Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Recently, I blogged "Should Gun Owners Be Worried?" (3-23-09). I concluded that they should be. In today's Townhall.com, Janet LaRue describes how Barack Obama has consistently waffled on the gun control issue starting with his campaign for the U.S. Senate. While her well-researched article provides compelling evidence that the Founding Fathers strongly favored individual gun ownership, LaRue predicts that, with Obama at the helm, dark days may be ahead for America's gun owners.

Here is LaRue's Townhall.com column:

by Janet M. LaRue

While campaigning for the U.S. Senate and then the presidency, Barack Obama said he believed in the individual right to bear arms.

Those aware of his record and rhetoric thought he might have been referring to his wife’s penchant for sleeveless attire, not the Second Amendment.

During his 2004 run for the Senate, Obama said "I think that the Second Amendment means something. I think that if the government were to confiscate everybody’s guns unilaterally that I think that would be subject to constitutional challenge." No kidding.

He didn’t say it would be unconstitutional, just "subject to constitutional challenge." Nor did he express any opposition.

During the presidential campaign, a case challenging Washington D.C.’s draconian gun laws was pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. The laws banned all handgun registrations, prohibited handguns already registered from being carried from room to room in the home without a license, and required all firearms in the home, including rifles and shotguns, to be unloaded and either disassembled or bound by a trigger lock.

In June, the Court released its decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, holding that the laws violate the individual right to keep and bear arms unconnected to service in a militia as secured by the Fourth Amendment. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, emphasized that the individual right to bear arms pre-exists, and is independent of, the Constitution:

Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation. This meaning is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment. We look to this because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it "shall not be infringed." As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876), "[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed . . . ."

Obama admitted in a Feb. 11, 2008, interview that he supported the handgun ban, and that it was "constitutional." On June 26, he said he agreed with the Court’s decision, but added that the right to bear arms is subject to "reasonable regulations." He never "explained" how an absolute ban on handguns is "reasonable," or how he can agree with the ruling, which said it was unreasonable. Obama’s inconsistencies are numerous, as John R. Lott Jr has noted.

Obama continued to duck and cover by talking about getting illegal guns off the streets, background checks for children and the mentally ill, and attacking the NRA.

Since his election, finding mention of the Second Amendment on the White House Web site takes about as long as getting to the front of the line at a gun store. What is on the site could be engraved on a .22 shell casing.

WH: The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms. [Emphasis added.]

It’s far from the high caliber opinion of the Court or those of the Founders who fought for and secured the right:

"Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." James Madison, The Federalist 46

"Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in our possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?" Patrick Henry

"That the Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe on the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent "the people" of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." Samuel Adams

"A free people ought ... to be armed." George Washington

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." Thomas Jefferson

"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state." Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist No. 28

Despite the Heller ruling and his professed regard for the Amendment, Obama will push legislation to make possession and purchase of guns and ammunition as burdensome as the constitutionally comatose congressional majority will enact.

We should heed the warning of James Madison, "Father of the Constitution":

"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."

Monday, March 30, 2009


A judge in Philadelphia definitely got it right when he labeled cop killer Rasheed Scrugs "a domestic urban terrorist." It may not be politically correct, but it is high time that thugs from the ghetto are recognized for what they are - terrorists. Forget all that horseshit about socio-economically deprived victims of racism, absent of their fathers, and abused in early childhood. I am sure the jurors will be subjected to that phony shit when Scrugs is tried for a cold blooded cop killing.

Scrugs is the perfect candidate for a death sentence. But it's too bad that officers at the scene were not accurate enough with their return gunfire to kill that piece of shit.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer, here are the facts in the killing of a brave poliec officer:

By Vernon Clark

Philadelphia Inquirer
March 28, 2009

PHILADELPHIA — A municipal court judge yesterday branded the accused killer of Officer John Pawlowski as "a domestic urban terrorist" who "ambushed" police officers responding to a call.

In a courtroom nearly filled with police officers and friends and relatives of Pawlowski, who was slain Feb. 13, Judge Patrick Dugan then ordered Rasheed Scrugs held for trial, which he scheduled for April 16.

Scrugs, 33, is charged with murder, attempted murder, robbery and related charges in connection with the death of Pawlowski, 25, who was shot when he intervened in an attempted robbery.

For the first time, officers on the scene gave a detailed account of the deadly confrontation, with one saying he fired at least 10 shots toward Scrugs.

Pawlowski's widow, Kim, who is pregnant, sat in the front row of the courtroom with relatives and wept throughout the hearing. Several ranking police officials were present, and uniformed police officers lined both sides of a long hallway leading to the courtroom.

Four witnesses, including Pawlowski's partner, Officer Mark Klein, identified Scrugs as the gunman as they testified about the shooting at Broad Street and Olney Avenue.

Klein said that he and Pawlowski were responding to a report of a man with a knife when they arrived at the scene and saw hack taxi driver Emmanuel Ceser, who identified Scrugs as the man who had been harassing him and trying to take his money.

"I noticed the defendant walking backwards with his eyes on me and John," Klein testified. "John said, 'I want to see your hands.' "

Klein said that Scrugs then fired out a handgun from his right jacket pocket and that Pawlowski "was standing and then basically collapsed."

Klein testified that he started dragging Pawlowski toward their patrol car and that Scrugs then began firing at Officer Stephen Mancuso, who arrived as backup, "and that's when he came around and fired at me."

"I basically fired until the defendant dropped," Klein said, adding that he fired about 10 shots.

Assistant District Attorney Edward McCann said Pawlowski was felled by three gunshots, one to the right chest, a graze wound to the right arm and one shot to the back.

Mancuso testified that as he drove to the scene, he saw Pawlowski and Klein facing Scrugs.

"I looked and saw a male standing there. John and Mark were walking toward the male and I saw a muzzle flash. . . . I saw John kind of tense up and fall to the ground."

Mancuso said that he fired three shots at Scrugs and that he saw "muzzle flashes" coming from Scrugs.

He said he then saw Scrugs fall to the ground on the Broad Street median.

Through much of the 90-minute hearing, Scrugs sat with his elbows on the defense table, his hands folded in front of his face. Scrugs, who was wounded in the shootout, used a walker to enter the court from a holding area.

During a break in the testimony, Scrugs fell to the floor in the doorway of a holding area as he was being led from the courtroom. He accused court officers of pushing him down.

In his testimony, Ceser, the taxi driver, said that Scrugs had slammed him against a newsstand, grabbed at a chest-level pocket on Ceser's jacket where he kept his money and asked, "How much did you make today?"

Ceser said he walked across Broad Street and called police.

He said Scrugs confronted him again. "He told me if I called the cops, he would shoot me and the cops."

Outside the courthouse, Lee Mandell, Scrugs' court-appointed defense attorney, said he offered to waive the preliminary hearing to spare Pawlowski's family from hearing the testimony.

McCann, the assistant district attorney, said he wanted to hold the hearing so that any testimony given would be part of the court record if something were to happen to witnesses.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I have written several blogs on the Palestinian's hatred of Jews and their repeated vows to destroy the State of Israel. Recently, as a peace gesture, a 13-member string orchestra made up of Palestinian youngsters, ages 12 to 17, from the Jenin refugee camp went to Israel for a performance before some 30 Holocaust surviviors.

So, how did the "moderate" Palestinian authorities respond when they heard about this act of kindness? They disbanded the orchestra, boarded up the place where the young musicians were taught, and banned the groups's Israeli-Arab conductor from the Jenin camp. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

Does the international community really expect the Israelis to make suicidal concessions to a bunch of "moderate" hate mongerers who get all exercised each and every time there is any mention or recognition of the Holocaust? How can Israel be expected to trust the very people who are bent on its destruction?

Here is a report on how Palestinian authorities responded to their own youngsters' peace gesture:


By The Associated Press

Palestinian authorities disbanded a youth orchestra from a West Bank refugee camp after it played for a group of Holocaust survivors in Israel, a local official said on Sunday.

Adnan Hindi of the Jenin camp called the Holocaust a political issue and accused conductor Wafa Younis of unknowingly dragging the children into a political dispute.

He added that Younis has been barred from the camp and the apartment where she taught the 13-member Strings of Freedom orchestra has been boarded up.

"She exploited the children," said Hindi, the head of the camp's popular committee, which takes on municipal duties. "She will be forbidden from doing any activities.... We have to protect our children and our community."

The move highlights the sensitivity of many Palestinians over acknowledging Jewish suffering, fearing it would weaken their own historical grievances against Israel.


In every war, atrocities have been committed by each side. There are the government approved mass atrocities committed by the Nazi Wehrmacht and the Imperial Japanese army. Many insist that the WWII pulverization of German cities by Allied airforces and the bombings of Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. airforce were atrocities. Then there are the isolated atrocities committed by individual soldiers or by a small group of soldiers.

American soldiers have committed their share of atrocities. During WWII, there were occasions when our soldiers deliberately shot down surrendering German soldiers. During the Korean War, American troops massacred dozens of civilians at No Gun Ri. During the Viet Nam War, there was the Mi Lai Massacre. In Iraq, some of our soldiers deliberately killed innocent civilians. Wars are brutal. American soldiers, like those of any other country, will on occasion respond to the killing of their comrades by taking their revenge out on innocent civilians.

Recently the media has been reporting on alleged Israeli atrocities committed against Gaza civilians as decried by Hamas and by UN officials. Then a group of Israeli soldiers went to Haaretz, a daily Israeli left-wing newspaper, charging that the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) had deliberately committed numerous atrocities against Gaza civilians. The media pounced on that and the Palestinians and UN officials reacted with the "we told you so" bit.

Ethan Bronner, a New York Times reporter based in Jerusalem, wrote several articles depicting alleged Israeli atrocities as described to him by Hamas sources. Yesterday, he finally got around to reporting the Israeli side of the controversy. The IDF claims that its own investigation revealed that most of the soldiers who went to Haaretz were spreading "an urban legend" because they repeated what they heard some other soldiers say and did not personally witness the atrocities they described.

Who are you going to believe? That really depends on who you want to believe. Here is Bronner's report on the IDF investigation:


Israel is pushing back against accusations of civilian abuse in its Gaza war, saying that the overwhelming majority of its soldiers acted honorably and that the account of a killing of a woman and her two children appears to be an urban myth spread by troops who did not witness it.

By Ethan Bronner

The New York Times
March 28, 2009

JERUSALEM — Israel is pushing back against accusations of civilian abuse in its Gaza war, saying that the overwhelming majority of its soldiers acted honorably and that the account of a killing of a woman and her two children appears to be an urban myth spread by troops who did not witness it.

Officers are stepping forward offering numerous accounts of having held their fire out of concern for civilians, helping Palestinians in need and punishing improper soldier behavior.

"I'm not saying that nothing bad happened," said Bentzi Gruber, a colonel in the reserves and deputy commander of the armored division. "But the proportion and effort and directions we gave to our soldiers were entirely in the opposite direction."

The accusations caused a furor because they came on top of others that the civilian death toll was high and that soldiers took an unusually aggressive approach in Gaza.

The accounts that have received the most attention came from a taped conversation of Gaza veterans at a pre-military course where soldiers told of a sniper killing a woman and her two children walking in a no-go zone and another of an elderly woman shot dead for approaching a commandeered house.

The army's advocate general has opened an investigation and has not issued a report. But officers familiar with the investigation said that those who spoke of the killing of the mother and children did not witness it and that it almost certainly did not occur. Warning shots were fired near the family but not at them, the officers said, and rumor spread of an improper shooting.

The second killing also may not have occurred, they said, although a similar event was recounted by Col. Herzl Halévy in January in Yediot Aharonot newspaper.

"We saw a woman coming toward us," he said then. "We shouted at her. We warned her a number of times not to get closer. We made hand motions. She did not stop. We shot her. When we examined her body, we did not find a bomb belt."

Israeli commanders defend such actions because they say they confronted armed women in Gaza and Hamas gunmen dressed as women and in other guises, such as doctors.

"We had a woman run at us with a grenade in one hand and the Quran in the other," Brig. Gen. Eli Shermeister, head of the military's education corps, said.

Col. Roi Elkabets, commander of an armored brigade told of occasions where fire was held. His troops saw "a woman, about 60 years old, walking with a white flag and six to eight children behind her and behind them was a Hamas fighter with his gun. We did not shoot him."

Almost everything about the Gaza operation has caused controversy: how many Palestinians were killed and what percentage were civilians whether the use of enormous military force was a legitimate response to years of Hamas rocket fire on Israeli civilians.

The military issued its first official casualty count Thursday, saying 1,166 people were killed, of them 295 noncombatants, 709 that it called Hamas terror operatives and 162 men whose affiliations remained unidentified.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza says the number of dead is 1,417, of whom 926 were civilians and 236 combatants. It did not characterize the status of the others.

The Gaza operation was launched in response to rocket fire into Israel by Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups. Thirteen Israelis died during the operation, including three civilians.

Material from The Seattle Times archive is included in this report.


March 29, 2009

by Doug Giles

This past Friday Obama told the planet that he’s about to go medieval on al-Qaeda and the Taliban in a Full Monty AfPaki Attack. God, I hope so, both for our national security and for the sane Muslims who are sick of existing in squalor, blowing themselves up for a living, listening to clerics who are nuttier than squirrel turds, missing out on BLTs, and having their clitorises circumcised for "Allah." If I were a Muslim chick and heard that a knife was destined to be on my naughty bits when I hit puberty, I’d start planning a Shawshank escape. Hey, teacher, leave that clitoris alone! I have two words for that smack: in sane.

Yep, for the globe’s pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, I hope that under Obama’s command our boys rain hellfire and damnation—crusade style—down upon these un-evolved al-Qaeda and Taliban oxygen-stealing toads.

Having said that, I’m having a tough time buying our Teleprompter-in-Chief’s new rowdy persona. I pretty much think that all politicians currently sucking air from Barack to Blagojevich (and every scary clown in between) are full of more crap than a colicky kid’s Huggies. I have officially become what Steven Tyler would call, j-j-jaded (and they’re the ones who’ve jaded me).

As I was watching Obama outline how he plans on throttling Osama and the boys, I kept flashing back to Michael Jackson’s 1987 Bad video. Y’know, the one in which there was a great disparity between the lyrics and what they purported and the dude who was singing the song. Michael said he was bad, but it didn’t register with us rednecks. It just left us snickering.

Obama is saying he’s going to go Mach2, and as stated I hope he carries out what he lined out on Friday to the fullest extent. Heck, I’ll cheer him on if he’ll do half of what he said he’s going to do in this Global War on Terror. Wait, what’s that? We can’t call the war a War any longer or the terrorists . . . terrorists? Why not? It’s motivating for soldiers. It might not be for Pelosi’s babies, but the words "war" and "terror" are meat to the military.

Oh, so now it is an Overseas Contingency Operation? Well superkalafragilisticexpialadocious! (I don’t even know what that means, and I have dictionary.com’d it twice.) Let’s see: We’re overseas, doing an operation with contingencies. Scary, eh? Well, isn’t that special? Why stop there, PC police? Why not call it The Hello Kitty Campaign?

This politically correct hip and cool new nomenclature for killing terrorists in a war presupposes, I suppose, that such semantics will get dyed-in-the-wool terrorists to dial down (while pleasing the Eurosofties) by refusing to define the enemy as they really are, namely in-frickin’-sane terrorists.

For me it’s stuff like that, the PC shtick that makes me fear Obama’s going to waffle and not follow through once the fresh stuff hits the fan in Afghanistan. And Pakistan. That’s nuclearized Pakistan.

Let’s say we compromise, we, the civilian serfs of Obamaland, will call the war on terror an overseas contingency operation (wink, wink), but over there we’ll keep the PC BS out of it, por favor.

For the sake of our soldiers and planet, can we do the following?

1. Can we call it a war?

2. Can we call them terrorists?

3. Can we have a strategy to win? Is that too much to ask?

4. Can we not worry about helping their economy until we send the terrorists in and around the countries to an early hell?

5. Can we have one, not two or ten, but one, Pattonesque General in charge who doesn’t give a plug nickel what any Nancy from NATO thinks? Can our commanders command without fear they’ll go to jail if they hurt an enemy combatant’s feelings? They’re currently being tied up with more red tape than a female intern at Bill Clinton’s casa when Hillary’s out of town.

6. Can we shoot our guns 20 meters from their feet to get them to give us some intel to protect our troops (i.e. Capt. Roger Hill) if need be?

7. Can we keep producing nukes? According to Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, "The president is on a path to denuclearizing the United States by refusing to modernize the arsenal or even to fund fully the steps necessary to assure the viability of the weapons we have."

8. Can we continue the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy? Must we inject open homosexuality into the mix? What’s next? Pink camo patterns? Frank Gaffney again: "It is absolutely predictable that significant numbers of servicemen and women—including many of the most experienced commissioned and noncommissioned officers—will retire rather than serve in conditions of forced intimacy with individuals who may find them sexually attractive. The effect will be to break the all-volunteer force."

9. Can our DI’s continue to curse and yell at our recruits, please? Full Metal Jacket style? Have you ever thought that their inner child might need its ass kicked?

10. Can we keep up our spending for the military? Must we cut our military budget 10%? According to Frank Gaffney, "The cuts will preclude much, if not virtually all, of the modernization that will be required to prepare the U.S. military to contend with tomorrow's wars."

11. Can we keep Gitmo open for business?

12. Can we keep on waterboarding? Waterboarding ain’t torture. That’s what anyone who has ever water skied or wake boarded has had to go through. I know, in the spirit of PCness, let’s call it "teaching them to water ski" minus, you know, the skis, Coronas and the chicks in bikinis. We would get information from them and they would learn a skill, barefooting. It’s a twofer. When Obama heals the world, the "contingents" could then return to Suckistan and be a part of a heroin-funded Water Park and do daily shows. Thoughts? Say what? Their countries don’t have any water? Or fun or entertainment? Oh. Well, never mind.

13. Can we continue to play music like, "I’m proud to be an American" at our bases and in the theater still? Must we now play, "do you really wanna hurt me" or "why can’t we be friends"?

14. Can we refuse to appease uncut, unmellowed Muslims? According to Gaffney, "A ‘respectful’ Obama administration seems keen to embrace those in the Muslim Brotherhood and like-minded Islamist organizations who seek to impose the toxic theo-political-legal program authoritative Islam calls Shariah on distant populations and insinuate it into our country."

I believe if our commanding officers and soldiers are "allowed" to do the aforementioned that our ferocious fighters won’t be frustrated and our enemies will be eviscerated. If not, we could be headed for an AfPaki bog that would make Vietnam look like a tiff with the Vienna Boys’ Choir.

Lastly, I hope to God and all that is holy that Barack isn’t feigning a show of strength for republican applause or that this was some box to check off on his narcissistic bucket list or a pathetic diversionary dog wag to get our eyes off his admin’s mismanagement of our economic slop. Unfortunately, only time will tell.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Dallas police officer Dudley Dumbass Doorite goes strictly by the book. No red light runner rushing his family to a hospital is going to escape being delayed, lectured and cited by Doorite's long arm of the law. Normally, I would designate officer Robert Powell as "Asshole Cop of the Month," but he is too stupid to be an asshole.

How do some of these senseless and insensitive jerks get to be cops in the first place? What is so surprising about this ugly incident is that Dallas has the reputation of having the best educated police officers in Texas. If Powell has a college degree, he is just another example of an educated idiot spawned from a dumbed-down multi-cultural higher education system.

What is truly astounding is how much restraint Ryan Moats showed while being harangued with 13 minutes of Powell's horseshit. With so many professional football players running afoul of the law, Moats' exemplary behavior under very trying circumstances deserves a special recognition award from the NFL.

Here is a report on Doorite's by-the-book police work from The Dallas Morning News:


By Steve Thompson and Tanya Eiserer
March 27, 2009

As a storm of outrage gathered over his department, Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle called a news conference Thursday to apologize for the behavior of an officer who detained a distressed family outside a hospital emergency room.

Kunkle said Officer Robert Powell had been placed on paid administrative leave in connection with the incident last week, in which he stopped a family rushing to visit a dying mother, keeping them for 13 minutes to write a traffic ticket. The woman died before two of the family members were able to see her.

"I am embarrassed and disappointed by the behavior of one of our police officers," the chief told a packed audience of media outlets that included Inside Edition. "His behavior, in my opinion, did not exhibit the common sense, discretion, the compassion that we expect our officers to exhibit."

During the traffic stop, caught on the officer's in-car camera, Powell berated the driver, 26-year-old NFL running back Ryan Moats, and threatened him with arrest for running a traffic light.

After seeing the video earlier this week, several senior police commanders knew they had a public relations crisis on their hands. A Plano police officer who was present at the March 17 incident had reported it to a superior, who had reported it to a Dallas police supervisor.

After news of the video broke late Wednesday, irate calls and e-mails started spilling into police headquarters.

Shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday, at the department's weekly crime meeting, many members of the command staff viewed the video for the first time. The reaction was one of disbelief and head shaking, said several who were present.

"People were just quiet," said Assistant Chief Floyd Simpson, who oversees the city's seven patrol stations. "Just, 'Oh, my God, I can't believe what I just saw.' "

Kunkle took the podium hours later in front of a dozen news cameras. At one point, he seemed to restrain himself from being too candid with his views on the incident.

"When we in the command staff reviewed the tapes," he said, "we were embarrassed, disappointed – it's hard to find the right words and still be professional in my role as a police chief."

The chief also praised Moats and his family for how they handled the officer's behavior.

"They exercised extraordinary patience, restraint, dealing with the behavior of our officer," Kunkle said. "At no time did Mr. Moats identify himself as an NFL football player or expect any kind of special consideration. He handled himself very, very well."

The video shows what happened after Moats, who plays for the Houston Texans, rolled through a red light in Dallas en route to Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano. Powell switched on his lights and sirens, caught up to the family's SUV, and followed for about 20 seconds as they found a parking spot near the hospital's emergency entrance.

Moats' mother-in-law, 45-year-old Jonetta Collinsworth, had been struggling with breast cancer. That night family members received word that they needed to hurry to the hospital because she was dying.

"You really want to go through this right now?" Moats pleaded to Powell. "My mother-in-law is dying. Right now!"

An argument followed, during which Powell lectured Moats and threatened him with arrest.

Kunkle acknowledged Thursday that Powell also drew his gun at the start of the incident.

"I understand that he admits to drawing his gun but not pointing it," the chief said.

Moats' wife, Tamishia Moats, has said otherwise.

"He was pointing a gun at me as soon as I got out of the car," she said. The video shows her pleading with him a moment, then ignoring him and walking into the hospital with her great-aunt.

Kunkle said that for Powell to draw his gun at first may be defensible. The SUV had not immediately stopped for him. People were piling out of it. The situation was uncertain.

"But as quickly as possible, he should have holstered his gun and apologized, once he found out what the circumstances were," Kunkle said, "and then tried to accommodate the Moatses the best he could getting access into the hospital."

Instead, Powell spent long minutes exercising his authority over Ryan Moats, whose grandfather-in-law – the father of the dying woman – stayed behind with him out of concern for his safety, the family has said.

Powell, 25, has not returned calls. He has defended his actions to department officials.

"My understanding is that Officer Powell, even when he saw the videotape, believed he had not acted inappropriately," Kunkle said.

As the video reached a national audience Thursday, featured among other places on the home page of Yahoo.com, it became clear that many people disagreed. Thousands of comments poured onto The Dallas Morning News' Web site, most of them singling out Powell for derision.

"The majority of the comments reflect my position," said Kunkle, "that at the point the officer was told that they were responding to a dying family member, that should have been his concern: to allow those people to get access to that family member."

Police officials have contacted the Moats family to apologize, asked that the ticket be dismissed, and posted a statement of remorse on the department's Web page.

Asked at Thursday's news conference what officers are trained to do in such a situation, Kunkle said even someone with no police training should have known better than to do what Powell did.

"I don't know how you train for these circumstances, other than to hire people with common sense and good people skills," he said.

Department officials say the now-infamous video will likely make its way into the police academy's training curriculum.

Kunkle said the internal investigation against Powell will focus on conduct reflecting poorly on the department, as well as making unwarranted threats of arrest.

Powell also faces investigation for comments he made to another officer after the incident ended – while the video camera was still rolling. He said he "worded" a report in such a way as to justify a January police chase.

"It appears, what he said, to have been contrary to our pursuit policy," Kunkle said, "to where he may have lied about the circumstances under which the pursuit began."

The chief said any one of the charges could lead to dismissal.

WHAT THEY SAID: The traffic stop
Excerpts from Officer Robert Powell and Ryan Moats:

Moats: You really want to go through this right now? My mother-in-law is dying. Right now! ... I got seconds before she's dying, man!

Powell: If my mom was dying I'd probably be a little upset too, but when I saw flashing red and blues, I would stop.

Moats: Did I not stop at the red light?

Powell: You stopped, then you drove through the red light.

Moats: I stopped, I checked the traffic, I waved the traffic off, then I turned.

Powell: This is not an emergency vehicle. You do not have the right to control the traffic.

Moats: OK. All right ... just go ahead and check my insurance so I can go ahead and go. If you're gonna give me a ticket, give me a ticket. I really don't care, just ...

Powell: Your attitude says that you need one.

Moats: I don't have an attitude. All I'm asking you is just to hurry up. Cause you're standing here talking to me...

Powell: Shut your mouth and listen.

Moats: Shut my mouth? Is that how you talk to me, too?

Powell: Shut your mouth and listen. If you want to keep this going, I'll just put you in handcuffs, and I'll take you to jail for running a red light.

Moats: OK. All right.

Powell: I can do that.

Moats: OK.

Powell: State law says I can.

Moats: Yes, sir. Go ahead.

Powell: If you don't settle down that's what I'm gonna do.

Moats: Yes, sir.

Powell: All right, If you don't settle down, your truck's illegally parked – I'll tow that as well.

Moats: Yes, sir.

Powell: OK, I can screw you over. I'd rather not do that. Your attitude will dictate everything that happens, and right now, your attitude sucks.

Moats: Yes, sir.

Powell: OK, I turned my red and blues on as you were going over the bridge ...

Moats: You think I'm gonna stop when my wife's mother is dying?

Powell: You are required to stop. What you're doing does not matter. Red and blues, you have to stop. I can charge you with fleeing right now.

Moats: Yes, sir. ...

Powell: I can take you to jail. I can tow your truck. I can charge you with fleeing.

Moats: Yes, sir, you can. I understand.

Powell: I can make your night very difficult.

Moats: I hope you'll be a great person and not do that.


Los Angles Times


In November, Lovelle Mixon finished serving a 9-month sentence for violating parole. By late February, his parole officer had lost track of him. A month later, he killed four Oakland police officers.

By Andrew Blankstein and Maria L. LaGanga
March 24, 2009

Lovelle Mixon spent much of the last decade cycling in and out of state prison. His last stint ended in November, when he was released on parole.

By the time Oakland motorcycle officers pulled over the 26-year-old former janitor Saturday afternoon, he was a wanted man again -- this time for missing numerous appointments with his parole officer.

Authorities say Mixon opened fire on the two officers, killing them and later fatally wounding two SWAT officers who stormed the apartment in which he was hiding.

The case is raising new questions about the state's parole system, which critics say does a poor job of monitoring offenders once they leave prison.

There are more than 16,725 people in California wanted on various parole violations -- including 164 in Oakland and 6,532 in Los Angeles County.

California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, a former mayor of Oakland, said authorities have long struggled to monitor the movements of parolees such as Mixon -- violent offenders with a pattern of committing new crimes.

"I think that's one of the darker secrets of the whole prison industry, that the . . . people who are let out are not well-supervised in many cases, although not all," Brown said. "The supervision isn't there. The surveillance isn't there. The job training and preparation is not there."

Officials fear the problem will get worse if budget cuts cause the early release of more inmates from jails and prisons.

There are about 122,000 parolees on the streets in California, according to the most recent report from the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. About 12% of them have violated the terms of their parole and are considered at large. Warrants have been issued for their arrest, but many will remain on the streets for weeks and months.

The parole officer handling Mixon's case was responsible for 70 parolees, 18 of whom were classified as high-risk. Experts say the 70-to-1 ratio is average for parole officers in large California cities.

Oakland police spend much time looking for wanted parolees, Brown said, taking away from their other crime-fighting duties.

"When I was mayor, there was a third of the parolees, from the moment they get to Oakland, they're on the run," he said. "That then burdens the police with having to chase them as well as doing their other work."

Scott Kernan, undersecretary of operations for the Department of Corrections, said Monday that the state's 2,200 parole agents generally do a good job of tracking their parolees, as well as helping them find jobs and integrate back into society.

"This is obviously a terrible tragedy," Kernan said of the four officers' deaths. Corrections officials released a timeline showing at least eight contacts between Mixon and his parole agent after his release Nov. 1.

Mixon had served a nine-month sentence for violating the terms of his parole.Mixon had previously served a six-year state prison sentence for assault with a firearm. He was also a suspect in a murder in Alameda County, but prosecutors did not have enough evidence to charge him in the case, Kernan said.

Earlier this year, Mixon submitted to a series of drug tests and was referred to two employment agencies.

But on Feb. 18, his parole agent showed up at his mother's home and was unable to locate him. After two additional attempts to contact Mixon, authorities on Feb. 27 issued an arrest warrant, and the state revoked his parole. His case was referred to the state's Fugitive Apprehension Team.

The week of March 6, the team and Oakland police officers visited three addresses where Mixon was thought to have been, including his mother's home. A week later, state officials contacted U.S. marshals after receiving a report that he could have been in the Auburn, Wash., area.

It turned out Mixon was in Oakland all along. On March 21, he was pulled over for a routine traffic stop, leading to the shootings that ultimately claimed the lives of four Oakland police officers, along with Mixon. Oakland police said Monday that a day before the shooting, detectives had connected Mixon's DNA to an unsolved rape case. It's unclear whether the two motorcycle officers knew this when they pulled him over.

Brown said officials need to be more selective about granting parole to violent offenders -- and more aggressive about tracking them once they leave prison. At one point, the department tried a pilot program of placing GPS bracelets on gang-member parolees to monitor their movements. It was not continued.

"The big failure is in the preparation of the people they release," Brown said. "And in the control and supervision of the people they release. This is a problem not just for Oakland but for the whole state.

L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca said local authorities need to work more closely with parolees to get them reintegrated into community life.

"You have to start with programming," Baca said, referring to job and other social programs for parolees. "Without that contact, you are [adding to the] paranoia that they are going back to prison. It puts law enforcement in the direct line of fire."

Times staff writers Richard Winton and Garrett Therolf contributed to this report.


I've predicted that the ban on assault rifles will be reinstated because of the Oakland police deaths and the allegations that Mexican drug cartels get their military-style weapons mainly from Texas gun dealers.

In today's Townhall.com, David Harsanyi has a column which debunks the claims that the drug cartels obtain those weapons from the USA. Although his column advocates an end to the War on Drugs, his remarks on how the stream of deadly arms reaches the Mexican cartels is well worth noting.

Here, excerpted from Harsanyi's "Make Sense, Not War" column, is what he wrote about the supply of arms to the cartels:

....Washington never wastes a crisis. The erupting violence south of the border has allowed certain politicians a chance to climb on the anti-gun hobbyhorse, as well. We are, if you haven't heard, unable to prevent the massive shipments of weapons to Mexico.

The problem with this well-known fact is that it's highly dubious.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week, titled "Law Enforcement Responses to Mexican Drug Cartels," one senator after another tried to induce law enforcement officials, who have every motivation to play along, to claim that military-style arms are streaming into Mexico from the United States.

Not one expert agreed.

The Los Angeles Times, in fact, recently reported that the "enhanced weaponry" used by drug cartels "represents a wide sampling from the international arms bazaar, with grenades and launchers produced by U.S., South Korean, Israeli, Spanish or former Soviet bloc manufacturers. Many had been sold legally to governments, including Mexico's, and then were diverted onto the black market."


From the St. Petersburg Times: We asked for your ideas to fix the economy. You sent back far more than we could print. Some of you were serious. Some of you were kidding (we think). As Congress sends President Obama a stimulus package nearing $1-trillion, you have plans of your own: Raise taxes! Slash taxes! Make China pay! Make athletes pay! Invest in bullet trains, nuclear reactors and missions to space! Or, marijuana could save us. See what you think.

I am reproducing one respondent's fix. He may have been kidding, but..........

St. Petersburg Times

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Patriotic retirement:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force … pay them $1 million apiece severance with stipulations.

They leave their jobs. Forty million job openings — unemployment fixed.

They buy new American cars. Forty million cars ordered — auto industry fixed.

They either buy a house or pay off their mortgage — housing crisis fixed.

David Otterson, Largo

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


In a previous blog, "Dumbing Down Our Science Classes" (11-8-08), I wrote about how the Christian conservative creationists on the Texas State Board of Education were trying to insert the teaching of "Intelligent Design" - a euphemism for creationism - alongside Darwin's Theory of Evolution. Well, according to Lisa Falkenberg's commentary in yesterday's Houston Chronicle, they are at it again.

The creationists on the education board are trying to convert Genesis to science. What they are really doing is to prove that Darwin was right. To me it is obvious that within some species there are those that evolve much slower than others. Apparently, the brains of the social conservative board members have not developed beyond the brains of apes from which some believe man has evolved.

Here is Lisa Falkenberg's Chronicle commentary:

by Lisa Falkenberg

Ever seen a cat-dog? Of course not! That just proves it’s impossible for one species to evolve into another.

The human brain seems not to have changed since homo sapiens first appeared 150,000 years ago. That means evolution is false.

We don’t have every bone, so the fossil record undercuts the theory of evolution.

A few scientists have fudged proof of evolution, so that calls into question all the other evidence.

These are the brilliant observations and insinuations of a particularly dangerous right-wing fringe group: the seven-member social conservative bloc of the State Board of Education. (The cat-dog example, if you must know, is the brainchild of Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, who seems to be incapable of understanding that it takes millions, if not billions of years for so-called macro-evolution to occur.)

If the Legislature is the circus, the Board of Education is the sideshow. And this week, they’re back in town.

The event in Austin would be laughable if the stakes weren’t so high.

The 15 board members hold in their hands the future of science curriculum in Texas public schools for the next decade. This week, after what promises to be another intense round of debate, they’ll cast final votes on how to teach evolution.

Their decision has national implications as well since curriculum changes could make it into textbooks tailored for the massive Texas market and sold across the country.

In January, creationists on the board tentatively failed by one vote to keep a requirement that teachers present the strengths and so-called "weaknesses" of Darwin’s 150-year-old theory of evolution. This week, they’ll try to restore the language, which is the latest subtle weapon of creationists and subscribers to the religion-based theory of Intelligent Design.

The effort to retain the "weaknesses" language, which ignored the advice of a board-selected panel of experts, failed last time thanks to four swing voters. They included one Democrat, Rick Agosto of San Antonio, who often votes with social conservatives, and three brave Republicans, Bob Craig of Lubbock, Patricia Hardy of Fort Worth and Geraldine Miller of Dallas.

Apparently, this group actually did their homework, listened to the experts, and sided with science over ideology. But they’ve paid a price. Agosto risks falling out of favor with board officers. And the Republicans have had everything from their party loyalty to their faith in God questioned as a result of their vote.


And just in case there was ever any doubt that this debate was essentially about politics, even the Texas Republican Party has weighed in on the issue. GOP leaders passed a resolution urging the board to overturn its decision to get rid of the "weaknesses" language.

The conservative bloc also will try and keep two amendments hastily presented and approved in January that cast doubt on the fossil record and a basic tenant of Darwin’s theory: common descent.

Board Chairman and ardent Darwin-denier Don McLeroy, R-Bryan, pushed through one of the amendments after reading aloud a long list of quotes attempting to cast doubt on evolution from reputable science publications and authoritative books by revered scientists. McLeroy never directly claimed that he culled the quotes himself. But as he held up the books he was quoting from, and talked about checking out volumes on evolution at his local library, I certainly got the impression he’d done his own research.


But blogger and Kansas biology teacher, Jeremy Mohn, revealed McLeroy’s bad clip job in his extensive blog posting, "Collapse of a Texas Quote Mine." Mohn also provided the context and authors’ explanations lacking in McLeroy’s quote list.

Mohn discovered McLeroy had lifted much of the research from another creationist blog. McLeroy’s quotes were in virtually the same order, and he repeated a page number error.

McLeroy acknowledged to me that he had copied some of the research from the creationist site because he liked "the format," although he said he had indeed read one of the books. He added: "A lot of the quotes I did get on my own."

Yet another fine testament to the level of scholarship that goes on at the State Board of Education.


Lovelle Mixon, the 26-year-old parolee who killed four Oakland police officers, had an extensive criminal record which included convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, possession of marijuana, auto theft, identity theft, forgery, grand theft and numerous offenses as a juvenile. After serving nearly five years in prison for assault with a firearm during an armed robbery he was released on parole. Mixon was returned to prison for nine months as a parole violator before being re-paroled last November.

According to the Los Angeles Times, a warrant had been issued for Mixon's arrest because "he missed a mandatory meeting with his (parole) agent las month amd was deemed a 'parolee at large'." A mandatory meeting? This tells me that Mixon's parole supervision was limited primarily to office visits. In that case, he was receiving what is known as a "paper parole."

What is a paper parole? It is a parole based not on field investigations, but on the periodic written reports required of all parole officers, reports which rely on information provided by the parolee during office visits. Since the overriding purpose of parole is to PROTECT THE PUBLIC from criminals, a paper parole is meaningless and absolutely worthless! However, this is not say that had Mixon been given adequate field supervison, the four Oakland officers would still be alive.

A parole officer cannot ascertain what a parolee is really doing through office visits, or even with field visits made by appointment.

During an office visit the parolee is most likley to say that things are going well, that he is living with his wife and kids or his parents, and that he is working at Earl Scheib's auto paint and body shop. In fact, he may not be living where he says he is and he may not be working at all. Except for those few instances when it may be psychologically advantageous to see a parolee on the parole officer's turf, office visits can be scrapped for all the good they do.

And those field visits by appointment don't help much either. The appointments are often made by phone calls to family members telling them when the parole officer will show up, That will give the parolee time to clean up his act so he can, with the cooperation of family members, appear to be living with them, when in fact he is not. Wives or parents will usually lie to parole officers to keep the parolee from being returned to prison.

If the supervison of parolees is reduced to a paper parole, there can only be two reasons for such a sad state of affairs. One reason would be that there are not an adequate number of parole officers, thus leaving the officers with unmanageable large case loads. The other reason is that the parole officers are afraid to visit parolees, especially at nights, in dangerous high-crime neighborhoods.

Most parolees do not live in middle-class or wealthy neighborhoods. I suspect the reason for paper paroles is that parole officers, especially the sissy social worker types, are scared shitless of getting shot, stabbed or stomped. If a parole officer is afraid to go out at nights to visit a parolee, then he has chosen the wrong profession. He should consider some other line of work, like passing out checks at the welfare office.

PAROLE WORK IS NOT FOR SISSIES! It requires men and women WITH GUTS! Meaningful parole supervision requires a work schedule other than the usual 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday work week. It requires surprise nighttime field visits, not appointed ones, to ascertain how a parolee is actually doing. And some of those surprise visits should be conducted on weekends.

The best way to avoid paper paroles is to stop hiring people with Master of Social Work (MSW) degrees to supervise parolees. Well educated cops and correctional officers are best suited for this line of work. They are much more likely to have the courage to go out at nights into dangerous neighborhoods. The MSW is going to feel that he didn't go to college for five years to get the shit kicked out of him. The ex-cop and ex-correctional officer is willing to face the challenge of a dangerous job, just as he did in his former occupation.

I don't know if the State of New York still uses the dual parole system it used back when I was a California Parole Agent. Each parolee in New York was, in effect, supervised by two parole officers. One officer, usually an MSW, took care of the parolee's social work needs. The other officer was an investigative officer who went out into the field to ascertain whether or not the parolee was reinvolved in criminal activities. That worked out rather well. It was not at all unusal for a parolee to be arrested by the investigative parole officer at the same time the sissy social worker was filling out his report on how well the parolee was doing.

Again, I am not contending that if Mixon's parole had been closely supervised with surprise nighttime field visits, he would not have ended up gunning down the four Oakland police officers. However, I think it is fair to say that the four offices might still be alive today had Mixon been the recipient of adequate parole field supervison. Anyway you cut it though, there can be no doubt whatsoever that the police and the public are endangered whenever the supervision of parolees is reduced to nothing more than a paper parole.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


In his comments on my blog "Parolee Guns Down Oakland Cops" (3-22-09), blogger Tom said....Any word on if any flash bangs were used or gas grenades before they attempted a dynamic entry? I am reproducing some excerpts from an extensive Los Angeles Times report by Maria La Ganga and Peter King which recounts the bloody chain of events in more detail than my earlier blog.

A resident across the hall from the apartment where the parolee hid out "heard a crash on a door and a young girl shout, 'Stop, wait!' Then came an explosion and rapid bursts of gunfire." To answer Tom's question, the explosion heard by the neighbor indicates that the SWAT team used a flash bang upon entering the parolee's hideout.

Here are some excerpts from the Los Angeles Times report:

By Maria L. La Ganga and Peter H. King
Los Angeles Times

March 23, 2009

OAKLAND, Calif. — It was early Saturday afternoon, and Curtis Mixon was talking with his 26-year-old nephew. Lovelle Shawn Mixon had called on a cellphone from his newly purchased 1995 Buick as he drove through east Oakland.

"Vel said the police was pulling him over," the 38-year-old medical records clerk recalled Sunday. "He said, 'I just pulled over.' "

The uncle listened as his nephew -- stopped on MacArthur Boulevard less than two blocks from a police station and around the corner from his sister's apartment -- spoke with a motorcycle officer and searched for his driver's license and registration.

Mixon told his uncle he would have to call him back.

He never did.

What followed was an almost inexplicable chain of events that left Mixon and four Oakland police officers dead and sent this city into an all-too-familiar ritual of municipal grief and self-examination.

According to authorities and witnesses, Mixon opened fire as two motorcycle officers stood behind his car, apparently checking his papers. He had been released from prison in November and was wanted for an alleged parole violation.

Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, died despite a citizen's efforts to revive him.

Officer John Hege, 41, was taken to Highland Hospital, where he was declared brain-dead Sunday.

While police swarmed the neighborhood, Mixon escaped around the corner to 74th Avenue in a residential neighborhood of bungalows, many with pit bulls fenced in the front yard. He shook on the locked back door of one house, startling the young girl inside, and then ducked into the ground floor of his sister Enjoli Mixon's apartment building.

Inside the apartment, another sister, 16-year-old Reynete Mixon, was unaware that her brother had returned. In an interview, she said she was in the bathroom when a SWAT team kicked down the door after a two-hour manhunt.

"I was yelling at them that I was in the house," Reynete said Sunday afternoon in front of her grandmother's modest Oakland home not far from where the shootings occurred. "They didn't really try to figure out who I was or if there was someone inside the house."

Across the hall, neighbor Mya Moore heard a crash on a door and a young girl shout, "Stop, wait!" Then came an explosion and rapid bursts of gunfire.

Peeking through her front window, the 27-year-old Oakland native saw one police officer, his head split open by gunfire, being dragged by officers through the building's main door to the sidewalk. Another was carried out to a police SUV and rushed away.

Ervin Romans, 43, and Daniel Sakai, 35, both sergeants and SWAT team members, did not survive, and as the gunfire subsided Moore could hear the agonized cries of officers as they absorbed the toll of a brief but furious gun battle: "I heard one of them saying, 'It's not looking good. It's not looking good.' "

Moore could hear other officers shouting commands to Mixon's sister. She said there had been "a lot" of shooting "on both sides, from him and from them." Oakland Police Department spokesman Jeff Thomason said Mixon was armed with an assault weapon in the apartment shootout. He would not say what kind of weapon was used in the earlier shooting.

Mixon, according to authorities, had a long criminal history. In addition to a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, he had earlier convictions for marijuana possession, auto theft and a string of violations committed as a juvenile, Thomason said.

He had served nine months in prison for identity theft, forgery and grand theft before being released in November. According to state prison officials, Mixon missed a mandatory meeting with his agent last month and was deemed a "parolee at large." A warrant was issued for his arrest.

It is not unusual for parole officers to lose contact with their charges. At least 164, or 11%, of parolees assigned to Oakland's three parole divisions were considered at large last week, according to a report by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

"When they do abscond, the department lacks the resources to track them down, and it's very hard to find people in a vast urban environment," said Ryken Grattet, a UC Davis professor who has written extensively about California's parole system.

The violence Saturday was among the worst of its kind since 1970, when four California Highway Patrol officers were killed in a shootout in Newhall.

Monday, March 23, 2009


With the exception of some police officials, you will find few gun control advocates among conservatives. Among liberals, you will find few gun ownership advocates. If liberals had their way, only police officers would be armed in this country. Many liberals would go a step further by advocating that cops should go about their duties unarmed.

President Obama is not a centrist - he's a genuine liberal. The top people in his administration are, by and large, liberals. Both houses of Congress are controlled by liberals. All this worries America's gun owners. Are they justified in being worried? I think so. Is the Obama administration likely to go for a repeal of the Second Amendment to our Constitution? I don't think so. But they don't have to. All the liberals have to do is to pass restrictions on gun ownership, restrictions which, in technical terms, would not infringe on our Second Amendment rights.

The way in which the liberal Obama administration is dealing with medical marijuana may be a harbinger of coming restrictions on gun ownership. Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to stop raiding medical marijuana dispensaries that are complying with state laws in California and the 12 other states that have legalized the possession, use and sale of pot for medical purposes. Never mind that federal laws prohibit the possession and sale of marijuana. (See how those state laws are being abused in my blog "Can Veterinary Marijuana Be Far Behind?" [3-4-09].)

Holder is the guy who called whites "cowards" for not coming to grips with racism. With recent mass killings in this country and in Germany, you can bet one of the first things he will recommend is that the Obama administration reinstate the ban on assault-style weapons which the Bush administration allowed to expire. He will probably have the support of law enforcement for that ban because the parolee who gunned down four Oakland police officers last week had an assault rifle when he killed two SWAT officers.

Why is Holder's order barring DEA from raiding pot pharmacies relevant to gun controls? Because both are parts of the liberal pro-drug and anti-gun agendas. After reinstating the ban on assault rifles, I can see a number of other gun regulations on the horizon which will eventually limit the type of guns we can possess and their bullet capacity.
And I can also see us gun owners being required to register each of the guns we own.

The control of the White House and Congress by liberals explains why gun dealers are unable to keep guns in stock. A worried public is buying up guns as fast as they can be restocked on gun store shelves.


In today's Townhall.com, Mike Adams describes how Western Oregon University dealt with a student who legally carried a concealed weapon on campus. Here is Mike Adams' column:

by Mike S. Adams

I like teaching police officers because it virtually assures that no one will ever go on a shooting spree in my building at UNC-Wilmington. The officers I teach are, of course, allowed to carry guns – and many do as they go on duty directly after attending classes. Because criminals a) are aware of this, and b) are generally rational, the next shooting rampage will not be happening in my general vicinity.

The fact that most academics are generally ignorant of the benefits of guns on campus is readily apparent to those following a recent case at Western Oregon University located in Monmouth, Oregon. The case involves a former Marine named Jeffrey Maxwell who used to carry a derringer to school along with a small knife. He carried both concealed.

Maxwell carries his gun because, like many former Marines, he has a license to do so. His permit allows him to carry although not in federal buildings or in courthouses. He was studying in the student union when Monmouth Police officers approached him to ask whether he was armed.
Maxwell admitted he had a gun and knife in his pocket and an unloaded rifle in his truck. He was arrested and cited for possessing a firearm in public. Of course, he was let go by a district attorney who recognized that Maxwell simply had not committed any crime. But the fact of his complete innocence didn’t stop the university from going after Maxwell.

The university should have apologized to Maxwell. Instead, a student judicial panel suspended him from school for violating a student conduct rule banning the possession of weapons on campus.

The Oregon legislature could try to pass a law banning firearms possession - even for those with concealed carry permits - in places other than courthouses or federally owned buildings. If they tried to pass such a law they could well succeed.

But, in this case, Maxwell’s decision to carry was not challenged by any change in state law. It was challenged by yet another lawless university trying to trump state law with its own handbook. (For those who have not noticed, universities also try frequently to trump federal law with their handbooks. Often, they try to do both at once. It’s an old trick that often succeeds without challenge).

But the Maxwell case involves a more novel trick. It involves having this falsely accused man (who, remember, served his country in the Marines) get a mental health evaluation before returning to school. This may be worse than Hamline University’s decision to suspend a student simply for advocating concealed weapons permits on campus. That student was also ordered to submit to a psychological evaluation before returning to school.

To make matters in this case even worse, Maxwell is being told to write a 10-page paper on following the law and accepting responsibility for his actions. This requirement is coming from university that did not follow the law and, in fact, is trying to trump it. And the university seems unwilling to take responsibility for doing so.

Speaking for the Oregon university system, Di Saunders correctly asserts that the question of allowing concealed weapons on campus is one of student safety. But she incorrectly asserts that allowing permit holders to carry on campus will make the campus more dangerous. No peer-reviewed publication has ever come to that conclusion based on actual evidence. And many have come to a contrary conclusion.

But university administrators rarely make decisions based on evidence. Instead, they make decisions based upon feelings. How will they feel when the next Jeffrey Maxwell is unable to stop the next Seung-Hui Cho?

Editor's Note: In 2007, Cho killed 32 people and wounded 25 at Virginia Tech.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


In today's Townhall.com, George Will has an interesting column on how Phoenix is affected by the killings and kidnappings committed by Mexican drug cartels and human traffickers. Will notes that, contrary to popular opinion, the immigrant population in Phoenix, whether legal or not, commits only 10 percent of the city's crimes even though they make up 24 percent of the city's population. Why is it that while those immigrants live in pockets of poverty similar to those of blacks, the percentage of crimes by blacks is larger than their percentage of the population?

It would not surprise me if crimes committed by latino immigrants in other citiies would also constitute a smaller percentage of crimes than their percentage of the population.

Here is George Will's Townhall.com column:

by George Will

PHOENIX -- Police Chief Jack Harris, a solid block of a man with a shock of thick gray hair, is stolid and patient but there are limits. Clearly he is weary of explaining that this is one of America's safest large cities, with declining rates of violent crime and property crime, even though it has one of the nation's highest rates of home foreclosures. Unfortunately, there are the kidnappings.

There were 368 reported kidnappings for ransom here last year -- perhaps more than anywhere else, other than Mexico City where kidnapping is such a long-established industry that the wealthy sometimes buy kidnap insurance. It is difficult to know how many kidnappings occurred there or here: Many are not reported because it can be dangerous to do so. And because they are settled before there is time to report them. Receiving a finger severed from the kidnap victim often speeds ransom transactions in Mexico. Not here yet.

In any case, law-abiding citizens here are rarely at risk. Most of the kidnappings are drug smugglers and human traffickers preying on one another.

Some of the smugglers who bring in drugs from Mexico bring people, too, along desert trails and through dry washes, to "drop houses." Regarding both drugs and people, Phoenix is a transshipment point: Most of both are distributed to other states. But some of the people become pawns in horrific transactions. A person in the United States might pay, say, $2,500 to have someone smuggled into the country, and then might receive a phone call: Pay another $5,000 and we will stop raping or torturing -- do you hear the screams? -- the person you want.

A small "drop house," with no functioning toilet, may, Chief Harris says, hold 60 people -- he has seen 100 -- in squalor. Fifty of them just want to move deeper into America in search of work, but all of them might have only their underwear, their clothes having been taken away to prevent them from running away.

The cross-border traffic in narcotics and people is, Harris says, just one way globalization is shaping crime. When the United States tightened controls on supplies of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, the precursor chemicals for manufacturing methamphetamine, American motorcycle gangs were pushed out of the business. The production of those drugs, which had been done in many improvised labs in rural America, or even in American kitchens, moved to Mexico, where drug-makers imported ephedrine and pseudoephedrine from China.

To the problem of reducing regular crime -- homicides in Phoenix were down 24 percent in 2008 -- Harris has applied proven methods. They include the nimble deployment of manpower to high-crime hot spots, close relations between police and neighborhoods, and intense concentration on the small number of career criminals who commit a large majority of the crimes -- often hundreds a year by each individual.

Phoenix's familiar sorts of crimes have not much to do with most of the city's immigrants, legal or illegal. They commit a smaller percentage of the crimes (10 percent) than they are of the city's population (24 percent). But the lurid crimes that are giving this city an unmerited reputation as dangerous represent the seepage of the Mexican cartels into his city.

For them, Harris says, "The answer is not in Phoenix. The answer is in Washington." We know how to close a border, says Harris with acid dryness -- " build a wall" and deploy "machine gun nests." But, "I personally think that is stupid." For now, however, the United States "has turned immigration policy over to Mexican thugs." So we have reached a point at which barbed wire, car batteries and acid become the business tools of kidnapper-torturer-extortionists.

With a force large enough to police the nation's fifth-largest city, Harris can deploy 60 officers to deal with one kidnapping. That would be impossible in smaller cities, to which such crime might be driven by success here. But "don't give me 50 more" officers to "deal with the symptoms." Rather, says Harris, who was raised in a rough Phoenix neighborhood, give me comprehensive immigration reform that controls the borders, provides for whatever seasonal immigration the nation wants, and one way or another settles the status of the 12 million who are here illegally -- 55 percent of whom have been here at least eight years.

For those whose profession it is, law enforcement sometimes seems like bailing an ocean with a thimble. Harris wants not a bigger thimble but a smaller ocean.


The story below illustrates why policing can be a very dangerous occupation. It has often been said that policing is 95 percent utter boredom and five percent sheer terror. The Oakland tragedy was one of those moments of sheer terror.

I wonder what, if any, degree of parole field supervision (as opposed to office visits) this cold blooded killer received? This awful event did end on a high note with SWAT killing that worthless piece of shit. Now at least we won't have to listen to defense attorneys spouting off about his abused childhood.

A fourth Oakland officer, the one wounded during the initial traffic stop, was declared brain-dead shortly after this story was published. He remains on life-support pending the harvesting of his organs for transplantation.

by Terry Collins and Lisa Leff

OAKLAND, Calif. – A police officer was battling for his life and three more were dead after a parolee with an "extensive criminal history" opened fire at a routine traffic stop and hours later gunned down members of a SWAT team searching for him.

The gunman was also killed Saturday, capping a day of violence that the Oakland Police Department said was the worst in its history. Never before had three police officers died in the line of duty on the same day.

"It's in these moments that words are extraordinarily inadequate," said Mayor Ron Dellums at a somber news conference Saturday night.

The mayhem began that afternoon, when two motorcycle patrol officers stopped a 1995 Buick sedan in east Oakland, Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said. The driver opened fire, killing Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, and gravely wounding Officer John Hege, 41.

The gunman then fled on foot, police said, leading to an intense manhunt by dozens of Oakland police, California Highway Patrol officers and Alameda County sheriff deputies. Streets were roped off and an entire area of east Oakland closed to traffic.

About two hours later, officers got an anonymous tip that the gunman was inside a nearby apartment building.

A SWAT team had entered an apartment to clear and search it when the gunman shot them with an assault rifle, police said.

Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35, were killed and a third officer was grazed by a bullet, police said.

SWAT team members returned fire, killing 26-year-old Lovelle Mixon of Oakland, Acting Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan said.

Officer Hege suffered brain damage and may not survive, his father, Dr. John S. Hege, said late Saturday.

"It is a stunning thing to face," he said.

Grieving officers at the police station hugged and consoled each other. People left four bouquets of white roses under a granite memorial wall inside the building lobby that lists 47 officers killed in the line of duty. The wall shows the last officer killed in Oakland was in January of 1999.

Police said Mixon wielded two different weapons. One gun was used at the first scene and an assault rifle was used at the apartment building where he was hiding.

Jordan said Mixon had an "extensive criminal history" and was wanted on a no-bail warrant.

"(Mixon) was on parole and he had a warrant out for his arrest for violating that parole. And he was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon," said Oakland police Deputy Chief Jeffery Israel.

Police said they did not know exactly why the officers initially stopped the suspect, but said it apparently was a routine traffic stop.

People lingered at the scene of the first shooting. About 20 bystanders taunted police.

Tension between police and the community has risen steadily since the fatal shooting of unarmed 22-year-old Oscar Grant by a transit police officer at an Oakland train station on Jan. 1.

That former Bay Area Rapid Transit officer, Johannes Mehserle, has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday. Violent protests erupted on the streets of Oakland in the weeks after Grant's death, further inflaming tensions.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger planned to fly to Oakland on Sunday from Washington, D.C., to meet with police and Mayor Dellums, the govenor's office said.
Associated Press writer Tim Reiterman contributed to this report.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


In 1954, when I obtained my masters degree, I was desperate for work. Married only a few months, both of us flat broke and no car to get around in, I took the first job I was offered. It was as a general science and social studies teacher at newly opened South Oak Cliff High School (SOC) in Dallas. Most of the students came from upper-middle class families but the school also served the Lisbon area of Dallas, a tough run-down white neighborhood known for its young thugs.

Ben Matthews, the principal at the time, wanted a teacher to handle those hoodlums and, because of my police background, he thought I would fit that bill. Let me just say that my three years at SOC with "my thugs" were a personally rewarding experience.

While I was at SOC, the Dallas Independent School Distric was still segregated and thus SOC was an all-white public school. Between 1965 and 1970, the student body was transformed from almost 100 percent white to almost 100 percent black. One of its famous alumni is former NBA star player Dennis Rodman, he of orange or green dyed hair fame.

So what does that have to do with this blog? As you know, I have previously blogged about the myth of "student athletes" at our colleges and universities. I've long suspected that the myth also applied to some of our nation's public high schools. The other day I read a newspaper article about "caged fights" being staged at good old SOC. The article also mentioned that the school had previously been involved in a grading scandal involving the eligibility of its basketball players.

Here is how Wikipedia called attention to the "caged fights," the grading scandal and the principal's personal misconduct:

A 2008 investigation within the Dallas school district's Office of Professional Responsibility found that then-principal Donald Moten as well as other school officials staged cage fights among troubled students, making them fight in a steel utility cage inside a boys locker room. The investigation showed that Moten and other employees "knew of the practice, allowed it to go on for a time, and failed to report it."

South Oak Cliff High was stripped of its 2005 and 2006 state basketball championships after investigators determined Moten had coerced teachers into changing athletes' grades. Forfeiture of its 2007 state title is still under consideration.

District reports also confirmed unauthorized pep rally fundraisers that Moten used to fund personal gambling trips. Moten had a previous checkered work history at the Dallas Police Department – one that included staging his own kidnapping and the fatal shooting of an elderly crime-watch volunteer. Moten was moved from South Oak Cliff High to Jackson Elementary School in 2006, and resigned from the district in 2008.

I am sure there are many other high schools which jack up the grades of athletes so that they will remain eligible to play basketball, football or whatever. They just haven't been caught. And when these semi-literates receive their college athletic scholarships, they are unprepared for a college or university curriculum and unable to pass the required English, math and science courses.

The colleges then enroll their "student athletes" in dozens of one-hour credit physical education activity courses - basket weaving, ping pong, badminton, bowling, billiards, hiking, croquet, masturbating, etc. - for which they are given "A"s without having to attend any classes. They accumulate enough of those phony "A"s to cancel out the "F"s they get in English, Math, Biology, etc., thereby maintaining their NCAA eligibilty.

The sad truth, especially for African-Americans, is that most of those football and basketball players never graduate and only a select few make it into the pros. That means the overwhelming majority of "student athletes" have merely been exploited by their schools. When their playing days are over and their dreams of a pro career have evaporated, all they are left with are unmarketable memories of games won and lost, teammates, lots of parties and loads of sex.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


In yesterday's Townhall.com, Pat Buchanan let loose with one of his frequent tirades against Israel and its American lobby, AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). What incensed Buchanan this time were the attacks on his friend Charles Freeman after he had been nominated to chair the Obama administration's National Intelligence Council. The attacks led Freeman to withdraw his nomination.

I am not sure that Buchanan hates Jews, but there can be absolutely no doubt that he hates Israel. Both Buchanan and Freeman have a long track record of bashing Israel and siding with the Palestinians. While the attacks against Freeman by AIPAC may have been somewhat over the top, they are typical of what all lobbies do whenever their interests are threatened. Buchanan also eviscerated a number of individuals who, in addition to AIPAC, responded to the nomination by attacking his buddy Freeman.

Buchanan, a certified right winger, also directs his venom at the right wing Likud party. He prefers a left-of-center Kadima government which, as he fully well knows, is very likely to make foolish concessions to his beloved Palestinians. [Read Caroline Glick's take on the Israeli left in my blog "Oy Vey! - Right vs. Right vs. Right" (3-18-09).] Likud leader Bibi Netanyahu is the last person Buchanan wants to see at the head of Israel's government.

Townhall.com published my comments on Buchanan's article. Here is what I wrote:

"Hey Pat, when are you going to get off that anti-Israel and anti-AIPAC elixir that you've been thriving on for all these years?

OK, Israel has suppressed the Palestinians. But why? Because the Palestinians, including Abbas and his so-called "moderate" Fatah faction, are mortal enemies of the Jewish state and have vowed over and over again to destroy it. To them the "road map" to peace is merely a temporary pathway to a Palestinian state existing "from the river to the sea."

AIPAC is no different than any other lobby in this country. They all play hardball whenever their interests are threatened. You and your buddy Freeman have been long-time supporters of the Palestinians and you both squeal like stuck pigs whenever your ox is being gored.

As for your views on Likud, thank heavens Bibi Netanyahu will be Israel's next prime-minister. He is the only Israeli politician with the backbone to resist some of the suicidal concessions asked of Israel by the international community, concessions which will guarantee the eventual dissapearance of a Jewish state."

Wanting to be fair to Buchanan after having slammed him for his latest Israel bashing tirade, I am reproducing that venomous Townhall.com column herewith:

by Patrick J. Buchanan

During Nixon's historic trip to China in 1972, his interpreter and I, free for a few hours, conscripted a driver to take us on a tour of Beijing. Somewhere in my files are photos from that day we toured the grim city of Chairman Mao in the time of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

The interpreter: Charles Freeman – the same Charles Freeman Adm. Dennis Blair chose to chair the National Intelligence Council that prepares National Intelligence Estimates on critical national security issues such as Iran's nuclear program.

Educated at Yale and Harvard Law, Freeman has served his country in Delhi, Taipei, Bangkok, and Beijing. He was Ronald Reagan's deputy assistant secretary of state for Africa and Bill Clinton's assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. George Bush I named him ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Freeman was our man in Riyadh when Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and 500,000 U.S. troops arrived to evict the army of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.

In 1997, Freeman succeeded George McGovern as president of the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC) – and he began to speak out.

He opposed the bombing of Serbia and said aloud what few privately deny: Reflexive support for Israel's repression of the Palestinian people is high among the reasons America is no longer seen as a beacon of liberation in the Arab and Muslim world.

Freeman echoed the Obama of yesterday, who bravely blurted, "Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people."

At MEPC, however, Freeman committed a great crime. He published The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, which went onto the New York Times bestseller list – and put Freeman on AIPAC's enemies list.

Hence, when his name surfaced as Blair's choice to chair the NIC, the Israel Firsters went berserk, with Steven Rosen declaring him to be a "textbook case of the old-line Arabism" that infected the Department of State when Gen. George Marshall was secretary.

And who is Rosen?

A former fixture at AIPAC, Rosen faces imminent federal criminal prosecution under the Espionage Act for transferring top-secret Pentagon documents to the Israeli embassy. Rosen's accomplice, Larry Franklin, is serving a 12-year sentence.

Picking up the Rosen dog whistle, the neocommentariat came howling. To Gabriel Schoenfeld, late of Commentary, Freeman is a "China-coddling Israel basher." Tom Piatak of Chronicles found no fewer than five blogs from National Review Online, in two hours, savaging Freeman, two by Jonah Goldberg and two by Michael Rubin.

Rich Lowry of NR calls Freeman "Chas of Arabia," a diplomat of "odious" views, a "lap dog" and "blinkered ideologue" who enjoys "pandering to and making excuses for the world's dictators and terrorists."

To The New Republic's Jonathan Chait, Freeman is a "fanatic." To Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, formerly of the Israeli army, Chait's piece was dead on. To TNR ex-publisher Marty Peretz, Freeman is a "bought man." To Michael Goldfarb of The Weekly Standard, Freeman is a "shill for the Saudis," who defends "corrupt Arab states that foment and support terror."

Freeman is denounced as a shill of Saudi Arabia – by people who have spent careers shilling for the Israeli lobby and Likud.

Within this smear bund (Murray Rothbard's phrase), who has given America a tenth of the patriotic service and loyalty of Chas Freeman?

What were the specific charges? That, in private life, Freeman advised a Chinese company. Would the Israel Firsters have used that argument against Al Haig or Henry Kissinger?

Saudi contributions to MEPC should disqualify Freeman, they say. But what did they say when Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, David Wurmser, and the rest with inextricable ties to Israel stove-piped to the press the cherry-picked War Party propaganda lies about a "Prague connection" between Mohammed Atta and Iraqi intelligence, yellow cake from Niger, Saddam and al-Qaeda, Saddam and the anthrax attacks, "mushroom clouds," "aluminum tubes," and WMDs?

Who among them questioned State's decision to hand the Iran portfolio to Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a creation of and front for AIPAC?

Realizing the assaults would not end, Freeman last week withdrew, saying, "I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction of a foreign country."

The foreign country is Israel; the political faction Likud.

Nor did Freeman shrink at naming the source of the noxious campaign of slander against him.

"The tactics of the Israel lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth."

"A lobby," Steve Rosen confided in an AIPAC internal memo, "is like a night flower; it thrives in the dark and dies in the sun."

Yes, and long ago, Al Smith addressed the age-old problem of the Rosens within: "The best way to kill anything un-American is to drag it out into the open, because anything un-American cannot live in the sunlight."

Well done, Ambassador Freeman.


Earlier this year, I blogged BAIL DENIED, LA-Z-BOY JAILED IN TEXAS LOCKUP (1-4-09), which consisted of a story by Associate Press writer Angela Brown about shenanigans in the Montague County Jail. In yesterday's Houston Chronicle, Brown had a follow-up piece which went into greater detail about the sordid mess that was going on in that jail. Here is her new story:

March 17, 2009

Inmates had drugs, weapons, sex, officials say

by Angela K. Brown
Associated Press

MONTAGUE, Texas — For months, perhaps longer, the Montague County Jail was "Animal House" meets Mayberry. Inside the small brick building across from the courthouse, inmates had the run of the place, having sex with their jailer girlfriends, bringing in recliners, taking drugs and chatting on cell phones supplied by friends or guards, according to authorities. They also disabled some of the surveillance cameras and made weapons out of nails.

The doors to two groups of cells didn't lock, but apparently no one tried to escape — perhaps because they had everything they needed inside.

The jailhouse escapades — some of which date to 2006, according to authorities — have rocked Montague (pronounced mahn-TAYG), a farming and ranching town of several hundred people near the Oklahoma line, about 65 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

There were whispers in the past year about an affair between a female jailer and male inmate, but folks dismissed the rumors as small-town gossip. It was not until late last month, when a Texas grand jury returned a 106-count indictment against the former sheriff and 16 others, that the inmates-gone-wild scandal broke wide open.

The indictment charged Bill Keating, sheriff from 2004 until December, with official oppression and having sex with female inmates. The others indicted include nine guards — seven women and two men — who were charged with various offenses involving sex or drugs and other contraband. Four inmates also were charged.

Local, state and federal authorities are still trying to figure out how this small-town Texas jail was turned into something resembling a frat house.

The new sheriff, Paul Cunningham, said he was stunned while touring the jail for the first time just hours after being sworn into office Jan. 1. He saw partitions made of paper towels that blocked jailers' view into cells, and pills scattered about.

Cunningham, who had not worked for the county before his election in November, immediately ordered the jail closed and moved the nearly 60 inmates to another institution.

"It literally scared me — not for myself but for the employees," Cunningham said. "How somebody kept from being killed was beyond me."

Cunningham, who defeated Keating in the Republican primary last spring, suggested that Keating lost interest in the jail after that and turned his back on the place.

Separately from the indictment, Keating, 62, faces up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty in January to charges he coerced a woman into having sex with him by threatening to jail her on drug charges.

Keating's attorney, Mark Daniel, called the latest charges against the former sheriff "kind of silly in the face of the federal investigation, like piling on." He declined further comment.

The investigation began with a tip last fall from inside the jail.

An official received a handwritten letter on notebook paper from an inmate arrested on charges of kidnapping his girlfriend. The inmate, Luke C. Bolton, said they met in 2007 when she was a jail guard and he was behind bars on another charge. He said their sexual relationship started in a jail shower and continued during her late-night visits to his cell.

"I'm just reaching out for help to show (the jailer) is a person who abused her power. She broke the law by having sex with me in cell #16 while I was an inmate. ... Please help me. I am telling the truth. Everybody knows I am," Bolton wrote, offering to take a polygraph.

The former jailer is among those indicted. Bolton remains in jail.

Current employees said they were shocked by the scandal.

"People say, `How could you not know?' Well, it didn't go on during our shift," said Jerrie Reed, who works the day shift. Reed said the then-sheriff sometimes asked to see female inmates privately in his office, but she assumed they were informants. She said none ever seemed upset as she led them shackled to and from Keating's office.

Cunningham said it appears that most of the illegal activities occurred in a certain section of the 100-bed, one-story jail, which has several long corridors that make it difficult for anyone to hear what is going on beyond their immediate areas.

The jail will reopen this week following about $1 million in repairs, needed after years of damage by inmates, Cunningham said. Also, the entire department is getting new uniforms, badges and vehicles.

"I just think this office needs to change the image completely," the new sheriff said. "I think we're well on our way to getting the public's confidence back."


Israel's fractious multi-party political system is not unlike that in Italy where governments change almost as often as we change our underwear. In yesterday's Townhall.com, columnist Caroline Glick illustrates the problem Bibi Netanyahu is having in trying to form Israel's next government. He not only has problems with the left wing Kadima and Labor parties, but he also has problems with three right wing parties.

Three right wing parties - National Union, Habayit Hayehudi and Israel Beiteinu - are fighting with each other and all three are fighting with Netanyahu's Likud party. Consequently, Netanyahu has been trying to form a national union coalition with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni. Unfortunately, Livni has been making demands that if carried out, would greatly weaken Netanyahu's ability to reject the international community's call for Israel to make suicidal concessions to the Palestininas.

My readers know that I have always been a strong supporter of Bibi Netanyahu. I will be very dissapointed if, as Glick reports, Bibi caves in to Livni's demands. Here is Caroline Glick's Townhall.com column:

by Caroline B. Glick

A balance of delusion exists in Israeli politics between Left and Right. On the Left, we have leaders who, when given the facts about strategic options, decide they don't like the facts and make new ones up that suit them better. And on the Right, we have leaders who, when given the facts about their political options, decide they don't like the facts and make up new ones that suit them better.

The Left's latest fantasy is its enthusiasm for a deal with Hamas that would free Gilad Schalit. By Tuesday night, Israelis should know whether or not our outgoing leftist government will agree to release between 450 and 1,000 Palestinian terrorists - including mass murderers serving multiple life sentences - in exchange for Schalit whom Hamas and it sister terror groups have held hostage since June 2006.

Schalit's plight presents two stark choices. We can surrender to all of Hamas's demands and reunite Schalit with his suffering family, or we can keep a stiff upper lip, refuse to negotiate with terrorists and wait until we receive actionable intelligence on his whereabouts and attempt to rescue him. We know what will happen in both cases.

If we surrender to Hamas's demands, we will ensure more families will suffer the same plight as Gilad Schalit's family. We know that this will happen because we have been through this process repeatedly. Every single time we have released terrorists for hostages, the result has been more murdered Israelis and more hostages. As before, the only thing we still don't know is the names of the next victims. They could be any of us. And so, in a very real sense, they are all of us.

If on the other hand the outgoing government opted for the stiff upper lip approach, we know that we would increase the chance that Schalit will be murdered. Hamas can kill him at any time. And in the event that the IDF stages a rescue raid, there is a good chance that both Schalit and his rescuers will return to their families in wooden boxes. Then again, we also know that by not negotiating with terrorists, and by keeping jailed terrorists in prison, we stand a better chance of protecting the lives of the rest of us.

Both choices, of course, are miserable ones. But they are the only choices. We can surrender or we can fight. There is no third option.

In keeping though with the Left's penchant for dreaming up imaginary choices, the Kadima-Labor government decided to negotiate Schalit's release with Hamas, but to pretend that in doing so, it is doing something other than surrendering. Rather than admit that by agreeing to release hundreds of murderers from jail he is placing every single family in the country at risk, outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert describes his urgent pleadings to Hamas as a noble gesture towards the Schalit family, a gesture which supposedly gives expression to Judaism's commitment to Jewish captives. That is, he has moved the discussion of the terrorist release from the realm of reality to the realm of metaphysics.

Much to his discredit, Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu has refused to criticize the outgoing government's surrender to Hamas. There is some justification for his silence. The media is so adamant about moving forward with the release of mass murderers that were he to speak out, he would set the media against him even before he is sworn in to office. But then again, the overwhelmingly leftist media will treat Netanyahu with hostility regardless of what he does. So it seems unreasonable that he has maintained his silence on this issue.

The one politician who has been outspoken in opposing the mass release of terrorists has been MK Ya'acov (Ketzeleh) Katz, the leader of the National Union party. Together with the families of terror victims who oppose the government's intention to release their relatives' murderers, Katz has been the loudest voice in politics stridently opposing the deal. He has made clear that it will endanger the country and guarantee the murder and abduction of still more Israelis.

Katz and the National Union have it right on this issue. Indeed, they have it right on just about every major strategic issue they have championed. From their opposition to the failed Oslo process to their opposition to the failed Camp David summit, from their opposition to the withdrawal from south Lebanon and Gaza to their opposition to the failed road map peace process and the failed Annapolis peace process, the National Union has been right all along. It has always stayed true to its principles.

One might think that given the National Union's consistent track record that it would be the largest party in the Knesset. Surely voters would reward it for its wisdom. But one of course would be wrong.

The National Union received four seats in the Knesset. Its sister party, Habayit Hayehudi won three mandates. The two parties ran separately despite their ideological and cultural affinity because their members simply couldn't get along. They couldn't compromise on who would appear where on the party list.

And this is the beginning of the story.

For all of its strategic wisdom and clearheadedness, the National Union is a political home for delusional politicians. In all of its various incarnations - from Tehiya to Herut to Moledet to the National Union - the party has never been able to understand what it means to govern. It has never been able to recognize that politics is the art of compromise.

In 1992, angry that Likud under prime minister Yitzhak Shamir bowed to US pressure and participated in the Madrid peace conference, Tehiya brought down his government. In so doing, it brought in Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres and brought the country the Oslo process and Yasser Arafat in Ramallah.

In 1999, angry at Netanyahu for bowing to US pressure and agreeing to the Wye Plantation accords, the National Union brought down his government. In so doing, it brought in Ehud Barak and Yossi Beilin, the withdrawal from Lebanon and the Camp David summit.

In all, the total of Israelis who have been killed due to Oslo, the withdrawal from Lebanon and the Palestinian terror war which followed Camp David comes to around 2,000. The country's weakened position today in the US and Europe as well as in the Arab world, would have been inconceivable in 1992.

In both 1992 and 1999, the National Union and its predecessors were faced with two choices. They could remain ideologically pure by bringing down their own government and so risk empowering the Left, or they could recognize that governance is the art of compromise, keep a stiff upper lip and work from within the government to mitigate the strategic damage that in their view Shamir and Netanyahu caused by bowing to American pressure.

And in both cases, the National Union rejected its real choices in favor of an imaginary one. Both in 1992 and 1999 it chose to leave the government while pretending that there was no difference between Likud and Labor. By choosing this route, it effectively committed itself to strategic as well as political blindness since it was forced to claim - wrongly - that there was no difference between Madrid and Oslo or between Wye Plantation and Camp David.

Last Friday it was disclosed that on Wednesday afternoon, Netanyahu had reopened coalition talks with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni. Those talks had ended weeks ago after Livni demanded that Netanyahu agree to share the premiership with her through a rotation agreement, give her full control over strategy for dealing with the Palestinians and adopt the establishment of a Palestinian state as the primary goal of his government. All of Livni's demands were nonnegotiable and all of them, both separately and together, were unacceptable for Netanyahu. And so, he rejected them and for the past two and a half weeks has been concentrating his efforts on building a governing coalition with the right wing and religious parties.

Avigdor Lieberman's Israel Beiteinu with its 15 Knesset seats is set to be Likud's main coalition partner. Lieberman has been the most outspoken champion of a Likud-Kadima-Israel Beiteinu coalition. This makes sense from his perspective. Lieberman is viewed both by the West and by much of the country's leftist elite as a racist. Due both to his legal worries and to the fact that his actual policy preferences of surrendering the Galilee and the Negev to the Arabs are far left of center, Lieberman cares deeply about what the Left thinks of him. In his view, the only way to be accepted as legitimate in leftist circles is to compel Likud to move to the left by bringing Kadima into the government.

In part to satisfy Lieberman - without whom he cannot form a government - and in part because he remembers that it was the National Union which brought down his government 10 years ago, Netanyahu began his coalition building talks with Kadima. They collapsed only because Livni made demands that he could not meet.

In the current round of talks, Livni has reportedly maintained her demands, but now Netanyahu is reportedly accepting them - at least partially. The question that needs to be asked is what has changed in three weeks? Why has Netanyahu decided that Livni's previously unacceptable demands are now acceptable? The only reasonable answer is the National Union. Last week Katz scuttled negotiations with Likud because it refused his demand for the Construction and Housing Ministry. On Thursday, he joined hands with Habayit Hayehudi chairman MK Daniel Herschkowitz and announced that neither of the two parties would join Netanyahu's government if he doesn't meet all of their demands, including the Ministry of Education for Herschkowitz. Without the two parties, Netanyahu lacks a parliamentary majority.

It is possible that Katz and Herschkowitz are bluffing. In fact, it is likely that they are. But what their behavior shows clearly is that Netanyahu is correct when he says that a coalition that relies on them is inherently unstable. And so, he has moved back into Kadima's orbit.

If the Olmert-Livni-Barak government goes ahead with its plans to spring hundreds of mass murderers from prison in its last days in office, the threat they will unleash will just be added to the long list of serious threats that our strategically delusional leftist government has created and expanded during its tenure in office. It would be the height of irony - and tragedy - if due to the Right's proven political incompetence, the same political Left remains in power as the main partners in the Netanyahu government and so is given yet another opportunity to ruin the country.