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

Monday, January 30, 2017

Officer Down

Sheriff Stephen Lawrence Ackerman
Lea County Sheriff's Office, New Mexico
End of Watch: Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Age: 46
Tour: 26 years
Badge # L1

Sheriff Steve Ackerman was killed in a single vehicle crash on Highway 285, near Encino, in Torrance County.

He was driving to Santa Fe on official business to join other sheriffs from throughout the state as they met with the state legislature.

Sheriff Ackerman had served with the Lea County Sheriff's Office for 14 years and had previously served with the Lea County Detention Center for 12 years. He is survived by his wife and 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. 

North Korea is on it's last legs....

Well duh!

My first assignment in the Army was as the Assistant S-2, 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry, Camp Casey, Korea. Twenty-three years old and greener than my uniform, it was an eye opening experience. I landed in Seoul's airport and counted around 100 guys with machine guns. This was about a week before the 1988 Olympics and they were worried about the original nutcase, Kim Il-sung, starting something.

One thing I learned in those months was how things had changed in the thirty-five years since North Korea started the war. The South Korean army was nothing to be messed with. And we knew if they man had tried anything again, it would be a massacre for his troops.

I've read on how the county is collapsing and cannot afford to feed its population. One thing sticks through my head, a German doctor who spent a year in NK was shocked by two things. There were no birds because the people would kill anything they could get their hands on. And the average NK citizen was 2-3 inches shorter than the average SK citizen due to malnutrition.

With that, excerpts from an interview with a recent defector.
North Korean Defector Says Kim Jong-Un’s Control Is Crumbling
SEOUL, South Korea — The highest-ranking defector from North Korea in years said on Wednesday that the days of the country’s leadership were “numbered,” and that its attempts to control outside information were not working because of corruption and discontent.

“I am sure that more defections of my colleagues will take place, since North Korea is already on a slippery slope,” the defector, Thae Yong-ho, said during a news conference in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. “The traditional structures of the North Korean system are crumbling.”

Mr. Thae had been the North’s No. 2 diplomat in London until he fled to the South last summer with his family. South Korea has hailed his defection as a sign of growing disillusionment among North Korean elites with the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un. Since December, Mr. Thae has given a series of interviews to share his dire view of today’s North Korea.

Mr. Thae’s diagnosis of Mr. Kim’s rule is hardly new. Defectors from the North, as well as some conservative analysts and policy makers in the South, widely share that view. Still, it signaled a drastic change of roles for Mr. Thae.

Before his defection, he was a career diplomat, fluent in English, who had served in Britain, Denmark and Sweden, often delivering passionate speeches glorifying the Kim family that has ruled North Korea for seven decades. In the South, Mr. Thae, now affiliated with the Institute for National Security Strategy, a think tank arm of the National Intelligence Service, has vowed to spend the rest of his life trying to bring down the North Korean government.

Mr. Thae said he had high expectations when Mr. Kim took power after the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, in 2011. Schooled for several years in Switzerland, Mr. Kim was expected to help modernize his impoverished country. Instead, he resorted to a “reign of terror” by executing scores of officials, including his uncle Jang Song-thaek, whom he thought posed a challenge to his power, Mr. Thae said.

The former diplomat said he had come up with a detailed plan for his defection, first ensuring that his two sons joined him and his wife in London. (North Korean diplomats are required to leave a child in the North, a measure intended to prevent their defection.) He declined to reveal details of his defection plan and the circumstances.

While in London, his sons began asking questions, like why the North Korean government executed people in public without a proper trial, Mr. Thae said. Their English friends taunted them with questions, like why Mr. Kim had smoked a cigarette inside a nursery.

The day Mr. Thae broached his plan for defection with his sons, he told them that he wanted to break the “chain of slavery” for them, he recalled. They wanted to know if they would have free access to the internet, books and movies in the South, he said.

The best way to force change in the isolated North, he continued, is to disseminate outside information there to help ordinary citizens eventually rebel. South Korean TV dramas and movies smuggled from China are already popular in the North, he said.

Another sign of Mr. Kim’s weakening control, Mr. Thae said, is evident at the unofficial markets in North Korea where women trade goods, mostly smuggled from China. The vendors used to be called “grasshoppers” because they would pack and flee whenever they saw the police approaching. Now, they are called “ticks” because they refuse to budge, demanding a right to make a living, Mr. Thae said.

Such resistance, even if small in scale, is unprecedented, he added.

Unprecedented? Use to be a death (or wish you were dead) sentence. It was the shinning example of the wisdom of Winston Churchill, "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."
The spread of outside news and market activities could eventually doom Mr. Kim because his government “can be held in place and maintained only by idolizing Kim Jong-un like a god,” Mr. Thae said. “If he tries to introduce a market-oriented economy to North Korean society, then there will be no place for Kim Jong-un in North Korea, and he knows that...”

But the leader’s efforts to clamp down on information and products from outside North Korea have been unsuccessful because the police accept bribes in exchange for freeing smugglers and people caught watching banned movies and dramas.

“Kim Jong-un’s days are numbered,” Mr. Thae said on Wednesday...

...On Wednesday, Mr. Thae warned against compromising with the North, arguing that sanctions were effective. In recent interviews with local news outlets, he said that North Korea had lost annual income worth tens of millions dollars, after Britain froze accounts last year held by its state-run insurance company as part of sanctions recommended by the United Nations. Until then, the company had claimed large insurance payments through fabricated documents, he said.

Mr. Kim wanted to negotiate a compromise, under which the United States and South Korea would cancel their annual joint military exercises and lift sanctions on the North in return for a moratorium on North Korean missile and nuclear tests, Mr. Thae said.

But such a deal would validate Mr. Kim’s argument that he had been forced to develop nuclear weapons as a reaction to American hostility, he said.

“That is really a trap Kim Jong-un wants,” Mr. Thae said.

I've ready in open source that the Chinese want the end of the Kim's and if the regime collapses tomorrow, as long as we keep the American forces below the current border, they will not interfere. They want stable, prosperous nations to trade with now, not ideology brothers. Hopefully this will happen soon enough.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Portland PD gets it done.

Over the last week, idiots (excuse, "Concerned citizens") have expressed their outrage that Trump is now president by inconveniencing the lives of countless Americans by harassing them, blocking the roads, etc. Well, Portland PD had had enough:

Notice how the working citizens of the city were cheering the cops as they took the "rent-a-mob" down?

Great work Portland PD.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Officer Down

Chief of Police Randy Gibson
Kalama Police Department, Washington
End of Watch: Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Age: 59
Tour: 26 years
Badge # 7A1
Cause: Duty related illness

Chief of Police Randy Gibson died after going into respiratory distress while performing a high-stress arrest.

He began to fall ill following the arrest and drove himself to a local hospital where he was treated. He was discharged at his own request and returned home, where he passed away a short time later.

Chief Gibson was a U.S. Air Force veteran. He had served with the Kalama Police Department for six years and had previously served with the Greene County Sheriff's Office, Missouri, for 20 years. He is survived by his wife.
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. 

China and its nuclear development...

I wrote my thesis on the threat China poses to the United States as their ability to project power matures. STRATFOR has good update on their long range missile capabilities. Excerpts below.
China has added the long-range Dongfeng-41 to its nuclear missile fleet. Like this Dongfeng-21 variant displayed in a military parade in Beijing, the Dongfeng-41 is a solid-fueled road-mobile missile system. (GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)

A Chinese Nuclear Deterrent Aimed at the U.S.

January 25, 2017 | 01:10 GMT

Deployments of nuclear-capable missiles always send a message, but it isn't always immediately clear who the target is. Chinese media reported Tuesday on the possible deployment of long-range Dongfeng-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles in northeastern China close to Russia, triggering speculation in Russian media about China's intent. One possibility that has been raised is that the move was in response to potential U.S-Russian negotiations over arms treaties. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rebutted the idea, adding that Russia does not consider China's positioning of the nuclear-capable systems in Heilongjiang province a threat. And with a quick look at the Chinese nuclear missile force structure, the Kremlin's reaction makes sense: The nature and capabilities of the Dongfeng-41, along with its deployment near the city of Daqing close to the Russian border, mean that the systems are far more likely intended as a nuclear deterrent against the United States.

China has had a nuclear missile capable of reaching the United States since the early 1980s, the Dongfeng-5, but it has issues that have limited its recent effectiveness as a credible deterrent. Its liquid fuel propellant means that it must undergo a lengthy fueling process before it can be launched, and its lack of mobility renders its silos vulnerable to strikes by increasingly accurate munitions. Those threats to its survivability reduce its value as a minimum credible deterrence...

Development of the Dongfeng-41 — a solid-fuel nuclear-capable road-mobile system — is thought to have begun in the late 1980s, but the program was subject to multiple delays and pauses along the way. Other updates to China's strategic arsenal were introduced in the meantime...
This is where the Dongfeng-41 comes in. Since China has had the Dongfeng-31, a missile capable of reaching all of Russia, for more than a decade, Moscow does not consider the Dongfeng-41 to be an added threat. If anything, deployment of the Dongfeng-41 near the Russian border actually increases the system's vulnerability to a Russian strike, including from conventional weapons. Instead, its deployment is heavily influenced by geography. Given the distances involved and the ballistic missile trajectory from China to the United States, Heilongjiang province is the ideal location to maximize the missile's reach so it covers all of the continental United States. The Dongfeng-5 missiles have long been based in the same region for the same reasons.

China is in the middle of a campaign to expand both the scope and capabilities of its nuclear forces. Not only is it adding newer and more capable ballistic missiles to active duty, but it is also expanding its capabilities in other areas, such as the development of technologies that would give its missiles the ability to carry multiple warheads and the buildup of the sea-based leg of its nuclear deterrent.

The nuances, deployments and developments of China's entire nuclear arsenal must be kept in perspective when evaluating the deployment of its new intercontinental ballistic missiles. But it is even more crucial to maintain a close watch on the effect Chinese nuclear weapons developments have on the rest of the world. Its evolving capabilities have the potential to increase competition with India, in turn affecting Pakistan's nuclear growth. They could also complicate arms control dynamics between the United States and Russia...

I would add China is working on both carriers and submarines. Really sobering, unless something changes, by the mid-2020's China will more have more subs than the United States in the South China Sea.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A reason I keep breathing masks in my bag...

From Crime Junkie, anti-Trump rioters in Cleveland spit in an officer's face.

I liberated several masks from the ambulance crews and ERs around here. It's not often I need them, but on occasion we do. Notice towards the end he keeps spitting at the officer.

As a sergeant, what do I see here? At least two baseline blood test to insure my cops didn't get an infection from this moron. Thanks!

Good work Cleveland PD.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Officer Down

Detective Steven McDonald
New York City Police Department, New York
End of Watch: Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Age: 59
Tour: 32 years
Badge # 104
Incident Date: 7/12/1986

Detective Steven McDonald died as a result of gunshot wounds he received 31 years earlier.

Detective McDonald was on foot patrol in Central Park, in the area of East Drive near Fifth Avenue and 107th Street, when he encountered a group of teenagers he believed were preparing to commit a robbery. He and his partner split up and started to follow the teens. Detective McDonald stopped them near the boathouse on Harlem Meer. As he questioned the teens one of them drew a concealed .22 caliber revolver and fired, striking Detective McDonald in the head and neck.

Detective McDonald was transported to a local hospital where it was determined that his wounds had caused paralysis. After a lengthy rehabilitation, Detective McDonald was able to return home. He was confined to a wheelchair and needed the assistance of a machine to breathe.

The subject who shot him was paroled on September 6th, 1995. Three days later he was killed in a motorcycle accident.

On January 10th, 2017, Detective McDonald died as a direct result of complications from the gunshot wounds.

Detective McDonald is survived by his wife and son, who followed in his father's footsteps, joining the New York City Police Department, earning his detective shield, and eventually earning a promotion to sergeant.

Detective McDonald served with the New York City Police Department for 31 years and was assigned to the Central Park Precinct.
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. 

HMS Queen Elizabeth II, locked, loaded and ready....

This is incredible. Ship construction in a Lego format.

HMS Queen Elizabeth II, the flagship of Her Majesty's Navy, is now undergoing sea trials and will soon be leading Great Britain's navy for the next half century. I wonder how the Queen felt breaking the champaign and christening a ship named after her.

Take a few minutes and watch this. It's awesome.

Stunning Time-Lapse Of Aircraft Carrier Being Built With Massive Lego-Like Pieces

Oct 14, 2016

This video shows amazing time-lapse footage of the HMS Prince of Wales, which is a Queen Elizabeth-Class aircraft carrier, being assembled much like Lego blocks. BAE Systems added their final piece, which is the size of a building, on the aircraft carrier.

That final piece, which is called the Aft Island, weighs in at 750 tons and controls the carrier’s aircraft operations. It was constructed as a single piece then moved to the dock where the carrier is located. The other parts of the carrier were assembled at this location.

This is the second Queen Elizabeth-Class aircraft carrier being built for the Royal Navy and is planned for active service until 2020.

This is the eighth ship in the Royal Navy to be called HMS Prince of Wales. The ship’s construction started at Rosyth Dockyard in 2011.

After its completion, this class of carrier can transport as many as 40 Lockheed Martin F-35B Lighting II multi-role jets. An airwing of 12 or 24 of the jets and a helicopter group of troop transport helicopters and anti-submarine AW101 Merlins will be on board.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

I'm getting some of this soon....

Last month I was at a protest of BL(D)M and it was a nice paycheck later that month.

Houston is hosting the Super Bowl this year and multiple agencies (Harris County SO, Houston PD, Texas DPS, FBI) will be involved with it. I'm working from 900am to close, so I will have a nice check later that month.

Please guys, more protest. I have a 17 year old going to Japan on an exchange program and damned I need the cash! :)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Scary, but well done.

Here is a video from the Walton County GA Sheriff's Office.  Could have been a justified shoot, but the lieutenant managed to get the suspect under control.

Looking at it, what really scared me was a 45 seconds.  They have the man down, but the lieutenant puts his pistol down to control the suspect.  If he had broken their hold, the suspect may be able to get a weapon.

Thank God everything worked out.  Excellent work LT Hess.

Friday, January 20, 2017

And now for something completely different

What will be different after this Trump is sworn in?

Like millions, I looked forward to the the inauguration, the end of the Obama Error and with it, hopefully, the fall of the House of Clinton. As with every new president, much will change in the administration as Trump assumes office.  But I was wondering, what will change from outside the office?

In the last eight years, we have witnessed celebrities, media figures, etc worship at the feet of Barrack Hussein Obama.  When David Brooks, a  putative conservative, says Obama would be a great president because of the “crease in his slacks,” you know this adoration would be worse than the Clintons and the Kennedy's combined. And no challenges to the man-child would be allowed. 

But with a Republican soon to assume the highest office in the land, I wondered what would we hear or see soon, things that has been missing for the last eight years.  Off the top of my head:
Dissent and questioning of the president is again the highest form of patriotism.  Reporters grow up dreaming about being the next Woodward and Bernstein, being able to take down a Republican president.  And a free press was envisioned as a check on the power of the government.  However, there has not been any real questioning of Mr. Obama and his “achievements, good or bad.  I think we can trust the NY Times et all will starting coming at President Trump full blast. 
 The idol worship is gone.  Who remember this, “Barack Hussein Obama Mmm Mmm Mmm!"  Children openly propagandized by their teachers to worship the “Dear Leader.”  Same for the black militants in Chicago. How about these morons, err celebrities, taking “The Pledge,” to Barrack Obama?  
Where have the homeless been the last eight years?  The urban legend that millions of people were forced to the streets because of massive budget cuts during the Reagan years was cemented by years of propaganda.  The fact the homeless population is largely mentally ill, thanks largely to geniuses in the world saying we don’t need to put mentally ill patients into institutions, led to hundreds of thousands of nonfunctional people living like feral humans.  But for the last eight years, there has been precious little reporting on these poor unfortunate victims of America in general and the Republicans in particular.  That will soon change.  
Unemployment and Inflation:  Two of the greatest lies of the last eight years has been the notional drop in unemployment and inflation.  When you simply drop people who have stopped looking for work from the rolls, it shrinks the total number of people in the jobless pool.  Therefore the number of people “unemployed” lowers.  And cutting out the increase in food and fuel (the cost of which had dropped, thanks to the fracking revolution the Obama regime did it’s best to kill off) means the items you need the most are not covered in the inflation stats.  Benjamin Disraeli said it best, ”There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." 
Bipartisanship:   Bipartisanship, as understood my most Americans, is both political parties compromising, working for a common goal.  But for most liberals and the media, it means the Republicans/conservatives cave on our issues and embrace the Democratic/liberal side.  See amnesty, the Iran Nuclear Deal and the budget deal of 2015.  Now there was no concern of the lack of “bipartisanship” when Harry Reid rammed Obamacare through the Senate on a budget bill without one GOP vote.  If Obamacare is repealed with no (or some) Democratic support, will the usual suspects also be silent about the lack of “bipartisanship?”  
Noble Turncoats:  In 2001, Senator James “Jumping Jim” Jeffords, switched parties to caucus with the Democrats, stripping the GOP of their control of the Senate by Vice President Dick Cheney’s tie breaking vote.  In 2012, former Florida Governor Charlie Crist switched parties to become a Democrat to give himself another chance at the job he felt entitled to, senator.  But both party switchers were treated as noble public servants who's conscious could not abide the GOP.  West Virginia, a deep Red state in the solid Republican south, is represented by Democrat Joe Manchin.  Since Mrs. Bill Clinton was defeated, there has been open talk of him switching sides.  Honestly, everyone likes their plum committee assignments and no one likes to be at the bottom of the barrel.  But does anyone thing Time magazine will put up a glowing review about his choice of conscious if he gives the GOP one more vote in the upper chamber?  
Where have you been Occupy Wall Street?  And the anti-war groups that for some reason have been silent the last eight years?  Don’t forget the new kid on the block, Black Lives Matter.  They will be going hog wild soon enough.  They will be out there so much you would swear these volunteers are getting paid!  Don’t worry, I see many money making opportunities for these community activists come the Trump years.  And as a cop I want to say thanks.  Without your dumb butts on the streets protesting capitalism, etc with your iPhones and iPads, I would loose out on a ton of overtime, which I need after Christmas! :<)  
Trump is unpresidential. An understanding among the 44 men who have held our highest office is you don’t publicly criticize your predecessor.  And you don’t openly criticize your successor once your are out of office. Over the last eight years, however, Mr. Obama has blamed everything but the bland color of the White House on his predecessor, saying anything he’s screwed up is “something I inherited…”  I served as a company commander in the Army and while I had many issues with my predecessor, I never openly discussed them.  To do so is corrosive to the cohesion you need to lead, takes you down in the eyes of your subordinates and superiors, and is unmanly. And we can rest assured when Barrack publicly criticizes Trump, no one in the media, “objective” or otherwise, will say much.  
The President is no longer cool in film. Am I the only one who notices when a Republican is in the White House he is looked upon as a crook (Clear and Present Danger, 1994, yes, early Clinton years, but don’t tell me Donald Moffat’s president wasn’t supposed to be Reagan) but with Democrats he’s a hero (See Air Force One, 1997 or Independence Day, 1996 (sorry about the remake boys, I guess the liberal woman as president is still a dream), noble (The American President, 1995) or everything we need in the office (The West Wing, 1999-2006).  Anyone wanna bet Hollyweird will not make movies in the next four years about how great the president is.  
If anything, he’ll be dead on film.  Anyone remember Death of a President (2006), about the murder of a president.  Not a fictitious president, but then current president, George W Bush.  Can anyone image the outrage if Dinesh D’Souza had put out a fictional account of the assassination of Barrack Hussein Obama , umm umm umm!.  Can you imagine the pushback, the host on The View having a cow, calling this an incitement to murder, etc.  If someone does a movie where President Trump is murdered, who will call this outrageous?  Seeing that CNN has done this a few days before the Inauguration, I don’t see much outrage. 
I Hope He Fails!  Four of the most famous words spoken by Rush Limbaugh, as he was asked about his hopes for the incoming Obama administration in January, 2009.  And the usual suspects were outraged, but if anyone with half a brain could see, he hasn’t failed.  Obama wanted to destroy, excuse, fundamental transform, this nation, and to a large degree he has.  Even with a notional opposition in the House for six of eight years, his regime has managed to seize multiple industries, set us on a course for socialized medicine,  made out foreign policy a joke, doubled our national debt, downgraded our credit to such a degree there is open talk of removing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.  Now many leftists (and in honestly, many Republicans) openly discuss their hope Trump fails.  Merry Streep anyone?  Why isn’t their patriotism questioned?
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!  Sorry, fatigue and scotch.  But my fellow readers, who do think?  What else, that has been missing the last 8 years, will reappear in the Trump presidency?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

SNAP is not an entitlement...

Long time friend and fellow writer for the VRWC, Mike Ford, has published another item in American Thinker. Enjoy. Comments?

SNAP is not an Entitlement. 
By Mike Ford 
Some time ago I had the idea to write a series of articles about language and how Conservatives lose the argument by using the terms the left wants us to use. The idea was to help foster a Conservative philosophy of pushing back on leftist terms that are in and of themselves, false to fact.

The first of these was about the misuse of the term, "Radical Islam," followed shortly by another on "Racial Profiling." I had intended follow those with one  about "carbon pollution," but Selwyn Duke beat me to it with a very well turned article entitled, "Let's stop with the carbon con already,"  where he forthrightly destroys the left's Baird and switch, substituting "carbon" for "carbon dioxide," also known as plant food. This Sunday, in his article "How much did government entitlements grow under Obama?” Rick Moran got my attention with yet another common misuse of terms that cedes ground to the leftists. 
From the article: 
As President Obama leaves office, one of his major legacies will be the huge increase in the number of Americans who receive benefits from entitlement programs. Food stamps, Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare all saw large increases in beneficiaries 
Mr. Moran, like many on our side, again cedes half the argument to our opponents. Food Stamps (also known as SNAP) and Medicaid (emphasis mine) are certainly not entitlements. They are public charity, pure and simple. 
"Entitlement" comes from the word "title." Title is legal ownership you gain for something, a car, house, or perhaps a military or civilian pension, by virtue of having paid for it via money or service. You gain title to your home after paying off the note. You gain "title" to a military pension after 20 years of honorable service. 
"Entitlement Mentality,' now that's another story.  That's an attitude you come to have by receiving without effort, the fruits of other folks' labor;  you come to believe that you are entitled to that largess you didn't earn. We, as conservatives, need to refrain from using the term "entitlement" when referring to means-tested charity funded by taxpayer dollars. Whenever the term "entitlement" is used to describe MedicAid, SNAP or other means tested government charity, it demeans every other earned benefit and undermines property rights.
Mike Ford is a sometime contributor to American Thinker, who is frequently edited by his lovely bride, a retired High School Principal

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Here kitty kitty. Here kitty kitty.

Nice kitty!

Saw this and had to share. Beautiful animals filmed by a drone in the wild. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

"Let someone come handle it...but you don't get to leave."

A point I made in discussions with people over what cops do. If we're in a mall and someone starts shooting, you will do the logical thing. You will RUN!

I get to move to him.

Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall went through a simulator and found it's not as clear cut as Black Lies says.

...Marshall’s relationship with the Denver Police Department has clearly continued, as witnessed by a video posted yesterday on the DPD Facebook page under the headline “SUNDAY MATINEE: BRANDON MARSHALL GOES TO THE ACADEMY.”

The introduction to the video reads: “Earlier this week, our friend, Denver Broncos’ Brandon M. Marshall gave our VirTra V-300 simulator a spin. Equipped with over 100 virtual scenarios, the simulator allows officers to train in rapidly-evolving, life-like situations. WATCH how Brandon did….”

In the clip, a cheerful Marshall goes through the simulator, weapon in hand – and in one sequence, he can be seen pointing it at a black man armed with a pistol. Marshall doesn’t shoot, and orders the man to “put the gun down,” which the simulated suspect does.

“Some of the situations these officers have to go through, with the stress levels – their life being threatened and other people’s lives being threatened, the various decisions they have to make – I think it’s very difficult,” Marshall says in the video. “And I think this is the perfect simulation to give people insight on what really goes on.”

He adds, “I don’t know everything that goes on as far as police officers go. But it’s a hard job.”

It’s too soon to know if the video will rehabilitate Marshall’s image with Broncos fans who took issue with his previous protests – or if he will be accused of selling out the cause by those who agreed with his previous actions. But the contrast between last year’s controversies and the new clip couldn’t be sharper...

I'm glad to see you went to the Denver Academy and got to see how we see the situation. Good luck next year.

Who hasn't heard someone tell you this....

I wonder if Chuck Heston gets to serve the subpoena. :<)

And now another nominee for the Darwin Awards....

And Grandpa ain't taking s%^& off nobody!

LiveLeak.com - Idiot tries to rob gun store - receives instant justice

Two armed men chose the wrong place to attempt a robbery Monday morning, when an employee at the Cobb County gun shop confronted them and shot one dead at the scene, Cobb County police said.

The two men entered Dixie Gun and Pawn at 11 a.m. and attempted to rob the business.

A store employee happened to be armed and exchanged gunfire with the men, striking one of them. The robbery suspect died at the scene, police said.

The other suspect fled on foot...

Thanks Scott S for the link!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Officer Down

Master Sergeant Debra Clayton
Orlando Police Department, Florida
End of Watch: Monday, January 9, 2017
Tour: 17 years
Cause: Gunfire

Master Sergeant Debra Clayton was shot and killed when she encountered a wanted murder suspect in the parking lot of a Walmart at the intersection of Princeton Street and John Young Parkway.

The subject was wanted for murdering his pregnant ex-girlfriend and for shooting her new boyfriend three months prior. After shooting Sergeant Clayton, the man carjacked a vehicle and fled the scene. A captain from the Orange County Sheriff's Office spotted the vehicle moments later and was shot at as he got behind it. The suspect continued to flee and remains at large.

During the ensuing search Deputy First Class Norman Lewis, of the Orange County Sheriff's Office, was killed in a motorcycle crash at the intersection of Pine Hills Road and Balboa Drive when another vehicle turned in front of his motorcycle.

Sergeant Clayton had served with the Orlando Police Department for 17 years. She is survived by her husband and two children.

Deputy First Class Norman Lewis
Orange County Sheriff's Office, Florida
End of Watch: Monday, January 9, 2017
Tour: 11 years
Cause: Motorcycle accident

Deputy First Class Norman Lewis was killed in a motorcycle crash while participating in the search of the subject who had just murdered Master Sergeant Debra Clayton, of the Orlando Police Department.

Sergeant Clayton had been shot and killed when she encountered a wanted murder suspect in the parking lot of the Walmart on Princeton Street. The subject had fled in a carjacked vehicle and shot at an Orange County deputy who located the vehicle. During the ensuing search, Deputy Lewis' motorcycle collided with a vehicle that turned in front of him at the intersection of Pine Hills Road and Balboa Drive.

The subject who murdered Sergeant Clayton remains at large.

Deputy Lewis had served with the Orange County Sheriff's Office for 11 years.

Rest in Peace…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. 

An occupational hazard with a K9....

I recall searching a large building with two K9 units. Before we went in, the handler's had the dogs sniff us so they would know we were "the good guys." About half way through the search, we stopped for a minute and one of the dogs approached me. Now as we are escorting the K9 unit, we just let the dogs go wherever they need to go, and we cover the handler and the dog.

I was a bit disturbed when this 100 pound German Sheppard came up and sniffed my crotch. The handler said, "Don't worry. He's just making sure you're the same dude he walked in with."

As Jim Carrey would say, "Alrighty then!" :<) I've said more than once, a K9 is a godsend on a scene, but they can be dangerous. I know many handlers who have scars from their dogs. Sometimes Fido will take a bite out of wrong arm. Occupational hazard. Well, one Houston Police officer got a bit taken out of him.
Houston Police officer attacked by police dog

A Houston Police officer is recovering in the hospital after he was attacked by a police dog.

According to HPD, the incident happened Monday morning around 1am, near Hardy Street and Gaines in north Houston.

Police responded after receiving a call from a homeowner about someone stealing items from his property...

...HPD dispatched several units, including a police dog and handler as they entered the property where the suspect was last seen.

Investigators say the handler found narcotics under the house and went to retrieve it, handing another HPD officer the leash to the police dog.

That's when the dog, for reasons unknown, attacked that officer, biting him in the calf.

"It looked bad from what I see there," said eyewitness Yolanda Reyna.

Reyna lives across the street and says she saw the scene immediately after the attack.

The officer was limping and Reyna rushed to get him medical help.

"He seemed like he was hurt from the leg. I saw that they put him in the truck and it seemed like they were cleaning something off of him. It looked like he had gotten hurt," she said.

The homeowner who called the police shared his surveillance video, which depicts the scene outside the house both before and after the dog bit the officer.

In it, you can see the HPD handler apparently yelling at the dog, chastising it after attacking the officer...

I have seen many an K9 officer give his dog the "angry daddy" routine. Fido doesn't like it when Daddy is mad. Hopefully he learns his lesson.
He (the officers) will be hospitalized for several days, but they do expect him to make a full recovery. The officer has not been named publicly.

An HPD spokesperson says investigators will review training, response and protocols as a result of this case...

Hopefully the officer recovers quickly and the K9 goes through retraining. I'll love to see the documentation with that, "Counseling statement. Don't so this for 6 months and there is no letter of reprimand, no treats for the rest of the week, put your paw print on the bottom!" :<)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Good news on the civil front...

In the last few years we have seen the spectical of one lie after another on police, the greatest one being, "Hands Up! Don't Shoot!" Remember when Michael Brown's mother attacked his grandmother, when granny was selling Justice for Michael Brown t-shirts? What's wrong Mom, you're trying to live off your dead son. Hell, Grandma was doing your job.

Well, not to be outdone trying to live off her dead son,
Federal Judge E. Richard Webber Orders Release of Documentation In Michael Brown Case

St Louis, MO – Federal judge, E. Richard Webber, has ordered the parents of Michael Brown to turn over requested medical and education records in their wrongful-death lawsuit. Their son was killed by former Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in an officer-involved shooting in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.

According to Fox2 Now St Louis, U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber issued the order on Wednesday, over the protests of his parents, Michael Brown, Sr., and Lezley McSpadden. The records that have been requested are: the parents’ medical records for the past five years, their son’s education records, and certain medical documents.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Judge Webber said that the documentation must be turned over to defense attorneys by Tuesday. He said “The court will not limit the medical records to treatment sought by the plaintiffs for damages specifically related to this matter because (the) defendants will need to evaluate whether the claimed injuries actually occurred as a result of the death of their son.”

The documentation was requested by the defense attorneys who represent the City of Ferguson, the former Police Officer who was involved, and the former Police Chief of the Ferguson Police Department. In the lawsuit, Brown’s parents state they have “sustained permanent injuries including mental anguish” since his death.

Judge Webber dismissed the parents’ claim that the release of the records was “harassing and invasive” by further stating “Repeatedly asserting the same objections to each request is not enough to protect against disclosure.” Attorneys for Brown’s parents have argued that the death of their son deprived them of financial support through his future potential wages. Attorneys for the defendants have countered that Brown’s complete medical records are necessary and relevant in determining his ‘potenital life expectancy and future income...’

Gee, having to justify why you are taking money from people. I've seen people who have lost a child and normally they don't want to be reminded of the fact. But this woman and the step-dad seem to have no issue with it.

Also, remember how State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby filed trumped up charges against six cops in the Freddy Gray case. And she got her ass handed to her, 4 acquittals, and two dropped cases. Well, things are looking better for the officers:'
Officers’ Lawsuit Against Mosby Could Have Unprecedented Impact

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The lawsuit that five Baltimore City police officers brought against State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby could have an unprecedented impact on her office. WJZ’s Mike Hellgren reports it faces some tough legal hurdles...

...The judge signaled he was dropping some of the officers’ claims against Mosby, but was still considering whether allegations of negligent and malicious prosecution would stand.

“It’s very nerve-wracking when you’re a political figure and a figurehead like she is,” said Warren Alperstein, legal analyst.

Alperstein watched the Freddie Gray-related trials unfold. He says if the officers’ lawsuit moves forward, it could have a disastrous impact on the State’s Attorney’s Office.

“You can bet that the officers and the attorneys are champing at the bit to get Mrs. Mosby under oath,” said Alperstein.

Where Mosby could face problems is in her unusual role as an investigator in Freddie Gray’s death, and that could strip her of her immunity against the lawsuit.

The officers argue Mosby provided false information about what happened to Freddie Gray, and they plan to grill her if they can get her on the witness stand.

“In a civil case like this, you as a defendant don’t have that right. You must testify or be held in contempt of court,” said Alperstein. “It is unprecedented. It is unheard of.”

The officers are also suing the sheriff. His attorneys say he relied on information from the State’s Attorney’s Office to fill out the statements of probable cause in the charges against the officers....

I hope they don't settle. I want to see her squirm on a cross examination. And then have her department bled dry after a multi-million dollar settlement.

Good luck guys.

Blog: Horror and Criminalized Thought

American Thinker was good enough to post an article from me this morning.  Comments, suggestions?

Blog: Horror and Criminalized Thought

Horror and Criminalized Thought

Like millions, I looked on with horror at the sight of four young black people in Chicago terrorizing and assaulting a mentally disabled eighteen-year-old man. I don’t know what disgusted me more, the fact it was happening or the fact these thugs thought they should broadcast their inhumanity on the internet. They might have “thought” they would become the latest Internet sensation, but at least they provided the evidence to convict them to the entire world.
But other statements in the immediate hours after this video were more repulsive -- the statements from the usual subjects in the media. In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson refused to say that this assault was motived by politics or race. Hey Chief, did you hear what the four outstanding citizens of your city said as they were punching, cursing and terrorizing this helpless young man:
“F$%^ white people! F$%^ Donald Trump!”
You should know this, but in the police business, we call that a “clue”. And even someone who hasn’t worked the streets in a while should be able to put together that these four wastes of humanity had kidnapped and molested a young disabled man because he was white and a perceived Trump supporter.
Well, not to be outdone, the 4th Estate was filled with others who said it was not evil or a “hate crime:”
Don Lemon said it wasn’t evil, but from “bad home training.” I presume he means they were not raised right. More likely not raised at all. 
CNN political commentator Symone Sanders actually said it wasn’t a hate crime,“…hate crimes are because of a person’s racial ethnicity, their religion, their gender, a disability, it isn’t your political leanings, because someone doesn’t like you’re political leanings and they do something bad to you, that is not a hate crime.”
Fortunately, the video evidence forced the Chicago justice system to start moving and the four have been charged with multiple felonies, such as aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery, aggravated unlawful restraint and, of course, hate crime.
While I will delight in the conviction of these forms of human debris and their being sent to prison for decades, this incident brings up something that should be discussed. Why are we even debating the term “hate crime?” I really don’t think the young man was worried whether their actions were motived by politics or race or if he just was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think he was worried whether or not he would live.
The four were charged with the crime they committed (i.e. aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery) and it should not matter what they thought, but what they did. If a white woman is kidnapped by a black man, driven to a building, raped repeatedly and told “F^&* white women!”, is she really concerned about his comments? No, she is also just hoping to live. But I will bet good money the district attorney, while preparing this case, will not look at the defendants’ words on her race.
But reverse the scenario, a black woman being raped by a white man, with the suspect screaming “F%^& black women…” The same crime has been committed (sexual assault), a woman is terrified and violated, yet in this case a district attorney may treat it differently. In this case, the defendant may face stricter punishment because of thought and word, not deed and action.
We can thank a 1993 Supreme Court ruling, Wisconsin v. Mitchell (92-515), 508 U.S. 47 (1993), for allowing this abuse of justice. We started down a slippery road of thoughtcrime that would make George Orwell remind us, “Did you read my book? It was a warming, not a ‘how to’ manual.”
Michael A. Thiac is a police patrol sergeant and a retired Army intelligence officer. When not patrolling the streets, he can be found on A Cop’s Watch.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Officer Down

Detective Chad Parque
North Las Vegas Police Department, Nevada
End of Watch: Saturday, January 7, 2017
Age: 32
Tour: 10 years
Cause: Automobile accident
Incident Date: 1/6/2017

Detective Chad Parque succumbed to injuries sustained the previous day when his department vehicle was struck head-on by another vehicle on Martin Luther King Boulevard, near Carey Avenue, at approximately 2:00 pm.

He had just left the North Las Vegas Justice Court when the other vehicle, which was traveling the wrong way on the roadway, struck his vehicle. A third vehicle then collided with his car. Rescue personnel extricated him from the vehicle and transported him to University Medical Center, where he passed away approximately 12 hours later.

Detective Parque had served with the North Las Vegas Police Department for 10 years. He is survived by his wife, children, and siblings.
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 look at trade and why we need it...

As a rule, more trade is good. I don't question there are issues to be worked out (e.g. Chinese currency manipulation and theft of software), but as a firm rule it is better for all aides.

Donald Trump states he will place tariffs on goods from American headquartered companies with factories in foreignh countries. See Carrier and Ford. But this is an excellent article on why companies go to Mexico. And it's not only for the cheap labor.
Why Trump Tariffs on Mexican Cars Probably Won’t Stop Job Flight

President-elect Donald Trump says he wants automakers to build cars they sell in the U.S at home or pay a hefty tax. On Tuesday he criticized General Motors for building the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback in Mexico. And during the campaign, he called for a 35 percent tariff on autos produced south of the Rio Grande. But it may be more free trade, not tariffs, that would help the U.S. keep some factory jobs from moving south.

After Trump criticized GM, Ford said it would scrap plans to build a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico and build its Focus compact car at an existing facility there. Despite that, U.S. automakers Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler are planning to manufacture almost 1 million more cars in Mexico by 2022, according to LMC Automotive, while building half a million fewer cars in the U.S. They're not alone. Over the past five years, automakers have rushed to build factories in Mexico. The largest car companies have announced at least $22 billion in investments and about 25,000 jobs at new or expanded plants in Mexico by 2019. And that’s just the jobs that have been made public.

Cheaper labor is only one reason Mexico has seen a surge in new-car production. While the country’s low wages have been the big attraction, one of its key advantages is that it has trade agreements with 44 countries, giving automakers access to half the global car market tariff-free. The U.S. has similar trade deals with just 20 countries, which make up 9 percent of global car sales, according to the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan...

So basically we have an economic competitor making their products cheaper to export and it cheaper to do business. And that drives economic activity, which increases employment, increases tax revenue, lowers the cost of goods, and makes people prosperous. Who would have thunk it!
...Ford spokesman Karl Henkel said that Ford's decision to build its Focus compact and Fusion sedan in Mexico "is not solely tied to whichever agreement has the lowest tariffs." He did say that low cost is important, especially in Mexico, but location of the plants relies on multiple factors.

To get a better sense of Mexico’s advantage, consider a $25,000 midsize sedan built and shipped in Mexico with one in the U.S.

Automakers can pay Mexican workers a lot less. Total hourly compensation in the motor vehicle manufacturing sector is about 80 percent less for Mexican workers compared with that for U.S. workers. Considering assembly time for a typical midsize car, an automaker can save $600 per vehicle on labor costs.

Infrastructure in Mexico lags behind the highway and rail network in the U.S., so it actually costs automakers $300 more per car in additional shipping expenses to produce the vehicle in Mexico and ship it to Europe, and an extra $900 to ship it to the U.S.

That means, even after paying significantly less on labor, a car company is walking away with wage savings of only $300 per car—a fraction of what it costs to build and ship in the U.S. The bulk of the savings are tied to Mexico’s trade agreements and cheaper parts.

Automakers can save $1,500 per car on cheaper Mexican auto parts. Certainly, a lot of those savings are tied to the lower wages workers in Mexico are paid. But some of these parts are imported to Mexico tariff-free from countries in Europe and Asia, particularly for the foreign automakers who are increasingly investing in Mexico instead of the U.S. Since the U.S. doesn’t have as many free trade agreements, some of the automakers would pay extra for some of those parts if they made those models in the U.S., said Bernard Swiecki, senior analyst at CAR.

The same company selling that mid-sized car saves $2,500 per vehicle that it builds in Mexico and ships to Europe because the U.S. doesn't have a trade agreement with the EU. That's more than it saves in parts and wages once shipping costs are figured in.

So, in total, an automaker saves more than $4,000 by building and shipping a car from Mexico to Europe instead of from the U.S. If Trump could match those trade deals, he would erase an average $2,500-per-vehicle cost advantage over American-made midsize cars...

The article is excellent and this is about half of it. The point, traders good for industry, employees, and consumers. Hopefully we don't get into a trade war anytime. It won't take much for the economy to go up after the abuse of the last 8 years. If Trump goes down the protectionist route, he can blow this and have the Dems everything in 2-4 years.

Friday, January 6, 2017

And here is the first nominee for the 2017 Darwin Awards!

Sometimes the gene pools cleans itself.

6 Dead After Truck Collides With Anti-Trump Protesters On Freeway

A 32-year old man driving a Waldrum Brother’s delivery truck is responsible for the death of 6 Anti-Trump protesters that were blocking traffic while chanting “Dump Trump” in the middle of a Seattle freeway.

The accident occurred near an I-15 off-ramp today around 5:15 PM. According to witnesses, a crowd of approximately 16 individuals pulled their vehicles to the side of the freeway and created a barricade by linking their arms together.

The protester’s actions immediately hindered the flow of traffic and motorists became upset at what many of them viewed as an unwanted obstacle preventing them from getting home after a long day at work. A few of the protesters were seen holding signs that read – “Not My President” or “Love Trumps Hate” and all protesters were chanting – “Dump Trump”...

...It was at this time when Richard L. Porter, a 32-year-old Seattle resident employed by Waldrum Brother’s (a local appliance store) as a delivery driver quickly approached the chain of Anti-Trump protesters. According to Porter, he was driving with the current flow of traffic (around 80-MPH) when the obstruction created by the protesters seemed to appear out of nowhere.

By the time the protesters were visible to Porter – he didn’t have enough time to fully stop and though he did slam on his breaks and attempted to swerve, he ultimately ran into the group of protesters with the side of his delivery truck.

Porter was estimated to have been traveling at a speed of approximately 45-MPH when he collided with the group of Anti-Trump protesters. Several of the protesters were able to get out of the delivery truck’s path, however, 6 protesters were not able to move quickly enough and were ultimately struck and run over by the vehicle....

I'll have to correct the writer, this driver is not "...responsible for the death of 6 Anti-Trump protesters..." The "6 Anti-Trump protesters" are responsible for their death because the stood in front of a moving lane of traffic. But if you're that stupid...I really don't want you outside alone. Just take your pills, sit by the window and watch the birds.

UPDATE:  I gotta say, I bought it.  This was a satire site.  My bad.

Shoot, don't shoot, or die...

Make your decision quick. That decision may be your last.

These officers responded to a call for service and this man came out, with a knife, screaming "Time to die!" Tell me libtards, DOJ and law professors, what "de-escelation" technique would you use in the, may one second, you have before the man stabs you? Come on, get out there and show us how it's done!

Notice libtards, after justifiably shooting this man, what do they do. Apply first aid and tell him to "stick with me." I wonder if you would be like Carl Rowan, who writes multiple stories about the need for gun control, yet shoots an unarmed man in his pool.

Good work NYPD.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016's final Darwin Award nominee!!!!!

WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Man says he was shot while testing 'theory' about police brutality

Thursday, December 29th 2016

BAKERSFIELD, CA (KBAK/CNN) – A man who was shot by police last week after being pulled over says he wanted to prove to his friend that police officers are good people.

Last Monday, 29-year-old Jose Vaca was pulled over while driving with a friend. He got out of the car holding a rifle, which he’d purchased at a flea market and was not legally allowed to have...

OK, the reporter seems to mention this without much judgement. I think it's a safe assumption that Mr Vaca is a convicted felon and he's "not legally allowed" to possess a firearm. See comments at the bottom.
"...I exit my vehicle, I come to the front of the police vehicle, I put my butt of the rifle on the floor and I just put my hand up,” Vaca said.

The weapon startled the police officers, who opened fire without warning, according to Vaca.

"Soon as I hit the ground, I just attempted to play dead, and then they fired a couple more shots at me from the back as I was lying on the ground,” he said.

Vaca says he never planned to shoot the officers. Instead, he thought this would be an opportunity to prove a point he’d made to a friend months ago about police brutality.

"First thing that came to my mind is I'm already going to get pulled over. I know they're most likely going to take me in, but I’m going to try my theory real quick and see that it's true so she can believe there’s good officers in the world,” he said.

I think I speak for a lot of cops when I say, "We appreciate the sentiment on the profession. However, next time you get pulled over by a cop...don't have a gun.
Vaca says he was shot 12 times, with three of the bullets passing completely through his body; though the police report says only nine shots were fired. The man says it’s a “blessing” he’s alive.

Looking back, Vaca considers his experiment ill-conceived because it went “completely bad.” However, the man says he still believes there are good police officers in the world.

"They didn't know what to expect,” he said.
Nighter did the officer. You don't like to be surprised, we don't like to be surprised.
Vaca is currently being held on $400,000 bail, booked on 11 different criminal counts

People don't get 400K bail for a weapon's possession charge, and with "11 different criminal courts," that tells me he is not full coming with his story....

Why, shocking, he wasn't complete in his statement:
Man shot by police charged with attempted murder

Jose Vaca appeared in Kern County Superior Court expecting to be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and gang participation, but Kern County Deputy District Attorney William Schlaerth added a new, much more serious charge.

"We added attempted murder," said Schlaerth...

...Vaca was pulled for a traffic stop on Dec. 19 at Oswell and Niles streets. In a jailhouse interview, Vaca admitted to having a rifle in his car.

He said he deliberately approached officers carrying the weapon to test a theory he said he had about police brutality. Vaca claims he never pointed the loaded weapon at officers. He said officers never told him to stop before they began firing....

He got out with the weapon in his hand, "...deliberately approached officers carrying the weapon.."
If you don't got a winner, at least top five!

STRATFOR: The Geopolitics of the Gregorian Calendar, December 31, 2016

The Geopolitics of the Gregorian Calendar

December 31, 2016

Geopolitical realities tell us calendrical reform will not happen quickly, but history tells us change, perhaps to the Chinese calendar for example, is possible. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)


Editor's Note: With the close of 2016, Stratfor invites its readers to revisit the surprising origins of the modern calendrical system. This analysis was originally published in 2014.

When England adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, some 170 years after it was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, Benjamin Franklin wrote, "It is pleasant for an old man to be able to go to bed on Sept. 2, and not have to get up until Sept. 14." Indeed, nearly two weeks evaporated into thin air in England when it transitioned from the Julian calendar, which had left the country 11 days behind much of Europe. Such calendrical acrobatics are not unusual. The year 46 B.C., a year before Julius Caesar implemented his namesake system, lasted 445 days and later became known as the "final year of confusion."

In other words, the systems used by mankind to track, organize and manipulate time have often been arbitrary, uneven and disruptive, especially when designed poorly or foisted upon an unwilling society. The history of calendrical reform has been shaped by the egos of emperors, disputes among churches, the insights of astronomers and mathematicians, and immutable geopolitical realities. Attempts at improvements have sparked political turmoil and commercial chaos, and seemingly rational changes have consistently failed to take root.

Today, as we enter the 432nd year guided by the Gregorian calendar, reform advocates argue that the calendar's peculiarities and inaccuracies continue to do widespread damage each year. They say the current system unnecessarily subjects businesses to numerous calendar-generated financial complications, confusion and reporting inconsistencies. In years where Christmas and New Year's Day each fall on a weekday, for example, economic productivity is essentially paralyzed for the better part of two weeks, and one British study found that moving a handful of national holidays to the weekend would boost the United Kingdom's gross domestic product by around 1 percent.

The Gregorian calendar's shortcomings are magnified by the fact that multiple improvements have been formulated, proposed to the public and then largely ignored over the years — most recently in 2012, with the unveiling of a highly rational streamlined calendar that addresses many of the Gregorian calendar's problems. According to the calendar's creators, it would generate more than $100 billion each year worldwide and "break the grip of the world-wide consensus that embraces a second-rate calendar imposed by a Pope over 400 years ago." This attempt, like many of the others, has received some media attention but has thus far failed to gain any meaningful traction with policymakers or the wider public.

Myriad geopolitical elements and obstacles are embedded in the issue of calendar reform, from the powerful historical role of empires and ecclesiastical authorities to the unifying forces of commerce and the divisive nature of sovereignty and state interests. Indeed, geopolitical themes are present both in the creation of the Gregorian calendar and its permanence, and its ascendance and enduring primacy tells us much about the nature of the international system.

How We Got Here

At its core, the modern calendar is an attempt to track and predict the relationship between the sun and various regions of the earth. Historically, agricultural cycles, local climates, latitudes, tidal ebbs and flows and imperatives such as the need to anticipate seasonal change have shaped calendars. The Egyptian calendar, for example, was established in part to predict the annual rising of the Nile River, which was critical to Egyptian agriculture. This motivation is also why lunar calendars similar to the ones still used by Muslims fell out of favor somewhat — with 12 lunar cycles adding up to roughly 354 days, such systems quickly drift out of alignment with the seasons.

The Gregorian calendar, introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, was itself an attempt to address the problems of its predecessor, the Julian calendar, which had been introduced by Julius Caesar to abolish the use of the lunar year and eliminate a three-month gap that opened up between the civil and astronomical equinoxes. It subsequently spread throughout the Roman Empire (and beyond as Christianity spread) and influenced the design of calendars elsewhere. Though it deviates from the time it takes the earth to revolve around the sun by just 11 minutes (a remarkable astronomical feat for the time), the Julian system overly adjusted for the fractional difference in year length, slowly leading to a misalignment in the astronomical and calendar years.

For the Catholic Church, this meant that Easter — traditionally tied to the spring equinox — would eventually drift into another season altogether. By dropping 10 days to get seasons back on track and by eliminating the Julian calendar's excess leap years, the Gregorian calendar came closer to reflecting the exact length of an astronomical year (roughly 365.24 days) — it is only off by 26 seconds annually, culminating in a full day's difference every 3,323 years.

But what was perhaps most significant about Pope Gregory's system was not its changes, but rather its role in the onset of the globalized era. In centuries prior, countries around the world had used a disjointed array of uncoordinated calendars, each adopted for local purposes and based primarily on local geographical factors. The Mayan calendar would not be easily aligned with the Egyptian, Greek, Chinese or Julian calendars, and so forth. In addition to the pope's far-reaching influence, the adoption of the Gregorian system was facilitated by the emergence of a globalized system marked by exploration and the development of long-distance trade networks and interconnectors between regions beginning in the late 1400s. The pope's calendar was essentially the imposition of a true global interactive system and the acknowledgment of a new global reality.

Despite its improvements, the Gregorian calendar preserved several of the Julian calendar's quirks. Months still varied in length, and holidays still fell on different days of the week from year to year. In fact, its benefits over the Julian calendar are disputed among astronomers. Nonetheless, its widespread adoption and use in trade and communication played a fundamental role in the development and growth of the modern international system.

Implementation Problems

From the start, however, the Gregorian calendar faced resistance from several corners, and implementation was slow and uneven. The edict issued by Pope Gregory XIII carried no legal weight beyond the Papal States, so the adoption of his calendar for civil purposes necessitated implementation by individual governments.

Though Catholic countries like Spain and Portugal adopted the new system quickly, many Protestant and Eastern Orthodox countries saw the Gregorian calendar as an attempt to bring them under the Catholic sphere of influence. These states, including Germany and England, refused to adopt the new calendar for a number of years, though most eventually warmed to it for purposes of convenience in international trade. Russia only adopted it in 1918 after the Russian Revolution in 1917 (the Russian Orthodox Church still uses the Julian calendar), and Greece, the last European nation to adopt the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes, did not do so until 1923.

In 1793, following the French Revolution, the new republic replaced the Gregorian calendar with the French Republican calendar, commonly called the French Revolutionary calendar, as part of an attempt to purge the country of any remnants of regime (and by association, Catholic) influence. Due to a number of issues, including the calendar's inconsistent starting date each year, 10-day workweeks and incompatibility with secularly based trade events, the new calendar lasted only around 12 years before France reverted to the Gregorian version.

Some 170 years later, the Shah of Iran attempted a similar experiment amid a competition with the country's religious leaders for political influence. As part of a larger bid to shift power away from the clergy, the shah in 1976 replaced the country's Islamic calendar with the secular Imperial calendar — a move viewed by many as anti-Islamic — spurring opposition to the shah and his policies. After the shah was overthrown in 1979, his successor restored the Islamic calendar to placate protesters and to reach a compromise with Iran's religious leadership.

Several countries — Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran among them — still have not officially adopted the Gregorian calendar. India, Bangladesh, Israel, Myanmar and a few other countries use various calendars alongside the Gregorian system, and still others use a modified version of the Gregorian calendar, including Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, North Korea and China. For agricultural reasons, it is still practical in many places to maintain a parallel local calendar based on agricultural seasons rather than relying solely on a universal system based on arbitrary demarcations or seasons and features elsewhere on the planet. In most such countries, however, use of the Gregorian calendar among businesses and others engaged in the international system is widespread.

Better Systems?

Today, the Gregorian calendar's shortcomings have translated into substantial losses in productivity for businesses in the form of extra federal vacation days for employees, business quarters of different sizes and imperfect year-on-year fiscal comparisons. The lack of consistency across each calendar year has also created difficulties in financial forecasting for many companies.

Dozens of attempts have been made over the years to improve the remaining inefficiencies in Pope Gregory's calendar, all boasting different benefits. The Raventos Symmetrical Perpetual and Colligan's Pax calendars feature 13 months of 28 days, while the Symmetry 454 Calendar eliminates the possibility of having the 13th day of any month fall on a Friday. In 1928, Eastman Kodak founder George Eastman introduced a more business-friendly calendar (the International Fixed calendar) within his company that was the same from year to year and allowed numerical days of each month to fall on the same weekday — for example, the 15th of each month was always a Sunday. This setup had the advantage of facilitating business activities such as scheduling regular meetings and more accurately comparing monthly statistics.

Reform attempts have not been confined to hobbyists, advocates and academics. In 1954, the U.N. took up the question of calendar reform at the request of India, which argued that the Gregorian calendar creates an inadequate system for economic and business-related activities. Among the listed grievances were quarters and half years of unequal size, which make business calculations and forecasts difficult; inconsistency in the occurrence of specific days, which has the potential of interfering with recurring business and governmental meetings; and the variance in weekday composition across any given month or year, which significantly impairs comparisons of trade volume since transactions typically fluctuate throughout the week.

In 2012, Richard Conn Henry, a former NASA astrophysicist, teamed up with his colleague, an applied economist named Steve H. Hanke, to introduce perhaps the most workable attempt at calendrical reform to date. The Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar (itself an adaptation of a calendar introduced in 1996 by Bob McClenon) is, as the pair wrote for the Cato Institute in 2012, "religiously unobjectionable, business-friendly and identical year-to-year."

The Hanke-Henry calendar would provide a fixed 364-day year with business quarters of equal length, eliminating many of the financial problems posed by its Gregorian counterpart. Calculations of interest, for example, often rely on estimates that use a 30-day month (or a 360-day year) for the sake of convenience, rather than the actual number of days, resulting in inaccuracies that — if fixed by the Hanke-Henry calendar, its creators say — would save up to an estimated $130 billion per year worldwide. (Similar problems would still arise for the years given an extra week in the Hanke-Henry system.)

Meanwhile, it would preserve the seven-day week cycle and in turn, the religious tradition of observing the Sabbath — the obstacle blocking many previous proposals' path to success. As many as eight federal holidays would also consistently fall on weekends; while this probably would not be popular with employees, the calendar's authors argue that it could save the United States as much as $150 billion per year (though it is difficult to anticipate how companies and workers would respond to the elimination of so many holidays, casting doubt upon such figures).

Obstacles to Reform and a Path Forward

Most reform proposals have failed to supplant the Gregorian system not because they failed to improve upon the status quo altogether, but because they either do not preserve the Sabbath, they disrupt the seven-day week (only a five-day week would fit neatly into a 365-day calendar without necessitating leap weeks or years) or they stray from the seasonal cycle. And the possibilities of calendrical reform highlight the difficulty of worldwide cooperation in the modern international system. Global collaboration would indeed be critical, since reform in certain places but not in others would cause more chaos and inefficiency than already exist in the current system. A tightly coordinated, carefully managed transition period would be critical to avoid many of the issues that occurred when the Gregorian calendar was adopted.

Today, in a more deeply interconnected, state-dominated system that lacks the singularly powerful voices of emperors or ecclesiastical authorities, who or what could compel such cooperation? Financial statistics and abstract notions of global efficiency are not nearly as unifying or animating as religious edicts, moral outrage or perceived threats. Theoretically, the benefits of a more rational calendar could lead to the emergence of a robust coalition of multinational interests advocating for a more efficient alternative, and successes such as the steady and continuous adoption of the metric system across the world highlight how efficiency-improving ideas can gain widespread adoption.

But international cooperation and coordination have remained elusive in far more pressing and less potentially disruptive issues. Absent more urgent and mutually beneficial incentives to change the system and a solution that appeals to a vast majority of people, global leaders will likely not be compelled to undertake the challenge of navigating what would inevitably be a disruptive and risky transition to an ostensibly more efficient alternative.

Any number of factors could generate resistance to change. If the benefits of a new calendar were unevenly distributed across countries — or if key powers would in any way be harmed by the change — any hope for a comprehensive global agreement would quickly collapse. Societies have long adjusted to the inefficiencies of the Gregorian system, and it would be reasonable to expect some level of resistance to attempts to disrupt a convention woven so deeply into the fabric of everyday life — especially if, say, the change disrupted cherished traditions or eliminated certain birthdays or holidays. Particularly in societies already suspicious of Western influence and power, attempts to implement something like the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar may once again spark considerable political opposition.

Even if a consensus among world leaders emerged in favor of reform, the details of the new system likely would still be vulnerable to the various interests, constraints and political whims of individual states. In the United States, for example, candy makers hoping to extend daylight trick-or-treating hours on Halloween lobbied extensively for the move of daylight saving time to November. According to legend, in the Julian calendar, February was given just 28 days in order to lengthen August and satisfy Augustus Caesar's vanity by making his namesake month as long as Julius Caesar's July. The real story likely has more to do with issues related to numerology, ancient traditions or the haphazard evolution of an earlier Roman lunar calendar that only covered from around March to December. Regardless of what exactly led to February's curious composition, its diminutive design reinforces the complicated nature of calendar adoption.

Such interference would not necessarily happen today, but it matters that it could. Policy is not made in a vacuum, and even the carefully calibrated Hanke-Henry calendar would not be immune to politics, narrow interests or caprice. Given the opportunity to bend such a reform to a state's or leader's needs — even if only to prolong a term in office, manipulate a statistic or prevent one's birthday from always falling on a Tuesday — certain leaders could very well take it.

Nonetheless, a fundamental, worldwide change to something as long established as the calendar is not unthinkable, primarily because it has happened several times before. In other words, calendrical change is possible — it just tends to happen in fits and starts, lurching unevenly through history as each era refines, tinkers and adds its own contributions to make a better system. And if a global heavyweight with worldwide influence and leadership capabilities adopts the change, others may follow, even if not immediately.

Universal adoption, though preferable, is not ultimately necessary. If the United States were to deem a new calendar necessary and demonstrate its benefits to enough leaders of countries key to the international system, a critical mass could be reached (though the spread of the metric system around the world has been achieved without U.S. leadership). And the Gregorian calendar would not need to be eliminated altogether; Henry believes it could still be used by those who depend on it most, such as farmers, in the same way certain religions, industries, fields of study and states use multiple calendars for various needs.

Will the Gregorian calendar survive? Will this century end with a December lasting 31 days or Hanke-Henry's 38? The current geopolitical realities surrounding calendrical reform tells us that reform would not happen quickly or easily, but history tells us change is possible — especially during periods of geopolitical transformation or upheaval.

The Geopolitics of the Gregorian Calendar is republished with permission of Stratfor.