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9951  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 09, 2010, 04:33:00 PM
I see the "Eunuchbomber's" attempt as a "proof of concept" test rather than a serious attack. I would cite it as the Philippine Airlines Flight 434 of this version of the Bojinka attack. The real attack will surge multiple attacks on multiple transatlantic/pacific flights with a higher loss of life than what was seen on 9/11.
9952  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 09, 2010, 04:00:51 PM
I would argue that AQ understands that attacks on the global aviation infrastructure provide a huge return on investment. It's not just the lives lost on a successful attack, it's the economic and psychological impact that provides the big payoff.

I prefer to call them Jihadis, since they are waging jihad against the unbelievers as required in the koran. Islamo-fascist is accurate, if a bit redundant.
9953  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 09, 2010, 11:55:52 AM
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/08/cbsnews_investigates/main6073415.shtml?tag=stack

Jan. 8, 2010
Suspect: 20 Others Trained to Blow Up Jets
CBS Exclusive: Terror Suspect Abdulmutallab Boasted 20 Other Muslim Men Being Prepared in Yemen to Mimic Christmas Bomb Plot

**So, if explosives being brought onto aircraft is such a useless tactic, why does AQ return to it over and over again?**
9954  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: January 09, 2010, 11:33:52 AM
Kill the enemy and disrupt their networks and you make it much harder for them to carry out large scale attacks against you.
9955  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: January 09, 2010, 09:43:41 AM
Nice to see Barry show a little spine. Of course the PRC will not let this go unaddressed.
9956  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: January 09, 2010, 09:41:18 AM
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6080DQ20100109?type=politicsNews

China again denounces U.S. arms sale to Taiwan
BEIJING
Fri Jan 8, 2010 11:32pm EST

Fri, Dec 4 2009
BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Saturday again denounced U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, saying they were an intrusion in Chinese internal affairs that risked undermining its relations with the United States.
9957  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty on: January 09, 2010, 01:22:41 AM
I like Krauthammer.  I would point out that to my knowledge, he has no legal background while Andrew McCarthy is a former Assistant US Attorney. Usually I am making a counterarguement to someone asserting that the police use of some kind of technology is rapidly leading us down the path to a police state. One of the things that reassures me is that the American system requires that everything done by a law enforcement officer, no matter if he or she is a deputy from Mayberry or a FBI Special Agent, is subject to review by someone in a black robe with a gavel and by a jury of citizens in the case of a prosecution. Everything you do in an investigation is subject to discovery and subpeona. If you, as a law enforcement officer, violate someone's constitutional rights, you are subject to multiple levels of civil and criminal liability. Why should foreign law enforcement officers be exempted from this while here on US soil?
9958  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty on: January 08, 2010, 06:40:42 PM
http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=OThhZmZhYjI1NDI0NGNlZDUwZjYzNTNkYzNmNmFmY2Q=

January 08, 2010, 0:30 p.m.

Interpol Immunity
Obama takes America down another notch with an unnecessary, reckless act.

By Andrew C. McCarthy


Finally, today, we get at least an attempt at an explanation of President Obama’s dead-of-night decision on December 16 to grant Interpol — the international police force — immunity from American law. (See here and here.) Unfortunately, in the habit to which we’ve grown accustomed, the Obama administration itself didn’t provide the explanation. It comes from Interpol’s secretary general, Ron Noble, via an informative report by Valerie Richardson at Human Events. (Ms. Richardson, who quotes from my posts in her story, was good enough to call me for comment; I regret that, because of the press of other business, I didn’t retrieve the message until after I learned early this morning that her story was posted.)

The biggest problem with President Obama’s immunity grant is that it came without any explanation. The administration can’t or won’t explain why a president — whose administration is notoriously indifferent to American sovereignty — suddenly decided Interpol needed to be freed from the U.S. Constitution and other American law. Certainly, Interpol was not clamoring publicly for immunity; neither Noble nor any other Interpol official was heard to suggest that American law was interfering with some aspect or other of its operations.
 
READ IT ALL
9959  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / This guy should have run for president on: January 08, 2010, 06:22:08 PM
http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2010/01/mccain_vs_obamas_leftwing_crus.html

Where was this guy in 2008?
9960  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 08, 2010, 07:40:40 AM
The double agent homicide bomber appears to have gutted the CIA's Af-Pak operations. I smell the ISI, or at least a jihadist element within.

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/01/06/scarborough-scoop-how-the-talibans-double-agent-bomber-ambushed-the-cia/

Even more so, now.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-01-07/did-pakistani-spies-help-cia-bomber/full/

Did Pakistani Spies Help CIA Bomber?
by Gerald Posner

 Afghan spy officials tell The Daily Beast’s Gerald Posner that the chemical fingerprint of the bomb that killed seven CIA agents matches the kind produced by Pakistani intelligence.

Early evidence in the December 30 bombing that killed seven CIA agents suggests a link to Pakistan, two senior Afghan sources, including an official at their spy agency, told The Daily Beast. The pair said that U.S. has already taken a chemical fingerprint of the bomb used by a Jordanian double agent in the attack, and that it matches an explosive type used by their Pakistan equivalents, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI.

The bomb’s provenance was an immediate concern after the attack, which took place in a remote base in eastern Afghanistan called Camp Chapman, because of its compact power. Most suicide attacks involve a bulky vest or belt. “It is not possible that the Jordanian double agent received that type of explosive without the help of ISI,” a senior government aide to President Hamid Karzai told me. “The problem is that CIA trusted a Jordanian but not the Afghan operatives we offer to them. If the U.S. forces recruit, they must recruit Afghans who do not have family members in Pakistan.”

“The CIA has a policy usually not to trust anyone,” says Mahmoud Karzai, the president’s brother. “But when they do they trust someone, it is often the enemy, as obvious from the case of the CIA deaths.”
The CIA declined comment on the accusation of a possible ISI role. The U.S. embassy in Pakistan had no comment. Multiple attempts over two days to obtain a comment from Pakistani officials were unsuccessful.
9961  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: January 08, 2010, 07:35:08 AM

----
I turned in a trespasser on a property recently.  The sheriff deputy  had him frisked and handcuffed very quickly on very little information, ultimately releasing him without pressing charges.  I suppose the handcuffs help secure the situation and also served to intimidate a bit as the officers sorted out the facts.

Under Habeas Corpus I think they have 3 days to charge or release you. I assume this was more like minutes, though apparently uncalled for.  Yon was 'arrested' only in the sense of losing his liberties for that period, but not charged with anything or denied entry.

**What the deputy did was a "Terry Stop", which is an investigative detention, based on a reasonable suspicion that a crime has, or is being committed. It is a seizure of a person or persons for a reasonable amount of time until either you estabish probable cause for an arrest or cut the person(s) loose.**

The fedspeak guy probably had it partly right - Yon's travel location history just looked fishy to them and that's all they knew.
9962  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: January 07, 2010, 07:41:28 PM
He knows his fedspeak.
9963  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 07, 2010, 07:17:51 PM

NCTC director Michael Leiter remained on ski slopes after Christmas Day airline bombing attempt
BY James Gordon Meek
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU

Thursday, January 7th 2010, 4:00 AM
 
Somodevilla/GettyMichael Leiter, head of the NCTC, set up after 9/11 to battle terror attacks, could be in hot water after remaining on ski slopes following Christmas Day jetliner bombing try. - The top official in charge of analyzing terror threats did not cut short his ski vacation after the underwear bomber nearly blew up an airliner on Christmas Day, the Daily News has learned.

Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center since 2007, decided not to return to his agency's "bat cave" nerve center in McLean, Va., until several days after Christmas, two U.S. officials said.



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2010/01/07/2010-01-07_antiterror_chief_took_ski_pass_remained_on_slopes_after_christmas_bomb_attempt.html#ixzz0bym35EPI
9964  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 07, 2010, 07:02:19 PM
And so I have to wonder if the nice palestinian was just 5150 as they say in SoCal, or a probe.
9965  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: January 07, 2010, 11:17:57 AM
 grin
9966  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 06, 2010, 11:24:53 PM
http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=9493323

Obama Orders Air Marshal Surge by Feb. 1: 'Race Against Time'

**All is well, all is well. Nothing to worry about, no actionable intel, just putting every federal gun and badge toter we have on every flight possible for no real reason.**
9967  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 06, 2010, 10:55:56 PM
The double agent homicide bomber appears to have gutted the CIA's Af-Pak operations. I smell the ISI, or at least a jihadist element within.

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/01/06/scarborough-scoop-how-the-talibans-double-agent-bomber-ambushed-the-cia/

Even more so, now.
9968  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: January 06, 2010, 10:53:26 PM
There is established caselaw for hiring persons unfit for law enforcement as well as retaining them in the job. Chicago will end up writing some big checks because of this.
9969  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: January 06, 2010, 01:39:07 PM
http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local-beat/chicago-police-scrap-entrance-exam-80790827.html

They should scrap the background requirements as well. After all, we did the last presidential election.
9970  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More government oppression! on: January 06, 2010, 01:07:27 PM
**I take back everything I've said to those that see every attempt at law enforcement as evidence of the US rapidly devolving into a police state. The evidence for your arguements has become too compelling.**

NH artist protests halt to Bigfoot project
From Associated Press
January 06, 2010 12:42 AM EST

JAFFREY, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire artist and videographer who dressed as Bigfoot in a state park says his rights were trampled by big government.

Jonathan Doyle, of Keene, has complained in a letter to the state parks department that a Mount Monadnock park ranger halted his performance art project in the fall because he didn't have a permit.

Doyle is arguing through the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union Foundation that his free-speech rights were violated when he was expelled from the state park in Jaffrey. He says he and others with him, some also in costume, were on a lesser-used trail and weren't bothering other park visitors.

Doyle says the state hasn't responded to his letter. The Division of Parks and Recreation says it has been forwarded to the state attorney general's office.

___

Information from: The Keene Sentinel, http://www.keenesentinel.com


**First they came for those in the bigfoot suits, I said nothing as I did not wear a bigfoot suit.....**
9971  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: January 06, 2010, 12:43:47 PM
It's not about fixing the economy, it's about the dems buying votes, as usual.


9972  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism on: January 06, 2010, 12:07:48 PM
I've studied the koran and islamic theology since 9/11/01.

This is a good place to start: http://www.jihadwatch.org/islam-101.html
9973  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism on: January 06, 2010, 11:32:20 AM
Ibn Warraq is a brilliant and ballsy guy.

Amazing how those that leave the religion of peace have to live like mob informants.
9974  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 06, 2010, 11:08:11 AM
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/59330

Homeland Security’s National Operations Center ‘Unable’ to Do Its Job, Inspector General Finds
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
By Matt Cover, Staff Writer




CNSNews.com) – The Homeland Security Department’s National Operations Center (NOC) is “unable” to do its job of ensuring coordination among the 22 federal agencies that make up the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and focuses too much on disaster management rather than terrorism prevention, according to its own inspector general.
 
The National Operations Center, in fact, functions largely in name only, and current operations apparently have diminished its ability to respond to terrorist threats.
 
These assessments are presented in a redacted report from the DHS Office of Inspector General released in November and entitled “Information Sharing at the National Operations Center.”
9975  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 06, 2010, 10:20:16 AM
http://wcbstv.com/local/newark.airport.continental.2.1407062.html

Jan 6, 2010 8:18 am US/Eastern

Comedy Of Errors: Cameras Didn't Work At Newark
Sources Tell CBS 2 That TSA Surveillance Cameras Were Inoperable At Time Of Terminal C Security Breach
TSA Apparently Didn't Know Number For Continental To Get Other Footage
9976  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: January 06, 2010, 10:11:59 AM
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/01/nigerian-underwear-bomber.html

State Department leaps into action!
9977  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 06, 2010, 08:43:47 AM
http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=9486017

How a Double Agent Lured Seven CIA Operatives to Their Deaths
Suicide Bomber Al-Balawi Convinced Americans He Was the 'Golden Goose'
By BRIAN ROSS, NICK SCHIFRIN, NASSER ATTA and LEE FERRAN
Jan. 5, 2010 —


As the CIA mourns its dead from a devastating suicide bombing in Afghanistan, the questions grow about how professional spies could have been so taken in, failing to spot a double agent and letting a bomber into their midst.

Some 13 CIA operatives, including private contractors from the company once known as Blackwater, had gathered to hear the informant's report when the bomb went off. Among the nine people killed were seven CIA operatives, the informant, and a Jordanian intelligence officer, a cousin of Jordan's King Abdullah, who had been the liaison between the informant and the CIA.

The suicide bomber, who killed some of the CIA's top al Qaeda hunters, lured the agents to the meeting by claiming he had just met with Ayman al-Zawahiri, this country's most wanted terrorist after Osama bin Laden, sources told ABC News.
9978  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 06, 2010, 08:31:08 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703436504574640560502410466.html?mod=rss_opinion_main

The Ramzi Yousef Standard
The Administration has ways of making terrorists not talk.
9979  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Where did they learn this attitude? on: January 06, 2010, 07:59:12 AM
http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/22129881/detail.html#

Sweatshirt Sparks School Controversy
Hoodie Contains Image Of World Trade Center Towers

POSTED: Tuesday, January 5, 2010
UPDATED: 6:24 pm EST January 5, 2010


 
DEARBORN, Mich. -- About 15 Arab-American students at Edsel Ford High School are in trouble over a class sweatshirt they had made over the holiday break.

The class of 2011 sweatshirt has the number 11 made to look like the World Trade Center Towers. The school's mascot, a Thunderbird, is seen flying toward the number.

Watch: Sweatshirts Sparks Controversy

Under the graphic, a tagline reads, "You can't bring us down."

The students wore the hooded sweatshirts to school Monday. They were immediately sent to the principal's office.

The sweatshirts were confiscated.

“What took place here today was an inappropriate, distasteful act,” said David Mustonen, a spokesman for Dearborn Schools. “(It was) totally inappropriate, totally disrespectful, and they just were not thinking.”

The students told the principal they didn’t mean any harm by having the sweatshirts made.

Other students who heard about and saw the shirts said they were disgusted.

“I found them very offensive and I didn’t think it was funny or fun at all,” said Brittany Johnson, a senior at Edsel Ford High.

The school has not said what disciplinary action will be taken against the students.

“If I was in charge, I would have them expelled,” said Lindsey Winstrand. “But I think suspension is the least they can do.”

The students told the principal they had the sweatshirts made at the Gibraltar Trade Center for about $25 each.
9980  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: January 06, 2010, 07:33:32 AM
If I recall correctly, CPB officers can detain a border crosser up to 72 hrs. without probable cause/warrant.
9981  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: January 05, 2010, 10:19:50 PM
Counterterrorism Blog
Google and the Problem with al-Manar
By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

UPDATE, 4/12/2006, 11:09 A.M.: Video clips from the CD-ROM that accompanies Avi Jorisch's Beacon of Hatred are available at this website. It is worth visiting to get a sense of the kind of propaganda that al-Manar regularly broadcasts.

Last Thursday, my colleague Olivier Guitta noted that Google carries the Hizballah-run al-Manar as one of the sources in its news section. (See this link, showing that al-Manar is still featured in Google News.) Questions have been raised in the past about the criteria used for selecting Google News sources. For example, there is a 2005 post by Michelle Malkin noting that her website and Little Green Footballs were rejected as news sources, while Democratic Underground and the malicious uruknet.info were included. What is clear, though, is that the Google team believes -- rightly -- that it confers a degree of prestige upon those websites that it chooses to include in its Google News feed. That is why Google's selection of al-Manar as a news source is disturbing.

Guitta noted that al-Manar was placed on Treasury's list of Specially Designated Global Terrorist entities and that al-Manar has also been banned in France. But to understand why Google's use of al-Manar as a news source is disturbing, it's necessary to look beyond the mere fact of its designation and understand the kind of propaganda that al-Manar is known for disseminating. The definitive study on al-Manar, Beacon of Hatred: Inside Hizballah's al-Manar Television, was written by Avi Jorisch and published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in 2004. The research performed for the monograph was extensive: Washington Institute staff recorded and analyzed hundreds of hours of primetime al-Manar programming, and Jorisch conducted a number of interviews at al-Manar's headquarters in Lebanon, as well as at the offices of other Lebanese TV stations and al-Jazeera's headquarters in Qatar.

Jorisch's study makes clear that al-Manar views its mission as propagandizing for Hizballah and promoting violence against the United States and Israel. Hizballah has openly called for violence against American forces in Iraq, and al-Manar's programming has accordingly incited violence and hatred toward Americans. Among many examples, Jorisch's description of a music video was particularly interesting:

Al-Manar has also broadcast explicit calls for acts of resistance against U.S. forces in Iraq. One video lambastes U.S. troops in Iraq with the following lyrics: "Down with the mother of terrorism! America threatens in vain, an occupying army of invaders. Nothing remains but rifles and suicide bombers." The video ends with an image of a suicide bomber's belt detonating.

Al-Manar also calls for the destruction of Israel. One video featuring Hizballah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah makes this desire crystal clear:

In it, he challenges fellow Arabs to account for what they have personally done to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem. Population figures for each Arab country are listed, and the video ends with big letters that read, "Population of the Arab world: 300 million Arabs. Occupied Palestine: 5 million Jews. What are you waiting for?" The clear message to viewers is that the Arab world should encounter no difficulty in destroying Israel through sheer numbers alone.

Al-Manar consistently supports acts of terror against Israelis. The programming frequently praises suicide bombers, and indeed, Jorisch writes that "station officials maintain that one of al-Manar's aims is to promote suicide missions. The station also strives to ensure that the families of suicide bombers know that they will be compensated for their loss."

Nor is this advocacy of violence limited to Israelis: Many al-Manar guests portray all Jews as part of a sinister conspiracy to dominate the world. As Sheikh Taha al-Sabounji, the head mufti of northern Lebanon, said on al-Manar: "Judaism is a project against all humanity. It is about time the world understands this. Those who are fighting Israel are not just defending themselves; they are defending the whole world. They are protecting all the future generations of humanity. If they don't believe this, then they should read in the Jewish books what is written about Islam, Christianity, about Jesus and Muhammad. It's our job as Muslims to call upon the Christian world to rise up and become aware of what the Jews are doing. . . . There is no such thing as Zionism . . . . There is only Judaism." And Nasrallah stated on a diferent show, "If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."

Reasonable minds can differ about the relative merits of MichelleMalkin.com, Little Green Footballs and Democratic Underground for inclusion in Google News. But the inclusion of al-Manar -- itself a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity, and known for its unrelenting support of terror against Americans and Israelis -- is simply indefensible.

UPDATE, 3:16 P.M.: If you find the inclusion of al-Manar as a Google News source outrageous, I encourage you to send a polite but firm e-mail to source-suggestions@google.com encouraging them to remove al-Manar as a news source.

UPDATE, 5:03 P.M.: I just learned that, in refusing to list a website called Alain's Newsletter as a Google News source, the Google team explained: "We've reviewed your site and cannot include it in Google News at this time. While we make an effort to provide a well-rounded perspective on controversial topics by including sites that represent contrasting points of view, we do not include sites that contain hate speech." If Hizballah's al-Manar isn't hate speech, I don't know what is.

By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross on April 11, 2006 3:08 PM
9982  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 05, 2010, 09:52:28 PM
Aha! Vindication!  grin
9983  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 05, 2010, 09:22:09 PM
Go ahead and mock the looming threat to privacy and freedom that horses present. Don't say I didn't warn you when they crush the constitution under their steely hooves!
9984  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 05, 2010, 06:39:53 PM
Oh yeah, horses are cute. Don't buy into the propaganda, man.

Who had horses? The nazis! Yeah, that's right. Who else has horses? The UK! See the connections? It's all becoming more clear by the moment. First come the horses, then the cops get aircraft, next thing you know, you can't get a filthy sanchez in your backyard without some fascist jackboot clomping by on his "cute and fuzzy" POLICE HORSE!

I know the founding fathers would never tolerate the government having horses.....
9985  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The sound of totalitarianism on horseback on: January 05, 2010, 06:27:15 PM

Trotting a beat in San Francisco
Delfin Vigil

Sunday, October 2, 2005

"I was patrolling down on Ocean Beach when a homeless guy came up to me and the horse and said, 'Man, you horse cops have got like a totally different vibe than the cops down in the Tenderloin,' " remembers Downs, smiling.

"You know, he's probably right. Because in all my years of being in a patrol car, nobody ever came up to me just to say hello. Now it happens every day."

Once SFPD police officers become eligible, they always add their names to the bottom of a long waiting list in hopes of becoming an officer in the country's second-oldest mounted patrol unit, according to Downs.

"Let's just say it was hardly a spur-of-the-moment decision to join," admits the no-pun-intended sergeant, who was on a waiting list for 13 years.

Officially founded in 1872 (two years after New York City's), the mounted patrol unit has been trotting through the city's streets fighting and preventing crime in three centuries. While in its -- ahem -- heyday, there were upward of 30 badge-wearing horses, and although at one point every substation in the city had horses, there are only 13 on-duty patrol ponies left at the department's stables in Golden Gate Park.

There have been attempts to close the unit, including budget-crunching efforts from former Mayor Art Agnos and a proposition put on the 1988 ballot by real estate investor Nicholas Roomel.

"For too long the city of St. Francis has been forced to watch disgusting, undiapered horses annoying the public littering the streets, parks and beaches with excrement," wrote Roomel in his losing argument, which cost $10,000 in campaign funding to defeat.

Although some critics write off the mounted patrol as a chance for police officers to joyride through the park, many don't realize that the horses are putting their lives at risk.

"During crowd control on New Year's Eve, we'll get drunks throwing champagne bottles and other sharp objects right at the horses' faces," says Downs. "We've even had people pick up entire police barricades and throw them at us."

Crowd control is where the horses come in especially handy, because they have the ability to be imposing without being threatening, says Downs.

During one of the initial and largest protests against the current war in Iraq, the mounted patrol unit was brought in to help the first officers on the scene, who were being backed in and surrounded by protesters near Third and Market streets.

"Eleven horses were brought in to save the officers," remembers Downs. "We were able to part the sea of protesters without hitting, stepping on or even touching a single person. That's the beauty of the horse."

All 13 horses on patrol are geldings (neutered males) and include Clydesdale mixes, American quarter horses and Tennessee walkers. Long before they join the force, candidates are spotted for personality traits that would make them good horse police officers. Being calm, curious and affectionate with people is a must. But always following strict orders and going through an intense noise desensitization training is even more important before a horse can take on the noisy and unpredictable streets of San Francisco.

Aggressive dogs are probably the biggest danger to the four-legged officers.

In November 2003, a woman was walking Nettie, a pit bull mix, in Golden Gate Park when she decided to take off the dog's leash to let it play with other dogs. But instead it went after police horse AAA Andy.

AAA, who is not in the insurance business but was given to the department by the company, was bitten several times in the belly and legs by the dog, which continued to chase him for about a half mile as AAA Andy tried to find his way back to the stables. The officer was thrown to the ground during the frenzy. Another officer had to shoot the dog (who survived) to stop the attack.

AAA Andy went on disability for a couple of months. Within weeks of being back on the job he was in the news again for galloping down the "Spider-Man" burglar who had a record of more than 60 acrobatic burglaries through skylights and ventilation shafts in Sunset District buildings. This time, "Spider-Man," a.k.a. 27-year-old Kristian Kwon Marine, was on the run after snatching a purse at a cafe on Ninth Avenue and Irving Street. With only a good old-fashioned "he went thataway," tip, AAA and Officer Kaan Chin chased the burglar down in a field in Golden Gate Park.

"What people don't always understand is that most of what all police officers do involves crime prevention," says Kaan, who still rides AAA Andy. "But these horses are very capable of fighting crime in heat-of-the-moment ways as well. Once that saddle is put on, their personalities change and they are ready to work."

Like all police fraternities, the horses occasionally don't get along and even give each other some grief. No doubt the General, an American quarter horse with seven years on the force, had to put his tail between his legs when his corral compadres heard what happened to him.

"We tied him near Ninth Avenue during a break, and some idiot jumped on and rode him across the street," remembers Downs, a little embarrassed for the General. "That guy was so far gone no psychiatrist would have said he was sane in court," Downs says about the General's rogue rider, as any good cop would to defend a buddy with a wounded ego.

E-mail Delfin Vigil at dvigil@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page PK - 23 of the San Francisco Chronicle



Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/10/02/PKG6CEU8GT1.DTL#ixzz0bmrk4b8i
9986  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: January 05, 2010, 02:29:28 PM
Hopefully no one is stupid enough to try to make the tea party movement into a formal political party.
9987  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Violence against Women on: January 05, 2010, 02:13:52 PM
Suspect in NH machete attack regrets girl survived
January 05, 2010 1:49 PM EST

MILFORD, N.H. (AP) — Newly released court documents say one of the men charged with killing a New Hampshire woman in her bed told police his only regret was that he didn't succeed in killing her 11-year-old daughter.

In the documents released Tuesday, 20-year-old Christopher Gribble told police that he had wanted to kill someone for a long time. He said he was disappointed he didn't feel any emotion following the Oct. 4 killing of Kimberly Cates in her Mont Vernon home.
9988  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: January 05, 2010, 01:52:55 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2010/01/05/california-hoist-by-own-petard-on-porkulus-spending/

Tragic.
9989  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Violence against Women on: January 05, 2010, 01:38:26 PM
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/07/25/national/main3095614.shtml

CHESHIRE, Conn., July 25, 2007
Ghastly Details In Conn. Home Invasion
Papers Report Mother, Two Daughters Raped Before Their Deaths

 
Home Invasion Murder
 
Authorities in Connecticut believe two paroled convicts in custody are to blame for a violent home invasion that turned deadly. Bianca Solorzano reports.

.
The SUV that authorities say was used by the two suspects in an attempt to get away, with a damaged police cruiser in the background, July 23, 2007.  (AP)
. Firemen investigate a burned area of the home of Dr. William Petit in Cheshire, Conn., on July 23, 2007.  (AP)
.
 Suspects Joshua Komisarjevky, left, and Steven Hayes, July 24, 2007.  (CBS/AP)

 
Home Invasion Horror
 
Connecticut family terrorized by intruders, wife, two daughters killed, husband wounded.
.(CBS/AP)  The two men accused of a brutal Connecticut home invasion may not have had violent crimes in their long lists of prior convictions, but sources tell local newspapers the pair's record changed when they invaded the home of a prominent doctor early Monday morning.

"This is everyone's worst nightmare," Lt. Jay Markella, Cheshire police spokesman, told the Waterbury newspaper. "It's by far the worst thing any of us have ever seen."

Joshua Komisarjevsky, 26, of Cheshire, and Steven Hayes, 44, of Winsted, were arraigned Tuesday on charges of assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, arson, larceny and risk of injury to children. More charges are pending, state police said Tuesday night. The two men could face the death penalty.

Prosecutor Michael Dearington said he had not yet decided whether to pursue the death penalty.

"I know the public consensus is they should be fried tomorrow," he said.

The state medical examiner confirmed that Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, was strangled and that her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela, died of smoke inhalation. The deaths were ruled homicides.

The girls' father, Dr. William Petit Jr., a prominent endocrinologist, remained hospitalized with head injuries.

All three women were raped, sources familiar with the investigation told both the Waterbury Republican-American and Hartford Courant. Petit was beaten with a baseball bat, thrown down the basement stairs, and then tied up in the cellar.

The girls, sources told the Courant, were tied to their beds and raped repeatedly, then left to burn after gasoline was poured around their beds and ignited.
9990  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: January 05, 2010, 01:08:03 PM
From 7/10/2009

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/10/obama-gives-iran-deadline-nuclear-program/

Obama gives Iran deadline on nuclear program

L'AQUILA, Italy -- President Obama said Friday that Iran faces a September deadline to show good-faith efforts to halt its nuclear weapons program, and said the statement issued by the world's leading industrial nations meeting here this week means the international community is ready to act.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/01/iran_deadline_passes_without_n.html

January 02, 2010
Iran deadline passes without notice
Ethel C. Fenig

It is now January 2, 2010 in Teheran, Washington DC and Hawaii. In other words it is past the absolutely, positively final deadline that President Barack Obama (D) offered to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to come clean by halting Iran's nuclear weapons program before Obama gets really, really angry and does something drastic like not be so engaging.

Ok, Ahmadinejad may be busy, what with countering the riots against him with deadly, bloody suppression, but not too busy to negotiate the purchase of still yet more uranium from Kazakhstan for Iran's uranium enrichment facilities.

Oh sure, the UN Security Council demanded a halt to this work but this is the UN Security Council and Iran so this edict can--and will--be ignored without any consequences.

But what about Obama's deadline? Will this too be ignored without consequences?
9991  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: January 05, 2010, 12:51:46 PM
Obama is a one term president. Still, the US and the world will pay dearly for his 4 years of destruction. Israel may well not exist by the end of his term, as an example.
9992  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Enjoy the lawfare, Obots! on: January 05, 2010, 12:17:37 PM
http://www.politico.com/blogs/politicolive/0110/Brenan_deal_on_the_table_for_terror_suspect.html#

Brennan: Deal 'on the table' for terror suspect

The U.S. Government is offering the suspect charged with attempting to bomb an aircraft on Christmas Day, Omar Abdulmutallab, some kind of incentives to share what he knows about Al Qaeda, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said Sunday.

Asked why Abdulmutallab should cooperate given his right, as criminal defendant, to remain silent, Brennan replied: "He doesn't have to but he knows there are certain things that are on the table... if he wants to engage with us in a productive manner, there are ways he can do that."

Asked if Abdulmutallab's willingness to talk changed once he had an attorney, Brennan declined to answer. "I'm not going to address what he did before or after he talked with a lawyer," the adviser said.

Brennan declined to say what criteria are used to decide whether a prisoner should be taken into criminal court or before a military commission. "There are no downsides or upsides in particular cases," he said. "What we're trying to do is make the right determination in particular cases."
9993  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 05, 2010, 11:59:44 AM
The irony seemingly missed by you, the tv news and the tinfoil hat youtube poster is that the media has helicopters with cameras that allow them to fly and photograph just as police aircraft do. Modern cameras allow closeup still and video to be taken from distances where the helo can't be seen or heard. This could allow for you to be seen getting a Clinton in your back yard.
9994  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Crimes using knives on: January 05, 2010, 11:34:19 AM
Suspect in NH machete attack regrets girl survived
January 05, 2010 1:49 PM EST
MILFORD, N.H. (AP) — Newly released court documents say one of the men charged with killing a New Hampshire woman in her bed told police his only regret was that he didn't succeed in killing her 11-year-old daughter.

In the documents released Tuesday, 20-year-old Christopher Gribble told police that he had wanted to kill someone for a long time. He said he was disappointed he didn't feel any emotion following the Oct. 4 killing of Kimberly Cates in her Mont Vernon home.
9995  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: January 05, 2010, 11:23:31 AM
Friedman is a smart guy, but some of his analysis is a not much more than a geopolitical just so story.
9996  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: January 05, 2010, 11:08:01 AM
So, you want to ban all aircraft?
9997  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: January 05, 2010, 11:03:03 AM
Why pander to the empty suit president leading the US into decline? China understands power politics and continues to put pieces into play on the global chessboard.
9998  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: January 05, 2010, 10:59:28 AM
I'ver never been much of a Rush fan. Frankly, his time is past. Beck and younger voices that can appeal to 18-35 year olds are who need to be cultivated and pushed to the forefront.
9999  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: January 05, 2010, 10:56:33 AM
Sanctity of contract? The rule of law is soooo pre-obama. We have Changed!
10000  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Glen Beck on: January 05, 2010, 10:51:39 AM
I'm probably one of the last Americans without a DVR.
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