Tuesday, September 02, 2014

GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST BLASTS ST. LOUIS RAMS FOR CUTTING MICHAEL SAM

Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign, says the Rams only drafted Michael Sam to be their ‘token queer’ and accused the other NFL teams of being homophobic for not picking him up

The Unconventional Gazette
September 1, 2014

The GLBT community is highly upset over Michael Sam, the first openly gay pro football player, being cut by the St. Louis Rams and not being picked up by any other NFL team.

Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign, released the following statement:

It is obvious that the St. Louis Rams only drafted Michael Sam to be their ‘token queer.’ During the preseason games, Michael’s play was outstanding. He made numerous tackles and several quarterback sacks. Had he been straight, he would never have been cut from the team. And it is also obvious that the National Football League is homophobic because no other team picked up Michael. I herewith urge all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender folks to boycott all NFL games.

Annise Parker, Houston’s gay mayor, told the Houston Chronicle that she was sorely disappointed that St. Louis cut Michael Sam from the team. “I am trying to reach Bob McNair [owner of the Houston Texans] and coach Bill O’Brien,” said the mayor. “I want them to pick up Mr. Sam. Bob owes me. I supported and pushed hard for building the Texans their new stadium.”

Calls by The Unconventional Gazette to McNair and O’Brien went unanswered.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told TUG that Chad Griffin’s accusation was absurd. “The NFL is not homophobic,” said Goodell. “The NFL is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes any qualified football player, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jeff ‘Paco’ Doyle says, “Whatever happens to Michael Sam, whether he gets back in the NFL or not, he is certain to get all the play time and ball handling he wants.”

JAVA JUGGS EXPOSED FOR TIPS

Bikini barista coffee stands operated by Carmela Panico in the Seattle-Everett area made millions in tips for providing drive-thru customers with sex acts

Carmela Panico, 52, who operated six bikini barista coffee stands in the Seattle-Everett area, has been arrested by Everett police for promoting prostitution and for laundering more than $2 million.

Carmela operated the expresso coffee stands under the names of Java Juggs, Twin Peaks, Bella Butterscotch and the Hot Spot. The scantily dressed baristas would expose their jugs and genitals for tips and would perform sex acts for bigger tips. Some of the baristas made at least $15,000 to $30,000 a month.

According to the Everett Herald, Carmela “hired employees with stripper or escort experienced and fined the women if they didn’t wear high heels, maintain a tan or wear makeup.”

The Everett police investigation of the activities at the stands dates back to 2011. A fallout of the investigation resulted in Snohomish County Sheriff’s Sgt. Darrell O’Neill getting busted for tipping off the girls about any police surveillance of the stands. O’Neill is said to have received sexual favors for his tips. He faces a trial in November for Conspiracy to Promote Prostitution.

This is an outrage! No, not the exposure of the Java Juggs and other sex acts by the baristas, but the outrageous behavior of the police in trying to shut down a business that brought so much pleasure to red-blooded men on their way to work in the mornings. The authorities in Everett are lucky that the actions of the cops did not cause any Ferguson-like riots and looting.

DEMOCRATS EXPLOITING MICHAEL BROWN IN BID TO RETAIN CONTROL OF SENATE

Blacks are being urged to vent their anger over the killing of Michael Brown by voting for Democrats in the November elections

The New York Times reports that in a bid to retain control of the Senate, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are spearheading a drive to capitalize on black anger over the killing of Michael Brown. In Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina, where the black vote could be decisive, they are going to black churches and black talk radio urging black voters to honor Brown by voting for Democrats in the November elections.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, is telling blacks that “Ferguson has made it crystal clear to the African-American community and others that we’ve got to go to the polls. You participate and vote, and you can have some control over what happens to your child and your country.”

This black voter turnout drive by the Congressional Black Caucus and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee amounts to a shameless exploitation of Brown’s death. However, that exploitation just might keep the Democrats in control of the Senate.

U.S. ALLY FINANCING ISIS

Who is financing ISIs? Hint: Qatar

Our government considers Qatar a close ally. Qatar’s Al Udeid Air Base is home to the headquarters of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) and United State Central Command Air Forces (USCENTAF). The U.S. also maintains military bases at the Emirate’s As Sayliyah Army Base and the Doha International Air Base.

The oil and natural gas rich Emirate is the world’s richest country per capita. It has used its considerable wealth to fund al-Qaeda and other Islamist militants, and is now believed to be financing ISIS.

QATAR FINGERED AS TOP MIDEAST TERROR FINANCIER
By Ryan Jones

Israel Today
September 1, 2014

Qatar figured as a major player in this summer’s Gaza war, and just might be involved in other regional conflicts involving brutal jihadist terror groups, and not in a good way.

As the 50-day conflagration between Israel and Hamas drew to a close, it became increasingly clear that Qatar was pulling the Palestinian group’s strings.

Overall Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is currently hiding out in Qatar, and was reportedly threatened with deportation by his hosts if Hamas agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that could be construed as surrender or defeat.

You see, Qatar and Egypt don’t much like one another after the former backed the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the latter. After ousting the government of Mohammed Morsi last year, the new Egyptian regime called out Qatar over its financing and facilitating of the radical Islamist movement.

Given that Hamas is a direct descendent of the Muslim Brotherhood, it’s little surprise that it, too, has Qatar’s blessing and backing.

But Qatar’s questionable behavior isn’t confined to support of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Germany’s development aid minister, Gerd Mueller, who this week accused the sheikdom of also funding the Islamic State (formerly ISIS).

“A story like this always has a history,” Mueller said in an interview with public broadcaster ZDF when asked about the Islamic State’s impressive conquests. “Who is financing these troops? Hint: Qatar.”

German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has called for a public debate over who is aiding the Islamic State, without directly calling out Qatar.

Given recent world history, Germany has for decades been overly reluctant to get involved in foreign armed conflicts. But the rapid spread of the Islamic State and the troubling involvement of some European allies in the Middle East has some German politicians urging Berlin to at least arm the Kurds and other forces capable of stemming the Islamist tide.

It is instructive to remember that this is the same Qatar from which senior US Representative Nancy Pelosi saw fit to seek counsel regarding whether or not Hamas could be trusted.

It is also the same Qatar that US Secretary of State John Kerry consulted, much to Israel’s chagrin, when formulating the Obama Administration’s first, failed ceasefire proposal at the height of the Gaza war.

THIS BATMAN IS NO MASKED HERO

Masked cop accused of attacking woman with bat

By Bob Walsh

PACOVILLA Corrections blog
September 1, 2014

This one is fairly high up on the weirdometer. Walnut Creek (CA) police officer Gregory Thompson, 54, of Martinez, is alleged to have accosted a woman about 0200 hours on August 16. At the time Thompson was off duty, wearing a mask and armed with a baseball bat.

The woman had allegedly run out of gas when Thompson whacked her and her car with the bat. The incident occurred in Richmond on Clinton Ave. near San Pablo Ave, a main drag through town.

The woman started screaming like a scalded cat and the locals called the cops. They then directed the responding officers to Thompson, who was sitting in a nearby car. They found flex ties, two handguns and a mask in the car.

Thompson made bail and has not yet made a statement. He is charged with suspicion of ADW, felony vandalism and making criminal threats.

Thompson is on paid leave at this time and has 30 years on the force. His family owns a house in the area of the attack which has been on the market for eleven days.

WHEN SECONDS COUNT THE POLICE ARE ONLY MINUTES AWAY

If an Ohio woman had not been armed with a gun, she would have met a horrible fate

By Bob Walsh

PACOVILLA Corrections blog
August 31, 2014

A recent situation that came up in Lancaster, Ohio serves to remind us that the police are not present the instance we need them to protect us.

Dinah Burns was walking her dog Gracie on a path in the woods near a school last Monday when she was approached by two men, one armed with a baseball bat. They told her, “You’re coming with us.”

At that time she drew a pistol she was carrying legally and drew down on the thug with the baseball bat. The thugs beat feet.

Gracie did not deter the thugs, but that gun sure did.

Ohio has had legal concealed carry since 2004. Last year the state issued almost 97,000 new carry permits.

Monday, September 01, 2014

THE STORY BEHIND OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM

SEX BETWEEN ATHLETES AND TEACHERS AT CATHOLIC SCHOOL COVERED UP BY ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

Athletes have been having sex with teachers at New York’s prestigious Moore Catholic High School

It’s no secret that high school and college athletes enjoy special privileges. The privileges they enjoyed at New York’s Moor Catholic High School is having sex with teachers. The prestigious school is located on Staten Island and charges a yearly tuition of $8,000.

Gym teacher and assistant basketball coach Megan Mahoney, 25, is under investigation by NYPD for having sex with a 16-year-old member of the school’s basketball team. The affair was exposed last January after the boy’s jealous girlfriend called 9-1-1 when she saw the pair together at a pizzeria.

Mahoney, who has resigned, denies having sex with the boy, but he has admitted they had sex together numerous times over several months. He said they would fuck in her car after driving to secluded places on Staten Island. Mahoney is believed to have had an earlier sexual affair with another athlete.

The New York Post reports there have been other affairs between the school’s athletes and teachers. As far back as 2006, these affairs were brought to the attention of Richard Postiglione, the school’s athletic director. Postiglione, who was considered a ‘skirt chaser,’ is alleged to have covered up the affairs, including the one involving Mahoney.

Another teacher, the coach of the girls basketball team, apparently had a long sexual relationship with one of her team members. Postiglione covered up that affair as well.

Sources claim that school principal Bob Manisero and school board chairman Anthony Ferreri had also been made aware of the affairs, but both kept quiet about them.

I thought that Catholic schools taught church doctrine along with a regular curriculum. If I’m not mistaken, Catholics are allowed to engage in sex olnly for procreation, and not for pleasure. And lesbian sexual affairs are strictly verboten. I wonder what Pope Francis thinks of all that whoopee going on between the school’s teachers and athletes?

MEDICARE PART G: OPTIONAL NURSING HOME CARE

The Unconventional Gazette
August 31, 2014

You're a sick senior citizen and the government says your illness does not qualify for Nursing Home Care. So what can you do? Those of you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan can sign up for Part G(un).

Medicare Part G gives anyone 65 years or older, who does not qualify for Nursing Home Care, a gun and 4 bullets with instruction on how to shoot four Politicians.

This means, of course, that you'll be sent to prison where you'll receive three meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating and air conditioning, cable TV, library and all the health care you need.

Need new teeth? No problem. Need glasses? That's great. Need a hearing aid, a new hip, knees, kidney, lungs, sex change or heart? They're all covered.

As an added bonus, your kids can come and visit you at least as often as they do now!

And who will be paying for all of this? The same government that just told you they can't afford for you to go into a home.

And because you're a prisoner, you don't have to pay anymore income taxes.

Is this a great country or what?

FATAL INERTIA

By Charlie Daniels

The Charlie Daniels Band
August 29, 2014

I have learned in my life that there are certain situations that you sit back and let develop and come to you and those, which require your immediate reaction before the seed germinates and the problem grows bigger and more threatening, and sometimes out of control.

I learned these valuable lessons the hard way and have suffered many times by hoping that a situation would just take care of it's self or go away completely, only to have, what would have been a fairly minor problem if nipped in the bud, turn into a serious irritant, requiring a lot of time and energy to deal with.

The dire situation that is developing in Iraq and Syria is unlike any other we've ever faced. It grows bigger and more cancerous every day and has a morbid attraction to those who are attracted by bloodlust and fatalistic adventure as has been proven by the enlistment of young men from nations around the world, including our own, carrying passports that could enable them to resume life in America, bringing with them the dangerous knowledge and fanatic devotion to Radical Islam that could create chaos in our streets.

ISIS is a fast growing, metastasizing cancer well led, well armed and well financed, that will gobble up the entire Middle East if it is not stopped and when I say stopped, I don't mean contained, reduced or slowed down, but destroyed from top to bottom.

We simply cannot view ISIS as just another rag tag bunch of wide eyes zealots with a Koran in one hand and the trip switch to a suicide vest in the other. Oh, there are plenty of young fanatics who are willing to give their lives in the quest for the cause, but they will be aimed and directed at the points where they can do the maximum damage, instead of going into a random crowd to the behest of some deranged Imam.

These people are smart and dedicated and have a nucleus of organization and planning that has heretofore been missing in the jihadists we've faced so far.

It has recently come to light that, somewhat at odds with the White House version, American intelligence did indeed inform the Obama administration about the increasing military abilities of ISIS, in fact well before they even got started in Iraq, and while I'm sure the administration "studied" the problem, but basically stood back prognosticating while ISIS over ran the Iraqi army and gobbled up more and more territory declaring them a part of the new Caliphate and institutes Sharia Law and Islamic enforcement which seems to go as far as hacking off the head of an innocent child to make a point.

Obama has made the statement that ISIS is an Iraqi problem but the truth of the matter is that, unrestrained; the ruthlessness of ISIS will not be contained in Iraq, or the Middle East for that matter. Jordan is ripe for the pickings and with the ever-increasing momentum of the ISIS army it takes very little stretch to imagine the complete fall of Syria and any other Middle Eastern country they set their sights on.

Cunning without conscience is a terrifying thing and the cruelty of ISIS out does even Hitler's Gestapo, they know no fear, no boundaries and no limits and like a killer virus it has to be completely destroyed for planet earth to ever breath another easy breath.

You cannot negotiate with them, their goals leave no room for negation, with them it's all or nothing and the "all" means unadulterated conversion to Wahabist Islam or die, and all who oppose them are blood enemies to be destroyed.

So, we will meet ISIS on a battlefield somewhere, whether it's on the deserts and villages of the Middle East or on the streets of the major cities in the Western World and that decision rests with the powers that be, whether they pursue an aggressive or passive policy, whether they go at ISIS with both barrels blazing or some silly hand tying rules of engagement, whether they truly destroy the head, tail and body of this snake or leave a piece to return and haunt us.

The time for action is the present, not next week, not next month. The time for bold decisions is now.

There is no time for empty threats or imaginary red lines and every word has to be backed up with immediate action and it must be quick and decisive, no quarter given.

The season of domestics and symbolism has long passed.

It's them or us.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

AMERICA’S STREETS NO LONGER PAVED WITH GOLD

More than a third of the people in this country are on some sort of welfare assistance

I remember a time when people all over the world dreamed of coming to America because they were led to believe that our streets were paved with gold. That was then and this is now. Around 110 million people in the U.S. are now receiving government welfare benefits. That equates to more than one third of our population.

New Census reports reveal that by the end of 2012 some 83 million Americans were on Medicaid and 51.5 million were subsisting with the aid of food stamps.

Many welfare recipients are benefiting from multiple government programs with their total benefits exceeding what they would earn from a minimum-wage job. That discourages welfare recipients from seeking gainful employment.

The Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner says that in the eight most generous states - and that includes California and New York - the combined benefits can add up to what a welfare recipient would earn in a job paying $20 an hour, which is considerably more than the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. “So, in many cases,” said Tanner, “people could actually do better on welfare than they could in an entry level job. You can't in the long run have a society in which you have to rely on a smaller and smaller group of wealth producers who have to support more and more people who are not contributing to that wealth.”

Texas is not one of those states with generous welfare benefits. When I left California in 1969, the former Golden State was paying a single mother with four dependent children more than $500 in monthly benefits. At the same time, the Lone Star State was paying a single mother with four dependent children only $150 a month. And the cost of living in Texas was not that much lower than it was in California.

Today, my state of Texas still ranks among the states paying the lowest welfare benefits. As far as I can tell, that has not encouraged our welfare recipients to rush out looking for work.

There have always been some shrill complaints about people committing welfare fraud. It’s true that there are welfare cheats, but there are also wealthy tax cheats and crooked business people. Oh yes, lest we forget, there is plenty of corporate fraud as well. Study after study has shown that the amount of welfare fraud adds up to only a drop in the bucket of funds expended to assist the poor.

And now there comes news that will increase the welfare rolls, at least in New Jersey. Three casinos are closing in Atlantic City with a loss of 8,000 jobs. The Showboat is closing Sunday, the Revel on Monday and Tuesday, and Trump Plaza on Sept. 16. Apparently, all that glitters in Atlantic City is not gold.

More than a third of Americans on welfare assistance ….. whatever happened to those streets paved with gold?

COURT RULING ZAPS CALIFORNIA TEACHER TENURE

Tenure for teachers is a two edged sword, protecting both good teachers and, unfortunately, poor teachers as well

I have long contended that tenure for public school teachers does more harm than good in that it protects poor teachers from getting a well-deserved ax. While I believe there should be some system that protects teachers from arbitrary firings, there must be a way to weed out teachers who can’t teach for shit.

Of course, poor teachers are far from the only reason for the failure of our public school system. The revision of curricula to accommodate political correctness and disinterested parents from disadvantaged families contribute as much, if not more, to the sad state of public education

The plaintiff’s in this case argue that poor teachers are dumped into schools attended mostly by students from disadvantaged families. There these incompetent teachers are allowed to roost with the protection of tenure until retirement, thereby contributing to the underachievement of students. I have no doubt that the plaintiffs are right.

Thomson/Reuters reports that “Jerry Brown is furious” over the court’s decision. I can understand why Gov. Moonbeam has his bowels in an uproar. He got elected largely with the help of the teachers union, so he owes them big time. I seriously doubt that Jerry is really concerned about the loss of teacher tenure. He’s only upset because the teachers are upset and the appeal is his way of repaying them for their support.

JERRY BROWN FURIOUS OVER COURT DECISION BANNING TEACHER TENURE

Thomson/Reuters
August 30, 2014

California will appeal a controversial court decision that overturned some job protections for public school teachers and could change the way educators are hired and fired in the state, the office of Governor Jerry Brown said on Friday.

In a notice of appeal filed late on Friday and obtained by Reuters, the California Attorney General's office, with the backing of Brown, said the ruling must be reviewed by a higher court if it is to have statewide legal impact.

A Los Angeles Superior Court in June ruled five California laws meant to protect teachers' jobs by granting tenure and other job protections to public school teachers hurt students and are unconstitutional.

The ruling, a major setback for teacher unions that could also have national implications, came in response to a lawsuit filed by education reform groups on behalf of nine students. The groups alleged the job protections hurt poor and minority students by effectively funneling incompetent teachers to schools in disadvantaged areas at disproportional rates.

The ruling, which won praise from the Obama administration, comes amid intense debate over how to reinvigorate a U.S. public school system that leaves American children lagging counterparts in countries such as Finland and South Korea.

"The people who dedicate their lives to the teaching profession deserve our admiration and support," State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, who is running for re-election with backing from teacher unions, said in a statement earlier on Friday.

"Instead, this ruling lays the failings of our education system at their feet," he said.

In its notice of appeal, California said that lawyers for the students dismissed "key parties" from the case - "the school districts that actually implement the relevant statutes" through the hiring and firing of teachers.

It also said the court's decision scraps more than 90 years of education policy in a brief decision that "declined to provide a detailed statement of the factual and legal bases for its ruling."

The overturned laws include protections that require teachers with the least experience be laid off first during cutbacks, along with rules granting teachers tenure after two years on the job.

Manny Rivera, a spokesman for Students Matter, the group behind the lawsuit, said the group was "disappointed" by the state's decision and vowed to "fight to ensure that our education system serves in the best interest of our students."

SPINNERS (CRAZIES) TO GET SPACES OF THEIR OWN

By Bob Walsh

PACOVILLA Corrections blog
August 30, 2014

California’s mentally ill prison inmates (spinners in the prison jargon, at least when I was working) are now going to be housed in separate specialized housing units that will (allegedly) offer them actual treatment instead of isolation according to an agreement filed in U. S. District Court.

Under the agreement the state will create 2,500 beds for the long-term and short-term housing of spinners who must be kept in segregation for disciplinary reasons. The new policy will give them more treatment access and more time out of their cells.

Among other things the spinners will have more in-cell diversion than other segregated inmates, including Televisions and radios.

Judge Kalrton approved the plan less than three hours after it was filed.

Long term care facilities will be planned at three prisons. Short term facilities will be planned at nine prisons. It is estimated that about 30,000 inmates have some significant mental health need. That is likely to go up when they find out they get a free TV and radio if they are crazy.

Damn, that almost makes me want to go back to work so I can work in a unit of untouchable, dangerous crazy privileged inmates. (No, not really.)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

FALLOUT FROM FERGUSON

Inappropriate conduct during the Ferguson riots led to the resignation of one cop and the firing of another

St. Ann, Missouri police lieutenant Ray Albers, the officer who pointed his AR-15 at protestors and shouted “I will fucking kill you,” submitted his resignation Thursday. The 20-year police veteran who was my candidate for Idiot Cop of the Year was given the chance to resign by the St. Ann Police Board of Commissioners. The Board did not want to have him fired outright because of his long service to the municipality.

Glendale, Missouri police officer Matthew Pappert was fired Thursday for remarks he made on Facebook. Pappert wrote that protesters were "a burden on society and a blight on the community" and should be "put down like rabid dogs."

In the case of Albers we have a man whose elevator stopped operating well before it could reach the top floor. With Pappert we have another knucklehead who is too stupid to realize that when you spread poison around the social media network, that poison has a good chance of killing your career. Adios amigos, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

THE TEXAS OBSERVER, A LEFT-WING PUBLICATION, POSTS A TONGUE-IN-CHEEK PIECE ON HOUSTON POLICE SHOOTINGS

The article obviously questions the validity of official investigations into deadly shootings by Houston cops. While Emily DePrang, the author, has a good point, I feel confident in saying the overwhelming number of deadly Houston police shootings were truly justified.

HOUSTON COPS ALWAYS JUSTIFIED IN SHOOTINGS. ALWAYS.

By Emily DePrang

The Texas Observer
August 28, 2014

One of the many disturbing facts that have come to light in the weeks since Michael Brown was killed by a police officer is that for all the crime data tracked by the government, there is no central record kept of law enforcement use of deadly force. Individuals and groups have been making their own databases, but a citizen would need to file open records requests to learn about his or her community.

You may have asked yourself, “Was Michael Brown’s killing lawful? And could an unlawful shooting happen in my hometown?”

Well, good news, if you live in Houston. The Texas Observer has looked at the numbers and the answer is, no. Your police force cannot wrongly shoot you.

It just doesn’t happen. Well, deadly police shootings do happen in Houston at an average of one every three weeks. But none of them is inappropriate. Every shooting by a Houston Police Department officer is investigated by HPD’s Internal Affairs and Homicide divisions. Between 2007 and 2012, according to HPD records, officers killed citizens in 109 shootings. Every killing was ruled justified.

The 112 instances of an officer shooting and injuring a person were justified, too.

So were the 104 times an officer wounded an animal, and the 225 times an officer killed an animal.

There were 16 shootings found “not justified,” but they were all ruled accidental.

In more than one in five cases in which officers fired on citizens, the citizen was unarmed.

Skeptics might say those numbers show police bias in holding their own accountable. I would direct these skeptics to the grand jury system.

Harris County grand juries have cleared HPD officers for on-duty shootings almost 300 times in a row. No Houston officer has been indicted for a shooting in a decade.

Don’t you feel better?

Now, the Houston Chronicle’s Lisa Falkenberg recently reported on a Houston cop who bullied and threatened a witness while serving as foreman for a grand jury investigating the killing of a Houston cop. And this man had served on at least nine other grand juries. But that’s probably an isolated case.

Besides the grand jury system, there are other safeguards against misuse of police power in Houston. There’s the Independent Police Oversight Board, which consists of four panels of citizens that divvy up and review HPD’s Internal Affairs investigations. The panels don’t have subpoena power; they can’t do their own investigations; they can’t interview witnesses; they can’t force anything to happen. But they can suggest that Internal Affairs do a more thorough investigation or reconsider its findings. Internal Affairs doesn’t have to do anything they say, but it’s nice that the people have a voice.

Last week, Houston City Councilman C.O. Bradford, a former HPD chief wrote an editorial in the Chronicle saying Michael Brown’s killing was “a wake-up call for Houston” and noted that the Independent Police Oversight Board was “without substantive authority.” Yet his solution was to let stakeholder groups like the NAACP appoint their own representatives to the authority-less board.

That’s different from the idea stakeholders themselves have, which is to replace the IPOB with a citizen oversight board with subpoena power—that is, the ability to do their own investigations into shootings or alleged misconduct.

One of those stakeholders is a Houston police officer I met for coffee this week. He had read the two features I wrote on HPD shootings, beatings, and lax accountability for the Observer last year and just wanted to talk. A 20-year veteran of the department, he plans to leave the force soon. There are too many problems, and the department is so sealed, so shielded from scrutiny, he said that “It’s like a Communist country. A lot of us wish we could talk but they’re nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs…. Boy, I hope they get that citizen oversight board soon.”

But if we did, all that good news might go away.

BORDER PROTECTION: BORDER PATROL VS. MILITIA

A Border Patrol agent fired multiple shots at an armed militia member and missed

Armed militia members have made sporadic appearances at our border with Mexico. One could predict that sooner or later there would be a clash between the self-proclaimed patriots and those whose official duty is to protect our borders.

According to Border Patrol spokesman Omar Zamora, on Friday agents were chasing a group of illegals east of Brownsville, Texas when they came upon a man holding a rifle as he stood near the Rio Grande River. An agent opened fire on the armed man, and although he fired ‘multiple shots,’ he missed. The man then identified himself as the member of a militia.

It is my opinion that armed militia members have absolutely no business running around with their rifles at our borders, no matter how well intentioned they may be. It doesn’t matter that our government is doing a poor job of border protection. The job of protecting our borders belongs to duly recognized federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and not to bunch of armed vigilantes.

According to the Associated Press, “This month, the Border Patrol warned its agents about militia members after seven of them were initially mistaken for a Texas Department of Public Safety tactical team near Mission.”

In this instance, it’s a good thing the Border Patrol agent was a piss poor shot, or there would have been one dead soldier-playing militia man.

HISTORY OF THE CONDOM

The assertion that the Arabs have contributed few beneficial inventions for mankind is refuted by their invention of the condom

The Unconventional Gazette
August 29, 2014

In 1272, the ArabS invented the condom, using a goat's lower intestine.

In 1873, the British somewhat refined the idea by taking the intestine out of the goat first.

KENTUCKY JAIL INMATE CROAKS AFTER EATING CELLMATE’S SKIVVIES

A jail inmate returned from a furlough with his skivvies soaked in Methadone which he shared with his cellmates, one of whom went toes up

‘Kl2008a’ said on PACOVILLA, “I guess those skid marks were literally some ‘bad shit.’” The lesson here is, do not eat someone else’s underwear.

MAN CHARGED AFTER HIS PRISON CELLMATE DIES FROM EATING METHADONE-SOAKED UNDERWEAR
By Sarah Fruchtnicht

Opposing Views
August 28, 2014

A Kentucky inmate allegedly ate methadone-soaked underwear and died from an overdose.

Corey McQueary, 33, was found unresponsive in his cell at Jessamine County Detention Center in Nicholasville on Aug. 21. He was pronounced dead later that day.

Authorities say McQueary’s cellmate Michael Jones, 55, was let out on a court-ordered furlough to attend a funeral and allegedly returned to jail with drug-laced underwear, which were not detected by security.

“When somebody comes in the facility either from a furlough or any other occurrence, they're searched, their clothing's searched, strip searched, any other type of search that we feel is necessary,” prison jailer Jon Sallee told CNN. “If something is in their garment and it's colorless, odorless, it would be very difficult, almost impossible, to detect from the naked eye.”

Police say Jones cut up the briefs and shared them with his fellow inmates, including McQueary. An autopsy report has not been released, but police suspect he died of an opiate overdose.

Jones, who was in jail for a DUI charge, is now facing a murder charge. He was also charged with promoting contraband and possession of a controlled substance.

A preliminary court hearing is scheduled on Sept. 2.

Friday, August 29, 2014

SEVEN SHOTS – PAUSE - FOUR MORE SHOTS

A cellphone some distance from the shooting picked up the sound of 11 shots at exactly the same time officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown

A cellphone conversation between an unnamed man and another individual picked up the sound of 11 shots at exactly the same time Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown. Glide, a video messaging service, verified the authenticity and time of the recording. The cellphone conversation took place some distance from the shooting. The audio recording has been turned over to the FBI.

There were seven shots, followed by a pause, and then four more shots. If this is indeed a recording of the Brown shooting, that pause is not going to help Wilson when – notice, I said ‘when’ and not ‘if’ - he is brought up on charges.

Lopa Blumenthal, the attorney for the man who owns the cellphone, said the firing sequence shows that Wilson had a clear ‘point of contemplation’ as he was shooting at Brown.

Retired Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Matthew Fog said:

There sounds like a pause in it. And when you hear that pause it brings some concern. It is very significant, because if you have a pause there it means somebody had time to think and then fire again.

To me it appears that Wilson could have fired seven shots at Brown, paused a moment, and because the 6'4", 292 lb. man continued to charge at him, he fired again. But that’s not the way it will be seen by those determined to hang a murder rap on Wilson.

Adding to Wilson’s problem is the fact that the sequence of shots picked up by the audio recording do not jive with the version of the shooting put out by Wilson and the Ferguson Police Department.

I’ve said that Wilson is burned toast. That audio just burned him some more.

JIMMY CARTER IS AT IT AGAIN

Now Carter is helping to raise funds for the Islamic Society of North America, a group that has been accused by the Justice Department of funneling $12 million to Hamas

It doesn’t surprise me that arguably the worst U.S. president ever would help raise funds to be used against Israel, since the pious fool almost always sides with the Palestinians against the Jewish state.

AUTHOR EHRENFIELD: JIMMY CARTER NEVER MET ‘ISLAMIC TERRORIST HE DIDN’T LIKE’
By Todd Beamon and Wanda Carruthers

Newsmax
August 28, 2014

Terrorism expert Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld on Thursday slammed former President Jimmy Carter for his planned speech at a fundraiser for a terrorism group linked to Hamas, telling Newsmax TV that "Mr. Carter has never met an Islamic terrorist that he didn’t like."

"Mr. Carter started his involvement with, as far as I know, with several nefarious characters even before he was elected president, when he was governor, and his peanut business was in trouble," Ehrenfeld, the director of the American Center for Democracy, told "America's Forum" host J.D. Hayworth.

"It goes back to the days even before BCCI, the Libyans, the Saudis, had bailed his business out. So from then, he and his family had been living on Saudi largesse and others," Ehrenfeld said of the Democratic president. "The older he's gotten, the more supportive he has become of … others who are really not supporting anything that is written in the American Constitution.

"He was a big champion of Hamas — and, apparently, he has been known, actually, to be very anti-Semitic," she added. "So, combined with that, he's having a ball."

Carter, 89, who has long supported Hamas in its struggle with Israel, will speak this weekend at an event in Detroit sponsored by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). The group has been implicated by the Justice Department in a scheme to funnel $12 million to Hamas.

Other speakers at the event at Cobo Hall are unindicted co-conspirators Jamal Badawi, who was named in 2007 in the Holy Land Foundation Trial, and Siraj Wahhaj, who is listed for his involvement in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

News of Carter's participation in the event was first reported by Breitbart News. His presence could violate federal laws that make it a crime for any U.S. citizen to provide material support to any group designated as a foreign terrorist organization.

Constitutional law expert Alan Dershowitz told Breitbart that Carter's actions, in raising funds for the ISNA, place him "very close, if not across the line," of criminal behavior.

Ehrenfeld is the author of "Funding Evil: How Terrorism Is Financed and How to Stop It."

ISIS VIDEOTAPED THE BEHEADING OF JAMES FOLEY NOT ONLY TO SEND A MESSAGE TO THE U.S., BUT ALSO TO THE REST OF THE NON-MUSLIM WORLD

Stratfor’s Robert Kaplan says ISIS beheaded American journalist James Foley purely in order to make a sophisticated video presentation of the execution with the intent of using that video to send a message to the U.S. and the rest of the non-Muslim world.

TERRORISM AS THEATER
By Robert D. Kaplan

Stratfor Global Intelligence
August 27, 2014

The beheading of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq was much more than an altogether gruesome and tragic affair: rather, it was a very sophisticated and professional film production deliberately punctuated with powerful symbols. Foley was dressed in an orange jumpsuit reminiscent of the Muslim prisoners held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay. He made his confession forcefully, as if well rehearsed. His executioner, masked and clad in black, made an equally long statement in a calm, British accent, again, as if rehearsed. It was as if the killing was secondary to the message being sent.

The killing, in other words, became merely the requirement to send the message. As experts have told me, there are more painful ways to dispatch someone if you really hate the victim and want him to suffer. You can burn him alive. You can torture him. But beheading, on the other hand, causes the victim to lose consciousness within seconds once a major artery is cut in the neck, experts say. Beheading, though, is the best method for the sake of a visually dramatic video, because you can show the severed head atop the chest at the conclusion. Using a short knife, as in this case, rather than a sword, also makes the event both more chilling and intimate. Truly, I do not mean to be cruel, indifferent, or vulgar. I am only saying that without the possibility of videotaping the event, there would be no motive in the first place to execute someone in such a manner.

In producing a docu-drama in its own twisted way, the Islamic State was sending the following messages:

We don't play by your rules. There are no limits to what we are willing to do.

America's mistreatment of Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay comes with a "price

tag," to quote a recently adopted phrase for retribution killings. After all, we are a state. We have our own enemy combatants as you can see from the video, and our own way of dealing with them.

Just because we observe no limits does not mean we lack sophistication. We can be just as sophisticated as you in the West. Just listen to the British accent of our executioner. And we can produce a very short film up to Hollywood standards.

We're not like the drug lords in Mexico who regularly behead people and subsequently post the videos on the Internet. The drug lords deliver only a communal message, designed to intimidate only those people within their area of control. That is why the world at large pays little attention to them; in fact, the world is barely aware of them. By contrast, we of the Islamic State are delivering a global, meta-message. And the message is this: We want to destroy all of you in America, all of you in the West, and everyone in the Muslim world who does not accept our version of Islam.

We will triumph because we observe absolutely no constraints. It is because only we have access to the truth that anything we do is sanctified by God.

Welcome to the mass media age. You thought mass media was just insipid network anchormen and rude prime-time hosts interrupting talking heads on cable. It is that, of course. But just as World War I was different from the Franco-Prussian War, because in between came the culmination of the Industrial Age and thus the possibility of killing on an industrial scale, the wars of the 21st century will be different from those of the 20th because of the culmination of the first stage of the Information Age, with all of its visual ramifications.

Passion, deep belief, political protests and so forth have little meaning nowadays if they cannot be broadcast. Likewise, torture and gruesome death must be communicated to large numbers of people if they are to be effective. Technology, which the geeky billionaires of Silicon Valley and the Pacific Northwest claim has liberated us with new forms of self-expression, has also brought us back to the worst sorts of barbarism. Communications technology is value neutral, it has no intrinsic moral worth, even as it can at times encourage the most hideous forms of exhibitionism: to wit, the Foley execution.

We are back to a medieval world of theater, in which the audience is global. Theater, when the actors are well-trained, can be among the most powerful and revelatory art forms. And nothing works in theater as much as symbols which the playwright manipulates. A short knife, a Guantanamo jumpsuit, a black-clad executioner with a British accent in the heart of the Middle East, are, taken together, symbols of power, sophistication, and retribution. We mean business. Are you in America capable of taking us on?

It has been said that the murder of Czar Nicholas II and his family in 1918 in Ekaterinburg by Lenin's new government was a seminal crime: because if the Bolsheviks were willing to execute not only the Czar but his wife and children, too, they were also capable of murdering en masse. Indeed, that crime presaged the horrors to come of Bolshevik rule. The same might be said of the 1958 murder of Iraqi King Faisal II and his family and servants by military coup plotters, and the subsequent mutilation of the body of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Said by a Baghdad mob -- events that presaged decades of increasingly totalitarian rule, culminating in Saddam Hussein. The theatrical murder of James Foley may appear as singular to some; more likely, it presages something truly terrible unfolding in the postmodern Middle East.

To be sure, the worse the chaos, the more extreme the ideology that emerges from it. Something has already emerged from the chaos of Syria and Iraq, even as Libya and Yemen -- also in chaos -- may be awaiting their own versions of the Islamic State. And remember, above all, what the video communicated was the fact that these people are literally capable of anything.

IMPOVERISHED MEXICANS PROTECTED BY COPS DRIVING MECEDES BENZ PATROL CARS

Apatzingan, pop. 100,000, is patrolled by city cops driving Mercedes Benz and Lamborghini sports cars

While the city cops in Apatzingan are patrolling in exotic sports cars, the federal police have to make do with Jeeps.

I wonder if these sports cars were stolen in the U.S.? It’s been no secret for many years that a lot of motor vehicles stolen in this country wind up as cop cars in Mexican towns and cities.

From Borderland Beat;

JUST LIKE DUBAI: MERCEDES BENZ PATROL CARS IN APATZINGAN

El Diario de Coahuila
August 26, 2014

Just so we know we're getting into the big leagues, the former mayor of Tepalcatepec, Guillermo Valencia, gave us a glimpse of the police patrol units that are circulating around in his home town; Mercedes Benz models, no less.

Hearing rumors about the transportation that Fuerza Rural [Castillo's rural police] police are using in Apatzingan, the incredulous Valencia asked social network users to send him photographs as proof... and seeing such marvelous images, the deposed mayor could only think to compare the Michoacan city with Dubai... and how can you avoid the comparison, when it's only in those countries, where it seems that money flows - in some places--, that they have the luxury of using sports cars for public safety.

"It's one of the richest and most modern cities cities in the world. Proof of that is that its police force has a fleet of patrol vehicles that includes Lamborghini sports cars... In Apatzingan, Michoacan, they don't hold back, and the new Rural Police Forces also have them, but they use Mercedes Benz sports cars," Valencia said with irony.
But in the Michoacan municipality, they do things backwards; before transforming their city into a business focal point, they first create the appearance, and the new patrol vehicles are a sign of the growth that the region will have. They even give hope to those families that live in poverty, the former mayor points out.

But, well, not everything is luxury. While the Fuerza Rural drives all terrain BMW X5s, worth approximately one million pesos ($77,000.00), members of the new National Gendarmerie have to make do with Jeeps that cost about 450,000 pesos (approx. $35,000.00)

"The new police forces created by Commissioner Alfredo Castillo seem to be at the Viceroy's level of opulence, who, as a government official, earns more than the President of the Republic, since he (Castillo) receives a monthly salary of $194,000. plus benefits. This police force surpasses the privileged police forces of economic and petroleum superpowers like the police from the Arab Emirate of Dubai. I wonder if President Pena Nieto knows that his envoy's police force has more privileges than the federal government's new security force?" asks Valencia.

It's well and good that the authorities should be well equipped... but that well? And should they give themselves those luxuries?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

MICHAEL BROWN: ST. MICHAEL HE AIN’T

What some of the Gentle Giant’s supporters describe as him giving the peace sign is actually a gang sign

Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets can be used for good or evil. To me it appears that it is used for evil far more than for good. That is why you will not see me on Facebook, nor will you see me doing any tweets.

Michael Brown, who was shot to death by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson, has been described as a Gentle Giant who was just two days away from entering college when he was ‘executed’ by an evil white cop. Which college? Now we finally know it was Vatterott College. Wait just a minute … Vatterott College is not really a college in the true sense of the word. It’s a trade school. Brown wanted to become an air conditioning repair man. That’s good … it shows Brown wanted to get an honest job. What’s not good is the attempt to deceive us by making it appear as if he was about to enter Harvard.

Some in the media complain that black shooting victims like Brown and Trayvon Martin, have been the victims of ‘thuggification’ intended to justify their deaths. In some cases that’s true. A good example is a photo purported to be of Brown showing him with a wad of cash in his mouth, pointing a Glock pistol at the camera. That photo, which has been spreading throughout the internet, is an example of the evil in social media. The picture is not of Michael Brown, but of Jodan Cain who murdered his 71-year-old great-grandmother in Portland, Oregon last year.

Here is another example of what some claim is the thuggification of Brown. Several pictures have been circulated showing him flipping-off at the camera. Come on folks, that’s nothing to get exercised about. Showing someone the birdie is a popular way of expressing oneself. I’ve done it dozens of times myself … does that make me a thug or a disreputable character? And Brown flashing his middle finger does not make him a thug either.

But what about Michael’s parents and friends painting him as a ‘Gentle Giant’ who wouldn’t harm a fly and was just a fun-loving boy about to enter college. Well, if his supporters can picture the good side of Brown, then the supporters of Darren Wilson have the right to show another side … but only if it’s true!

So here is another side of Michael Brown.

Michael committed a strong-arm robbery of a convenience store clerk as he and a companion stole a box of cigars and packets of cigarillos just 10 minutes before he was shot dead. No Gentle Giant then.

Michael had marijuana in his system at the time he got shot. His defenders say that smoking pot is no big deal and they point to Colorado and Washington as justification for his use of weed. While it may not be a big deal, it’s still wrong because in Missouri possession and use of marijuana is against the law. And that shows Michael was not the angel he’s been pictured to be.

Several photos show Brown giving gang hand signs. Members of the media described one picture as Brown giving the peace sign while some others described it as the ‘V for victory’ sign. Yeah, right!. Several of the pictured signs are signs typically used by members of the notorious Bloods. While that certainly does not mean Brown was a gang member, it does show Michael was far from being the saint he’s been pictured as.

Robber, pothead, gang signer … Michael Brown was not St. Michael.

COPS: A REAL REALITY SHOW BECAME TOO REAL FOR CREW MEMBER

Brice Dion, a crew member of the long-running reality TV show Cops, was shot dead by Omaha cops during a shootout with a robber who was carrying a pellet gun

There are many so-called reality shows on TV because they are much cheaper to produce than half-hour situation comedies and one or two-hour dramas. Most of those shows are trashy and have little if any resemblance to normal everyday life.

Cops has been one of the longest running reality shows on TV, having debuted in 1989. It has been filmed with over 140 police agencies in this country and with the police in three foreign countries. On Wednesday, in Omaha , Nebraska, the reality cop show became too real for one of the crew members.

An Omaha cop was responding to another robbery call when he observed a robbery in progress as he was driving by a Wendy’s fast food restaurant. He called for backup. As the cops, along with the TV crew, entered the restaurant they were confronted by 32-year-old Cortez Washington, a Kansas parolee, who appeared to be carrying a pistol. A chaotic shootout followed. Washington was able to fee out of the burger joint before collapsing in a dead heap on the outside.

Unfortunately, the police gunfire also took out 38-year-old Bryce Dion who had been a crew member with the Cops TV show for seven years. He was hit as the cops were shooting at the fleeing robber. According to the Associated Press, “Dion was wearing a bullet-proof vest, but a single bullet that hit his arm "slipped into a gap in the vest" and entered his chest.”

What the cops thought was a real firearm turned out to be an Airsoft pellet gun which fires only plastic pellets. Had the cops know that, both Bryce Dion and Cortez Washington would be alive today.

HAMAS CLAIMS VICTORY IN OPEN-ENDED CEASEFIRE WITH ISRAEL

Israelis see the ceasefire as a defeat for the Jewish state

Here, from Israel Today, are the terms of the ceasefire:

Conditions that both sides agreed to:

1. Both sides will immediately implement an open-ended ceasefire (which they did on Tuesday afternoon);

2. Gaza border crossings will be opened for the import of humanitarian aid and supplies for reconstruction;

3. Gaza’s fishing zone will be extended further into the Mediterranean.

The Hamas demands that did not make the final cut were:

1. The development of sea and air ports in Gaza;

2. The release of Hamas terrorists arrested in Judea and Samaria over the past two months;

3. The transfer of salaries to Hamas officials in Gaza.

The Israeli conditions removed from the final draft included:

1. The demilitarization of Gaza

2. A mechanism to prevent Hamas from rearming;

3. The return of the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers taken by Hamas during the Gaza war.

I agree that the ceasefire is a victory of sorts for Hamas. While much of Gaza was left in rubbles and the IDF destroyed its tunnel system, Hams remains armed and in control of the enclave. On the other hand, Israelis feel defeated because Hamas remains armed and in control of Gaza with the ability to resume its rocket fire anytime it wants.

NEITHER ISRAEL NOR HAMAS ACHIEVED THEIR GOALS

Netanyahu is facing criticism by both his allies and the opposition parties for his conduct of the Gaza war

With Netanyahu agreeing to ease the blockade against Gaza, Hamas has won a victory of sorts. And because Hamas remains armed and in control of the enclave, Israel cannot really claim victory, even though much of Gaza was reduced to rubble and the IDF destroyed the network of tunnels constructed by Hamas.

NETANYAHU HITS BACK AT ISRAELI CRITICS OF GAZA TRUCE WITH HAMAS

Bloomberg News
August 27, 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit back at critics of his truce with Hamas in Gaza, describing it as a political and military victory for Israel.

“We can’t say definitively that the goal of bringing sustained quiet has been reached, but the goal of hitting Hamas hard has been achieved,” Netanyahu told a news conference late yesterday at his office in Jerusalem. The premier has been criticized by both allies and opponents for accepting an Egyptian-brokered truce that detractors say doesn’t assure Israel’s security.

The Aug. 26 cease-fire halted seven weeks of fighting which has left more than 2,100 Palestinians and 70 Israelis dead. It envisages the easing of curbs on Gaza’s border with Israel, to let in reconstruction materials and aid, and the extension of fishing zones off its coast, Egyptian and Palestinian officials say. Israel hasn’t commented on the terms. Talks on other issues, brokered by Egypt, are due to resume in a month.

Netanyahu enjoyed broad public support during the war. A day after the fighting ended, though, both political allies and residents of Israel’s rocket-scarred south were making their displeasure known.

“We’ve made it look like Israel is willing to accept quiet at any price,” said Tourism Minister Uzi Landau, speaking on Israel Radio yesterday. “We didn’t achieve the basic goals we set out to do,” said Landau, one of several ministers who had called for a broader ground offensive to topple Hamas’s rule in Gaza. Netanyahu had set a more modest goal of restoring security.

‘Strategic Failure’

Zehava Gal-On, leader of the dovish opposition party Meretz, said the same agreements could have been reached through negotiations with the Palestinians. On her Facebook page yesterday, she called the truce “a strategic failure on the part of Netanyahu, who went to war without clear objectives and ended it by delivering a tremendous achievement to Hamas on the backs of the residents of the south.”

Like Netanyahu, Hamas, considered a terrorist group by Israel, the U.S. and the European Union, has also been claiming victory. Shortly before the premier spoke, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh appeared in Gaza for the first time since going into hiding when the conflict started July 8. He told thousands of supporters at a rally that “the armed Palestinian resistance gained the admiration of the entire world and surprised Israel.”

‘New Horizon’

Netanyahu said he decided to stop the war “to save lives and prevent Hamas from killing or abducting soldiers,” after Israeli forces had destroyed tunnels used by Gaza militants to smuggle goods and stage attacks.

He also said the war has “created a new diplomatic horizon,” with more Arab states sharing Israeli concerns about Islamist militants. “We will definitely attempt to advance those possibilities,” Netanyahu said.

In 50 days of fighting, Israel struck 5,226 targets, and militants fired 4,591 rockets at Israeli communities. The Palestinian dead included hundreds of women and children, and thousands of homes and businesses, as well as utilities, medical centers and mosques, were destroyed or heavily damaged, according to Gaza officials. Almost all the Israeli dead were soldiers, and the Iron Dome missile-defense system intercepted 735 rockets headed for built-up areas, according to the army.

Estimates for repairing the damage wrought in Gaza by the war have ranged as high as $8 billion. The conflict has hurt the Israeli economy, too, with the drop in tourism and consumer spending prompting the central bank to unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low this week.

‘Political Sniping’

In contrast to earlier, temporary truce deals with Hamas, Netanyahu didn’t seek approval for the deal from an inner security cabinet of top ministers.

‘It’s expected that once the fighting stops you’d see a rise in political sniping, especially after a conflict which didn’t end in a clear-cut victory,’’ said Abraham Diskin, professor emeritus of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “Still, while in the short term some ministers who differed with Netanyahu’s strategy may have gained among their constituencies, I don’t seen anyone that benefited enough to break up the government and go to early elections.”

The cease-fire deal was also slammed by some local officials in the south of Israel, which bore the brunt of rocket attacks from Gaza. Haim Yellin, head of the Eshkol Regional Council near the Gaza border, said he isn’t calling on residents who had left to safer areas of the country to return, saying they should wait for at least two days of quiet.

‘Totally Absurd’

“I’ve lost faith in the government,” Yellin told Israel Radio. If ministers had taken their decisions from southern Israel rather than Jerusalem, the picture would have been completely different, he said.

Gazans thronged main streets covered in rubble from Israeli air strikes after the truce went into effect Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. local time.

“This is a great victory for the Palestinian people,” said Nabila Salem, a mother of six children. “I know the destruction was huge and the pain is difficult, but we’ve gotten used to pain, and it’s the only way to win.”

Hanan Abu Jamous, a 28-year-old mother of three, viewed it differently. “I wonder why the people are celebrating and I wonder what victory they are talking about, as neither Hamas nor Israel achieved any of their goals. This war was totally absurd and kept us in fear, watching death coming to harvest our lives any moment.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I’M NUMBER 5,001

One of my Armand Bayou Nature Center buddies told me about an incident that happened while he was undergoing Basic Training in the Army.

One of the training sessions dealt with how to avoid catching a venereal disease. The class was conducted by a Chaplain who told the trainees that so far that year, 5,000 soldiers had caught the clap.

A voice from the back of the class shouted, “I’m number 5,001.”

While the class erupted in laughter, the Chaplain was far from amused.

POLICE UNION OFFICIAL SAYS N.Y. COPS NOT PAWNS TO BE MOVED AROUND A POLITICAL CHESSBOARD BY MAYOR DE BLASIO

Ed Mullins, president of NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association, urges Democrats not to hold their National Convention in NYC

Sandinista-loving Bill de Blasio promised New York’s blacks that he would restrict NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactics if they elected him mayor. Ed Mullins claims that shootings and crimes have gone up since de Blasio took office, while the mayor claims just the opposite. With NYPD’s history of manipulating crime statistics, it would seem de Blasio’s claim that shootings and crime have gone down has no credibility.

NYC POLICE UNION BLASTS DE BLASIO, URGES DEMOCRATS TO SNUB CONVENTION BID

Thomson/Reuters
August 26, 2014

A New York City police union leader on Tuesday castigated Mayor Bill de Blasio and his bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, saying the city was losing ground in the fight against crime since he took office in January.

Ed Mullins, the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, leveled the criticism of the mayor in an open letter published as a full-page advertisement in The New York Times and in other outlets, as he called the police force "understaffed, overworked and underpaid."

The mayor dismissed the letter as "fear mongering" and an effort "to advance the union's position in contract negotiations."

The exchange was the latest evidence of the strained relationship between the mayor and the city's two largest police unions in the wake of an unarmed man's death during an arrest last month.

Mullins urged the convention's organizers to look elsewhere, saying de Blasio, the city's most liberal mayor in a generation, was making a scapegoat of the New York Police Department and allowing crime to rise.

"Mayor de Blasio has not earned the right to play host to such an important event," Mullins wrote in his letter. "The great officers of the NYPD are not pawns to be moved around a political chessboard by the Mayor."

He said de Blasio was taking the city back to the high-crime days of the 1980s, pointing to a recent increase in shootings in the city.

De Blasio, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, said there have been 27 fewer murders in the city so far this year compared with the same period last year, and that the overall crime rate has reduced slightly.

"The NYPD should be very, very proud of that fact," de Blasio told reporters, according to transcript provided by his office. "So if any union wants to try to better their economic position, that is certainly their right, but do it based on the facts."

De Blasio took office after promising to mend frayed relations between the police and New Yorkers, especially black and Latino citizens who, according to a federal judge, had been disproportionately targeted for stops and frisks.

The death of Eric Garner, whose final moments begging for breath as a police officer gripped him around the neck were recorded on bystanders' smartphones, is the first major test of the mayor's promise.

Police say Garner was resisting arrest for peddling untaxed cigarettes on the sidewalk on Staten Island.

De Blasio has tried to strike a balance between assuaging New Yorkers who were outraged by the videos of Garner without alienating his police officers.

The city's two main police unions say the mayor is not doing enough to tell New Yorkers that policing is a dangerous job that is only made harder when people resist arrest.

The Democratic National Committee, which sent a team earlier this month to examine the Brooklyn venue proposed by the mayor for the 2016 convention, declined to comment.

HOMEMADE TAMALES WERE FOUND TO BE EXTREMELY HOT

Customs officials at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport found that some of the tamales inside a box of 200 homemade tamales brought to the U.S. by a man from El Salvador were stuffed with a very hot white powder – cocaine

When a traveler from El Salvador arrived at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport on August 20, customs inspectors found a box of 200 homemade tamales in his luggage that he had failed to list on the written declaration all airline passengers on international flights are required to fill out before landing in this country.

The 46-year-old unnamed man was taken aside for special attention by the welcoming committee of customs inspectors. They found some of the tamales were stuffed with a white powder. As the Houston Chronicle put it, “The gourmet filling in these hot tamales carried a particular strong kick as that white powder turned out to be cocaine.”

After a meticulous sampling of the tamales, overjoyed customs inspectors seized seven ounces of coke with a street value of up to $14,000, depending on the contraband’s purity.

The no-longer friendly customs officers turned an unhappy Salvadoran over to a Houston welcoming committee of city cops who promptly hauled his unhappy ass off to the guest accommodations at Hotel Pokey.

One could say that them thar Salvadoran hot tamales were extremely hot.

MULTIPLE MURDER SUSPECT BEING HELD … ON ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGE

By Bob Walsh

PACOVILLA Corrections blog
August 26, 2014

A suspect in as many as five apparently random murders in L.A. is being held on animal cruelty charges with bail set at $1 million.

Alexander Hernandez, 34, of Sylmar, is a suspect in the seemingly random murders of at least three and possibly as many as five people in L.A. in a series of shootings that also injured four people.

The animal cruelty charge stems from an incident in which Hernandez allegedly killed some dogs with a shotgun. There is forensic evidence to suggest that the shotgun is the same one that was used in the other killings.

It is alleged that Hernandez simply drove around shooting people at random for no discernible reason.

BALKANIZATION SPREADING EAST FRM LEBANON TO SYRIA AND IRAQ AND PERHAPS BEYOND

The Middle East states invented and created by Britain and France are breaking up into clan enclaves such as what has already happened in Lebanon

Stratfor’s George Friedman gives an outstanding analysis on how the states artificially carved out of the old Ottoman Empire by Britain and France are breaking up into clan ruled enclaves.

IRAQ AND SYRIA FOLLOW LEBANON’S PRECEDENT
By George Friedman

Stratfor Global Intelligence
August 26, 2014

Lebanon was created out of the Sykes-Picot Agreement. This agreement between Britain and France reshaped the collapsed Ottoman Empire south of Turkey into the states we know today -- Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, and to some extent the Arabian Peninsula as well. For nearly 100 years, Sykes-Picot defined the region. A strong case can be made that the nation-states Sykes-Picot created are now defunct, and that what is occurring in Syria and Iraq represents the emergence of post-British/French maps that will replace those the United States has been trying to maintain since the collapse of Franco-British power.

The Invention of Middle East Nation-States

Sykes-Picot, named for French diplomat Francois Georges-Picot and his British counterpart, Sir Mark Sykes, did two things. First, it created a British-dominated Iraq. Second, it divided the Ottoman province of Syria on a line from the Mediterranean Sea east through Mount Hermon. Everything north of this line was French. Everything south of this line was British. The French, who had been involved in the Levant since the 19th century, had allies among the region's Christians. They carved out part of Syria and created a country for them. Lacking a better name, they called it Lebanon, after the nearby mountain of the same name.

The British named the area to the west of the Jordan River after the Ottoman administrative district of Filistina, which turned into Palestine on the English tongue. However, the British had a problem. During World War I, while the British were fighting the Ottoman Turks, they had allied with a number of Arabian tribes seeking to expel the Turks. Two major tribes, hostile to each other, were the major British allies. The British had promised postwar power to both. It gave the victorious Sauds the right to rule Arabia -- hence Saudi Arabia. The other tribe, the Hashemites, had already been given the newly invented Iraqi monarchy and, outside of Arabia, a narrow strip of arable ground to the east of the Jordan River. For lack of a better name, it was called Trans-Jordan, or the other side of the Jordan. In due course the "trans" was dropped and it became Jordan.

And thus, along with Syria, five entities were created between the Mediterranean and Tigris, and between Turkey and the new nation of Saudi Arabia. This five became six after the United Nations voted to create Israel in 1947. The Sykes-Picot agreement suited European models and gave the Europeans a framework for managing the region that conformed to European administrative principles. The most important interest, the oil in Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula, was protected from the upheaval in their periphery as Turkey and Persia were undergoing upheaval. This gave the Europeans what they wanted.

What it did not do was create a framework that made a great deal of sense of the Arabs living in this region. The European model of individual rights expressed to the nation-states did not fit their cultural model. For the Arabs, the family -- not the individual -- was the fundamental unit of society. Families belonged to clans and clans to tribes, not nations. The Europeans used the concept of the nation-state to express divisions between "us" and "them." To the Arabs, this was an alien framework, which to this day still competes with religious and tribal identities.

The states the Europeans created were arbitrary, the inhabitants did not give their primary loyalty to them, and the tensions within states always went over the border to neighboring states. The British and French imposed ruling structures before the war, and then a wave of coups overthrew them after World War II. Syria and Iraq became pro-Soviet states while Israel, Jordan and the Arabians became pro-American, and monarchies and dictatorships ruled over most of the Arab countries. These authoritarian regimes held the countries together.

Reality Overcomes Cartography

It was Lebanon that came apart first. Lebanon was a pure invention carved out of Syria. As long as the Christians for whom Paris created Lebanon remained the dominant group, it worked, although the Christians themselves were divided into warring clans. But after World War II, the demographics changed, and the Shiite population increased. Compounding this was the movement of Palestinians into Lebanon in 1948. Lebanon thus became a container for competing clans. Although the clans were of different religions, this did not define the situation. Multiple clans in many of these religious groupings fought each other and allied with other religions.

Moreover, Lebanon's issues were not confined to Lebanon. The line dividing Lebanon from Syria was an arbitrary boundary drawn by the French. Syria and Lebanon were not one country, but the newly created Lebanon was not one country, either. In 1976 Syria -- or more precisely, the Alawite dictatorship in Damascus -- invaded Lebanon. Its intent was to destroy the Palestinians, and their main ally was a Christian clan. The Syrian invasion set off a civil war that was already flaring up and that lasted until 1990.

Lebanon was divided into various areas controlled by various clans. The clans evolved. The dominant Shiite clan was built around Nabi Berri. Later, Iran sponsored another faction, Hezbollah. Each religious faction had multiple clans, and within the clans there were multiple competitors for power. From the outside it appeared to be strictly a religious war, but that was an incomplete view. It was a competition among clans for money, security, revenge and power. And religion played a role, but alliances crossed religious lines frequently.

The state became far less powerful than the clans. Beirut, the capital, became a battleground for the clans. The Israelis invaded in order to crush the Palestinian Liberation Organization, with Syria's blessing, and at one point the United States intervened, partly to block the Israelis. When Hezbollah blew up the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing hundreds of Marines, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, realizing the amount of power it would take to even try to stabilize Lebanon, withdrew all troops. He determined that the fate of Lebanon was not a fundamental U.S. interest, even if there was a Cold War underway.

The complexity of Lebanon goes far beyond this description, and the external meddling from Israel, Syria, Iran and the United States is even more complicated. The point is that the clans became the reality of Lebanon, and the Lebanese government became irrelevant. An agreement was reached between the factions and their patrons in 1989 that ended the internal fighting -- for the most part -- and strengthened the state. But in the end, the state existed at the forbearance of the clans. The map may show a nation, but it is really a country of microscopic clans engaged in a microscopic geopolitical struggle for security and power. Lebanon remains a country in which the warlords have become national politicians, but there is little doubt that their power comes from being warlords and that, under pressure, the clans will reassert themselves.

Repeats in Syria and Iraq

A similar process has taken place in Syria. The arbitrary nation-state has become a region of competing clans. The Alawite clan, led by Bashar al Assad (who has played the roles of warlord and president), had ruled the country. An uprising supported by various countries threw the Alawites into retreat. The insurgents were also divided along multiple lines. Now, Syria resembles Lebanon. There is one large clan, but it cannot destroy the smaller ones, and the smaller ones cannot destroy the large clan. There is a permanent stalemate, and even if the Alawites are destroyed, their enemies are so divided that it is difficult to see how Syria can go back to being a country, except as a historical curiosity. Countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States might support various clans, but in the end, the clans survive.

Something very similar happened in Iraq. As the Americans departed, the government that was created was dominated by Shia, who were fragmented. To a great degree, the government excluded the Sunnis, who saw themselves in danger of marginalization. The Sunnis consisted of various tribes and clans (some containing Shiites) and politico-religious movements like the Islamic State. They rose up in alliance and have now left Baghdad floundering, the Iraqi army seeking balance and the Kurds scrambling to secure their territory.

It is a three-way war, but in some ways it is a three-way war with more than 20 clans involved in temporary alliances. No one group is strong enough to destroy the others on the broader level. Sunni, Shiite and Kurd have their own territories. On the level of the tribes and clans, some could be destroyed, but the most likely outcome is what happened in Lebanon: the permanent power of the sub-national groups, with perhaps some agreement later on that creates a state in which power stays with the smaller groups, because that is where loyalty lies.

The boundary between Lebanon and Syria was always uncertain. The border between Syria and Iraq is now equally uncertain. But then these borders were never native to the region. The Europeans imposed them for European reasons. Therefore, the idea of maintaining a united Iraq misses the point. There was never a united Iraq -- only the illusion of one created by invented kings and self-appointed dictators. The war does not have to continue, but as in Lebanon, it will take the exhaustion of the clans and factions to negotiate an end.

The idea that Shia, Sunnis and Kurds can live together is not a fantasy. The fantasy is that the United States has the power or interest to re-create a Franco-British invention crafted out of the debris of the Ottoman Empire. Moreover, even if it had an interest, it is doubtful that the United States has the power to pacify Iraq and Syria. It could not impose calm in Lebanon. The triumph of the Islamic State would represent a serious problem for the United States, but no more than it would for the Shia, Kurds and other Sunnis. As in Lebanon, the multiplicity of factions creates a countervailing force that cripples those who reach too far.

There are two issues here. The first is how far the disintegration of nation-states will go in the Arab world. It seems to be underway in Libya, but it has not yet taken root elsewhere. It may be a political formation in the Sykes-Picot areas. Watching the Saudi peninsula will be most interesting. But the second issue is what regional powers will do about this process. Turkey, Iran, Israel and the Saudis cannot be comfortable with either this degree of fragmentation or the spread of more exotic groups. The rise of a Kurdish clan in Iraq would send tremors to the Turks and Iranians.

The historical precedent, of course, would be the rise of a new Ottoman attitude in Turkey that would inspire the Turks to move south and impose an acceptable order on the region. It is hard to see how Turkey would have the power to do this, plus if it created unity among the Arabs it would likely be because the memories of Turkish occupation still sting the Arab mind.

All of this aside, the point is that it is time to stop thinking about stabilizing Syria and Iraq and start thinking of a new dynamic outside of the artificial states that no longer function. To do this, we need to go back to Lebanon, the first state that disintegrated and the first place where clans took control of their own destiny because they had to. We are seeing the Lebanese model spread eastward. It will be interesting to see where else its spreads.

BILL GATES COMPARES MICROSOFT WITH FORD CARS

Ford Motor Company wasted no time in firing back

The Unconventional Gazette
August 26, 2014

At a recent computer expo - COMDEX - Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry. "If Ford had kept up with technology like Microsoft has,” said Gates, ”we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, Ford issued a press release stating:

If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash.........twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask, "Are you sure you want to activate the airbags?" before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.