Apr 222011
 

LVPD Officer Colling just before beating Mitchell Crooks

Here’s a video that should make your blood boil.  A private citizen – Mitchell Crooks – was filming police activity.  He was on private property at the time.  Filming the police is perfectly lawful, on public or private property.

A police officer approaches him, demands Crooks stop filming – something he has no right to demand, then beats Crooks up when Crooks claims he is within his rights to videotape the scene, then arrests him for obstructing a police officer; a charge subsequently upgraded to battery on a police officer and obstruction of justice.  I guess the officer claimed ‘his nose viciously beat my fist, and his stomach attacked my foot’.

Fortunately the idiot police officer was such an idiot that he didn’t delete the video and audio in the camera, so we all can now get to listen to Officer Colling taunting and gloating about how he put Mitchell Crooks into ‘a world of hurt’.

Colling knows all about putting citizens into a world of hurt.  In his 5 1/2 years as a police officer, he has already killed two citizens, both deemed justifiable slayings.  Crooks should consider himself lucky for merely suffering a deviated septum, chest wall injury, and possibly broken ribs.

Have a look at the video in this article, and wonder why it is that a month later the Los Vegas Police Department is still passively investigating the encounter and the total lies written by their officer in his arrest report, while the officer in question remains proudly on duty and earning full pay.

This is police brutality that would be out of line in the most despotic of dictatorships, and it shouldn’t take more than a minute or two for Colling’s superiors to recognize it for what it is and to act appropriately.  Such behavior has no place in the United States, and Officer Colling should now experience the full force of the law and its severest consequences, as should his stonewalling superiors who are going as slowly as possible and doing as little as possible to make Colling responsible for his outrageous actions.

One other point of note.  Crooks was screaming for help at the top of his voice.  He even said to the police officer ‘All my neighbors know what you are doing’.  But did a single neighbor come out?  Nope, not a one.  The police state is a terrifying place to live, and his neighbors all knew better than to risk a beating themselves.

Apr 142011
 

Jim and Charlene Sanders, a couple in their mid 40s, advertised a diamond ring for sale.  Nothing too unique about that. Among other people who called to express interest in the ring were Kiyoshi Higashi and Amanda Knight, who arranged to visit and view the ring.  Still a perfectly normal event.

But, upon being admitted to the Sanders’ home, Higashi pulled out a gun, let two more cohorts into the house, tied up the Sanders and also their two sons and proceeded to ransack the house, while beating Mr & Mrs Sanders and threatening to kill them.

Jim Sanders managed to break free, only to be shot dead when struggling with the four attackers.  The attackers then fled, sparing Mrs Sanders and their two sons.  Here is one report of the incident.

Now ask yourself – how often have you advertised something for sale?  Maybe not jewelry – maybe a car, a boat, sports equipment, even a gun.  How often have you had people come to look at whatever you were selling?  And – most of all – how prepared have you been to defend yourself if the potential buyers turn out to be bad guys?

Even if you are just having a garage sale, some people might use the garage sale as a chance to case your property and your preparedness.  And some people might visit you normally one day while pretending an interest in something you are selling, then return the next day to burgle your property.

There’s a moral in this story.  Be wary any time you allow any strangers into your home.  Don’t be paranoid, but there is just as much reason to be concealed carrying while relaxing at home as there is when out in public.  Sometimes the most threatening types of danger occur in the safest seeming situations (which is of course what makes them such major threats).

Additionally, home invasions have the benefit – to the bad guy – of being out of public view.  This empowers and enables them to do nastier things, over a longer time period, than they could in public.  Your house, rather than being your castle, could potentially become your deathtrap.

Most of all, remember the color code of situational awareness.  It applies just as much when your front door bell rings as it does when in a strange part of town.

Don’t let Jim Sanders’ death be for nothing.  Learn from it, so you don’t repeat his mistakes and suffer the same consequences.

Mar 262011
 

With friends like our President, who needs enemies

There’s a huge amount to dislike about the actions we are taking in Libya at present.  It is so extraordinarily inconsistent – why are we ignoring all the other nasty dictators around the world, and all the other popular uprisings, and instead deciding to take on Gaddafi in Libya?

You might say, cynically, that it is all about the oil, but I’m not even sure that oil is a large part of this equation – it is typically a liberal cheap shot to denigrate our foreign policy as being all about oil.

Libya represents only about 1% of the world’s oil production; if oil was dictating our foreign policy, wouldn’t we be doing much more assertive things in countries with larger oil production and unstable/unfriendly governments?  For example, Venezuela, or, most notably of all, Iran (almost three times more oil produced than Libya), where the popular protests against their apparently unfair rigged elections were greeted with apathy and disinterest by the western powers.

And, of course, if oil is so important to us, wouldn’t we be, ahem, drilling a bit more at home, too?

So, no, I don’t think our Libyan actions are about oil, but having said that, it isn’t clear what they are about.

Two more opening thoughts.

First, much has been made of Gaddafi waging war with his own people, and even killing them.  But isn’t that his own business?  If he was invading a foreign country, then possibly international treaties much empower or compel us to come to the other country’s aid, but who are we to pick and choose our favorites in a sovereign country’s internal dispute?

For that matter, if we are to now wage war against foreign governments due to them killing their own citizens (even if their own citizens have taken up arms and are fighting an armed uprising against the government of the day) then why don’t we also wage war against governments that passively kill their citizens, not with bullets, but with corruption?

What is the difference, in moral terms, between a government that kills a citizen quickly and cleanly with a bullet, and a government that allows a person to slowly starve to death, or to suffer the consequences of non-existent health care, both due to corruption and the misallocation of funds that should have been destined to help improve the lives of its citizens?

Second, much has been made of Gaddafi as being a crazed madman, and of having been a sponsor of terrorism against the west.  But these things are all in the past.

Gaddafi changed his tune, and for the last five years and more, has been increasingly a friend of the west and supportive of our common causes.  He renounced his nuclear plans.  He was even helping us in our fight against al Qaeda.

So now we’ve decided to take out one of our allies.  Hmmmm.

Let’s also look at the ‘rebels’ in Libya.  Who are they?   What is so very special about them that we’ve betrayed an ally so as to befriend them?

Well, we actually know almost nothing at all about these rebels.  But we do know a couple of things.  The first is that many of them have formerly been fighting against us in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And the second thing is that they are being actively supported by al Qaeda.

Read this last paragraph again carefully, and then struggle to understand it, if you can, because I sure can’t.

Maybe Gaddafi is indeed a madman; but perhaps his madness was in renouncing his terrorist ways, in ceasing his acts against the west, and in giving up on his nuclear ambitions.  Maybe his madness was in befriending the west.

It isn’t just us.  Look at the French.  Not all that long ago, they refused to allow our planes to overfly France when President Reagan went to bomb Libya (back when Libya truly was an enemy).  And now the short little Frenchman, Sarkozy, facing an increasingly tough battle to get re-elected as President, has become the ringleader in chief, calling for action against Libya.

Just across the English Channel, the English – the same English who cozied up to Gaddafi so much that they gave him back the formerly imprisoned-for-life Pan Am bomber, took on the role of second keenest nation to do battle against Libya.

People who had formerly been cheered for persuading the Libyans to make substantial donations and financial support, eg, for educational institutions as reputable as the London School of Economics have now resigned in disgrace for the sin of accepting donations from the Gaddafi family.

How can we describe our sanity when we turn our back on a reformed bad guy, someone who is now actively befriending us, and someone we had in turn been actively welcoming back into our fold as a friendly power.  Instead, we are supporting and helping equip our mutual enemies – the people we are currently fighting against in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Don’t get me wrong, Gaddafi is no saint.  But that which threatens to follow him is likely to be much worse.

Please read this article which not only details the lunacy on our part, but also reports how al Qaeda are taking arms from Libya to use against us on other fronts.

Mar 132011
 

Is this what the Justice Dept wishes our Police Forces to become?

Your city’s finest?  Apparently not quite so fine these days, at least not if the Justice Department has its way.

The Department of Justice – increasingly a source of political correctness, and sadly less frequently a source of justice – has decided that the solution to ‘too few’ black people being in certain police departments is to lower the entrance exam standards.  Presumably if it is easier to pass the police entrance exam, more black people will qualify, and then, presumably, police departments will give priority to filling racial quotas rather than hiring the best people for the job.

Interestingly, neither the Police Officer’s Union nor the NAACP will publicly support this latest move by the Justice Department, with the Fraternal Order of Police President saying, quite rightly, ‘It becomes a safety issue to have an incompetent officer next to you in a life and death situation’.

So, quite possibly, people might die as a result of this Justice Department move, including the people who shouldn’t have been employed as police officers, their partners and colleagues, and members of the public they are supposed to be protecting.

Is this really what the Justice Department intended?  Isn’t this definitely a case of the cure being worse than the ‘problem’?

Of course, there’s nothing new to the sad truth that political correctness trumps effective policing, every which time, every which way.  But that’s no reason to accept continued interference with one of the key services a civilized society provides to itself – maintaining effective law and order.

More details here.

Mar 092011
 

Sting or Entrapment?  Mission Creep or Commendable?

Don’t get me wrong.  I detest creeps who prey on young children as much as anyone else, and feel society’s needs would be well served by lining them up against the wall and shooting them, whether it be in the balls or in the head.

But.

We have to be very careful to be just as ethical and fastidiously honorable in law enforcement actions to apprehend pedophiles as we do to arrest petty criminals.  Indeed, because the stigma attached to even the slightest hint that a person may be a pedophile is so great – and, unfortunately, the rush to convict so overwhelming, law enforcement needs to be very careful before filing such charges.

And if we ever, if we ever start to reason ‘well, this sort of crime is so bad that we should be allowed to cut corners to apprehend such terrible people’ then before we know it, those same corners will be cut for every other sort of crime and misdemeanor too.

So, how should law enforcement catch pedophiles?  Should they passively sit back, eat donuts, drink coffee, and wait for someone to file a complaint?  Or should they be more pro-active and try and do some crime prevention rather than crime detection?  I think we’d probably all agree that a pro-active approach is a good approach.

And who should be doing this?  Local police forces?  State bodies?  Federal agencies?  Because pedophiles will often travel to their victims, it is appropriate to involve not just local police but state and federal bodies too, with the FBI seeming to be the logical federal level organization.

Now.  Let’s look at a recent expose revealing how the Homeland Security Department had set up a fake website selling sex tours to – no, not to Thailand or Asia, and not even to Eastern Europe.  Instead, they were selling sex tours to, of all places, Canada (sorry, Canucks!).

Two big questions here.

First, why is the Homeland Security Department involved in setting up fake websites to catch pedophiles?  Their Mission Statement, lists five areas of responsibility :

We have five Departmental missions:

  1. Prevent terrorism and enhance security;
  2. Secure and manage our borders;
  3. Enforce and administer our immigration laws;
  4. Safeguard and secure cyberspace;
  5. Ensure resilience to disasters;

Which of these missions does setting up honey-trap fake websites for pedophiles come under?  You might think ‘safeguarding and securing cyberspace’ is perhaps the closest category, and for sure, none of the other four come close.  But if you read what they say about their cyberspace mission, it is all about protecting against hackers and cyberterrorism and protecting the internet structure, not about catching bad guys privately doing personal bad things via the internet.

So, I ask again.  How and why did the DHS take it upon itself to set up this pedophile sting operation?  This would seem to be extreme mission creep, and it isn’t as though we’re short of other agencies that can (and sometimes do) carry out similar actions.

Now for the second big question.  Let’s look at the actual form of what DHS did.  They set up a website, then trolled all through the internet, posting fake recommendations about the website to encourage people predisposed to that sort of thing to go visit it.

The difference between a sting and an entrapment is never clear or easy.  One test is that a sting merely allows a person to do something they were going to do anyway, whereas an entrapment entices or lures people to do something they might not have done if it were not for the encouragement that was part of the entrapment process.

So where on the spectrum is this fake website?  Don’t you feel it is uncomfortably close to entrapment – particularly because the website makes it really easy to go to Canada rather than travel far away to eg Asia for such perversions?

Now for the other big question.  Why should we care or worry, if the bottom line is that bad guys are taken off the streets, and our children are protected?

We should worry because it is the thin end of the wedge.  Indeed, think about this.  A government organization which has no authority or tasking to do this type of work, takes it upon itself to carry out this project.  We’re past the thin end of the wedge already – we have government agencies assuming new powers and duties that were never given to them.

So the DHS is evolving from protecting our nation against terrorism and overwhelming natural threats and weapons of mass destruction to now choosing to go after pedophiles, one by one – indeed, they’re not even trying to protect our children against these creeps, they’re trying to protect Canadian children instead!

Which begs the question – yesterday it was terrorists, natural disasters and weapons of mass destruction.  Today it is sting/entrapment operations against Americans seeking to have sex with Canadian children.  What will it be tomorrow?

And that’s the really scary question.  Our government is expanding out of control.

 

Mar 082011
 

So, what do most burglars do when breaking into a house?  Yes, they start stealing things, right?

And if they become aware of the home owner returning home, what do they do?  Hopefully, they leave quickly!

But that’s not what happened when a man in Portland, OR, broke into a home there.  Instead of going for the family silver, he went for – the shower!  And in the process of showering, he somehow became aware of the woman who lived there returning home.  So, what did he do next?

Well, you’ve probably already figured out this guy is not your normal type of home invader.  Instead of hiding, or running away, he – yes, he dialled 911 and asked the police to help, for fear of what the woman might do if she discovered him, dripping wet and buck naked, in her shower.  For whatever reason (and hopefully correctly) he feared she might have a gun, and apparently, whether armed or not, she had one or possibly two angry German Shepherds with her.

For full details of this puzzling crime, read this report.  You might want to listen to the audio transcript of the various 911 calls placed by both the burglar and the home owner, too, for extra laughs.

But if you do listen to the audio – and you should – you’ll notice one other thing.  Here’s the scene :  Inside the house is the burglar, perhaps still in the shower.  Outside the house, on the porch by the front door, is the woman, her youngish daughter, and a growing number of neighbors.

The woman wants to go in the house to get a coat, because she is cold standing outside on her porch.  The 911 operator sensibly manages to persuade her not to go back inside.

And then the first police car arrives.  But what does the policeman do?  Get this :  He waits in his car for backup to arrive, waiting until it is ‘safe’ for him to go up to the porch.  The 911 operator is quite happy to have the woman, her daughter, and various neighbors standing on the porch, but the police officer will not approach them or the house until he has backup.

Does that sound right to you?

Let’s think in general terms about this as well.  What would you do if you returned home to encounter a burglary in process?

The correct thing to do is – assuming no-one else near or dear to you is inside the house – to immediately leave your premises, and retreat to a safe location where you can observe, and call the police.  But if you have loved ones inside and at risk, you’ve got some hard decisions to make; hard decisions we’ll talk about another time.

If the burglar leaves, don’t intercept him, and have no contact with him.  Keep your distance and allow him to safely depart the scene.

Still stay out of your property though – no so much because the police don’t want you disturbing ‘the evidence’ (sadly, and depending on where you live and what happened, the police may not do much at all in terms of fingerprinting or in any other way doing ‘detective’ stuff) but rather for fear that there may still be other burglars inside.  Have the police check out your property for you before going back inside yourself.

Remember – you don’t want to corner a wild animal, and neither do you want to corner a criminal.  You’re not paid to do these things.  Leave such dangerous actions to those who are.  And even they won’t do it without backup.

Mar 072011
 

FL Turnpike sign

I don’t know when you last drove on one of the toll roads operated by the Florida Turnpike Authority, but believe you me, it can be an expensive experience.  What do they do – pave the roads with gold?

Anyway, so there you are, pulling up to the ticket collector’s box, and you’re due to pay maybe a $7 or greater toll.  The good news is that the Florida Turnpike website says

Customers can pay their toll with cash (U.S. Currency) on Turnpike facilities.

That’s kinda sorta what you’d expect, right?  Indeed, they won’t even take a credit card.  If you don’t have one of their Sun Pass transponders, your only other choice is to reach into your wallet and pull out some green.

But – wait.  You’ve got a couple of dollar bills, and then nothing smaller than a twenty.  No problem, you pass it over to the toll collector, and they tell you you’ve got to show some photo ID and refuse to let you leave the toll booth until you do.

If you object, they threaten to call the Florida Highway Patrol to presumably arrest you or force you to show ID.

And if you complain to the Turnpike management, they’ll deny it ever happens.

But a FL resident took a series of recordings to prove how widespread the practice of demanding ID before changing $20, $50 and $100 bills was, and subsquent document discovery action against the Turnpike Authority showed them scrambling to erect a facade of obfuscation and lies about the program.

Here’s a fascinating expose on what has been going on – be sure to watch the video in the top right as well as to read the article.

What is not explained by the Turnpike Authority is why they did it.  Sure – there’s an excuse – to catch counterfeiters; but in the 885 occasions when they received counterfeit bills, they never once passed the information about who presented the bill to them, to either the local authorities or the US Secret Service.  And a much simpler approach would be to do what any store does – to simply use a counterfeit detecting pen on the banknotes.

Some bully boy is on his own little power trip, just because he can.

The Authority is now anticipating being on the receiving end of a huge class action lawsuit that could run into hundreds of millions of dollars.  But where will this money come from?  From the citizens of FL – the same people who have been bullied illegally by the Turnpike Authority into unnecessarily showing ID.

How many people will lose their jobs over this?  You know the answer to this already, don’t you – no-one.  Will anyone lose their pension?  No, almost certainly not.  And that’s the real outrage.  Public service employees shamefully and shamelessly abuse their jobs, with no negative consequences whatsoever.

 

Feb 212011
 

F-14 Tomcat, 1970-2006, a glorious plane deservedly made famous in Top Gun

Okay, sadly there’s nothing particularly new about how all our armed services have shame-facedly capitulated to the overwhelming force of political correctness.

After all, the two main reasons the Fort Hood muslim terrorist was so successful (13 killed, 29 wounded) were :

(a)  Because soldiers aren’t trusted with firearms.  Yes, read that again slowly – we don’t trust our soldiers with firearms, even on their own base.

(b)  Because the terrorist was a muslim terrorist.  If he were a ‘white supremacist’ the authorities would have locked him up tighter than a drum, ages before he got close to the base with his weapons, but because he was a muslim terrorist, well, it was necessary to embrace diversity.

Anyway, read this article published by a reporter who can always be relied upon to take a strategic bit of leaking and play it up in the press.

It seems that the foundation set up to commemorate the Navy’s 100th anniversary of military aviation saw fit to celebrate the role of women fliers – such incredibly important events in naval aviation history as ‘the first female operations officer’ were featured much more prominently than things which they largely ignored (a little event in South East Asia, for example, or a slightly larger event all around the world which started at Pearl Harbor).

The ridiculousness of this is well stated by former Marine aviator Roy Stafford, who is quoted in the article as saying

The true facts are that women’s contribution to naval aviation has been minimal to nonexistent for 80 of the first 100 years.  The simple truth is they were not there, not World War I, not World War II, not Korea nor Vietnam.  Men who pushed the limits of mankind to levels never before reached, to relegate them to footnote status while elevating the social agenda is a disservice to all who went before them.

Well said, Roy.  Semper Fi.

Feb 152011
 

The Mossad Emblem

You might have heard of the apparent assassination of a high ranking member of Hamas by what was subsequently claimed to be a team of Mossad agents from Israel, who intercepted the Hamas terrorist in Dubai.  This took place in January 2010.

Here now is a fascinating and very detailed account of what transpired, that makes for reading that is as interesting as any James Bond story ever was.

But – a word of caution.  As well researched and detailed as this article seems to be, 99% of the information in the story comes from a single source – the Dubai police.  And they are hardly a dispassionate impartial source of information, and as the article lightly touches on, there are some surprising gaps in the record provided by the Dubai authorities.

Don’t be too quick to rush to judgment as to the success or failure of this mission, and as to whether the group of people who allegedly conducted the ‘hit’ were truly professional or not.  A lot of armchair experts have been fast to criticize all sorts of aspects of what has subsequently become public.

The bottom line is that none of these people have been identified.  They all safely left Dubai and none of them have been arrested, and the only information we have comes from the Dubai authorities (although of course this last point is somewhat unavoidable).  While it is easy to criticize some aspects of the operation afterwards, the fact is that their mission security was never compromised in-country; they achieved their objective, and they safely exfiltrated subsequently.  And the possible trail of video ‘evidence’ has not caused any subsequent identification of any of the operatives.

Indeed, it would have been a complete success were it not for the suspicions of Hamas who sent someone to identify the dead body and who then created a high level investigation into what, until then, had been deemed an unsuspicious ordinary death.

One could even wonder if the very obvious links from the fake passports back to Israel do not in fact imply that rather than the Mossad being careless/complacent (a criticism very rarely leveled at the organization) if this wasn’t a ‘false flag’ operation designed to implication the Mossad in something that may have instead been sectional warfare between Hamas and other factions of the Palestinian groups.

It is also unexplained how the team of people were able to get to Dubai two days before their target – obviously there was a source inside Hamas that was feeding information to the operatives, another factor which tends to even handedly point to other Palestinian groups as much as it does to the Mossad.

You can also see the three videos the Dubai police compiled from surveillance cameras all around Dubai.  Here’s the first of the Youtube compilations, the other two can be seen in links from the first.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JghQ0ZcRfQs

Bottom line – we can’t be sure exactly what (or who) we are seeing, and how much is truth and how much is fabrication.  But it is, nonetheless, a fascinating insight into part of what goes on beneath the surface of the real world.