Thursday, March 31, 2011

Something went very wrong with this self-defense case in Detroit

The Detroit Free Press Jeff Gerritt: Victim or vigilante? An attempt to protect puts a Detroiter in prison

In a strange turn of events, while not convicted of any separate felonies, the home defender was found guilty of felony firearms possession. His makes no sense and is properly being appealed.

His only crime, he said, was trying to protect his wife and himself when he shot a belligerent neighbor in the arm after he appeared to reach for a weapon. In a vexing verdict, a Wayne County jury in November found Goree guilty of felony firearm possession -- despite his CCW permit -- while acquitting him of aggravated assault and attempted murder. Goree is appealing the conviction handed down by Wayne County Judge Thomas Jackson, arguing that it is inconsistent. He should win that appeal. Why would carrying or possessing a legal gun constitute a felony if a jury determined it wasn't used in a crime?
When you read the article and get a sense of events it certainly seems that Mr. Goree did act in self-defense.

Either the judge and jury got this case very wrong, not to mention it being prosecuted in the first place, or there's some other detail that's not being reported or is being reported inaccurately.

Ignore the silliness in Mr. Gerritt's op-ed when among other silly statements, he says that
Still, whether victim or vigilante, Goree has shown why a gun is not always the best defense.
That's rather debatable, especially given Goree's version of the facts that Gerritt states he believes.

Taking Goree's statement as true, a gun was most likely the best possible defense he had with someone that quite likely was armed and threatening harm.

Generally, when someone reaches into their pocket and starts bringing their hand up while saying:
"I got something for you, too, (m----- f-----)."
He's not about to pull out a Hallmark card.

In other words, Goree without his gun would likely have been severally hurt or killed, as would have his wife.

Hopefully Mr. Goree's case will be reversed on appeal and he'll be released as the verdict is not just inconsistent but wrong on the law in Michigan.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy 1911 Day!

On this day in history, one of the finest handguns even designed was adopted as the sidearm of the US Military.

Designed by John Moses Browning (firearms genius par excellence), it is a design that has endured over a hundred years and stood the test of time.

Since many a fine blogger is showing off their 1911s today, I figured better late evening than never.

My oldest 1911: A Colt Model 1927:

This Colt, a Model 1927 is one of 10,000 Model 1911A1s Colt manufactured for the Argentine Army. It bears the Argentine Army's inscription: Ejercito Argentino.

Argentina later manufactured their own Model 1927s under license from Colt:

This one a Sistema Colt 1927 was manufactured by DGFM-FMAP (Direccion General de Fabricaciones Militares-Fabrica Militar de Armas Portatiles) in Argentina for the Argentine Air Force and so marked. Please pardon the very non-standard grips which came with it which shall be changed back to their original grips as soon as a set are found to restore this pistol properly.

I should note I had a ridiculous time when I bought this pistol. The seller resided in New York and the New York gun dealers claimed this could not be a Curio and Relic pistol because it looked too nice. Seriously that was the reason he was given. As always gun dealers don't always know their regs. So in the face of stupid refusal, I had to have it shipped to my friendly FFL rather than my own C&R license.

You'll note that the Argentinians went metric: 11.25 mm doesn't have quite the same ring as .45 ACP, but its still a beauty.

Finally there's my go-to .45:

This 1911A1 is an Essex Arms frame and slide with a mix of Wilson Combat, Colt, and Sistema parts. Long story, but when I moved from Toronto to Michigan I wasn't allowed to import my beautiful 1927 Ejercito Argentino (Argentine Army marked) Sistema as it was "military" due to the Ejercito marking. A Sistema that was police marked or unmarked would have been just fine, go figure. Never-mind that I was allowed to import my S&W Model 29 which is certainly a far more powerful handgun but so it went. I had to strip the poor gun down, turn in the stripped receiver in Toronto and was then able to legally import the parts. Yes, I'm still annoyed all these years later.

This gun was then built by gunsmith Alan Tillman as a serviceable carry / competition gun for someone on a very meager student budget at the time, and it reflects some cosmetic compromises in exchange for more attention to accuracy and reliability. Mr. Tillman did an excellent job indeed.

I've used it in Massad Ayoob's LFI I and LFI II classes to excellent effect and it is one of my favorite carry guns. It now needs some new night sites as the current ones have dimmed down to standard irons. It could probably also use a refinishing, but it is still a rock-solid and reliable firearm.

I still need an Argentine Navy marked Sistema to round out the Argentine armed forces 1927 collection, and really would like a WWII US 1911A1, but that will take some time to save up for.

So, Happy 1911 Day and enjoy the enduring legacy of the 1911 series of pistols.

There's at least one out there to meet everyone's need and budget and no firearms collection is complete without at least one example of this excellent pistol.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Coin of Trajan Decius - Dacia and the Dragon Standard

This coin is a silver Antoninianus of Trajan Decius.

Obverse: Draped bust of Trajan Decius facing right with radiate crown.

Reverse: Personification of Dacia standing left holding standard with a dragon's head.
Inscription: DACIA

The Roman province of Dacia, now modern day Romania, was a Roman province first conquered by Trajan and it became a large and important province with a population between 650,000 to 1,200,000. Dacia was close to Trajan Decius' home province of Pannonia and and important supplier of grain, ore and troops to the Roman Empire.

The legions and auxiliaries from Dacia went into battle bearing dragon standards, as depicted on this coin.

This draco standard was later adapted by other elements of the Roman legions. The standard was continued and carried into battle by Charlemagne and even made an appearance at the Battle of Hastings, and potentially carries on in the United Kingdom today in the representation of the dragon on the flag of Wales.

Numismatically, the draco standard again makes an appearance on money in the modern day, on a modern Romanian banknote, more than 1800 years after its appearance on a Roman coin celebrating the ancient province that became Romania:

Many Roman symbols have enduring resonances that continue through the present day, and the dragon standard is one of them.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Obama Administration exemplifies the Dilbert Principle

With the news that Jamie Gorelick might be appointed to head the FBI, it seems more and more that The Obama Administration is an example of the Dilbert Principle writ large and run amok.

Really, with all of the potentialy really qualified people out there with stellar records to head the FBI, Obama had to choose the one with that much baggage?

The Dilbert Principle to put it succinctly is that the more incompetent you are, the higher you go in management.

The Obama administration seems to have become the living embodiment of the principle from the top on down.

It's Dilbert's world now and we're all just living in it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Will the last one to leave Detroit please turn out the lights?

The Detroit News: Detroit's population falls 25%, Bing wants recount

Of course he does. The Detroit power base is slipping away due to years of corruption, incompetence and mismanagement. Poor Mayor Bing is stuck trying to pick up the pieces of a city his predecessors have run into the ground.

According to the Census, Detroit just dropped below 720,000 people. It now has less than half of its population in its heyday of 1.5 million.

Mayor Bing wants a recount so he doesn't lose funding, City Council President Charles Pugh wants all the felons in jail around the state that were born in Detroit counted as part of the city's population.

Seriously, he said it and he wants it.

One would think your exported felons wouldn't be something to be proud of, but what can you do when you have to scrape up every soul to keep the money coming in?

The loss in population will also require a multitude of Michigan's laws that are geared to only allow Detroit to do certain things such as having casinos and a 3% income tax and an electricity tax, to be rewritten.

For now the laws are based on a population of 750,000 for the taxes and 800,000 for the casinos, and now that Detroit has dropped below those numbers it can't qualify. You can't make laws in Michigan to single out a city by name as that would be discriminating, only population, which has the same effect if you write it so that only a single city has the desired population.

But Detroit lost so much population, they're going to have to start creative gerrymandering to maintain the two minority race-based Congressional districts based out of Detroit as under federal law you can't dilute minority strength even in the face of demographic reality: Detroit districts to reach into suburbs for blacks.

Anybody else find that quite creepy, not to mention rather racist?

Detroit is sadly the prime example in the USA of how you can destroy a once proud city and drag down an entire metropolitan area with it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This popcorn moment brought to you by the Congressional Democrats

From Newsmax: Dems Rip Obama on Libya, Bring Up 'Impeachable Offense'

...nine liberal House members “strongly raised objections to the constitutionality of the president’s actions” during a Democratic Caucus conference call Saturday, two Democratic congressmen who took part told Politico.

“They consulted the Arab League. They consulted the United Nations. They did not consult the United States Congress,” a Democrat lawmaker said.

One of the nine Democrats, Rep. Kucinich, has publicly issued the strongest criticism of Obama. "President Obama moved forward without Congress approving. He didn't have congressional authorization. He has gone against the Constitution, and that's got to be said," Kucinich told Raw Story in an interview on Monday.

“I'm raising the question as to whether or not it's an impeachable offense. It would appear on its face to be an impeachable offense.”

I guess a few Dems couldn't pivot out of anti-war mode quickly enough to get with the program. Good luck with that while you're busy looking for your missing district.

The Newsmax article also relates that it looks like yet another Obama promise just it its expiration date:
An Obama Flip-Flop

As an Illinois senator and presidential candidate, Obama himself strongly stated that the president can’t authorize military action without congressional approval unless it’s necessary to stop an imminent attack on the United States.

In a December 2007 interview, a Boston Globe reporter asked Obama under what circumstances the president would have the constitutional authority to bomb Iran without first seeking authorization from Congress.

“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” Obama responded.

Heh. Poor hippies. So, do you miss Bush yet?

Libya, Democrats and Clear Goals.

Remember when Democrats insisted than an American intervention had to have clear goals and timetables?

But now with the Democrats in charge, there's a lot of confusion as to what exactly are the objectives in Libya. Obama is not making it any better with his fence straddling and confused pronouncements that first Qaddafi must go and then pronouncing that the current mission is limited to protecting civilians.

Of course in a civil war that gets kinda hazy, especially as to which civillians you're supposed to protect, as this interesting interview with General Carter Ham shows.

But don't worry Sen levin assures us it will be a limited mission.

Levin: U.S. military intervention in Libya 'a limited mission'

President Barack Obama "has a military operation with a very clear mission," Levin said in an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. "… No boots on the ground."

So the clear mission is to make sure no American infantry get involved? How's that for an intervention strategy?

The Detroit News:

One of the more vocal skeptics in Congress, Sen. Richard Lugar, said he worries that the U.S. may have entered a conflict with unclear goals.

"We really have not discovered who it is in Libya that we are trying to support," the Indiana Republican said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "Obviously the people that are against Gadhafi, but who? In eastern Libya, for example, a huge number of people went off to help the Iraqis against the United States in a war that still is winding down."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Sunday that the U.S. intends to take a back seat soon.

"After the air is cleared of any threat there is going to be a hand off to our allies and this mission will then be carried on by French, by British and by Arab countries, and that's very important," Levin said.

So we're putting in a limited appearance and then handing Libya over to its (albiet briefly) colonial masters? Sounds promising.

What could possibly go wrong?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fish Tales and Life in the Aquarium

On Sunday we took the kids to a Purim carnival at temple where they could get a lunch and play games.

One of the games involved finding an "X" under a plastic duck, and if you found one you won a prize. Unlike most carnivals the game was rigged to make sure every kid got a prize - they could keep looking till they found an "X".

The prize was a goldfish in a plastic baggie. Yay! A prize you have to spend money on to keep.

This of course resulted in two excited and happy children, each holding a baggie with a fish that they promptly named: Lilly and Lucky.

So we headed home, stopping by the pet store to get a little plastic fish tank for the fish for $8. By then the fish, having been placed in little plastic bags with water by a well-meaning but really incompetent ADD teenager, weren't doing so hot.

In fact by the time we got home, Lucky wasn't, and Lilly's luck ran out soon after.

This brought the kids face to face with the death of a shortly-possessed but very dearly-loved pet. Pets that had been given names. There were tears, lots of 'em.

This necessitated a trip to another pet store, where we learned many other kids at the carnival had similarly come with their parents after numerous burials at sea for their short-lived goldfish friends.

So $17 on a nice big 10-gallon aquarium with filter special (gravel and fake cactus extra) and .15 each for two new goldfish later, the kids now are proud owners of new pets with the responsibility to feed them twice a day.

Abby helped with cleaning the tank and adding the gravel and water.

All is right with the world again and Mom and Dad made it all better, Which is what we're here for after all.

So introducing the new fish - Graciella and Liliana.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

No War for Total Fina Elf!

This post was inspired by Tam's snark-winning post of yesterday.

French Jets are flying over Libya putatively to enforce a no-fly zone, but of course, it's all about oil contracts for Total Fina Elf n'est ce pas?

Indeed, were I some leftist anti-war protester and Obama was Bush....

It is sad however that the reality of US foreign policy decisions under Obama has devolved to:

"Are the French down with it? Well, ok then."

That it took the French and the Brits to finally get Obama to take any real action is quite pathetic. America from leader of the free world to mutli-lateral supporting player in one administration.

Indeed, It seems Hilary Clinton was instrumental in making decisive decisions about US Foreign Policy concerning Libya, and as Glenn Reynolds has posted before, she has been predicted to be the most uncompromising wartime president in history, and he may very well be right and she's getting her start at State. HRC in 2012 for the Dems?

In any case, it is nice to see Obama following the modern Democrat precedent on war making: lob a few cruise missiles at a convenient target.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sherlock Is A Sure Hit

Sherlock is a fantastic new series from the BBC.

An awesome reboot of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson into the modern era. I was quite skeptical at first, being a traditionalist when it comes to Holmesian things, but as soon as I watched an episode, I was hooked.

Excellent acting with good, strong, original mysteries with tension and humor. Very, very well done as only the British at their finest can perform.

See this trailer for a hint of its greatness:

In short, you don't need to be the world's greatest consulting detective to deduce that this series is worth watching.

On the contrary, that fact is elementary my dear reader.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Vanessa Hudgens finds out that storing nude photos online is not the best idea

The Detroit Free Press: FBI tracking hacked nude photos of Vanessa Hudgens

(Photo taken by Emma Lilly, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Angry about the latest round of personal nude photographs leaked to the Internet this week, the pretty "Beastly" star Vanessa Hudgens has recruited law enforcement officials to help her crack the case.

Hudgens, 22, who skyrocketed to fame in the Disney-made "High School Musical" films, met with FBI agents for more than an hour Wednesday hoping to expose the perpetrators who hacked into her Gmail account, then stole and distributed her personal files, according to
Keeping those photos, or other items you wish to remain private, "in the cloud" where they can be hacked is just not the best idea. This is especially so when you're a celebrity and hackers want to go after your stuff for the thrill of it, especially when you've got that wholesome image thing going.

I'm not excusing the wrongfulness of the hackers in breaking into her account, but if you don't want the risk of your photos coming out, keep them in a secure location so they're not the fruits of a successful hack.

As more and more data starts living in a cloud, expect more hackers to try and make some rain.

Considering that a lot of these hackers are teen boys who in addition to the Internet have something else on the brain, expect lots of nude photos to be falling out of the clouds...

Dems the breaks when you get busted creating a fake.

As discussed previously, the Michigan Democrats thought it would be a great tactic to form a fake Tea Party to siphon votes in closely contested elections in various Michigan districts. Sadly for them they did it in quite an amateurish fashion, even having their (now ex-)operations director act as the notary on some of the forms.

Unfortunately for them they got caught.

Messing with elections has consequences (at least at the state level):

Yahoo News: Michigan Dems charged in fake tea party scandal

Two Michigan Democrats were arraigned Wednesday on election corruption charges for allegedly propping up of fake tea party candidates in 2010, the Detroit News reports.

Former Democratic Party Chairman Michael McGuinness and ex-operations director Jason Bauer have been charged with forgery, putting people up for office without their knowledge and other charges. . .

The photo of McGuiness form the Oakland County Sheriff's department in the linked article is particularly precious. 

 It will be fun to see how this case develops, and hopefully it will present a deterrent to future dirty tricks on the part of the Michigan Dems.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

To answer the question previously posed: No green beer for me, just some fine Guinness and Harp tonight.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all, and Happy Birthday to my dear Tash on her Birthday today!

She still thinks everyone is dressing up in green today just for her, so let's not disabuse her of the notion.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

There's something about disasters that brings out the stupid...

Japan suffers a massive tsunami with unbelievable destructive power (see the before and after pics at the link and be stunned). Thousands are killed or missing. There's even a volcanic eruption and a release of radioactive material from some nuclear plants.

In short Japan just got hit by everything but Godzilla and the Japanese people are hanging tough and responding impressively well to the disaster.

So of course here in the US, the weak-kneed Greenies use it to immediately attack nuclear power.

The Detroit News: Japan ignites fears about Fermi

Of course, Laura Berman of the Detroit News lines up all the anti-nuclear suspects, and gives them plenty of space in the article to spread fear, with only a tiny space for the operator of Fermi to comment.

The scare tactic is pretty overwrought and overdone:

Like its Japanese counterparts, Fermi 2 requires huge amounts of electricity to pump water to cool its core in an overheating situation. It also needs power to circulate water for the radioactive spent fuel pool that's part of the facility.

But in the event of a disaster (tsunami, bomb-drop, direct tornado hit), power blackouts can occur. Indeed, during a 2003 outage in Michigan, Fermi 2 was down for over six hours, an event complicated by the failure of a backup generator.

Methinks Berman really overexaggerates the risk here.

There have been no reported tsunamis near Fermi 2, nor are any likely, now or ever. You'll note that for all of her hand-wringing over the 2003 power outage, no event occured and it was handled.

Indeed a tornado even touched down inside the plant in 2010 and no disaster occured. I wonder why Berman didn't mention that?

Perhaps because the facts would remove some of the fear her article is trying to generate about the plant and nuclear power in general?

Thankfully, my friends who have family in Japan are reporting they are ok so far.

Given the scope of this disaster and the reality of the safety of the Fermi plant, your time is far better spent making a donation to the American Red Cross for Japanese disaster relief than worrying and fearing a tsunami at the Fermi nuclear plant.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Albom upset that NPR is exposed, tries to shoot the messenger and misses.

Liberals really hate it when their side gets caught unmasked.

The Detroit Free Press: Mitch Albom: NPR loses in 'gotcha,' but what was won?

Mitch is in high dudgeon as an NPR nabob was caught out telling the world how he really feels about the non-bien pensant amongst us. Albom sure wishes thet message had stayed quiet and was left amongst those on the left in the know.

Maybe I'm confused, but if someone tricked me into a lunch by pretending to be someone else, secretly hid a camera, goaded me into comments during a private conversation -- then released only the juiciest parts on the Internet, I'd at least have the right to be ticked off, right?

Apparently not. When this happened to Ron Schiller, chief fund-raiser for National Public Radio, he resigned. So did NPR's CEO, Vivian Schiller, even though she had nothing to do with the comments.

I've heard about liberal guilt. But whatever happened to fighting back?

The sleazeball behind this latest "gotcha" incident is James O'Keefe, who is all of 26 years old, calls himself an investigative journalist without formal training and thinks nothing of lying and fraud as long as it perpetuates his strong conservative viewpoint.
It is hardly a gotcha when you walk right in without much prodding, and its hard to fight back when your words are recorded coming out of your mouth for all the world to see.

But not to worry, Albom wants to excuse away the nastiness revealed in Schiller's comments:
Well, besides the fact that Schiller was a fund-raiser, not a news exec, and the business and editorial sides of public broadcasting are notably separate, let me ask you this. You're a salesman. A big customer makes a dirty joke. Do you lecture him -- or just laugh along because deep down you need the sale? You're a business owner, and a customer turns the conversation political. Do you stop and make a stand?
If you have morals you do, or at the very least you don't vociferously agree and try to top it as Schiller did. Of course Albom darn well knows the exchange wasn't over a dirty joke. He knows instead it was about the good-old-fashioned twin canards of "Jews control the media" and "all these Tea Partiers and Republicans are evil racist Christian types", but hey, nice try to downplay what was said.
Or do you maybe utter a few agreements and later, on the way home, tell yourself, "I didn't even mean that."
I see, anything for a sale is just fine by Mr. Albom apparently? Morals be damned. Good to know. I expect his next book "Wednesdays with NPR" to be out shortly.

Interesting how Mr. Albom didn't publish any article decrying and castigating the false phone call to Governor Walker of Wisconsin. That of course is different.

Heck, investigative reporting is often all about undercover interviews and getting information you would certainly not get by announcing who you are. Mitch knows this of course.

Mitch Albom in this column, just as in his sports columns, is just trying to protect and promote his home team.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Colorado Senators Block Bill Banning Welfare Recipients From Using Their Welfare Cash Cards In Strip Clubs

The Denver Post: Panel kills bill that would have barred strip club ATM withdrawals

A panel of Senators killed the bill that would have prevented the use of the Welfare ATM cards in strip clubs because it would stereotype how welfare recipients who go into strip clubs and withdraw money there would use the money.

Yes, really, that was the argument.

You can't cut down on your constituent's access to pubic entertainment on the public dime after all.

According to the article, it was already illegal to use the cards in liquor stores, betting establishments and gun stores, and it probably would have made sense to add strip joints to the mix.

However, the article notes the law is not enforced competently in any case which possibly would have made this ban mere symbolism. For example, between April to June 2010, there were 423 instances with a total of $40,000 withdrawn from the welfare cards ATMs at casinos.

Can we take a gamble and bet on how that withdrawn money was used?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Time For The Real Hard Questions

Green Beer or not Green Beer on St. Patrick's Day?

The Soft Reality of the Obama Doctrine

Once we had the Bush doctrine. This was rather clear, gave due and timely warning to our enemies and scared the crap out of Democrats.

Overall it was good but Bush had lots of problems with follow-through. I; I'd give it a B- for results tempered by the fact that it was operating in the face of a hostile press, an internationl community that turned up its nose at the whole thing, and Democrats playing partisan politics with national security. History will likely look more favorably upon it, especially when compared to the results of his sucessor.

Now we're seeing the effect of the Obama doctrine's replacement of hard power with "soft power". It means you talk, mouth a few platitudes, and do nothing and wait on the "International Community" to plod its way to eventually doing something, maybe.

This, in the face of a lapdog press that thinks Obama can walk on water when it is not frozen, an international community that loves him and the Democrats backing him on national security.

Not surprising, since his own people are moving away from interventionism as quickly as their feet can carry them, the Obama Administration is busy decisively declaring that they must wait for the UN's blessing for any American action.

Defense Secretary Gates as I blogged about previously, of course changed the prior defense doctrine of the US from being able to fight two major regional wars at once to only being ready to fight one major regional conflict.

This lead to costs savings as less military equipment and manpower was needed. Nice when you want to shovel money on the domestic side as is obama's desire, but bad when multiple problems crop up worldwide.

Unfortunately there's no guarrantee we'll only face one major conflict at a time, nor that we don't have to deal with multiple simultaneous lower-intensity conflicts. Such as oh, I don't know, piracy, Libya, Iran....

So much for the Obama campaign promise that he made regarding international intervention.

Obama is facing the sternest test yet of his philosophy of humanitarian intervention, which he has described as an imperative to prevent atrocities against civilians. But Gadhafi's brutal suppression of protests and crackdown on opponents to his 42-year rule may fall short of Obama's criteria for military action.

As a presidential candidate in October 2008, Obama outlined a doctrine for American military force that included crises in which the United States has a "moral obligation" to intervene. As commander in chief, he soon will have to decide whether Libya fits that bill.
Too bad for the Libyans because as with all Obama promises it comes with an expiration date, and this one's expired.

Meanwhile Gaddafi tanks, jets strike deeper into rebel heartland.

But don't worry, Obama's team promises swift indecisiveness:
Obama did not attend Wednesday's meeting [of his national security people], and the White House said no action was imminent. Officials set no timeline.

We're not at a decision point," Obama's spokesman, Jay Carney, said as the White House sought hardBut Obama's admonition for international action -- not go-it-alone-force -- remains a driving principle of any military intervention.

That approach offers broader legitimacy and shared burden, but also more complicated politics.

"We believe it's important that this not be an American or a NATO or a European effort; it needs to be an international one," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday on CBS. She conceded divisions within the United Nations Security Council but said that a "good, solid international package" was being considered.

Of course, the US can depend on NATO to lead as it stands ready:
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters Wednesday that "NATO is not looking to intervene in Libya."
Ok, maybe not that ready.

Not to worry, the UN is ready for decisive action:
Britain and France are pushing for the U.N. to create a no-fly zone over the country, and while the U.S. may be persuaded to sign on, such a move is unlikely to win the backing of veto-wielding Security Council members Russia and China, which traditionally object to such steps as infringements on national sovereignty.

Darn, not too much effective action from the UN either. How unexpected.

I think we've just seen the obvious flaw in the Obama Doctrine's emphasis on soft power and its requirement for an international multilateral response before the US is alowed to respond to a crisis. NATO and the UN seem unable or unwilling to shoulder the load in this brave new multi-polar world, and the doctrine leaves the US hamstrung and unable to act, which seems to have been its intent all along.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Negligent Discharges in the War on Drugs

In an example of a negligent discharge, a cop shoots a Copp.

The Detroit News: Ex-Mich. college student shot by deputy files suit

The Detroit Free Press: Ex-Michigan college student shot by deputy files suit

[Headline originality went right out the window on this story]

The suit claims Deputy Ryan Huizenga was guilty of gross negligence and assault when he shot the then-20-year-old in the chest during a 2009 drug raid. Copp says officers with the West Michigan Enforcement Team were negligent, reckless and used excessive force.

Copp was shot in the chest and suffered two fractured ribs, and liver and lung damage after Huizenga's gun, a .40-caliber Glock, discharged as officers entered his apartment. An undercover officer previously had purchased small amounts of marijuana at least three times there.

"Huizenga pulled the trigger while the gun was pointed at an unarmed, non-threatening, harmless citizen," Copp's attorney, Fred Dilley, wrote in the lawsuit.

Both stories are unclear as to what role Copp had in the marijuana possession/selling business at his apartment:
Dilley says police should have known Copp didn't pose a threat, because they had been in the apartment for previous undercover pot buys....Copp was sentenced to probation, community service and a fine on a marijuana charge.

So was Copp dealing from the apartment, just a resident there enjoying the benefits of someone else's business or what?

Of course, in contrast to Copp's attorney's statement that he was clearly harmless based on previous purchases, as always Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results.

Police don't know if someone is going to pose a threat or not when they show up to arrest them.

There's a profound difference between an undercover agent buying something illegal from the dealer and then uniformed police showing up to arrest them for it, which typically triggers a more negative reaction from the person about to be arrested. Given the occupant(s) is already engaged in illegal drug dealing activity that is rather associated with violence, there's a pretty good arguemnt that they can pose a threat.

With all that said, it seems from the stories that Copp did not take any action at the time that justified being fired upon. Ottawa County is probably going to end up paying some damages for this incident.

This is yet another reminder to keep your finger off the trigger until you actually are ready and have cause to shoot. Mistakes with deadly force have serious consequences.

Interesting Examples of Media Selectivity

If you said it and its not reported, did it happen?

its interesting how multiple media outlets are not reporting Farrakhan's Anti-Semitic outburst.

For example, The Huffington Post covers his speech and even had extensive coverage on his UFO theories and approval of Scientology, but cuts the quotes to eliminate any reference to Jews: Louis Farrakhan: Libya's Muammar Gaddafi Remains A Friend

Farrakhan, 77, visited Gaddafi in the 1980s and has since considered him a friend. He said that if Gaddafi is persecuted for crimes against humanity, the same should apply to former President George W. Bush for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also said the U.S. shouldn't intervene in Libya with an armed response.

"I'm warning you this is a Libyan problem, let the Libyans solve their problem," he said.

Farrakhan also said he expects that uprisings happening in the Middle East will soon come to the U.S. He mentioned Tunisia, Egypt and other countries but didn't offer specifics on his stance on the unrest, except to say that leaders should not attack innocent protesters.
Farrakhan's speech touched on a wide range of historic topics through the lens of the Nation of Islam, including several severe weather incidents and a history of Shriners and freemasons. He also spoke at length about Scientology; Farrakhan has recently embraced some concepts of the religion.

Farrakhan also spoke of the Nation's belief in UFOs and the belief that sightings are on the rise
A rather impoortant and newsworthy element of the speech is completely glossed over now isn't it?

Clutch magazine, the proclaimed online magazine for urban Black women (a very strange site indeed, talk about a tour through the looking glass) similarly cuts his quotes to remove any antisemitic references.

The more mainstream Chicago Sun-Times similarly cut the quotes to avoid any reference, as did the Chicago Tribune. For that matter neither did the Detroit News report on the statements as it relied on an AP feed that similarly removed any references.

An interesting example of media self-censorship.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

CSI: Olde Canada Edition: The Case of Robbery with Violence

Ah, tales of the RCMP to excite Canadian kids reading Canadian Heroes Comics in the Winter of 44/45.

It certainly gives you an idea about the relatively low level of crime in Canada in that era when a home invasion (long before they were named such) that took place in Manitoba in 1934 rates a space in the comics:

I do love the final statement from the robber
"Gee Ya Can't get away wit' anyt'ing against these modern detective contraptions, it jes' don't pay no more."

Ah, "modern" criminal investigative techniques like lineups, questioning witnesses, and checking items for traces of evidence and fingerprints. Crime fighting has come quite a ways since then, but in many ways it hasn't changed all that much.

After all, the Mounties always get their man.

Canada in World War 2 - The Home Front Economy Via Comicbook

This page comes from the Canadian Heroes Comic that featured the story of Leon Panzer, published in during wartime in December 44/January 45.

The first inside page of Canadian Heroes exhorts it's readers not try and get around the wage and price controls put in place to fight inflation during World War 2.

Canada undertook to establish some very strict controls on the economy during the war. Canada continued these policies after the war ending wage controls in November 1946.

Interesting to see an appeal for workers to save and not to violate wage and price controls in a comic book targeted at kids.

Farrakhan While Defending his Benefactor Gaddafi Lets His Mask Slip Yet Again

Poor Calypso Louie.

He was doing so well making the useful idiots of the world believe he had given up his anti-Semitic bent. Then he had to go off and blame the Jews for the unrest in Libya.

From Newsmax:

Farrakhan: 'Satanic Jews' Pushing US Into War

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said Jews and Zionists are "trying to push the US into war" and are a cover for Satan, at the group's annual meeting near Chicago on Tuesday.

“President Obama," Farrakhan said, "if you allow the Zionists to push you, to mount a military offensive against Gaddafi and you go in and kill him and his sons as you did with Saddam Hussein and his sons, I’m warning you this is a Libyan problem, let the Libyans solve their problem among themselves.” Farrakhan called Muammar Gaddafi "my brother" and "my friend."

He also accused American Zionists of attempting to push Israel into war with Iran, adding that "Zionists dominate the government of the United States of America and her banking system."

I understand how sad he is. After all losing a long-standing patron is always painful.

Gaddafi funneled Farakhan and the NOI millions if not billions of dollars from his oil revenues, and that loss will sting.

In addition, in 1996 Gadaffi gave Farrakhan the coveted Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights which came with a $250,00.00 award. Reading the list of winners, this prize is an award that confirms the award recipient as either a human rights violator or a useful idiot, with the very occasional decent person thrown in for cover. Not too shabby huh?

In other words, Farrakhan was Gaddafi's bitch.

Farrakhan is continuing to try to protect his benefactor so the funds can keep coming his way.

Farrakhan also gave perhaps the understatement of the year in regards to the uprising in his speech at the NOI convention as a pathetic attempts to defend his meal ticket he said
no leader has been loved by 100 percent of his people.

Wow. After getting millions and millions of dollars from Gaddafi the best he can do in his favor is blame the Jews and do an underwhelming statement along the lines of "nobody's perfect" to protect his sugar daddy? Gaddafi got screwed on this investment.

So we can understand Farrakhan is upset that it looks like his Gaddafi-duck gravy train is coming to an end and he went looking for his convenient and popular scapegoat. Now he's gonna have to really work at it yet again to make the useful idiots think he's not an anti-Semite.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Politicians, always budgeting for the last war...

Remeber when the F-22 contract was reduced to 187 aircraft on the basis that that type of aircraft was unecessary for the low intensity conflicts of today?

The numbers changed when Obama's Defense Secretary Gates changed the prior defense doctrine of the US from being able to fight two major regional wars at once to only being ready to fight one major regional conflict.

This lead to costs savings as less military equipment and manpower was needed, whoihc let obama spend more money domestically.

For example, the F-22 program was reduced by Gates from 243 to 187 aircraft, considered enough for one major conflict. This of course reduces the number of aircraft available if needed as you can't just reopen a production line and crank them out on an on-call basis.

Now its starting to look like we'll need more aircraft.

Pentagon pours cold water on no-fly zone
Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the House Appropriations defense subcommittee that the U.S. military could establish a no-fly zone over Libya, but cautioned that doing so would first require widespread air strikes across that nation.

“If it’s ordered, we can do it,” Gates said. But, he added, it would be “a big operation in a big country.”

Establishing control of Libyan air space would “start with attacks to destroy” Libyan air defense systems, Gates said. That kind of assault would require more U.S. military aircraft than “you would find on a single aircraft carrier.”


Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) asked Gates several questions about establishing control of Libya’s air space, but added that he was not endorsing such an action. Still, Frelinghuysen noted, “there is a perception that we are the only ones who can do it.”

With so many fighter jets involved in other conflicts, the needed additional jets would have to be redeployed, Pentagon officials said. Another option would be to accelerate the deployment of the USS George H.W. Bush, set to sail in three weeks from Norfolk, Va., officials said.

Looks like we're getting a little tight on aircraft availability hmm? And this is just for a local uprising against a tin-pot dictator with a suspended NBC warfare program, but a dictator with the potential for some NBC nasties nonetheless.

What happens when we have to face more than one major regional conflict, or as now lots of minor-but-serious regional conflicts?

We're already scrambling for resources to deal with this outbreak, can we handle the next with what we've got?

Perhaps a defense strategy seeking military cost savings for increased spending domestic programs based on a prognstication that all future wars will be low intensity conflicts was a bit over-optimistic?