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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Intellectualsim, "Anti-Intellectualism, "settled science" and we finally have some justification for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

More on the Star Trek link in a few.

My FB friend Caroline put forth her opinion on the Confederate Battle Flag flying over the South Carolina Capital grounds and I posted my response. Now one thing she did post was about someone writing that America was becoming "Anti-Intellectual". Interesting concept so I want to first come up with a definition so we are on the same sheet.

Full Definition of INTELLECTUAL

1 a: of or relating to the intellect or its use

b: developed or chiefly guided by the intellect rather than by emotion or experience : rational

c: requiring use of the intellect

2 a: given to study, reflection, and speculation

b: engaged in activity requiring the creative use of the intellect

Now that we got the definition, let's delve further.

Anti-intellectualism Is Killing America

The tragedy in Charleston last week will no doubt lead to more discussion of several important and recurring issues in American culture—particularly racism and gun violence—but these dialogues are unlikely to bear much fruit until the nation undertakes a serious self-examination. Decrying racism and gun violence is fine, but for too long America’s social dysfunction has continued to intensify as the nation has ignored a key underlying pathology: anti-intellectualism.

From what I've seen over the last few days the only issue that explained how this punk committed mass murder was the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia flying over the grounds of the South Carolina State Capital. You know, the flag that was put there by then then Governor Fritz Hollins, DEMOCRAT-SC. And with a DEMOCRATIC controlled state legislature. Strange, why is this a Republican issue? Just asking. Maybe I'm given to study, reflection, and speculation a bit too much?

America is killing itself through its embrace and exaltation of ignorance, and the evidence is all around us. Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter who used race as a basis for hate and mass murder, is just the latest horrific example. Many will correctly blame Roof's actions on America's culture of racism and gun violence, but it's time to realize that such phenomena are directly tied to the nation's culture of ignorance.

In a country where a sitting congressman told a crowd that evolution and the Big Bang are “lies straight from the pit of hell,”, where the chairman of a Senate environmental panel brought a snowball into the chamber as evidence that climate change is a hoax, where almost one in three citizens can’t name the vice president , it is beyond dispute that critical thinking has been abandoned as a cultural value. Our failure as a society to connect the dots, to see that such anti-intellectualism comes with a huge price, could eventually be our downfall...

Or a CONGRESSWOMAN actually asked NASA controllers to send the Mars Rover to the landing spot of the Apollo astronauts?

Ok, another definition. What does he mean by "Critical Thinking"? Just want to make sure I've got the definition right. From another online dictionary, here we go again:

critical thinking

1. disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence:

Ok, first to the global cooling, wait, global warming, no, climate change, no man made climate change, oh, yes, latest update, climate disruption.

Maybe the issue is that there has not been any warming in the last 15 years?

In considering the senseless loss of nine lives in Charleston, of course racism jumps out as the main issue. But isn’t ignorance at the root of racism? And it’s true that the bloodshed is a reflection of America's violent, gun-crazed culture, but it is only our aversion to reason as a society that has allowed violence to define the culture. Rational public policy, including policies that allow reasonable restraints on gun access, simply isn't possible without an informed, engaged, and rationally thinking public.

No, this mass murder reflects poorly on this sack of human waste who took a firearm and murdered people. And the straw man argument, "reasonable restraints". Yo Dave, you know what is also restrained by law, murder! Sorry, but this is not showing much intellectualism.

...Some will point out, correctly, that even educated people can still be racists, but this shouldn’t remove the spotlight from anti-intellectualism. Yes, even intelligent and educated individuals, often due to cultural and institutional influences, can sometimes carry racist biases. But critically thinking individuals recognize racism as wrong and undesirable, even if they aren’t yet able to eliminate every morsel of bias from their own psyches or from social institutions. An anti-intellectual society, however, will have large swaths of people who are motivated by fear, susceptible to tribalism and simplistic explanations, incapable of emotional maturity, and prone to violent solutions. Sound familiar?

And even though it may seem counter-intuitive, anti-intellectualism has little to do with intelligence. We know little about the raw intellectual abilities of Dylann Roof, but we do know that he is an ignorant racist who willfully allowed irrational hatred of an entire demographic to dictate his actions. Whatever his IQ, to some extent he is a product of a culture driven by fear and emotion, not rational thinking, and his actions reflect the paranoid mentality of one who fails to grasp basic notions of what it means to be human.
...Corporate influence on climate and environmental policy, meanwhile, is simply more evidence of anti-intellectualism in action, for corporate domination of American society is another result of a public that is not thinking critically. Americans have allowed their democracy to slip away, their culture overtaken by enormous corporations that effectively control both the governmental apparatus and the media, thus shaping life around materialism and consumption.

Indeed, these corporate interests encourage anti-intellectualism, conditioning Americans into conformity and passive acceptance of institutional dominance. They are the ones who stand to gain from the excessive fear and nationalism that result in militaristic foreign policy and absurdly high levels of military spending (link is external). They are the ones who stand to gain from consumers who spend money they don’t have on goods and services they don’t need. They are the ones who want a public that is largely uninformed and distracted, thus allowing government policy to be crafted by corporate lawyers and lobbyists. They are the ones who stand to gain from unregulated securities markets. And they are the ones who stand to gain from a prison-industrial complex that generates the highest rates of incarceration in the developed world.

Americans can and should denounce the racist and gun-crazed culture that shamefully resulted in nine corpses in Charleston this week, but they also need to dig deeper. At the core of all of this dysfunction is an abandonment of reason.

Gee, seems like he's not the least bit intellicularilly curious about differences in opinion on global warming. Well, the "accepted number" is 97% of scientist out there believe, no question, there is global warming and man's use of fossil fuels is causing it. Well, back in January I ran the numbers and it doesn't quite go with reality. A summary:

So next time people ask if you “believe in” global warming, answer yes — and no.

Notwithstanding all those natural climate variations, serious scientists such as Koonin do say this:

Part of the slight warming over the past few hundred years was probably human-caused. We don’t know how much.

It’s not factual that 97 percent of scientists believe that global warming is a crisis. What those 97 percent actually believe is the first point — that some part of that slight warming over the past few hundred years was human-caused.
And to add to that, the "97 percent of scientist", is there a list of these people we can refer to? All the scientist in the world, in the US, only UN countries, what is the population of academics. And are we referring to only academic scientist or also those who work in the private sector. Just asking. I've heard this quoted too many times but no one has an accurate list of these "scientist".
I Googled the question "How many scientist are in the world" and there is no firm number. This is what I found from ResearchGate.net, when another person asked "How many active academics/scientists are there worldwide?":
Andrzej Szymanski · Poznan University of Technology
@ Michael
Indeed, it is an important issue for long-term development planning ResearchGATE , but also in itself - for all of us - very interesting.
I do not think we were able to get to the precise data on the global number of scientists, inter alia, because of the large dispersion - not only in the various scientific institutions and universities, but also in industry. We must also take into account the independent scientists .
I was wondering on the "scale of the problem". On the basis of knowledge on the number of scientists working in about 20 major Polish universities and the Polish Academy of Sciences, I can say that the profile of the ResearchGATE has an average of about 20-25 % of scientists.
It seems to me, that in Polish universities and other scientific institutions ResearchGATE is not as popular as in other countries. So if we assume that the global number of people who have a profile on ResearchGATE medium reaches 35-40 %, it can be assumed, that the "global market" there are about 10-12 million people in the "scientific sector".
Ok, we got a number and I'll admit it's a swag. What the global warming believers will have us think is, using the low number of 10 million, 9.7 million scientists out there believe in global warming. OK, how did they come up with that number? Did they go to 9.7 million people across the planet and ask? Another question for an "objective journalist".
The author is a typical libtard idiot. He bemoans American's "Anti-Intellectualism", yet engages quickly by not engaging and debating the Global Warming canard. He may not understand, Global Warming is not "settled science". No one has to change the names of the laws of science (e.g. Newton's First, Second and Third Law) every few months because it's not held up to scrutiny. For some "Global Warming" cannot hold up to any scrutiny, the proponents of this religion always say the disasters are decades off and cannot be stopped except for destroying our economy. But for some reason Dave doesn't find this curious and he doesn't like being questioned. And the ability to question, take questions, at least attempt to answer them, is one of the foundations of intellectualism. Sorry David, you don't hold up to that minimum standard.

Oh, back to my previous comment about ST-V, maybe you should look at this simple piece of curiosity. When Bill Shatner is lightyears ahead of you in intellect, you pretty much suck:

What does God need with a starship

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Officer Down

Detective Paul J. Koropal
Allegheny County Pennsylvania District Attorney's Office - Investigative Division
End of Watch: Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Age: 47
Tour: 18 years

Detective Paul Koropal suffered a fatal heart attack while participating in serving of 11 search warrants in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

He and other members of a federal narcotics task force were serving the warrants when he told his partner he wasn't feeling well. He was taken to the Uniontown Hospital where he suffered a fatal heart attack at approximately 2:30 pm.

Detective Koropal had served with the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office for 18 years and was assigned to the Pennsylvania State Police Auto Theft Task Force. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and son, his mother, and three sisters.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

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 'Grexit' Issue and the Problem of Free Trade, April 21, 2015

By George Friedman

The Greek crisis is moving toward a climax. The issue is actually quite simple. The Greek government owes a great deal of money to European institutions and the International Monetary Fund. It has accumulated this debt over time, but it has become increasingly difficult for Greece to meet its payments. If Greece doesn't meet these payments, the IMF and European institutions have said they will not extend any more loans to Greece. Greece must make a calculation. If it pays the loans on time and receives additional funding, will it be better off than not paying the loans and being cut off from more?

Obviously, the question is more complex. It is not clear that if the Greeks refuse to pay, they will be cut off from further loans. First, the other side might be bluffing, as it has in the past. Second, if they do pay the next round, and they do get the next tranche of funding, is this simply kicking the can down the road? Does it solve Greece's underlying problem, which is that its debt structure is unsustainable? In a world that contains Argentina and American Airlines, we have learned that bankruptcy and lack of access to credit markets do not necessarily go hand in hand.

To understand what might happen, we need to look at Hungary. Hungary did not join the euro, and its currency, the forint, had declined in value. Mortgages taken out by Hungarians denominated in euros, Swiss francs and yen spiraled in terms of forints, and large numbers of Hungarians faced foreclosure from European banks. In a complex move, the Hungarian government declared that these debts would be repaid in forints. The banks by and large accepted Prime Minister Viktor Orban's terms, and the European Union grumbled but went along. Hungary was not the only country to experience this problem, but its response was the most assertive.

A strategy inspired by Budapest would have the Greeks print drachmas and announce (not offer) that the debt would be repaid in that currency. The euro could still circulate in Greece and be legal tender, but the government would pay its debts in drachmas.

The Deeper Questions

In considering this and other scenarios, the pervading question is whether Greece leaves or stays in the eurozone. But before that, there are still two fundamental questions. First, in or out of the euro, how does Greece pay its debts currently without engendering social chaos? The second and far more important question is how does Greece revive its economy? Lurching from debt payment to debt payment, from German and IMF threats to German and IMF threats is amusing from a distance. It does not, however, address the real issue: Greece, and other countries, cannot exist as normal, coherent states under these circumstances, and in European history, long-term economic dysfunction tends to lead to political extremism and instability. The euro question may be interesting, but the deeper economic question is of profound importance to both the debtor and creditors.

In our time, economic and financial questions tend to become moralistic. On one side, the creditors condemn Greek irresponsibility. The European Union has dropped most pretenses about this being a confrontation between the European Union and Greece. It is increasingly obvious that although the European Union has much at stake, in the long term this is about Germany and Greece, and in the short term it has become about the IMF and Greece. Germany feels that the Greeks are trying to take advantage of its good nature, while the IMF has institutionalized a model in which sacrifice is not only an economic tonic to debtors but also a moral requirement. This is not frivolous on the part of Germany and the IMF. If they give Greece some leeway, other debtors will want the same and more. Giving Greece a break could lead to Italy demanding one, and Italy's break could swamp the system.

On the Greek side, the Syriza party's leaders are making the decisions. Those leaders have only limited room to maneuver. They came to power because the mainstream eurocratic parties had lost their legitimacy. Since 2008, Greek governments appeared to be more concerned with remaining in the eurozone than with the spiraling unemployment rate or a deep salary cut for government workers. That stance can work for a while, if it works. From the Greek public's point of view, it didn't; many Greeks say they did not borrow the money and they had no control over how it was spent. They are paying the price for the decisions of others, although in fairness, the Greeks did elect these parties. The Greeks do not want to leave the euro, interestingly. They want to maintain the status quo without paying the price. But in the end, they can't pay the price, so the discussion is moot.

The Greek government is thus calculating two things. First, would covering the next payment be better or worse than defaulting? Second, will behaving like the eurocratic parties they forced to the wall leave Syriza internally divided and ripe for defeat by a new party? The German calculation has to be whether a default by the Greeks, one that doesn't cause the sky to fall, would trigger recalculations in other debtor countries, causing a domino effect.

The Future of Free Trade

The more fundamental issue concerns neither the euro nor the consequences of a Greek default. The core issue is the future of the European free trade zone. The main assumption behind European integration was that a free trade zone would benefit all economies. If that assumption is not true, or at least not always true, then the entire foundation of the European Union is cast into doubt, with the drachma-versus-euro issue as a short footnote.

The idea that free trade is beneficial to all sides derives from a theory of the classical economist David Ricardo, whose essay on comparative advantage was published in 1817. Comparative advantage asserts that free trade allows each nation to pursue the production and export of those products in which the nation has some advantage, expressed in profits, and that even if a nation has a wide range of advantages, focusing on the greatest advantages will benefit the country the most. Because countries benefit from their greatest advantages, they focus on those, leaving lesser advantages to other countries for which these are the greatest comparative advantage.

I understate it when I say this is a superficial explanation of the theory of comparative advantage. I do not overstate it when I say that this theory drove the rise of free trade in general, and specifically drove it in the European Union. It is the ideology and the broad outlines of the concept that interest me here, not the important details, as I am trying to get a high-level sense of Europe's state.

To begin with, the law of comparative advantages does not mean that each country does equally well. It simply means that given the limits of geography and education, each nation will do as well as it can. And it is at this point that Ricardo's theory both drives much of contemporary trade policy and poses the core problem for the European Union. The theory is not, in my opinion, wrong. It is, however, incomplete in looking at the nation (or corporation) as an integrated being and not entities made up of distinct and diverse interests. There are in my mind three problems that emerge from the underlying truth of this theory.

The first is time. Some advantages manifest themselves quickly. Some take a very long time. Depending on the value of the advantage each nation has, some nations will become extremely wealthy from free trade, and do so quickly, while others will do less well, and take a long time. From an economic point of view this may still represent the optimal strategies that can be followed, but from a more comprehensive standpoint this distinction creates the other two problems with the law of comparative advantage.

The first of these is the problem of geopolitical consequences. Economic power is not the only type of power there is. Disparate rates of economic growth make the faster growing economy more powerful in its relation to the slower growing economy. That power is both political and military and can be used, along with economic advantage, to force nations into not only subordinate positions but also positions where their lesser comparative advantage diminishes even further. This does not have to be intentional. Maximizing comparative advantage makes some powers stronger than others, and over time that strength can leave the lesser power crippled in ways that have little to do with economics.

The last problem is the internal distribution of wealth. Nations are not independent beings. They are composed of autonomous human beings pursuing their interests. Depending on internal economic and political norms, there is no guarantee that there will not be extreme distinctions in how the wealth is distributed, with a few very rich people and many very poor people. The law of comparative advantage is not concerned with this phenomenon and therefore is not connected to the consequences of inequality.

Breaking the Law of Comparative Advantage

In looking at the European Union, the assumption is that each nation pursuing its comparative advantage will maximize its possibilities. By this I mean that each country will export that thing which it does best, importing things that others produce more efficiently. The comparative aspect is not only between nations but also between the products within the nation. Therefore, each nation is focusing on the things that it does best. But "best" does not tell us how well they do it. It merely tells us that it's the best they can do, and from that they will prosper.

The problem is that the time frame might be so long that it will take generations to see a meaningful result of this measure. Thus, Germany sees the results faster than Greece. Since economic power can translate in many ways, the power of Germany limits the practical possibilities of Greece. Moreover, whatever advantage there is in free trade for the Greeks, it flows unequally.

This is when comparative advantage runs as it should. But it has not run that way in Europe, because Germany has been forced by its economic reality to pursue exports of not only those products where it has a comparative advantage internally, but many products for which it lacks an internal advantage but has a comparative advantage externally — these are not necessarily the things it does best, but it does them better than others. Since Germany is efficient in multiple senses, it has advantages in many products and takes that advantage. Germany has a staggering export rate of more than 50 percent of gross domestic product. Comparative advantage assumes it will want to export those things that it produces most efficiently. It is instead exporting any product that it can export competitively regardless of the relative internal advantage.

Put another way, Germany is not following the law of comparative advantage. Social scientists have many laws of behavior that are said to describe what people do and then turn into moral arguments of what they should do. I am not doing that. Germany empirically is not driven by Ricardo's theories but by its own needs. In other words, the law of comparative advantage doesn't work in Europe. As a result, Germany has grown faster than other European countries, has accumulated more power than other countries and has managed to distribute wealth in a way that creates political stability.

Comparative Advantage and the Greek Issue

The result is that Greece is answerable to Germany on its debts. In the same way that no moral judgment can be drawn about Germany, none can be drawn about Greece. It is what it is. However, whatever problem it has in maximizing its own exports, doing so in an environment where Germany is pursuing all export possibilities that have any advantage decreases Greece's opportunity to export, thereby creating a long-term dysfunction in Greece. The German superiority perpetuates itself.

It is important to note that Germany did not operate without protections after World War II. It protected its recovering industries from American competition. The United States, an economic colossus that exports a relatively small amount of its production, also was heavily protectionist in the late 19th century. Similarly, the United Kingdom maintained tariffs to protect the British Empire's markets. Greece has no such protection.

The theory of comparative advantage is generally true, but it doesn't take into account time disparities, the geopolitical consequences of time lags or internal social dislocation. That is why I said it was both true and incomplete. And that is also why the European Union, however it might have been conceived in its simplest sense, suffers from massive disparities in the speed that nations accumulate wealth, has nations that do not behave as the theory predicts they should, and creates geopolitical imbalances externally and social dislocation internally. It's not that free trade doesn't work. It's that it has unintended consequences.

This is why I would argue that the Sturm und Drang over Greece's debt and the future of the euro misses the point. The fundamental point is that the consequences of free trade are not always positive. It is not clear to me how Greece ever recovers without the protections that Germany or the United States had during their early growth period. And since nations do what they have to do, the issue is not the euro, but free trade.

And this is Germany's dread. It is a nation that exports as much as it consumes, and half of that goes to the European free trade zone. More than anyone, it needs the free trade zone for its own well-being. This is why, however the Germans growl, it is not the Grexit they fear but rising tariffs. The European Union already allows substantial agricultural tariffs and subsidies. If they allow broader tariffs for Greece, then when does it stop? And if they don't, and Greece crumbles socially, where does that stop? Free trade can be marvelous or dreadful, depending on circumstances, and sometimes both at the same time.

The 'Grexit' Issue and the Problem of Free Trade is republished with permission of Stratfor.

Officer Down

Sergeant Greg Moore
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Police Department
End of Watch: Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Age: 43
Tour: 16 years
Badge # K27

Sergeant Greg Moore was shot and killed after stopping a suspicious male.

Sergeant Moore was patrolling in the area of Wilbur Avenue and Joanna Drive in response to a several car break-ins that had taken place in the area. At 1:30 am he stopped a suspicious male and radioed the man's information in, but made no further radio contact. A citizen heard gunshots, found Sergeant Moore in the street, and called the police.

After the shooting the subject stole Sergeant Moore's patrol car and fled the location. An officer spotted the stolen patrol car in the town of Post Falls, and initiated a pursuit. The suspect eventually fled on foot and was eventually found in a parking lot, hiding under a car, and taken into custody.

Sergeant Moore was taken to a local hospital where he died several hours later from his wounds.

Sergeant Moore had served with the Coeur d'Alene Police Department for 14 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

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: Could the Islamic State and al Qaeda Reconcile?, April 23, 2015

By Scott Stewart

Over the course of the past couple weeks I have talked to several people who have asked my opinion on the possibility of a reconciliation between al Qaeda and the Islamic State. The question is being brought about by a number of factors.

First is the fact that the Islamic State is losing ground in Iraq and in parts of Syria and has suffered significant losses in men, materiel and in its financial apparatus. This is taken to mean the group has been humbled a bit, and now that it is under heavy pressure, its leaders might be tempted to join forces with al Qaeda. Second, al Qaeda has lost some sub-groups to the Islamic State, and it is commonly perceived to be losing ground to the Islamic State in the propaganda war. Furthermore, in parts of Syria, such as in Qalamoun, some local Islamic State commanders have periodically cooperated with the local al Qaeda franchise, Jabhat al-Nusra, to fight regime forces and Hezbollah. Finally, some unconfirmed rumors are floating around the Internet jihadisphere saying al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is going to dissolve al Qaeda and give the regional franchise groups their independence.

Many fear that if the groups joined forces, their combined capabilities and resources would pose a major threat to the rest of the world. This fear is certainly not unfounded. A united jihadist movement would pose a more substantial threat than does the currently divided movement. However, because of a number of factors, it does not appear that either the Islamic State or al Qaeda could accept such a merger.


Several important factors keep the Islamic State and al Qaeda divided. Perhaps the most superficial of these factors is the clash between the personalities of the groups. A great deal of personal animosity appears to exist between the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and Jabhat al-Nusra leader Abu Mohammed al-Golani. This personal enmity has manifested itself in Islamic State propaganda that makes direct, personal attacks against al-Zawahiri and al-Golani. For example, the group’s English-language magazine, Dabiq, has depicted al-Zawahiri as a manipulative and dishonest man. In the seventh edition, the Islamic State essentially labeled al-Zawahiri a deviant by charging that he had "abandoned the pure heritage" that Osama bin Laden left and had turned al Qaeda to a mistaken ideology. For his part, al-Zawahiri has called Islamic State militants "Kharijites," or radical, rebellious extremists. Al-Golani and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have also been quite critical of al-Baghdadi.

But the conflict goes beyond personal attacks. The Islamic State takes issue with several tenets of al Qaeda’s approach to jihadism as codified in al-Zawahiri’s September 2013 General Guidelines for Jihad. The Islamic State is particularly incensed with al-Zawahiri’s guidance to avoid targeting Shiites. Al-Zawahiri directed al Qaeda franchise groups and individual militants to focus primarily on fighting the United States and the "Crusader Alliance" and only to attack "deviant sects" such as Shiites, Ismailis, Qadianis and Sufis defensively. He also ordered his followers not to attack the homes, places of worship, religious festivals or social gatherings of other Muslim sects. The Islamic State, on the other hand, believes these so-called deviant groups are heretics and, therefore, should be eliminated.

The disparity in whether to attack Shiite and other Muslim sects originates in differing approaches to the takfir doctrine, which deals with labeling Muslims apostates and therefore justified targets for attack. The Islamic State believes it can declare entire sects apostates, for example the Shiites, whereas al Qaeda believes that takfir should be declared in a much more limited manner.

Al Qaeda’s General Guidelines for Jihad also states that jihadists should avoid targeting Christian, Sikh and Hindu communities living in Muslim lands, unless they transgress, which would be grounds for a proportional response. On the other hand, massacres of such communities and attacks against their homes, places of worship and festivals have been a hallmark of the Islamic State since its inception. This difference in targeting philosophy led al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to sharply criticize Islamic State sympathizers for the March 20 suicide bombings of two mosques in Sanaa that killed 142 Houthis and wounded hundreds of others.

The Islamic State also takes exception to the al Qaeda guidelines that call for jihadists to support and participate in popular uprisings against oppressive regimes. Al Qaeda made the guidelines to take advantage of Arab Spring-type demonstrations, and jihadists participated in violent demonstrations in Egypt and Tunisia. But the Islamic State charges that by taking this approach, al Qaeda is changing jihadism from fighting to holding peaceful demonstrations and pursuing popular support, or even supporting democracy — a deadly sin in the eyes of most jihadists.

But these differences in the approach to jihadism are not surprising, nor are they new. Though the Islamic State did not formally split from al Qaeda until February 2014, tension and friction between the two organizations over topics such as targeting Shiites and Christians had existed since Abu Musab al-Zarqawi merged his Jamaat al-Tawhid and Jihad group with al Qaeda in 2004. Indeed, Stratfor published a three-part series analyzing the tension between the groups.

Different Origins, Different Philosophies

These longstanding differences exist because, unlike al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the jihadist leadership in Iraq did not come from the al Qaeda core. While the jihadist leaders in Iraq, including al-Zarqawi, saw the benefit to adopting the al Qaeda brand name to help with recruitment and fundraising, they never fully embraced al Qaeda's philosophy and vision and frequently ignored the core's guidance. Before joining al Qaeda, al-Zarqawi's group had its own identity and philosophy, which were greatly influenced by Jordanian jihadist ideologue Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi. Many former members of Iraq's Baathist military also joined the group and influenced the Islamic State's philosophy.

Considering an Islamic State and al Qaeda Reconciliation
Click to enlarge
Islamic State Timeline

When the Islamic State merged with al Qaeda, it attempted to place a veneer of al Qaeda over its initial Tawhid and Jihad foundation, but the different schools were never fully reconcilable ideologically: The Islamic State was always radically more sectarian than the al Qaeda core and immediately more regionally, rather than transnationally, focused. Though the Islamic State did target Americans in Iraq and in Jordan, it never attempted to conduct attacks against the U.S. homeland.

Al Qaeda has always seen itself as the vanguard organization focused on attacking the United States and its allies in the Crusader Alliance to weaken them and to awaken the masses, inciting them to revolt against their rulers. The organization sees itself fighting a long-term battle not unlike the Maoist concept of the long war. The Islamic State, on the other hand, is much more audacious. It is focused on the local struggle and believes it can follow the example of the Prophet Mohammed to create an ideal caliphate that is the basis for global conquest. Though both al Qaeda and the Islamic State are dualistic and millenarian in their theology — they believe they are engaging in a cosmic battle of good versus evil to replace a corrupt society with an ideal one — the Islamic State is quite a bit more apocalyptic. Its members believe their activities in Syria and Iraq will draw the armies of the Earth to oppose them. After initially suffering heavy losses, the Prophet Isa, which is Arabic for Jesus, will return to lead them in a final battle at Dabiq in Syria, where they will finally defeat the "crusader forces" led by the Antichrist. After the victory at Dabiq, they will be able to extend their Islamic State to conquer the Earth.

Irreconcilable Differences

Overcoming differences might be easier if personal animosity were the only obstacle separating al Qaeda and the Islamic State, especially if one or more of the warring personalities were killed. Even if Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State were not fighting each other in Syria and al Qaeda and Islamic State franchises were not fighting elsewhere, the groups' conflicting ideologies would make broad reconciliation difficult. This is especially clear because the two groups have gone to such lengths to outline their differences. Explaining a merger with a group previously labeled as apostates or kharijites would be an awkward and difficult task for the leaders of both groups.

Ideology is just too important for al Qaeda and for the Islamic State. Indeed, members of both groups are willing to die for their beliefs. While some claim that jihadist leaders cynically use religion to manipulate others, their actions keep with their extremist beliefs, indicating their sincerity. Because both groups claim to have exclusive understanding of the correct interpretation of Islam regarding jihad, they are unlikely to merge. Additionally, after proclaiming itself to be the global leader of all Muslims, allowing itself to become subordinate to another group would be insupportable for the Islamic State.

While al Qaeda is down, it is clearly not out, and the group's Yemen franchise has made tremendous gains since the Saudi-led air campaign began degrading its most dangerous enemies there. Additionally, taking Idlib, alongside ally Ahrar al-Sham, highlighted Jabhat al-Nusra's strength in Syria.

At a local level, some al Qaeda and Islamic State groups may continue to cooperate, especially if they have not actively combated one another. At the present time, this cooperation is most apparent in battlefronts on the periphery of the Syrian civil war, such as in Yarmouk camp, where Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State units are far from the core areas of their respective leadership. But even then, cooperation — especially in very localized and specific cases — is much different than a merger.

Individual members of the groups, or even subunits, may defect to the other side, especially if one of the groups becomes weakened beyond repair. However, because of their irreconcilable differences, imagining a mass merger of the two organizations into one global jihadist front is difficult.

Before any such formal reconciliation could become even a remote possibility, a very noticeable change in how the Islamic State and al Qaeda publicly portray each other would have to take place to dampen the animosity between the two sides and to begin mending fences between the two camps. Until this unlikely development occurs, a merger between the two groups is impossible.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Officer Down

Lieutenant Eric A. Eslary
Ligonier Township Pennsylvania Police Department
End of Watch: Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Age: 40
Tour: 17 years

Lieutenant Eric Eslary was killed in a vehicle collision on Route 30, near Clark Hollow Road, at approximately 2:00 am.

His patrol SUV was struck head-on by a van driving the wrong way on the divided highway. His canine partner suffered serious injuries and underwent surgery at an emergency animal hospital. The two occupants of the van were critically injured.

Lieutenant Eslary had served with the Ligonier Township Police Department for 17 years. He is survived by his wife and six children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

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

Some good overview tips for the battlefield.

I get Foreign Policy's daily email and normally I'll read one or two articles. However this one caught my eye and I would call it a good overview of how to win on a battlefield.
The Iron Duke’s tips for Iron Majors

The Iron Duke’s tips for Iron Majors
By Major Crispin Burke, U.S. Army Best Defense guest columnist

Arthur Wellesley, the First Duke of Wellington, cut his teeth during campaigns in India and Iberia. But he’s most famous as the man who, along with the timely intervention of a Prussian Army, defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo two hundred years ago today.

Wellington ranks high among generals of the era — his army of Britons, Spaniards, and Portuguese was one of the first to deal a decisive blow to the vaunted French Army at the Battle of Salamanca. Among British commanders, he’s right up there with the Marlborough and Slim.

But while most focus on Wellington’s advice for commanders, few think about the Iron Duke’s advice for staff officers — the Iron Majors, if you will. Here are five tips from the Iron Duke to Iron Majors.

1.) The most boring parts of the plan are usually the most important. Wellington was a meticulous planner, particularly in the realm of logistics. While on campaign in India, the Duke took stringent precautions to ensure his army didn’t starve in the field (as many did in those days). The sheer act of feeding and sustaining an army got him halfway to victory, as it allowed him to put more men into the fight than his enemies could. Modern armies don’t run on tanks and trucks so much as they run on food, funding, and fuel. Forget to set up a FARP or ensure your troops have MREs and watch how quickly your organization grinds to a halt. Neglect these parts of the plan at your peril.

I know I've mentioned this before, but a war story of my basic course. An old calvary captain told us something I've always remembered, "Amateurs study tactics, professional study logistics." I didn't appreciate it at the time, but I've gotten to know wisdom of that since.
2.) Here’s to your health. Though military medical care may be lacking at times, it’s far better than it was two hundred years ago. In Wellington’s day, sickness took a greater toll on armies than cannons and musket balls. At times, nearly a third of the British Army in the Iberian Peninsula was rendered incapacitated with disease. Let that be a lesson for you — make sure your Soldiers get immunized! (That includes MMR)

In the flu pandemic of 1918-1919, over 20 million (low estimate) people lost their lives. That's more than twice the number of battle deaths suffered on both sides, 8.5 million.
3.) Leaders are Readers. The US military can deploy anywhere in the world within a few hours. But in Wellington’s day, a passage to India could take a few months. That left the Iron Duke with plenty of time to read — everything from John Locke to Adam Swift. It served him well in India, where he spent much of his time tending to civil administration — not unlike military leaders today.

Something to be said about being well rounded.
4.) Don’t put anything in an email you wouldn’t want to see in the New York Times. Wellington learned this one the hard way, when passages from his confidential dispatches back to London made their way into nightly newspapers. It’s a lesson occasionally lost on officers two centuries later, too.

And use your government email, not a private server.
5.) One of these days, you’ll get a lousy assignment. Keep doing your best, though. Wellington is supposed to have written: “I have eaten the King’s salt, and, therefore, I conceive it to be my duty to serve with unhesitating zeal and cheerfulness, when and wherever the King or his government may think proper to employ me.”

Or, as General George S. Patton said more succinctly: “I’m a soldier. I go where I’m told, and I win where I fight.”

And sometimes it will lead to greatness. Then Major Dwight Eisenhower spent seven years as a curator of the Gettysburg Battlefield, a position he hated. However he learned the grounds better than anyone could have and after that the was sent to the Army's Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth (My God that's in Kansas!). The final paper was on the Battle of Gettysburg and Ike's paper put him at the top of the class. His paper impressed the them commandant, Major General George Marshall who decided to put this major under his wings. And the rest is history.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Officer Down

Detective Brian Moore
New York City Police Department
End of Watch: Monday, May 4, 2015
Age: 25
Tour: 4 years, 10 months
Badge # 469
Incident Date: 5/2/2015

Police Officer Brian Moore succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained two days earlier when he attempted to question a suspicious person in Queens.

Officer Moore and his partner were assigned to a plainclothes Anti-Crime Unit and on patrol in an unmarked car when they observed a male walking on a sidewalk and adjusting an object in his waistband. The officers pulled alongside the subject and asked him what he was carrying. The subject responded by pulling out a handgun and opening fire into the vehicle, striking Officer Moore in the face.

Officer Moore was transported to a Jamaica Hospital where he remained unconscious until passing away two days later. The subject was identified by several witnesses and was arrested at his home shortly afterwards. He was subsequently charged with murder, attempted murder, and 10 other charges.

Police Officer Moore had served with the New York City Police Department for 5 years and was assigned to the 105th Precinct Anti-Crime Unit. At his funeral Officer Moore was posthumously promoted to Detective by Police Commissioner William Bratton.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

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

A classic example of why we need to purge the education bureaucracy.

I remember in the early 90s and the term "multicultural" made it on the national lexicon, I saw a protest with "Reverend" Jesse Jackson. The chant of the week was "Hey hey, ho ho, Western civ has got to go!" The usual suspects were screaming to end the requirement of (as I recall) an Ivy League that every student take some classes on Western civilization. I really didn't appreciated this as much as I do now, but it's something that binds the peoples of this nation. People who's ancestors came from multiple parts of the world but who have called this nation their home.

There was a time assimilation was the norm. One of my best friends is from India and I love telling the story of his family. His father, an engineer, made it to the United States in the middle 70s. He spent years working all day in New York and all night at a news stand to make the money needed to get his family over. And now their three children have raised their own families and there is no question, they are Americans. My friend's son was named after his favorite Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin.

Now we've come to this. This "teacher", another leftist with a chip on her shoulder, decided she will not teach the Bard because he is white. Just read it.

Teacher: Why I don’t want to assign Shakespeare anymore (even though he’s in the Common Core)

A new report on the teaching of Shakespeare in higher education found that English majors at the vast majority of the country’s most prestigious colleges and universities are not now required to take an in-depth Shakespeare course — but the Bard remains a fixture in high school English classes. In fact, studying Shakespeare is a requirement in the Common Core English Language Arts standards, mentioned in specific standards throughout high school.

Shakespeare, of course, is seen by many as the greatest writer in the English language and central to the Western canon. The idea of not teaching Shakespeare works — with their insights into the human condition — is anathema to many English teachers. But not all of them. Some wish they could stop teaching William Shakespeare’s works altogether. One of those teachers is Dana Dusbiber, a veteran teacher at Luther Burbank High School. Luther Burbank is the largest inner-city school in Sacramento, California, with all students coming from low-income homes and a majority of them minorities. In this post, she explains why she doesn’t want to teach Shakespeare to Luther Burbank (or any) students.

By Dana Dusbiber

I am a high school English teacher. I am not supposed to dislike Shakespeare. But I do. And not only do I dislike Shakespeare because of my own personal disinterest in reading stories written in an early form of the English language that I cannot always easily navigate, but also because there is a WORLD of really exciting literature out there that better speaks to the needs of my very ethnically-diverse and wonderfully curious modern-day students.

I do not believe that I am “cheating” my students because we do not read Shakespeare. I do not believe that a long-dead, British guy is the only writer who can teach my students about the human condition. I do not believe that not viewing “Romeo and Juliet” or any other modern adaptation of a Shakespeare play will make my students less able to go out into the world and understand language or human behavior. Mostly, I do not believe I should do something in the classroom just because it has “always been done that way.”

I am sad that so many of my colleagues teach a canon that some white people decided upon so long ago and do it without question. I am sad that we don’t believe enough in ourselves as professionals to challenge the way that it has “always been done.” I am sad that we don’t reach beyond our own often narrow beliefs about how young people become literate to incorporate new research on how teenagers learn, and a belief that our students should be excited about what they read — and that may often mean that we need to find the time to let them choose their own literature.

I was an English major. I am a voracious reader. I have enjoyed reading some of the classics. And while I appreciate that many people enjoy re-reading texts that they have read multiple times, I enjoy reading a wide range of literature written by a wide range of ethnically-diverse writers who tell stories about the human experience as it is experienced today. Shakespeare lived in a pretty small world. It might now be appropriate for us to acknowledge him as chronicler of life as he saw it 450 years ago and leave it at that.

What I worry about is that as long as we continue to cling to ONE (white) MAN’S view of life as he lived it so long ago, we (perhaps unwittingly) promote the notion that other cultural perspectives are less important. In the 25 years that I have been a secondary teacher, I have heard countless times, from respected teachers (mostly white), that they will ALWAYS teach Shakespeare, because our students need Shakespeare and his teachings on the human condition.

So I ask, why not teach the oral tradition out of Africa, which includes an equally relevant commentary on human behavior? Why not teach translations of early writings or oral storytelling from Latin America or Southeast Asia other parts of the world? Many, many of our students come from these languages and traditions. Why do our students not deserve to study these “other” literatures with equal time and value? And if time is the issue in our classrooms, perhaps we no longer have the time to study the Western canon that so many of us know and hold dear.

Here then, is my argument: If we only teach students of color, as I have been fortunate to do my entire career, then it is far past the time for us to dispense with our Eurocentric presentation of the literary world. Conversely, if we only teach white students, it is our imperative duty to open them up to a world of diversity through literature that they may never encounter anywhere else in their lives. I admit that this proposal, that we leave Shakespeare out of the English curriculum entirely, will offend many.

But if now isn’t the time to break some school rules and think about how to bring literature of color to our student’s lives, when will that time be?

Let’s let Shakespeare rest in peace, and start a new discussion about middle and high school right-of-passage reading and literature study.

I just ask one question. If a history teacher said "I'm not teaching about Harriet Tubman or the Underground Railroad because a lot of (mostly white) people said we need to. That was a long time ago and it's not relevant to a modern diverse populace." I think this woman who screech from her hind legs about racism, destruction of our history, etc. Funny, she doesn't see the same with her.

If you want to speak to your "cultural" traditions, fine. Italians, Irish and Germans have their own parties, celebrations and days. But they are at first, Americans. And there is the issue with idiots like this woman. America has a culture of rugged individualism, liberty and independence based on the Western ethos. And we expect our "teachers" to instruct and reinforce that. If you don't want to, fine, get another job. Or if you want to offer "oral histories" as a elective class, excellent. But this is a western nation and if you don't like that, please, go back to the Third World hell holes your "oral history" were inspired by.

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Gil Datan
Coos County Oregon Sheriff's Office
End of Watch: Monday, April 20, 2015
Age: 43
Tour: 19 years
Badge # 524

Deputy Sheriff Gil Datan was killed in an ATV crash while patrolling timber lands between Green Acres Road and South Sumner Road, near Coos Bay.

It is believed that he was thrown from the ATV when it rolled down a steep embankment between 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm. The vehicle landed on top of him, causing him to suffer fatal injuries.

A massive search was initiated after he failed to check in with dispatch at the end of his shift at 4:00 pm. The crash site was located at approximately 9:45 pm.

Deputy Datan had served with the Coos County Sheriff's Office for five years and had served in law enforcement for 19 years. He had previously served with the Myrtle Point Police Department, North Bend Police Department, Confederated Tribal Police Department, and Reedsport Police Department. He is survived by his daughter.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

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

Monday, June 15, 2015

My take on the 2016 Presidential Election

I’ve said this over and over, 2016 is the Republican’s election to lose. The Democrats are going to the end of the B Hussein Obama regime, and he’s a drag on their entire party. The 2 Ps, peace and prosperity are not deliverable by them. The economy is a disaster, Obamacare has been a catastrophe, B Hussein has squandered what we gained in Iraq and Afghanistan, by sticking his nose and ears in Syria and Libya the Middle East is on fire, were are on the verge of handing Tehran nuclear weapons and Israel may have to attack the Iranians before they get attacked. Meanwhile both China and Russia are on the move and the moron Carter at the Pentagon is worrying if he haven’t cut back enough.

The Democrats heir apparent has all the warmth of Nurse Ratchet and the baggage of the Clinton’s. She’s got all of the Clinton negatives with none of Bubba’s positives. Mrs. Bill Clinton has a disastrous record, literally has blood on her hands with Benghazi and even her supporters can’t name an accomplishment of hers.  

The Dems are for everything the public hates, such as amnesty, Obamacare, Common Core. And to top it off Americans rarely vote the same party as president three times straight. Last time was 1988, when George H. W. Bush promised to be the third term of Reagan and unfortunately was the first full term of Ford. The time before that was FDR in 1940.

Again, it’s the Republican’s race to lose. That being said, the leadership of the party is doing its best to blow this election. The Roves, McConnell’s, Boehner’s are betting on the old straw of “We give them a RINO or a Dem they will vote against the Dem…” Seemed to have missed the fact that millions of conservatives stayed home in 2012 instead of voting for Mr. Charisma, Mitt Romney. Mittens was open about ignoring the base, he immediately went for the “moderates” and “independents” and we lost the White House again to a clueless man-child. Or the fact the last time we won with an overwhelming majority was in 1988, when Bush was pretending to be a conservative.

I’ve said this more than once, if the Republicans nominate Bush, Christy, Romney or Graham, either I will write in a candidate or, for the first time in my life, will not even vote. As it says, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Another day in the life of a Street Lawyer....

In my years on the street I have, from time to time, come in contact with a creature I call the Street Lawyer. Generally there are not attorney's by trade or training but they believe they know the law better than the police, city and district attorneys, or even defense attorneys. Here is an example of one.

Texas Officer smashes out a car window of uncooperative suspect... The end of this video ROCKS!Be sure to like our page!#SupportPolice #ThinBlueLine #WeSeeYouLike and Share!
Posted by Thin Blue Line HQ on Friday, June 12, 2015
To knock off the questions before they come, in Texas if a Peace Officer has reasonable suspicion to detain you for a traffic offense, you are required to present to him both your license and proof of financial responsibility. If you do not, that is a Class C Misdemeanor. And yes, the officer may use "reasonable force" to take you into custody. Seeing he spent almost four minutes asking for the license and/or name, that is reasonable in my book and I'll bet it will be reasonable in the eyes of the judge.

But one thing these Street Lawyers never seems to grasp. This is not the place for the argument. He can make his case in front of a judge or jury at a later point. The ticket is not a conviction and signing the citation is not an admission of guilt. It is simply an acknowledgement by you of receipt of the ticket and a promise to appear in court.

One of my officers watched this and he made the point is the likely a Sovereign Citizen. They believe that traffic codes only apply to commercial motor vehicles and the only legitimate law enforcement is the sheriff and his deputies (they are elected).

Haven't had to use the baton yet, but yes, that draw it from me.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Self defense leads to new law

I keep abreast of legal matters with concealed carry and other Second Amendment issues. I found this and we have some good news from Yankee Land!

Milwaukee bar owner’s self-defense struggle leads to Second Amendment win

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog

MILWAUKEE — It was a warm summer night. The front doors of Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall on Milwaukee’s 37th St. were wide open to let in the night air.

As the final two patrons finished up their last round in the beer garden just before midnight on Aug. 15, 2013, three men wandered in.

They were up to no good....

...Andy Kochanski, owner of the popular nightspot, said the men were heading toward his patrons. One yelled, “This is a robbery! Get your money out!”

“The first guy had his hands in his pockets, the other two had visible weapons out,” Kochanski recalled in an interview Tuesday with Wisconsin Watchdog.

“The one guy with a gun locked eyes with me. As he was raising his weapon at me he was saying, “Don’t do it! Don’t do it!’ I got my gun out faster than he did. They all started scrambling around. I anticipated return fire so I started targeting at all of them. One guy went down. The other two started to head for the door. I stopped shooting when the door closed,” the bar owner said...
No good guys injured, bad guy down, this story has a good ending so far, but there are issues that come up.

...Milwaukee County prosecutors shortly after the incident said Kochanski acted in self-defense and in defense of his patrons.

But police seized his gun at the scene and it took him 7 ½ months to get it back...
I get it, justice is slow, but this is rediculus.

...On Tuesday, nearly two years after Kochanski’s gun was seized, Assembly Bill 13 passed on a voice vote. It now heads to the Senate.

The bill mandates the return of property to those who have been cleared of charges in connection with the seizure of a firearm or ammunition. It creates a timeline for the entire process, ensuring that individuals will no longer be subjected to long wait times for the return of their property.

It’s not 48 hours, but the bill does set a maximum of 35 business days for the return of a weapon seized in such cases.

Gun owners cleared of criminal wrongdoing may petition the court, and within 20 business days the court must schedule a hearing into the matter. Within five business days after the hearing, the court has to come to a decision. If the judge determines the weapon must be returned, the law enforcement entity involved in the investigation is required to do so within 10 business days.

“Cleaning up the firearm return process is something that is necessary here in Wisconsin,” said state Rep. Dan Knodl, R-Germantown, author of the bill. “Law-abiding citizens have been unjustly penalized by the criminal justice system for too long. Today, we took a step to right that wrong by clarifying the return of property to its lawful owner....”
Good to hear this incident led to better law. I can understand the time if it was still part of an open investigation, but if the man is cleared there is no reason to hold his property. Good work Wisconsin legislature. Now if you could get some decent beer up there! :<)

Some people call it beer!

Officer Down

Police Officer Michael Villarreal
Pearsall Texas Police Department
End of Watch: Sunday, April 12, 2015
Age: 51
Tour: 27 years
Badge # 745

Police Officer Mike Villarreal was killed in a vehicle crash on Highway 97, five miles west of Jourdanton, at approximately 1:30 pm.

He was transporting a juvenile offender to the Atascosa Juvenile Detention Facility when his patrol car and a large pickup truck collided head-on. Officer Villarreal suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene. The juvenile offender and other driver both suffered critical injuries.

Officer Villarreal had served with the Pearsall Police Department for less than one year but had served in law enforcement for 27 years. He is survived by his two children and fiancee.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

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

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

25 "Facts" on police brutality

I've saw this from a high school friend's Facebook post asserting it is a list of "facts" of "police brutality". Knowing what my friend often posts, I had to check his out. Take a look:
25 Shocking Facts About the Epidemic of Police Brutality in America

The tool comes at an important time. It seems every week new names of victims of police violence appear in the media. Twitter users often create hashtags to remember the fallen, many of whom are unarmed black victims, but activists can only recount so many heartrending stories of people killed by police....

...Yes, but there is no epidemic of black males killing black males? Oh, yea, there is. The numbers are there.

Recent news coverage of high-profile shootings in places like Baltimore and Cleveland have arguably raised public awareness of the fact that police abuse is a problem, but without data, it is hard to make a strong case regarding what to do about the perpetuation of overpolicing and police abuse throughout the country.
Shooting in Baltimore? Nothing out of the ordinary. The dead black man of the week the author refers to died from complications from a broken neck he had before the arrest.   
Facts don’t lie. The more the public is armed with facts, the better advocates can make the case for systemic overhauls. To that end, here are 25 actual facts about police brutality in America.
Figures don't like, liars figure. Here we go.
1. The number of people killed by police in 2014: 1,149, according to Mapping Police Violence, a research collaborative collecting data on police killings nationwide.
I checked out the web site. It's run by some race "activists" in their early 20s who's job is collecting data on police involved shootings. Forgive me if I don't take this as serious scholarship.
2. The number of people killed by police so far in 2015: 470, according to the Guardian.

3. The percentage of those people who were women: 4.6%, or 22 people, according to the Guardian.

4. Of those women, the ercentage who were women of color: roughly 41, according to the Guardian.

5. The number of people killed by police so far in June: four.

6. The state where two of the four shootings took place this month: Texas.
The stats on Texas may have to do with the size of Texas. Just pointing this out.
7. The likelihood that a black person killed by police, like 22-year-old Rekia Boyd (killed in Chicago), will be unarmed: Twice as likely as a white person killed by police, according to the Guardian.

8. The group as likely as black Americans to be killed by police, according to 1999-2013 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Native Americans — like 30-year-old Allen Locke, who was killed by police in Rapid City, South Dakota, the day after he attended a #NativeLivesMatter Anti-Police Brutality Rally in December 2014.
Funny, I'll bet these young black men have a much great opportunity to die at the hands of other young black men. 
9. The number of Latino people killed by police in 2015: 67, according the Guardian.

10: The percentage of those people who were unarmed, like 16-year-old Jessie Hernandez (killed by police in Denver in January): 25%.

11. The age of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a black girl fatally shot by police as she slept on a couch in her family’s Detroit home: 7.

12. The age of Tamir Rice, a black boy from Cleveland fatally shot by police while holding a fake gun in November 2014: 12.

13. The name of the 27-year-old black woman who was killed by police in Baltimore in 2015: Mya Hall.

14. In 2014, the state that led in police killings of civilians: California, according to KQED.
California? May have something to do with the fact California has the latest population in the country.
15. The number of states with zero police killings of civilians this year: four, according to the Guardian — North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont.
You know, that may have to do with the fact these four states have a total population of 3.3 million. Chicago, New York, Houston and New York are cities with larger populations.
16. The state that ratified a tough immigration law in 2010, which critics have denounced as a doorway to profiling and overpolicing undocumented, and documented, Latino people: Arizona.
And this has what to do with police shootings? Just asking.
17. The city that has paid out a whooping $129.7 million between January 2011 and September 2014 to settle civil rights lawsuits against police: Chicago, according to the National Journal.
Irrelevant. It's often easier and cheaper to simply pay someone ten thousand bucks to go away that show their case as worthless in a court of law.
18. The number of full-time state and local law enforcement agency personnel according to the most recent Department of Justice data: 765,000.

19. The estimated number of black Americans now incarcerated in the U.S.: 1 million (of 2.3 million) according to the NAACP.
And again, this has what to do with alleged police misconduct?
20. The number of officers involved in police misconduct cases in 2010: 6, according to the Cato Institute, a public research think tank behind the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project.
Using your numbers, 6 out of 765K? 6? 6? .00000078 per annum? Sounds like an epidemic there.
21. The number of police officers convicted of a crime for killing a black person while on duty in 2014: Zero
OK, you are assuming they committed a crime. This is what we call in the law "presenting facts not in evidence". Translations, you're using a red herring. I'll leave that for you to look up.
22. The most common form of police misconduct in 2010: excessive force, according to the Cato Institute.

23. The second most common form of police misconduct in 2010: sexual assault. Oklahoma City police Officer Daniel Ken Holtzclaw, for example, faces charges for allegedly sexually assaulting 13 women.
"...common form of police misconduct..." Got it, we have some cops that should not wear the badge. Got it. Now there is a problem you seem to not like. That officer is accused of "excessive force" has a right to his time in court and the chance to present his case to a judge and jury. Because a thug just out of prison says he was "abused' by the officer don't make it necessarily so.
24. The hefty estimated costs associated with civil judgments and settlements related to misconduct-related cases in 2010: $346,512,800, according to the Cato Institute.
Over how many cases? Let's see an average if you will. Let's be honest, if a cop in Houston or Dallas takes a thug to the ground and the turd files a complaint, the people of the jury will not likely be inclined to. Also, I looked up the report and they have no reference on where they get that number. Rephrased, they have pulled the numbers out of their ass.
25. The number of centralized and federally operated up-to-date police misconduct tracking systems: Zero.

Published on mic.com by Darnell Moore
Interesting question. Assume you start a dbase on "police misconduct", how do you define that? If someone says I abused them because I used force to get your hands cuffed while you are resisting arrest, will that be counted? Is an accusation enough for this placed?

Suffice to say this is crap. It's so bad it would come out of the current Justice Department.