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

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A K9....

With a real personality!

This is too cool to not share!

Monday, April 16, 2018

A sign of liberty in the Rocky Mountain High state....

I lived in Colorado from 1989 to 1992, and like California, the state's physical beauty is breathtaking. I took the family there this last summer and they were astonished at the Rocky Mountains, Pike's Peak, and Garden of the Gods, among other things.

However, over the last 25 years Colorado has been invaded by libtards from states like California, and unfortunately they are bringing their crazed ideas with them. And Boulder is known for it's crazy ideas, and now they've passed another one. They want to ban "assault rifles," whatever the hell that is.

I found this article oner the weekend and it's interesting:

To Boulder’s anti-gun bigots, I will not comply with your hate law

My home town of Boulder is about to define me as a criminal if I do not disarm or move.

Let this column serve as a public notice, I will not comply.

I was raised in Colorado and moved to Boulder in 1984, graduated from CU there and stayed. I proudly represented Boulder on the RTD Board of Directors. My late daughter rests in a Boulder cemetery. I plan to be laid to rest beside her when my time comes. All that to say my roots are deep in my hometown.

But to be who I am, to be true to my values I hold dear, I must choose to leave or go to jail.

Boulder prides itself on promoting inclusion, diversity and tolerance. And there was a time it lived up to those now-empty words — a time when Boulder was diverse enough to welcome such opposites as the beatnik, Buddhist Naropa Institute and Soldier of Fortune magazine.

But it’s getting very clear Boulder doesn’t want my type in their lily-white, homogeneous town...

Remember, it's inclusive and tolerant for their kind of people, not for others.
Boulder City Council is on the verge of passing a sweeping anti-gun ordinance, laughably called an assault weapons ban. So loosely written, this ordinance would ban the first gun I ever owned, a simple .22 caliber rifle, the same type most farm boys get on their twelfth birthday. Its sin? It can be fitted with a pistol-grip or a folding stock...

...The Anti-Defamation League and The Gay and Lesbian Fund sponsors a program plastered throughout Boulder schools call “No Place For Hate.” They ask students to make a resolution of respect: “I will seek to gain understanding of those who are different from myself.”

But Boulder’s council has done nothing to understand the culture and values of gun owners and little to understand much more than the cosmetic aspects of guns.

Boulder has become a place for hate.

Should this ordinance pass, it will require me to permanently move my guns out of Boulder. What a spectacularly privileged, Boulderesque idea. Only in Boulder and Aspen is there an assumption that you’re wealthy enough to have a second home or storage in another city.

You can’t keep your soon-to-be-illegal guns at a friend’s house in another city either. The new 2013 anti-gun state laws say you can only do that for three days before you’ll both be criminals.

If I can’t afford to move my guns out, which I can’t, I am to destroy them or surrender them. There is a possibility council might take pity and let me keep my own property by creating the state’s first database of people whose values they do not understand or respect...

...Jon Caldara, a Denver Post columnist, is president of the Independence Institute, a libertarian-conservative think tank in Denver.

The rest of the article is worth reading, but I'm drawn to the part where a city is requiring a citizen to turn in a legal item, a firearm, or destroy them. They are denying a citizen his personal property without compensation. Granted, I have not read the full text of the proposed legislation, but this seems like a serious violation of the Constitution's "takings" clause. Per Amendment V, "...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Then again, when has the Constitution been a hindrance to liberals.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Now for something classy.....

Last week I posted on 2001: A Space Odyssey, and it's stunning opening music, Also sprach Zarathustra. Well I was looking around and found this incredible version of the song:

And while I was there, found this version of Ride of the Valkyries:

And The Empire's March, also know as Darth Vader's theme:

And can you review classical music without this!

Happy Friday the 13th and have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

What's going on in the World Today 180412


U.S. Naval Update Map: April 12, 2018

U.S. Air Force To Kick Off Competition For New A-10 Wings

Mar 27, 2018 Lara Seligman | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
President Donald Trump’s signature on the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill last week gave the U.S. Air Force the green light to move forward with re-winging the A-10 Warthog so the venerable attack aircraft can fly into the 2030s.

The fiscal 2018 appropriations act includes $103 million for the Air Force to restart production of A-10 wings—a necessary step to keep the aging fleet flying for at least the next decade. Out of a fleet of about 280 A-10s that need new wings, Boeing has re-winged about 170, but the remaining 109 aircraft are still flying with their original wings from the 1970s...

Secretive X-37B Military Space Plane Wings Past 200 Days in Orbit
By Leonard David, Space.com's Space Insider Columnist

That mission, known as Orbital Test Vehicle-5 (OTV-5), began Sept. 7, 2017, when the robotic spacecraft launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.

According to Air Force officials, one payload flying on OTV-5 is the Advanced Structurally Embedded Thermal Spreader, or ASETS-11, of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). This cargo is testing experimental electronics and oscillating heat pipes for long durations in the space environment. [The X-37B Space Plane: 6 Surprising Facts]

The X-37B space plane has a payload bay about the size of a pickup-truck bed, which can be outfitted with a robotic arm.
The X-37B space plane has a payload bay about the size of a pickup-truck bed, which can be outfitted with a robotic arm.
Credit: Boeing




New Version Of Turkish Anka UAV Emerges

LONDON—Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has developed and flown a heavily modified version of its Anka medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned air system equipped with a signals or communications intelligence payload.

Images of the platform, believed to be called the Anka-I, were uploaded to social media sites by Turkey’s defense procurement agency SSM on March 24 and quickly deleted, but not before several users had saved the images and re-uploaded them.

The Anka-I is believed to be a development of TAI’s Anka-B, introducing additional performance and endurance over the Anka-A development aircraft. But it can only be operated through line-of-sight operation because it lacks the beyond-line-of-sight satellite communications system of the Anka-S model currently entering service with the Turkish air force.

The Anka-I is believed to be using a sub-suite of Aselsan’s Multi-Int intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensor suite developed for multimission aircraft, replacing the standard electro-optical camera and side-looking airborne radar of other versions. The aircraft carries 14 different aerials around the fuselage as well as large cheek fairings containing four sensor apertures. It is unclear whether the cheek fairings are on both sides of the aircraft, as the images online only show the aircraft on the starboard side...

Vietnam: A Coast Guard Counter in the South China Sea

As China continues to steadily ramp up its quasi-military forces, countries around the South China Sea are responding by strengthening their own maritime enforcement capabilities in the competition for sea lanes, natural resources and disputed territory. On April 11, Vietnam's National Assembly released a draft bill outlining potential changes to the authority, functions and structure of the country's coast guard. Significantly, the proposal would empower the coast guard with greater flexibility on when to open fire at sea, raising the risk of skirmishes in waters where the undefined boundaries already lead to fishing conflicts and other disputes...


Merkel’s Military Revival

Germany is poised to become Europe’s first line of defense, but facing down a revanchist Russia will require more spending and better coordination among NATO allies.

For months after Germany’s September 2017 election, it was unclear whether Chancellor Angela Merkel could form a viable new government. The widespread anxiety over the outcome of the coalition talks finally dissipated after the Social Democratic Party (SPD) decided on March 4 to join the government, cementing Merkel’s continued leadership. With political instability and populism rising across Europe, the formation of a new coalition government in Germany led to universal expressions of relief.

But if Germany wishes to achieve its ambitious regional and global leadership goals, it will need to enhance the ability of its armed forces, the Bundeswehr, to act abroad. And this will require a substantial increase in national defense spending. Germany has long lagged in defense spending despite being Europe’s largest economy.Germany has long lagged in defense spending despite being Europe’s largest economy. Among NATO allies — all of whom are treaty-bound to meet a mandated annual defense target of 2 percent of GDP — Germany ranks 17th in the EU at 1.2 percent and is nowhere close to meeting this target at present. Over the past two decades, German defense spending has gradually decreased to the current level of $45.9 billion, which renders Germany largely unable to project force abroad...


Mexico: Revised NAFTA Details Likely In May

Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo said there is an 80 percent chance that NAFTA parties could reach an agreement in principle by the first week of May, adding that progress was made when the United States backed down from its 50 percent domestic content requirement and 85 percent regional content requirement for automobiles, Inside U.S. Trade reported April 9. Guajardo also noted the urgency for the United States to present a plan for a revised trade agreement to the U.S. Congress, before midterm elections in the fall. Though U.S. President Donald Trump hoped to present a revised NAFTA deal at the Summit of the Americas from April 13 to April 14 in Lima, it is more likely that a preliminary deal could be revealed.










Everyone Loves Israel Now

There's much more to the Arab world's newfound friendship with Israel than ganging up on Iran.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Arab world today is how relatively uncontroversial Israel has become. During 11 days of travel through Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, we heard the Israeli-Palestinian conflict mentioned only once. This is a dramatic shift from decades during which hostility to Israel served as perhaps the most important unifier of often fractious Arab governments.

But if the change is real, it’s also very easily misunderstood. At a conference held at Brandeis University’s Crown Center for Middle East Studies last year, an Arab colleague was asked, “When will Arab states finally accept Israel?” His concise, and accurate, response: “When they realize that they are better off with Israel there than had Israel not been there...”


The US-DPRK Summit: Assessing Chinese Anxieties

The visit by the mysterious North Korean visitor on Monday raises wide speculation about what China and North Korea are jointly planning ahead of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s summits with South Korean President Moon in April and with US President Trump in May. Information about the meeting is scarce. And the visit is probably best characterized as the convergence of Chinese desire to remain relevant and North Korean desire to manipulate US and China against each other. It is a direct result of the announcement of a Trump-Kim Summit earlier this month and reflects the Chinese maneuver to address the potential exclusion of China in a deal that could impact the future of not only the Korean Peninsula, but also the region.

When news broke on March 8 that President Trump had agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the whole world was taken by surprise. In China, the announcement evoked two different reactions. Among Chinese foreign policy wonks, there was palpable anxiety over the perception that the Chinese government had been reduced to the role of an interested bystander and that its strategic interests would be sacrificed in the US-DPRK bilateral negotiations. Officially, China’s reaction appears to be much more positive. In President Xi Jinping’s phone conversation with President Trump on March 10, he hoped that “US and North Korea will initiate their engagement and dialogue as early as possible and strive for a positive result.” The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a positive statement...

Bad History Makes for Flawed Policy

“North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the United States,” President-elect Donald Trump tweeted a day after Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Day speech last year. “It won’t happen.”

Now the North Korean leader has made Trump’s pledge possible. He has stopped testing just short of demonstrating a reliable thermonuclear weapon and an ICBM with a reentry vehicle capable of delivering it. If President Trump is prepared to negotiate in earnest and live up to his commitments, he might make his wish come true—but not if he heeds advice to confront Kim at the summit with an ultimatum to disarm or else. John Bolton may offer that advice in the mistaken belief that brandishing sanctions and threatening war gives Trump leverage, but Kim retains far greater leverage by resuming tests.,,


Syria: What to Make of Russian Threats Against a U.S.-Led Strike

Russia's explicit threat issued on April 11 to shoot down missiles and target deployment sites in the event of a U.S.-led military strike on Syria has caused a great deal of consternation. The statement fits with a Russian pattern of threats against U.S. assets in the war-torn country, and it is not likely to change U.S. intentions to punish the Syrian government for its purported use of chemical weapons against a rebel-held area. The latest developments appear to be just another chapter in the continuing back-and-forth between the countries over Syria; they include Russian moves to cut communication avenues with the United States, the United States responding to ameliorate the issue, then the two sides eventually returning to talks over deconfliction, where the two sides coordinate military action to avoid incidents between them. Those talks are where Moscow has routinely tried to steer the dialogue away from battlefield tactics and toward the overarching strategic issues between it and Washington...

...At this point, we are not seeing signs of U.S. carriers surging into the region. Of the carrier groups currently deployed, the USS John C. Stennis is training in the Pacific Ocean and the USS Theodore Roosevelt is conducting a port visit in Manila, Philippines. The USS Harry S. Truman, which left April 11 from its home port in Norfolk, Virginia, cannot realistically be in position to participate in a Syrian strike for an additional four or five days. The present force structure implies that any U.S. response will remain a punitive strike with a limited range of targets. Delay of the strike to allow more assets such as the Truman to move into place could portend an intent to expand the target set or conduct a more sustained strike over time for greater effect.”


The Signs, Options and Risks of a U.S. Strike on Syria
- The United States is building a military coalition to deter Syria's use of chemical weapons.

- This coalition may conduct a broader operation with a bigger target list than the U.S. strikes conducted in April 2017, but it would not be intended to change the civil war's frontlines.

- Like 2017's strikes, any potential operation will try to avoid Russian casualties and mitigate risk of further political escalation for the coalition.

The United States is building a coalition against Syria to respond to an alleged chemical weapons attack on April 7 against civilians and rebel forces in Douma, near Damascus. The primary objective of an operation against Syria will be to deter the further use of chemical weapons, something that a punitive missile strike launched last April by the United States did only temporarily...

Saudi Arabia shoots down missiles from Yemen; one dead from debris

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi air defenses shot down seven ballistic missiles fired by Yemen’s Houthi militia on Sunday, with debris killing a man in what was the first death in the capital during the Saudi-led coalition’s three-year military campaign in Yemen.

Saudi forces destroyed three missiles over northeastern Riyadh shortly before midnight, as well as others fired at the southern cities of Najran, Jizan and Khamis Mushait, the coalition said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

Debris from the missiles fell on a home in Riyadh, killing an Egyptian resident and wounding two other Egyptians, said coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki, according to SPA.

Reuters reporters in Riyadh heard several booms and saw smoke in the air. Another witness said he saw a long stream of light followed by additional explosions....




Motive Matters: Why the Austin Bomber Wasn't a Terrorist

By Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor

Although the wave of fear caused by Austin bomber Mark Anthony Conditt subsided after he took his life with one of his own bombs as police closed in on him, a great deal of debate continues over whether he should be labeled a terrorist. Unfortunately, this is a controversy that arises nearly every time there is a case of mass violence in which the perpetrator did not have an affiliation with, or act in support of, a terrorist organization.

In the Austin case, Conditt left a lengthy recording in which he reportedly confessed to the bombing spree and even outlined how he constructed each of the devices he deployed. However, what he did not provide in that message was any indication of motive based on ideology, hate or politics. In fact, according to an account of the recording published by the Austin American-Statesman, authorities have noted that Conditt felt no remorse for the killings, describing himself as a psychopath.
Battlefield Biotech: The Rising Competition Between China and the U.S.

Biotechnologies, especially gene-editing techniques, are evolving at a rapid pace. China's domestic sector is catching up with the West most rapidly in the area of health care.

China's compulsion to overcome environmental and demographic constraints will ensure it continues to give priority to developing its domestic biotechnology sector.

The West, in turn, will watch for shifts in Chinese policy that would allow for foreign participation in the country, while moving to protect its intellectual property there..
Boeing, Rolls-Royce Back Reaction Hypersonic Engine Developer

LOS ANGELES—Boeing and Rolls-Royce have joined BAE Systems as key investors in UK-based hypersonic engine developer Reaction Engines.

The emergence of Boeing and Rolls-Royce as new backers in the latest round of strategic fundraising represents a significant endorsement for Reaction, which is designing and testing an air-breathing, combined-cycle rocket engine concept. Dubbed Sabre, the rocket burns liquid hydrogen with oxygen it extracts from the atmosphere rather than from onboard tanks, enabling long-range hypersonic cruise as well as, potentially, cheaper access to space.

Reaction says the £26.5 million ($37.5 million) in new funding also includes additional investment from BAE Systems, which injected £20.6 million into the company in 2015. Other investors in this round include Baillie Gifford Asset Management and Woodford Investment Management. Reaction says the funding, which will take the form of a subscription for new shares, is still subject to the approval of existing shareholders...

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Officer Down

Deputy Sheriff Alexis "Thunder" Eagle Locklear
Scotland County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina
End of Watch: Thursday, March 1, 2018
Age: 24
Tour: 9 months
Badge: 143

Deputy Sheriff Alexis Locklear was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Old Wire Road, near Arch Mclean Road in Wagram, just after 7:00 pm.

He was responding to assist another officer who was involved in vehicle pursuit when his vehicle left the road into a wooded area.

Deputy Locklear had served with the Scotland County Sheriff's Office for nine months. He is survived by a 4-year-old child.
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, April 9, 2018

America 2018.....

God help us all!!!!

As a patrol sergeant, a common event in my day is going by with a unit because someone wants to "Speak with a supervisor..." Hey, I got the stripes, it comes with the job, got it.

But you know it's gonna be a headache when I speak with the man on the scene by phone, and he says, "Sarge, we arrested this dude for criminal trespass, and his mother wants to talk to you...." I know I'm going to regret this, but, I'll ask, "How old is the suspect?"

My officer responds, with a slight tone of amusement in his voice, "The dude's forty...."

After arriving and seeing the suspect in the back seat, I explain to Mom that it's not up to her, or him, or the man who called on his. The district attorney's office has accepted charges and we have to book him. She seems to understand, and I keep my comments to myself about a forty year told needing mom to handle his business.

Well, after he started screaming, "I'm mental, I gotta go to the hospital! I've not taken my meds! I'm bi-polar, schizophrenic, I'm ready to kill myself!," and starts to slam his head against the divider in the patrol SUV. I notice he likely doesn't know how to balance a checkbook, but he knows the right words to trigger a mental health evaluation before he goes to jail. And as much as I really don't care if his overacting will result in his splitting headache or other injury to himself, he might damage the vehicle, and that we can't afford right now. Also, if he bust his head, not much will flow out, but I will likely be writing a lot of paperwork.

So the officers and I have to pull him out, he keeps kicking and screaming, and after his next piece of Shatner like overacting, he screams at the top of his lungs, "I can't breath!" He ain't that bright, because if he had any knowledge of the human body, he would know you can't scream when you can't breath. After reminding him that the act has already been done by Eric Gardner, and I then mentioned (screamed actually) he was on camera. I find that calms a lot of suspects down, knowing they can't lie about what's happening.

After the medics check him out, he goes to get evaluated at the psych center, and I get to write another report because of an idiot. If he had just cooperated he would be out in a day, now he's gotta sit in a hospital for a day or two, then get goes to jail for trial, etc.

I am annoyed at this stupidity, but I remind myself. If it wasn't for stupid people, I would be out of a job!

Here's to a better week!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Officer Down

Sergeant Mark J. Baserman
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Pennsylvania
End of Watch Monday, February 26, 2018
Age 60
Tour 11 years
Incident Date Thursday, February 15, 2018

Sergeant Mark Baserman succumbed to injuries sustained when he was attacked by an inmate at State Correctional Institute-Somerset on February 15th, 2018.

The inmate, who was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder, attacked Sergeant Baserman as he sat the officer's desk in a housing unit's day room. Earlier in the day, Sergeant Baserman had confiscated a towel being used by the inmate to obscure his bunk. The inmate punched Sergeant Baserman in the head numerous times then continued to kick him in the head after he fell to the ground.

Another officer who came to Sergeant Baserman's aid was also attacked before the inmate was subdued.

Sergeant Baserman was transported to a local hospital where he remained until succumbing to his injuries.

Sergeant Baserman was a U.S Army veteran and had served with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections for 11 years. He is survived by his wife, stepdaughter, step-grandchildren, 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. 

Time for some Also sprach Zarathustra...

More commonly known as the theme to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that.

I've watched this movie countless times and it's always great to me, a true classic. Orders of magnitude better than the 1984 sequel, 2010: The Year We Made Contact. Damn good book, but they destroyed the story in the movie.

This week was the 50th anniversary of the movie premiering, and it broke many of the stereotypes of science fiction. It was not a "B movie," didn't have a shoe string budget, the plot line and script were excellent, up and coming actors (if not "A list") were cast in the roles. They had to spend a fortune on models as computer generated special effects were not even a pipe dream at that time. But if you watch this short interview with the actors, there are many items we take for granted today that this movie, in the late 1960s, forecast, like tablet computers and Skype.

There is no doubt this movie inspired other movie makers, such as a young George Lucas, who would write a movie for a generation growing up without heroes.

If you want a few more stills of the movie, this article from SF Gate is great.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

This is what we call fake news....

In the days after Hurricane Harvey hit last August, we had serious problems with looting. Personally, I will cut people some slack if they are lifting food, water, baby supplies, even some cloths. We were in a disaster area and food and water were in short supply in some areas.

Now this is interesting. The local ABC affiliate is reporting on a looter who was caught in the days after Harvey hit. Now take a look at the headline, which, for many people, will be the only part of the story they look at:

Looter gets 20 years for stealing cigarettes and TVs during Hurricane Harvey

OK, a man is stealing cigarettes right after a Cat 5 hurricane hits the Houston area. Now some of the details left out, unless you real the full article:
The Harris County District Attorney's Office said Gamelin was caught stealing televisions and cigarettes from a store on Silber Road during the height of the storm.

Gamelin was on parole for a drug conviction when he took more than $5,000 worth of loot.

Police said Gamelin used a Ford van to smash open the cart doorway. He then climbed through the hole and removed a television and tobacco products from the store...

OK, first the man is on parole, so I think a felony of burglary will will be enough to violate that. Or the fact he has likely committed felony level of criminal mischief. Or it's likely (assumption on my part) he has been convicted of theft twice before, and the third time is a state jail felony.
Perhaps our news readers should get a better knowledge of the law before they read about it.

Officer Down

Sergeant Mujahid Ramzziddin
Prince George's County Police Department, Maryland
End of Watch Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Age 51
Tour 19 years
Badge 2770

Sergeant Mujahid Ramzziddin was shot and killed at approximately 10:15 am while attempting to protect a female subject who was being attacked in a domestic violence incident in a neighborhood near the intersection of Chadds Ford Drive and Chadsey Lane.

Sergeant Ramzziddin, who was off duty and lived nearby, attempted to protect the female and confronted the man who was armed with a shotgun. The subject, who had a protective order issued against him, fatally shot Sergeant Ramzziddin before stealing his service weapon and fleeing in a vehicle.

Responding officers pursued the man approximately 10 miles before he stopped and attempted to flee into a nearby wooded area. The man was shot and killed by pursuing officers after shooting at them.

Sergeant Ramzziddin had served with the Prince George's County Police Department for 14 years and had previously served with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, for five years. He was awarded the county’s Medal of Valor in 2006 for his courage while engaging an armed suspect. He was a veteran of the District of Columbia Air National Guard and U.S. Marine Corps.

Sergeant Ramzziddin is survived by his wife and four children.

He was posthumously promoted from the rank of Corporal to the rank of Sergeant.

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. 

Why do I have a real bad feeling about this...

Oh, yea, it's from California.

All my life I've heard a saying, "You want to see America in 20 years, look at California today...." Well, in twenty years, I'll be retired from law enforcement. Thank God!

The latest from the Cereal State, the land of fruits, flakes and nuts:

Proposal would limit when Calif. police can shoot

‘Necessary’ force suggested; cops wary of change

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Several lawmakers and the family of a 22-year-old unarmed black man who was fatally shot by police proposed Tuesday that California become the first state to significantly restrict when officers can open fire.

The legislation would change the standard from using “reasonable force” to “necessary force.”

That means officers would be allowed to shoot only if “there were no other reasonable alternatives to the use of deadly force” to prevent imminent serious injury or death,said Lizzie Buchen, legislative advocate for the American Civil Liberties Union, which is among the groups behind the measure...

So a cop hate group is pushing this with the largest cop hate group, the Democratic party. No, no issue with this.

...“We need to ensure that our state policy governing the use of deadly force stresses the sanctity of human life and is only used when necessary,” said Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, a San Diego Democrat who introduced the bill. “Deadly force can be used, but only when it is completely necessary.”

The goal is to encourage officers to try to defuse confrontations or use less deadly weapons, said Democratic Assemblyman Kevin McCarty of Sacramento, who is co-authoring the legislation.

“We should no longer be the target practice or victims of a shoot first, ask questions later police force,” said Assemblyman Chris Holden, chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus.

I am recalling the great quote of Al Pacino in Scent of a Women, "What a crock of s^&t!" The goal is not to defuse confrontations, the goal is to stop cops from using firearms, and letting crooks go. The people ain't stupid, they know if a cop is worried about being fired if he is doing his job, he will not do his job. He will "Go Galt," answer calls for service, but otherwise not stick their neck out. They have lives, families to support, mortgages to pay. If they do nothing but the bare minimum, they will make it to retirement.
But some in law enforcement called the proposal irresponsible and unworkable.

Officers already use deadly force only when necessary and are taught to try to defuse dangerous situations first when possible, said Ed Obayashi, a Plumas County sheriff’s deputy and special prosecutor who trains officers and testifies in court on police use of force.

Tinkering with legal protections for police could make it more difficult to hire officers and be dangerous because they may hesitate when confronting an armed suspect, threatening themselves and bystanders, Obayashi said...

And that is the purpose sir.

Now I find this interesting:
Two Sacramento officers chased Clark, who was suspected of breaking into cars, into his grandparents’ darkened backyard and opened fire within seconds and without identifying themselves as police because they said they thought he had a gun. Investigators found only a cellphone...

Mr. Clark didn't know two men, in police uniforms, with badges, flashlights, pistol belts, etc were not cops. Got it. Please, give me a break. The investigation will show what it will, but implying Clark didn't know they were cops is another "...crock of s^&t!" Oh, I repeat myself, this is AP.

Now here's another great legal mind giving a YouTube/Facebook training opinion on use of deadly force:
Changing the legal standard might mean that more people confronted by police “could go home. They may be able to wake up” the next day, said Clark’s uncle, family spokesman Curtis Gordon.

“A life may be saved in that blink” of time before officers open fire, he said. “If you feel some sort of repercussion, you may act a little more cautiously.”

Mr Gordon, you are somewhat right, but not for the reason you think. A "blink" is all the time a cop often has to make a decision to fire or not. And your nephew put them into that position. If he had simply show the officers his hands, not run, put both in the mindset that they were pursuing a guilty man, this could have been averted. But if you get what you want, you can live with it. The cops won't pay for it. The politicians, living in their gated communities won't pay for it. The police will simply pull back, and the wolves will move back into the neighborhoods to prey on you and your family. Congratulations, you got what you wanted.

Again, "What a crock of s^&t!"

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Cops must go in....

American Thinker was good enough to post another post of mine. Please, let me know what you think.

What Mass Shootings Mean for Good Police Work 
In the weeks after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre (please don't call it a tragedy), the concepts of service and leadership have been churning in my head. As the events have unfolded, we've discovered four school resource officers were ordered not to enter, but to hold outside and secure a perimeter. 
I started my police career a couple of years before Columbine.  One of the first things said to me in the academy is that police are not military, but paramilitary.  We share some of the same characteristics (e.g. uniform, firearms, legal authority to use force), but we were civilian authority, not military.  And one of the points put into us at an early part of training was that when you had someone shooting inside a building, secure the area and wait for supervision, instructions, SWAT, etc. 
That all changed on April 20, 1999. 
Anyone who's served knows that when the shooting starts, the tunnel vision begins, and you instantly go back to your training.  The officers in Columbine did what they were trained to do: secure the scene and wait for specialized assistance.  And in the months and years after that, police all over the country knew that the training, or doctrine, if you will, must adjust to a new threat.  If you have someone actively shooting at civilians in an area, officers must immediately engage to stop him.  And as we look into a brave new world, we know we are at a disadvantage. 
A fact of life and war is that the aggressor sets the rules. Some of the characteristics of active shooters: 
1. They are knowledgable of the target area, while the responders may not be.  Klebold and Harris attended Columbine High School for years and knew its layout.  Omar Mateen scouted out the Pulse Nightclub in the weeks prior to his attack in 2016.  Syed Rizwan Farook worked at the San Bernardino County health department for five years prior to the 2015 attack. 
2. Active shooters are motivated not by money, but by hatred or rage against perceived offenses.  The shooters in Columbine were the "outside" group.  Elliot Rodger, sometimes known as the "Virgin Killer," attacked sorority women for their rejection of his advances.  Micah Johnson's murder of five cops in Dallas was in response to perceived unjustified shootings of black men by police officers. 
3. Escape may not be a goal.  In Columbine, both boys apparently planned to end their lives, as did Johnson in Dallas.  However, in Las Vegas, it appears that  Stephen Paddock planned to escape, but killed himself when he knew he would be captured.  This will make stopping and negotiating with the shooters unlikely to stop the killing, as was shown in Dallas and Orlando. 
4. The aggressor selects his location to his advantage.  We've had active shooter situations before Columbine.  On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman climbed the clock tower at the University of Texas and started shooting.  He murdered 13 and wounded 30 (and no, it was not with an AR-15 on "full semi-automatic" mode, but with a bolt action rifle).  In February 1997, Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr. and Emil Dechebal Matasareanu, equipped with body armor, attempted to rob a Bank of America in North Hollywood, initially overpowering the first responders. 
As the threats have changed, so have our responses.  Since the turn of the century, police agencies all over the country have adapted a military style of clearing a building, as well as closing and engaging a shooter.  Some question if this training and guidance was countermanded in the Douglas High School shooting.  According to recent reports, a Broward County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) captain ordered four school resource officers to set up a perimeter, instead of engaging, which is what the BCSO states it trains its deputies to do and is in accordance with agency policy. 
In the aftermath of Parkland, we as police must look at the events that unfolded last month.  It's incumbent to review the actions taken, improve on what was done well, and correct what has to be rectified.  Initial reaction, tactics, etc. are all subject to scrutiny.  One thing must also not be overlooked: as one friend and fellow sergeant said it, "if you're not willing to go in, turn in the badge." 
I'll be the first to say a cop (or a soldier, for that matter) doesn't know how he will react until the bullets start flying.  But one thing is certain: you must have your mindset right.  I've read in unconfirmed internet sources that Deputy Peterson was not wearing body armor.  If that is correct, he was not ready for the worst case scenario, which is what he is paid to be prepared for. 
Another point I will bring out goes back to the men at Columbine.  An academy classmate ran our agency's active shooter training a few years ago, and he made an insightful point about the officers responding to an active shooter: "I'm not going to second-guess them, but we all have a badge, and we entered this profession knowing what was expected of us.  And people have to know we will do what has to be done."  Four SROs followed the orders of a captain while there were kids being murdered.  They will have to live with their consciences, wondering from this point forward, "Should I have just said, 'Screw you, I've got to look myself in the mirror and there are kids in there'?" 
Last week, I listened to a podcast called The Art of Manliness.  The host was interviewing Dale Dye, a retired Marine captain about his new book.  Dye mentioned another thing I have been pondering since. 
"On the day, at Quantico, Virginia, the day that I had been through Officer's Candidate School, and been though the basic school, and I was going to be commissioned, I remember that morning getting up and getting my dress uniform ready, to go down and fall into formation and be commissioned with the other candidates, and I was shaving and I looked myself in the mirror and said, "You know, when the day comes that you can't look your people in the eye and say, 'Follow me, it is necessary that we die'...when that day comes, it's the day you're not leading anymore, and you should quit." 
It is a bit dramatic, but it is true.  Fellow peace officers, if the day comes that you cannot look yourself in the mirror and say, "I will risk life and career for the people I serve," it is time to turn in the badge. 
Michael A. Thiac is a police patrol sergeant and a retired Army intelligence officer.  When not patrolling the streets, he can be found on A Cop's Watch.  

Monday, March 26, 2018

Life, Liberty and Netanyahu

I'm a long time listener of Mark Levin on his radio show, and I love his books. His expose of the courts, Men in Black, is required reading for anyone who has faith in the third branch of the federal government. Looking in detail at the men who have occupied the courts in the past (or the men and women who do now) will make you shudder.

Now Levin has recently started a one hour interview program on Fox News called Life, Liberty and Levin. He states this is based on the Firing Line series on PBS, hosted by the late great William F. Buckley. His second episode was an interview with Prime Minister Benjamin "Bebe" Netanyahu.

I've been a long time admirer of Prime Minister Netanyahu, as he has been the lone voice in the wilderness over the past decade, especially in the greatest threat in the Middle East, Iran. A very vocal opponent of the Iran nuke deal, he had the audacity to accept the invitation of the U. S. House of Representatives and actually explained this (then) proposed plan was an absolute disaster. A simple case of reality, if Iran is not working on nuclear weapons, why is it working on intcrcontenantial ballistic missiles? The is no reason to build them except to put a nuke on top. I wonder why the liberals were so upset, I mean he was only preforming a job the Americans were not preforming at the time. Leader of the free world.

Levin speaks to the Prime Minister for an hour and Real Clear Politics has a good transcript of the highlights here. You can, if you sign in, get the full interview here. One part not in the extract below is a question on how Netanyahu is a strong admirer of Sir Winston Churchill, and Levin asked why. Netanyahu has a great point to ponder, "Imagine how history would be different if Churchill was prime minister in 1935. We may have avoided, what he called, the unnecessary war...we may have avoided the unnecessary Holocaust...." Well said sir, I've often believed when times are bad, men come up to meet the challenge.

If you want a great interview, well worth the hour, watch the full hour. Here is an abstract.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat down with Mark Levin for an interview on 'Life, Liberty & Levin.'

Netanyahu discusses going to high school and college in the U.S. and his four terms as Israeli Prime Minister.

Transcript courtesy of Fox News Channel:

MARK LEVIN: Welcome to Life, Liberty and Levin. It’s an honor to see you, Mr. Prime Minister.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Is that it? Life, Liberty and Levin?

LEVIN: That’s it.

NETANYAHU: I’m glad to be here.

LEVIN: Emphasis on the Levin.

NETANYAHU: I got it.

LEVIN: Well, I’ve noticed, you’ve been here several days. Your relationship with the President of the United States seems to be very personal. (INAUDIBLE) it personal and how did it get that way?

NETANYAHU: It is. And it began that way, that’s the way it began. Can’t explain it. It’s just like that.

LEVIN: You have shared values and beliefs and that sort of thing?

NETANYAHU: Yeah, I think so. But there’s also a certain chemistry. I mean, the president likes to cut through --

LEVIN: Noise.

NETANYAHU: I don’t want to call it noise. There are two initial, in English, you know. (LAUGHS) It just cuts right through it and it’s refreshing when we talk about (INAUDIBLE) it gets right to the point. And I appreciate it. Also I remember him, when I was an ambassador of Israel to the United Nations and he was a very prominent businessman in New York and we occasionally sort of bumped in the same circles, but we met years later and it’s been a direct and very positive relationship from the get go.

LEVIN: As a matter of fact, you served at the embassy here. And you’ve spent a little chunk of your life in America. In fact, you and I went to the same high school; not together, but the same high school, Chelvingham (ph) outside of Philadelphia.


LEVIN: Tell the American people, you know, your life in America. When did it start and where did it go?

NETANYAHU: Well, I came here for the first time I think when I was eight years old for about a year. Didn’t know a word of English. My father came here to edit the -- he was a great professor, a great historian, but the way he made his living was that he edited encyclopedias, so he edited, they wanted him to edit the Great Jewish Encyclopedia, which he did for a year and then he said, it’s not good enough; I don’t want my name on it.

But during that year we lived in Manhattan and I came here, God, I didn’t know a word of English. It was bizarre and difficult for me. There was a girl they put next to me; her name was Judy. And I remember Judy, because she taught me English. She took out a book; it was a book of pictures. They had a dog. His name was Spot. See Spot run. Run, Spot, run. And Judy, believe it or not, and my dearly, well, my dear mother, they’re the ones who taught me English. So that was my first year, eight to nine.

And then I came back here from the age of 13 till the end of high school, and (INAUDIBLE). And that’s it. And then I went back to the army and came back to study at MIT.

LEVIN: You studied at MIT. You studied, what did you study?

NETANYAHU: First I studied architecture, then I went to the business school and got a, basically an MBA.

LEVIN: And you took a job in America?

NETANYAHU: Yeah, I went to work for about a year, at the Boston Consulting Group.

LEVIN: Is that where you met Romney?

NETANYAHU: Yeah. He was ahead of me. He was Star Manager, actually. You know the horrible thing about Mitt? He looks exactly the same (LAUGHTER) -- he hasn’t changed.

LEVIN: His hair hasn’t moved.

NETANYAHU: Nothing has moved. (LAUGHS) He looked the same and it was a very good place where, to be honest, I mean I thought -- that year that I spent there, in the presence of the founder of the Boston Consulting Group, was a real genius, he was a very eccentric genius. His name was Bruce Henderson. And I remember that I came in on the first day -- never been to a business (INAUDIBLE) -- you know, I spent five years in the army. I was an officer, I was a soldier and a commander in a Special Forces unit.

Went to MIT, finished my undergraduate, finished my building studies. Get into this consulting firm and the first day Bruce Henderson, who was a very imposing figure, must have been in his early 70’s, of Virginia -- he told me, "Come inside; shut the door, sit down," and he says, "You know, you’re not going to be here very long, because you’ll go back to your country. So study everything you can here, because one day it will help the state of Israel," and I thought, this guy is bonkers. What is he talking about? Well, I’m 27 years old and he tells me to pick up what I can because it will help the state of Israel.

He was absolutely right. Because I learned something about how economies grow. They grow with the firms. The firms make the economy. You have to make it profitable for the firms to grow the economy.

LEVIN: Now what do we mean by "firms"?

NETANYAHU: Companies.

LEVIN: Companies.

NETANYAHU: Entrepreneurs. Business people. That’s what makes the economy grow -- the guys who produce the added value of the private centers. The guys who consume (INAUDIBLE) is the public center. In order to have the things that the public center needs (ph) is like an air force or roads or things like that. Or other things. Okay? You need to have a robust, private center. I learned that, more than anywhere else, at the Boston Consulting Group.

LEVIN: And part of your career, in the Israeli government, has been on the financial side.


LEVIN: When my family and I came to Israel, the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem, the unification of Jerusalem. I saw all these cranes. I saw all this building going on. I saw these skyscrapers with names of American technological companies on them and so forth. Have you applied those policies as prime minister and so forth in Israel?

NETANYAHU: I will eventually fight fair (ph) and I’m a great believer in free markets and one of my missions, my two missions was to free up the Israeli market, Israeli economy, so that it becomes a free market economy -- to unleash the genius that is embedded in our people. The sparks fly out the minute you open up the marketplace. You allow enterprise, innovation, risk to fail or succeed. And that’s (LAUGHS) a lot of reforms. I’ve been there. As prime minister and then subsequently a finance minister and then subsequently as prime minister again and again and again; still doing. So the Israeli economy has been growing under these reforms, consistently, at about, between four to five percent a year. And the GDP per capita will probably catch up with Japan in a couple of years, Israel.

LEVIN: Yeah, it’s a big deal.

NETANYAHU: Yeah, it’s a big deal.

LEVIN: Particularly in technology. There seems to be a huge growth in Israel. The amount of technology that is developing in your country, and yet it’s a tiny little country -- and you sell it to, you know, you work for countries, massive countries like India and so forth -- that’s obviously part of your plan. Right?

NETANYAHU: It’s very much my plan. It says (INAUDIBLE) technology by itself doesn’t do anything. You know, you want a country that has great scientists, great mathematicians, great physicists, great metallurgists -- the Soviet Union -- didn’t do anything. But if you took one of these guys, you know, smuggle them out, put them in Palo Alto, you know, within two weeks he was producing a lot of added value. He was producing wealth. So technology without free market doesn’t go anywhere.

Israel had the technology, but it didn’t have free markets. It had the technology because the military, especially military intelligence, produced a lot of capabilities that unless you opened it up, so people could start their businesses, these incredibly gifted young men and women who come out of the army or the Mossad, they want to start their startups. Well, they can’t. If you have to pay 70 percent tax, it’s not going to go anywhere. They’re going to go elsewhere.

So one of the things that I did the minute I became prime minister and then finance minister was to enact an enormous number of reforms, like several dozen reforms -- that opened up the economy, reduced the tax rates, reduce spending and cut the bureaucracy. I had to -- it was a big challenge, you know. How do you explain this to the people of Israel, you know? So I took about two weeks to format an economic plan and then I had to explain it to the public and I said this.

I described my first day in basic training in the paratroopers and the commander lines us up in a big field; the whole company and he says, "We’re now going to take, we’re going to do a special race. You," he points at me, "Netanyahu, you pick up the guy next to you, put him on your shoulders. And the next guy, you put the guy next to you on your shoulders," and so on. And I got a fairly big guy on my shoulders, about my size, and I could barely take two steps forward when he blew the whistle. The guy next to me was the smallest guy in the company and he got the biggest guy on his shoulders; he just collapsed on the spot.

And the third guy was the, was a big guy and he had a relatively small guy on his shoulders -- he took off like a rocket and won the race. And I said in the international world, all national economies are paired of a public sector, sitting on the shoulders of a private sector. In our case, the private sector was collapsing under a public sector that got too fat. So we have to put the fat man on a diet and we have to give a lot of oxygen to the thin man below. That’s called tax relief. And we have to cut all these barriers to the competition, all these regulations that prevent that guy from running forward. This became known as the Fat Man Fitting (ph) Taxi Cab Drivers couldn’t recite it; they still couldn’t recite it. And that’s essentially what we ended up doing.

What I ended up doing was to trim the public sector, help the private sector and remove the barriers to competition, which I still have to do. I fight regulation with machetes, all the time.

LEVIN: In addition to the economy, I watch these votes in the U.N. I see the president of Guatemala. I see these leaders of India. And what I notice, observing Israel over the last several decades, you obviously have a big push going on where you want to take Israel’s case all over the world, including in our hemisphere in America, in Asia, India and so forth -- is that born fruit? It appears to, at the U.N. and some other places.

NETANYAHU: Well, it’s certainly born fruit in international relations, because having, having reformed Israeli economy, we got the prowess of technological advance. Because technology with free market definitely works. And with the, you know, this amalgamation of Big Data, artificial intelligence and productivity, as well as creating industries out of thin air, literally out of thin air.

We have a car industry that’s autonomous vehicles. World leader. Between driving the (LAUGHS) world economy, cyber, you know, we’re a tiny fraction of one percent and we get 20 percent, 20 percent of the world investment in private cyber security -- huge.

On the other side we have security. We have superb intelligence. We’ve foiled dozens of terrorist attacks. Of ISIS; major terrorist attacks. Including the downing of an airliner. You can imagine what that would be.

LEVIN: And for all countries, you share that information.

NETANYAHU: We share it, we not only do it for us, we share it with dozens of countries. We’ve prevented dozens of terrorist attacks, major terrorists attacks. So when you take security interests and intelligence, the countries out to protect themselves against terrorism, and that’s pretty much all countries, and you take the needs for technological innovation that is driving the world right now, both of them are present in Israel and so everybody wants them and that gives me the third thing, which is this massive flourishing of Israel’s diplomatic relations with just about every country in the world. Not all.

We’re not big on North Korea. You know. Not too big on Iran. But just about everyone else. And so this is a triangle. It’s economic power, security power, gives you diplomatic power. That will take a few years to translate itself into the votes of this archaic body called the General Assembly of the United Nations. Or some of the other bodies. That will take a while, until they get the news.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

What's going on in the World Today 180325



U.S. Naval Update Map: March 22, 2018

The Naval Update Map shows the approximate current locations of U.S. Carrier Strike Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups, based on available open-source information. No classified or operationally sensitive information is included in this weekly update. CSGs and ARGs are the keys to U.S. dominance over the world's oceans. A CSG is centered on an aircraft carrier, which projects U.S. naval and air power and supports a Carrier Air Wing, or CVW. The CSG includes significant offensive strike capability. An ARG is centered on three amphibious warfare ships, with a Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked. An MEU is built around a heavily reinforced and mobile battalion of Marines.

Carrier Strike Groups

The USS Carl Vinson CSG is underway in the Pacific Ocean for a western Pacific deployment.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt CSG is underway in a deployment in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR supporting maritime security operations and conducting theater security cooperation efforts.
The USS Abraham Lincoln is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting carrier qualifications.
The USS John C. Stennis is underway in the Pacific Ocean conducting routine training.

Amphibious Ready Groups/Marine Expeditionary Units

The USS Wasp is underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR on a scheduled patrol.
The USS Bonhomme Richard is underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR on a scheduled patrol.
The USS Iwo Jima is on a scheduled port visit to Limassol, Cyprus, while underway in the U.S. 6th Fleet AOR.

U.S.: Some Countries Likely To Be Exempt From Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer listed the countries likely to be excluded from President Donald Trump's new steel and aluminum import tariffs as Canada, Mexico South Korea, the European Union, Argentina and Brazil, according to a CNBC reporter March 21. Notable exceptions include China, which Washington is targeting with trade measures, and Japan. (The Japanese trade minister recently said he expected Japan to be exempted from the tariffs.) A 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum will take effect March 23. The decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum was made following a U.S. Commerce Department report Feb. 16, which revealed that steel and aluminum imports threaten U.S. national security.

Boeing’s Next-Gen Super Hornet Will Be (Sort Of) Stealthy

President Donald Trump was ridiculed on Twitter after pronouncing during a visit to Boeing’s St. Louis facility that the company’s new F/A-18 Super Hornet will be equipped with the “latest and the greatest stealth, and a lot of things on that plane that people don’t even know about.”

But it turns out Trump was on to something. Boeing is about to kick off an exhaustive effort to transition the U.S. Navy’s carrier air wing to the “Block III” Super Hornet, a next-generation version of the strike fighter complete with new sensors, extended range, a more powerful computer and, yes, enhanced stealth coating.

These changes will allow the Super Hornet to fly alongside the Lockheed Martin F-35C carrier variant as the backbone of the Navy’s carrier air wing into the 2040s and beyond, says Dan Gillian, Boeing F/A-18 and EA-18 program manager.

Block III Super Hornet will get enhanced stealth coating

New aircraft will begin rolling off the production line in 2020

Trump previewed the new and improved fighter during a March 14 visit to the St. Louis facility, which has been building F/A-18s, first the A-D Hornet and later the E/F Super Hornet, since 1978.

Gillian confirms that an improved low-observable (LO) coating will be one of five key characteristics of the Block III Super Hornet. The fighter is already “a very stealth airplane today”—he says, declining to elaborate—but there are new coatings engineers can apply on different surfaces of the aircraft to make it even more survivable, he says.

The F/A-18 was not designed specifically to be stealthy and lacks many of the fundamental stealth characteristics baked into Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and F-22 airframes. But there are other ways to enhance stealth, such as adding LO coating and radar-absorbent material improvements in certain locations on the airframe. A few simple changes “can buy us just a little bit of performance that’s low-cost and easy to go do,” Gillian says.

The souped-up aircraft the Navy has agreed to buy looks very different from Boeing’s original 2013 proposal for an “Advanced Super Hornet,” which focused on stealth. Boeing engineers found they needed to make design compromises to significantly reduce the aircraft’s radar cross section—for instance, by restricting payload, Gillian told Aviation Week in 2017 (AW&ST Feb. 20-March 5, 2017, p. 17).

This drove Boeing to drop certain features of the 2013 proposal, such as an enclosed weapons pod and internal infrared search-and-track (IRST) sensor, from the newest package...

Prosecutor: Kansas militia members wanted to kill immigrants

Three militia members plotted for months to blow up an apartment complex housing Somali immigrants in western Kansas, saying that they wanted to “exterminate cockroaches,” a federal prosecutor said Thursday at the start of their trial.... [They] are charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction to detonate truck bombs in the meatpacking town of Garden City, 220 miles (350 kilometers) west of Wichita....




India, the world’s cheapest space explorer, plans to build structures on the moon

India’s declaration – just ahead of a planned lunar mission – comes at a time when governments are looking at the moon for the first time in years
India, which sent an orbiter to Mars at about 1/10th the cost of Nasa’s Maven probe, is examining how to build habitations on the moon.

“ISRO, along with academic institutions, is doing experimentation on potential structures for lunar habitation,” Jitendra Singh, the junior minister for space, told lawmakers on Wednesday, referring to the Indian Space Research Organisation.

“Various options are being studied about the requirements and complexities of habitats.”

India’s declaration – just ahead of a planned lunar mission – comes at a time when governments are looking at the moon for the first time in years...

China provides tracking system for Pakistan’s missile programme

China has sold Pakistan a powerful tracking system in an unprecedented deal that could speed up the Pakistani military’s development of multi-warhead missiles.

News of the sale – and evidence that China is supporting Pakistan’s rapidly developing missile programme – comes two months after India tested its most advanced nuclear-ready intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range long enough to hit Beijing or Shanghai.

Chinese authorities declassified information about the deal on Wednesday.

A statement on the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) website said China was the first country to export such sensitive equipment to Pakistan.

Zheng Mengwei, a researcher with the CAS Institute of Optics and Electronics in Chengdu, Sichuan province, confirmed to the South China Morning Post that Pakistan had bought a highly sophisticated, large-scale optical tracking and measurement system from China.

The Pakistani military recently deployed the Chinese-made system “at a firing range” for use in testing and developing its new missiles, he said...


Police call for 'counter-terrorism citizens' [UK]

Police are asking the public for more help in thwarting terror attacks after more than a fifth of calls to them yielded useful intelligence last year. The Metropolitan Police's Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: "If you feel nervous about it, you should report it".... The campaign - encouraging people to report suspicious behaviour - comes as figures reveal 30,984 reports were made to counter-terror officers in 2017.






China and Russia are 'aggressively pursuing' hypersonic weapons, and the US can't defend against them, top nuclear commander says

America's top nuclear commander described a grim scenario for U.S. forces facing off against a new breed of high-speed weapons that Russia and China are developing.

"We don't have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us," Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. This means that, as of now, the U.S. has to rely on deterrence against these so-called hypersonic weapons, he said.

U.S. Air Force General John Hyten, Commander of U.S. Strategic Command, testifies in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., then asked the general to explain what a hypersonic weapon is and what it does.

"A hypersonic threat is a system that starts out ballistic, so you'll see it like a ballistic missile, but then it depresses the trajectory and flies more like a cruise missile or airplane," Hyten said. "It goes up into the lower reaches of space and turns immediately back down and then levels out."

At that point, Hyten said, the weapon will fly at very high speed, which is where the term hypersonic comes from...

China threatens to respond with 'military pressure' after Trump supports official visits to Taiwan

China's could respond to a law that encourages relations between the US and Taiwan with "military pressure", the country’s state-run media said on Sunday.... "China will and should take timely countermeasures against the US and all "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces through diplomatic and military means if US legislation that encourages high-level contact between the US and the island of Taiwan is implemented," ....




Iraq holding more than 19,000 because of IS, militant ties

Iraq has detained or imprisoned at least 19,000 people accused of connections to the Islamic State group or other terror-related offenses, and sentenced more than 3,000 of them to death, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. The mass incarceration and speed of guilty verdicts raise concerns over potential miscarriages of justice — and worries that jailed militants are recruiting within the general prison population to build new extremist networks. The AP count is based partially on an analysis of a spreadsheet listing all 27,849 people imprisoned in Iraq as of late January.... Thousands more also are believed to be held in detention by other bodies, including the Federal Police, military intelligence and Kurdish forces. Those exact figures could not be immediately obtained.


Israel arrests French Consulate driver for gun smuggling

A French employee of France's Consulate in Jerusalem is under arrest for allegedly smuggling dozens of weapons from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank, Israel's domestic security agency said Monday. The Shin Bet said the man... was part of a broader Palestinian smuggling ring. It said he used his consular vehicle, which is subjected to more lenient security checks, to transport the weapons through Israel's tightly secured border with the Gaza Strip. It said he took part in the ring for financial gain and that his employer was unaware of his actions.



Russia’s ‘Seabed Warfare’ Could Hit Vast Networks of Underwater Communications Cables

A report issued this month echoes concerns voiced across the pond recently about the potential of Russia striking at the West by damaging a vast network of undersea cables that carry nearly all online international data.

“Contested Seas: Maritime Domain Awareness in Northern Europe,” released by the Center for Strategic & International Studies, notes that “while some constructive work has been done to address the evolving Russian threat, NATO and its partners must make changes to their current MDA capabilities to evolve alongside with it.”

The threat from Russia is broken down into maritime hybrid warfare, including “deception through different types of vessels including civilian ships, deniable forces like the amphibious and light infantry that easily navigate the complex Baltic and Norwegian Seas, and the country’s well-developed and diverse force for seabed warfare,” electronic and cyber warfare capabilities that “have the potential to hinder information gathering and dissemination methods,” and long-range strike systems “now being mounted on new and existing Russian naval vessels,” giving these vessels “the option to stay in the Barents or White Seas and strike targets across Northern Europe..”




Stolen Equifax Data May be Saved for Nation-State Attack, Warn Concerned Experts

The lack of dark-web presence or illicit sales of the bulk of data stolen in the Equifax breach is worrying cybersecurity experts who keep waiting to see if the hacked info on millions of Americans will be used in a nation-state attack, a congressional panel heard last week.

Last year’s hack exposed personal information including Social Security, credit card and driver’s license numbers of some 148 million Americans. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), ranking member of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, noted that was just one of 1,579 U.S. data breach incidents in 2017, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, and the 780,000 records hackers swipe each day.

“Last month, the Council of Economic Advisors released a report estimating that malicious cyber activity costs the U.S. economy between $57 and $109 billion in 2016. And this cost is expected to climb as more devices become Internet connected,” Chairman Steve Pearce (D-N.M.) said. “Unfortunately, this activity is only becoming more widespread as criminal organizations realize the low cost of entry, the ease of using hacking tools, and the difficulty law enforcement faces trying to apprehend the hackers.”

Lillian Ablon of RAND Corp. told lawmakers that cybercriminals, state-sponsored actors, cyberterrorists and hacktivists are prowling online, and “they tend to seek different types of data and use or monetize that data in different ways.”

“Essentially, all you need is an Internet connection and a device to become part of the cybercrime ecosystem,” she said of the first type. “Participants in these markets range across all skill levels. They are often hierarchies and specialized roles. Administrators at the top, followed by brokers, venders and middlemen. And finally, mules, the moneychangers who use multiple methods to turn the stolen data into money.”

'Slingshot' Campaign Outed by Kaspersky is U.S. Operation Targeting Terrorists: Report

The Slingshot cyber espionage campaign exposed recently by Kaspersky Lab is a U.S. government operation targeting members of terrorist organizations, according to a media report.

Earlier this month, Kaspersky published a report detailing the activities of a threat actor targeting entities in the Middle East and Africa — sometimes by hacking into their Mikrotik routers. The group is believed to have been active since at least 2012 and its members appear to speak English, the security firm said.

The main piece of malware used by the group has been dubbed Slingshot based on internal strings found by researchers. Kaspersky identified roughly 100 individuals and organizations targeted with the Slingshot malware, mainly in Kenya and Yemen, but also in Afghanistan, Libya, Congo, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and Tanzania.

CyberScoop claims to have learned from unnamed current and former U.S. intelligence officials that Slingshot is actually an operation of the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), a component of Special Operations Command (SOCOM), aimed at members of terrorist organizations such as ISIS and al-Qaeda. SOCOM is well known for its counterterrorism operations, which can sometimes include a cyber component.

CyberScoop’s sources expressed concern that the exposure of the campaign may result in the U.S. losing a valuable surveillance program and it could even put the lives of soldiers at risk. The Slingshot infrastructure was likely already abandoned and “burned” following the disclosure, one former intelligence official told the publication.
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