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

Friday, February 28, 2014

Again, if it's that bad, ban it!

I just finished an excellent Gurkha cigar, came back in to review my posts and found this in my draft file. So I get to look at it again. From the people who have us the National Socialists (Hitler was a militant anti-smoker) and tax rates over 50% before it was popular, we have another example of government run a mock.


After three years of tortuous debate, the European Parliament voted and passed the Tobacco Product Directive by 514 votes to 66. Certainly, the sacking by Manuel Barroso of Maltese Health Commissioner John Dalli for allegedly soliciting a bribe of €60 million from a Swedish snus manufacturer did nothing to speed matters up.

The main points of the TPD are:

Banning the sale of packs of ten cigarettes and small pouches of tobacco

Health warnings to cover 65 percent of the front and back of all packaging

Banning of flavours like menthol

Minimum sized packets

Allows member states to ban internet sales, specifically aimed at electronic cigarettes

Regulation of electronic cigarettes

Continuing ban on Swedish snus, a tobacco-based alternative to smoking

Controversially, the speaker of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, banned MEPs from voting on the individual aspects of the legislation.

They had to vote for it all or none. This had important wider implications on the harm-reduction clauses.

Whether this will lead to a reduction in smoking, and especially in youth smoking, will take a decade to quantify. Europeans remain addicted to the weed: smoking rates have remained static and some countries, like Greece, have actually seen a rise in smoking.

Ireland banned packs of ten cigarettes in July 2009 and still has very high levels of youth smoking. Overall smoking rates have gone up too from 29 percent to 33 percent of the adult population in 2013.

However, the people most exasperated are the 'vapers', those who smoke electronic cigarettes (e-cigs). The British MEPs of all parties were most keen to stymie the clauses on e-cigs, as there is increasing evidence that many long term and heavy smokers have quit in greater numbers by using these than by going cold turkey or using nicotine replacement therapy.

Parliament has banned the concentrations of nicotine allowed in refills, where the need for the drug subsides. One 'vaper' suggested it will make e-cigs like "sucking on a straw."...
A point I would like to make is recently (within the last two years) I've seen a lot of propaganda on the dangers of e-cigs. And something like this doesn't happen from out the air. This leads to the question why is this coming out. I would say the reason is if someone is using an e-cig (as either a replacement of regular cigarettes or used to help the smoker quit) they are not buying a pack a day of Marlboro's. So who looses out then? First and foremost, big government. Most of the cost of a pack of cigarettes is taxes, it's not profit. And an e-cig is taxed as a regular product, not a tobacco item. One of the greatest lies put out is government wants people to stop smoking.
Ridiculous, there is too much money involved.

But again, if the intent was to end smoking becuas sit's too danger a item, fine. There is a solution. Ban the product.

Oh yea, right, that means there is no tax revenue coming in. Wait, is the to point of this?


Thursday, February 27, 2014

K9 Down

K9 Maco
Dinwiddie County Virginia Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Friday, November 1, 2013
Breed: Belgian Malinois
Origin: Czech Republic
Age: 2
Gender: M

K9 Maco was struck and killed by a vehicle on Courthouse Road during a training exercise in the Five Forks Battlefield area of the county.

Maco was off lead when he spotted a herd of deer in the field and began chasing them. He was struck by the car as he chased them across the road.

Maco had served with the Dinwiddie Count Sheriff's Office for one year.
Rest in Peace Maco…and enjoy running the green grass of Heaven!

In Memory of all Police Dogs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By John Quealy

K9,  K9 Down, Officer Safety, Police, Police Training

Officer Down

Correctional Officer Amanda Baker
Scotts Bluff County Nebraska Detention Center
End of Watch: Sunday, February 16, 2014
Age: 24
Tour: 1 year, 8 months
Incident Date: 2/14/2014

Correctional Officer Amanda Baker succumbed to injuries sustained two days earlier when she was attacked by a 15-year-old inmate in the Scotts Bluff County Juvenile Detention Center.

The inmate, who was awaiting trial on an armed robbery charge, attacked and strangled Officer Baker after she entered his cell at approximately 2:00 am. She was transported to Regional West Medical Center where she pronounced brain dead. She was kept on life support so her organs could be donated.

She passed away on February 16th, 2014.

Officer Baker had served with the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center for just over 1-1/2 years. She is survived by her son.
Rest in Peace Sis…We Got The Watch

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


Hard to believe, but Texas has followed the idiot newspaper up in New York and released a map of the location of all its gun owners. Their locations are marked by red dots on the map below.
 Thanks Chris M for the map!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Geopolitical Weekly: Ukraine Turns From Revolution to Recovery, February 25, 2014

By George Friedman

The uprising in Kiev has apparently reached its conclusion. President Viktor Yanukovich and the opposition reached an agreement, negotiated by the Polish, German and French foreign ministers. The parliament is now effectively in charge, deciding who will be ministers and when elections will be held, whether to dismiss judges and so on. It isn't clear whether the parliament can fire the sitting president without impeachment and trial, but all of this is now moot. What is interesting is that the Polish, French and German foreign ministers negotiated an outcome that, for practical purposes, ignored the Constitution of Ukraine. It sets an interesting precedent. But for Ukraine, the constitution didn't have the patina of tradition that a true constitution requires, and few will miss Yanukovich.

The question now is whether all of this makes any real difference in Ukraine or the world. There is a new temporary leadership, although it is still factionalized and the leaders of the factions have not fully emerged. The effect of hostile gunfire will forge unity in Kiev for a while, but in due course, ideology, ambition and animosity will re-emerge. That will make governing Ukraine as difficult as in the past, particularly because the differences among the neo-Nazis, the liberals and groups in between -- all of which manned the barricades -- are profound. A government of national unity will be difficult to form.

Another issue is what will happen the next time crowds storm government buildings. The precedent has been set -- or rather, it was set during the 2004 Orange Revolution -- that governments and regimes can be changed by a legalistic sleight of hand. At some point a large crowd will gather and occupy buildings. If the government opens fire, it is run by monsters. I don't mean that ironically; I mean it literally. But if the government allows itself to be paralyzed by demonstrators, then how can it carry out its constitutional responsibilities? I don't mean that ironically either. The Ukrainian Constitution, new or old, is meaningless because Ukrainians will not endure the pain of following it -- and because foreign powers will pressure them to deviate from constitutional democracy in order to create a new one.

There should be no mistake. The Yanukovich government was rotten to the core, and he will not be missed. But most governments of Ukraine will be rotten to the core, partly because there is no tradition of respect for the law and because of the way property was privatized. How could there be a tradition of law in a country that was reduced to a province of another state and that numbered among its rulers Josef Stalin? Privatization, following the fall of the Soviet Union, occurred suddenly with vague rules that gave the advantage to the fast and ruthless. These people now own Ukraine, and however much the crowd despises them, it can't unseat them. The oligarchs, as rich people in the former Soviet Union are called, are free; they can eliminate their critics or bribe them into silence. The only thing that is more powerful than money is a gun. But guns cost money and lives.

The idea that what will follow the Ukrainian revolution will be the birth of a liberal democracy reminds me of the Arab Spring. In the West, there is a tradition of seeing a passionate crowd massed in a square as the voice of the people. Reporters interview demonstrators and hear that they want an end to a corrupt and evil regime and subliminally recall the storming of the Bastille, the founding myth of the revolutionary tradition. A large crowd and a building anger at government evil points to the millennium.

In the Arab Spring the hope was great and the results disappointing. There was genuine hope for change, and observers assumed that the change was for liberal democracy. Perhaps it will yet be. Sometimes it was a change to a very different type of regime. What is portrayed and seen in this situation are the corrupt leaders commanding brutal soldiers. If the regime and the soldiers are wicked, it follows by this storyboard logic of good and evil that then their victims must be virtuous. It is rarely that easy. It is not only that the crowd is usually divided into many factions and bound together only by anger at the regime and the passionate moment. It is also that unexpected consequences lead them far from what they intended.

How Long Will Unity Last?

The deepest symbolism of revolution, and the most problematic, is that the people in the square speak for the people as a whole. The assumption made by the three foreign ministers was that in the negotiation between the three leaders of the demonstrators and the president, the protests' leaders were more faithful representatives of the people than the elected president. They may have been in this case, but it is not certain.

Parts of Ukraine are bitterly angry about the outcome in Kiev. A Russian flag was raised over the city hall of Sevastopol, located in Crimea in the south, over the weekend. Crimea has historically belonged to Russia. In 1954, Nikita Khrushchev took it away from Russia and gave it to Ukraine. The Russians in Crimea have never really liked being part of Ukraine and the demonstrators didn't represent them. Nor did they represent all those who live in the eastern part of the country, where Russian is commonly spoken and where being close to Russia is both an economic and cultural desire.

Thus there are two questions. The first is whether there is enough unity in the Ukrainian parliament to do what they must now do: create a government. The excitement of the moment has hidden the factions, which will soon re-emerge along with new ones. Yanukovich was not without support, for good reasons or bad. His supporters are bitter at this outcome and they are biding their time. In addition, the oligarchs are weaving their webs, save that many of the lawmakers are already caught in their web, some happily and some not. The underlying constraints that created the Yanukovich government are still there and can create a new Yanukovich out of the most enlightened Ukrainian leader.

The second question is whether Ukraine can remain united. The distinctions between the region oriented toward the West and that oriented toward Russia have been there from the beginning. In the past, governments have tried to balance between these two camps. Our three foreign ministers and the leaders of the demonstration have signaled that the days of taking Crimea and the east into account are over. At the very least their interests weren't represented at the talks. Those interests could be rebalanced in the parliament, or they could be dismissed. If the latter were to happen, will Ukraine split in two? And if it does, what will be the economic and social consequences? If parliament takes to accommodating the two sides and their respective oligarchs, then how does it avoid winding up with a more photogenic and sympathetic Yanukovich?

The Motives of Outsiders

What happened to Ukraine mattered deeply to the Germans, French, Poles and Americans, all of whom had a deep involvement and sympathy for the demonstrators and hostility toward Yanukovich. Certainly it matters to the Russians, for whom maintaining at least a neutral Ukraine is essential to the national interest. This entire crisis began when Yanukovich decided to reject closer ties to the European Union. It was that decision that triggered the demonstrations, which, after violent repression, evolved from desiring closer EU ties to desiring regime change and blood.

The Ukrainian government has $13 billion in debt, owed mostly to Western institutions. The Russian government has agreed to provide Ukraine with $15 billion in aid doled out in tranches to cover it, since Ukraine can't. Russia is now withholding additional aid until it can be confident the emerging government in Kiev is one with which it can work. It has also given Ukraine discounted natural gas. Without this assistance Ukraine would be in an even worse situation.

In turning toward Europe, parliament has to address refinancing its debt and ensure that the Russians will continue to discount natural gas. The Europeans are in no position politically to underwrite the Ukrainian debt. Given the economic situation and austerity in many EU countries, there would be an uproar if Brussels diverted scarce resources to a non-member. And regardless of what might be believed, the idea that Ukraine will become a member of the European Union under current circumstances is dismal. The bloc has enough sick economies on its hands.

The Germans have suggested that the International Monetary Fund handle Ukraine's economic problem. The IMF's approach to such problems is best compared to surgery without anesthesia. The patient may survive and be better for it, but the agony will be intense. In return for any bailout, the IMF will demand a restructuring of Ukraine's finances. Given Ukraine's finances, that restructuring would be dramatic. And the consequences could well lead to yet another round of protests.

The Russians have agreed to this, likely chuckling. Either parliament will reject the IMF plan and ask Russia to assume the burden immediately, or it will turn to Russia after experiencing the pain. There is a reason the Russians have been so relaxed about events in Ukraine. They understand that between the debt, natural gas and tariffs on Ukrainian exports to Russia, Ukraine has extremely powerful constraints. Under the worst circumstances Ukraine would move into the Western camp an economic cripple. Under the best, Ukraine would recognize its fate and turn to Russia.

What the Europeans and Americans were doing in Ukraine is less clear. They had the triumphant moment and they have eliminated a corrupt leader. But they certainly are not ready to take on the burden of Ukraine's economic problems. And with those economic problems, the ability to form a government that does not suffer from the ills of Yanukovich is slim. Good intentions notwithstanding, the Ukrainians will not like the IMF deal.

I will guess at two motives for European and American actions. One is to repay the Russians for their more aggressive stance in the world and to remind them of how vulnerable Russia is. The second is as a low-risk human rights intervention to satisfy internal political demand without risking much. The pure geopolitical explanation -- that they did this in order to gain a platform from which to threaten Russia and increase its caution -- is hard to believe. None of these powers were in a position to protect Ukraine from Russian economic or military retaliation. None of them have any appetite for threatening Russia's fundamental interests.

As stated above, the question now is two fold. Will the Ukrainian parliament, once the adrenaline of revolution stops flowing, be able to govern, or will it fall into the factional gridlock that a presidential system was supposed to solve? Further, will the east and Crimea decide they don't want to cast their lot with the new regime and proceed to secede, either becoming independent or joining Russia? In large part the second question will be determined by the first. If the parliament is gridlocked, or it adopts measures hostile to the east and Crimea, secession is possible. Of course, if it decides to accommodate these regions, it is not clear how the government will differ from Yanukovich's.

Revolutions are much easier to make than to recover from. This was not such a vast uprising that it takes much recovery. But to the extent that Ukraine had a constitutional democracy, that is now broken by people who said their intention was to create one. The issue is whether good intentions align with reality. It is never a bad idea to be pessimistic about Ukraine. Perhaps this time will be different.

Ukraine Turns From Revolution to Recovery is republished with permission of Stratfor.

Here we go again....the cops killed another guy by taking him into custody...

A video of an arrest of outside of an Oklahoma City movie theater. Naturally this is causing an uproar, etc. Well here is the video and article.

GRAPHIC: Raw video of arrest released after man dies in Moore police custody

MOORE, Okla. – After weeks of accusations, the public is now getting the chance to see a video that was taken the night a local man died in police custody.

Nair Rodriguez, Luis Rodriguez’s wife, said from the beginning her husband was beaten by police.

On Tuesday, her attorney’s office released the video, allowing everyone to decide for themselves what happened to him.

In the video, Nair Rodriguez is heard calling for her husband to tell her if he’s okay.

However, he did not answer.

It was just one of the scenes that unfolded in the video.

After about a minute, an officer approaches her to discuss what happened.

Kyle Eastridge is a former homicide investigator and is now working as a private investigator.

As he watched the video, Eastridge said, “Those guys are out of breath.”

As the video continues, Eastridge notes that Rodriguez does not seem to be responsive.

He says it is hard to give an opinion on the case since he does not know what happened in the moments leading up to the arrest.

Which is par for the course. Generally you only see a few seconds of the officer using a TASER or baton on someone. You don't get video of the suspect screaming "I'm gonna kick you ass....." That wouldn't fit well into the narrative. But I'll go on.
However, he says the officers did not use excessive force based on his knowledge of police procedure.

Eastridge said, “This is pretty benign as far as police procedure goes. Everything is textbook. I don’t know what happened before.”

When talking about an officer who had his knee on Rodriguez’s back, Eastridge said, “He’s not really bearing down on him. He’s just trying to keep him down.”

As the video comes to an end, Eastridge and H.L. Christensen, another private investigator, noticed paramedics taking action, which they believe shows Rodriguez was likely alive as he was loaded into the ambulance.

Both men say without seeing an autopsy report, it is hard to say whether police were responsible for Luis Rodriguez’s death...

But that won't stop everyone from speculating the cops went to kill him. But again, let the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation take the case over and let the autopsy show if the man had other medical issues. But that won't stop a good story.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

To Search, or Not to Search...that is the question?!

I don't think there is a question if can one adult resident of a house (or in this case, apartment) can consent to a search. But as the article says, another adult has already said no. But seeing obvious injury on the woman, the police have reasonable suspicion to detain Mr Fernandez and take him from the location, where the girlfriend gave consent. The weapons were retrieved and Mr Fernandez is onto his latest career as a resident of the California Department of Corrections.

From NBC News...so take it with a grain of salt. Two words, George Zimmerman.
Supreme Court Allows Disputed Home Searches Without Warrant

Police can search a home without a warrant if one of the occupants consents — and even if an occupant who would object isn’t home at the time, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

The 6-3 vote, which highlights Americans’ Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, stems from a 2009 case in Los Angeles.

Walter Fernandez was suspected in an earlier robbery and stabbing, and when police arrived without a warrant at his apartment, he told them they couldn’t come inside. Officers, however, noticed his girlfriend was bruised and bloodied, and so they removed Fernandez on suspicion of domestic abuse.

In the meantime, the girlfriend, who also lived at the apartment, allowed police in. Authorities found a shotgun, ammunition and a knife.

Fernandez’s lawyers had tried to argue that while the girlfriend had consented to a search, he objected. The court held that her consent was enough because the defendant was not physically present to object — even though police were the reason he wasn’t there.

The high court upheld the conviction against Fernandez, who had been sentenced to 14 years in prison on robbery and gun charges.

Back in 2006, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that police are able to search a home as long as one occupant says yes. But this latest case also tested the right of the police to enter when the objector was no longer there.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan were the three dissenting votes. They said the ruling makes it too easy for police to conduct searches without a warrant.

“Today’s decisions tells the police they may dodge it, never mind ample time to secure the approval of a neutral magistrate,” Ginsburg said.

The 10 Deadly Errors and the Dirty Dozen

One of the best police training books I've ever read was Officer Down Code Three. As a field training officer I would give my rookie officers a copy of a chapter each night with instructions to read and be ready to talk about it the next night. The cultural references are a bit dated (Starsky and Hutch) but the lessons are timeless. Well LT Dan in Police One has somewhat revised the list. Good read, the updates are underlined.
Blue Knights with Lt. Dan Marcou

The Dirty Dozen: Updating the '10 Deadly Errors' of policing

Los Angeles Homicide Detective Pierce Brooks created the “10 Deadly Errors” — here is my take on those original ten as well as two more I’ve taken the liberty of adding

The “10 Deadly Errors” hung in my locker every day of my career. I originally obtained them from the book, Officer Down, Code Three, by Los Angeles Homicide Detective Pierce Brooks.

After attending “too many” police funerals, Brooks compiled a list of errors that were being repeatedly committed in officer-down cases.

Here is my take on those original 10 as well as two more I’ve taken the liberty of adding in order to make “The Dirty Dozen.”

1.) Attitude: If you fail to keep your mind on the job for any reason, for your entire shift you may miss critical indicators of impending danger. Having an unhealthy attitude can also cause an officer to slip into such a malaise they are susceptible to committing other errors as a matter of routine.

Any coach will tell their players that attitude can make the difference between a win and a loss in any game. This could apply to law enforcement, except for the fact that police work is not a game and losing is not an option.

2.) Tombstone Courage: When you wear a badge every day, your courage is a given and does not need to be proven on every call. In some cases police work is best done when done as a team. Do not hesitate to enthusiastically give and patiently wait for backup.

Sometimes it’s just plain smart to slow things down or even disengage.

3.) Not Enough Rest: An old veteran told a rookie, “To survive this career all you have to do is pay attention!”

Being alert is a necessity in law enforcement, and you can’t do that when you are sleepy or asleep.

4.) Taking a Bad Position: On every call, with every suspect, on every approach, you must evaluate your position constantly. You must know how to use cover, concealment, barriers and relative positioning to your advantage.

5.) Missing Danger Signs: Prior to most attacks there are usually indications that an assault is imminent. Recognize changes in a suspect’s muscular tension, an increase in respirations, modified offensive stances, offensive hand positioning, glances toward exits, looking for witnesses, checking out your weapon, furtive movements, signaling toward accomplices and verbal threats to do you harm. Learn to recognize danger signs and never explain them away. Avoid developing technological tunnel vision.

When you are in contact with the public, look up and look out.

Get your head out of your apps!

6.) Failure to Watch the Suspect’s Hands: The hands kill. Throughout every call and contact, “WATCH THE HANDS!”

7.) Relaxing Too Soon: If you are able to convince yourself that alarms are false before you arrive on scene, you are probably an officer who is “routinely” relaxing too soon on most of your contacts. Officers must resist the tendency to relax when they confront compliant suspects, because feigning compliance is a common criminal tactic. If you find one suspect, one weapon, one explosive device, one of anything dangerous, do not relax. Continue the search for more. Remember, nothing is “routine.”

8.) Improper Use or No Use of Handcuffs: If a suspect is arrested and transported, policies all over the nation require that they be handcuffed. Officers should be as proficient with multiple tactical handcuffing techniques as they are with their firearms.

9.) No Search or Poor Search: In today’s world, criminals can buy clothes that have secret compartments, within which they can conceal weapons, drugs, contraband and fruits of a crime. It is imperative that every arrested suspect be searched thoroughly. Search the suspect’s person incident to arrest as well as the lunge area. Then search them again before you take them into the jail. Additionally, you must search every suspect turned over to you for transport by other officers.

Remember what it says on the dollar. “In God We Trust.” For a police officer the list must stop there.

10.) Dirty or Inoperable Weapon: You should neither leave firearms training, nor hit the streets with a dirty weapon. Some officers never take the time to truly learn how to field strip their weapon and when that happens they stop properly cleaning their weapons. Before beginning your shift make certain long guns are “squad ready.” There should be no firearm in your squad that you can’t quickly access and bring into the fight under stress. Take care of your weapons and they will take care of you.

Additionally, a weapon is only operable if an officer is mentally prepared to use it, when a life depends on it. Are you prepared?

Those are the original ten. Here are two new deadly errors I’ve added to the list.

11.) Failure to Wear a Vest or a Seatbelt: Vests and seat belts have saved thousands of officers’ lives, but they can only save your life if you are wearing them.

12.) Failure to Maintain Physical/Emotional Fitness: There is an urgent need for police officers to maintain a high level of fitness to face both the considerable physical and emotional challenges this career has to offer. To enhance your physical fitness level, train, run, lift and stretch at least three times a week. To maintain emotional fitness, laugh, love, work, play and pray, while striving to maintain a positive perspective on your life and career.

Now with that said, you may hit the streets... and in the words of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus, “Be careful out there!”

Good update LT Dan.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Jonathan Scott Pine
Orange County Florida Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Age: 34
Tour: 2 years, 1 month
Badge # 6512
Cause: Gunfire

Deputy Sheriff Jonathan Pine was shot and killed while responding to reports of car break-ins in a gated community off of South Apopka Vineland Road.

When deputies arrived shortly after 11:00 pm one subject fled on foot. Deputies located the subject shortly after midnight near the intersection of South Apopka Vineland Road and Westminster Abby Boulevard. The man began to flee on foot again and then fired several shots, striking Deputy Pine.

The subject then ran a short distance away and committed suicide. Deputy Pine was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The man's girlfriend, who was also at the scene, was arrested and held in connection with the incident.

Deputy Pine had served with the Orange County Sheriff's Office for two years. He is survived by his wife and three young 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. 

Geopolitical Weekly: The American Public's Indifference to Foreign Affairs, February 17, 2014

By George Friedman

Last week, several events took place that were important to their respective regions and potentially to the world. Russian government officials suggested turning Ukraine into a federation, following weeks of renewed demonstrations in Kiev. The Venezuelan government was confronted with violent and deadly protests. Kazakhstan experienced a financial crisis that could have destabilized the economies of Central Asia. Russia and Egypt inked a significant arms deal. Right-wing groups in Europe continued their political gains.

Any of these events had the potential to affect the United States. At different times, lesser events have transfixed Americans. This week, Americans seemed to be indifferent to all of them. This may be part of a cycle that shapes American interest in public affairs. The decision to raise the debt ceiling, which in the last cycle gripped public attention, seemed to elicit a shrug.

The Primacy of Private Affairs

The United States was founded as a place where private affairs were intended to supersede public life. Public service was intended less as a profession than as a burden to be assumed as a matter of duty -- hence the word "service." There is a feeling that Americans ought to be more involved in public affairs, and people in other countries are frequently shocked by how little Americans know about international affairs or even their own politics. In many European countries, the state is at the center of many of the activities that shape private life, but that is less true in the United States. The American public is often most active in public affairs when resisting the state's attempts to increase its presence, as we saw with health care reform. When such matters appear settled, Americans tend to focus their energy on their private lives, pleasures and pains.

Of course, there are times when Americans are aroused not only to public affairs but also to foreign affairs. That is shaped by the degree to which these events are seen as affecting Americans' own lives. There is nothing particularly American in this. People everywhere care more about things that affect them than things that don't. People in European or Middle Eastern countries, where another country is just a two-hour drive away, are going to be more aware of foreign affairs. Still, they will be most concerned about the things that affect them. The French or Israelis are aware of public and foreign affairs not because they are more sophisticated than Americans, but because the state is more important in their lives, and foreign countries are much nearer to their homes. If asked about events far away, I find they are as uninterested and uninformed as Americans.

The United States' geography, obviously, shapes American thinking about the world. The European Peninsula is crowded with peoples and nation-states. In a matter of hours you can find yourself in a country with a different language and religion and a history of recent war with your own. Americans can travel thousands of miles using their own language, experiencing the same culture and rarely a memory of war. Northwestern Europe is packed with countries. The northeastern United States is packed with states. Passing from the Netherlands to Germany is a linguistic, cultural change with historical memories. Traveling from Connecticut to New York is not. When Europeans speak of their knowledge of international affairs, their definition of international is far more immediate than that of Americans.

American interest is cyclical, heavily influenced by whether they are affected by what goes on. After 9/11, what happened in the Islamic world mattered a great deal. But even then, it went in cycles. The degree to which Americans are interested in Afghanistan -- even if American soldiers are still in harm's way -- is limited. The war's outcome is fairly clear, the impact on America seems somewhat negligible and the issues are arcane.

It's not that Americans are disinterested in foreign affairs, it's that their interest is finely calibrated. The issues must matter to Americans, so most issues must carry with them a potential threat. The outcome must be uncertain, and the issues must have a sufficient degree of clarity so that they can be understood and dealt with. Americans may turn out to have been wrong about these things in the long run, but at the time, an issue must fit these criteria. Afghanistan was once seen as dangerous to the United States, its outcome uncertain, the issues clear. In truth, Afghanistan may not have fit any of these criteria, but Americans believed it did, so they focused their attention and energy on the country accordingly.

Context is everything. During times of oil shortage, events in Venezuela might well have interested Americans much more than they did last week. During the Cold War, the left-wing government in Venezuela might have concerned Americans. But advancements in technology have increased oil and natural gas production in the United States. A left-wing government in Venezuela is simply another odd Latin government, and the events of last week are not worth worrying about. The context renders Venezuela a Venezuelan problem.

It is not that Americans are disengaged from the world, but rather that the world appears disengaged from them. At the heart of the matter is geography. The Americans, like the British before them, use the term "overseas" to denote foreign affairs. The American reality is that most important issues, aside from Canada and Mexico, take place across the ocean, and the ocean reasonably is seen as a barrier that renders these events part of a faraway realm. Terrorists can cross the oceans, as can nuclear weapons, and both can obliterate the barriers the oceans represent. But al Qaeda has not struck in a while, nuclear threats are not plausible at the moment, and things overseas simply don't seem to matter.

Bearing Some Burdens

During the Cold War, Americans had a different mindset. They saw themselves in an existential struggle for survival with the communists. It was a swirling global battle that lasted decades. Virtually every country in the world had a U.S. and Soviet embassy, which battled each other for dominance. An event in Thailand or Bolivia engaged both governments and thus both publics. The threat of nuclear war was real, and conventional wars such as those in Korea and Vietnam were personal to Americans. I remember in elementary school being taught of the importance of the battle against communism in the Congo.

One thing that the end of the Cold War and the subsequent 20 years taught the United States was that the world mattered -- a mindset that was as habitual as it was reflective of new realities. If the world mattered, then something must be done when it became imperiled. The result was covert and overt action designed to shape events to suit American interests, perceived and real. Starting in the late 1980s, the United States sent troops to Panama, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait. The American public was engaged in all of these for a variety of reasons, some of them good, some bad. Whatever the reasoning, there was a sense of clarity that demanded that something be done. After 9/11, the conviction that something be done turned into an obsession. But over the past 10 years, Americans' sense of clarity has become much more murky, and their appetite for involvement has declined accordingly.

That decline occurred not only among the American public but also among American policymakers. During the Cold War and jihadist wars, covert and overt intervention became a standard response. More recently, the standards for justifying either type of intervention have become more exacting to policymakers. Syria was not a matter of indifference, but the situation lacked the clarity that justified intervention. The United States seemed poised to intervene and then declined. The American public saw it as avoiding another overseas entanglement with an outcome that could not be shaped by American power.

We see the same thing in Ukraine. The United States cannot abide a single power like Russia dominating Eurasia. That would create a power that could challenge the United States. There were times that the Ukrainian crisis would have immediately piqued American interest. While some elements of the U.S. government, particularly in the State Department, did get deeply involved, the American public remained generally indifferent.

From a geopolitical point of view, the future of Ukraine as European or Russian helps shape the future of Eurasia. But from the standpoint of the American public, the future is far off and susceptible to interference. (Americans have heard of many things that could have become a major threat -- a few did, most didn't.) They were prepared to bet that Ukraine's future would not intersect with their lives. Ukraine matters more to Europeans than to Americans, and the United States' ability to really shape events is limited. It is far from clear what the issues are from an American point of view.

This is disconcerting from the standpoint of those who live outside the United States. They experienced the United States through the Cold War, the Clinton years and the post-9/11 era. The United States was deeply involved in everything. The world got used to that. Today, government officials are setting much higher standards for involvement, though not as high as those set by the American public. The constant presence of American power shaping regions far away to prevent the emergence of a threat, whether communist or Islamist, is declining. I spoke to a foreign diplomat who insisted the United States was weakening. I tried to explain that it is not weakness that dictates disengagement but indifference. He couldn't accept the idea that the United States has entered a period in which it really doesn't care what happens to his country. I refined that by saying that there are those in Washington that do care, but that it is their profession to care. The rest of the country doesn't see that it matters to them. The diplomat had lived in a time when everything mattered and all problems required an American position. American indifference is the most startling thing in the world for him.

This was the position of American isolationists of the early 20th century. ("Isolationist" admittedly was an extremely bad term, just as the alternative "internationalist" was a misleading phrase). The isolationists opposed involvement in Europe during World War II for a number of reasons. They felt that the European problem was European and that the Anglo-French alliance could cope with Germany. They did not see how U.S. intervention would bring enough power to bear to make a significant difference. They observed that sending a million men to France in World War I did not produce a permanently satisfactory outcome. The isolationists were willing to be involved in Asia, as is normally forgotten, but not in Europe.

I would not have been an isolationist, yet it is hard to see how an early American intervention would have changed the shape of the European war. France did not collapse because it was outnumbered. After France's collapse, it was unclear how much more the United States could have done for Britain than it did. The kinds of massive intervention that would have been necessary to change the early course of the war were impossible. It would have taken years of full mobilization to be practical, and who expected France to collapse in six weeks? Stalin was certainly surprised.

The isolationist period was followed, of course, by the war and the willingness of the United States to "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty," in the words of John F. Kennedy. Until very recently, that sweeping statement was emblematic of U.S. foreign policy since 1941.

The current public indifference to foreign policy reflects that shift. But Washington's emerging foreign policy is not the systematic foreign policy of the pre-World War II period. It is an instrumental position, which can adapt to new circumstances and will likely be changed not over the course of decades but over the course of years or months. Nevertheless, at this moment, public indifference to foreign policy and even domestic events is strong. The sense that private life matters more than public is intense, and that means that Americans are concerned with things that are deemed frivolous by foreigners, academics and others who make their living in public and foreign policy. They care about some things, but are not prepared to care about all things. Of course, this overthrows Kennedy's pledge in its grandiosity and extremity, but not in its essence. Some burdens will be borne, so long as they serve American interests and not simply the interests of its allies.

Whether this sentiment is good or bad is debatable. To me, it is simply becoming a fact to be borne in mind. I would argue that it is a luxury, albeit a temporary one, conferred on Americans by geography. Americans might not be interested in the world, but the world is interested in Americans. Until this luxury comes to an end, the United States has ample assistant secretaries to give the impression that it cares. The United States will adjust to this period more easily than other governments, which expect the United States to be committed to undertaking any burden. That may come in the future. It won't come now. But history and the world go on, even overseas.

The American Public's Indifference to Foreign Affairs is republished with permission of Stratfor.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Jedi Mind Trick vs. Vulcan Mind Meld

As usual, B Hussein and his 57 states get it wrong.

Jedi Mind Trick vs. Vulcan Mind Meld

To enter or not to enter, that is the question.

A good overview of when you can enter a man's house. Thanks Police Magazine for the update. Not exciting like how to take down a suspect or as sexy as the latest automatic rifle, but they are only critical to getting the job done.
Constitutional Home Entry

"A man's home is his castle," whether it's a mansion, condo, apartment, mobile home, motel room, or camping tent. Private residences enjoy the highest levels of Fourth Amendment protection against governmental intrusion. "The Fourth Amendment protects an individual's privacy in a variety of settings. In none is the zone of privacy more clearly defined than when bounded by the unambiguous physical dimensions of an individual's home." (Payton v. New York)

The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized only a limited number of ways for law enforcement officers to justify lawful entry. An entry made without one or more of these justifications may cause both suppression of evidence and civil liability, so the list should be reviewed from time to time. Here are the 10 most common ways to get inside a home without violating the Fourth Amendment.

1. Search warrant. Warrants are the preferred method of justifying entry. (U.S. v. Ventresca) A search warrant particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized allows forcible entry, following knock-notice (or excused non-compliance), and imbues officers with the authority to break open a door or window if necessary, provided officers do not inflict "excessive or unnecessary damage to property." (U.S. v. Ramirez)

2. Arrest warrant. "An arrest warrant founded on probable cause implicitly carries with it the limited authority to enter a dwelling in which the suspect lives when there is reason to believe the suspect is within." (Payton v. New York) An arrest warrant does not allow entry into a third party's home to arrest someone who may be inside but does not reside there. (Steagald v. U.S.)

3. Consent. "To the Fourth Amendment rule ordinarily prohibiting warrantless entry of a person's house as unreasonable per se, one exception recognizes the validity of searches with the voluntary consent of an individual possessing authority." (Georgia v. Randolph) Apparent authority can also be sufficient. (Illinois v. Rodriguez)

4. Rescue. "Law enforcement officers may enter a home without a warrant to render emergency assistance to an injured occupant or to protect an occupant from imminent injury, if they have an objectively reasonable basis for believing that a person within the house is in need of immediate aid." (Michigan v. Fisher)

5. Threat to officer or public safety. "The Fourth Amendment does not require police officers to delay in the course of an investigation if to do so would gravely endanger their lives or the lives of others." (Warden v. Hayden)

6. Prevent imminent destruction of evidence. "The need to prevent the imminent destruction of evidence has long been recognized as a sufficient justification for a warrantless search." (Kentucky v. King)

7. Fresh pursuit of a dangerous suspect. If you're pursuing a suspect from a just-committed crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of death or serious bodily injury, you may enter and search for the suspect in a private residence into which he flees.

For example, where officers entered and searched a house into which an armed robber had taken refuge less than five minutes earlier, the Supreme Court said this: "Neither the entry without warrant to search for the robber nor the search for him without warrant was invalid. Officers acted reasonably when they entered the house and began to search for the robber and for weapons which he had used in the robbery or might use against them." (Warden v. Hayden)

8. Prevent escape of detainee/arrestee. You may enter to capture a person who retreats inside when you lawfully attempt to detain or arrest him while he is in a public place. "A suspect may not defeat an arrest which has been set in motion in a public place by the expedient of escaping to a private place." (U.S. v. Santana)

The Supreme Court also said in Santana that a person standing at his open doorway is sufficiently exposed to public view as to be "in a public place," for purposes of this rule. So, if you're talking to someone who's standing at his open door, and having probable cause you say, "Step outside. You're under arrest," you could enter to take custody if he retreats.

9. Prevent substantial property damage. If you reasonably believe that a burglar, vandal, arsonist, or other criminal is within private premises committing or attempting to commit a property crime that may result in substantial loss or damage, you need not await a warrant to enter and prevent or minimize the loss. For example, "A burning building of course creates an exigency that justifies a warrantless entry by fire officials to fight the blaze." (Michigan v. Clifford)

10. Probation or parole search. Convicted criminals who are released under supervision, including probation and parole, are often subject to a condition that they and their property may be searched by peace officers or probation/parole officers without warrant or suspicion. The Supreme Court has approved warrantless entries and searches under these terms, saying the following: "The delay inherent in obtaining a warrant would make it more difficult for probation officials to respond quickly to evidence of misconduct and would reduce the deterrent effect that the possibility of expeditious searches would otherwise create." (Griffin v. Wisconsin)

Community Caretaking?

Some state courts and lower federal courts have spoken of a separate "community caretaking" justification for warrantless, non-consensual entry. To date, the U.S. Supreme Court has only applied a "community caretaking" doctrine to the removal of vehicles and inventory of their contents (Cady v. Dombrowski, South Dakota v. Opperman, and Colorado v. Bertine), but not to police entry into homes.

Typical situations to which the lower courts have applied "community caretaking" include, for example, reports that a particular resident is unaccounted for (hasn't been at work or seen in the neighborhood, car is in the driveway and newspapers are piling up on the porch, indicating that something's amiss), or that a window is broken or a door is standing ajar during the residents' vacation or extended absence.

And, I hate to say it, flies on the inside of the window. Pretty good clue there is a body inside.
It may be that the reason the Supreme Court has not found it necessary to adopt the "community caretaking" doctrine for home entry is because the situations considered by the lower courts can usually be treated under the standard exceptions already in place. For example, the missing-resident scenario fits within the rescue doctrine, and the unsecure house suggests a possible burglary, invoking the exception for prevention of substantial property loss.

Unless and until the Supreme Court sees fit to review an issue of "community caretaking" entry, it's not unreasonable to rely on lower court decisions in your jurisdiction to support your warrantless, non-consensual entries that are justifiable under those local court rulings—always provided you take the prudent step of obtaining the advice of your local prosecutor and civil advisor.

Remember the Rule-of-Thumb

When exigencies (4 through 9, above) require immediate action, search warrants are unnecessary; however, if the situation is not immediately threatening, it's best for you, your department, and your local prosecutor that you get a warrant. Warrants increase your protection against civil liability (Messerschmidt v. Millender) and reduce the risks of suppression of evidence. (U.S. v. Ventresca) This is why your rule-of-thumb should be: seek a search warrant whenever practicable.

Devallis Rutledge is a former police officer and veteran prosecutor who currently serves as special counsel to the Los Angeles County district attorney. He is the author of 12 books, including "Investigative Constitutional Law."

Thank you Mr Rutledge for a good legal review.

Officer Down

Animal Control Officer Eddie Maurice Hamer
Hardeman County Tennessee Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Monday, January 27, 2014
Age: 36
Tour: 9 years
Badge # 781

Animal Control Officer Eddie Hamer was killed in a single vehicle crash while responding to a call in Saulsbury.

The officer's department vehicle left the roadway and overturned near the intersection of Van Buren and West Fork Roads and he succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

Officer Hamer served as a deputized animal control officer for the Hardeman County Sheriff's Office and had also served as a reserve officer with the Whiteville Police Department for nine years.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

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

K9 Down

K9 Draco
Pontiac Illinois Police Department, Illinois
End of Watch: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Breed: Belgian Malinois
Age: 9
Gender: M

Police Officer Casey Kohlmeier and his canine, Draco, were killed when their patrol car was struck by another vehicle on I-55, near mile 201, at approximately 9:30 pm.

Their patrol car was in a median turnaround when another vehicle left the northbound lanes and struck them during a period of heavy rain. Officer Kohlmeier and K9 Draco both suffered fatal injuries in the collision. The driver of the other vehicle survived.
Rest in Peace Draco...and enjoy running the green grass of Heaven!

In Memory of all Police Dogs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By John Quealy

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Percy Lee House, III
Greensville County Virginia Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Friday, January 31, 2014
Age: 52

Deputy Sheriff Percy House was killed in an automobile accident while responding to a call after 9:24 am.

After failing to arrive at the call a massive search was initiated involving multiple agencies from the surrounding counties. Approximately 14 hours later, shortly before midnight, his patrol car was found submerged in a creek off of Massie Branch Road. His body was recovered by a police dive team a short time later.

It is believed that his vehicle left the roadway as the result of ice.
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. 

Here we go again, a video that shows "everything"

Another video of an officer on patrol. Here is the video and the article.

Video Surfaces Of BART Officer Repeatedly Using Stun Gun On Passenger « CBS San Francisco

SAN BRUNO (KPIX 5) – Video has been obtained by KPIX 5 showing a BART police officer who repeatedly used a stun gun to subdue a passenger in front of other riders.

A woman who witnessed the incident, who did not want to go on camera, told KPIX 5 the man was harmless and that the officer used the stun gun for no reason.

OK, how do you define "harmless"? Just curious. From the video (granted, he was from the officer's rear and the angle may make the suspect seem larger) it appears the suspect was larger than the cop. But there is no question the suspect was aggressive, jumping around and putting his fist up, refusing to leave after being ordered to depart.
The video, which was taken on the evening of January 29th, begins with the BART officer giving the man a stern warning on a train at the San Bruno station.

“Sir, get off the train. Get off the train, Sir!” the officer said.

KPIX 5 has learned that someone on the train called BART Police to say the man was harassing riders. An officer arrived and tried to convince the man to come talk to him on the platform. He did not comply.

Oh, this seems like "reasonable suspicion" to detain the man. And having the man come off the train seems reasonable to me. Now look at the suspect, he gets up aggressively, jumps around, has his fists up. Looks aggressive to me. Now does the cop have to get his ass kicked before he can use a TASER? The answer is no.
While witnesses were heard on the video saying the man had done nothing wrong and not bothering anyone, the officer used the stun gun on the passenger.

As riders look on, the video shows the man being dragged to the aisle. “Don’t move or I’ll tase you again,” the officer was heard saying.

But that was not the end. Moments later, the officer said to the man, “Get on your stomach or I’ll tase you again.”

Sounds like the officer was warning the suspect to stay down and trying to get the situation under control. The suspect was stunned more than once after he was warned. Maybe if he had complied with the officers instructions he wouldn't have been TASED again.
Minutes pass and more officers arrive. As the man was being held down and handcuffed, the video shows the same officer using the stun gun on the passenger for five seconds...

Again, the video shows an angle of what happened, but this has to be fully evaluated. Also, the article mentioned (at the end) that the suspect was arrested for Public Intoxication, Resisting Arrest and he was a parole violator. What a shock, if you pardon the pun.

Officer Down

Sergeant Cory Wride
Utah County Utah Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Age: 44
Tour: 19 years
Badge # 1J150

Sergeant Cory Wride was shot and killed from ambush while checking on what he believed was an abandoned vehicle on Highway 73, near Eagle Mountain.

A subject near the scene opened fire with a high-powered rifle, fatally wounding Sergeant Wride before he was able to exit his patrol. Sergeant Wride had given dispatchers a description of the car before he was shot and another deputy spotted it a short time later.

The driver of the suspect vehicle led the deputy on a pursuit and the occupant opened fire on him, striking him in the head, and then continued to flee. He then carjacked another vehicle in the Nephi area. He again continued to flee until crashing on I-15 after encountering Juab County deputies. He was critically wounded after engaging the deputies in a shootout and later died of his wounds.

Sergeant Wride was a Utah National Guard veteran and had served with the Utah County Sheriff's Office for 19 years. He is survived by his wife and five 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. 

Another reason you knew voting for Ted Cruz was good for America.

Texas Monthly is one of those liberal rags you alway see by the grocery checkout and like TV Guide, it's time has come and gone. It's one of those magazines you use to kill time as your waiting for the woman to finish arguing with the check out clerk over the cost of an item, normally holding people up for twenty cents. But onto the subject.

I saw my favorite senator on the cover this month, Ted Cruz. Knowing this leftist rag really loves Republicans, especially actual conservatives, I could expect real objective journalism here. Here is the cover.

You get the impression they are not impressed by his first year being eventful, as they put it. I wonder why. Here are some highlights of the article with commentary.

To simultaneously elicit such admiration and such scorn is unusual for a freshman senator and, in a way, impressive. As 2013 drew to a close, observers were increasingly wondering whether the 43-year-old Cruz was thinking of running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. It was not an unreasonable thought, despite Cruz’s youth and his relative inexperience. Barack Obama had served less than four years in the Senate before being elected president in 2008, and Cruz had already made a greater impression on Congress than Obama had during his time there. The problem was that it was a distinctly polarizing one. By leading the fight against Obamacare, Cruz had endeared himself to the Republican base to a greater degree than most of the party’s presidential prospects had... If such voters looked at his overall record, they would see a more complex character than Cruz’s national caricature would suggest. Whether they would be willing to take a look was very much an open question....

Yes, but unlike B Hussein Obama, there is a record of accomplishment to back up his election to the Senate. Texas Solicitor General who has won won cases at the Supreme Court and indirectly challenged the president, George W Bush, he worked for and helped elect. The former junior senators from New York and Illinois were actually selected by their party leadership and won with party support. David Dewhurst, the serving Lieutenant Governor of Texas, was the selected man to serve in the senate. Ted Cruz came from less than 5% name recognition to win a state election against a multimillionaire who had never lost an election. Not bad.
...As we headed up the Capitol steps, I realized that Cruz’s response to the previous question reminded me of something I had mentally summarized as the Barry Goldwa ter scenario—the prospect that Cruz could be the kind of Republican who could win the party’s presidential nomination but alarm voters in a general election, just as Goldwater had in 1964 against LBJ.

“If you had a Goldwater scenario, that would be okay with you?”

“Not at all,” he said, “because we have a limited window to turn this country around. We can’t keep going down this path without permanently jeopardizing the future for subsequent generations. And I think the window to turn things around is not decades, it is a matter of a few years. There comes a point where the hole is too deep, where our debt is too large, where our liberties have been too profoundly eroded, that there’s no turning back....

Goldwater scenario? Someone put it best, if the Republicans had nominated Jesus Christ in 1964 Johnson still would have won. The American people would not tolerate a third president in just over a year. Especially after loosing Kennedy to an televised assasssignation and the dirty tricks played by the LBJ campaign. If you need the classic example, Daisy.
...And so June 28, 2012, would prove to be a critical date. That was the day the Supreme Court upheld key aspects of the Affordable Care Act, providing Cruz with exactly the opening he needed, at exactly the moment he needed it. The Affordable Care Act was deeply unpopular among Texas Republicans, tea party or otherwise. Both candidates had opposed it and promised to fight for its repeal if elected. But the distinction Cruz had drawn between himself and Dewhurst had suddenly become highly relevant. Cruz argued that he, not Dewhurst, was the one who would be the man in the arena, as Teddy Roosevelt had put it, with blood and sweat on his face. “Obamacare underscores the fundamental difference between me and David Dewhurst,” Cruz said. “Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst is a deal-maker. He is a conciliator.”

The argument worked. In the May primary Dewhurst had received about 628,000 votes to Cruz’s 481,000. In the July runoff the totals were reversed. Dewhurst won 480,126 votes, but 631,812 Texans had turned out for Cruz. It was the biggest upset in Texas politics in a generation. To find anything like it, you have to go back to 1961, when a conservative economics professor named John Tower thumped Democrat Bill Blakely in the race to fill LBJ’s Senate seat, making Tower the first Republican elected statewide since Reconstruction...

And yes, Cruz made it very clear he was going to do what he could to stop Obamacare. And won. And after actually doing what he said he would, his popularity is threw the roof in the state and country. Hey McConnell, maybe you should take some hints. We don't want someone to reach across the aisle, We want someone to throw a wrench into this and stop it. But that would require leadership, something you have no concept of.
...After graduating from Second Baptist School, in Houston, he went east to Princeton, where he wrote his senior thesis on the Ninth and Tenth amendments. After college, he enrolled at Harvard Law, then spent two years as a law clerk, at Virginia’s Fourth Circuit and the Supreme Court, for William Rehnquist. From there he worked in private practice before joining Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign as a domestic policy adviser and then as a legal counsel, when the bungled results in Florida sent the final decision about the election to the Supreme Court. Among his colleagues on the Bush campaign was a blond Californian named Heidi Nelson. They married in 2001—Cruz considers himself to be the quiet one in the relationship—and they have two young daughters, Caroline and Catherine...

Sounds like the all American family. Oh, BTY, the election results were not bungled. ALGORE challenged them in the Florida courts, the Florida Supreme Court stuck its nose into the election, trying to throw the election to the democrats. Fortunately SCOTUS slapped them own. ALGORE lost in a whisper, in spite of all their cheating. I've always believed what really did it was the release of this picture, showing a scared kid looking down the barrel of a rifle. That really pissed off the Cubans-American population in Florida.
...When the Senate was debating a gun-control bill, for example, after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, he had annoyed Dianne Feinstein, a Democratic senator from California, by asking her whether she would deem it appropriate to abridge the protections laid out in the First and Fourth amendments the same way she was proposing with regard to the Second, prompting her to snap at him, “I’m not a sixth grader.”...

Yes Dianne, you are not. A sixth grader is more intelligent. You are a poster child for term limits.
...Once again, he cited Medellín v. Texas, the case he had discussed at the Heritage Foundation. It concerned a gang member named José Medellín, who had been sentenced to death in Texas for his role in the 1993 rape and murder of two teenage girls in Houston. There was no question that Medellín was guilty—he had confessed—but he was also a Mexican national, and at the time of the arrest, no one had notified him of his right under a 1963 treaty called the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations to contact consular authorities. In 2004 the International Court of Justice had ruled that 51 Mexican nationals in such situations, including Medellín, had the right to a review of their convictions. The next year President Bush issued a memorandum referencing the World Court’s decision and ordered the states to comply. Texas balked.

“The narrative of the other side was straightforward,” Cruz said. “It was ‘Texas cannot flout the treaty obligations of the United States of America. Texas cannot thumb its nose at the federal government, and at the president of the United States, and at every nation on the face of the earth. And besides, you know how those Texans are about capital punishment anyway.’ If that’s what the case is about, we lose. If the question is ‘Can Texas defy the treaty obligations of the United States?’ we lose. And that’s why just about every observer said there’s no way Texas can win.”

Instead Abbott and Cruz decided to approach it as a separation of powers case. By ordering Texas to comply with the World Court’s ruling, Cruz argued, Bush was ignoring Congress’s authority to implement treaties in accordance with existing American law. He was also snubbing the Supreme Court, which hadn’t yet weighed in on the subject.

“At the end of the day, the court adopted our narrative,” Cruz concluded. “And we didn’t just win, we won six to three, which astonished observers. I’m convinced that framing it as a separation of powers case instead of a federalism case was critical to winning it.”...

Sounds like a serious legal mind at work. Someone who believes in federalism and separation of powers. What a radical concept.
...The Senate, accordingly, stripped the defunding language out and sent it back to the House. That chamber, though, had fallen into disarray. The tea party Republicans were in no mood to compromise, and without their support, House speaker John Boehner was apparently reluctant to hold a vote on the Senate’s version of the bill. On October 1 the federal government began its partial shutdown, and people began hurling accusations at one another about who was to blame. The Democrats blamed the Republicans. The House blamed the Senate. The president blamed Congress. And almost everyone blamed Cruz....

No, propaganda came out saying the Republicans had shut down the "government" although less than 20% was shut down. And B Hussein Obama ordered national parts shut down just to make it more painful. And under the leadership of Boehner and McConnell, they folded. Thanks guys.
...Making matters worse was that at the time of Cruz’s pseudo-filibuster, the country was facing more than a federal government shutdown: it was facing the prospect of defaulting on its debt payments. Many economists were warning against this in the gravest possible terms; the United States is the largest economic power in the world, and the American dollar is the world’s most important currency of last resort. Over the next few weeks, as the shutdown continued and the deadline for raising the debt ceiling drew closer, Cruz was excoriated by almost everyone. Even some conservative activists felt that he had taken things too far. “He pushed House Republicans into traffic and wandered away,” said Grover Norquist, a longtime anti-tax activist....

One, the US was in no risk of defaulting of its debt. There was more than enough money coming in to pay the interest, which is required by the 14 Amendment. Oh, Grover Norquist is a Chamber of Commerce propagandist and they want lower taxes. And amnesty. And quantitative easing, printing billions of dollars and putting in into the market, inflating the currency. Not exactly someone we would listen to, IMHO.
...In recent years the Republican Party, around the country, has been a noticeably dyspeptic coalition of fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, tea partiers, and libertarians. The 2016 presidential primary will therefore be a battle over the direction of the party as much as the nomination. The establishment would like to see a nominee who can bridge the party’s internal divisions and swing votes in the general election, like Chris Christie, Scott Walker, or Jeb Bush. Many Republican primary voters, however, will hold out for a candidate committed to their key concerns. The Republican base isn’t looking for crossover appeal, it’s looking for someone who will fight for the cause.

Which explains why leading the polarizing and seemingly self-destructive battle to defund the Affordable Care Act may prove to have been a shrewd move on Cruz’s part. For a Republican who may have his eye on the 2016 presidential primary, having been the last man in the arena fighting against Obamacare is a pretty good campaign credential. Things haven’t changed that much since the 2012 Senate campaign: the law is unpopular with Republican primary voters. And, significantly, no other issue is equally unpopular with the various factions of the Republican coalition.

By making this his central issue, Cruz has won over conservative activists. At the same time, he hasn’t necessarily implicated himself in something that moderates can never forgive. Many of Cruz’s Republican colleagues in Congress derided his defunding strategy, but not a single one of them voted for the law in the first place. At the end of the day, it wasn’t just the tea party that was leery of the Affordable Care Act. If the law represents a major and potentially transformative expansion of America’s safety net, it also represents a major and potentially transformative expansion of government power....

Gee, Obamacare is unpopular with the Republican base? That goes without saying. You might have wanted to mention that an overwhelming majority of the American people want it repealed. BTY, why Ms Greider, don't you call it Obamacare? Just curious. Maybe because you know how unpopular he and his takeover of the medical industry is?
...Since the rise of the tea party movement, Republican activists have been on the lookout for signs of latent moderation. Even the incumbents who have always been considered conservative are suddenly coming under scrutiny. It happened to Rick Perry: during his ill-fated campaign for the 2012 presidential nomination, the longest-serving governor in Texas history was taken to task for minor doctrinal lapses, like the fact that he had signed the state’s 2001 law authorizing in-state tuition for certain undocumented students. It’s happening in this year’s Republican primaries. In December Steve Stockman, a tea party congressman from Houston, announced a primary challenge to “the liberal John Cornyn”—Texas’ senior senator, who had, in 2012, posted the second-most-conservative voting record in the Senate, according to a ranking by the National Journal

An irony is that if not for the fight against Obamacare, Cruz could have been vulnerable to such purity tests too. He is clearly more focused on fiscal issues than social ones, and he doesn’t use the economy as a proxy for the culture wars. He has repeatedly said that encouraging economic growth should be Congress’s number-one goal; that being the case, he’s disagreed with the party’s strictest budget hawks. “I think Republicans get their priorities wrong at times by focusing too much on austerity,” he told me in Houston. “As much as spending is out of control, given the choice between spending cuts and economic growth, I choose growth one hundred out of one hundred times.” He’s also chided Republicans for failing to reach out to the voters that Mitt Romney notoriously summarized as “the 47 percent” during the presidential campaign. “The top one percent in this country now have the highest share of our income since 1928, under President Obama. The rich do fine with government control of the economy. It’s not about them. It’s about everybody else.”....

National Journal is not exactly an objective source of conservative opinion. Life the Wall Street Journal editorial page, it enjoys a reputation for being conservative, but it's more corporatist. And Cornyn was for it before he was against it. In last week's debt limit extension, Cornyn voted with the Democrats to end Cruz's filibuster. Then Cornyn voted "against" the debt limit extension, alloying the Democrats to give B Hussein Obama another 1.5 trillion to piss away. And for that he got us.....nothing. No reforms to Obamacare, he din't remade the Keystone XL be approved, budget/entitlement reforms. He got nothing. And that is why Cornyn is scared. He knows if he cannot win the nomination fight outright next month, if he is put into a primary, he is vulnerable. Cornyn doesn't want to be the next Dewhurst. He likes being part of the ruling class.

I look at articles like this and they show how much journalist, at every level, are embedded into America's ruling class. Granted, Texas Monthly doesn't claim to be objective, like the NY Puke. But like the readers of the Times, the readers of the Texas Monthly are liberal Austin types. They don't like Cruz, never have, never will. But one recalls the words of Great Britain's two greatest prime ministers in the 20th Century. Churchill said, "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." And as Thatcher said, "I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left." Ted Cruz has enemies, the right ones (B Hussein Obama, Harry Reid, the RINO leadership, etc) and
they have gone after him personally. And that, alone, is enough to say I did right by donating to the man's campaign two years ago, giving him my vote, and asking him to run for President.

TED CRUZ 2016!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Officer Down

Sergeant David Baldwin
Jefferson County Colorado Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Sunday, January 26, 2014
Tour: 27 years

Sergeant David Baldwin was killed when his police motorcycle was struck head-on by another vehicle on Highway 93, at West 64th Parkway, at approximately 10:30 am.

The driver of the other vehicle attempted to illegally pass a third vehicle on a double-yellow line when he struck Sergeant Baldwin.

Sergeant Baldwin was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had served with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office for 27 years. He was assigned to the Traffic/Motorcycle Unit.
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. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A great way to look at Ray Nagin's future....

Remember, Mayor "Chocolate City" himself. He was stealing from minorities, women and children in a disaster area. The ironic thing is he was considered a reformer when he became mayor...not he's in a long line of crooked politicians. Only, for once, he finally got convicted. Great work by the US Attorney and his guys.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A curious scenario from a National Guard exercise.

I just found this and I have to say the scenario for this command post exercise is revealing. The fact the objective media calls the scenario "timely" is to be expected. Don't confuse them with the facts.
Mock Disaster Training Exercise in Scioto County

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A dead science teacher, weapons of mass destruction, first responders in hazmat suits and the Ohio Army National Guard all near the Municipal Stadium in Portsmouth, Thursday. There's no cause for alarm -- this is just a drill!

The mock disaster training exercise is being done with Scioto County first responders and the Ohio Army National Guard 52nd Civil Support Unit.

"It's the reality of the world we live in," says Portsmouth Police Chief Bill Raisin. "Don't forget there is such a thing as domestic terrorism. This helps us all be prepared."

The make-believe scenario is timely. Two school employees who are disgruntled over the government's interpretation of the Second Amendment, plot to use chemical, biological and radiological agents against members of the local community.scenario "timely" is to be expected. Don't confuse them with the facts.
Now the fact a National Guard unit is training for handling a local law enforcement is not troubling. They are a state asset (unless mobilized) and can be used for a police function. But the scenario is unrealistic. It would more likely be Ted Kaczynski or Rebecca Rubin, not right wing agitators. But again, don't confuse these people with the facts. And using a more realist enemy may make for better training, but it's not allowed right now.