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Friday, June 29, 2018

Officer Down

Police Officer Jesus "Chuy" Cordova
Nogales Police Department, Arizona
End of Watch Friday, April 27, 2018
Age 44
Tour 11 years
Badge 252

Police Officer Jesus Cordova was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend a carjacking suspect in the 2900 block of North Grand Avenue at approximately 2:45 pm.

The subject had carjacked a vehicle in Patagonia and fled from Santa Cruz County deputies into Nogales, where he attempted to carjack another vehicle. Nogales officers had responded to the attempted carjacking and located the suspect inside of a car. As officers attempted a traffic stop, the man exited the vehicle and opened fire on Officer Cordova, who was still in his vehicle. Officer Cordova was struck multiple times.

Officer Cordova was flown to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The man then fled the scene and carjacked a third vehicle. He was located a short time later and taken into custody.

Officer Cordova had served with the Nogales Police Department for one year and had previously served with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office for 10 years. He is survived by his three children and expectant 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. 

Good look at the BUG.....

Back Up Gun.

Last year PoliceOne was nice enough to publish an article of mine on police equipment. One thing I highly recommend was a back up weapon, as you can have faith, the worse case scenario will show up. You will have a weapon failure, or you loose your primary weapon, or your "strong" hand is injured. So what do you do? He's a good look at why a back up weapon is not a luxury, but a necessity.
Why every police officer should carry a backup gun

...That topic is backup guns for law enforcement officers.

In my friend's program, after the mandated qualifications are completed, there's a training session that focuses on skills development. The training topic changes each month, and this time the emphasis was on backup guns (or “BUGs,” as many shooters call them).

It disappointed me to hear my friend report that a sizable number of the officers showed up without a backup gun, and had to borrow one from him to complete the training. These officers police a city that's part of a large urban metroplex with high levels of criminal activity, and while the agency encourages officers to carry a BUG, quite a few of them don't.

There was a time in law enforcement when it wasn't all that common for officers to carry BUGs, but those days are far behind us … or at least they should be. We now have a long track record of backup gun saves in law enforcement, and unfortunately, we also have too many examples of officers who desperately needed a backup gun, but didn't have one available.

I’ve written before about my belief that law enforcement is experiencing a repeat of the conditions of the 1960s and 1970s, and how we need to pay attention to the lessons of that era. One of those lessons was the vital importance of having a backup gun on duty. There's simply no excuse in this day and age (outside of a foolish, prohibitive agency policy, which should be changed immediately) to be on duty without a backup gun on your person. It's a critical element of officer safety that cannot be ignored, so if you're not carrying a BUG, you need to fix that now...
And I would add, a long gun of some type, shotgun or rifle.
...When Murphy shows up at a gunfight

Most of the officers on my friend's agency who choose not to carry BUGs cite inconvenience as the principal reason. I hear this sometimes from the officers I know and work with too, and I often wonder if they’ve considered how inconvenient it might be if their duty weapon stopped working in a fight?

Guns are machines, and machines have a nasty habit of quitting on you when you when it's most inconvenient. The air conditioner always breaks during the hottest week of the year, the garbage disposal always breaks on Thanksgiving, and the car always gets a flat when you're wearing your suit.

Your gun isn't much different. Springs and pins break, magazines choke, and ammunition fails to feed, fire and eject. Latent defects pop up unexpectedly, and guns get hit and damaged by enemy fire. Murphy is a real pain, and he likes to show up at gunfights.

Aside from simple mechanical failure or damage due to enemy fire, consider these additional ways your duty gun could become unusable in a fight:

It could run out of ammo;

You could drop it;

You could lose it in a crash or a fight;

It could be taken from you;

Your body position could prevent you from drawing it (on your side in a fight, seated in a car);

Your injuries could prevent you from getting to it, or getting it out of your holster;

Your opponent could be holding your arm to block your access to it;

Your security holster could trap it due to malfunction, contamination, or damage;

In all of these situations, a BUG that could be accessed with your non-dominant hand could keep you in the fight, and save the day. Consider it an insurance policy against your primary weapon going down.

Critical backup gun considerations

It was distressing, but not surprising, to hear my friend report that several of the backup guns that were brought to training failed to properly function for the officers.

In some cases, the firearms had not been properly maintained and malfunctioned because they had not been properly cleaned or lubricated by their owners. Every firearms instructor I’ve ever known has a story about the guns they “fixed” – often to their student's amazement – with a drop or two of oil placed in the right spots. Same with the horror stories of guns filled with carbon, rust, sludge, pocket lint, cookie crumbs and asteroid dust that were rescued with a few passes of a toothbrush or a clean patch. The compact nature of backup guns, and the places in which they're carried, make them even more susceptible to these hazards. These smaller guns have tight tolerances and are less forgiving of neglect, so they need to be properly maintained to ensure reliability. Don't make me give you the lecture about maintaining your life-saving, rescue equipment, OK...?

I recommend to my rookies to clean, at least lube, every duty weapon every weekend. Fifteen minutes of dirty work may prevent a serious malfunction.
...My friend noted that the choice of carry mode and the location of carry created problems for some of his officers. In a now-familiar pattern, he saw cases where a semi-auto pistol’s magazine release button was inadvertently activated when the gun was carried in a left side pocket. When it got bumped, the magazine partially dislodged, turning the gun into a single shot. Interestingly, it also happened to an officer who carried in a right side pocket as well, even though the magazine release was against the leg. My friend tells me he's made a good business of modifying magazine buttons for officers to make them lower profile, and it doesn't look like that's going to change anytime soon.

The little guns are extremely vulnerable to shooter-induced malfunctions, and plenty of those were evident during my friend's training. A combination of big hands and a little gun can easily lead to body parts interfering with the operation of the slide, or controls being inadvertently operated during recoil. The delicate balance between slide velocity and magazine responsiveness in an auto pistol becomes even more dicey in the small guns, so they require a strong shooting platform for maximum reliability – something that can be hard for the shooter to provide with the reduced contact area provided by the short and thin grips common to this class of gun, which may allow only one or two fingers to wrap around the grip.

The little BUGs are more sensitive to ammunition selection, as well. The tight tolerances and delicate balance between slide velocity and magazine response place strong demands on ammunition, exacerbating small differences in pressures, bullet weights and bullet ogives. You can't be haphazard in your selection of BUG ammunition, and need to test it thoroughly to ensure it will run reliably in your gun...
Personally, I use a Ruger LCR snub nose 357 revolver. No exposed hammer or other part that will snag when you desperately need a weapon.

Good article on a critical issue, with the likes of terrorist groups like BLM hanging around.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Officer Down

Police Officer Rogelio Santander, Jr.
Dallas Police Department, Texas
End of Watch Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Age 27
Tour 3 years
Badge 10934
Incident Date Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Police Officer Rogelio Santander succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained the previous day while he and two other officers attempted to arrest a shoplifting suspect at a Home Depot store at 11682 Forest Central Drive.

An off-duty officer working overtime at the store and the store's loss prevention officer had detained a subject who attempted to shoplift in the store. During the investigation, it was determined the man had an outstanding felony warrant and the off-duty officer requested additional units. Officer Santander and another officer arrived at the store and remained with the subject in the loss prevention office as the off-duty officer confirmed the warrant.

As Officer Santander and the other officer attempted to place the man in custody he drew a handgun from his pocket and shot both officers and the loss prevention officer, critically wounding all three. The man fled the scene but was located later in the day following a vehicle pursuit.

Both wounded police officers and the loss prevention officer were transported to a local hospital where Officer Santander succumbed to his wounds the following morning.

Officer Santander had served with the Dallas Police Department for three years.
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 25, 2018

Officer Down

Corporal Eugene Cole
Somerset County Sheriff's Office, Maine
End of Watch Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Age 61
Tour 13 years
Badge 1312

Corporal Eugene Cole was shot and killed along Route 2, in Norridgewock, by a suspect who was out on bond for a previous weapons charge.

The suspect shot Corporal Cole and then stole his fully-marked patrol car between 1:00 am and 2:00 am. He drove the cruiser to a nearby store and robbed it, before fleeing again. He then abandoned the patrol car nearby and fled on foot. After a four-day manhunt in the area, the 29-year-old suspect was apprehended.

Corporal Cole had served with the Somerset County Sheriff's Office for 13 years. He is survived by his wife of 41 years and four sons, one of whom also serves with the agency.
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. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Officer Down

Master Deputy James Lester Kirk, Jr.
Lancaster County Sheriff's Office, South Carolina
End of Watch Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Age 57
Tour 28 years
Badge 2510

Master Deputy James Kirk suffered a heart attack during a combat firearms training at the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office range on Reservoir Road.

He had just completed the course, which involved a simulated officer down event in which he had to engage targets while moving a 125-pound sandbag to a cover. He collapsed as he walked back to the staging area.

Deputy Kirk had served with the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office for three years after having retired from the Lancaster Police Department with 25 years of service. He is survived by his wife and four 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. 

I'm in a Texas state of mind....

But this is still cool as hell.

Two of the greatest vocal artists of our time, singing a Billy Joel classic.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Pulse plus two years....

I has been two years since a lone wolf terrorist devoted to ISIS, Omar Mateen, shot up a gay night club, murdering 49 and injuring 53. While the motive is not certain, Mateen openly declared his allegance to ISIS. Could he have used that as a dodge, maybe. What is not uncertain is his rage cost dozens their lives.

In the last two years people have reviewed the inciden and PoliceOne has an excellent after action review of how to better prepare for the next active shooter. A very good read:
Tactical Analysis

with Mike Wood

10 lessons from the Pulse nightclub shooting

Progress has been made in developing active shooter protocols since Columbine, but the Pulse attack shows we still haven’t anticipated all the possibilities...

1. Don’t leave critical equipment behind.

Upon his arrival, Lieutenant Smith was immediately confronted by a chaotic scene, with a swarm of victims fleeing from the shooter’s gunfire inside. Without delay, Smith grabbed his rifle, organized a hasty team, and made entry, leaving his rifle plates, helmet, spare ammunition and other vital equipment behind in his rush to stop the threat. Lieutenant Smith would later take a position down a short hallway from the rifle-armed attacker, and engage him with rifle fire, without the benefit of his protective equipment or spare ammunition for his primary weapon.

Officers should recognize that when they arrive at a high-threat scene, they may get ambushed, come under immediate fire, or be forced by circumstances – as Lieutenant Smith was – to react immediately without donning all of their equipment. Officers might consider making a momentary stop before reaching the scene to don protective equipment (helmet, plates), and access enhanced equipment and weaponry (active shooter bag, IFAK, tactical vest, long guns from the trunk or rack) so they’re mission ready upon arrival and protected to the maximum extent from ambush threats.

2. Hardening targets deters attacks.

It appears that the Pulse nightclub was not the primary target of the attacker, who had previously reconnoitered the Disney World theme park and other locations, but was deterred by the security measures at those sites. The Pulse nightclub was ostensibly chosen because it appeared to be a soft target, offering a high probability of success.

We have seen this behavior prior to other active shooter attacks, such as in the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting, where the attacker bypassed targets that were closer to his home and which offered a larger population of victims to attack, to target the only theater in the area with a restrictive “gun free zone” policy that disarmed patrons, thereby reducing the chance he would be opposed.

3. Victim considerations.

As in the Paris Bataclan Theater and San Bernardino terror attacks that preceded it, the Pulse attack demonstrated how quickly responding officers could be overwhelmed by the sheer number of victims that needed medical attention and rescue.

Because mass casualty incidents can quickly overwhelm responding forces, a robust mutual aid program is essential to deal with the volume of victims. Additionally, agencies must ensure that officers on contact teams understand their principal concern is ending the threat, not rescuing the victims they encounter. Any delay in shutting down the killer could generate additional victims. The Orlando Police showed how putting rapid pressure on the killer can change this calculus, since the Pulse killer shot no additional victims after the entry team closed on his position and fired at him.

4. Police and fire-EMS coordination is critical.

Fire-EMS forces were prohibited from responding to the Pulse nightclub by their chain of command, delaying critically needed treatment for victims. Even when the threat had been contained in a corner of the building, and police leaders requested assistance, fire-EMS crews were prevented from going to the casualty collection point located outside and across the street, or opening the doors to a fire station several blocks away from the incident to aid the victims that fled there. To their credit, two paramedics violated protocol to aid victims outside the club, but took a professional risk to do so.

Better communication and coordination at the command level between police and fire-EMS is essential beforehand to ensure a smooth integration of assets during a critical event.

5. Active shooter protocols require further study and refinement.

We’ve made a lot of progress in the development of active shooter protocols since the 1999 Columbine High School attack, but the Pulse nightclub shooting shows we still haven’t anticipated all the possibilities.

When the active shooter event transitioned into a barricaded hostage situation, the Orlando Police Department was left in an unanticipated predicament. The operation’s tempo, tactics and objectives suddenly changed, leaving no clear path to follow. The law enforcement community needs to consider the impact of unpredictable suspect actions on active shooter protocols, and ensure those protocols are flexible enough to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.

6. Law enforcement transport of victims.

With fire-EMS assets withheld, law enforcement officers elected to transport victims directly to the hospital in patrol cars and trucks. The two paramedics who self-deployed to the scene transported 13 victims that morning, but police transported an estimated 15-20 victims to the hospital, including a SWAT officer who had been shot in the helmet by the suspect.

Because law enforcement transport of victims has become a common theme in recent incidents (such as the San Bernardino terror attack and the Dallas sniper attack), agencies should develop protocols for how to do this most efficiently and safely.

7. Long guns need slings.

Lieutenant Smith reported that many officers deployed long guns at the scene, and were later burdened by them when they needed to assist with rescues, first aid and other tasks that required two hands.

Every law enforcement long gun needs a sling so as to allow the free use of both hands while maintaining control of the weapon and immediate access to it. A sling is essential for a long gun in the same manner that a holster is essential for a pistol.

8. Explosives considerations.

The Orlando Police SWAT team did not have an integrated EOD capability, which complicated the scenario when developments indicated a possible IED threat. Concerns about standoff distances and blast mitigation required the team to consult mutual aid resources, and the team also had to ask for help from the Sheriff’s Department when it was decided to attempt an explosive breach of the outer wall.

In this modern age of terror activity, where IED technology and knowledge have proliferated, and explosive breaching capabilities have become more important, it’s essential for a tactical team to have an integrated EOD component, or at least enhanced IED awareness training.

9. Operations Tempo.

The day following the event, the Orlando PD SWAT team began working a 12 on/12 off schedule for an extended period, as dignitaries traveled to the city, investigative warrants were executed and concerns about secondary attacks were raised. The team kept up this exhausting pace for weeks after the attack, and it became a stressor on the team’s health and capabilities. The same thing happened with the French BRI team in the wake of the 2015 Paris terror attacks.

Agencies need to consider that in the wake of a critical incident, they may need to rely heavily on mutual aid agreements – for an extended period of time – to ease the burden, until the status quo is achieved again.

10. Critical Incident Stress Management.

In the wake of the attack, the Orlando Police Department conducted critical incident debriefings for affected personnel and provided counseling services. This kind of assistance is absolutely necessary, and must be ongoing to ensure that the mental and emotional health of personnel is maintained. Even resolute SWAT cops can benefit from this help – Lieutenant Smith reports that the SWAT team-only debriefing was expected to last about 90 minutes, but lasted approximately five hours to meet the needs of the team members.

I would like to thank Lieutenant Smith and the Orlando Police Department for sharing these valuable lessons with the greater law enforcement community. I would also like to thank CATO for the incredible learning opportunity provided by the 2017 Tactical Conference. To learn more about the 2018 CATO conference in Reno, Nevada, on 5-8 Nov 2018, visit http://catonews.org/conference-2018/.

God bless you all and be safe out there!
About the author

Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Mike Wood is the son of a 30-year California Highway Patrolman and the author of Newhall Shooting: A Tactical Analysis, the highly-acclaimed study of the 1970 California Highway Patrol gunfight in Newhall, California...

Eight years (damned I've had this blog for that many years) ago I wrote on active shooting training and called it the best in service class I've ever had. Over the years I've taken other classes and read coutless articles on other active shooting incidents, etc.

But the fact is another attack will happen, the shooter has already has his weapons ready, and is scoping his target. Whatever we do, the aggressor sets the battle. Cops can only prepare and be prepared.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Officer Down

Police Officer Tamby Yagan:
Paterson Police Department, New Jersey
End of Watch Sunday, April 22, 2018
Age 41
Tour 13 years
Badge 4649

Police Officer Tamby Yagan was killed in a vehicle crash near 150 Getty Avenue at approximately 11:00 am.

He suffered fatal injuries when his patrol car collided with a parked vehicle. He was transported to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.

Officer Yagan had served with the Paterson Police Department for 13 years and had previously served as a volunteer firefighter for the Prospect Park Fire Department. He is survived by his young son.
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. 

I wonder how the 4th Estate would react with a poster of Wonder Woman lassoing Eric Garner...

The fact she is a serious candidate for AG of Kansas (My God, that's in Kansas!) is bad enough. Now we look at how she looks at law enforcement:

Dem candidate in Kansas slammed for poster of Wonder Woman lassoing cop

The Democratic-backed candidate running for Kansas State Attorney General has been called on by her own party to drop out because of a poster hung in her law office that depicts Wonder Woman lassoing a police officer around the neck.

Attorney Sarah Swain apologized after she was criticized heavily by law enforcement groups, who argued that the image promoted violence against police officers.

The state Democratic Party agreed, adding that the poster is grounds for disqualification for the attorney general’s office.

“We strongly condemn and reject any depiction of violence against law enforcement, including the image from Swain’s law firm,” the party said in a statement. “We did not recruit or encourage Swain to run for attorney general, nor have we had any contact with her since she filed...”

That's bad Ms Swain, your own party is dropping you like a hot pan. Now this is funny.
"...'As a criminal defense attorney for nearly 17 years, I have seen firsthand the injustice that can be doled out at the hands of less-than-honest police officers,' Swain said. 'I have been involved in many cases where the truth was ignored and people’s lives were destroyed. These are just some of the experiences that eventually led me to run for attorney general.'”

No, the reason you sought this position is you're ambitious. I can't hold that against you, in and by itself. But you already showing yourself bias against law enforcement, and these are the people you will be working with, assuming you win. But I don't see much of a chance of that:
If Swain succumbs to pressure and drops out, the incumbent Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt will run unopposed in November.

When your party is out and out saying, "We would rather hand the seat to the GOP than support you...," that is bad.

Look on right side Ms Swain, no publicity is bad publicity, and God knows there are people who will run to you for their pay day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

What's going on in the World Today 180619



China hacked a Navy contractor and secured a trove of highly sensitive data on submarine warfare

Chinese government hackers have compromised the computers of a Navy contractor, stealing massive amounts of highly sensitive data related to undersea warfare — including secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on U.S. submarines by 2020, according to American officials. The breaches occurred in January and February, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. The hackers targeted a contractor who works for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, a military organization headquartered in Newport, R.I., that conducts research and development for submarines and underwater weaponry. The officials did not identify the contractor. Taken were 614 gigabytes of material relating to a closely held project known as Sea Dragon, as well assignals and sensor data, submarine radio room information relating to cryptographic systems, and the Navy submarine development unit’s electronic warfare library. The Washington Post agreed to withhold certain details about the compromised missile project at the request of the Navy, which argued that their release could harm national security.

The data stolen was of a highly sensitive nature despite being housed on the contractor’s unclassified network. The officials said the material, when aggregated, would be considered classified, a fact that raises concerns about the Navy’s ability to oversee contractors tasked with developing cutting-edge weapons. The breach is part of China’s long-running effort to blunt the U.S. advantage in military technology and become the preeminent power in east Asia. The news comes as the Trump administration is seeking to secure Beijing’s support in persuading North Korea to give up nuclear weapons, even as tensions persist between the United States and China over trade and defense matters. The Navy is leading the investigation into the breach with the assistance of the FBI, officials said. Navy spokesman Cmdr. Bill Speaks said, “There are measures in place that require companies to notify the government when a ‘cyber incident’ has occurred that has actual or potential adverse effects on their networks that contain controlled unclassified information...”

China Grows Anxious About Taiwan Reunification

One of the biggest obstacles to China's campaign for "national rejuvenation," President Xi Jinping's plan to guide the country to world prominence, lies across 180 kilometers (112 miles) of water on the island of Taiwan. The mainland's drive to return China to a position of global strength — which it hopes to complete by 2049 — includes reunification with Taiwan. The remnants of the Nationalist Party that fled to the island during the civil war waged in China in the 1940s remain there, creating a situation that the conflict's Communist victors cannot accept. While successive governments in Beijing have tried without success to reclaim or to reintegrate the island, they did prevent it from pulling away. Their efforts to draw Taiwan closer have yielded mixed results, but over the past few decades, Taiwanese nationalism has continued to rise. Today, with the island's younger generations displaying an increasing desire for independence, the United States is showing signs of greater support for Taiwan. These factors have helped to push tensions across the Taiwan Strait to their highest point in a decade...

Pentagon Puts Cyberwarriors on the Offensive, Increasing the Risk of Conflict

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has quietly empowered the United States Cyber Command to take a far more aggressive approach to defending the nation against cyberattacks, a shift in strategy that could increase the risk of conflict with the foreign states that sponsor malicious hacking groups.

Until now, the Cyber Command has assumed a largely defensive posture, trying to counter attackers as they enter American networks. In the relatively few instances when it has gone on the offensive, particularly in trying to disrupt the online activities of the Islamic State and its recruiters in the past several years, the results have been mixed at best.

But in the spring, as the Pentagon elevated the command’s status, it opened the door to nearly daily raids on foreign networks, seeking to disable cyberweapons before they can be unleashed, according to strategy documents and military and intelligence officials...

...The new strategy envisions constant, disruptive “short of war” activities in foreign computer networks. It is born, officials said, of more than a decade of counterterrorism operations, where the United States learned that the best way to take on Al Qaeda or the Islamic State was by destroying the militants inside their bases or their living rooms.

The objective, according to the new “vision statement” quietly issued by the command, is to “contest dangerous adversary activity before it impairs our national power.”

Pushing American defenses “as close as possible to the origin of adversary activity extends our reach to expose adversaries’ weaknesses, learn their intentions and capabilities, and counter attacks close to their origins,” the document says. “Continuous engagement imposes tactical friction and strategic costs on our adversaries, compelling them to shift resources to defense and reduce attacks...”

...This article is adapted from “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age,” to be published on Tuesday by Crown, an imprint of Penguin Random House.






On the water and in the air, French military pushes back against Beijing’s South China Sea claims

France has sent warships through contested waters and will hold air exercises in the area later this year

France is increasing its military presence in the Indo-Pacific region, sending warships through the South China Sea and planning air exercises to help counter China’s military build-up in disputed waters.

In late May, the French assault ship Dixmude and a frigate sailed through the disputed Spratly Islands and around a group of reefs that China has turned into islets, pushing back against Beijing’s claim to own most of the resource-rich South China Sea.

“Our patrol involved passing close to these islets to obtain intelligence with all the sensors it is possible to use in international waters,” the Dixmude’s commanding officer, Jean Porcher, said.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, a researcher from the Hudson Institute think tank who was on board, said “several Chinese frigates and corvettes” tailed the French vessels.

China puts missiles back on contested South China Sea island as United States pushes allies for bigger military presence in waters [1]

Porcher said the ship maintained “cordial” radio contact with Chinese military vessels, “which were present in the area until we left”.

So far the United States has taken the lead in confronting China over its territorial claims in the South China Sea, which are contested by several neighbours, particularly Vietnam...








Khamenei Fires Air Force Chief over Israeli F-35 Deep Penetration of Iran’s Sky

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei fired Iranian air force commander Brigadier General Farzad Ismaili, who had been in office since 2010, because the latter had hid from him the fact that Israeli F-35 planes had penetrated Iran’s sky, the Kuwaiti daily Al Jarida reported on Saturday.

The newspaper emphasized that it was the original media source that exposed the Israeli raids, which had taken place last March. Al Jarida cited senior Iranian military who said that only following its March report did the intelligence services of the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian intelligence ministry begin to investigate the case, under direct orders from Khamenei.

According to the newspaper’s investigation, the IAF F-35 “Adir” planes penetrated Iran’s airspace, circled high above Tehran, Karajrak, Isfahan, Shiraz and Bandar Abbas – and photographed Iran’s air defense system.

One of the sources reported that Iran’s air defense system, including its Russian radar, did not detect the entry and exit of the fighter planes, and that Ismaili hid this information from the supreme leader to cover his corps’ failure. However, three weeks ago, Iranian intelligence discovered that the Israeli fighter jets had carried out this sortie as a test of the possibility of an undetected military attack on Iranian outposts and bases, during which they photographed those sensitive bases, evading the Russian S-300 missile system’s radar...

Bending the Internet: Iran Brings the National Information Network Online


- Wary of the internet's power as a tool for political dissent and even revolution, Iran's conservatives have pushed for more stringent oversight online.

- Part of the strategy involves banning foreign apps and services, such as Telegram, and offering users closely monitored domestic alternatives.

- Iran's intranet, the National Information Network, will help authorities in this endeavor by giving them greater control over internet users, internet service providers and online content.

For as long as Iran has had cyberspace, the Iranian government has been trying to control it. The spate of color revolutions in the 2000s, followed by the Green Movement in Iran in 2009, further illustrated the dangers of electronic communication, prompting the Islamic republic's hard-line factions to push for more stringent oversight online. And since the United States has begun backing a policy akin to regime change and supporting domestic opposition movements, the need to control the internet is greater now for Tehran than perhaps ever before...


I Fought Against Muqtada al-Sadr. Now He's Iraq's Best Hope.

Michael D. SullivanJune 18, 2018, 7:08 AM

The former militia leader who once terrorized U.S. forces has reinvented himself as an Iraqi nationalist and a pragmatist.

BAGHDAD — I’ve fought against Muqtada al-Sadr’s Shiite militias in Iraq. I’ve ducked from rockets from his Mahdi Army and lost friends to improvised explosive devices from his Promised Day Brigade. But the Muqtada al-Sadr of 2018, whose Sairun coalition won the most seats in this recent Iraq parliamentary election, is not the Muqtada al-Sadr of 2004. The man who once directed his Mahdi militias to fight U.S. forces in Najaf and Baghdad has changed for the better.

While Sadr may have acted counter to U.S. interests in the past, he is now more aligned with Western attempts to reign in Iranian influence and Sunni extremism. Sadr has, in his view, always been a pragmatist. But his pragmatic approach went from trying to change the situation in Iraq through physical violence (2003 to 2008) to understanding the power of politics and civic actions (2011 to 2018). Today, Sadr understands the need for coalition support to help bolster Iraq’s security forces, thereby preventing another collapse that allows an extremist group like the Islamic State to emerge.

I have read the doom and gloom articles. I have received panicked e-mails, Facebook messages, and WhatsApp texts from friends who have served in Iraq.I have read the doom and gloom articles. I have received panicked e-mails, Facebook messages, and WhatsApp texts from friends who have served in Iraq. They all ask the same question: “Sadr? Really? Didn’t we fight this guy for years? How can this happen?” They, too, lost loved ones fighting against Sadr’s militias in Najaf, Baghdad’s Dora neighborhood, and along the infamous from the Green Zone to the Baghdad airport...

...Michael D. Sullivan, a colonel in the U.S. Army, served five tours in Iraq between 2004 and 2018. He holds a doctorate in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and currently works at the U.S. Embassy Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq in Baghdad. His views are his own and do not represent the U.S. Department of Defense or any other government agency.




China: Beijing Welcomes the Trump-Kim Summit, Cautiously

Beijing will support warmer ties between the United States and North Korea, so long as their dialogue does not precipitate a complete collapse or, conversely, a rapid rapprochement in their relations.

China will likely increase its economic influence over Pyongyang to ensure North Korea does not fall into the United States' orbit.

Chinese leaders will base their actions on the North Korean nuclear issue on the principle of maintaining the balance of power on the peninsula in regard to the United States...

The Trump-Kim Summit: What It Means and What Happens Next

Trump and Kim signed a declaration outlining the next steps of the relationship between their two countries, leaving the details for lower-level officials to pencil in later.

The most notable developments from the summit are that the United States plans to halt military exercises with South Korea and that Washington is prepared to accept a more phased approach to North Korean denuclearization.

With many thorny details to work out, there is still plenty of room for the U.S.-North Korea dialogue to break down. But the events of the summit make it hard for the United States to justify any future return to a strategy of applying maximum pressure...

Rebooting Inter-Korean Economic Relations: A Challenging Road Ahead

The dramatic shift in inter-Korean relations now underway provides a strategic opportunity to rethink future economic cooperation between the two Koreas. The nearly blank slate created by the May 24 measures in 2010 following the sinking of the ROK warship Cheonan and the closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex in 2016 offers a unique opportunity to set new objectives and priorities for both Koreas in shaping their economic future in ways that will serve their longer-term as well as immediate interests. Notably in the April summit, neither President Moon nor Chairman Kim included senior economic officials in their delegations, reflecting a wise understanding that appearing to jump the gun on the delicate questions of commitment to denuclearization and stage-setting for a summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim could undermine the potential for moving forward on the economic front.

Nevertheless, the April 2018 summit declaration included agreement “to actively implement the projects previously agreed in the 2007 October 4 Declaration in order to promote balanced growth and co-prosperity of the nation. As a first step, the two sides agreed to adopt practical steps towards the connection and modernization of railways and roads on the eastern transportation corridor as well as between Seoul and Sinuiju for their utilization.”[1] The 2007 Summit Declaration included an agreement to promote investments in natural resources and infrastructure and preferential conditions and benefits for inter-Korean projects. It highlighted the expansion of the Kaesong Industrial Complex; rail, road and cooperative shipbuilding projects; and projects in agriculture, health and medical services, and environmental protection.[2] Beyond these formal statements of intent, an informal private conversation about future inter-Korean economic relations did reportedly occur during the April Moon-Kim Summit, with President Moon conveying a USB stick to Chairman Kim with details of South Korean ideas...[3]

More on North Korea’s Missile Test Sites

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.

Following up on 38 North’s recent assessment concluding that there were no changes to the Sohae (Tongchang-ri) Satellite Launch Facility, further analysis shows that there have been no alterations or activity akin to dismantlement to any of the six known launch and engine test facilities and two ejection test stands, including:

Chamjin (Tae-sung) Machine Factory test stand[1]

Iha-ri Driver Training and Test Facility test stand

Magunpo Solid Rocket Motor Test Facility

Nampo Shipyard submersible test stand barge

Sinpo South Shipyard submersible test stand barge

Sinpo South Shipyard test stand

Sohae (Tongchang-ri) Satellite Launch Facility

Tonghae (Musudan-ri) Satellite Launch Facility

Of these facilities and test stands, it is likely that President Trump’s comment on June 12 regarding the destruction of a “…major missile engine testing site” was not referring to either the Iha-ri test stand—which was razed in May—or the Sinpo South Shipyard test stand that has not been used in approximately a year. And contrary to the president’s statement, both sites have been solely used for ejection tests, not engine tests or launches...


Terror, hooligan threats cast shadow over Russia's World Cup

Russia has deployed air defence systems and stringent fan background checks in a sweeping security operation to counter the twin threats of terror attacks and hooliganism at the World Cup.

The country was already intensely policed when it was controversially awarded the right to host the event in 2010 but the clampdown that followed saw hardened hooligans seek cover and business barons wind down the operations of factories that process hazardous materials for fear they might be attacked.

Fans travelling to Russia are required to register with the police on their arrival in one of the 12 host cities and even riverboat traffic is being curtailed to make it easier for the authorities to keep track of everything that moves.

At least 30,000 security personnel will fan out across Moscow by the time the hosts kick off against Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday.

Squadrons of fighter jets will be on standby near the capital and air defences will be on the alert for suspicious aircraft...




Aircraft Avionics Hacking: Is It Possible?

When two security researchers hacked into the wireless entertainment and navigation systems of a Jeep Cherokee in 2015 and managed to take control of the vehicle’s steering, braking, engine and other functions while the car was moving, it made headlines around the world.

The Jeep SUV reflected the technology implicit in today’s automobiles: drive-by-wire and digital engine control, where there is no mechanical connection between the steering wheel, brake and accelerator pedals, and the wheels, brakes, and injector system, and the engine is managed by an electronic control similar to an aero engine’s FADEC.

Other researchers at the Universities of Washington and California-San Diego had previously published papers elucidating vulnerabilities in contemporary automotive wireless technology that could be exploited by hackers, including key fobs that can be penetrated to unlock doors and start cars’ engines. According to writer Andy Greenberg, who was a willing victim of the Jeep Cherokee attack for his article, “Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway — With Me in It,” in the July 2015 issue of Wired magazine, all this was possible because car manufacturers were “doing [their] best to turn the modern automobile into a smartphone,” a move reminiscent of the unmanned aerial vehicles detailed in “Drone Revolution...”

Apple will throw forensics cops off the iPhone Lightning port every hour

Cops unlikely to be the only grumblers

Apple isn't backing down from a move to lock down the iPhone’s data port to increase security for users, even though it means thwarting some of the password-cracking tools used by forensics experts.

In the latest beta versions of iOS, Apple includes a feature called USB Restricted Mode, which disables the data connection of the iPhone’s Lightning port after a given time, while allowing it to continue to charge the device. Further data access would require the user's passcode.

Initially, Restricted Mode required a passcode after one week. But Apple confirmed yesterday that a plugged-in iPhone will require a passcode every hour for the data transfers to continue...

Support Grows For Unmanned Tanker, Transport Aircraft

From surviving in contested airspace to supplying remote areas, interest in unmanned transport and tanker aircraft is growing.

A U.S. Senate committee is proposing funding to “explore options for optionally manned and more survivable tankers,” while Russia’s Ilyushin is studying an unmanned cargo demonstrator based on the Il-112V light transport.

In its markup of the fiscal 2019 defense budget, the Senate Armed Services Committee says it is “concerned about the growing threat to large high-value aircraft” and recommends an increase of $10 million, for a total of $38.4 million, for prototyping a contested environment tanker.

Essential to the operational availability and range of U.S. combat and transport aircraft, the Air Force’s Boeing KC-135 and KC-46A aerial refueling tankers “are manned and increasingly difficult to protect,” the committee says.

“Given the increasingly challenging operating environments our potential adversaries are presenting, it is prudent to explore options for optionally unmanned and more survivable tankers that could operate autonomously as part of a large, dispersed logistics fleet that could sustain attrition in conflict,” it says.

An unmanned tanker prototype could draw on research underway at Boeing to increase the level of automation in its commercial aircraft and to address a looming pilot shortage by introducing supervised autonomy, as well as demonstrations of a robotic co-pilot by subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences under Darpa’s Alias program...

The Pentagon’s JEDI cloud will be designed to store the government’s most sensitive classified information, including nuclear secrets.

The Defense Department’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud will be designed to host the government’s most sensitive classified data, including critical nuclear weapon design information and other nuclear secrets.

The Pentagon is expected to bid out the controversial JEDI cloud contract this week, and new contracting documents indicate the winning company must be able to obtain the full range of top secret government security clearances, including Department of Energy “Q” and “L” clearances necessary to view restricted nuclear data.

In response to questions from Nextgov, Defense Department spokeswoman Heather Babb confirmed “JEDI cloud services will be offered at all classification levels.” Babb said military and defense customers “will determine which applications and data migrate to the cloud.”

Amazon Web Services, considered a front-runner to win the JEDI contract, is already able to host some Defense Department classified data in a $600 million cloud it developed several years ago for the CIA.

JEDI, however, represents a massive jump in size and scale. The contract could be worth as much as $10 billion over 10 years, with Defense officials describing it as a “global fabric” available to warfighters in almost any environment, from F-35s to war zones. Because government customers could use the cloud for almost anything, it must be built to host almost everything, Steven Aftergood, head of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy, told Nextgov...


How Do You Measure Success Against Jihadists?

By Scott Stewart

VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor


Measuring success against a militant organization requires understanding the group's objectives and how far it has progressed toward achieving them, as well as the types of warfare it is capable of waging.

Instead of gauging a group's strength through the number of terrorist attacks, it is necessary to examine the quality of the assaults and determine how they fit into the group's other operations.

Defeating a group requires more than victory on the physical battlefield; it also needs progress in the much more difficult ideological realm.

It was just last week that I was talking to a person who is working to help a country combat a significant jihadist threat. In the course of our chat, we started thinking, how do you actually measure success against jihadist groups? As operations the world over have shown, simply destroying a high number of Toyota Hiluxes driven by militants isn't necessarily the defining mark of success in the "war on terrorism," and a tally of terrorist attacks doesn't necessarily signal failure. I've written before on terrorism and insurgent theory and the trajectories of specific groups, but never on how to gauge militant groups. As it turns out, there's more to assessing a jihadist group's strength than straight numbers...



Monday, June 18, 2018

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Casey L. Shoemate
Miller County Sheriff's Office, Missouri
End of Watch Friday, April 20, 2018
Age 26
Badge 5318

Deputy Sheriff Casey Shoemate was killed in a vehicle crash on Route Y, just north of Rabbit Hill Road, while responding to a structure fire at a fellow employee's house.

He collided head-on with an oncoming vehicle during the response. Deputy Shoemate was pronounced dead at the scene. The other driver was flown to a local hospital in serious condition.

Deputy Shoemate had served with the Miller County Sheriff's Office for one year. He is survived by his two children, fiancee, parents, and several 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 New Hope for the movie industry...

I've said for ages, Hollywood sucks. While the studios employ thousands of writers for original ideas, not to mention there are thousands of books coming out yearly, all the "smart people" in that pathetic Los Angeles suburb can do is redo older films or TV shows. Not to mention in one production after another, it has to take a swipe against America. In entertainment, the customer always seems to be wrong.

In one of the few movies I went to a theater to see, Darkest Hour was phenomenal. And I was shocked that the Academy awarded Gary Oldman the Oscar for Best Actor. He actually earned it. And Oldman, a British citizen, spent most of his time thanking America for everything she had given him, his career, his family, etc. And the Hollywood great ones were silent.

Now there is a possibility that Hollywood may start looking at making movies for people who may actually watch them.
Making Movies in the Trump Era for the Audience Hollywood Ignored

Producer Dallas Sonnier fled Los Angeles to create ‘populist entertainment’; Vince Vaughn as an unemployed mechanic who kills drug dealers to protect his wife from a forced abortion

These cousins of his are schoolteachers, HVAC installers, construction workers—just the kind of audience he thinks Hollywood has unwisely left behind.

“If I text them the name of, let’s say, Timothée Chalamet, they don’t know who the hell he is,” Mr. Sonnier says. “They haven’t seen ‘Lady Bird,’ and they certainly haven’t seen ‘Call Me By Your Name.’ But if I text them Vince Vaughn, Kurt Russell, Don Johnson ? They go f—ing crazy!”

His October release, “Brawl in Cell Block 99,” passed the test. Mr. Vaughn portrayed an out-of-work mechanic who killed Mexican drug dealers to protect his wife from a forced abortion. It had a tiny theatrical release with little media coverage, but its DVDs were a hit at Walmart as soon as they hit the shelves.

Mr. Sonnier’s company, Cinestate , which made “Brawl,” is backed by an anonymous Texas oil heiress, he says, to produce “populist entertainment.”

The 38-year-old former talent manager, who got his start working with actor and director Greta Gerwig, now finds himself navigating culture, commerce and politics in trying to answer a question facing Hollywood: Where does entertainment go in the Trump era?

The industry has responded to that question largely by using platforms such as the Academy Awards to rail against the Trump administration. That has alienated many moviegoers, and today those are the people Mr. Sonnier has in mind.

“If we can make a movie that does not treat them as losers, or ask how dare they vote a certain way, or pander to them, naturally they’re going to respond in a positive way,” says Mr. Sonnier, who says he wrote in a candidate for the 2016 presidential election because he didn’t support Hillary Clinton and had lost respect for Donald Trump following the “Access Hollywood” tape’s release.

Since fleeing Los Angeles in 2015 for Texas, where he grew up, Mr. Sonnier has cast himself as the producer willing to do features that others in Hollywood consider politically radioactive. In the past year, he has wrapped production on “Dragged Across Concrete,” starring Mel Gibson as a cop accused of beating a suspect, filmed a drama about militia members, and bought a script about a school shooting in which a female student wrests control of a gun and fights back...

...Hollywood has occasionally targeted conservative moviegoers, releasing faith-based movies in specific neighborhoods or producing patriotic blockbusters such as “American Sniper.” The difference is that Mr. Sonnier is betting a whole company on a strategy of finding consumers he says are “outside the coasts,” marrying ideology with opportunism...
It amazes me that an industry, faced with massive competition from direct to home video sources (e.g.Amazon.com Prime, Hulu, etc) needs to be reminded they should put out things that sell. I used to go to 2-3 movies a month, now it's 2-3 a year. It's not worth it. And until some people in Hollywood start loosing their shirts and houses, it may never get through.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Pursuits, politicians, and stupidity....

Ages ago I was speaking with some Houston Police sergeants and officers about their short lived updated pursuit police. In summary, they could “pursue,” but not pursue. Well, the HPD command staff was a bit embarrassed the next day when the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (Harris County is most of Houston) pursued a suspect and after he was stopped, he was shocked. He said, in response to a TV reporter’s question,  "I though the cops  couldn't chase anymore...." Suffice to say the pursuit policy was revised.

I don't argue, chases are dangerous, for the cops, the suspects, and most importantly, the general public. That's why they can't be started for no reason. If we have the suspect's name, and it's a relatively minor crime, it's often better to let them go, pick them up the next day, or file a warrant. If you have a child molester or a murder suspect, that's another thing.

With that a background, let's look at Cleveland and how they handling this issue:
Cleveland policy called into question after LEOs take gunfire twice but told not to pursue

Officers were shot at during two separate incidents and supervisors would not allow officers to give chase

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams on Tuesday addressed growing concerns that the department's policy regarding chasing violent suspects is preventing officers from doing their jobs and emboldening criminals.

The chief's sharply worded memo comes less than a week after officers were shot at during two separate incidents and supervisors would not allow officers to give chase.

Both incidents, and three others involving officers who had their cars rammed by suspects but were not allowed to pursue them, led the police union and other city officials to question how Cleveland police officials are applying the policy on when officers are allowed to chase suspects.

"These criminals now feel empowered to do whatever they want because they know they're not going to be chased," Cleveland City Councilman Mike Polensek said. "When you shoot at a cop, you're shooting at every one of us."

Williams, who did not directly address the recent incidents, defended the department's policy by saying that his officers are authorized to chase suspects. He said he crafted the policy based on the best-practices for chases and that the policy gives the best chance at protecting both police officers and residents.

"Officers are authorized to conduct vehicle pursuits in order to take violent suspects or intoxicated drivers into custody," he wrote. "This most certainly includes suspects who have committed violence, including attempting to harm our police officers."

The city enacted the policy in 2014, two years after a deadly chase involving 62 police cars that ended with more than a dozen officers firing 137 shots and killing Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, who were unarmed...
I found a decent summary of the facts on the Williams and Russell case. I found this interesting:
Why is a judge deciding this case?

Brelo waived his right to a jury trial last month. Prosecutors argued in a counter-motion that his decision was racially motivated, and that the black communities of Cleveland and East Cleveland have a right to hear the case.
But Judge John P. O'Donnell ruled that he will be the one to hear the trial, as in Ohio the right to have or refuse a jury lies with the defendant alone.
I underline the section because of the inherent racism of the prosecution. Don’t believe me? Imagine the outcry if a the DA said a white jury should try the case of a black man, accused of murdering a white grandmother.
...New policy enacted in 2014

The policy allows officers to chase people suspected of violent crimes or drunken driving. The officers are not allowed to give chase unless they get permission from a supervisor. If the supervisor calls off the chase at any point, they must stop or face discipline.

The policy is at some points intentionally vague, leaving room for supervisors to take into account a myriad of factors -- including road conditions, how fast the chase is going and how many others cars are on the road -- when deciding whether to authorize a chase.

"Officers shall err on the side of caution and interpret this policy in the most restrictive manner if, for any reason, this directive does not offer clear guidance for a specific set of circumstances," the policy says in bold type-face...
OK, the guidance is already clear. An officer will simply not pursue unless under extreme circumstances. Remember, a suspect takes off, the officer must start the chase to keep him in sight, concurrently call a supervisor on the radio (assuming it’s not tied up), explain detailed information, answer questions, and wait for the supervisor to say yes or no. Sometimes that can take a bit. Meanwhile, if the suspect crashes into a car, injuring or killing someone, the internal affairs report will say, “Officer Smith, as you were not authorized by a supervisor to pursue this suspect...”

Exaggeration? Ask the officers of Baltimore after the district attorney indicted them in the Freddy Gray with no evidence, their lives were destroyed.

Effective policing is, by its nature, aggressive and assertive. However, when cops are hamstrung by restrictive policy, and have no faith in the command staff to back them up,/= they will join the fire department. Sign on, wait for calls for service, answer them, and play it safe. And as the crime rate goes up, the people of Cleveland wil have to make a decision. Vote out the gutless wonders who put another group of gutless wonders in charge of the police.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Officer Down

Detective Sergeant Brian Scott Cuscino
New Castle Police Department, Pennsylvania
End of Watch Thursday, April 19, 2018
Age 44
Tour 17 years
Badge 3249

Detective Sergeant Brian Cuscino suffered a fatal heart attack while participating in the department's mandatory physical fitness program at approximately 7:30 am.

He collapsed while using a treadmill at a local gym that was authorized to be used for the wellness program. Another officer found him unconscious.

Sergeant Cuscino had served with the New Castle Police Department for 17 years and was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division and Special Response Team. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

He passed away on the same day he was to receive the department's Officer of the Quarter award.
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. 

Let it be.....

The weekend!

A very long week, last two days have been crazy. Managed to snake out an hour early and now I’m at home, cooling off, with my beautiful wife and two doggies. And the season premiere of Goliath.

To start what will hopefully be a great weekend, here is a great version of a Beatles classic

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Officer Down

Sergeant Noel Ramirez:
Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office, Florida
End of Watch Thursday, April 19, 2018
Age 29
Tour 7 years

Deputy Sheriff Taylor Lindsey
Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office, Florida
End of Watch Thursday, April 19, 2018
Age 25
Tour 2 years

Deputy Sheriff Taylor Lindsey and Sergeant Noel Ramirez were shot and killed from ambush as they took their lunch break in a restaurant at 1122 East Wade Street, in Trenton.

At approximately 3:00 pm a male subject opened fire on them from outside of the establishment, fatally shooting both through the restaurant's front window. The man then went to his car in the parking lot and committed suicide.

Sergeant Ramirez had served with the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office for seven years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Deputy Lindsey had served with the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office for two years.
Rest in Peace Gentlemen…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 good look at what needs to be disarmed in North Korea...

As the world looks at what to make of the short US-NK "summit," Foreign Policy has an excellent look at what has to be looked into. It's not just the nukes:
Nukes Aren’t the End of North Korea’s Arsenal

Any deal needs to remember Pyongyang's range of deadly programs.

Troy Stangarone

In a tweet on June 5, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed his hope that his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore could be “the start of something big.” True, a promise of denuclearization would be a genuinely important step forward. But that’s not the only threat North Korea poses — and if Trump really cares about the big picture, he needs to remember that.

The Iran nuclear deal was weak because it provided sanctions relief while failing to address Tehran’s ballistic missile program and the regime’s support for militias elsewhere. A North Korean nuclear deal that doesn’t address the country’s extensive chemical and biological weapons programs, as well as its aggressive cyber-operations, could lose political support over time as well. Any potential deal can’t just be words on paper; it needs to include real protections against backsliding...

Mr. Stangarone, I'm shocked FP let you mention that disaster (JCPOA) was such a disaster.
North Korea turned to chemical weapons shortly after the Korean War. They served as low-cost weapons of mass destruction to supplement North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, and they also provided a tactical means to counter superior U.S. and South Korean forces. As North Korea’s conventional military has deteriorated, chemical weapons are likely seen as more important for suppressing the advancement of U.S. and South Korean forces.

North Korea has demonstrated a willingness to both use and sell chemical weapons.North Korea has demonstrated a willingness to both use and sell chemical weapons. A United Nations panel of experts has documented North Korean cooperation with Syria on chemical weapons, and a VX nerve agent was used last year to assassinate Kim Jong Nam, Kim Jong Un’s half-brother, allegedly on the supreme leader’s orders. Kim’s potential meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad only underscores the need to address this issue. U.N. Security Council resolutions also require North Korea to address this issue. Resolution 2270 calls for North Korea to meet its obligations under international treaties on biological weapons and to join the Chemical Weapons Convention.

North Korean cyberattacks are also a significant concern. In a relatively short period of time, Pyongyang has assembled one of the most capable groups of hackers in the world and uses them for a wide range of activities. Experts suspect that North Korea has hacked more than 100 banks and cryptocurrency exchanges, stealing up to $650 million. Beyond the government’s efforts to earn hard currency and evade sanctions, the Sony Pictures hack demonstrates Pyongyang’s willingness to go after private actors whose actions it doesn’t like.

While some of North Korea’s cyber-activities fall into the realm of traditional espionage that all states engage in, the United States and North Korea as part of any nuclear deal and peace process should agree to a series of limits on Pyongyang’s digital intrusions. In 2015, the United States and China agreed to refrain from using cyberattacks to steal intellectual property for economic gain, but Washington should look to build on that model given North Korea’s financial theft. This should include an agreement from North Korea not to engage in financial theft, while also refraining from using cyber-operations to intimidate private actors or steal their intellectual property. At the same time, North Korea should agree to refrain from selling its services or software to others to achieve the same purposes....

...At the same time, North Korea will need to allow foreign companies to repatriate profits. The fate of the Egyptian firm Orascom, which invested in North Korea and now has no way to get its money back, is a cautionary tale. After building North Korea’s first 3G network, Orascom has faced a series of problems operating in North Korea. It lost its exclusive license to operate in the country, now faces competition from the state-run Byol, and has been unable to . If firms are unable to take their profits home, there will be little incentive for the type of private-sector investment Trump has suggested.

North Korea’s failure to live up to prior agreements and the regime’s sudden shift in policy are reasons to approach the current talks cautiously. The United States should be open to the prospect of change but needs to ensure that there is a way to maintain pressure on North Korea if this is another false start. This is why any agreement needs a snapback provision to put sanctions back in place if North Korea backslides...

...As Trump himself has acknowledged, this is the beginning of a process. If the right elements aren’t built in from the beginning, there is a greater risk things will unravel in the future. Ensuring that the North Koreans understand that any final deal needs to address their other weapons programs, that they will need to undertake real economic reforms, and that any agreement will not be built on blind faith will help give the process a greater chance of succeeding.

Don't forget the thousands of tubes of artillery that can range Seoul, the ICBMs, and other missiles. Again, a first step, but there is an old Vulcan saying, "Only Nixon could go to China." The next few years will determine if there is also, "Only Trump could go to Pyongyang."

A look at "purging" the rolls....

Monday the Supreme Court had an excellent case come down, 5-4, which is to be expected. From the great website, Legal Insurrection:
...Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute presented a fairly boring legal issue of statutory construction.

The legal issue was whether the process used by Ohio to clean up its voter rolls complied with federal statutes.

The problem is significant, as the Supreme Court majority described in the opening paragraph of its Opinion issued today:

It has been estimated that 24 million voter registrations in the United States—about one in eight—are either invalid or significantly inaccurate. Pew Center on the States, Election Initiatives Issue Brief (Feb. 2012). And about 2.75 million people are said to be registered to vote in more than one State. Ibid.

At issue in today’s case is an Ohio law that aims to keep the State’s voting lists up to date by removing the names of those who have moved out of the district where they are registered. Ohio uses the failure to vote for two years as a rough way of identifying voters who may have moved, and it then sends a preaddressed, postage prepaid card to these individuals asking them to verify that they still reside at the same address. Voters who do not return this card and fail to vote in any election for four more years are presumed to have moved and are removed from the rolls. We are asked to decide whether this program complies with federal law.

Justice Alito, joined by Kennedy, Roberts, Gorsuch and Thomas, found that the Ohio process complied with the law. The alleged legal violation, that Ohio relied on mere non-voting to strike someone from the voter rolls, was not consistent with the facts. Ohio used a process, allowed by the statute, of sending a card to people who have not voted for two years asking them to confirm whether they have moved. If the card is not returned, the person would not be removed unless the person did not vote in the subsequent two federal election cycles. So it would take a total of 6 years not voting PLUS failure to return the card to be removed.

Justice Breyer wrote a dissent disagreeing with the statutory construction of the majority.

Basically, you don't vote for two years, they send a message. You send it back, you stay on the rolls. You don't return it, but vote next time, no issue. But if you don't vote for an additional four years afterwards, you name is removed from the voting rolls. Sounds like a logical process to insure dead people, or people who have moved from the district (aka Democratic voters,) no longer can vote. Sounds like we're insuring the vote. Who could have an issue with that? Well libtards, of course:
But it was Justice Sotomayor’s dissent which evoked the particular ire of the majority, who saw it as a policy disagreement with Congress:

… Congress enacted the NVRA against the backdrop of substantial efforts by States to disenfranchise low-income and minority voters, including programs that purged eligible voters from registration lists because they failed to vote in prior elections. The Court errs in ignoring this history and distorting the statutory text to arrive at a conclusion that not only is contrary to the plain language of the NVRA but also contradicts the essential purposes of the statute, ultimately sanctioning the very purging that Congress expressly sought to protect against.

Concerted state efforts to prevent minorities from voting and to undermine the efficacy of their votes are an unfortunate feature of our country’s history….

In concluding that the Supplemental Process does not violate the NVRA, the majority does more than just misconstrue the statutory text. It entirely ignores the history of voter suppression against which the NVRA was enacted and upholds a program that appears to further the very disenfranchisement of minority and low-income voters that Congress set out to eradicate. States, though, need not choose to be so unwise. Our democracy rests on the ability of all individuals, regardless of race, income, or status, to exercise their right to vote. The majority of States have found ways to maintain accurate voter rolls without initiating removal processes based solely on an individual’s failure to vote. See App. to Brief for League of Women Voters of the United States et al. as Amici Curiae 1a–9a; Brief for State of New York et al. as Amici Curiae 22–28. Communities that are disproportionately affected by unnecessarily harsh registration laws should not tolerate efforts to marginalize their influence in the political process, nor should allies who recognize blatant unfairness stand idly by. Today’s decision forces these communities and their allies to be even more proactive and vigilant in holding their States accountable and working to dismantle the obstacles they face in exercising the fundamental right to vote...

Again, this is a legitimate effort to insure a fair and accurate vote, but Justice Sotomayor:
"All of the legal defense funds out there, they're looking for people with Court of Appeals experience. Because it is - Court of Appeals is where policy is made," she said. "And I know, and I know, that this is on tape, and I should never say that. Because we don't 'make law,' I know. [Laughter from audience] Okay, I know. I know. I'm not promoting it, and I'm not advocating it. I'm, you know. [More laughter] Having said that, the Court of Appeals is where, before the Supreme Court makes the final decision, the law is percolating. Its interpretation, its application."

No Mrs Justice Sotomayor, the legislative and executive branches make "policy," It's up to the court to determine if this policy meets constitutional restrains. And seeing you voted for Obamacare, when the "fee" was called a "tax," your more than happy to make government policy. But Professor Jacobson had a great quote to sign you off with:
Personally, I love Sotomayor’s scorching dissents. I wish her a long career in dissent, scorching or otherwise.

Well done SCOTUS. Now, as the court takes up the Obamacare rulings in the future, hopefully they will make up for the abortion of law that was National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Officer Down

Patrolman Kevin F. Crossley:
Age 34
Tour 8 years
Badge 5988

Patrolman Kevin Crossley was killed in a vehicle crash at the intersection of Oriskany Boulevard and Westmoreland Street at approximately 7:55 pm.

A vehicle traveling on Oriskany Boulevard in the opposite direction attempted to make a left turn in front of Patrolman Crossley's patrol car, causing a collision. Patrolman Crossley was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Patrolman Crossley had served with the Whitesboro Police Department for eight years and also served as a part-time police officer with the Whitestown Police Department. He is survived by his parents and brother.
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. 

Waiting on a sunny day.....

We got them!

Hot as hell right now in southern Texas, where is that cold weather we were complaining about back in January?

But seeing we've had the unofficial start of the summer, and my teacher friends are decompressing, I figured this would be a great song to go on.

Have a great weekend!