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

Monday, October 16, 2017

Officer Down

Police Officer Matthew Scott Baxter
Kissimmee Police Department, Florida
End of Watch: Friday, August 18, 2017
Age: 27
Tour: 3 years

Sergeant Richard Samuel Howard
Kissimmee Police Department, Florida
End of Watch: Saturday, August 19, 2017
Age: 36
Tour: 10 years


Police Officer Matthew Baxter and Sergeant Sam Howard were shot and killed while responding to reports of three suspicious people in the area of Palmway Street and Cypress Street at approximately 9:30 pm.

They were speaking to the men when a scuffle ensued and both officers shot. Both were transported to Osceola Regional Medical Center where Officer Baxter was pronounced dead. Sergeant Howard passed away the following afternoon.

The subject who shot him was arrested approximately two hours after the shooting by members of the Osceola County Sheriff's Office. Two handguns were found in his possession when he was arrested.

Officer Baxter served with the Kissimmee Police Department for three years. He is survived by his wife and three children

Sergeant Howardwas a U.S Army veteran and had served with the Kissimmee Police Department for 10 years. He is survived by his wife and one child.
Rest in Peace Gentlemen…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Officer Down


Correctional Officer David Torres-Chaparro
Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Puerto Rico
End of Watch: Thursday, August 17, 2017
Tour: 24 years

Correctional Officer David Torres-Chaparro suffered a fatal heart attack while participating in riot control training at the former Industrial Women's Prison in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico.

He began to experience chest pains during the training and was transported to a local hospital where he passed away.

Officer Torres-Chaparro had served with the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 24 years. He is survived by his wife and one child.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Youngstown

I've often said about Bruce Springsteen, he's not the best singer or instrument player. But like Bob Seger and Billy Joel, damn he can write songs. From The Valley's dark overtones of youthful mistakes and examination of human temptation in I'm on Fire, he's a modern day poet with an incredible muse.

While I was surfing YouTube, I found this live version of Youngstown, looking at a routine theme of his songs, the post industrial age in America. Brooding and heavy, but still awesome. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Officer Down


Deputy Sheriff James E. Clark
Quitman County Sheriff's Office, Mississippi
End of Watch: Sunday, August 13, 2017
Age: 50
Tour: 10 years

Deputy Sheriff Jimmy Clark was killed in a vehicle crash while responding to a shooting call.

He was traveling through the Falcon community on Mississippi 3, approximately eight miles north of Marks, when he swerved to avoid two dogs that ran into the roadway.

Deputy Clark had served with the Quitman County Sheriff's Office for two years and had previously served as the chief of the Crowder Police Department. He is survived by his wife and children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Will no one rid us of this meddlesome freak?

Paraphrasing King Henry II's most famous words, I am, to say the least, angry that this waste of sperm is walking the earth free. He doesn't deserve a bullet, that's too dignified. He should be hanged. But as a final "f$%^ you" to the American people, B Hussein Obama let him out 28 years early.

Now this would be almost comical if it wasn't true. Pvt Manning thinks he didn't commit a crime.

Chelsea Manning finds sympathetic crowd in NY, defends actions

Chelsea Manning on Sunday told a crowd at the annual New Yorker Festival in New York that the information she leaked did not expose names of informants.

“These aren’t intelligence documents,” she said. “It’s historical data.”

She went on, "There's nothing sensitive in there, there's no troop movements," she added. "It was a historical record of everything that had happened in Iraq and Afghanistan..."

...She became emotional when asked what she thought the best result had been from her leaking of hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. "Look, I haven't had time to deal with these questions," she said. "All I've been doing is fighting for my life for the last seven years..."

Manning has made only a few appearances since her release. Last month, Harvard University reversed a decision to name her a visiting fellow after CIA director Mike Pompeo scrapped a planned appearance over the designation, calling Manning an "American traitor."

And Manning tweeted two weeks later that she'd been denied entry into Canada because of her U.S. criminal record...

I spent 23 years in the Army and Army Reserve and I had a Top Secret clearance for most of that time. If I had done a fraction of what this piece of excrement did I would likely still be in ail.

From the Sensitive Compartmented Information Non-Disclosure Agreement:

(U) SENSITIVE COMPARTMENTED INFORMATION NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENT
An Agreement between ______________________________________ and the United States.

1. (U) Intending to be legally bound, I hereby accept the obligations contained in this Agreement in consideration of my being granted access to information or material protected within Special Access Programs, hereinafter referred to in this Agreement as Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI). I have been advised that SCI involves or derives from intelligence sources or methods and is classified or is in process of a classification determination under the standards of Executive Order 13526 or other Executive order or statute. I understand and accept that by being granted access to SCI, special confidence and trust shall be placed in me by the United States Government.

2. (U) I hereby acknowledge that I have received a security indoctrination concerning the nature and protection of SCI, including the procedures to be followed in ascertaining whether other persons to whom I contemplate disclosing this information or material have been approved for access to it, and I understand these procedures....

3. (U) I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of SCI by me could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to advantage by a foreign nation. I hereby agree that I will never divulge anything marked as SCI or that I know to be SCI to anyone who is not authorized to receive it without prior written authorization from the United States Government department or agency (hereinafter Department or Agency) that last authorized my access to SCI. I understand that it is my responsibility to consult with appropriate management authorities in the Department or Agency that last authorized my access to SCI, whether or not I am still employed by or associated with that Department or Agency or a contractor thereof, in order to ensure that I know whether information or material within my knowledge or control that I have reason to believe might be, or related to or derived from SCI, is considered by such Department or Agency to be SCI. I further understand that I am also obligated by law and regulation not to disclose any classified information or material in an unauthorized fashion....
(emphasis mine).

So yes, the traitor knew what he was doing was illegal and did it anyway. So did B Hussein Obama. We've had traitors in the past, but for some reason traitors are honored now, as opposed to being held in the contempt they've earned. Now America's greatest (excuse me while I'm smirk) university wanted to hire this traitor. Alumni, parents, students, this is what you're paying for?

Let's send it to the B Hussein Obama library as a greater. But please, rid us all of this worthless piece of human waste.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

K-9 gets early retirement...

Anyone who's worked with a police K-9 knows the four legged officers are not animals, they are partners and part of the handler's family. When the dog retires due to old (8-10 years) age or injury, they generally stay with the handler's family. When the handler retires, they often get to pay for their partner and keep him with the family. Unfortunately the sergeant here didn't retire, but at least his partner will take care of the family.

Family of California Officer Killed by Drunk Driver Can Keep K-9

MODESTO, California -- Modesto officials decided Tuesday that Ike -- a 3-year-old police dog -- can retire and live out his days with the family of his former handler, Sgt. Mike Pershall, who was killed in August by a suspected drunken driver.

The City Council voted 7-0 to sell Ike to the Pershall family for $1.

Police Chief Galen Carroll asked the council essentially to give Ike to the Pershall family. He said in an interview last week that this might not be popular with everyone -- Ike is 3 years old and most K9s work until they are 8 or sometimes even 10 -- but it was the right thing to do.

"It is not a good deal for the Police Department to lose the dog," Carroll said last week. "But there is also the human factor of, you have a wife and two kids who just lost their dad, and that's the family dog. What is the right thing to do?"

Ike is a Belgian Malinois and cost the Police Department $9,137.

But Carroll said there has been an outpouring from community members who are willing to donate toward the department's purchase of its next police dog. Carroll said he also will speak with the Modesto Police Canine Association, which paid for the department's last police dog...

Good to hear the city did right by one of their cops. Enjoy your retirement Ike.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Officer Down

Lieutenant Pilot Henry John "Jay" Cullen, III
Virginia State Police, Virginia
End of Watch: Saturday, August 12, 2017
Age: 48
Tour: 23 years
Badge # 71

Trooper Pilot Berke M. M. Bates
Virginia State Police, Virginia
End of Watch: Saturday, August 12, 2017
Age: 40
Tour: 19 years
Badge # 764
Cause: Aircraft accident

Trooper Pilot Berke Bates and Lieutenant Pilot Jay Cullen were killed when their Bell 407 helicopter crashed into a wooded area in a residential neighborhood on Old Farm Road in Albemarle County, Virginia, at approximately 6:30 pm.

They were in the area to monitor civil unrest that was occurring in Charlottesville, Virginia, during a large protest. The helicopter had just taken off to monitor the Virginia governor's motorcade after he arrived in the area to assess the situation. The helicopter experienced some sort of issue before crashing into the trees and becoming engulfed in flames.

Trooper Bates and Lieutenant Cullen were killed in the crash.

Lieutenant Cullen had served with the Virginia State Police for 23 years and was assigned as the commander of the Aviation Unit. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

Trooper Bates had served with the Virginia State Police for 13 years and was assigned to the Aviation Unit. He had previously served with the Florida Highway Patrol for six years. He is survived by his wife and his twin son and daughter. He was killed the day before his 41st birthday.
Lieutenant Cullen had served with the Virginia State Police for 23 years and was assigned as the commander of the Aviation Unit. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
Rest in Peace Gentlemen…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Textbook felony stop.

A felony stop is used when you have a vehicle occupied with dangerous passengers (e.g. an armed robbery suspect) or a stolen vehicle. The concept is to place the target vehicle and occupants at a position of complete disadvantage. You use verbal commands to get the driver to exit the vehicles, show he is unarmed and have him walk backwards to the officers. He is then taken into custody, and the process is repeated until the vehicle is emptied.

Two suspects arrested after wild chase in stolen BMW

HOUSTON, TX - Houston police say two people were arrested after a chase in a stolen BMW overnight. HPD officials say it was approximately 2 a.m. when an individual reported their BMW was stolen. Officers then spotted the BMW on Broadway 610. Police attempted a traffic stop, but the driver took off in the car. Officers then chased the vehicle down the loop and onto I-45-Southbound.

At some point on the chase, one of the BMW's tires blew. The driver then exited I-45 and stopped at an Exxon station near Astoria. Officers then began a felony stop and took the driver and passenger into custody. The driver is believed to have a felony warrant for robbery.
This is an excellent example of how to do it. Great work Houston Police!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Someone helped an ignorant old Coonass to understand "bump-firing" a weapon.

In the immediate aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting last week, ignorant politicians, mostly of the Democratic left, led my Mrs. Bill Clinton, immediately opened their mouths and demanded "something" be done. From Mrs. Clinton's Tweeter feed:
The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots.

Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.

Our grief isn't enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.
Last week I has some initial observation and speculation on the shooting after speaking with two friends. I must say after hearing of the "bump-stock," I had no idea what the hell this thing was. But seeing how quickly politicians, especially Democrats, wanted to ban it, I knew this was symbolism over substance.

My friend SM posted the second video and it shows how to bump-fire a rifle. Basically, instead of placing the stock of the weapon into your shoulder, you leave around a half inch space you leave about one-half inch space between the stock and the shoulder. Then you place your trigger finger in the trigger guard, keep it firmly in a nine o'clock position (assuming right handed shooter), and depress the trigger. The first round goes off, the rifle moves back and recoils forward. Keeping the finger firming in position, the trigger is depressed, the rifle fires again, and the cycle repeats. Gotta say, simple, functional and ingenious. And requires no modification to a semi-automatic rifle.

Here are some examples of the technique:




Some years ago an officer using the "facilities" and in preparation, he hung his pistol, using the trigger guard, on the coat rack. When he went to grab it, he accidentally depressed the trigger and the pistol fired. And it also went on "automatic" fire, in that the pistol kept moving back and forth from the trigger guard and trigger, and only stopped when the weapon ran out of bullet. Thankfully no one was hurt, but I know the man will never hear the end of this.

I've heard multiple reports that Stephen Paddock had these "bump-stocks" on his weapons and I have no idea if that's true. Simply put, unless it comes from the sheriff or other adult supervision of the investigation, I won't give it much credit. But this shows again, if you are motivated, you will make something happen.

Have a great week.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Officer Down


Corporal Monty D. Platt
West Texas A&M University Police Department, Texas
End of Watch: Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Age: 47
Tour: 24 years
Badge # 2508
Incident Date: 7/24/2017

Corporal Monty Platt died of complications of an animal bite sustained on July 24th, 2017, as he attempted to capture an injured feral cat on campus in the area of 301 26th Street.

The cat bit him through his work gloves and punctured his skin. He received medical treatment and was given medication, which caused him to suffer a severe allergic reaction. He was transferred to the ICU at University of Medical Center, in Lubbock, where he was placed on a ventilator. His condition rapidly deteriorated and he passed away on August 8th, 2017.

Corporal Platt had served with the West Texas A&M University Police Department for 21 years and had served in law enforcement for 24 years. He is survived by his wife, son, and mother.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

This Texan would not last long in Her Majesty's England....

One of the highlights of my life was visiting England in 2006 and staying with my friend Bill N., a London Metro (at the time) Police Sergeant. When I first met Bill in 2000, I took him to the range and let him shoot my Sig-Sauer. Damned good shot for someone who had not handled a pistol in ages.

Well, I was looking things up and I found this, advice from the British police on self defense, etc.

Oh...I don't think I'll be staying. Granted break ins are rare, lets just say my reaction will likely not be as "stiff upper lip" as this pamphlet suggest:
Q85: What lengths can I go to, to protect myself and my home if an intruder breaks in?

It is very rare for a person to be confronted by an intruder in their home. Advice from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the National Police Chiefs in relation to "reasonable force" has been prepared in the form of a leaflet which is available at your local police station, also see link in related information. However, listed below is a brief summary of that advice.

In all cases if possible you should call the police.

In the heat of the moment it is not expected that you should make fine judgements as to how far you can go. What you honestly and instinctively believe is lawful and necessary self defence for either yourself, your family or your property, even if a weapon is used, could constitute reasonable force.

You do not have to be attacked first to be able to use reasonable force in self defence.

Even if the intruder dies, provided you have used reasonable force in the circumstances described then you will not necessarily be prosecuted...

I will "not necessarily be prosecuted..." That doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy about protecting myself and my family, if I say so myself.
If, having disabled the intruder you then go on and inflict further punishment then this would be deemed to be excessive and gratuitous force and you could be prosecuted.

So make sure the initial "punishment" takes care of "the issue." Got it.
If you suspect that a person is going to break into your house and you set a trap, rather than involve the police then this would not be deemed to be self defence or reasonable force.

If someone is trying to break in and I'm waiting on him, it's not "a trap." We call that hospitality.
If the intruder escapes with some of your property or you chase after them to effect a citizen's arrest you are still allowed to use reasonable force. The degree of force in this instance may have considerably reduced and a rugby tackle or a single blow would suffice. To go beyond this as a form of punishment would again make you liable to a prosecution for assault and possibly civil action.

Well I'm not as fast as I used to be, so running his ass down won't really be an option. So I should handle the "matter" while I'm being hospitable. Got it.
It should be understood that the Police will always have a duty to investigate this type of incident, but the Police and CPS will always objectively assess all the facts recognising in the first instance that the intruder caused the situation to arise in the first place.

Sir, allow me to translate that into American. If he hadn't broke into my house, he wouldn't have gotten his ass kicked or killed.

I think I got the point.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Officer Down


Detective Elise Ybarra
Abilene Police Department, Texas
End of Watch: Sunday, August 6, 2017
Age: 33
Tour: 3 years
Badge # 1058

Detective Elise Ybarra was killed in a vehicle crash on I-20, outside of Abilene, when her department vehicle was struck by another car at approximately 6:15 pm.

She and two other detectives were en route to Dallas to attend the Crimes Against Children Conference. They encountered slow traffic due to a previous wreck on the interstate. A few moments later a pickup truck struck the rear of their unmarked car, causing Detective Ybarra to suffer fatal injuries. The other two detectives were transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Detective Ybarra had served with the Abilene Police Department for three years and was assigned to the Special Victims Unit. She had previously served with the Sedalia, Missouri, Police Department. She is survived by her husband and 10-month-old daughter.
Rest in Peace Sis…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Some initials observations on the Las Vegas shooting

Like everyone, I was shocked and horrified by what happened in Las Vegas Sunday. I was proud to see the LV Metro Police quickly react and handle the shooter, and while this event is far from over (it's not even the end of the beginning yet) here is some things we know and some speculation and conclusions.


An overview of the hotel and concert area. Notice how the shooter has a perfect over watch of the entire audience location.

The Mandalay Bay hotel, you can see the two
windows smashed on the 32nd floor
A view from the hotel onto the concert area.











Police One had an initial look at the event and they have three point to bring up:


Rapid Response: 3 key takeaways from the Las Vegas massacre 
The complex, carefully coordinated attacks of 9/11 have been replaced with a new kind of violence that is significantly harder to detect

...This tragedy reminds us that it’s nearly impossible to prevent lone wolf attacks. The complex, carefully coordinated attacks of 9/11 – and their associated trails of bread crumbs - have been replaced with a new kind of violence that is significantly harder to detect.

Regardless of whether a nexus to terrorism exists, or the gunman simply went off the deep end, we must focus on prevention and encouraging private citizens to be “first reporters” who can improve law enforcement’s ability to identify, investigate and potentially mitigate attacks or plots.

3 key Takeaways

1. Law enforcement trains extensively for active shooter response, but the criminal element keeps coming up with new ways to perpetrate mass killings.


Since the days of the Columbine High School shooting, law enforcement has trained extensively for rapid response to active shooter situations. Yet the idea of a gunman taking aim on a crowd from high ground outside an event’s immediate perimeter reminds us that bad actors are always thinking outside of the box. They keep coming up with new ways to cause mass casualties. That thought should be appropriately haunting to us all.

By all accounts, Las Vegas law enforcement officers did their jobs exceptionally well. They responded quickly, identified the shooter’s location and ran toward the gunfire, as they are trained to do. The Las Vegas Metro PD SWAT team was likely already on site to provide extra security for the music festival; our SWAT team in Dallas was often assigned to similar public events.

No one could have stopped this attack, no matter how good the security design principles were on the ground. Given the range, distance and cell phone video footage that has emerged so far, the shooter had fully automatic weapons and an arsenal of extra magazines. He likely transported the weapons into the hotel in a suitcase or a golf bag, so no one would have been the wiser. Hotel guest screening policies may be in for an overhaul after this tragedy, but screening every piece of luggage is not necessarily practical. Where does it end?

2. If it sounds like gunfire, move or take cover.

What can people on the ground do to save themselves? First, you have to recognize the sound of gunfire. People have described the sound as similar to fireworks, an engine backfire or even a helicopter. Sadly in this day and age, citizens should accept the fact that they may hear gunshots. Assume that’s what the sound is, and move or take cover. Moving targets are harder to hit.

As a SWAT officer, when I set up on a structure, I always had cover and concealment. It’s different when you’re on the beat. During my patrol officer days, if I heard gunfire, I immediately sought cover. Cover is different from concealment; concealment simply hides you, while solid cover provides protection from the bullets. Concrete and steel are good options – think about engine blocks or the concrete jersey barriers that are typically set up for crowd control.

3. Private citizens should report suspicious or unusual activity.

We often find that 99 percent of the time after a shooting occurs, friends or neighbors come forward and say, “I always thought that person seemed strange.”

It remains unknown whether Paddock showed signs of unusual behavior leading up to the shooting, but certain behaviors can serve as indicators to alert family, friends and employers that something is wrong.

The fact that someone is in crisis - such as divorce, financial troubles, or job loss – means nothing in and of itself. However, a crisis taken in the context of factors such as increasing isolation, depression, aggression, abandonment of family and friends, or expressed hatred of an institution or individuals, may serve as a warning sign and require further attention.

Private citizens are law enforcement’s first line of defense in identifying potential threats. We must remain vigilant on educating our communities not only on the important roles they can play, but how they can deliver intelligence information.

This heightened awareness, paired with resources such as the Department of Homeland Security’s If You See Something, Say Something campaign and basic education, could provide the small edge necessary for law enforcement before an individual commits an act of violence. DHS offers a wealth of free printable materials that inform private citizens, businesses, and other organizations of what they can do to keep their communities safe. Make sure your community is informed...
About the author

Rich Emberlin is a 30-year law enforcement veteran who served most notably with the Dallas Police Department’s elite units, including Dallas SWAT, the Criminal Intelligence Unit and the Office of the Chief of Police. During his 15 years in SWAT, Rich participated in thousands of missions, including counter-terrorist operations, hostage rescues, barricaded suspect situations, and arrest and search warrant executions. As a detective in the Criminal Intelligence Unit, he was responsible for investigating protest groups and threats against government officials and police officers. Rich retired from the Dallas Police Department in 2016 and remains active in the industry as a law enforcement expert and instructor. He has appeared on shows including A&E Networks’ Live PD and Dallas SWAT, the Outdoor Channel’s Elite Tactical Unit and NRA-TV. Rich continues to serve his community as a reserve deputy for the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department.
Discussing this with two close friends, MF, a retired Army infantry colonel and ML, a former Marine and current National Guard lieutenant colonel, they gave me some speculation and other conclusions:

1. Knowing how fast an AR-15 platform will heat up and that this man had (at last report) 23 weapons, he likely (speculation here) had several with drum rounds (100 or larger), would fire the first for 30-50 rounds, and go to the next. This allows a weapon to cool and continue a sustained rate of fire.

2. Concert venues will have to take into account possible sniper locations and may need police assistance with another sniper. If there was a sniper (not a patrol officer with an AR-15 but a trained sniper with this 700 Winchester and a spotter) he could have easily taken the shooter out. I was on the security staff at the Super Bowl last February and we had multiple sniper teams for this issue (local, state, federal).

3. Patrol officers need carbines. Easier said than done, if only for legal liability issues, the officers need to go through formal training. In many departments that means a week off, which is manpower off the street. With the number of veterans coming into law enforcement, modified (i.e. shorter) classes may be an option. A 6 year veteran of the Army or Marines will disassemble an AR-15/M4 in seconds and if they are fresh veterans, may remember their battle sight zero. But it's critical for us now.

4. Train patrol on some basic infantry tactics, getting to cover/concealment quick, low or high crawling to get over an area, 3-5 second rushes from cover to cover.

A meme from a few years ago sums up the change in police work over the last few years:

I loved Adam-12, and when he passed last year the LAPD Martin Malloy full department honors. But his suspects did have body armor or AK-47s. Be prepared fellow cops. Every day I walk out to my vehicle with an AR-15 (5 magazines, 147 rounds) and a 870 12 Gauge (15 buckshot, 10 slugs). Better have and not need, than need and not have.

Be safe out there.


The dishonored dead....

After France left NATO and wanted American forces out of the country, Lyndon Johnson ordered Clark Clifford to ask France's president a question.

"Do you want us to take the graves?"

From Clifford's account, De Gaulle snapped his briefcase shut and walked out without saying anything.

America has over 30,000 soldiers buried in France from World War II, in honored rest. But this is the first time I've heard about the other group, the "dishonorable dead."

This cemetery is the final resting place for the Army's 'dishonorable dead'

In a small area of Northern France, in a town called Seringes-et-Nesles, is a cemetery filled with soldiers who died fighting to keep France from falling to the Kaiser’s Germany during WWI.

The cemetery, Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, holds the remains of 6,012 soldiers in plots A-D, some unidentified, as well as a memorial to the almost 300 who went missing and were never found. There are many interesting side stories about this cemetery. Famous poet Joyce Kilmer is buried here. The tombs of the unknown are marked with the same epitaph as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

The most infamous stories, however, lie in plot E.

Officially Plot E does not exist. The 100-by-54 foot oval does not appear on maps, pamphlets, or on any websites. Ninety-six white markers the size of index cards, carrying only a small ID number litter the ground in Plot E, overlooked by a single granite cross. No U.S. flag is allowed to fly over it. The bodies are interred with their backs to the four plots across the street.

Plot E now contains the remains of 94 bodies. Across the street, unmarked, surrounded by thick shrubs and undergrowth, and accessible only through the supervisor’s office, the infamous fifth plot inters the “Dishonorable Dead,” Americans dishonorably discharged by the U.S. Army before being executed for crimes like rape and murder during or shortly after WWII.

Plot_-E-,_Oise-Aisne_American_Cemetery
With the exception of the infamous deserter Eddie Slovik (who was buried here after becoming the first soldier since the Civil War to be tried and executed for desertion – his remains have since been repatriated), each criminal faced the firing squad or the hangman’s rope for the murder of 26 fellow American soldiers and 71 British, French, German, Italian, Polish and Algerian civilians (both male and female) who were raped or murdered.

British murder victim Elizabeth Green (age 15) was raped and strangled by Corporal Ernest Lee Clarke (Grave 68) and Private Augustine M. Guerra (Grave 44). Louis Till (Grave 73), the father of American Civil Rights Icon Emmett Till, was hanged for his part in the murder of an Italian woman in 1944. Sir Eric Teichman was shot in the head by George E. Smith (Grave 52) in December 1944 after Smith was found poaching on his estate. Smith was hanged on V-E Day.

The Army executed a total of 98 servicemen for these kinds of crimes during WWII. While they were originally buried near the site of their execution, in 1949 they were all reinterred to where they are today.

At some point in the future I would love to spend several months in France (and Europe in general) touring the battle fields. I got to say this is a place I would find interesting. Like the German death camps, something not normally thought of when you think of the American war effort in The Great War.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

SCOTUS cases for cops....

I saw this article and it list nine cases of general interest. If memory serves, the Supreme Court only accepts 50-60 cases a year, and you never know how things will come out.

That being said, there are four of the nine cases that should be of interest to cops.
9 cases to watch in the Supreme Court's upcoming term

The Supreme Court's first full term in the Trump era begins Monday, and the nine justices are preparing to tackle a slew of blockbuster cases.

Following President Trump's appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the justices appear eager to resolve controversies they have punted or avoided in the recent past. Here are nine cases we are watching in the upcoming term:

Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

The Masterpiece case is shaping up to be the highest profile controversy of the term, pitting religious liberty advocates against gay rights supporters in a row over the issue of free expression.

The Supreme Court's resolution of the Masterpiece case will determine the constitutionality of Colorado's public accommodations law forcing cake-baker Jack Phillips to create speech that defies his religious beliefs.

How the new nine-justice court chooses to adjudicate the dispute could reveal how it will tackle cases involving tension between religious liberty, free speech, and gay rights for decades to come. The Masterpiece decision looks likely to also impact a deluge of wedding vendor controversies heading the high court's way in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage.
God knows we can see getting called to a disturbance or two. Mr and Mr Smith, Mrs and Mrs Jones, how about you simple go down the street for another baker. Yes, I donated to the GoFundMe account for this baker, trying to put this business out of business is BS. Then again, the militant gay lobby has never and does not want tolerance. They want acceptance. And they will force you to accept anything they want.
Carpenter v. United States

The Supreme Court is jumping into the debate about the limits of governmental surveillance amid new technological advances without giving much in the way of hints about its thinking.

In Carpenter, the Supreme Court will review the constitutionality of law enforcement seizing and searching a cellphone user's records to reveal that person's locations and movements.

Because none of the nine justices sat on the high court when the governing precedence was created, the justices' thoughts on this case remains a mystery. However, the way the justices resolve the case could set the boundaries of federal government surveillance for years to come...

A constant issue for law enforcement is law does not keep up with technology. The court has issued rulings on searching cell phones after arrest and placing trackers on cars. I will predict SCOTUS will require a warrant of some kind, without exigent circumstances.
...Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees

The political power of public-sector unions could dramatically shift as the result of the high court's Janus decision.

The Supreme Court looked poised in 2016 to overturn a previous ruling that said public-sector employees who do not belong to a union can still be forced to pay a fee that covers the union's costs in negotiating the contract that applies to all employees. But Justice Antonin Scalia's death left the court with an even 4-4 split from the eight remaining justices in that Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case.

Since Gorsuch replaced Scalia, the nine justices' decision last week to take this case suggests they might overturn the previous ruling and upset the unions again.

My friend Darren at Right on the Left Coast, who has had a personal issue in this for years, will be keeping an eye on this one. I've got no issue with public employees (other than the military) voluntarily joining a union. I'm a union member mainly for the legal representation it provides me in case of shooting, etc. That being said, being force to join a union is wrong. Let the unions prove their worth the their members and then we will see if they are should be supported. When Wisconsin passed a law stopping mandatory membership for public sector employees, the unions lost 40% of them members.
Jennings v. Rodriguez and Sessions v. Dimaya

Whether or not arguments over President Trump's travel ban make it to the Supreme Court this term, the justices will have an opportunity to shape the boundaries of future immigration policies crafted by Trump.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments for a second time in Sessions v. Dimaya and Jennings v. Rodriguez in its opening week of the new term. Sessions v. Dimaya poses questions regarding whether the Immigration and Nationality Act's "crime of violence" provision is unconstitutionally vague, and Jennings v. Rodriguez involves whether illegal immigrants — including those with criminal records — are entitled to bond hearings.

The high court held previous arguments in both cases before Gorsuch joined the Supreme Court, meaning the justices could be deadlocked and relying upon his vote to resolve both disputes...

I look at this and I recall the wisdom of the late, great Judge Robert Bork, when he said "I will defer to the legislature where the Constitution is silent..." The Congress has set up the immigration policy of this nation and the courts have no business reviewing it. But they have a nasty habit of doing that, so we'll see how this works out.

Will be an interesting October.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Officer Down


Police Officer Gary Lee Michael, Jr.
Clinton Police Department, Missouri
End of Watch: Sunday, August 6, 2017
Age: 37
Tour: 1 year
Badge # 321
Weapon: Rifle

Police Officer Gary Michael was shot and killed during a traffic stop in the area of East Green Street and North 2nd Street at approximately 10:45 pm.

When Officer Michael stopped the vehicle for suspected registration violation, the driver exited the vehicle and opened fire with a rifle. Despite being mortally wounded, Officer Michael was able to return fire and wounded the subject.

The man fled the scene in the vehicle then crashed two blocks away. The subject then fled on foot but was apprehended two days later.

Officer Michael was a U.S Army veteran and had served with the Clinton Police Department for less than one year.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

And now there is one...



Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty, the Traveling Wilburys. I cried when Dylan passed, when Harrison passed, and when Orbison died. It's a depressing day, Tom Petty also. Damn.

Jeff, as much as the reunion would be great, so be too eager to join you band members. Things are much better with you down here.

I'm in no way degrading The Heartbreakers, but I've always has a soft spot for these men. Such musical talent in that group. Damned, to hear it one more time. I guess we will have to hear it later.

For your entertainment, two of their greatest songs, End of the Line, and Handle with Care.





RIP Tom Petty. It's not how you're buried, it's how your remembered, And you sir will be remembered well.

The Iron Lady

I cannot count the number of times I've expressed my admiration for the late Baroness Margaret Thatcher. Unlike the last Democratic nominee, Lady Thatcher was a leader, an inspiration to women and men, and all of her accomplishments she achieved on her own. Denis Thatcher, her husband of over fifty years, was a successful businessman in his own right. But no one questions she would have been very successful, with or without him.

The same will never be said of Mrs. Bill Clinton.

I saw this article and I wanted to post it in August, but someone named Harvey interfered. I'm slowing getting back in the swing of things, hope you have a great week.
We Have Her Example

by Jonathan Aitken

The greatness of Margaret Thatcher is readily apparent to those who honor the conservative principles by which she lived. She believed in rolling back the power of the state, allowing free enterprise to flourish, breaking the stranglehold of organized labor unions, upholding the rule of law, shifting the middle ground of the postwar political consensus, and maintaining her country’s commitments to NATO and the Western Alliance. How she achieved these goals in the socialist environment of 1970s Britain is a remarkable story; most of it comes down to her personality and character.

Lady Thatcher began her journey as a greengrocer’s daughter in the provincial Lincolnshire town of Grantham. Her father, Alfred Roberts, was a lay Methodist preacher involved in local politics. Roberts was a Liberal in the tradition of William Ewart Gladstone, what Americans today would call a classical liberal or a libertarian. A straitlaced, studious, and God-fearing schoolgirl, Margaret Roberts came of age amid the Second World War—a formative experience. In her early years she developed a profound admiration for the United States, whose airmen were stationed around Grantham in large numbers. She also formed a lifelong suspicion of the instinctive German desire to dominate Europe.

A scholarship to Oxford opened her eyes to political ambition within the Conservative Party. She was greatly influenced by reading Friedrich Hayek’s seminal work The Road to Serfdom, published in 1944. Standing for Parliament at the age of 25 in a constituency that had historically been a Labour stronghold, she honed her skills as a campaigner and met her future husband, Denis. From then on she was driven by a determination to climb the ladder of power at Westminster in order to put her principles and her patriotism into action. She loved her country and longed to restore the past glories of Britain’s economic and military strength.

“One man with conviction makes a majority,” Edmund Burke is supposed to have said. Never was this axiom better proved than by the woman who seized the leadership of the Conservative Party at a time when its official name had become singularly inappropriate. A polite account of her failed Tory predecessor, Sir Edward Heath, would say that he sought a middle way between traditional Toryism and the socialism of the Labour Party. A decade of decline left Britain as the proverbial “sick man of Europe,” with inflation running at over 20 percent and militant trade unions calling the shots in many areas of government.

I was elected to Parliament in the depths of this mid-1970s crisis of confidence. It took only a short while to recognize Margaret Thatcher’s gifts as a leader, though in those early days she was not a particularly talented speaker. She often came off badly at the gladiatorial clashes of Questions to the Prime Minister in the House of Commons. But this was not a major disadvantage. What counted was the character breathing through the sentences.

THATCHER SEIZED LEADERSHIP of the party from Heath in 1975 and then defeated James Callaghan’s Labour Party in the 1979 general election. The moment she crossed the threshold of No. 10 Downing Street, Britain’s national decline seemed almost irreversible—but not to her. Against massive opposition she slashed public expenditure, broke a national coal strike, and denationalized a swath of state-controlled industries. In the middle of the domestic crises that these policies engendered, she sent a military task force to liberate the British settlers in the Falkland Islands following their seizure by the military junta of Argentina. She thought she was defending the rights of British subjects against the illegal aggression of a dictatorship. The U.S. State Department, headed by Secretary Alexander Haig, showed a curious ambivalence, making every effort to persuade Margaret Thatcher to back off and find a compromise.

Not for the first time, the bureaucracies of Washington were divided against themselves. Caspar Weinberger, Reagan’s Anglophile secretary of defense, proved a tower of strength to the British military. So did the CIA. With rather more American assistance than was admitted at the time, the Falkland Islands were liberated. Belatedly recognizing the force of Margaret Thatcher’s moral argument against the Argentines, President Reagan eventually swung in her favor. It was the beginning of a partnership that lowered the temperature of the Cold War and eventually won it for the West.

On the domestic front, the so-called “Falklands Factor” established Thatcher’s authority and helped her to win two successive elections. The economy turned around thanks to her dedication to the sound fiscal principles she had learned in her father’s grocery store. She used the rhetoric of the housewife to persuade the nation of the importance of thrift and balanced budgets. She brought the labor militants to heel with lines like “We back the workers not the shirkers.” She had an instinctive feel for the aspirations of blue collar voters, many of whom voted for a Tory Prime Minister for the first (and only) time in their lives.

In the confrontation with the Soviet Union, she and Reagan proved to be a winning team. Together they succeeded in confronting Soviet expansionism by deploying NATO cruise missiles across Europe, despite the staging of massive anti-nuclear demonstrations. While championing Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, she simultaneously opened up a remarkably effective line of communication with Mikhail Gorbachev.

As a bridge-builder between Moscow and Washington, she softened the ground on which disarmament deals could be brokered. She also became an icon of Western freedom to the beleaguered peoples behind the Iron Curtain. The interplay between Reagan, Thatcher, and Gorbachev has not yet been properly judged in the courtroom of history. But all three deserve a favorable verdict for leading the world into a safer era of much greater, although still imperfect, mutual understanding.

Thatcher was short on humor and small-talk charm. Her nickname, “The Iron Lady” (coined in 1976 by the Soviet Red Star newspaper), was as appropriate in Westminster as it was in Brussels or the Kremlin. She took no prisoners with her fierce arguments and passionate advocacy of principles. But ultimately she delivered enormous results. Britain was transformed. The Western Alliance was strengthened. Eastern Europe was liberated. Not all the credit for these stellar accomplishments goes to Thatcher, but without her they would not have happened.

For the last two years I have been immersed in writing a new biography of Margaret Thatcher that will be published on both sides of the Atlantic in October. Its title, Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait in Personality and Power, announces the theme of the book: how, by sheer force of character, Mrs. Thatcher was able to change the course of British history. She also changed, in partnership with Ronald Reagan, the direction of the Western Alliance so that victory was achieved in the Cold War.

A few weeks ago I interviewed Mikhail Gorbachev for the biography. He paid Margaret Thatcher the glowing tribute of saying that her personality and her achievements were greater than those of any other political leader of her time. It was a fitting tribute to a remarkable leader. May she rest in peace.

Some of her greatest quotes:

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.

You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.

There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.

If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.

I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.

If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.

Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.

To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say: You turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning.

No-one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions; he had money as well.

The quote about being liked reminds me of something Reagan told Jimmy Carter, "I've always thought it was more important to be respected than liked."

RIP Lady Thatcher. No man could replace you, only succeed you. God we could use you now.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The New Yorker is annoyed...

I’ve said countless times, I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, but I voted against Mrs Bill Clinton. The eight years of B Hussein Obama put this country in the toilet, she would have flushed the toilet.

One of the greatest fears was the a President Mrs Bill Clinton (excuse me while I take a shot at the thought) was she would appoint the successor (no one could truly replace the man) Justice Antonin Scalia. While there have been many frustrations with the Trump term, one thing that has made me jump for joy was his appointment of Neil M. Gorsuch. How happy am I. Well, the New Yorker is annoyed, so you know it’s gotta be good.
How Badly Is Neil Gorsuch Annoying the Other Supreme Court Justices?

Jeffrey Toobin

In 2009 and 2010, Virginia Thomas became an outspoken opponent of the new President, Barack Obama. Ginni Thomas, as she is known, travelled the country as a leader of the growing Tea Party movement, which was particularly focussed on overturning the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Around the same time, legal challenges to the law were working their way to the Supreme Court, where Ginni’s husband, Clarence Thomas, serves. Media attention began to focus on the propriety of such a close association between a Justice and a public adversary of a law whose fate was before the Court. Then, shortly before the A.C.A. case came before the Justices, in 2012, something happened. Ginni Thomas stopped her public advocacy; indeed, she has virtually disappeared from public view in the past few years.

Why? Neither Thomas has ever addressed the issue publicly, but it’s possible to offer some informed speculation. The Justices, and especially Chief Justice John Roberts, are assiduous defenders of the Court’s reputation. As savvy denizens of Washington, D.C., they understand the political dimension of their work, but they are careful to avoid any taint of outside political activity that might raise questions about their ethics. This view is shared across the ideological spectrum at the Court, as the Justices believe, with some reason, that an attack on one of them could quickly expand into an attack on all. So did the Chief Justice suggest to Justice Thomas, in a gentle and deferential way, that perhaps his wife’s activities were reflecting poorly on the Court? And did Clarence and Ginni Thomas subsequently decide that she might dial back her outspoken role? It seems more than possible…

Gee Mr Toobin, did you show concern when Elena Kagan, B Hussein Obama’s Solicitor General, didn’t recuse herself from the Obamacare cases even when she was the regime’s point woman on defending the so called Affordable Care Act in the courts. Do you see a bit of a conflict of interest there Jeffrey?

Jeffrey?

Jeffrey?

Jeffrey!
“…Gorsuch also expressed ill-disguised contempt for Anthony Kennedy’s landmark opinion legalizing same-sex marriage in all fifty states. Earlier this year, the Court’s majority overturned an Arkansas ruling that the state could refuse to put the name of a birth mother’s same-sex spouse on their child’s birth certificate. Dissenting, Gorsuch wrote, “Nothing in Obergefell spoke (let alone clearly) to the question.” That “let alone clearly” reflected a conservative consensus that Kennedy’s opinion was a confusing mess…”

Other than the fact the Constitution has nothing to do with marriage and this is a matter for the states to handle, not the Congress and definitely not a court.
“…Perhaps Gorsuch will, as the years pass, prove to be a more clubbable colleague; or perhaps he’ll decide, at least socially, to go his own way. But what’s already clear is his ideology as a Justice. In his first fifteen cases on the Court, as the number-crunchers at FiveThirtyEight discovered, he joined Thomas, the most right-wing Justice, every time—and he even joined all of Thomas’s concurring opinions…”

Curious, did you or FiveThirtEight look at the lockstep of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan in a left-wing block? Waiting for an answer.
“…The retreat of Ginni Thomas brings to mind the emergence of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch. Earlier this week, Gorsuch gave a speech before the Fund for American Studies, a conservative educational and advocacy group. The Justices do occasionally speak before groups with high political profiles. Most of the Justices on the conservative wing have appeared in front of the Federalist Society, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen G. Breyer have addressed the American Constitution Society, the Federalists’ liberal counterpart. What made Gorsuch’s appearance especially notable was that it took place at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which is the focus of several pending cases that may well wind up before the Supreme Court. These lawsuits allege that the Trump family’s ownership of the hotel, which is patronized by foreigners with interests before the executive branch, violates the emoluments clause of the Constitution. Gorsuch’s presence at the hotel could look like an endorsement of the propriety of its ownership arrangements.

Gorsuch’s Trump Hotel speech followed one he gave at the University of Louisville, where he was introduced by Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, who was, more than anyone, responsible for blocking Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the seat that Gorsuch now occupies. Gorsuch rewarded McConnell not only with an appearance in the senator’s home town but with a speech that underlined the Justice’s own conservative approach to the law.

There is nothing unlawful about Gorsuch’s speeches, though it’s hard to say just what the ethical rules are for Supreme Court Justices. They are exempt from the code that governs the conduct of other federal judges, so the Court has traditionally relied on informal self-policing. There is a strong internal culture based on the idea that no Justice should embarrass the Court; Gorsuch’s tiptoeing up to the line of advocacy for and gratitude to conservatives might earn some advice from the Chief Justice to mind the unwritten rules…”

OK, Justice Gorsuch makes an address to a conservative group that contracted at a Trump hotel. Question, if a leftist judge makes a speech to the ACLU at a hotel owned by a left wing donor, is there an issue? Just curious.

Hypocrisy and leftists, two peas in a pod.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Prop plane reboot!

The US Air Force has a love-hate relationship with the A-10 Warthog. No question, it's the best close air support aircraft ever made. The GAU-8 30 mm Gatling gun will cut through tanks like a razor on single sheet paper. War story, when I was in Korea, 1989, we had an air liaison officer at our operations center. He was an Air Force captain who would coordinate close air support missions for the brigade. He mentioned to our battle captain, an armor officer, "I've got video of them shooting up tanks. Want to see it?"

Mike's answer, "No. I don't like watching that, it makes me a little nervous."

Now the Air Force has tried to kill off the A-10 for ages because it's not sexy, they hate the CAS mission, and the USAF likes jack of all trade birds, not master of one. But even they have had to have reality interfere with their hopes.

The Air Force Is Sending Its Light Attack Plane Competition to War

Two of the aircraft involved in the service's OA-X light attack plane competition are headed to a war zone.

The U.S. Air Force is sending two of the four aircraft involved in its OA-X light attack aircraft competition to the battlefield. The move, likely unprecedented, will allow the service to evaluate both airplanes in combat missions before a final purchase decision is made.

Aviation Week & Space Technology reports that the Air Force is sending the Embraer/Sierra Nevada A-29 Super Tucano and the Textron AT-6 Wolverine to a yet-to-be-determined war zone. Under a program nicknamed Combat Sent III, the Air Force will stand up an experimental squadron and send two A-29s and two AT-6s, along with seventy pilots and maintainers, to test the aircraft under combat conditions.

A-29 Super Tucano


The goal of OA-X program, which stands for observer-attack experimental, is to pick a light attack aircraft for low-end missions against enemy ground forces with little in the way of air defenses. OA-X is meant to be a relatively small ground attack aircraft capable of loitering over the battlefield and delivering bombs, rockets, and missiles on enemy targets with precision. The aircraft is also expected to do reconnaissance and observation missions.

Another key requirement: The OA-X is supposed to be cheap to fly. The retirement of the A-10, whether in two years or twenty, is inevitable. The F-35A Joint Strike Fighter will likely take over close air support duties flying against countries with advanced air defense systems—think Russia or China. But in smaller wars against less technologically advanced enemies, there's little reason to use a plane as advanced (and, at $35,000 an hour, as expensive to fly) as the F-35. OA-X will be a low-cost solution for wars where the F-35A would be overkill.

The Air Force hasn't yet decided where to send Combat Sent III, but the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria would be an obvious choice. The Islamic State conflict is exactly the type of fight the OA-X was tailored for, and ISIS has nearly non-existent air defense capabilities, so there is little to no likelihood that a careful pilot could be shot down by enemy fire...

I would hope they would keep the A-10s going for at least as long as the B-52s. Could it use some upgrades, yes, but again, the design is perfect for, if you will, "high end" close air support. But it's good to see the Air Force will use low cost propeller planes to supplement their CAS assets.

I hope to read soon on how this worked out.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Officer Down


Deputy Sheriff Jason Fann
Yoakum County Sheriff's Office, Texas
End of Watch: Saturday, August 5, 2017
Age: 28

Deputy Sheriff Jason Fann was killed in a vehicle crash at approximately 6:00 pm while responding to an accident on Highway 214, two miles south of Plains.

His patrol car left the roadway and overturned, causing him to sustain fatal injuries.

Deputy Fann served with both the Seagraves Police Department and Yoakum County Sheriff's Office.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

A look at the Jones Act.

Fellow 377th Theater Support Command alumni, logistics absolute genius and long time friend and mentor, Colonel Sam Pearson, wrote this on this Facebook page earlier this week and it's great insight into the need for reform (i.e. repeal) of the Jones Act. Please read, digest and any feedback is greatly welcome.
Hurricane season has come with a vengeance this year. Harvey was followed by Irma and Jose, and now Maria is on its way.

The Administration recently issued a temporary waiver to the Jones Act, to make it easier for desperately needed fuel to reach emergency responders and the areas affected by the destruction of the hurricanes.

The law, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, requires goods shipped between American ports to use vessels built, crewed, flagged and owned in the United States or by U.S. citizens.
Congress should consider doing away with the Jones Act altogether.

Proponents claim the law protects American jobs and ensures the country will have an established fleet of vessels and shipbuilding capability. However, the Jones Act imposes substantial costs on American consumers, and these costs are concentrated in noncontiguous parts of the United States, such as Puerto Rico.

The law can also act as a hindrance to the speed and effectiveness of responses to disasters, because foreign ships have to wait for waivers. Sometimes waivers are not issued promptly, and in some emergencies not at all. These delays and uncertainty limit the full range of options and resources that could be leveraged to help the distressed areas in times of need.
The Jones Act has not even succeeded in one of its stated goals, namely bolstering the number of U.S.-flag ships. In 2000 there were 193 Jones Act-eligible ships in the U.S. fleet, declining to 91 by 2016. The law has not been able to forestall other developments that are more important for ship construction, such as the relative cost of building ships in the United States compared to other countries that have significantly increased their shipbuilding capacity. Building new ships in American shipyards can be up to five times as much as the cost of imported ships.

Areas hit by natural disasters and in need of supplies must deal with the dual constraints of limited Jones-eligible U.S. fleet and the exclusion of foreign-flagged vehicles unless a waiver is granted.

The temporary waiver was a positive step that made it easier for the places grappling with the damage from the hurricane. But the road to recovery will be long and arduous for many of the affected areas, and the waiver lasted only one week. While timeliness and bringing more resources to bear are an important part of the response, shipping costs will be an important component influencing the degree to which some of these places will be able to recover.

Unfortunately, the Jones Act also increases shipping costs. In addition to the differences in costs of constructing the ships themselves, the Jones Act has led to substantial differences in related labor costs. One report from United States Maritime Administration found that U.S. labor costs were 5.5 times greater than labor costs for foreign-flag vessels. Part of this is due to the difference in wages, as U.S. ship and wage crew salaries almost doubled in real terms from 2000 to 2013. Another component is crew size requirements, which for U.S.-flag vessels are dictated by a statute “dat[ing] back to 1915, when vessels were powered by steam boilers and turbines that required round-the-clock attention.”

Overall, the Maritime Administration found that the average cost of operating a U.S.-flag vessel was 2.7 times higher than the cost for foreign-flag equivalents. These higher costs are transmitted to higher rates for consumers.

The U.S. Virgin Islands are exempt from the law, and those people will be able to work with the full battery of ships willing and able to transport the goods needed to rebuild and recover from the effects of the hurricane. The other noncontiguous areas of the United States have all filed for exemptions from the Jones Act, but their efforts have been stymied thus far.

According to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, it cost more than $3,000 to ship a container of household and commercial goods from the east coast to Puerto Rico, while the same shipment cost only $1,504 to the Dominican Republic and $1,687 to Jamaica, which are not subject to the law.

Puerto Rico was already dealing with a fiscal crisis and economic stagnation. There are reports that the entire island is currently without power due to the storm. The higher shipping costs caused by the Jones Act will make it harder for the commonwealth to weather the effects of the storm.

Jones Act waivers make it easier for needed goods such as gasoline to make it to areas affected by the hurricanes. The law limits responsiveness in the period following emergencies and raises costs for consumers. To make it easier to rebuild, Congress should consider repealing the act permanently.

Most of this information was collected by my friend and fellow logistician Charles Hughes, he is a policy analyst at the Manhattan Institute and can be folllowed @CharlesHHughes.

Colonel Sam Pearson, USAR, Retired, is a 33 year veteran with six combat deployments. He is currently working on a doctorate degree.

Good to hear the Jones Act was waived for Puerto Rican hurricane relief.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

South Park scewers Political Correctness again! :<)

You can always count on South Park to come right to the point on an overrated issue. This time, it's race bating and the victim industry. Awesome.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Officer Down


Lieutenant Aaron Allan
Southport Police Department, Indiana
End of Watch: Thursday, July 27, 2017
Age: 38
Tour: 20 years

Lieutenant Aaron Allan was shot and killed after responding to a crash involving an overturned vehicle at the intersection of Maynard Drive and Madison Avenue, in Homecroft, at approximately 2:30 pm.

He and a Homecroft officer arrived at the scene and began to check on two occupants. Lieutenant Allan crawled into the car to check on the driver, who was stuck upside down in his seat belt. As Lieutenant Allan then crawled back out to check on the passenger the driver grabbed a gun and opened fire, striking Lieutenant Allan 14 times.

The Homecroft officer and an off-duty reserve deputy from the Johnson County Sheriff's Office returned fire and wounded the man before taking him into custody

Lieutenant Allan was transported to Eskenazi Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Lieutenant Allan had served with the Southport Police Department for six years and had served in law enforcement for 20 years. He is survived by his wife and children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

K9 Down


K9 Gunner
Southaven Police Department, Mississippi
End of Watch: Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Breed: Labrador Retriever
Age: 6
Gender: M
Cause: Heat exhaustion

K9 Gunner died as the result of heat exhaustion when he was left in his handler's department vehicle following an undercover operation.

Gunner's handler had returned to the police station to complete paperwork. Approximately two hours later his handler discovered him in the vehicle and rushed him to a veterinary hospital.

The vehicle Gunner was in was not equipped with a heat alarm system.

Gunner was assigned to the Narcotics Division.
Rest in Peace Gunner…till our next roll call at the Rainbow Bridge!



In Memory of all Police Dogs

They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy