summer of 1999. After conducting arsons at three Sacramento-area synagogues, brothers Matthew and Tyler Williams killed a gay couple in their home in Happy Valley, Calif., on July 1. On July 2, World Church of the Creator adherent Benjamin Smith began a multistate shooting spree that killed two and wounded nine and that only ended when he killed himself July 4. On Aug. 10, former Aryan Nations member Buford Furrow mounted an armed assault against a Jewish day care center in Los Angeles, during which he wounded five people before killing a Filipino-American mailman on the street.

Domestic terrorism in the United States is a cyclical phenomenon. There are discernable peaks in that cycle, like those we've discussed -- and like the one the country is currently experiencing. The intense political polarization that has occurred in recent years in the United States, the widespread distrust of the government on both the extreme right and the extreme left, and the current election-year rhetoric will further inflame political passions. This means that the current cycle of domestic terrorism plots and violence is likely to continue for at least the next several months.


While domestic terrorism is currently at the peak of the cycle in the United States, it is important to remember that most domestic terrorism cases tend to be simple attacks conducted by a lone actor or small cell. There are far more instances of simple bombings, such as those conducted by Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph or animal rights bomber Daniel Andreas San Diego, than the sort of large truck bomb attack committed by McVeigh and Nichols, which was an anomaly. Even more common than bombing attacks are the armed assaults that we've seen recently, and they are generally implemented against soft targets -- something we've talked about in relation to other terrorist threats.

And that means that the implications for domestic terrorist threats are essentially the same as they are for the jihadist or Iranian threat. First, it is critical for people to remember that terrorist attacks do not appear out of a vacuum. Individuals planning an attack -- no matter what their motivation or ideology -- follow a discernable cycle, and that cycle involves behavior that can be identified and detected before the attack is conducted. Indeed, it appears that the Smith family and their associates involved in the Louisiana shooting were known by authorities in several jurisdictions and were considered armed and dangerous.

It is also important for individuals to understand that it is physically impossible for governments to protect all potential targets from every sort of attack. This means that many places are vulnerable to an attack, should an assailant choose to strike and should the assailant's preoperational activities go undetected. Therefore, citizens need to assume responsibility for their own security. This involves citizens not only reporting suspicious activity to the authorities, but also practicing good situational awareness and having updated and appropriate contingency plans in place for their families and businesses.

"Domestic Terrorism: A Persistent Threat in the United States is republished with permission of Stratfor."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Officer Down

Police Officer Moses Walker, Jr.
Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police Department
End of Watch: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Age: 40
Tour: 19 years
Badge # 2553

Police Officer Moses Walker was shot and killed while attempting to take police action while off duty shortly before 6:00 am.

He had just finished his shift at the 22nd District station and was walking to a bus stop after changing into civilian clothes. He was at the intersection of North 20th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue when he encountered a situation that resulted in him drawing his service weapon.

He was found moments later with his weapon underneath his body. It is believed he may have drawn his weapon when one or more subjects attempted to rob him.

Officer Walker had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for 19 years. He is survived by his five siblings.
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. 


Geopolitical Weekly: Mexico's Strategy, August 21, 2012

By George Friedman

A few years ago, I wrote about Mexico possibly becoming a failed state because of the effect of the cartels on the country. Mexico may have come close to that, but it stabilized itself and took a different course instead -- one of impressive economic growth in the face of instability.

Mexican Economics

Discussion of national strategy normally begins with the question of national security. But a discussion of Mexico's strategy must begin with economics. This is because Mexico's neighbor is the United States, whose military power in North America denies Mexico military options that other nations might have. But proximity to the United States does not deny Mexico economic options. Indeed, while the United States overwhelms Mexico from a national security standpoint, it offers possibilities for economic growth.

Mexico is now the world's 14th-largest economy, just above South Korea and just below Australia. Its gross domestic product was $1.16 trillion in 2011. It grew by 3.8 percent in 2011 and 5.5 percent in 2010. Before a major contraction of 6.9 percent in 2009 following the 2008 crisis, Mexico's GDP grew by an average of 3.3 percent in the five years between 2004 and 2008. When looked at in terms of purchasing power parity, a measure of GDP in terms of actual purchasing power, Mexico is the 11th-largest economy in the world, just behind France and Italy. It is also forecast to grow at just below 4 percent again this year, despite slowing global economic trends, thanks in part to rising U.S. consumption.

Total economic size and growth is extremely important to total national power. But Mexico has a single profound economic problem: According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Mexico has the second-highest level of inequality among member nations. More than 50 percent of Mexico's population lives in poverty, and some 14.9 percent of its people live in intense poverty, meaning they have difficulty securing the necessities of life. At the same time, Mexico is home to the richest man in the world, telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim.

Mexico ranked only 62nd in per capita GDP in 2011; China, on the other hand, ranked 91st. No one would dispute that China is a significant national power. Few would dispute that China suffers from social instability. This means that in terms of evaluating Mexico's role in the international system, we must look at the aggregate numbers. Given those numbers, Mexico has entered the ranks of the leading economic powers and is growing more quickly than nations ahead of it. When we look at the distribution of wealth, the internal reality is that, like China, Mexico has deep weaknesses.

The primary strategic problem for Mexico is the potential for internal instability driven by inequality. Northern and central Mexico have the highest human development index, nearly on the European level, while the mountainous, southernmost states are well below that level. Mexican inequality is geographically defined, though even the wealthiest regions have significant pockets of inequality. We must remember that this is not Western-style gradient inequality, but cliff inequality where the poor live utterly different lives from even the middle class.

Mexico is using classic tools for managing this problem. Since poverty imposes limits to domestic consumption, Mexico is an exporter. It exported $349.6 billion in 2011, which means it derives just under 30 percent of its GDP from exports. This is just above the Chinese level and creates a serious vulnerability in Mexico's economy, since it becomes dependent on other countries' appetite for Mexican goods.

This is compounded by the fact that 78.5 percent of Mexico's exports go to the United States. That means that 23.8 percent of Mexico's GDP depends on the appetite of the American markets. On the flip side, 48.8 percent of its imports come from the United States, making it an asymmetric relationship. Although both sides need the exports, Mexico must have them. The United States benefits from them but not on the same order.

Relations With the United States

This leads to Mexico's second strategic problem: its relationship with the United States. When we look back to the early 19th century, it was not clear that the United States would be the dominant power in North America. The United States was a small, poorly integrated country hugging the East Coast. Mexico was much more developed, with a more substantial military and economy. At first glance, Mexico ought to have been the dominant power in North America.

But Mexico had two problems. The first was internal instability caused by the social factors that remain in place, namely Mexico's massive, regionally focused inequality. The second was that the lands north of the Rio Grande line (referred to as Rio Bravo del Norte by the Mexicans) were sparsely settled and difficult to defend. The terrain between the Mexican heartland and the northern territories from Texas to California were difficult to reach from the south. The cost of maintaining a military force able to protect this area was prohibitive.

From the American point of view, Mexico -- and particularly the Mexican presence in Texas -- represented a strategic threat to American interests. The development of the Louisiana Purchase into the breadbasket of the United States depended on the Ohio-Mississippi-Missouri river system, which was navigable and the primary mode of export. Mexico, with its border on the Sabine River separating it from Louisiana, was positioned to cut the Mississippi. The strategic need to secure sea approaches through the Caribbean to the vulnerable Mexican east coast put Mexico in direct conflict with U.S. interests.

The decision by U.S. President Andrew Jackson to send Sam Houston on a covert mission into Texas to foment a rising of American settlers there was based in part on his obsession with New Orleans and the Mississippi River, which Jackson had fought for in 1815. The Texas rising was countered by a Mexican army moving north into Texas. Its problem was that the Mexican army, drawn to a great extent from the poorest elements of Mexican society in that country's south, had to pass through the desert and mountains of the region and suffered from extremely cold and snowy weather. The Mexican soldiers arrived at San Antonio exhausted, and while they defeated the garrison there, they were not able to defeat the force at San Jacinto (near present-day Houston) and were themselves defeated.

The region that separated the heart of Texas from the heart of Mexico was a barrier for military movement that undermined Mexico's ability to hold its northern territory. The geographic weakness of Mexico -- this hostile region coupled with long and difficult-to-defend coastlines and no navy -- extended west to the Pacific. It created a borderland that had two characteristics. It was of little economic value, and it was inherently difficult to police due to the terrain. It separated the two countries, but it became a low-level friction point throughout history, with smuggling and banditry on both sides at various times. It was a perfect border in the sense that it created a buffer, but it was an ongoing problem because it could not be easily controlled.

The defeat in Texas and during the Mexican-American War cost Mexico its northern territories. It created a permanent political issue between the two countries, one that Mexico could not effectively remedy. The defeat in the wars continued to destabilize Mexico. Although the northern territories were not central to Mexico's national interest, their loss created a crisis of confidence in successive regimes that further irritated the core social problem of massive inequality. For the past century and a half, Mexico has lived with an ongoing inferiority complex toward and resentment of the United States.

The war created another reality between the two countries: a borderland that was a unique entity, part of both countries and part of neither country. The borderland's geography had defeated the Mexican army. It now became a frontier that neither side could control. During the ongoing unrest surrounding the Mexican Revolution, it became a refuge for figures such as Pancho Villa, pursued by U.S. Gen. John J. Pershing after Villa raided American towns. It would not be fair to call it a no-man's-land. It was an every-man's-land, with its own rules, frequently violent, never suppressed.

The drug trade has replaced the cattle rustling of the 19th century, but the essential principle remains the same. Cocaine, marijuana and a number of other drugs are being shipped to the United States. All are imported or produced in Mexico at a low cost and then re-exported or exported into the United States. The price in the United States, where the products are illegal and in great demand, is substantially higher than in Mexico. That means that the price differential between drugs in Mexico and drugs in the United States creates an attractive market. This typically happens when one country prohibits a widely desired product readily available in a neighboring country.

This creates a substantial inflow of wealth into Mexico, though the precise size of this inflow is difficult to gauge. The precise amount of cross-border trade is uncertain, but one number frequently used is $40 billion a year. This would mean narcotic sales represent an 11.4 percent addition to total exports. But this underestimates the importance of narcotics, because profit margins would tend to be much higher on drugs than on industrial products. Assuming that the profit margin on legal exports is 10 percent (a very high estimate), legal exports would generate about $35 billion a year in profits. Assuming the margin on drugs is 80 percent, then the profit on them is $32 billion a year, almost matching profits on legal exports.

These numbers are all guesses, of course. The amount of money returned to Mexico as opposed to kept in U.S. or other banks is unknown. The precise amount of the trade is uncertain and profit margins are difficult to calculate. What can be known is that the trade is likely an off-the-books stimulant to the Mexican economy, generated by the price differential created by drug prohibition.

The advantage to Mexico also creates a strategic problem for Mexico. Given the money at stake and that the legal system is unable to suppress or regulate the trade, the borderland has again become -- perhaps now more than ever -- a region of ongoing warfare between groups competing to control the movement of narcotics into the United States. To a great extent, the Mexicans have lost control of this borderland.

From the Mexican point of view, this is a manageable situation. The borderland is distinct from the Mexican heartland. So long as the violence does not overwhelm the heartland, it is tolerable. The inflow of money does not offend the Mexican government. More precisely, the Mexican government has limited resources to suppress the trade and violence, and there are financial benefits to its existence. The Mexican strategy is to try to block the spread of lawlessness into Mexico proper but to accept the lawlessness in a region that historically has been lawless.

The American position is to demand that the Mexicans deploy forces to suppress the trade. But neither side has sufficient force to control the border, and the demand is more one of gestures than significant actions or threats. The Mexicans have already weakened their military by trying to come to grips with the problem, but they are not going to break their military by trying to control a region that broke them in the past. The United States is not going to provide a force sufficient to control the border, since the cost would be staggering. Each will thus live with the violence. The Mexicans argue the problem is that the United States can't suppress demand and is unwilling to destroy incentives by lowering prices through legalization. The Americans say the Mexicans must root out the corruption among Mexican officials and law enforcement. Both have interesting arguments, but neither argument has anything to do with reality. Controlling that terrain is impossible with reasonable effort, and no one is prepared to make an unreasonable effort.

Another aspect is the movement of migrants. For Mexicans, the movement of migrants has been part of their social policy: It shifts the poor out of Mexico and generates remittances. For the United States, this has provided a consistent source of low-cost labor. The borderland has been the uncontrollable venue through which the migrants pass. The Mexicans don't want to stop it, and neither, in the end, do the Americans.

Dueling rhetoric between the United States and Mexico hides the underlying facts. Mexico is now one of the largest economies in the world and a major economic partner with the United States. The inequality in the relationship comes from military inequality. The U.S. military dominates North America, and the Mexicans are in no position to challenge this. The borderland poses problems and some benefits for each, but neither is in a position to control the region regardless of rhetoric.

Mexico still has to deal with its core issue, which is maintaining its internal social stability. It is, however, beginning to develop foreign policy issues beyond the United States. In particular, it is developing an interest in managing Central America, possibly in collaboration with Colombia. Its purpose, ironically, is the control of illegal immigrants and drug smuggling. These are not trivial moves. Were it not for the United States, Mexico would be a great regional power. Given the United States, it must manage that relationship before any other.

Given Mexico's dramatic economic growth and given time, this equation will change. Over time, we expect there will be two significant powers in North America. But in the short run, the traditional strategic problems of Mexico remain: how to deal with the United States, how to contain the northern borderland and how to maintain national unity in the face of potential social unrest.

"Mexico's Strategy is republished with permission of Stratfor."