Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 01, 2014, 07:41:57 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
81429 Posts in 2243 Topics by 1046 Members
Latest Member: MikeT
* Home Help Search Login Register
  Show Posts
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 16
1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sunni From Shiite on: June 25, 2014, 10:13:13 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/25/world/middleeast/questioning-helps-rebels-tell-sunnis-from-shiites.html?rref=world/middleeast&module=Ribbon&version=context&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Middle%20East&pgtype=article



Questions Rebels Use to Tell Sunni From Shiite


By ALISSA J. RUBINJUNE 24, 2014
   
 
BAGHDAD — Whether a person is a Shiite or a Sunni Muslim in Iraq can now be, quite literally, a matter of life and death.

As the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has seized vast territories in western and northern Iraq, there have been frequent accounts of fighters’ capturing groups of people and releasing the Sunnis while the Shiites are singled out for execution.

ISIS believes that the Shiites are apostates and must die in order to forge a pure form of Islam. The two main branches of Islam diverge in their beliefs over which is the true inheritor of the mantle of the Prophet Muhammad. The Shiites believe that Islam was transmitted through the household of the Prophet Muhammad. Sunnis believe that it comes down through followers of the Prophet Muhammad who, they say, are his chosen people.


But how can ISIS tell whether a person is a Sunni or a Shiite? From accounts of people who survived encounters with the militants, it seems they often ask a list of questions. Here are some of them:
 
What is your name?

A quick look at an Iraqi’s national identity card or passport can be a signal. Shiites believe that the leadership of Islam was passed down through the Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali and his sons Hussain (or Hussein), Hassan and Abbas, among others. While some Sunnis and members of other Islamic groups may also have those names, ISIS would most likely associate them with the Shiites.

Where do you live?

In every city and province, even majority Sunni ones, there are enclaves that are known to be Shiite. People who said they came from one of those neighborhoods would most likely be killed.

How do you pray?

Shiites and Sunnis offer prayers in slightly different ways, with Sunnis generally folding their hands or crossing their arms in front of their stomachs and Shiites leaving them extended, palms resting on their thighs.

In a chilling video that appeared to have been made more than a year ago in the Anbar Province of Iraq, ISIS fighters stopped three truck drivers in the desert and asked them whether they were Sunnis or Shiites. All three claimed to be Sunni. Then the questions got harder. They were asked how they performed each of the prayers: morning, midday and evening. The truck drivers disagreed on their methods, and all were shot.

What kind of music do you listen to?

Recordings of religious songs could also be a tipoff. Similarly, even the ringtone on a person’s telephone could be a clue because it might be from a Sunni or Shiite religious song.

There are other clues, but none are completely reliable. For instance, a number of Shiites wear large rings, often with semiprecious stones. But so do some Sunnis, and others.

Generally, Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis are often indistinguishable in appearance. That is even more evident in many families and tribes in which there has been intermarriage for generations.

Given that the rigid views of ISIS are fairly well known, it is perhaps natural to wonder why hostages do not simply lie about their origins. It seems that many do, yet in very tense, perilous encounters, people can easily get tripped up. Sometimes another person in a group might inadvertently give someone away. Others refuse to lie about their faith.

                            P.C.
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Unconditional Surrender on: June 25, 2014, 10:07:21 AM
(How Obama's withdrawal from Iraq became a surrender.)


Relief Over U.S. Exit From Iraq Fades as Reality Overtakes Hope

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/23/world/middleeast/relief-over-us-exit-from-iraq-fades-as-reality-overtakes-hope.html?_r=0



PETER BAKERJUNE 22, 2014

WASHINGTON — Standing in Al Faw palace in Baghdad, surrounded by an artificial lake and the ragged remnants of eight years of war, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. felt a surge of emotion on that day in December 2011.

He had gone to Iraq to note the end of an era, the departure of American troops from a country that had cost his own so much. Ebullient, he praised the troops, congratulated the generals, wished Iraqi leaders good luck and called President Obama to share his excitement.

“All I’ve said about this job, I take it back,” Mr. Biden later recalled telling Mr. Obama. “Thank you for giving me the chance to end this goddamn war.”

“Joe,” he remembered the president responding, “I’m glad you got to do it.”

For two men who had run for office on the promise of getting out of Iraq, it seemed like a moment of validation. But that moment has proved achingly ephemeral. It was not the end of the war or even the end of their involvement.
 

Two and a half years later, Mr. Obama has ordered up to 300 Special Operations members back to Iraq and may yet authorize airstrikes to prevent the collapse of the government at the hands of a brutal Islamic insurgency.
 
President Obama greeted soldiers at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Dec. 14, 2011, and spoke about the end of American military involvement in Iraq. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times 

The journey from then to now is a tale of premature celebration and dashed hopes. A president who thought he had set Iraq on a more stable course that could be sustained without American help has now determined that American diplomacy and power are critical to saving it. Tired of war, like most Americans, he found his aspiration to move on bedeviled by forces tearing across a region in a story punctuated by miscalculation and missed opportunities.

The withdrawal ceremony on that winter day in 2011 was, in the end, the result of a failed negotiation. In theory, both Mr. Obama and the Iraqi leadership wanted a small American detachment to stay behind. In reality, neither side was enthusiastic and seemed just as happy that a dispute over legal conditions scotched the deal.

The residual troops would not have been a combat force, but might have mounted counterterrorism missions and helped Iraqi forces gain better intelligence on the militants. Whether it would have made a difference is impossible to know, but will be a subject of debate for a long time.

Just as important if not more so, however, was the impact of the civil war in next-door Syria. Few if any expected on that day in 2011 just how far the Syria conflict would escalate, leading to the creation of virulent new Islamist jihadist groups like the Nusra Front and Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS or sometimes ISIL, that would ultimately spill over the border and threaten Baghdad.

“The notion that Syria would completely fall apart and become this major staging ground for Nusra and ISIS, which wasn’t even ISIS at the time, I don’t think people anticipated and I don’t think could have been anticipated,” said Colin Kahl, who was the Pentagon official in charge of Iraq until the withdrawal.

But in the months that followed, as Syria degenerated into a toxic stew of rebellion and jihadism, some inside and outside the administration warned of the dangers of a broader regional destabilization. The administration overestimated the capacity of the Iraqi security forces and underestimated the power of ISIS. And it felt stymied by Iraqi leaders and a Syria crisis that it considered beyond its control.

“We’ve had to overcome Iraqi reluctance, political dysfunction and the chaos in Syria,” said Antony J. Blinken, the president’s deputy national security adviser and a key player on Iraq policy. “It was a work very much in progress when ISIL launched its offensive.”

At various points, the president approved modest measures to shape the Syria conflict but resisted a broader intervention, afraid of another Iraq. Now he finds himself facing another Iraq anyway — in Iraq. And the war that Mr. Biden cursed is again cursing the Obama administration.

Quieted War Offers Hope

Mr. Obama came to office vowing to withdraw from Iraq but he largely followed an agreement signed by his predecessor, George W. Bush, with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki committing the United States to leave by the end of 2011. Both Washington and Baghdad had imagined that they would negotiate a new agreement for a small residual force after that.

But as 2011 opened, the war had quieted down. After a troop increase ordered by Mr. Bush, a strategy shift by Gen. David H. Petraeus and a change of sides by Sunni militias, Mr. Maliki’s government seemed in a strong position. Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander on the ground, developed proposals for keeping as many as 24,000 troops in Iraq after 2011, only to run into instant resistance.

“The White House looks at the 20,000 number and was like, you’ve got to be kidding,” Mr. Kahl recalled. “This looks like a permanent Korea-style presence in Iraq, which nobody supported.” Mr. Obama’s appointees concluded that the military was trying to still do everything it was doing before, just with fewer troops, rather than changing the mission to reflect a more reduced role. At a meeting in the White House Situation Room, Robert M. Gates, then the defense secretary, made clear that was not acceptable.

Pentagon officers and General Austin’s team refined the plans, developing options of 19,000 troops, 16,000 troops and 10,000 troops. The general preferred the highest number and deemed the lowest unwise. Mr. Biden aggressively pushed for a smaller force. Tom Donilon, the president’s national security adviser, asked Mr. Gates if he could live with 10,000. Mr. Gates said he could.

At a May 19 meeting, Mr. Obama decided to keep up to 10,000 troops and on June 2 talked with Mr. Maliki by secure video to open the discussions. To help negotiate an agreement, the administration brought back Brett McGurk, a Bush aide who had negotiated the original 2008 withdrawal deal. But the talks quickly foundered on the question of maintaining legal protections for American troops from Iraqi law. The 2008 agreement had been approved by Iraq’s Parliament, and Pentagon lawyers insisted a follow-on agreement would have to be as well.

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq and President Obama in December 2011, as the American pullout was being completed. Credit Pool photo by Olivier Douliery 

Though Mr. Maliki was willing to send it to Parliament, chances of passage seemed slim. Kurdish leaders supported it, but Sunni and other Shiite leaders did not. Mr. Maliki suggested instead that he sign an executive agreement guaranteeing immunity for American troops and Mr. McGurk supported that, arguing that the need to keep some troops was worth some risk. But lawyers in Washington rejected it, and even Iraq’s chief justice quietly advised it had to be approved by Parliament.


Even as that debate raged, the White House was rethinking the 10,000-troop option. Mr. Obama was locked in tense deficit negotiations with Republicans and the cost of a residual force weighed on the discussions. Officials concluded that one part of the planned mission, keeping troops along the line dividing Arabs and Kurds in northern Iraq, was unnecessary. With that discarded, they reduced the plan to 5,000 troops.

James Jeffrey, then ambassador to Iraq, said it was clear that some around the president were not eager to stay.

“Certainly there were people close to him in the White House that were uncomfortable with his decision,” he said, “and every time we were running into trouble trying to get the Iraqis to go along, they wanted to pull the plug.”

But he added that the immunity dispute left them little choice. Without parliamentary approval of the agreement, American troops would fall under Iraqi legal jurisdiction, a position rejected by the Pentagon. Ultimately, Mr. Obama had enough. “He wasn’t going to beg the Iraqis to let us stay,” Mr. Kahl said.

On Oct. 21, Mr. Obama talked with Mr. Maliki by video again and they agreed that American troops would pull out by the end of the year according to the original agreement. Neither seemed unhappy.

“We really didn’t want to be there and he really didn’t want us there,” said a former senior White House official. “It’s not like Maliki went out of his way to get a deal. It was almost a mutual decision, not said directly to each other, but in reality that’s what it became. And you had a president who was going to be running for re-election, and getting out of Iraq was going to be a big statement.”

Reason for Optimism

For Mr. Biden, that day in December 2011 was suffused with emotion — not triumph, a former aide said, but a sense that they had put Iraq back on a stable course and put an end to a terrible catastrophe for the United States.

“That’s why I ran for president in the first place,” Mr. Biden said in an interview last year. The same was true for Mr. Obama. “He felt as happy and as fulfilled as I did,” Mr. Biden said. “He knew it meant a lot to me. And it meant a lot to him.”

Mr. Obama at the time called it a “moment of success” and said “we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government.”

There was reason for optimism. The insurgency seemed exhausted and the remaining threat could be managed by a newly trained Iraqi Army. An intelligence assessment at the time concluded that without American troops “things might get a little worse than they were in 2011 but Iraq would not fall off the rail,” Mr. Kahl recalled.

But ominously, the intelligence analysts said a few things could change their conclusion: There could be a major external shock. Iraq’s government could overreact to residual bombings by alienating the Sunni minority. And Iraqi factions could fail to resolve outstanding differences.

Those caveats, Mr. Kahl said, proved “fairly prescient.” Within days of the departure, the Maliki government issued an arrest warrant for a Sunni vice president accused of orchestrating bombing attacks. Mr. Maliki began consolidating power at the expense of Sunni leaders.
 
President Obama last Thursday, announcing steps to shore up Iraqi forces against Sunni insurgents. Credit Gabriella Demczuk/The New York Times 
 
The year 2012 was relatively quiet in terms of violence but some saw signs of a resurgent problem. Michael Knights, a scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, briefed the National Security Council staff on indicators of a reviving insurgency, but officials said there was internal debate over whether his numbers showed what he said they did.

With American troops gone, Mr. Obama focused his attention on other issues, not to mention his re-election. There was ample evidence that Mr. Maliki might return to the sort of sectarian approach that alienated Sunnis in the past, sowing the sort of disaffection that would ultimately create an environment that would prove fertile for ISIS. But Mr. Obama had no regular contact with Mr. Maliki, leaving it to others to manage.

“The last three years saw a continuous erosion of Iraq’s institutions — from the marginalization of Parliament to the politicization of the military and judiciary — without much or any public criticism or U.S. pushback from the highest levels,” said Meghan O’Sullivan, who was Mr. Bush’s deputy national security adviser.

Mr. Obama believed it was time for Iraq to handle its own affairs.

“It’s hard to say the president should spend every week nurturing this guy and keep troops in there,” said Mr. Jeffrey, who also served as a deputy national security adviser to Mr. Bush. “The whole purpose of propping it up is so it will stand on its own.”

‘You Could See This Coming’

At that time the Syria civil war was raging and the scattered remnants of Al Qaeda in Iraq were reconstituting themselves as ISIS. “You could see this coming,” said another administration official. “It was a little dot and it was growing and growing and growing.” But the official said that while some raised alarms, senior levels in Washington were not focused on the implications for Iraq until a year ago.

Other officials blamed Iraqi leaders who were not all that interested in American help. In early 2012, Obama advisers said they tried to create a joint “fusion center” in Baghdad to share intelligence, but the Iraqis backed out. Similarly, in March 2012, when Iraq was hosting an Arab League summit meeting, the Americans offered to conduct surveillance flights for security, but Mr. Maliki said no.

“Iraq kept a distance until about a year ago when the pressure from western Iraq was threatening the state,” said Mr. Donilon, who stepped down as national security adviser in mid-2013. “They failed to deal with it and exacerbated it through the political process.”

Iraqi leaders began asking Washington for help and the administration responded by increasing military sales. It could provide small arms and Hellfire missiles but Iraq had only two Cessna planes to carry such missiles. The administration pushed Congress to authorize the sale or lease of Apache helicopters and F-16 fighter jets, but lawmakers were wary of empowering Mr. Maliki, who they feared might use the power to strengthen his political hand.

Mr. Maliki came to Washington last October seeking aid and Mr. Obama authorized setting up a targeting cell in Baghdad to help Iraqis combat the growing threat from ISIS. A group of Special Operations members — “small double digits,” according to one official — were sent to the United States Embassy in Baghdad, the largest American diplomatic outpost in the world, but were limited in what they could do. The Americans flew just one surveillance flight a month over Iraq at the time.

Suicide bombings spiked, up from five a month when the Americans left to 50 a month by last winter. Then came the fall of Falluja and Ramadi in western Iraq in January. While stunned, the administration responded with only modest efforts to turn the tide, still unwilling to consider a more robust intervention. American officials focused on making sure Mr. Maliki went through with April elections in hopes of defusing political unrest.

“From virtually the day our troops left because the Iraqi people wanted them out, we pressed Baghdad to accept our security assistance” and “urged its leaders to govern inclusively,” Mr. Blinken said. “In 2013, when Syria added accelerant to ISIL, Baghdad finally began to welcome our help and we’ve been building it quietly ever since, with arms, intelligence and advice.”

By the time Mosul, Tikrit and Tal Afar fell this month, it was too late. Like Mr. Bush before him, Mr. Obama misjudged the American-trained Iraqi forces, which melted away in the face of the ISIS advance. The White House was stunned, and Mr. Obama confronted the choice of letting Iraq sink into a fratricidal civil war with a safe haven for Islamic jihadists or re-engaging in a place he wanted to leave. Mr. Biden was back on the phone with Mr. Maliki, calling from a trip in Latin America. And some wondered whether the results in Iraq foreshadow a similar result after Mr. Obama’s planned withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The debate in recent days examined a range of options, from letting Iraq handle its own problems to launching airstrikes on ISIS forces. Mr. Obama tried to “resist calls to leap before we look,” one aide said. He chose what another adviser called the “70 percent” option, ordering Special Operations Forces to help the Iraqi government assess the threat. Surveillance flights were up to more than 30 a day. An aircraft carrier was moved into the Persian Gulf, with the option of delivering strikes.

But Mr. Obama rejected a full-scale return. “We do not have the ability to simply solve this problem by sending in tens of thousands of troops and committing the kinds of blood and treasure that has already been expended in Iraq,” he said in announcing his decision. “Ultimately, this is something that is going to have to be solved by the Iraqis.”


                             P.C.
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Flying Spaghetti Monster’s on: June 20, 2014, 08:51:40 PM
 Ever get tired of Americans being called gun nuts? Me too. This from Australia.

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/national/man-who-wore-colander-on-his-head-for-gun-licence-photo-says-it-is-part-of-church-of-the-flying-spaghetti-monsters-religion/story-fnii5yv8-1226961620238

 AN Adelaide man who had his gun license photo taken with a colander on his head says it is significant to his religion — the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster — and he should not have had to undertake a psychological test. 
 
Guy Albon, a 30-year-old disability worker in Adelaide, said his four guns and license were confiscated by police after their attention was drawn to his firearms license photo, which shows with him the colander.

Mr Albon, of Port Noarlunga, successfully argued he should be allowed to wear the pasta draining utensil in his license photo because it was a religious head piece.

When he had his license renewed last year, Mr Albon declared himself a Pastafarian and member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster , a movement that promotes a lighthearted view of religion.

“I thought it would be a bit of fun,” he told The Advertiser

“As far as I know I’m the first person to do it (in Australia). I’ve copped quite a bit of flack from the police firearms branch and I’ve told them as far as I know — my legal knowledge is limited — but as long as the piece was a religious head piece it was going to be okay. They don’t have a qualifying list of religions not allowed to wear them.”

Mr Albon said the Service SA attendant was surprised to learn of the religion but allowed the photo to be taken.

“When I lined up for the picture — I popped it on my head and I told her I’m Pastafarian,” he said.

“She looked at me a little perplexed and I explained it to her and she was quite impressed and said she would like to look into it. I’m hoping she became a member actually.”

Mr Albon’s story has travelled around the world and, despite a psychiatrist confirming he was safe to own weapons, the photo with the colander had been destroyed.

He said he had been told he would have to be photographed again, this time without the cooking utensil on his head.

“I was told I was mentally competent and I have never misused my guns or intend to do so. So it’s a real kick in the guts that I was told if I went to get another photo with the colander, my guns would once again be confiscated.”

Mr Albon has to renew his driver’s license in the coming months and has vowed to wear a colander on his head once again.

“What are they going to do — take my car away?,” he said.

The 30 year-old has declined to seek legal action over the incident
                     


 P.C.
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iraqi oil/Israel on: June 20, 2014, 11:00:56 AM
First oil delivery from disputed Kurdish pipeline set for Israel

http://news.yahoo.com/first-oil-delivery-disputed-kurdish-pipeline-set-israel-100744734.html

          P.C.
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama war criminal on: June 19, 2014, 01:06:07 PM
Same reasons as Bush ~Obama REASONS Iraq matters: Humanitarian, energy and strategic interests, no safe haven for terrorists
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-announces-he-is-sending-up-to-300-troops-back-to-iraq-as-advisers/2014/06/19/a15f9628-f7c2-11e3-8aa9-dad2ec039789_story.html?hpid=z2                     P.C.
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: June 17, 2014, 01:03:06 PM
Practice run on the border from a year ago? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arb_YCZgra8
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: June 17, 2014, 10:33:42 AM
Activist #SCOTUS. Federal Government regulations trumps Bill of Rights. http://start.toshiba.com/news/read/category/US%20News/article/afp-us_top_court_rules_straw_gun_purchases_are_illegal-afp

Washington (AFP) - The US Supreme Court ruled Monday it was illegal to buy a gun on behalf of someone else who did not go through the background check.

The ruling comes on the heels of a spate of US shootings that have again sparked debate over gun control, with President Barack Obama calling for national "soul searching" over gun violence.
The top court ruled five to four against a former Virginia policeman, Bruce Abramski, who made a so-called "straw purchase" of a handgun for his uncle, who was in Pennsylvania.
Although both men were legal gun owners, Abramski had indicated on a federal form that he was the gun's actual buyer.
During the January 22 oral arguments, Abramski's lawyer, Richard Dietz, contended the transaction was legal because the men's legal and mental background allowed either of them to purchase a firearm.
But justice Elena Kagan responded at the time: "It doesn't matter if the ultimate transferee is Al Capone or somebody else."
"The purpose is to take away guns from (persons with) mental illnesses."
Kagan responded again Monday in giving the court's majority decision, summarizing the opinion of the court's four progressive justices alongside more conservative justice Anthony Kennedy, who has often been a swing vote.
"No piece of information is more important under federal firearms law than the identity of a gun’s purchaser," Kagan emphasized, saying it was "fundamental to the lawfulness of a gun sale" to respond truthfully on the federal form.
But in their dissent, the four more conservative judges said it was enough that the buyer and the eventual owner were both legally eligible to own guns.
This is the second Supreme Court ruling this year on gun control issues. In March, the court upheld a federal law barring anyone convicted of even a minor domestic violence charge from ever owning a gun.

                                 


                                    P.C.
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Kagan Activist #SCOTUS on: June 17, 2014, 10:32:05 AM
Activist #SCOTUS. Federal Government regulations trumps Bill of Rights. http://start.toshiba.com/news/read/category/US%20News/article/afp-us_top_court_rules_straw_gun_purchases_are_illegal-afp

Washington (AFP) - The US Supreme Court ruled Monday it was illegal to buy a gun on behalf of someone else who did not go through the background check.

The ruling comes on the heels of a spate of US shootings that have again sparked debate over gun control, with President Barack Obama calling for national "soul searching" over gun violence.
The top court ruled five to four against a former Virginia policeman, Bruce Abramski, who made a so-called "straw purchase" of a handgun for his uncle, who was in Pennsylvania.
Although both men were legal gun owners, Abramski had indicated on a federal form that he was the gun's actual buyer.
During the January 22 oral arguments, Abramski's lawyer, Richard Dietz, contended the transaction was legal because the men's legal and mental background allowed either of them to purchase a firearm.
But justice Elena Kagan responded at the time: "It doesn't matter if the ultimate transferee is Al Capone or somebody else."
"The purpose is to take away guns from (persons with) mental illnesses."
Kagan responded again Monday in giving the court's majority decision, summarizing the opinion of the court's four progressive justices alongside more conservative justice Anthony Kennedy, who has often been a swing vote.
"No piece of information is more important under federal firearms law than the identity of a gun’s purchaser," Kagan emphasized, saying it was "fundamental to the lawfulness of a gun sale" to respond truthfully on the federal form.
But in their dissent, the four more conservative judges said it was enough that the buyer and the eventual owner were both legally eligible to own guns.
This is the second Supreme Court ruling this year on gun control issues. In March, the court upheld a federal law barring anyone convicted of even a minor domestic violence charge from ever owning a gun.

                                 


                                    P.C.
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / THE FTC TAKES OFF THE GLOVES on: June 11, 2014, 09:55:38 PM
http://michaeljdaugherty.com/2014/06/09/ftc-takes-gloves-just-getting-started/


Michael J. Daugherty

Folks, the Federal Trade Commission has only just begun to take off their gloves in their 21st Century updating of medieval torture. While their old machines are in the museums, their new tactics have gone high tech and LabMD is tightly strapped to their slab.

All professional tyrants and bullies have plenty of tricks up their sleeves. This nest is no exception. For starters, the FTC seduced Congress into allowing the FTC to make their own rules and have their own Administrative Court . This is very handy when the judge makes an adverse decision, as the commissioners sit above him and can flip his decision like a Sunday morning omelette. Yes, we spend months and millions in an Administrative Court and if the FTC jailers don’t like the ruling they can just overturn it. Prosecutors in the real world would kill for this type of power, and with that in their back pocket, off the FTC goes choosing from their smorgasbord of tricks and tactics, due process and fair notice be damned. Here is a sampler:

Trick One:  Use the court (inside the FTC building called the Administrative Court) to drain the victim dry by making him spend millions defending himself. Always good to starve the victim to get a nice loose skin. The courts have ruled repeatedly that they won’t interfere until this bloodletting is completed. Once this is over, off you go to Federal court to pay the game again.

Trick Two:  Allow the media to assume, using the very well worn FTC habit of lying through omission, that the judge decides on motions to dismiss.  This is a lie. The FTC decides what the judge sees. The FTC likes to keep a bag over the judge’s head because cowards don’t deign to play fair.

Trick Three:  Break every rule in the book if you have to, as the FTC banks on your very short attention span. For example, in our trial the FTC has rested their case. Does that stop them from trying to enter additional evidence as their case implodes? Why don’t be silly! Rules don’t apply to the Gods. They are just laying bread crumbs on the trail to flipping Judge Omelette.

Trick Four: Scare every future organization into early submission by making the execution of LabMD particularly dirty and gruesome. Show no shame. Sink as low as possible. Destroy a cancer detection center. Kill jobs. Trample into healthcare like a bull in a china shop. Lie, cheat, and be so outrageous that the mention of your name makes every CEO run for cover. After all, this is America. The FTC knows all too well the odds of their being held accountable are laughably low.

While this is just a sampler from the FTC’s menu, let me assure you that they aren’t done with me. Hell hath no fury like cowards caught in the act.

Is Congress beginning to wonder what the hell is going on over at the FTC?   Congress rarely acts, the media doesn’t report and the American people don’t pay attention. The FTC banks on it. But so far we have pleading of the 5th and more fun to come. The FTC’s utter lack of integrity will be put on display for all the world to see. Maybe this time things will be different.

I understand you may find my acid words over the top and dramatic. To this I implore,  “Watch and remember.” As I mentioned to an FTC lawyer just this past weekend: Shameless.


P.C.
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I'm Shocked!! on: June 11, 2014, 09:15:17 PM
I take no pleasure in saying I told you so.


As ISIS marches toward Baghdad: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/06/11/iraq_war_iii_has_now_begun_mosul_isis_takeover

Iraqi soldiers, police drop weapons, flee posts in portions of Mosul
http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/10/world/meast/iraq-violence/

Now Tikrit falls to Islamist terrorists
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2654861/Escape-Mosul-150-000-Iraqis-overnight-refugees-flee-terror-al-Qaeda-splinter-group-taken-countrys-second-biggest-city.html

Islamist militants effectively took control of oil-rich Mosul yesterday after four days of heavy fighting
Today they seized power in Saddam Hussein’s home city of Tikrit - they also freed hundreds of prisoners

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, 43, known as Adu Dua, has emerged as one of the world's most lethal terrorist leaders

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant now controls territory in eastern Syria and western and central Iraq
More than half a million Iraqis have been displaced sparking a major refugee crisis

Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki asked parliament to declare a state of emergency to give him more power
Tonight Turkey warned it will retaliate if any of its 48 citizen taken hostage at its embassy in Mosul are harmed.


    P.C.
11  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Conceal Carry permits on: May 26, 2014, 10:17:54 PM
Kentucky legislature clearing way for more gun permits.

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/ky-general-assembly/2014/05/23/ky-legislature-clearing-way-gun-permits/9489225/

 Story Highlights
State police issued 59,530 concealed-carry licenses in 2013, a 447 percent increase since 2004.
The legislature has passed at least a dozen measures over the past decade to give permit-holders more flexibility


FRANKFORT, Ky. –  The number of gun permits issued in Kentucky has quadrupled over the past 10 years, thanks in part to at least a dozen measures the General Assembly has passed to ease restrictions in the state's concealed carry law.

State police issued 59,530 concealed-carry licenses in 2013, a 447 percent increase from the 10,884 that were given out in 2004. More than twice as many people received a permit last year as compared to 2012, when a school shooting in Newtown, Conn., raised fears of tightened gun laws.

Meanwhile, the state legislature has passed at least a dozen measures over the past decade — often with support from the National Rifle Association — to speed up the application process and gradually give permit-holders more flexibility.

RELATED: Changes to Kentucky gun laws

A review of the legislative record dating back to 2004 shows that statutes on concealed weapons have been amended in the following ways:

• Active and honorably discharged military personnel who apply for licenses are no longer required to undergo training on state laws related to legal liability and the use of deadly force, if they received firearms training in the service.

• Domestic violence victims can receive a temporary, 45-day permit without completing the normally required training on firearms safety and state law.

• Firearms, loaded or unloaded, may be stored in more places about a vehicle — including center consoles and seat pockets — without being considered concealed. And employers cannot prevent employees from keeping guns in their car while at work.

• Officials are required to process applications at a faster rate. KSP must issue or deny permits within 60 days, down from 90, or within 15 days if the paperwork is submitted electronically.

• Public access to the names of licensees have been eliminated, and access to the information by law enforcement has been tightened.

• A six-month state residency requirement in applications has been eliminated.

• Gun owners have been granted authority to carry concealed weapons without a license on property they lease or own, or on property leased or owned by a relative. They may also carry in their own business without a license.

• Retired peace officers and prosecutors have gained broad authority above that of the general public to carry in most locations throughout the state, including courthouses and bars.

Pulling back restrictions

Kentucky has issued around 300,000 licenses since the state's concealed carry law was enacted in 1996, and the permits can be renewed after five years.

Proponents say the changes help Kentuckians exercise Second Amendment rights and eliminate unnecessary constraints from the law's original language.

"The benefit of doing that is you make it easier on our citizens to carry a concealed deadly weapon for the protection of their family and themselves," said Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, who sponsored the original law and has backed many of its amendments.

But critics charge that lawmakers, working under the National Rifle Association's political grip, have set the stage for more violence and deadly gun accidents.

Rep. Jim Wayne, a Louisville Democrat who has opposed revisions to the law, said that when he started in the legislature 24 years ago, lawmakers were cautious about concealed-carry bills. But Wayne said he has witnessed a sea change.

"It's pretty obvious that the NRA and their advocates are strategically trying to make it easier for society to be saturated with guns," he said. "They are doing that step by step, and the steps have increased their pace in the last several years."

The NRA did not respond to a request for comment. Still, the group has spoken out in support of at least five bills on concealed carry since 2004, including a 2014 gun bill that marked one of the largest reforms in at least nine years.

That measure, among other things, allowed electronic applications, permitted temporary licenses for domestic violence victims and let corrections officers use their professional training to satisfy training requirements in permit applications — all deemed "important pro-gun reforms" by the NRA.

Some lawmakers argue that Kentucky hasn't gone far enough.

Republican Rep. Mike Harmon, for instance, has filed bills to allow concealed carry without a permit, and said lifting restrictions is popular among the voters he represents in Boyle and Washington counties.

"We create laws to protect people," Harmon said, "but some of our laws prevent people from protecting themselves."

This year's major gun bill passed 92-6 in the Democrat-led House and 37-1 in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Typically, only a handful of urban legislators vote against such bills, said Rep. Wayne. That's because the NRA has convinced rural lawmakers in both parties that they cannot win re-election without the group's approval, he said.

"The dominant way of thinking right now is the NRA and their agenda," Wayne said. "It's unfortunate, but I don't see it reversing course anytime soon."

The NRA has only contributed $3,450 to state House and Senate candidates since 2004, but lawmakers say they are effective at tracking and scoring the voting records of each legislator — and communicating that information to voters.

Damron agreed that many lawmakers want a strong score from the NRA come election time.

"They have a large network of membership in the state that are active and vocal and will get out and work for candidates they support their views and will work against candidates that don't support their views," he said.

Other states

The Kentucky legislature isn't alone in its efforts, according to groups that monitor gun laws.

Expanding concealed carry in public spaces and "weakening" the requirements for people to have hidden weapons has remained a priority of the pro-gun lobby and a trend across the nation, said Allison S. Anderman, staff attorney for the San Francisco-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Anderman said "states are going from 'may issue' to 'shall issue' " in laws that stipulate who can receive a permit.

Kentucky has used the "shall issue" approach since the concealed-carry statute took effect in 1996, which means authorities are required to issue permits so long as applicants meet objective criteria.

But a 2012 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office shows that the number of "shall issue" states grew from 29 to 39 over the prior decade and states that prohibited concealed carry altogether fell from seven to just one: Illinois.

Since then, Illinois has lost a legal battle with gun advocates and, under court order, passed legislation to allow concealed carry. Now, only Washington D.C. does not permit concealed firearms.

Also, the Law Center reported last year that Kentucky is one of 17 states that requires authorities to issue permits without discretion.

Nine states allow authorities to consider an applicant's character and reasons for wanting a concealed weapon when issuing or denying permits, and 20 other states, like Indiana, have some limited discretion on who qualifies. Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming don't require a permit at all, the center noted.

'A very functional law'

Groups on both sides of the debate point to differing studies on the relationship between concealed carry and crime.

The NRA argues, for example, that violent crime declined to a 37-year low in 2010 as states lifted prohibitions on carrying firearms.

But the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence points to a 2005 study from the National Academy of Sciences that found no causal link between such laws and crime rates.

"The research has demonstrated that guns do not make us safer and actually the more guns that are available, the more likelihood there is for gun violence," Anderman said. "Normal escalations between people can turn deadly when there is a gun available."

Still, Damron said Kentucky's law has proved successful and that the legislature is mostly working to "clean up" language in the statute, not make wholesale changes.

"Generally speaking, I think the original intent of the '96 act has been maintained over the last 18 years, and we still have a very functional law," he said.

                                                                                       P.C.
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media recruiting mass killers on: May 26, 2014, 09:08:31 PM
Media reports exploiting mass murders for ratings, and pushing anti-gun agenda, inspiring the suicidal to become mass killers much like terror groups recruit suicide bombers.

What Drives Suicidal Mass Killers:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/opinion/what-drives-suicidal-mass-killers.html?_r=0

The Media Needs to Stop Inspiring Copycat Murders. Here's How.
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/12/the-media-needs-to-stop-inspiring-copycat-murders-heres-how/266439/

Mass murderers want glory and fame. Somehow, we need to stop giving it to them.
http://www.vox.com/2014/5/25/5749416/don-t-give-elliot-rodger-in-death-the-fame-he-wanted-in-life

Mental health care in the U.S. needs a check-up
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/mental-health-care-in-the-us-needs-a-check-up/2014/04/16/f5289e30-c036-11e3-b574-f8748871856a_story.html

                                                            P.C.
13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Memorial Day on: May 26, 2014, 02:30:37 PM
Remember the fallen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKqT0-3JV5E&feature=youtube_gdata_player

                        P.C.
14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / FEC chair warns on: May 14, 2014, 04:45:19 AM
 Free speech? Not if you're a critic of Obama's government. 

http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2548163 

                                P.C.

15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Governor race on: May 14, 2014, 04:04:27 AM
California GOP worried over top-two governor race.

http://start.toshiba.com/news/read/category/Top%20News/article/the_associated_press-california_gop_worried_over_toptwo_governor_race-ap

                             P.C.
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: March 02, 2014, 07:10:56 AM
When gun control succeeds: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/33-dead-130-injured-china-knife-wielding-spree-n41966
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Our Troops in Action on: February 22, 2014, 08:29:21 AM
Woof,
There's no such thing as a perfect past, and when wrongs can be righted it's a good thing.

http://start.toshiba.com/news/read/category/Top%20News/article/ap-fla_man_shocked_when_learning_of_medal_o-ap

                                  P.C.
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Extinct Lizard Gets Nosey on: October 05, 2013, 12:28:36 AM
Not extinct just hiding. http://www.nbcnews.com/science/while-just-nosing-around-forest-they-found-extinct-pinocchio-lizard-8C11339811 
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on: March 07, 2013, 02:13:15 AM
Rand Paul brought a great deal of attention to the issue of using drones on American soil to kill Americans without due process; he also brought some Republicans together that were really fired up on the net and liking his leadership. The hash tag #StandWithRand was trending number one both nationally and world on Twitter so he's going to get some name recognition out of it. I think he put a little mark on Obama's dictatorship.
                                  P.C.
20  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Tactical Gun Issues on: January 10, 2013, 03:39:40 PM
 This would have tactical implications:

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/gadgetbox/futuristic-rifle-turns-novice-sharpshooter-1B7916613?ocid=msnhp&pos=1

                                   P.C.
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Active shooter on: December 23, 2012, 10:37:32 AM
   10-43: All Units...
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

Active shooters in schools: The enemy is denial
Preventing juvenile mass murder in American schools is the job of police officers, school teachers, and concerned parents

 
Editor's Note: Visit the Newtown Shooting special coverage page for more perspectives on active shooters in schools, including my article "Active shooters in schools: Should teachers be trained by police firearms instructors?" Have a perspective on this issue? Leave it in the comments below.
“How many kids have been killed by school fire in all of North America in the past 50 years? Kids killed... school fire... North America... 50 years...  How many?  Zero. That’s right.  Not one single kid has been killed by school fire anywhere in North America in the past half a century.  Now, how many kids have been killed by school violence?”

So began an extraordinary daylong seminar presented by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a Pulitzer Prize nominated author, West Point psychology professor, and without a doubt the world’s foremost expert on human aggression and violence. The event, hosted by the California Peace Officers Association, was held in the auditorium of a very large community church about 30 miles from San Francisco, and was attended by more than 250 police officers from around the region.

Grossman’s talk spanned myriad topics of vital importance to law enforcement, such as the use of autogenic breathing, surviving gunshot wounds, dealing with survivor guilt following a gun battle, and others. But violence among and against children was how the day began, and so I'll focus on that issue here.



Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, pictured with PoliceOne Senior Editor Doug Wyllie, spoke before a crowd of more than 250 police officers in an event hosted by the California Peace Officers Association. (PoliceOne image)
Related Articles:
Arming campus cops is elementary
A decade after Columbine we're still learning, teaching

Related Resources:
Book Excerpt: On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs
Visit the Killology Research Group website

Related Feature:
   Helping schools prepare for an active-shooter showdown
Sheriff Fred Wegener says that preparing schools for an active shooter is community policing at its best.
“In 1999,” Grossman said, “school violence claimed what at the time was an all time record number of kids’ lives. In that year there were 35 dead and a quarter of a million serious injuries due to violence in the school. How many killed by fire that year? Zero. But we hear people say, ‘That’s the year Columbine happened, that’s an anomaly.’ Well, in 2004 we had a new all time record — 48 dead in the schools from violence. How many killed by fire that year? Zero. Let’s assign some grades. Put your teacher hat on and give out some grades. What kind of grade do you give the firefighter for keeping kids safe? An ‘A,’ right? Reluctantly, reluctantly, the cops give the firefighters an ‘A,’ right? Danged firefighters, they sleep ‘till they’re hungry and eat ‘till they’re tired. What grade do we get for keeping the kids safe from violence? Come on, what’s our grade? Needs improvement, right?”

Johnny Firefighter, A+ Student
“Why can’t we be like little Johnny Firefighter?” Grossman asked as he prowled the stage. “He’s our A+ student!”

He paused, briefly, and answered with a voice that blew through the hall like thunder, “Denial, denial, denial!”

Grossman commanded, “Look up at the ceiling! See all those sprinklers up there? They’re hard to spot — they’re painted black — but they’re there. While you’re looking, look at the material the ceiling is made of. You know that that stuff was selected because it’s fire-retardant. Hooah? Now look over there above the door — you see that fire exit sign? That’s not just any fire exit sign — that’s a ‘battery-backup-when-the-world-ends-it-will-still-be-lit’ fire exit sign. Hooah?”

Walking from the stage toward a nearby fire exit and exterior wall, Grossman slammed the palm of his hand against the wall and exclaimed, “Look at these wall boards! They were chosen because they’re what?! Fireproof or fire retardant, hooah? There is not one stinking thing in this room that will burn!”

Pointing around the room as he spoke, Grossman continued, “But you’ve still got those fire sprinklers, those fire exit signs, fire hydrants outside, and fire trucks nearby! Are these fire guys crazy? Are these fire guys paranoid? No! This fire guy is our A+ student! Because this fire guy has redundant, overlapping layers of protection, not a single kid has been killed by school fire in the last 50 years!

“But you try to prepare for violence — the thing much more likely to kill our kids in schools, the thing hundreds of times  more likely to kill our kids in schools — and people think you’re paranoid. They think you’re crazy. ...They’re in denial.”

Teaching the Teachers
The challenge for law enforcement agencies and officers, then, is to overcome not only the attacks taking place in schools, but to first overcome the denial in the minds of mayors, city councils, school administrators, and parents. Grossman said that agencies and officers, although facing an uphill slog against the denial of the general public, must diligently work toward increasing understanding among the sheep that the wolves are coming for their children. Police officers must train and drill with teachers, not only so responding officers are intimately familiar with the facilities, but so that teachers know what they can do in the event of an attack.

“Come with me to the library at Columbine High School,” Grossman said. “The teacher in the library at Columbine High School spent her professional lifetime preparing for a fire, and we can all agree if there had been a fire in that library, that teacher would have instinctively, reflexively known what to do.

"But the thing most likely to kill her kids — the thing hundreds of times more likely to kill her kids, the teacher didn’t have a clue what to do. She should have put those kids in the librarian’s office but she didn’t know that. So she did the worst thing possible — she tried to secure her kids in an un-securable location. She told the kids to hide in the library — a library that has plate glass windows for walls. It’s an aquarium, it’s a fish bowl. She told the kids to hide in a fishbowl. What did those killers see? They saw targets. They saw fish in a fish bowl.”

Grossman said that if the school administrators at Columbine had spent a fraction of the money they’d spent preparing for fire doing lockdown drills and talking with local law enforcers about the violent dangers they face, the outcome that day may have been different.

Rhetorically he asked the assembled cops, “If somebody had spent five minutes  telling that teacher what to do, do you think lives would have been saved at Columbine?”

Arming Campus Cops is Elementary
Nearly two years ago, I wrote an article called Arming campus cops is elementary. Not surprisingly, Grossman agrees with that hypothesis.

“Never call an unarmed man ‘security’,” Grossman said.

“Call him ‘run-like-hell-when-the-man-with-the-gun-shows-up’ but never call an unarmed man security.

"Imagine if someone said, ‘I want a trained fire professional on site. I want a fire hat, I want a fire uniform, I want a fire badge. But! No fire extinguishers in this building. No fire hoses. The hat, the badge, the uniform — that will keep us safe — but we have no need for fire extinguishers.’ Well, that would be insane. It is equally insane, delusional, legally liable, to say, ‘I want a trained security professional on site. I want a security hat, I want a security uniform, and I want a security badge, but I don’t want a gun.’ It’s not the hat, the uniform, or the badge. It’s the tools in the hands of a trained professional that keeps us safe.

“Our problem is not money,” said Grossman.  “It is denial.”

Grossman said (and most cops agree) that many of the most important things we can do to protect our kids would cost us nothing or next-to-nothing.

Grossman’s Five D’s
Let’s contemplate the following outline and summary of Dave Grossman’s “Five D’s.” While you do, I encourage you to add in the comments area below your suggestions to address, and expand upon, these ideas.

1. Denial — Denial is the enemy and it has no survival value, said Grossman.

2. Deter — Put police officers in schools, because with just one officer assigned to a school, the probability of a mass murder in that school drops to almost zero

3. Detect — We’re talking about plain old fashioned police work here. The ultimate achievement for law enforcement is the crime that didn’t happen, so giving teachers and administrators regular access to cops is paramount.

4. Delay — Various simple mechanisms can be used by teachers and cops to put time and distance between the killers and the kids.

a. Ensure that the school/classroom have just a single point of entry. Simply locking the back door helps create a hard target.
b. Conduct your active shooter drills within (and in partnership with) the schools in your city so teachers know how to respond, and know what it looks like when you do your response.

5. Destroy — Police officers and agencies should consider the following:

a. Carry off duty. No one would tell a firefighter who has a fire extinguisher in his trunk that he’s crazy or paranoid.
b. Equip every cop in America with a patrol rifle. One chief of police, upon getting rifles for all his officers once said, “If an active killer strikes in my town, the response time will be measured in feet per second.”
c. Put smoke grenades in the trunk of every cop car in America. Any infantryman who needs to attack across open terrain or perform a rescue under fire deploys a smoke grenade. A fire extinguisher will do a decent job in some cases, but a smoke grenade is designed to perform the function.
d. Have a “go-to-war bag” filled with lots of loaded magazines and supplies for tactical combat casualty care.
e. Use helicopters. Somewhere in your county you probably have one or more of the following: medevac, media, private, national guard, coast guard rotors.
f. Employ the crew-served, continuous-feed, weapon you already have available to you (a firehouse) by integrating the fire service into your active shooter training. It is virtually impossible for a killer to put well-placed shots on target while also being blasted with water at 300 pounds per square inch.
g. Armed citizens can help.  Think United 93. Whatever your personal take on gun control, it is all but certain that a killer set on killing is more likely to attack a target where the citizens are unarmed, rather than one where they are likely to encounter an armed citizen response.

Coming Soon: External Threats
Today we must not only prepare for juvenile mass murder, something that had never happened in human history until only recently, but we also must prepare for the external threat. Islamist fanatics have slaughtered children in their own religion — they have killed wantonly, mercilessly, and without regard for repercussion or regret of any kind. What do you think they’d think of killing our kids?

“Eight years ago they came and killed 3,000 of our citizens. Do we know what they’re going to do next? No! But one thing they’ve done in every country they’ve messed with is killing kids in schools,” Grossman said.

The latest al Qaeda charter states that “children are noble targets” and Osama bin Laden himself has said that “Russia is a preview for what we will do to America.”

What happened in Russia that we need to be concerned with in this context? In the town of Beslan on September 1, 2004 — the very day on which children across that country merrily make their return to school after the long summer break — radical Islamist terrorists from Chechnya took more than 1,000 teachers, mothers, and children hostage. When the three-day siege was over, more than 300 hostages had been killed, more than half of whom were children.

“If I could tackle every American and make them read one book to help them understand the terrorist’s plan, it would be Terror at Beslan  by John Giduck. Beslan was just a dress rehearsal for what they’re planning to do to the United States,” he said.

Consider this: There are almost a half a million school buses in America. It would require almost every enlisted person and every officer in the entire United States Army to put just one armed guard on every school bus in the country.

As a country and as a culture, the level of protection Americans afford our kids against violence is nothing near what we do to protect them from fire. Grossman is correct: Denial is the enemy. We must prepare for violence like the firefighter prepares for fire. And we must do that today.

Hooah, Colonel!


About the author
Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. In addition to his editorial and managerial responsibilities, Doug has authored more than 600 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association. He is also a member of the Public Safety Writers Association, and is a two-time (2011 and 2012) Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" Finalist in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

                                                         P.C.
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Active shooter on: December 23, 2012, 10:36:06 AM
   10-43: All Units...
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

Active shooters in schools: The enemy is denial
Preventing juvenile mass murder in American schools is the job of police officers, school teachers, and concerned parents


Editor's Note: Visit the Newtown Shooting special coverage page for more perspectives on active shooters in schools, including my article "Active shooters in schools: Should teachers be trained by police firearms instructors?" Have a perspective on this issue? Leave it in the comments below.
“How many kids have been killed by school fire in all of North America in the past 50 years? Kids killed... school fire... North America... 50 years...  How many?  Zero. That’s right.  Not one single kid has been killed by school fire anywhere in North America in the past half a century.  Now, how many kids have been killed by school violence?”

So began an extraordinary daylong seminar presented by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a Pulitzer Prize nominated author, West Point psychology professor, and without a doubt the world’s foremost expert on human aggression and violence. The event, hosted by the California Peace Officers Association, was held in the auditorium of a very large community church about 30 miles from San Francisco, and was attended by more than 250 police officers from around the region.

Grossman’s talk spanned myriad topics of vital importance to law enforcement, such as the use of autogenic breathing, surviving gunshot wounds, dealing with survivor guilt following a gun battle, and others. But violence among and against children was how the day began, and so I'll focus on that issue here.



Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, pictured with PoliceOne Senior Editor Doug Wyllie, spoke before a crowd of more than 250 police officers in an event hosted by the California Peace Officers Association. (PoliceOne image)
Related Articles:
Arming campus cops is elementary
A decade after Columbine we're still learning, teaching

Related Resources:
Book Excerpt: On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs
Visit the Killology Research Group website

Related Feature:
   Helping schools prepare for an active-shooter showdown
Sheriff Fred Wegener says that preparing schools for an active shooter is community policing at its best.
“In 1999,” Grossman said, “school violence claimed what at the time was an all time record number of kids’ lives. In that year there were 35 dead and a quarter of a million serious injuries due to violence in the school. How many killed by fire that year? Zero. But we hear people say, ‘That’s the year Columbine happened, that’s an anomaly.’ Well, in 2004 we had a new all time record — 48 dead in the schools from violence. How many killed by fire that year? Zero. Let’s assign some grades. Put your teacher hat on and give out some grades. What kind of grade do you give the firefighter for keeping kids safe? An ‘A,’ right? Reluctantly, reluctantly, the cops give the firefighters an ‘A,’ right? Danged firefighters, they sleep ‘till they’re hungry and eat ‘till they’re tired. What grade do we get for keeping the kids safe from violence? Come on, what’s our grade? Needs improvement, right?”

Johnny Firefighter, A+ Student
“Why can’t we be like little Johnny Firefighter?” Grossman asked as he prowled the stage. “He’s our A+ student!”

He paused, briefly, and answered with a voice that blew through the hall like thunder, “Denial, denial, denial!”

Grossman commanded, “Look up at the ceiling! See all those sprinklers up there? They’re hard to spot — they’re painted black — but they’re there. While you’re looking, look at the material the ceiling is made of. You know that that stuff was selected because it’s fire-retardant. Hooah? Now look over there above the door — you see that fire exit sign? That’s not just any fire exit sign — that’s a ‘battery-backup-when-the-world-ends-it-will-still-be-lit’ fire exit sign. Hooah?”

Walking from the stage toward a nearby fire exit and exterior wall, Grossman slammed the palm of his hand against the wall and exclaimed, “Look at these wall boards! They were chosen because they’re what?! Fireproof or fire retardant, hooah? There is not one stinking thing in this room that will burn!”

Pointing around the room as he spoke, Grossman continued, “But you’ve still got those fire sprinklers, those fire exit signs, fire hydrants outside, and fire trucks nearby! Are these fire guys crazy? Are these fire guys paranoid? No! This fire guy is our A+ student! Because this fire guy has redundant, overlapping layers of protection, not a single kid has been killed by school fire in the last 50 years!

“But you try to prepare for violence — the thing much more likely to kill our kids in schools, the thing hundreds of times  more likely to kill our kids in schools — and people think you’re paranoid. They think you’re crazy. ...They’re in denial.”

Teaching the Teachers
The challenge for law enforcement agencies and officers, then, is to overcome not only the attacks taking place in schools, but to first overcome the denial in the minds of mayors, city councils, school administrators, and parents. Grossman said that agencies and officers, although facing an uphill slog against the denial of the general public, must diligently work toward increasing understanding among the sheep that the wolves are coming for their children. Police officers must train and drill with teachers, not only so responding officers are intimately familiar with the facilities, but so that teachers know what they can do in the event of an attack.

“Come with me to the library at Columbine High School,” Grossman said. “The teacher in the library at Columbine High School spent her professional lifetime preparing for a fire, and we can all agree if there had been a fire in that library, that teacher would have instinctively, reflexively known what to do.

"But the thing most likely to kill her kids — the thing hundreds of times more likely to kill her kids, the teacher didn’t have a clue what to do. She should have put those kids in the librarian’s office but she didn’t know that. So she did the worst thing possible — she tried to secure her kids in an un-securable location. She told the kids to hide in the library — a library that has plate glass windows for walls. It’s an aquarium, it’s a fish bowl. She told the kids to hide in a fishbowl. What did those killers see? They saw targets. They saw fish in a fish bowl.”

Grossman said that if the school administrators at Columbine had spent a fraction of the money they’d spent preparing for fire doing lockdown drills and talking with local law enforcers about the violent dangers they face, the outcome that day may have been different.

Rhetorically he asked the assembled cops, “If somebody had spent five minutes  telling that teacher what to do, do you think lives would have been saved at Columbine?”

Arming Campus Cops is Elementary
Nearly two years ago, I wrote an article called Arming campus cops is elementary. Not surprisingly, Grossman agrees with that hypothesis.

“Never call an unarmed man ‘security’,” Grossman said.

“Call him ‘run-like-hell-when-the-man-with-the-gun-shows-up’ but never call an unarmed man security.

"Imagine if someone said, ‘I want a trained fire professional on site. I want a fire hat, I want a fire uniform, I want a fire badge. But! No fire extinguishers in this building. No fire hoses. The hat, the badge, the uniform — that will keep us safe — but we have no need for fire extinguishers.’ Well, that would be insane. It is equally insane, delusional, legally liable, to say, ‘I want a trained security professional on site. I want a security hat, I want a security uniform, and I want a security badge, but I don’t want a gun.’ It’s not the hat, the uniform, or the badge. It’s the tools in the hands of a trained professional that keeps us safe.

“Our problem is not money,” said Grossman.  “It is denial.”

Grossman said (and most cops agree) that many of the most important things we can do to protect our kids would cost us nothing or next-to-nothing.

Grossman’s Five D’s
Let’s contemplate the following outline and summary of Dave Grossman’s “Five D’s.” While you do, I encourage you to add in the comments area below your suggestions to address, and expand upon, these ideas.

1. Denial — Denial is the enemy and it has no survival value, said Grossman.

2. Deter — Put police officers in schools, because with just one officer assigned to a school, the probability of a mass murder in that school drops to almost zero

3. Detect — We’re talking about plain old fashioned police work here. The ultimate achievement for law enforcement is the crime that didn’t happen, so giving teachers and administrators regular access to cops is paramount.

4. Delay — Various simple mechanisms can be used by teachers and cops to put time and distance between the killers and the kids.

a. Ensure that the school/classroom have just a single point of entry. Simply locking the back door helps create a hard target.
b. Conduct your active shooter drills within (and in partnership with) the schools in your city so teachers know how to respond, and know what it looks like when you do your response.

5. Destroy — Police officers and agencies should consider the following:

a. Carry off duty. No one would tell a firefighter who has a fire extinguisher in his trunk that he’s crazy or paranoid.
b. Equip every cop in America with a patrol rifle. One chief of police, upon getting rifles for all his officers once said, “If an active killer strikes in my town, the response time will be measured in feet per second.”
c. Put smoke grenades in the trunk of every cop car in America. Any infantryman who needs to attack across open terrain or perform a rescue under fire deploys a smoke grenade. A fire extinguisher will do a decent job in some cases, but a smoke grenade is designed to perform the function.
d. Have a “go-to-war bag” filled with lots of loaded magazines and supplies for tactical combat casualty care.
e. Use helicopters. Somewhere in your county you probably have one or more of the following: medevac, media, private, national guard, coast guard rotors.
f. Employ the crew-served, continuous-feed, weapon you already have available to you (a firehouse) by integrating the fire service into your active shooter training. It is virtually impossible for a killer to put well-placed shots on target while also being blasted with water at 300 pounds per square inch.
g. Armed citizens can help.  Think United 93. Whatever your personal take on gun control, it is all but certain that a killer set on killing is more likely to attack a target where the citizens are unarmed, rather than one where they are likely to encounter an armed citizen response.

Coming Soon: External Threats
Today we must not only prepare for juvenile mass murder, something that had never happened in human history until only recently, but we also must prepare for the external threat. Islamist fanatics have slaughtered children in their own religion — they have killed wantonly, mercilessly, and without regard for repercussion or regret of any kind. What do you think they’d think of killing our kids?

“Eight years ago they came and killed 3,000 of our citizens. Do we know what they’re going to do next? No! But one thing they’ve done in every country they’ve messed with is killing kids in schools,” Grossman said.

The latest al Qaeda charter states that “children are noble targets” and Osama bin Laden himself has said that “Russia is a preview for what we will do to America.”

What happened in Russia that we need to be concerned with in this context? In the town of Beslan on September 1, 2004 — the very day on which children across that country merrily make their return to school after the long summer break — radical Islamist terrorists from Chechnya took more than 1,000 teachers, mothers, and children hostage. When the three-day siege was over, more than 300 hostages had been killed, more than half of whom were children.

“If I could tackle every American and make them read one book to help them understand the terrorist’s plan, it would be Terror at Beslan  by John Giduck. Beslan was just a dress rehearsal for what they’re planning to do to the United States,” he said.

Consider this: There are almost a half a million school buses in America. It would require almost every enlisted person and every officer in the entire United States Army to put just one armed guard on every school bus in the country.

As a country and as a culture, the level of protection Americans afford our kids against violence is nothing near what we do to protect them from fire. Grossman is correct: Denial is the enemy. We must prepare for violence like the firefighter prepares for fire. And we must do that today.

Hooah, Colonel!


About the author
Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. In addition to his editorial and managerial responsibilities, Doug has authored more than 600 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association. He is also a member of the Public Safety Writers Association, and is a two-time (2011 and 2012) Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" Finalist in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

                                                P.C.
23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Active Shooter on: December 23, 2012, 10:34:45 AM
   10-43: All Units...
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

Active shooters in schools: The enemy is denial
Preventing juvenile mass murder in American schools is the job of police officers, school teachers, and concerned parents

 

Editor's Note: Visit the Newtown Shooting special coverage page for more perspectives on active shooters in schools, including my article "Active shooters in schools: Should teachers be trained by police firearms instructors?" Have a perspective on this issue? Leave it in the comments below.
“How many kids have been killed by school fire in all of North America in the past 50 years? Kids killed... school fire... North America... 50 years...  How many?  Zero. That’s right.  Not one single kid has been killed by school fire anywhere in North America in the past half a century.  Now, how many kids have been killed by school violence?”

So began an extraordinary daylong seminar presented by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a Pulitzer Prize nominated author, West Point psychology professor, and without a doubt the world’s foremost expert on human aggression and violence. The event, hosted by the California Peace Officers Association, was held in the auditorium of a very large community church about 30 miles from San Francisco, and was attended by more than 250 police officers from around the region.

Grossman’s talk spanned myriad topics of vital importance to law enforcement, such as the use of autogenic breathing, surviving gunshot wounds, dealing with survivor guilt following a gun battle, and others. But violence among and against children was how the day began, and so I'll focus on that issue here.



Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, pictured with PoliceOne Senior Editor Doug Wyllie, spoke before a crowd of more than 250 police officers in an event hosted by the California Peace Officers Association. (PoliceOne image)
Related Articles:
Arming campus cops is elementary
A decade after Columbine we're still learning, teaching

Related Resources:
Book Excerpt: On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs
Visit the Killology Research Group website

Related Feature:
   Helping schools prepare for an active-shooter showdown
Sheriff Fred Wegener says that preparing schools for an active shooter is community policing at its best.
“In 1999,” Grossman said, “school violence claimed what at the time was an all time record number of kids’ lives. In that year there were 35 dead and a quarter of a million serious injuries due to violence in the school. How many killed by fire that year? Zero. But we hear people say, ‘That’s the year Columbine happened, that’s an anomaly.’ Well, in 2004 we had a new all time record — 48 dead in the schools from violence. How many killed by fire that year? Zero. Let’s assign some grades. Put your teacher hat on and give out some grades. What kind of grade do you give the firefighter for keeping kids safe? An ‘A,’ right? Reluctantly, reluctantly, the cops give the firefighters an ‘A,’ right? Danged firefighters, they sleep ‘till they’re hungry and eat ‘till they’re tired. What grade do we get for keeping the kids safe from violence? Come on, what’s our grade? Needs improvement, right?”

Johnny Firefighter, A+ Student
“Why can’t we be like little Johnny Firefighter?” Grossman asked as he prowled the stage. “He’s our A+ student!”

He paused, briefly, and answered with a voice that blew through the hall like thunder, “Denial, denial, denial!”

Grossman commanded, “Look up at the ceiling! See all those sprinklers up there? They’re hard to spot — they’re painted black — but they’re there. While you’re looking, look at the material the ceiling is made of. You know that that stuff was selected because it’s fire-retardant. Hooah? Now look over there above the door — you see that fire exit sign? That’s not just any fire exit sign — that’s a ‘battery-backup-when-the-world-ends-it-will-still-be-lit’ fire exit sign. Hooah?”

Walking from the stage toward a nearby fire exit and exterior wall, Grossman slammed the palm of his hand against the wall and exclaimed, “Look at these wall boards! They were chosen because they’re what?! Fireproof or fire retardant, hooah? There is not one stinking thing in this room that will burn!”

Pointing around the room as he spoke, Grossman continued, “But you’ve still got those fire sprinklers, those fire exit signs, fire hydrants outside, and fire trucks nearby! Are these fire guys crazy? Are these fire guys paranoid? No! This fire guy is our A+ student! Because this fire guy has redundant, overlapping layers of protection, not a single kid has been killed by school fire in the last 50 years!

“But you try to prepare for violence — the thing much more likely to kill our kids in schools, the thing hundreds of times  more likely to kill our kids in schools — and people think you’re paranoid. They think you’re crazy. ...They’re in denial.”

Teaching the Teachers
The challenge for law enforcement agencies and officers, then, is to overcome not only the attacks taking place in schools, but to first overcome the denial in the minds of mayors, city councils, school administrators, and parents. Grossman said that agencies and officers, although facing an uphill slog against the denial of the general public, must diligently work toward increasing understanding among the sheep that the wolves are coming for their children. Police officers must train and drill with teachers, not only so responding officers are intimately familiar with the facilities, but so that teachers know what they can do in the event of an attack.

“Come with me to the library at Columbine High School,” Grossman said. “The teacher in the library at Columbine High School spent her professional lifetime preparing for a fire, and we can all agree if there had been a fire in that library, that teacher would have instinctively, reflexively known what to do.

"But the thing most likely to kill her kids — the thing hundreds of times more likely to kill her kids, the teacher didn’t have a clue what to do. She should have put those kids in the librarian’s office but she didn’t know that. So she did the worst thing possible — she tried to secure her kids in an un-securable location. She told the kids to hide in the library — a library that has plate glass windows for walls. It’s an aquarium, it’s a fish bowl. She told the kids to hide in a fishbowl. What did those killers see? They saw targets. They saw fish in a fish bowl.”

Grossman said that if the school administrators at Columbine had spent a fraction of the money they’d spent preparing for fire doing lockdown drills and talking with local law enforcers about the violent dangers they face, the outcome that day may have been different.

Rhetorically he asked the assembled cops, “If somebody had spent five minutes  telling that teacher what to do, do you think lives would have been saved at Columbine?”

Arming Campus Cops is Elementary
Nearly two years ago, I wrote an article called Arming campus cops is elementary. Not surprisingly, Grossman agrees with that hypothesis.

“Never call an unarmed man ‘security’,” Grossman said.

“Call him ‘run-like-hell-when-the-man-with-the-gun-shows-up’ but never call an unarmed man security.

"Imagine if someone said, ‘I want a trained fire professional on site. I want a fire hat, I want a fire uniform, I want a fire badge. But! No fire extinguishers in this building. No fire hoses. The hat, the badge, the uniform — that will keep us safe — but we have no need for fire extinguishers.’ Well, that would be insane. It is equally insane, delusional, legally liable, to say, ‘I want a trained security professional on site. I want a security hat, I want a security uniform, and I want a security badge, but I don’t want a gun.’ It’s not the hat, the uniform, or the badge. It’s the tools in the hands of a trained professional that keeps us safe.

“Our problem is not money,” said Grossman.  “It is denial.”

Grossman said (and most cops agree) that many of the most important things we can do to protect our kids would cost us nothing or next-to-nothing.

Grossman’s Five D’s
Let’s contemplate the following outline and summary of Dave Grossman’s “Five D’s.” While you do, I encourage you to add in the comments area below your suggestions to address, and expand upon, these ideas.

1. Denial — Denial is the enemy and it has no survival value, said Grossman.

2. Deter — Put police officers in schools, because with just one officer assigned to a school, the probability of a mass murder in that school drops to almost zero

3. Detect — We’re talking about plain old fashioned police work here. The ultimate achievement for law enforcement is the crime that didn’t happen, so giving teachers and administrators regular access to cops is paramount.

4. Delay — Various simple mechanisms can be used by teachers and cops to put time and distance between the killers and the kids.

a. Ensure that the school/classroom have just a single point of entry. Simply locking the back door helps create a hard target.
b. Conduct your active shooter drills within (and in partnership with) the schools in your city so teachers know how to respond, and know what it looks like when you do your response.

5. Destroy — Police officers and agencies should consider the following:

a. Carry off duty. No one would tell a firefighter who has a fire extinguisher in his trunk that he’s crazy or paranoid.
b. Equip every cop in America with a patrol rifle. One chief of police, upon getting rifles for all his officers once said, “If an active killer strikes in my town, the response time will be measured in feet per second.”
c. Put smoke grenades in the trunk of every cop car in America. Any infantryman who needs to attack across open terrain or perform a rescue under fire deploys a smoke grenade. A fire extinguisher will do a decent job in some cases, but a smoke grenade is designed to perform the function.
d. Have a “go-to-war bag” filled with lots of loaded magazines and supplies for tactical combat casualty care.
e. Use helicopters. Somewhere in your county you probably have one or more of the following: medevac, media, private, national guard, coast guard rotors.
f. Employ the crew-served, continuous-feed, weapon you already have available to you (a firehouse) by integrating the fire service into your active shooter training. It is virtually impossible for a killer to put well-placed shots on target while also being blasted with water at 300 pounds per square inch.
g. Armed citizens can help.  Think United 93. Whatever your personal take on gun control, it is all but certain that a killer set on killing is more likely to attack a target where the citizens are unarmed, rather than one where they are likely to encounter an armed citizen response.

Coming Soon: External Threats
Today we must not only prepare for juvenile mass murder, something that had never happened in human history until only recently, but we also must prepare for the external threat. Islamist fanatics have slaughtered children in their own religion — they have killed wantonly, mercilessly, and without regard for repercussion or regret of any kind. What do you think they’d think of killing our kids?

“Eight years ago they came and killed 3,000 of our citizens. Do we know what they’re going to do next? No! But one thing they’ve done in every country they’ve messed with is killing kids in schools,” Grossman said.

The latest al Qaeda charter states that “children are noble targets” and Osama bin Laden himself has said that “Russia is a preview for what we will do to America.”

What happened in Russia that we need to be concerned with in this context? In the town of Beslan on September 1, 2004 — the very day on which children across that country merrily make their return to school after the long summer break — radical Islamist terrorists from Chechnya took more than 1,000 teachers, mothers, and children hostage. When the three-day siege was over, more than 300 hostages had been killed, more than half of whom were children.

“If I could tackle every American and make them read one book to help them understand the terrorist’s plan, it would be Terror at Beslan  by John Giduck. Beslan was just a dress rehearsal for what they’re planning to do to the United States,” he said.

Consider this: There are almost a half a million school buses in America. It would require almost every enlisted person and every officer in the entire United States Army to put just one armed guard on every school bus in the country.

As a country and as a culture, the level of protection Americans afford our kids against violence is nothing near what we do to protect them from fire. Grossman is correct: Denial is the enemy. We must prepare for violence like the firefighter prepares for fire. And we must do that today.

Hooah, Colonel!


About the author
Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. In addition to his editorial and managerial responsibilities, Doug has authored more than 600 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association. He is also a member of the Public Safety Writers Association, and is a two-time (2011 and 2012) Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" Finalist in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

                                       P.C.
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media and Copycat Killers on: December 22, 2012, 05:31:26 AM

ZEYNEP TUFEKCI    - Zeynep Tufekci is a fellow at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University, an assistant professor at the School of Information and Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina, and a faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She writes regularly at her personal site, Technosociology.

The Media Needs to Stop Inspiring Copycat Murders. Here's How.

7 DEC 19 2012, 10:07 AM ET 43

After a wave of teen suicides in the 1980s, news outlets began reporting on these deaths more cautiously. Similar guidelines could help prevent more shooting sprees.

After the Newtown shootings, newspapers printed detailed information about the killer and his methods. (McClatchy Papers)

You might not have noticed, but the mass media rarely reports on suicides, particularly teen suicides. When it does, the coverage is careful, understated, and dampened. This is no accident: Following guidelines endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Mental Health, the media carefully and voluntarily avoids sensationalizing such deaths especially among teenagers. They almost never make the news unless the person is a public figure; methods of suicide are rarely mentioned; suicide pacts are not reported upon.

This is for good reason: Suicide, especially among teens, is contagious. It's a morbidly attractive idea that offers an established path of action for a troubled youngster. And we know from research in many fields that establishing a path of action -- a complete narrative in which you can visualize your steps and their effects -- is important in enabling follow-through.

This, for example, is exactly why political campaigns ask people about where and how they plan to vote -- imagined events are more likely to be carried out in real life. If you have a full story in your head, you are more likely to enact it, step by step. We also know such "contagion" effects are especially strong in adolescence and young adulthood -- an especially turbulent time for mental health.

In the Middle Ages, psychosis may have involved visions of the devil. Today, it can involve dressing in pseudo-combat gear and walking through a public place in a blaze of violence.
As a sociologist, I am increasingly concerned that the tornado of media coverage that swirls around each such mass killing, and the acute interest in the identity and characteristics of the shooter -- as well as the detailed and sensationalist reporting of the killer's steps just before and during the shootings -- may be creating a vicious cycle of copycat effects similar to those found in teen and other suicides.

Indeed, the rate of mass public shootings in the United States has been accelerating. In 2012 alone, there were at least a dozen of them. Seven dead at an Oakland college in April. Five killed at a Seattle coffee shop in May. Twelve killed in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater in July. Six murdered at a Wisconsin Sikh temple in August, and six more killed in Minneapolis in September. Three dead in the Milwaukee spa shootings in October. And most recently, and unimaginably, 20 children as young as six, along with six adults, murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The trend is disturbingly clear.

As many have pointed out, these mass public rampages are inextricably linked with the availability of high-capacity guns and ammunition, as well as with lack of strong mental health infrastructure -- especially for those in late adolescence and early adulthood, the typical onset period for major psychotic disorder.

But it's also important to recognize that while mental illness plagues every society, the ways people express it are heavily influenced by the norms, heroes, anti-heroes, and spectacles of their own places and times. In the Middle Ages, psychosis may have involved visions of the devil, snakes, or witches. In the 21st century, it can involve dressing in pseudo-combat gear, donning numerous high-powered rifles, and walking through a public place in a blaze of violence. The shock value is part of the goal -- and the higher the shock value, predictably, the higher the ensuing media coverage, which fuels interest in the shooter and creates a whirlwind of attention and spectacle.

My aim here is not to blame the media: such events have undeniable news value, and there is intense public interest in uncovering their details. But it's important to recognize that such incidents are not mono-causal, and sensational news coverage is, increasingly, part of the mix of events that contributes to these rampages.

We need to figure out how to balance the public interest in learning about a mass shooting with the public interest in reducing copycat crime. The guidelines on reporting on teen suicides were established after a spate of teenage suicides in the United States, some through suicide pacts, in the 1980s. Those who created the guidelines looked at examples from other countries -- for example, the subway suicides in Vienna in the 1980s, which decreased after the media changed its coverage -- and provided specific recommendations: Don't refer to the word suicide in the headline. Don't report the method of the suicide. Don't present it as an inexplicable act of an otherwise healthy person.

With that as a model, here are some initial recommendations.

1. Law enforcement should not release details of the methods and manner of the killings, and those who learn those details should not share them. In other words, there should be no immediate stories about which guns exactly were used or how much robo-cop gear was utilized. There should be no extensive timelines -- no details about which room was entered first or which victim was killed second. In particular, there should be no reporting of the killer's words, or actions before or during the shooting.

Yes, I am a scholar of social media and I understand that these things will leak. But there is a big difference between information that can only be found if you really look for it and news stories that are blasted by every television station and paper in the country. At a minimum, we can and should greatly delay the release of these details by weeks, if not months.

2. If and when social media accounts of the killers are located, law enforcement should work with the platforms to immediately pull them. Yes, there will be screenshots, and again, I am not proposing that such information can be entirely shut out. But by making it harder to find, we can dampen the impact of the spectacle.

3- The name of the killer should not be revealed immediately. If possible, law enforcement and media sources should agree to withhold it for weeks. The identity can be released later during trial (if there is one) or during the release of the investigative report. Once again, merely delaying the release of information may greatly reduce the spectacle effect. The name may "leak," but that is very different from the full blast of attention that currently surrounds the perpetrators immediately after each incident.

Similarly, the killer should not be profiled extensively, at least not at first. There should not be an intense search for clues or reasoning beyond "troubled person commits unspeakable act; wish he had gotten help earlier," in as flat a reporting style as possible. We know that the killers tend to be young men, and they tend to have mental health issues. We do not need to know which exact video games they played, what they wore, or what their favorite bands were.

4. The intense push to interview survivors and loved ones in their most vulnerable moments should be stopped. This, too, may help reduce the sense of spectacle and trauma.

I don't claim that these are the only and best ways to deal with this issue. but I offer them as fodder for a conversation that I hoped will be taken up by media and mental health experts. And we shouldn't be concerned that such guidelines will be impossible to follow. Just yesterday, news outlets revealed that Richard Engel of NBC had been kidnapped in Syria -- and released. The information about his capture, though obviously newsworthy, was held back in order to aid the negotiations and rescue efforts.

There are many such cases of media voluntarily acting to dampen coverage of certain events, especially when it involves one of their own. Let's entreat them to do it for the sake of potential shooting victims as well.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/12/the-media-needs-to-stop-inspiring-copycat-murders-heres-how/266439/ 

                                    P.C.
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Cold Weather Survival on: December 20, 2012, 09:05:55 AM
 Never heard of this one before but I guess it helped. http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Lost+snowboarder+snow+warmed+hands+with+full+urine/7723573/story.html#ixzz2FZKLaPlt

                                   P.C.  cheesy
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / No Control on: December 18, 2012, 06:38:15 AM
The Bill of Rights Sentinel



Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027

Phone (262) 673-9745
Fax (262) 673-9746

Fall 1998 The Firearms Sentinel
How Gun Control "Worked" in Jamaica

© 1998 Tina Terry

Those who stridently and self-righteously lobby for the seizure of all guns by the government in America, particularly women like Sarah Brady, Barbra Streisand, Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, would do well to study the results of forced disarmament in other countries.

I have personally lived through a government-instigated disarmament of the general public, and its subsequent, disastrous consequences: From 1961 to 1977 my father (who is a white American, as are my mother, sister and I) was stationed with his family and business in Kingston, Jamaica.

Around 1972, the political situation in Jamaica had so seriously deteriorated that there were constant shootings and gun battles throughout the city of Kingston and in many of the outlying parishes (counties). In years past no one had even had to lock their doors, but now many people hardly dared venture out of their homes. This was especially true for white people, and even more especially for Americans, because of the real risk of being gunned down or kidnapped and held hostage by Jamaicans, who had become increasingly hostile towards whites and foreigners. My father took his life into his hands every morning simply driving to work. Going to the market or to do a simple errand was often a terrifying prospect. The open hatred and hostility which was directed at us seemed ready at any time to explode into violence, and indeed did so towards many people on many occasions, often with tragic or fatal results.

The Jamaican government decided that the only solution to this volatile situation was to declare martial law overnight, and to demand that all guns and bullets owned by anyone but the police and the military be turned into the police within 24 hours. The government decreed that anyone caught with even one bullet would be immediately, and without trial, incarcerated in what was essentially a barbed-wire enclosed concentration camp which had been speedily erected in the middle of Kingston. In true Orwellian fashion, the government referred to this camp as "the gun court."

My father and all of our American, Canadian, British and European friends, as well as middle class Jamaicans of all colors (locally referred to as "black," 'white," or "beige") knew that we were all natural targets of this kind of draconian government punishment. The relentless anti-American propaganda spewed forth by Michael Manley, Jamaica's admittedly pro-Castro Prime Minister, had resulted in the widespread hatred of Americans, British and Europeans by many Jamaicans. Racial hatred of whites and "beiges," as well as class hatred of anyone who appeared to have money or property, were rampant.

Consequently, we all dutifully and immediately disarmed ourselves, and handed our weapons in at the nearest police station. It was either that or be sent straight to the gun court. Even after we had disarmed ourselves, we lived in deathly fear that the cops, not known for their integrity, and well-known for their hatred of whites and Americans, would plant a gun or bullet on our property or persons.

So there we all were - government-disarmed, sitting-duck, law-abiding citizens and expatriates. Anyone can guess what happened next: the rampant and unfettered carnage began in earnest. Robberies, kidnappings, murders, burglaries, rapes - all committed by the vast populace of still-armed criminals. Doubtless the criminals were positively ecstatic that the government had been so helpful in creating all these juicy and utterly defenseless victims for their easy prey.

We've all heard the phrase, "When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns." I can personally confirm that this statement is absolutely and painfully true, because that is exactly how the Jamaican disarmament worked. At the time of the disarmament order, I was away at boarding school in the United States. However, I remember vividly coming home for the summer. I remember the muted but pervasive atmosphere of tension and terror which constantly permeated our household, affecting even our loyal black servants, who worked for and lived with us, and whom we took care of. (Practically every household in Jamaica, except the very poorest, had live-in servants. There was no welfare or public school in Jamaica, so middle-class families became completely responsible for the well-being of their servants, who were considered to be part of the family, including taking them to the doctor, and helping to educate their children.)

I remember lying awake in bed at night, clutching the handle of an ice-pick I had put under my pillow, and listening to the screaming of car-loads of Jamaican gangs going by our house, praying that they wouldn't pick our home to plunder. The favorite tactic was for a group of thugs to roar up to a house, pile out, batter down the door and rape, steal, kill, kidnap... whatever they felt like. They knew the inhabitants had been disarmed, and that they would be met with only fear and defenselessness. My pathetic ice-pick seemed incredibly puny, but it was all I could think of. Our family didn't even own a baseball bat. I remember lying awake thinking about how our beloved dogs were old and feeble, and that they could not protect us. And that I could not protect them either.

I can barely describe the abject terror and helplessness I felt as both a white American and as a young woman during that time. Jamaica was then about 90% black. Although I was (and still am) an American citizen, my family had lived in Kingston for almost 12 years when this situation occurred, and I considered Jamaica to be my real home. Many of my friends were Jamaican. My first serious boy-friend was Jamaican. For all its faults, I loved this beautiful, suffering island dearly, and I felt like a stranger when I was away at school in America, where I was always homesick for Jamaica.

When we had first moved to Jamaica in 1960, my sister and I (both blonde and obviously white) had been able to ride our horses up into the hills, and, whenever we encountered local Jamaicans, their salutation to us was open and friendly, as was ours to them. As things deteriorated into the reign of terror, and then the government instituted overnight citizen disarmament, when we ventured outside our home, we almost always encountered hate-filled stares and hostile hisses of, "Eh, white bitch! Eh, look 'ere, white bitch!" and other unprintable epithets.

Jamaica was, in the 1970's, a country with at least 50% illiteracy and an illegitimacy rate of over 50%. If a Jamaican girl wasn't pregnant by the age of 15 or 16, she was often derisively branded "a mule," since mules, the offspring of horses and donkeys, are almost always sterile. Being a woman, let alone a white woman, in such a climate, especially after the disarmament of the citizenry by the government, was one of the most terrifying experiences one can imagine.

At that time, I had never held or fired a gun. I had rarely ever even seen a gun. No one in my family had ever learned about, used or even talked about firearms, except my father, who had been in the U.S. army. In our social circle, guns were deemed "unseemly" and "inappropriate" for polite society, and especially for young ladies. I had never given much thought to any of the Bill of Rights, let alone the Second Amendment. Yet we Americans all knew the Bill of Rights did not protect us in Jamaica, just as it hadn't applied to us at our previous station in Singapore.

My dad had fought in World War II, however, and had brought back a Luger pistol, which he had taken with him to Jamaica when we moved there after having spent 6 years in Singapore. No law had prevented his bringing a gun to Jamaica in 1960. When my dad handed that pistol and all his bullets in to the police, I vaguely realized that he was no longer allowed by the government to protect my mom, my sister or me, or our household.

I was pretty confused at the time. Terrified of being kidnapped, raped, murdered, robbed, at the same time I was still mindlessly anti-gun, because the criminals all had guns, and the government had declared guns to be contraband, and we were all terrified of being hurt by bad guys with guns, all of which somehow meant that guns must be "dangerous" and "bad" and therefore should be banned, just as the Jamaican government had decreed. As white Americans, our status was that of permanent guests in a foreign and increasingly hostile country. In fact, after 6 years in Singapore, and 12 in Jamaica, we well knew how to strive to be "model guests," which meant that questioning or challenging the Jamaican government's authority was unthinkable -- even when such government authority decreed that we be made helpless. None of us had any illusions about any "rights" to defend ourselves. We might have been able to do so with the government's blessing in the good old days, before chaos and violence and racial hatred had taken over. But now it was different. Now we were white, visible, foreign, sitting ducks in a hostile black sea. And I was a white, visible, foreign, female sitting duck.

As obedient as I was to authority, I grasped that our household was defenseless, and that I as a woman was particularly defenseless. And I realized that, had my dad still had his pistol, I would have felt much safer. I even realized that I would be willing to pick up a gun if my life were threatened. For a person who claimed to be anti-gun, these feelings really confused me.

At least eleven friends and acquaintances of my family were raped, kidnapped, murdered or robbed within about a year after the disarmament, and I believe it is a miracle that we are all still alive. I am convinced that many of these people would not have been victims had they not been disarmed by the Jamaican government. It was tragically ironic that the government had sold this whole disarmament program to us with the promise that: "We're here to help you, and this is for your own good and safety."

Because of this horrid and indelible experience, and of my interest in and undying loyalty to the American Bill of Rights, I have made it my personal business to study the history of the Second Amendment. I have studied related topics, too, such as police responsibility to citizens. It is my belief that many people believe that disarmament is no big deal, because it is the job of the police to protect us. Particularly many women seem to believe this. The media and of government authorities continue to generate pervasive and corrosive propaganda aimed at creating a helpless and disarmed populace. I used to completely believe this propaganda, but I have learned the following realities:

1. The police have no legal duty to protect individual citizens, and cannot be held responsible if they fail to do so. Even if a citizen's 911 call gets through to the emergency center, the police can simply choose not to show up, and the citizen has no legal recourse against the police. The courts have repeatedly ruled on this. As the court wrote in Bowers v. DeVito, 686 F.2d 616 (7th Cir. 1982): "There is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen. It is monstrous if the state fails to protect its residents against such predators but does not violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, or, we suppose, any other provision of the Constitution. The Constitution is a charter of negative liberties: it tells the state to let the people alone; it does not require the federal government or the state to provide services, even so elementary a service as maintaining law and order." The U.S. Supreme Court, in MU 59 U.S. 396, ruled in a similar vein as far back as 1856.

2. The police carry guns primarily to defend themselves, not to protect us.

3. Because of items 1 and 2 above, we should all consider the police to be, essentially, historians. They show up after the crime has been committed and attempt to reconstruct and document the history of the crime. If the history is satisfactorily re-constructed, then the perpetrator is apprehended (if he can be found) and then (perhaps) prosecuted. This after-the-fact law enforcement does little good for the dead or wounded crime victims.

4. Women have a particular stake in preserving the right to bear arms. There is no way to describe the helplessness a woman feels when she is disarmed and made helpless by anyone. Add to that the rage she feels when the agency who is disarming her and leaving her at the mercy of rapists, murderers, goons and thugs, is a sanctimonious government telling her that it's "for her own good."

Although there are many serious issues in today's roiling political and social stew, I believe that preserving and restoring the Bill of Rights in general, and the Second Amendment in particular, is the most pivotal and basic issue to all Americans, and particularly female Americans, even if they don't yet know it. The consummate idiocy propounded by some folks (including some women) that the Second Amendment exists only to protect sportsmen's rights is particularly ridiculous relevant to women, most of whom don't hunt, and who care more about being able to get a decent hand-gun for self-protection than a hunting rifle to pursue deer or elk.

Anyone who thinks the Bill of Rights is either "out of date," "hokey" or "needs revising" - all of which I've heard from well-meaning but tragically ignorant and complacent Americans - should try living in a country which doesn't have one. I have been there and done that, and I don't want to go through it ever again - especially not in my own native nation. So I am dedicated to preventing today's government nanny from turning, as so often has occurred in history, into tomorrow's government despot.

Finally, I implore anyone reading this, particularly women, to likewise dedicate themselves to studying this issue carefully, and to likewise taking an active stance to preserve the Bill of Rights in general and the Second Amendment in particular.


Postscript: As of the latter part of August of this year (1998), it doesn't appear that the situation in Jamaica has changed much for the better. Many Jamaicans of all colors have immigrated to America to start businesses and to escape the hopelessness of the situation in their homeland. I recently spoke with a black Jamaican named Marcus, who has opened a wonderful Jamaican restaurant in Phoenix named Likkle Montego, where I can go and eat Jamaican food, and catch the latest news from my long-lost home. When asked how things are today in Kingston, Marcus simply shook his head: "Nottin' change attahl, y'know. Everyt'ing still de same. Crime is still bad, mon. Gov'ment still de same. T'ings dere is bad and terrible, mon. Bad and terrible."

And guns are still outlawed in Jamaica. Armed criminals still terrorize disarmed citizens, since still in Jamaica only outlaws (and the government) have guns.

Like the man said: Bad and terrible, mon. Bad and terrible.


Published originally in Fall 1998, pages 16-18 of The Firearms Sentinel, (now The Bill of RightsSentinel) the quarterly publication of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO), - P.O. Box 270143, Hartford, Wisconsin, 53027 - phone: 414-673-9746; web site: http://www.jpfo.org)
Please include the following republication information with any republishing:
Permission is given to republish this article, as long as none of it is changed, shortened or altered, the author and JPFO are given full credit in any such republishing, and this entire republishing message, including the below message concerning Dial 911 and Die, is included. Author may be reached by writing to: Tina Terry c/o JPFO, POB 270143, Hartford, WI, 53027, or by e-mailing to question.authority@hushmail.com

For anyone wanting to know more about what the law requires of the police in regard to protecting citizens, an excellent reference book is available on this topic: Dial 911 and Die, by Attorney Richard W. Stevens, available from Mazel Freedom Press, Inc., P.O. Box 270014, Hartford, WI, 53027. See also http://www.jpfo.org. Dial 911 and Die painstakingly examines the laws of every state regarding the obligation of the police to protect citizens, and the right of citizens to sue should police fail to protect them. James Bovard, nationally syndicated columnist and author of several books, including Lost Rights, Freedom in Chains and Feeling Your Pain, all published by St. Martin's Press, says this about Dial 911 and Die: "Anyone who reads Stevens' book will realize that their right to dial 911 when in imminent peril is often worth less than a plug quarter. There are many fine police officers in this country. However, both the law and the courts have consistently held that police need not respond to citizens in deadly peril. When the government fails to respond, it is scant consolation that a policeman arrives after the crime to chalk off the body." Richard Mack, former Sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, says, "How I wish the information in this book were not true. Nevertheless, this book speaks to the irrefutable truth: police do very little to prevent violent crime. We investigate crime after the fact. I applaud Richard Stevens for his tremendous research and his courage to tell this truth."

                                                              P.C.
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NEWTOWN on: December 17, 2012, 04:12:11 AM
 The tragedy at Newtown was a terrible, violent act and my heart goes out to all those effected. Our lack of mental healthcare in this country, a irresponsible News Media and corrupt politians is a deadly match. It will probably come to light that this was the act of a mentally and emotionally disturbed individual that wanted to take his angst out on society. People will be looking for answers as to why this person chose to do this, and how he planned this out. The News Media should take credit for creating this monster and giving him the incentive and ideas to vent his suicidal rage on this small commuity. This is another instance where a copycat psycho has been educated by the activist News Media, because of the exploitation of similar shootings in the past. The Media uses these events to push political agendas like gun control and hype their ratings, going over all the gory details, plus giving a world stage for these nut jobs to get fame, notoriety, and inflict maximum damage on our society. This sick individual at Newtown, could have just killed himself or worn a suit & tie and ran over people with his car right there at his house. It could have been that simple but he didn't do that. No, he dressed up in camoflage and black, put on a bullet proof vest, loaded up with guns and ammo then went to a grade school. The guns and ammo wasn't just any old kind, nope they were the kind that gun control advocates and political activist want banned. He made sure they met the standard of hype the Media gives such weapons too, he shot his victims mutiple times to make sure they were not just wounded. He knew he had to get a high body count or else he wouldn't make the cut to get on the Media's stage. Here's an idea News Media, do your job in an ethical manner, report the story then shut the hell up.

                                              P.C.
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bullet Tax=Tea Tax? on: October 18, 2012, 02:21:06 PM
Yeah, this will stop those gangbangers from wasting ammo. : tongue http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49458564/

                                   P.C.
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why? on: September 03, 2012, 09:09:02 AM
Woof,
 This confuses me, and when I'm confused about something it usually means there is something really wrong going on.

               http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/17/who-does-the-government-intend-to-shoot/?fb_action_ids=297876136986895&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=246965925417366

                                                                        P.C.
30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Sun Block on: September 01, 2012, 11:09:49 AM
Woof,
 http://news.yahoo.com/small-ky-town-focus-eclipse-chasers-072945138.html

 Also the hometown of:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Cayce
                       
                         P.C.
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Arapaio on: September 01, 2012, 07:18:32 AM
Woof,
 The anti law enforcement witch hunt seems to be over.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/31/13597578-feds-end-probe-of-americas-toughest-sheriff-joe-arpaio-no-charges?lite
                                 P.C.
32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iraq helping Iran on: August 19, 2012, 06:42:46 AM
Woof,

http://news.yahoo.com/iraqis-helping-iran-skirt-sanctions-ny-times-004556825.html                  

....WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraq has been helping Iran skirt economic sanctions imposed because of its nuclear program, using a network of financial institutions and oil-smuggling operations that are providing Tehran with a crucial flow of dollars, the New York Times said on Saturday.

In some case, Iraqi government officials are turning a blind eye to trade with Iran, while other officials in Baghdad are directly profiting from the activities -- with several of them having close ties to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the Times said.

U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledged the problem last month when he barred a small Iraqi bank, the Elaf Islamic Bank, from any dealings with the American banking system, the newspaper said.

At the time, the president said that the bank had "facilitated transactions worth millions of dollars on behalf of Iranian banks that are subject to sanctions for their links to Iran's illicit proliferation activities."

And yet Iraqi banking experts told the Times that Elaf Islamic Bank was still participating in the Iraq Central Bank's daily auction at which commercial banks can sell Iraqi dinars and buy dollars. Through these auctions, Iran is able to bolster its reserve of dollars that are used to pay for much-needed imports.

The Times, citing sources in the Obama administration, current and former American and Iraqi officials and banking and oil experts, said Washington has privately complained to Iraqi officials about financial and logistical ties between Baghdad and Tehran.

In one recent instance, when Obama learned that the Iraqi government was aiding the Iranians by allowing them to use Iraqi airspace to ferry supplies to Syria, he called Maliki to complain, and Iranian planes then flew another route, the Times said.

Iranian organizations apparently have gained control over at least four Iraqi commercial banks through Iraqi intermediaries, which would gives Iran direct access to the international financial system, from which they are barred by the economic sanctions, the Times said.

The problem with illegal Iraq-Iran trade has become well-enough known in Baghdad that it has roiled Iraqi politics, the newspaper said.

"We want to question the central bank and the banks that are involved," Ali al-Sachri, a member of Parliament, told the Times. He said he was concerned that the huge dollar transfers threatened the economic stability of Iraq by depleting the country's foreign reserves.

Iran's ability to trade and the incoming flow of dollars is crucial to the country because the economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations and individual countries are squeezing its economy, the paper said.

(Writing by Philip Barbara; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)



P.C.
33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: August 15, 2012, 04:23:59 PM
Woof,
 I bet that puckered some butts at the AG'S office. Cheesy
                             P.C.
34  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Crime falls in conjunction w increase in gun rights on: June 12, 2012, 05:05:25 AM
Woof,
 No mention of restoration of gunrights in most States and pro self defense laws being enacted.

         http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/11/12170947-fbi-violent-crime-rates-in-the-us-drop-approach-historic-lows?lite

                                                              P.C.
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / THIS IS WAR movie on: May 16, 2012, 02:52:44 AM
Woof,
 I just watched this film about the invasion of Iraq and fall of Baghdad, and decided to put it here as American history, because it is history now, and the Iraq war has been chewed over in the political sphere quite well, and I think it's time we changed the emphasis somewhat. The film is more than American military history of course, it's more personal than that because in encompasses the experience and viewpoint of one Marine as he documents his foray into combat. It is a stark, harsh look at war and the reality of what men in combat do and the mind set they have to have to accomplish the mission and endure the physical and psychological assault that is brought to bear down on a simple, normal human being. It's well worth watching, I warn you it is very graphic in a number of horrific ways but I think people should watch it. On one hand it shows how careful we need to be in deploying our troops to do battle and on the other it shows how once we do commit them we cannot expect them to do it with kid gloves and a kind heart. This was a 2009 release but it's back out as both regular DVD and now Blueray.     http://www.severeclearthemovie.com/ The movie is titled, 'This Is War' or 'Severe Clear' depending on the version and I rented mine from Redbox.   

                                                             P.C.
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 49 headless bodies on: May 14, 2012, 01:28:58 AM
 
updated 5/13/2012 8:22:55 PM ET 2012-05-14T00:22:55
Print Font: +-CADEREYTA JIMENEZ, Mexico — Suspected drug gang killers dumped 49 headless bodies on a highway near Mexico's northern city of Monterrey in one of the country's worst atrocities in recent years.

The mutilated corpses of 43 men and 6 women, whose hands and feet had also been cut off, were found in a pile on a highway in the municipality of Cadereyta Jimenez in the early hours of Sunday, officials from the state of Nuevo Leon said.

"What's complicating the identification of all the people was that they were all headless," said Jorge Domene, the Nuevo Leon government's spokesman for public security, who said the other body parts were missing.

Domene said the brutal Zetas drug gang claimed responsibility for the murders in a message found at the scene.

The massacre was the latest in a string of mass slayings that have convulsed Mexico in recent months, many of them in the north of the country, where the Zetas have waged a war against rival groups for control of smuggling routes.


Video: Video of kid criminals stirs controversy in Mexico (on this page)


The Zetas gang was founded by deserters from the Mexican army who became enforcers for the Gulf cartel, which once dominated the drug trade in northeastern Mexico. Leaders of the Zetas later split from their employers and the two gangs have since fought for control of trafficking routes.
The Zetas have also been at war with the powerful Sinaloa cartel on the other side of the country.

President Felipe Calderon has staked his reputation on bringing Mexico's drug gangs to heel, sending in the army to fight them shortly after taking office in December 2006.

But the violence has spiraled since, and more than 50,000 people have fallen victim to the conflict, eroding support for Calderon's conservative National Action Party (PAN), which looks likely to lose power in presidential elections on July 1.

A poll published on Sunday showed PAN presidential candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota trailing front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) by 19 points with just seven weeks to go.

The commercial hub of Monterrey was long a bastion of the PAN, and the local business community has been "livid" about the violence engulfing the city, said George W. Grayson, a Mexico expert at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

"This puts the final nail in the coffin of the PAN in the presidential contest," he said after the latest atrocity.

Surveys show voters think that the PRI, which ruled Mexico for 71 years until 2000, is more likely to quell the violence. Its long rule was tainted by corruption and critics have accused the PRI of making deals with cartels to maintain order.

Tattooed victims
The headless victims have not been identified.

The bodies showed signs of decay, indicating they may have been dead for days, Nuevo Leon Attorney General Adrian de la Garza said. He noted there had been no mass disappearances reported in the state, so the victims could have died elsewhere.

De la Garza said many of the bodies were tattooed, which could offer a clue to their identities. The dead may have been migrants passing through Mexico to the United States, he added. Migrants have been targeted by criminal gangs in the past.

Violent street gangs in Central America such as the Maras have distinctive tattoos, though security spokesman Domene said the victims did not show these markings.

Domene said some had tattoos of Santa Muerte, or "Holy Death" a female skeletal grim reaper venerated by both gangs and some broader, non-criminal sections of Mexican society. The corpses were taken to Monterrey and authorities said they would perform DNA tests. Thousands of Mexico's drug war victims have never been identified.

Spiral of violence
The bloody killings in Nuevo Leon were the worst there since 52 people died in an arson attack on a casino in Monterrey in August. That attack was also blamed on the Zetas.

Monterrey is Mexico's most affluent city and was long seen as a model of economic development in Latin America. But it has been ravaged by the drug war over the last three years.

The horrifying conflict has been marked by an escalation of mass slaughter in recent weeks.

Last Wednesday, 18 people were found decapitated and dismembered near Mexico's second-largest city, Guadalajara.

A week earlier, the bodies of nine people were found hanging from a bridge and 14 others found dismembered in the city of Nuevo Laredo, just across the U.S. border from Laredo in Texas.

Security analyst Alberto Islas said much of the recent spike in violence was the result of fighting over cocaine supplies from South America between the Zetas and the Sinaloa cartel, led by Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, Mexico's most wanted man.

Increased pressure on Guzman's operations in Colombia this year had prompted the Sinaloa cartel to buy up a bigger share of cocaine from Peru and Ecuador, squeezing the Zetas' supply and sparking tit-for-tat attacks among the gangs, Islas added.

The fact that state and federal authorities had time and again failed to capture and prosecute those responsible for the brutality meant the attacks were only getting worse, he said.

"They're fighting across the whole country with complete impunity," he said. "The government has to send out a very clear signal they will stop the violence and find those responsible."

Late last year, several mass killings took place in the eastern state of Veracruz, which has been ravaged by the Zetas.


37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islamic law, banned on: May 13, 2012, 01:18:06 AM
Woof,

By Kevin Murphy | Reuters – 7 hrs agoKANSAS CITY, Kansas (Reuters) - Kansas lawmakers have passed legislation intended to prevent the state courts or agencies from using Islamic or other non-U.S. laws in making decisions, a measure critics have blasted as an embarrassment to the state.

The legislation, which passed 33-3 in the state Senate on Friday and 120-0 previously in the House, is widely known in Kansas as the "Sharia bill," because the perceived goal of supporters is to keep Islamic code from being recognized in Kansas.

The bill was sent to Republican Governor Sam Brownback, who has not indicated whether he will sign it.

In interviews on Saturday, a supporter of the bill said it reassured foreigners in Kansas that state laws and the U.S. Constitution will protect them. But an opponent said the bill's real purpose is to hold Islam out for ridicule.

Kansas Representative Peggy Mast, a lead sponsor of the bill for the past two years, said the goal was to make sure there was no confusion that American laws prevailed on American soil.

Mast said research showed more than 50 cases around the United States where courts or government agencies took laws from Sharia or other legal systems into account in decision-making.

Commonly, they involved divorce, child custody, property division or other cases where the woman was treated unfairly, Mast said.

"I want people of other cultures, when they come to the United States, to know the freedoms they have in regard to women's and children's rights," said Mast, a Republican. "An important part of this bill would be to educate them."

State Senator Tim Owens, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said there was no need for legislation reaffirming American laws that already exist. All the proposed legislation does, he said, was target one particular group - Muslims - for discrimination.

'UTTER NONSENSE'

"It's based on fear, it's based on intolerance and it is not based on understanding of the Constitution," said Owens, a Republican, who said the measure is an embarrassment to Kansas.

"People will ask, 'How narrow has that state become?'" Owens said. "How unwelcoming is this state?"

He said non-U.S. companies may be unwilling to do business in a state whose residents object to "anything different than what they think is appropriate."

Roughly 20 states have considered legislation similar to what has passed in Kansas, said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington. Some state legislatures, including Kansas, have passed laws that do not mention Sharia by name, he said.

Hooper said there was a movement by conservative-leaning state legislatures to introduce anti-Islam bills that have no legal foundation.

"Really, the goal seems to be (to demonize) Islam and (to marginalize) American Muslims," Hooper said. "Some (states) have passed these watered-down bills and declared a great victory. It's utter nonsense, but if your goal is to promote intolerance, I guess you won."

After Oklahoma voters approved a law in 2010 barring state judges from considering Sharia law specifically in making decisions, federal courts granted an injunction preventing the law from taking effect.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld the injunction, ruling the law unfairly discriminated against a particular religion.

Sharia, or Islamic law, covers all aspects of Muslim life including religious obligations and financial dealings, and opponents of state bans say they could nullify wills or legal contracts between Muslims.

A report earlier this year showed that nearly a third of Americans believed American Muslims want to establish Sharia law in the United States.

The same report, by the Brookings Institution and the Public Religion Research Institute, showed 88 percent of Americans acknowledged knowing little about Muslim beliefs.

(Editing By Andrew Stern and Todd Eastham)

                                    P.C.

38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: May 12, 2012, 12:46:55 AM
Woof,
 It's doubtful that you would find a video of the Media and the Democrats getting together andcoming up with a written mutal agreement as to what and how to make Repubs look bad, and at the same time protect Obama. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the Media is doing everything it can to make Repubs look bad and protect Obama. While at the same time the Left is feeding them everything they can to help in this effort.  tongue
                                                              P.C.
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: May 11, 2012, 07:48:04 PM
Woof,
 Here we go.......

Trayvon Martin's mother in Bloomberg gun control video
By Chris Francescani | Reuters – 4 hrs agoRelated ContentParents of slain teenager Trayvon …
(Reuters) - The mother of Florida shooting victim Trayvon Martin appears in a Mother's Day gun control video produced by an advocacy group led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Martin, 17, was shot and killed on the night of February 26 in the central Florida town of Sanford following an encounter with armed neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who said he acted in self-defense.

Police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman, 28, in the shooting of the unarmed black teenager, citing Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.

Florida, which has some of the most lenient gun laws in the nation, enacted the self-defense measure in 2005, which provides people wide latitude to use deadly force if they fear bodily harm. The law is now in effect in more than 20 states.

Noting that "this will be my first Mother's Day without my son, Trayvon," Sybrina Fulton asks viewers to urge their state governors "to re-examine similar Stand Your Ground laws throughout the nation to keep our families safe."

"Nobody can bring our children back," Fulton says in the video, released on Thursday to several websites by a Bloomberg-led gun control coalition called Second Chance on Shoot First.

"But it would bring us comfort if we can help spare other mothers the pain that we will feel on Mother's Day and every day for the rest of our lives."

Forty-five days after the shooting, following the appointment of a special prosecutor and protest marches across the country, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in the racially charged case.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge and is free on bail.

"SHOOT FIRST" LAWS

Bloomberg and Florida State Senator Chris Smith launched Second Chance on Shoot First last month in partnership with several civil rights groups.

Bloomberg often refers to the Stand Your Ground laws as "shoot first" laws.

"I hope Sybrina Fulton's courage will persuade state legislators to take a second look at shoot first laws and take a second chance to get them right," Bloomberg said in a statement.

Bloomberg is one of the nation's most outspoken mayors on the issue of gun control. He has crafted gun law legislation at the local and national level, formed a gun control coalition that counts at least 600 U.S. mayors, and in 2006 directed city attorneys to sue out-of-state gun dealers whose weapons were used in crimes in New York City.

Florida, like many other states, has long held citizens have the right to defend themselves in their own homes, a legal precedent known as the castle doctrine.

Court rulings have expanded that right to include employees in workplaces and drivers in their cars. But Florida courts expressed reluctance to extend those rights to public places, with judges ruling that citizens under threat must make some effort to escape danger without resorting to violence.

In 2005 Florida lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a "Stand Your Ground" bill that eliminated the requirement to flee, and then-Governor Jeb Bush signed it into law.

The National Rifle Association, which has led pro-gun legislation lobbying efforts in Florida and other states, did not return calls and emails seeking comment.

(Reporting by Chris Francescani; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Xavier Briand)

@yahoonews on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: May 11, 2012, 07:36:43 PM
Woof,
 Why that's just crazy conspiracy talk!  cheesy
                        P.C.
41  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self-Defense Law on: May 11, 2012, 07:34:19 PM
Woof,
 Not sure that the punishment fits the crime here.


 By Gil Aegerter, msnbc.com
Marissa Alexander, whose case brought allegations that Florida's Stand Your Ground law is being unfairly applied, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday after being convicted of three counts of aggravated assault after firing a warning shot during a dispute with her husband.

Alexander, 31, claimed she fired a shot from a handgun into the wall to protect herself during a confrontation with her husband, who she said had abused her, WJXT reported. Two children were with him when she fired a shot in his direction, and she was charged with three counts of aggravated assault.

 Her attorneys claimed self-defense and cited the state's Stand Your Ground law, which gives people some protection from prosecution for using potentially deadly force in cases in which they feel their life is threatened. The law came under nationwide scrutiny during the Trayvon Martin case, when neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot an unarmed teen and authorities waited weeks before charging him.

                                               P.C.
42  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Honeybees healing prostate cancer? on: May 05, 2012, 10:24:50 PM
Woof,
 Hopeful treatment for Prostate Cancer.

Honeybees Prevents Spread Of Prostate Cancer
By: Jennifer Hong
05/05/2012 08:34 PM ET

Tweet22There’s a lot of exciting news coming from the University of Chicago where researchers found that a compound made in honeybees and hives seems to stop the spread of prostate cancer cells in mice.


The compound, called caffeic acid phenethyl ester or CAPE, is made from propolis, the resin honeybees use to patch holes in their hives. The product has been known and used for centuries as a natural remedy for teeth and skin, as well as a defense against viruses and bacteria.

When the researchers fed CAPE to mice that had early stages of the human form of prostate cancer, it seemed to stop the cancer in its tracks.

“Their tumors simply stopped growing,” said Richard Jones, the study’s author and a cancer researcher at the University of Chicago. “When we stopped feeding the mice CAPE, their tumors returned.”

After six weeks, the tumors in mice eating CAPE were 50 percent smaller than the tumors in mice not getting the compound, whose tumors kept growing unchecked.  The CAPE mice also didn’t lose any weight during the treatment, which researchers said indicated that the compound was not overly toxic.

The researchers said the compound didn’t kill the cancer, but it appeared to stop the growth of the cancer cells by masking their ability to use a system of signals to detect nutrition. If cells don’t sense the presence of the food they need, such as glucose, they will stop growing.

The study was only in mice, and the compound has not yet been tested in human cancer patients. But Jones said the cell pathways targeted by CAPE are found in all mammal cells. He said he is hopeful that CAPE will prove useful against cancer in humans, most likely in combination with other available cancer therapies.

                                           P.C.

43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: May 05, 2012, 10:21:39 PM
Woof,
 Hopeful treatment for Prostate Cancer.

Honeybees Prevents Spread Of Prostate Cancer
By: Jennifer Hong
05/05/2012 08:34 PM ET

Tweet22There’s a lot of exciting news coming from the University of Chicago where researchers found that a compound made in honeybees and hives seems to stop the spread of prostate cancer cells in mice.


The compound, called caffeic acid phenethyl ester or CAPE, is made from propolis, the resin honeybees use to patch holes in their hives. The product has been known and used for centuries as a natural remedy for teeth and skin, as well as a defense against viruses and bacteria.

When the researchers fed CAPE to mice that had early stages of the human form of prostate cancer, it seemed to stop the cancer in its tracks.

“Their tumors simply stopped growing,” said Richard Jones, the study’s author and a cancer researcher at the University of Chicago. “When we stopped feeding the mice CAPE, their tumors returned.”

After six weeks, the tumors in mice eating CAPE were 50 percent smaller than the tumors in mice not getting the compound, whose tumors kept growing unchecked.  The CAPE mice also didn’t lose any weight during the treatment, which researchers said indicated that the compound was not overly toxic.

The researchers said the compound didn’t kill the cancer, but it appeared to stop the growth of the cancer cells by masking their ability to use a system of signals to detect nutrition. If cells don’t sense the presence of the food they need, such as glucose, they will stop growing.

The study was only in mice, and the compound has not yet been tested in human cancer patients. But Jones said the cell pathways targeted by CAPE are found in all mammal cells. He said he is hopeful that CAPE will prove useful against cancer in humans, most likely in combination with other available cancer therapies.

                                                      P.C.

44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The First Amendment & Free Speech on: May 05, 2012, 06:57:34 PM
Woof,
 Cyber law is just starting.

 
 
Presented By  "Liking" Something on Facebook Not Protected by First Amendment
 FacebookTweet  Share  Print article  Share on emailEmail article  Comments Connor Simpson 571 Views 3:30 PM ET
It should go without saying that you should be careful of what you "like" on Facebook. You should try not to "like" anything embarrassing or incriminating, lest it come back to bite you. A judge has ruled that "liking" something on Facebook doesn't protect you under the First Amendment, which is bad news for at least one man in Virginia.

Six people sued Sheriff B. J. Roberts in Hampton, Virginia after he fired them. They say they were fired for supporting his opponent in his bid to be reelected, which would be a violation of their First Amendment rights. One of the six fired, Daniel Ray Carter, "liked" the Facebook page of Roberts' opponent. Roberts claims they were either fired for poor performance, or because supporting his opponent "hindered the harmony and efficiency of the office."

Judge Raymond A. Jackson acknowledged that other cases involving written messages on Facebook protected the speaker with the First Amendment, clicking the "like" button is different and doesn't warrant protection.

A lawyer for the defense has already said they'll appeal the decision. This seems to be similar to the debate over whether or not Retweets are endorsements on Twitter, which leads to a lot of journalists including lines like "RTs do not equal endorsements" in their bio. Not everyone agrees the endorsement is necessary, and the debate can get a little ridiculous. The notion of a "like" implies an endorsement, but it's also the only way to subscribe to the updates from a particular page. Hopefully this won't lead to people writing that "Likes don't equal endorsements" in their profiles.

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments or send an email to the author at connorbsimpson@gmail.com. You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.

Topics: First Amendment, Facebook
                                                                           P.C.
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / American Rhetoric: on: May 03, 2012, 12:58:52 AM
To start this thread off:

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.americanrhetoric.com%2Ftop100speechesall.html&h=IAQEcTf9WAQG029tGG2J4iO17jXVhkEbnEOxKSQ1kSrGA5Q

                          P.C.
46  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Be On The Lookout on: March 02, 2012, 03:36:53 AM

  Fugitive charged in $2 million armored vehicle heist
By Margaret Harding and Jason Cato, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Photos
click to enlarge
 
How it happened
J.C. Schisler | Tribune-Review

 
Kenneth John Konias Jr.

Related Articles
Suspect's family suggested for reality TV show in 2005


About the writer
Margaret Harding is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review staff writer and can be reached at 412-380-8519 or via e-mail.


A Dravosburg man killed his fellow security guard, stole more than $2 million from their armored vehicle after picking up money at a casino, visited his parents' home, then took off, authorities said on Wednesday.

"Our belief is that he planned to rob the company, and if he had to kill a guard, he planned to do that," said Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. "He shot the guy from close range in the back of the head. That's pretty cold-blooded."

As the manhunt continued, Pittsburgh police charged Kenneth J. Konias Jr., 22, with homicide, robbery and theft in the heist and killing of armored truck guard Michael Haines, 31, of East McKeesport.

Shortly after the slaying, Konias phoned a friend and admitted he killed someone, saying he had enough money so they could both live the rest of their lives without working, the criminal complaint states.

"Konias made statements such as, 'My life is over.'... Witness No. 1 then said to Konias, 'What? Did you kill someone?' ... Konias was silent for several seconds and then he answered, 'Yes,' " according to the complaint.

Konias tried to persuade the friend to run off with him and asked about the extradition laws of Mexico and Canada, the complaint states. The person refused to go with Konias, and the conversation ended.

Detectives pieced together a timeline of the whereabouts of the Garda Cash Logistics truck using video surveillance, Zappala said during a news conference with police. The truck left the Garda facility on 33rd Street in the Strip District at 7:52 a.m. Tuesday and stopped at Rivers Casino on the North Shore to pick up money at 8:47 a.m.

A spokesman for Rivers would not say how much money was transferred.

The truck made several stops before video surveillance put the vehicle at the Home Depot in Ross between 12:51 p.m. and 12:55 p.m.

A witness saw the truck stopped along the mall driveway, heard what appeared to be a gunshot coming from inside and saw the truck speed away toward McKnight Road, the complaint states.

The truck was captured on video near 31st Street about 1:23 p.m. Konias appeared on video at 1:26 p.m., running near the Garda facility, where his Ford Explorer with a Pennsylvania license plate of GZW-4572 was parked.

Because he was empty-handed in the video, police are trying to figure out whether he stopped and stashed the money somewhere. One investigator estimated the money would fill two trash bags.

Police and Garda employees found Haines' body in the locked truck parked beneath the 31st Street Bridge at 3:44 p.m.

City auto squad detectives were driving along 31st Street on an unrelated investigation and observed several Garda employees near the truck. When they stopped to see if anything was wrong and identified themselves as police officers, a Garda manager asked for help.

The detectives saw blood dripping from a truck door to the ground and found Haines' body slumped in the cargo area with his duty handgun missing.

Detectives are reviewing the videos to see whether they can determine when Haines was last seen alive, city police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki said.

The FBI is doing an audit to learn how much money is missing, but investigators put it at more than $2 million.

Police found Konias' uniform jacket with blood on it hanging on a coat hook when they searched the home he shares with his parents. Kenneth Konias Sr. told police his son walked in, hung up the jacket, went upstairs for about three minutes and then left, the complaint states.

"We don't know anything," said Konias' mother, Renee. She declined further comment.

Police recovered Konias' cell phone when a "Good Samaritan" heard it ringing while stopped along Route 51 and picked it up with the intention of returning it to police. Detectives were on the other end of the line.

Konias could be armed with three semi-automatic guns, including one he took from Haines, police said.

"Mr. Konias is considered to be armed and dangerous," Zappala said, adding that this could be a death penalty case.

Police do not believe Haines, who worked for Garda for about three months, was in on the plan, Zappala said.

"All the evidence indicates the deceased is a straight-arrow guy," he said.

There was no answer at Haines' home. A neighbor said the victim lived with roommates.

Garda has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of Konias, who worked for the company for about a year, Zappala said. The company declined comment, and police would not discuss the company's security procedures.

Industry "best practices" call for crews on the street to report back to headquarters, said Jim McGuffey, an armored car and security management expert in Bluffton, S.C. The frequency can depend on company policy, the amount of money being collected and road distance traveled, he said.

Generally, on a two-man crew, the driver remains inside the vehicle at each stop while the "guard" or "messenger" in the back goes inside to make the pick-up, said McGuffey, who operates A.C.E. Security Consultants.

Nationwide, there were 47 armored car robberies in 2010, and 21 such robberies through June 30, 2011, according to FBI statistics. Both Zappala and Stangrecki said they couldn't recall a previous armored vehicle heist in Pittsburgh.

"You never know what could happen," McGuffey said. "But their largest concern is on the street with unknown variables," not with their partners.

Notable armored vehicle robberies

March 11, 1927

Six members of Pittsburgh's infamous Flatheads Gang, led by Paul Jaworski, committed the first U.S. armored car robbery. The crew used dynamite to blow up a road in what now is Bethel Park to knock off two armored cars from the Brink's Express Co., which were delivering payroll for the Pittsburgh Terminal Coal Co. The gang stole more than $103,000.

March 7, 1979

Two men robbed a Purolator armored truck outside Pittsburgh National Bank in New Kensington and made off with nearly $700,000. A New Kensington man was convicted, while federal authorities said a Swissvale man believed to be involved in the crime was killed by an organized crime member.

March 17, 1982

A Purolator armored truck carrying $2.5 million was robbed in Brentwood. An FBI agent testified in a separate trial that two men associated with the Pittsburgh mafia bragged to an associate about being involved in the heist.

Oct. 4, 2007

A gunman shot and killed two retired city police officers working for Loomis armored truck company as they removed deposits from a Wachovia Bank ATM in northeast Philadelphia. The gunman shot at another armored truck guard before fleeing with a bag of checks and cash deposits.

March 15, 2011

A gunman fatally shot a Garda armored truck guard during a robbery outside an Atlanta grocery store. FBI agents in Georgia linked the suspects in that case to more than a half-dozen other armored car robberies there.

Source: Tribune-Review research

Staff writers Michael Hasch and Eric Slagle contributed to this report.

 If you go to this page there is a photo of the suspect with the article.
       
    www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_784238.html
                                             
                                                       P.C.
47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Giving, charity, tithing on: February 26, 2012, 03:39:41 AM
Marine credits karma for $2.9 million jackpot
Below:
 
  LAS VEGAS — Marine Cpl. Alexander Degenhardt is crediting karma for landing a $2.9 million progressive slot jackpot in Las Vegas.
 
Degenhardt was accepted as a bone marrow donor to an anonymous patient only a couple of days before hitting the jackpot Sunday at the Bellagio, the Las Vegas Sun reported (http://bit.ly/ABQ02J).

"They asked me if I was sure I wanted to go through with it because it's kind of painful, but what's a little pain if it will save someone's life?" Degenhardt said. "I look at this jackpot as kind of good karma for that."

Degenhardt, 26, said he plans to continue his career with the Marines and go through with the bone marrow donation, which is expected to occur in the next six months after extensive testing.

He and several fellow Marines had flown to Las Vegas from Washington, D.C., where he's stationed, for a week of training at Nellis Air Force Base. He said he decided to kill a couple of hours before the return flight by playing the penny slot, which takes bets from 40 cents to $2, at the Bellagio. He landed the jackpot about 10 minutes later.

"I figured I'd just go lose $100 real quick," he said. "I was overwhelmed and in shock. It's something you always want to happen, but when it does happen you don't believe it."

Degenhardt, who will receive about $100,000 a year over 20 years, said he plans to first help his pregnant sister and his mother catch up on bills.

He decided to buy some clothes after the jackpot — at a thrift store, where he buys all of his clothes. He said he won't part with his car that has rolled up some 250,000 miles, either.

"I plan to keep driving it until I can't anymore," he told the Sun. "No sense in wasting money. I'm really pretty thrifty."

The Bally Technologies' Money Vault slot machine at the Bellagio is linked with casinos across Nevada. It was the second largest jackpot ever for Bally, which makes the machines and pays out the jackpots.

___

Information from: Las Vegas Sun, http://www.lasvegassun.com

                                    P.C. grin
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / PA judge allows battery by Muslim for insulting Mohammed on: February 24, 2012, 09:38:01 PM
   Penn Judge: Muslims Allowed to Attack People for Insulting Mohammad
By Mark Whittington
PostsWebsiteBy Mark Whittington | Yahoo! Contributor Network – 6 COMMENTARY | Jonathon Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, reports on a disturbing case in which a state judge in Pennsylvania threw out an assault case involving a Muslim attacking an atheist for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

Judge Mark Martin, an Iraq war veteran and a convert to Islam, threw the case out in what appears to be an invocation of Sharia law.

The incident occurred at the Mechanicsburg, Pa., Halloween parade where Ernie Perce, an atheist activist, marched as a zombie Muhammad. Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim, attacked Perce, and he was arrested by police.

Judge Martin threw the case out on the grounds that Elbayomy was obligated to attack Perce because of his culture and religion. Judge Martin stated that the First Amendment of the Constitution does not permit people to provoke other people. He also called Perce, the plaintiff in the case, a "doofus." In effect, Perce was the perpetrator of the assault, in Judge Martin's view, and Elbayomy the innocent. The Sharia law that the Muslim attacker followed trumped the First Amendment.

Words almost fail.

The Washington Post recently reported on an appeals court decision to maintain an injunction to stop the implementation of an amendment to the Oklahoma state constitution that bans the use of Sharia law in state courts. The excuse the court gave was that there was no documented case of Sharia law being invoked in an American court. Judge Martin would seem to have provided that example, which should provide fodder for the argument as the case goes through the federal courts.

The text of the First Amendment could not be clearer. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof-" It does not say "unless somebody, especially a Muslim, is angered." Indeed Judge Martin specifically decided to respect the establishment of a religion, in this case Islam.

That Judge Martin should be removed from the bench and severely sanctioned goes almost without saying. He clearly had no business hearing the case in the first place, since he seems to carry an emotional bias. He also needs to retake a constitutional law course. Otherwise, a real can of worms has been opened up, permitting violence against people exercising free speech.

It should be noted that another atheist, dressed as a Zombie Pope, was marching beside the Zombie Muhammad. No outraged Catholics attacked him.

                                           P.C.

49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science and Military Issues on: February 24, 2012, 09:31:24 PM
  The United States Navy launched an advanced tactical satellite today (Feb. 24), lofting to orbit the first spacecraft in a new communications constellation that should provide a big upgrade for American troops.

The Mobile User Objective System-1 (MUOS-1) satellite blasted off at 5:15 p.m. EST (2215 GMT) today, riding an Atlas 5 rocket into the skies above Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station after an eight-day delay. The satellite was supposed to launch last week, but strong upper-level winds and thick clouds caused scrubs on both Feb. 16 and Feb. 17.

MUOS-1 will settle into a geostationary orbit above the Pacific Ocean, then undergo about six months of checkouts and tests before becoming operational, Navy officials have said.

The four-satellite MUOS constellation is designed to augment and eventually replace the current network that helps American warfighters around the globe communicate and coordinate. [Photos: Launch of Navy's MUOS-1 Satellite]

"MUOS will greatly enhance the capabilities of the warfighter to communicate on the move," said Mark Pasquale, vice president and MUOS program manager at Lockheed Martin, in a statement. Lockheed Martin is building the MUOS satellites for the U.S. military.

"The system will provide military users 16 times the communications capacity of existing satellites, including simultaneous voice, video and data capability enhancements, and we look forward to achieving mission success for our customer," Pasquale added.

Today's liftoff marked the 200th launch for the Centaur upper stage, which is part of the Atlas 5 rocket. The Centaur first lifted off the pad back in 1962; in the years since, it has helped launch many spacecraft, including NASA's Voyager and Viking probes in the 1970s and the Curiosity Mars rover this past November.


A big communications boost

The U.S. military currently relies on a constellation of satellites called UHF Follow-On, or UFO, for much of its communications needs. However, this network is aging, and two of the satellites stopped working several years ago, bringing the number of functional spacecraft down to eight.

Further, the military's demand for communications capacity is on the rise, due largely to a sharp increase in the use of unmanned aircraft. The MUOS network is an attempt to boost that capacity, and to shift the burden away from the deteriorating UFO system.

When it's complete, the MUOS constellation will consist of four active satellites, plus one orbiting spare. Each MUOS satellite will carry two payloads — one similar to the UFO payload (to provide links to currently deployed user terminals), and a new digital payload that will boost communications capacity significantly.

"Utilizing commercial 3G cell phone and satellite technology, MUOS will provide mobile warfighters point-to-point and netted communications services at enhanced data rates and priority-based access to on-demand voice, video and data transfers," Lockheed Martin officials wrote in a recent statement.

A few years away

It will be a few years before American warfighters can take full advantage of the MUOS network.

For starters, MUOS-1 has to undergo that six-month checkout period. And engineers still haven't finished the software that will allow users to communicate with MUOS-1's digital payload, so the satellite will likely use its UFO-like payload exclusively for a spell after coming online.

Further, it will take a while to complete the MUOS constellation. MUOS-2 is scheduled for launch in July 2013, with MUOS-3, 4 and the spare perhaps following at roughly one-year intervals, officials have said.

Lockheed Martin won a $2.1 billion Navy contract to build MUOS-1, MUOS-2 and associated ground control architecture back in September 2004. The Navy later exercised an option to build three more MUOS spacecraft.

                                      P.C.
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Quotes of note: on: February 19, 2012, 09:40:45 PM


 "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."
                                     Henry David Thoreau
 
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 16
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!