Thursday, December 31, 2015


What better way to end the year than with a bit of British humor. Happy New Year everybody!


Since Black Lives Matter was formed to protest the killing of black men by white cops, whites should form White Lives Matter Too to protest the killing of white victims by black men

President Obama hs expressed his concern about the number of young black men getting killed by white cops and he has said he supports Black Lives Matter.

While black murderers prey mostly on black victims, there are many, many more whites getting killed by young black men than young black men getting killed by white cops. Since Black Lives Matter was formed to protest the killing of black men by white cops, whites should form White Lives Matter Too to protest the killing of whites by blacks.

Would Obama support White Lives Matter Too? Maybe, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. The Democratic base would quickly label White Lives Matter Too as a racist organization.

The following 8-day crime spree serves as a good example of young black men killing whites:


By Brittany Lewis

December 29, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS -- One of the men charged with the death of Amanda Blackburn has been charged in a second deadly robbery, according to a press release from the Marion County Prosecutor's Office.

Larry Jo Taylor has been charged in the robbery and shooting death of Rolando Gonzalez-Hernandez.

Hernandez was found unresponsive next to his vehicle in the 4500 block of Candletree Circle at the La Joya Apartments on the city's west side on November 4, 2015.

Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the scene. A coroner's report later determined the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head where the bullet hit the brain.

Taylor has been charged with murder, felony murder and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.

According to the probable cause affidavit, three witnesses provided statements to detectives that Taylor personally indicated to them he had robbed and shot someone at the apartment complex where Gonzalez was found.

One of the witnesses told a detective they heard Taylor talking about robbing someone and only getting $10 from them.

Another witness said Taylor showed them a news clip about a person being shot at La Joya Apartments.

A third witness said Taylor told them he shot someone at La Joya Apartments.

In addition, Taylor's cell phone allegedly made several calls and received several calls in the area of 4500 Candletree Circle between the hours of 4:10 and 8:56 p.m. Officers were dispatched to the shooting at 8:31 p.m.

Taylor and Jalen Watson are currently facing charges in the shooting death of Amanda Blackburn the morning of Nov. 10.

Blackburn was shot in the head during the break-in while her son was in the next room. Her husband, pastor Davey Blackburn, came home to find her unresponsive. She died less than a day later of her injuries. Blackburn was 12 weeks pregnant when she was killed.

Taylor was also charged with murder causing the termination of a human pregnancy. That charge could add an additional 6-20 years to his sentence.

The two are also accused of committing two additional burglaries on the morning of November 10, along with a third defendant, Diano Gordon.

Taylor and Watson are also charged for the alleged rape and burglary of a woman that happened on November 3, 2015 in a west side apartment.

According to court documents, the two men entered the woman's apartment while she was home alone. They then demanded money and stole items from her.

Taylor is accused of sexually assaulting the woman while holding a handgun to the back of her neck.

The woman reported that a cell phone, laptop, TV, jewelry, headphones and a purse were removed from the home. Her car was also reported stolen.

Police believe the stolen items were sold to people living near 56th Street and Georgetown Road. Those people who bought the items identified Watson and Taylor by a photo array. The woman's vehicle was also recovered nearby.

Taylor was first identified as a suspect in the Nov. 3 sexual assault and burglary by DNA evidence.

Call 6 Investigates has learned in June 2015, Taylor was arrested for indecent exposure in the Nora Plaza on Indianapolis' north side. In September 2014 , Taylor was arrested on burglary charges. People were in the southside home when Taylor and several others broke in.


Senior Obama Administration official: “Going dark on Bibi? Of course we wouldn’t do that.”

When we got exposed for spying on Germany’s Angela Merkel and other allied leaders, our Liar-in-Chief promised to curtail NSA’s spying on our allies’ heads of state. However, NSA continued to spy on Netanyahu and his anti-Iran nuke deal activities. A senior Obama Administration official said, “Going dark on Bibi? Of course we wouldn’t do that.”

I think Obama’s personal hatred of Netanyahu had as much to do with the continued spying as the Iran nuke negotiations.

Despite promising to curb eavesdropping on foreign leaders, the White House had NSA listen in on conversations between Israeli leaders and US lawmakers, according to The Wall Street Journal

Israel Hayom/Reuters
December 30, 2015

The U.S. administration continued to spy on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even after U.S. President Barack Obama announced two years ago he would curtail the National Security Agency's eavesdropping program on friendly heads of state, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The NSA's foreign eavesdropping included phone conversations between top Israeli officials and U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing current and former U.S. officials.

White House officials believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Netanyahu's campaign against the nuclear deal with Iran, according to the unnamed officials cited by the Journal.

According to the report, NSA eavesdropping suggested to the White House that Netanyahu and his advisers had leaked details of the U.S.-Iran negotiations, which they learned through Israeli spying operations.

The Journal reported that the NSA's "targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups."

Asked for comment on the Journal report, a White House National Security Council spokesman said: "We do not conduct any foreign intelligence surveillance activities unless there is a specific and validated national security purpose. This applies to ordinary citizens and world leaders alike."

Following former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's disclosures of the agency's spying operations, President Barack Obama announced in January 2014 that the United States would curb its eavesdropping of friendly world leaders.

A number of such figures, including French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, were put on a list declared off-limits to U.S. eavesdropping. But Obama maintained the monitoring of Netanyahu on the grounds it served a "compelling national security purpose," the Journal reported.

After Israel's lobbying campaign against the Iran nuclear deal went into full swing on Capitol Hill, it did not take long for administration and intelligence officials to realize the NSA was sweeping up the content of conversations with American lawmakers, the newspaper said.

A 2011 NSA directive said direct communications between foreign intelligence targets and members of Congress should be destroyed when they are intercepted. But the NSA director can issue a waiver if he determines the communications contain "significant foreign intelligence," the Journal said.

During Israel's lobbying campaign in the months before the deal cleared Congress in September, the NSA removed the names of lawmakers from intelligence reports and weeded out personal information, the newspaper said.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, who also serves as the intelligence and atomic energy minister, remarked Wednesday that if the report turns out to be true, Israel will file an official protest.

"Israel does not spy on the U.S. and we expect our greatest ally to treat us in the same way," Katz said. "If the claims on the matter emerge as true, Israel must file an official protest with the American administration and demand that it cease all activity of this kind."

Referring to recently released spy Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted of spying on the U.S. for Israel, Immigrant Absorption Minister Zeev Elkin noted that "precisely in light of the reports of secret eavesdropping, in violation of official declarations that they would stop spying on friendly nations, the [U.S.'s] insistence on the Pollard issue -- the restrictions they imposed on him and their unwillingness to allow him to come to Israel -- seem all the more unreasonable."

"The State of Israel does not spy on the U.S. since the Pollard affair, and our expectation is that the U.S. will return the favor," he added.


Another day, another idiotic Ken Paxton motion

By Craig Malisow

Houston Press
December 29, 2015

You've gotta hand it to embattled Texas Attorney General Ken "Have I Got a Deal for You" Paxton, indicted on three counts of securities fraud: the guy will do anything he can to create a distraction from the actual charges, which look really bad on paper. Really bad.

His latest trick is to accuse the special prosecutors of being paid more than state law allows, the Austin American-Statesman reports. Paxton's lawyers (who are being paid by Paxton, since his charges don't stem from work he did as an elected official) alleged in a recent motion that the three prosecutors' pre-trial work is statutorily capped at $1,000 each. But the lawyers, Brian Wice, Kent Schaffer, and Nicole Deborde, are each being paid $300 per hour.

Paxton's lawyers argue in the motion that, "Naturally, the private lawyers are entitled to command their market rates for private cases. “However, with their appointments, they have stepped into the shoes of public servants and must be accountable to the public trust. The $300 per hour rate is not only excessive under (state law), but also when compared to any relevant amount.”

The prosecutors told the American-Statesman, "Mr. Paxton’s considerable resources would be far better spent in mounting a defense as opposed to his misplaced and inexplicable concern with our compensation."

They sort of have a point.

Although Paxton said in a September news release that he looks forward to his day in court, the approximately 8,000 motions he's filed since his indictments suggest otherwise: instead of hastening the opportunity to proudly declare his innocence before a judge and jury, he's paying his lawyers to file motions like this most recent one, which will then require the allegedly overpaid prosecutors to rack up more taxpayer-footed fees to respond.

According to the American-Statesman:

"It was unclear how much work prosecutors have put into the Paxton case. During an August pretrial hearing, Schaffer told Gallagher that many hours had already been spent on the case, including compiling more than 20,000 pages of documents. Since then, there have been numerous court filings from prosecutors and a daylong pretrial hearing on 10 ultimately unsuccessful attempts to have the charges dismissed."

Some might say the filing smacks of desperation and pettiness, that a criminal defendant is not in the position to be crowing about "the public trust." Although the Texas State Securities Board let Paxton off with a slap on the wrist, the criminal charges are serious, and if Paxton can show that the charges are bogus, he needs to do so, either in a motion that actually addresses the allegations against him, or on that day in court he allegedly desires.

EDITOR’S NOTE: My problem here is that the Republicans nominated Paxton for Attorney General, despite knowing about the securities fraud accusations, because he was more far-out right than his better qualified opponents. Once nominated, this jerk was a cinch to win the general election.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


A new book by Jewish scholar Ziony Zevit has caused outrage among Christians and Orthodox Jews because he suggests Eve was created from Adam's baculum, or penis bone

Holy shit! Eve was created from Adam’s prick. Holy shit! Ah, but it seems as though God left Adam with a boneless prick so he could bang Eve with it.

According to the Daily Mail:

The theory, put forward by revered biblical professor Ziony Zevit, suggests God made Eve from Adam's baculum, or penis bone.

To support his theory, Professor Zevit said the Hebrew word 'tsela', taken from the Old Testament, does not translate as 'rib' and instead 'refers to limbs sticking out sideways from an upright human body.'

The word 'tzela' or 'tsela' appears a number of times and in different contexts in the Old Testament, and Professor Zevit said this is what led translators astray.

He claims that the word was used for any part of anatomy protruding from the body, including feet, arms and penis.

Professor Zevit said this explains why man has no baculum, unlike most mammals, and why men don't have an uneven number of ribs compared to women.

Elsewhere, he added that Genesis 2:21, in which God closes the flesh beneath the 'tsela', refers to the flesh that exists on the underside of the penis.

Defending his theory, he wrote that his understanding of how Eve was formed is based on analysis of the use of Hebrew in the Garden story.

Professor Zevit has not only pissed off Christians, but he has infuriated Orthodox Jews as well.


The NBC Today show host’s quiz of Trump was a veiled attempt to embarrass the GOP frontrunner over his attack against Bill Clinton for the former president’s philandering

I like the NBC Today show and I like co-host Savannah Guthrie. But on a couple of occasions during the current political campaign she has exposed her partiality toward the Democrats by trying to embarrass some of the Republican candidates for the presidency when she interviewed them. Another such incident occurred Tuesday morning when she quizzed Donald Trump over his attack against Bill Clinton for the former president’s philandering and bringing up that he had been branded a racist..

When it was announced that Bill would start campaigning for his wife, Trump attacked the former president for screwing around with women as a rebuke to Hillary’s claim that she is a champion for women while accusing The Donald as being sexist.

In her quizzing, Savannah repeatedly tried to show that Trump was wrong in bringing up Bill’s sordid sexual escapades and tried to get him to admit he called the former president a racist. But Trump refused to fall for her traps and instead went on the attack.

Trump said that if Hillary is going to run on women’s issues and use Bill in her campaign, then the former president’s "abuse of women" is “fair game.” Trump said:

"There was certainly a lot of abuse of women. You look at whether it's Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones or many of them. That certainly will be fair game. Certainly if they play the woman's card with respect to me, that will be fair game."

When Guthrie tried to show that Trump called Bill a racist, Trump said:

"He was called that by the Obama campaign, he was called that loud and clear, he was extremely insulted. They called him a racist. I don't believe he is a racist if you want to know the truth, but they called him a racist."

In telling Trump they were out of time, Savannah appeared clearly flustered over her inability to embarrass The Donald. If anyone got embarrassed it was Savannah Guthrie!


Officer Rosario Hernandez de Hoyo, Commander Frank Roman and Lt. Luz M. Soto were fatally shot by a disgruntled colleague on Monday News
December 28, 2015

Three Puerto Rican police officers were fatally shot by a colleague at police headquarters in the city of Ponce Monday morning.

The unidentified police officer was taken into custody after allegedly killing Officer Rosario Hernandez de Hoyo, Commander Frank Roman and Lt. Luz M. Soto, according to El Nuevo Dia.

"There are no words to describe this tragedy where three colleagues have lost their lives. Our condolences for the families," Puerto Rico Police Deputy Superintendent Col. Juan Rodriguez Davila said on the Twitter page of Puerto Rico's police force following the incident.

Officials said that the officer was disgruntled and had taken Soto and Roman hostage when Hernandez de Hoyo attempted to intervene. All three were fatally wounded. The suspect was also wounded and taken into custody.

The shooting is currently under investigation and charges have not yet been filed against the unidentified officer.

Funeral arrangements for the slain officer are pending.


Eight people were stabbed in a violent street fight in Anaheim early Sunday morning that police said appeared to be gang-related

BY Deborah Netburn

Los Angeles Times
December 28, 2015

ANAHEIM, California -- Eight people were stabbed in a violent street fight in Anaheim early Sunday morning that police said appeared to be gang-related.

The fight broke out at 1:20 a.m. in the 400 block of Sycamore Street, said Sgt. Daron Wyatt of the Anaheim Police Department.

The victims were taken to a local hospital. Two arrived in critical condition, Wyatt said.

But as of Sunday evening all eight victims were listed in stable condition, Wyatt said.

Two of the victims were young women between the ages of 16 and 17, and one was a 45-year-old man, Wyatt said. The others were in their late teens or early 20s.

A witness said the attackers fled in a white Toyota Camry. But one of the officers arriving at the scene spotted the Camry and was able to stop it.

Six suspects, including three men and three women, were arrested in connection with the incident, Wyatt said. The suspects ranged in age from 17 to 24.

EDITOR’S NOTE: And Bob Walsh thinks things are bad in his hometown of Stockton.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


A Phoenix cop shoots man throwing rocks at police officers outside the cop shop

The peace and quiet outside a Phoenix precinct cop shop early Saturday morning was shattered by a man hurling rocks at the shop and the cops. A rock shattered a window in the cop shop. One officer was struck by a rock that bounced off of a tree. The cops didn’t take kindly to that. One officer up and shot the rock hurling dipshit to death.

The officer that was struck was slightly injured and treated at the scene.

There will no doubt be the outcry of why they had to shoot some poor deranged rock thrower. For the uninitiated, let it be known that rocks are dangerous weapons that can cause serious injury or even death.

Now let’s hope the police brass don’t throw the shooting cop under the bus.


Three suspects are in custody after leading authorities on a 300-mile chase in the Gulf of Mexico

6 South Florida
December 26, 2015

According to a Lee County Sheriff's Office news release, authorities were alerted to a boat theft in Fort Myers Beach early Thursday.

When officers arrived, the suspects allegedly attempted to ram their vessel with the stolen 36-foot Invincible. The sheriff's office says the suspects then fled, outrunning local and federal authorities in an open fishing boat capable of speeds over 70 mph.

Authorities chased the suspects for over 20 hours off the Florida coast. Petty Officer 3rd Class Ashley Johnson tells the News-Press that they eventually were stopped about 65 nautical miles off the coast of Cuba.

The Coast Guard is bringing the suspects and the stolen boat back to Florida.


A 33-year-old man fell to his death off San Diego’s Sunset Cliffs when he made a misstep because he was texting while walking

On Christmas Day, a 33-year-old unidentified man was strolling atop San Diego’s Sunset Cliffs, a popular tourist attraction. He was there to view the sunset. He was looking down on his cellphone when – Oops! – he went over the edge and fell 60 feet onto some rocks. Needless to say, he croaked.

Witnesses heard him scream, “Help, please God save me.” By the time three good Samaritans riske their own lives by descending to his side it was too late. Perhaps God was busy texting and thus failed to hear the man’s plea.

Idiot texting while walking – and you see a multitude of these fools every day – have knocked down and injured other pedestrians or been knocked down and injured themselves. They’ve been struck by cars while crossing the street merrily texting along. Others have fallen off cliffs all across the country while messing around with their cellphones. A number have plunged into lakes and rivers.

If some of you cellphone texters are looking for God to save your dumb asses, remember that Your Savior may himself be busy texting at the precise moment when you really need him.

Monday, December 28, 2015


Because cops are now afraid to shoot someone even if justified, policing has evolved from reactive policing to proactive policing, and now to reluctant policing, thereby placing the lives of cops as well as citizens in jeopardy

I just got through watching Rampart, a film starring Woody Harrelsin as a dirty Los Angeles cop in in the late ‘90s. In one scene he almost beats a man to death by striking him repeatedly with his baton. A bystander filmed the beating and the video was exploited by the media Later, while in the office of a deputy district attorney, his attorney said something like:

“The only thing wrong here is that some guy with a camera caught a cop doing police work.”

Doing police work? With the proliferation of cellphone cameras, them days are gone forever. Everyday somewhere in this country some cop is being indicted for using excessive force. And lately hardly a month goes by without one or more cops being indicted for murder after shooting someone.

The vast majority of police shootings are justified, or to put it bluntly, used to be justified if a police officer believed that his life was in imminent jeopardy. Whether the person shot was armed or not made no difference as long as the officer believed he was about to be killed. With the ‘Ferguson Effect,’ them days too are gone forever.

Nowadays just about every police action is cought on cellphone cameras, in some cases by three or more cameras. Those videos go viral on the internet and are then exploited by the media. When it’s a white cop using excessive force on or shooting a black man, groups like Black Lives Matter create a shitstorm of protests not only where the incident took place, but also in other cities across the country. And if a black man was shot by a white cop while unarmed, riots are liable to occur in several cities.

President Obama has publicly voiced his concern about the number of black men shot by the police. He and other politicians have politicized police shootings. Police and city officials are now scared shitless by possible repercussions to the use of force by police officers. Police administrators are now throwing their officers under the bus and prosecutors are quick to seek indictments of officers for using excessive force, and if it was a deadly police shooting, an indictment for murder.

Of course, there are a few police shootings that are not justified.

The shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014 by Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke just cannot be justified in that McDonald was walking away, thereby posing no threat to any officers, and as shown in a video, was about 10 feet away when Van Dyke shot him 16 times.

The shooting last April of 50-year-old Walter Lamer Scott in North Charleston, S.C. by officer Michael Thomas Slager is another shooting that clearly does not appear justified in that Slager took careful aim and shot Scott in the back as the man was fleeing on foot following a traffic stop.

But as I said before, the vast majority of police shootings are justified even if the person shot was unarmed. Cops don’t get up in the morning and look in the mirror while asking themselves, “I wonder how many assholes can I shoot today?” They do not want to shoot anyone, even the assholes. But they also want to return safely to their families.

So, if an officer believes that an adversary is about to seriously injure or snuff him, he is justified in shooting that person dead. But it appears them days are gone forever too.

Because they fear getting fired and prosecuted, cops are now afraid to shoot anyone, even when justified. And that is putting their lives at even greater risk, and the lives of citizens as well. An officer who hesitates to shoot could become a casket case in the blink of an eye by getting beaten, stabbed or shot to death.

This brings up the matter of some unarmed powerful dirtbag physically assaulting a police officer. Why should a cop allow himself to be seriously injured by getting beat up? The answer is simple – he shouldn’t! But if that is a white cop and his assailant is black, Black Lives Matter will be up in arms if he shoots that 'unarmed' black man. And then the brass will likely drop that poor cop in the grease.

Policing has evolved from reactive policing to proactive policing, and now to reluctant policing. And in some cases, reluctant policing amounts to no policing.


Chicago cops responding to a domestic disturbance call open fire on bat-wielding nutcase, killing him and accidentally killing Bettie Jones, a neighbor

Until Saturday, Bettie Jones, 55, was a mother of five and a grandmother of ten who lived in the downstairs apartment of a two-story wooden building on Chicago’s west side. Around 4 a.m. that day, Antonio Legrier, her landlord who lived upstairs, warned her that his son was in a highly agitated mental state.

The cops were called and upon their arrival they were confronted at the building’s front door by Quintonio Legrier, 19, wielding a metal baseball bat. One cop opened fire, striking Quintonio seven times. But oops, one bullet went through the door of Bettie Jones’ apartment, also killing her.

Quintonio, a sophomore at Northern Illinois University, was home for Christmas. The’ Ferguson Effect’ is beginning to take place with questions being asked why the cops didn’t first try to taser the nutcase.

Why was Quintonio shot at multiple times? I say it was due to the PPS syndrome. That stands for ‘Piss Poor Shot’ syndrome. Cops are notoriously poor shots in live combat situations and will empty their guns to make sure they hit their adversary. And in this case, their adversary didn’t even confront them with a gun. I don’t mean to criticize the officer because he may well have been justified in resorting to gunfire, but to the uninitiated this doesn’t look good.

Both Jones and Quintonio are black. The identity and race of the officer had not been released at the time of this writing. If the officer happens to be white, look for the shit to hit the fan.


By Mark Green and Kiersten Nunes

Fox 13 Salt Lake City
December 24, 2015

GRAND COUNTY, Utah -- A pair of brothers in Grand County decided to take it upon themselves to bring closure to an officer-involved shooting from 2010, and after two days of searching, the brothers found human remains police believe belong to the wanted suspect.

That suspect is Lane Leeroy Arellano, who allegedly shot State Park Ranger Brody Young nine times in November of 2010 as Young was checking on a suspicious vehicle near Moab. Young survived the ordeal and returned fire.

The bones were found this week along with a bag containing a handgun and magazine inside a cave-like area, and the two brothers behind the find spoke with FOX 13 News.

Caleb Shumway, 23, and his 15-year-old brother, Jarom, said most folks in the area are familiar with the story, and the pair were on a mission to find any trace of the wanted man during the Christmas break.

“I almost felt certain I could find them,” Shumway said of the search, which he undertook while visiting his family in Moab during a break from college.

That confidence mixed with curiosity led the brothers on a quest to find Lance Leeroy Arellano.

“We all know about the shooting that occurred on Brody Young,” Shumway said.

Young was critically wounded while checking on a suspicious vehicle at the Poison Spider Trailhead near Moab.

“I heard him, you know, yell out, 'You got me' and then, like I backed off, behind my truck a ways, and I just went unconscious ” Young said in a previous interview with FOX 13 News regarding the shooting.

Police say while Young was calling for help, Arellano fled the scene. His ultimate fate was a mystery, until this week.

“I’ve always kind of, here in Moab, wondered if he got away or if he was dead somewhere in the rocks,” Shumway said.

Shumway said he was prepared to spend weeks searching for the remains, even though it was often in tricky terrain.

“The majority of the time that was spent out there was spent in caves, on our elbows and our knees,” he said.

On their second day of searching, the brothers found several bones—leading them on the path to discovering Arellano’s remains.

“He was way down in the cave,” Shumway said. “In fact, the cave he was down in--there was the initial level of the cave that we crawled into and found the first bone, and then the cave tunnels off to the side, and we found a bag, and then we actually found the actual body. It was over some more, and down even deeper in to the ground."

Inside the bag was a pistol, a magazine and a pair of binoculars.

“It’s really exciting finding some closure for all the families involved, all the police involved, and then just getting to be in the middle of it; it's exciting, and it feels good,” Shumway said.

Grand County Sheriff’s Office stated evidence found with the remains leads them to believe they belong to Arellano, but formal positive identification of the remains will be up to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Utah Division of Natural Resources, whom Young currently works for, said Young would comment on the development in the story only after the medical examiner had made positive identification of the deceased.


In reaction to a doctored video on the sale of fetuses, the State of Texas is also stripping Planned Parenthood of Medicaid funding

By Michael Barajas

Houston Press
December 23, 2015

The State of Texas continued its scorched-earth strategy in dealing with Planned Parenthood this week by stopping more than half a million dollars in federal funding the organization uses for HIV prevention and screening across the Greater Houston area.

That money, some $600,000 every year, comes from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but is administered by state health officials. And for nearly three decades, that money has gone to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast to fund HIV testing and counseling, condom distribution and referral services to connect anyone who has the virus with specialized care.

That will end on December 31, when the organization's current contract is set to expire, according to a tersely worded letter Planned Parenthood received late Monday from the Texas Department of State Health Services. “There will be no further renewals of this contract,” the letter states, without further explanation.

In a prepared statement, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast president and CEO Melaney A. Linton said, “All these years, our HIV team has done amazing and admirable work and it is devastating that PPGC will no longer be able to do this work out in the community.”

It's unclear if that money is simply lost or if the state plans on shifting it to other health-care providers in the area (state health officials did not return calls for comment Tuesday).

“We are the largest grantee of this type of grant in Houston, so not renewing our grant will leave a big void for people getting tested and treated in our community,” said PPGC spokeswoman Alejandra Diaz in an email to the Press.

The move follows the state's decision to kick Planned Parenthood out of the Medicaid program just two months ago. In October, state health officials announced they intend to block the $3.1 million in Medicaid reimbursements the organization receives every year for some 13,500 patients who use Planned Parenthood clinics for cancer screenings, HIV tests, contraceptives and other preventative health services.

In his letter to Planned Parenthood clinics earlier this year, state health department Inspector General Stuart Bowen pointed to a recent string of videos shot by undercover anti-abortion activists as undisputed evidence that Planned Parenthood is “no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal, and ethical manner.”

Anti-abortion politicians and activists have claimed the videos prove Planned Parenthood profited from the very legal practice of fetal tissue donation. Those videos, which experts say were so deceptively crafted that they “do not represent a complete or accurate record of the events they purport to depict,” ultimately fueled an unprecedented nationwide assault on the organization that may have helped inspire the attack on a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic the day after Thanksgiving. (Robert Dear, who authorities say shot and killed three people outside the clinic, reportedly told police “no more baby parts” upon arrest; during his first court appearance, Dear called himself “a warrior for the babies.")

The state has yet to issue its final notice stripping the organization of Medicaid funding, which the feds say Texas cannot legally do. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit in hopes of remaining a health-care provider for Texas Medicaid patients.

DSHS won't yet say why, after three decades, Planned Parenthood is now being booted from an HIV prevention program that serves the state's largest city and surrounding counties. But the Texas Legislature is, as a whole, so against abortion that it seems such decisions are fast becoming de facto state health policy.

Consider that not too long ago, state health officials banned organizations from receiving state money to tell kids not to have sex if they operate within 1,000 feet of an abortion provider or have a name that is at all similar to that of any abortion provider, affiliate or “any entity that engages in pro-abortion advocacy.” State lawmakers didn't even have to tell the Health and Human Services Commission to do this; as commission spokesman Bryan Black told the Texas Tribune at the time, “We see a clear legislative directive of shifting state resources away from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.”

Perhaps blocking federal grant funding for HIV prevention is now part of that “clear legislative directive.”

Sunday, December 27, 2015


by John Smith

Where is the help for cops?

The first 5 years as a cop you're an idealist.

After 10 years you become a cynic.

In 20 years you're a burned out bigot.

The Field Training Program in most departments put you on the fast track to doom when you are placed with a seasoned veteran because they already suffer from the above symptoms.

My entire career contained an 8 hour training block for Stress in Police Work. PTSD is just as real for cops but it has never really been addressed. Try going to Social Security and applying for PTSD benefits from a career in law enforcement.

However, the higher you go in rank the less stressful retirement is for some. Patrol officers that never promote are hit the hardest. This is a combination of a smaller pension and who you don't know.

The Golden Years

Retirement should come with training and follow ups from the department. If you don't have a strong family support system, you're toast. A lot of cops have divorced multiple times and are alcoholics. Their pensions have already been split between ex-wives and child support. They work as security guards until they get too old. They mostly wind up in an RV Park, sitting in a lawn chair on fake grass drinking. Thankfully they don't live that long.

Departments have recognized the pitfalls of the job for 50 years but it will never be addressed because it would cost money. They are not going to waste money from a lean budget on a bunch of retired old farts.

You get a plaque, retired ID and you get to carry your gun as long as you qualify once a year. Even when you try renew your ID or schedule a qualification, you are treated as a pain in the ass. Nobody has time for a retired cop that needs something. The department moves on without you.

Cops are used up and tossed aside like yesterday's newspaper.

I repeat. Where is the help for cops?

John Smith is the pseudonym of a veteran police investigator in the Houston-Galveston area.



The Augusta Chronicle
December 22, 2015

It's not looking very good for prosecutors in the racially explosive Freddie Gray case.

They managed only a mistrial last week of the first police defendant to stand trial -- which is all the more remarkable when you consider all the societal pressure in Baltimore for a pound of flesh.

Experts say the mistrial -- jurors deadlocked in the case of Officer William Porter -- indicates potential problems for prosecutors down the road. They may not have the strength of evidence so vociferously touted by Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

Moreover, experts say, the mistrial itself may weaken the prosecution's hand: Porter cannot now be compelled to testify in the other five officers' cases, since he faces a possible retrial himself; and, given the mistrial, Porter and his co-defendants may resist any temptation to take a plea deal and testify against their colleagues.

That's not collusion -- it's just the realities of the American judicial system. These officers have rights.

Though you wouldn't know it from the mob mentality in the streets of Baltimore. Even the mistrial -- essentially a tie in the case, which can be reheard -- brought out angry protesters whose notion of "justice" seems to be convictions regardless of the evidence.

Americans being the scrupulous folks that they are, often to a fault, it's rarely necessary to move a trial -- called a "change of venue" -- in order to find a fair and impartial jury. But let's be honest: With those mobs in the street, how can jurors be completely fair to these officers?

It's probably time to move all the trials resulting from Gray's April 12 death after his arrest and ride in a police van.

Look at the reaction to a simple mistrial. What mayhem might befall Baltimore if there's an acquittal?

And would any citizen-juror want a part in that?


A sheriff’s deputy noticed that the car’s two occupants were unusually nervous and was then alerted by his K-0 partner who sniffed out the drugs
December 22, 2015

ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma -- Rogers County deputies found over eight pounds of methamphetamine after stopping a car on the Will Rogers Turnpike.

They arrested two people, Walter Rawls and Chanele Pauley. Both are Arizona residents and were booked into the Rogers County Jail early Tuesday morning, records show.

Authorities say Deputy Scotty Moree stopped a car on an eastbound on-ramp to the turnpike and became suspicious that the vehicle might be transporting drugs. Moree's K-9 partner alerted on the vehicle, officials say.

Deputies eventually found 8.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine. Rawls, 43, and Pauley, 33, were booked on complaints of trafficking in illegal drugs.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Daily Mail report that the meth bags were wrapped like Christmas presents. Ho, ho, ho, no White Christmas for Mr. Rawls and Miss Pauley.


Dr. Howard Baker, a married psychiatrist, was strangled to death in a Philadelphia hotel room by Manuel Baez, a male prostitute with numerous probation violations for which he was not jailed

On Sunday evening, 75-year-old Dr, Howard Baker, a married psychiatrist who specialized in relationships, checked into a Rodeway Inn in downtown Philadelphia. The relationship expert must have been experiencing some relationship problems of his own because the kooky headshrinker hooked up with Manuel Baez, 27, a male prostitute. On Monday, a hotel maid found Dr. Baker toes up and naked with a belt wrapped around his dead neck.

Baez was arrested because he had been seen leaving the hotel with his victim’s backpack. Baez also stole Dr. Baker’s wallet. He was charged with criminal homicide and robbery.

The murder of a kooky headshrinker is not what interests me in this case. It’s how the probation department and the courts handled Baez that gets the hair on my back to stand up. Baez hs a rap sheet that consists of 70 charges since he became an adult, including charges for assault, drug possession, prowling and making terroristic threats. Despite all the charges, he has spent little time behind bars. And he was not jailed despite seven arrests and 10 convictions while he was on probation.

Here is how the Daily Mail described his probation treatment:

Court documents reveal the shaven-haired rent boy, who has a distinctive scar on his right cheek, has been arrested dozens of times and has a rap sheet stretching to seven pages.

He has faced more than 70 charges since becoming an adult, including assault, drug possession, prowling and making terroristic threats, but has only spent sporadic time behind bars.

In March of this year Baez was placed on probation for three years after admitting felony theft by unlawful taking at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Pennsylvania State law dictates that every fresh arrest is a probation violation and just two weeks later Baez was arrested in Philadelphia on suspicion of robbery, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

The case collapsed when a witness failed to come to court but Baez was arrested a further time for disorderly conduct and then four more times on various drugs charges between June and August in nearby Lehigh County.

He was eventually taken into custody for 57 days before he appeared before a Lehigh County court on November 11 and admitted possessing a controlled substance and evidence tampering.

Judge Robert L. Steinberg dished out a jail sentence of up to 23 months but court documents reveal the habitual drug user was released immediately on parole because of time served.

He was awaiting yet another trial in the New Year for alleged disorderly conduct on Pennsylvania's SEPTA transport network although this is likely to be discontinued now.

That meant that at the time of Dr Baker's murder Baez remained at liberty despite having been arrested seven times, charged with 18 different offenses and convicted of 10 - all within nine months of being placed on probation.

Considering how Baez’ arrests and probation violations were handled, it would seem that some judges should be removed from the bench and some heads should roll at the probation department.

Now if I were a criminal, I would want to be one in Philadelphia. Even if caught, it looks like you can get away with everything but murder in the City of Brotherly Love.

Saturday, December 26, 2015


The Washington and Jefferson Monuments and currency honoring slave owning presidents are a painful reminder of slavery, lynchings, Jim Crowism, white supremacy and discrimination

By Pamela Putz

The Unconventional Gazette
December 26, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- AWARE (Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere), a racial justice organization founded in Los Angeles, demonstrated in front of the White House Wednesday demanding the demolition of the Washington and Jefferson Monuments and the removal of slave owning presidents from our currency. About 50 people, mostly college-aged and a few recycled hippies, participated in the demonstration. At the main gate to the White House, the demonstrators gave the uniformed Secret Service officers a letter of demands addressed to President Obama.

The letter read:

To President Barack Obama

AWARE is an organization of concerned citizens dedicated to erasing racism in these United States. We have supported the removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans and at the University of Texas because they are a painful reminder of slavery, lynchings, Jim Crowism, white supremacy and discrimination. But that is not enough. Monuments and currency honoring slave owning presidents are likewise a painful reminder of slavery and racism. Therefore we demand the following:

Demolition of the Washington Monument and removal of Washington from the $1 bill and Quarter! George Washington owned up to 350 black slaves.

Demolition of the Jefferson Monument and removal of Jefferson from the $2 bill and Nickel! Thomas Jefferson owned 200 slaves, one of which, Sally Hemings, he raped and impregnated six times.

Removal of Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill! Jackson owned 200 slaves.

Removal of James Madison from the $5,000 bill! Madison owned more than 100 slaves.

Washington, Jefferson, Jackson and Madison represent the worst inhumanity to humanity and do not deserve to be honored with monuments in the nation’s capital and with their faces on our currency. Every time an African-American handles a $1 bill he can't help but be reminded that he is a victim of our shameful past and of the racism and discrimination that is still rampant throughout the United States.

We suggest that you elevate Abraham Lincoln from the Penny! And we believe that Rosa Parks, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., the Reverend Jessee Jackson and the Reverend Al Sharpton would be appropriate substitutes for Washington, Jefferson, Jackson and Madison on our currency.

Mr. President, if you do not take steps to meet our demands, we will, together with Black Lives Matter, organize massive demonstrations all over the country targeting businesses and government facilities.

Yours for a racist free America
Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere

Contacted in Hawaii where the President and his family are taking their holiday vacation, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that the President had been briefed on the AWARE demands. “President Obama supports organizations like AWARE and Black Lives Matter,” said Ernest, “and will consider the demands spelled out in the letter upon his return to Washington.”

Hillary Clinton said she was very sympathetic to the demands by AWARE. “African-Americans should not have to be confronted in their daily lives by painful reminders of slavery and white supremacy,” said the Democratic contender for the presidency.

Donald Trump was infuriated and said, “AWARE and Black Lives Matter are worse than illegal immigrant rapists from Mexico. They should be stripped of their citizenship and deported to some African dictatorship like Uganda, every one of them! Then those white college-types can experience black supremacy and discrimination firsthand. And those Black Lives Matter jerks won’t have to worry about white cops shooting black men in Uganda. It’ll be black cops shooting black men. Yeah, ship every one of those idiots to Africa!”

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio set aside their mutual animosity and issued a joint statement in which they condemned AWARE and Black Lives Matter. They also called Obama and Hillary Clinton a couple of stupid fools for not denouncing the AWARE demands.

Chris Christie said, “The idiots that are attracted to and follow groups like AWARE and Black Lives Matter are leading our once great country into oblivion. And that includes Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. When I was a United States Attorney, I drove the Mafia out of New Jersey, and if I’m elected President, I’ll know how to deal with that AWARE and Black Lives Matter rabble!”

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, head of the Republican Governors Association, was asked what she thought of the AWARE demands. Still suffering a hangover from a drunken Christmas party she threw for her staff, Gov. Martinez said: “Come on, give me a break. Aware, beware or whatever, we don’t need this. Sumbitch, this country is going to hell in a handbasket! Pam, you wouldn’t by any chance have some aspirin on you?”


Officials are hunting for 27 missing prisoners who need to be arrested and at least three of them have already gone onto commit further crimes

By Hannah Parry

Daily Mail
December 24, 2015

Three prisoners who were released early after a computer glitch went into commit more crimes while they should still have been in jail, authorities say.

More than 3,000 Washington inmates have been mistakenly released early since 2002 because of an error by the state's Department of Corrections.

Corrections officials are currently hunting for 27 missing prisoners who need to be arrested and returned to jail after the department miscalculated their sentences. At least three of them have already gone onto commit further crimes.

Corrections Department Secretary Dan Pacholke said corrections officials are working to identify and return prisoners who need to serve out their terms.

'We're casting a wide net and doing extensive reviews of each case,' he said.

Gov. Jay Inslee said this week that he ordered immediate steps to correct the longstanding computer glitch that has led to as many as 3,200 offenders getting an early release.

'Frankly, it is maddening,' Inslee said on Tuesday.

Five prisoners have already been re-incarcerated.

Authorities say the error occurred after a July 2002 state Supreme Court ruling which required the Corrections Department to apply good-behavior credits earned in county jail to state prison sentences.

But the programming fix ended up giving prisoners with sentencing enhancements too much so-called good time credit.

An analysis showed as many as 3,200 offenders were released early, and another 3,100 who are still incarcerated had inaccurate release dates.

Inslee's general counsel, Nicholas Brown, said most of the errors were 100 days or less.

In some cases, inmates were released just a few days early, but at least one person who is still incarcerated had a release date that was off by almost two years.

Offenders were released an average of 55 days before they were supposed to be freed.

Based on a prior Supreme Court ruling, most of the affected offenders won't have to go back to prison but officials have identified at least seven prisoners who were freed and hadn't reached their corrected release date yet, and they will need to return to prison.

Department of Corrections was first alerted to the error in December 2012, when a victim's family learned of a prisoner's imminent release and realized he was coming out too early.

The agency consulted with attorneys regarding the error the same month but the coding fix was repeatedly put off.

'For reasons we still don't yet fully understand, that fix never happened,' Brown said. Pacholke, who took over as head of the agency in October and just learned of the error last week, also said he couldn't yet explain what happened.

'How that did not rise up in the agency to the highest levels is not clear to me,' he said.

Sentencing enhancements include additional time given for certain crimes, like those using firearms or those committed near schools.

Under state law, prisoners who get extra time for sentencing enhancements cannot have that time reduced for good behavior.

The Corrections Department and governor's office have not released the names of those inmates who have been sent back to prison, or the name of the family who alerted the agency to the problem.

Inslee told corrections officials to stop releasing prisoners affected by the glitch until a hand calculation is done to ensure the offender is being released on the correct date.

A broad fix to the software problem is expected to be in place by early January.

The governor said two retired federal prosecutors will conduct an independent investigation to figure out why it has taken so long to correct the problem.

'I have a lot of questions about how and why this happened, and I understand that members of the public will have those same questions,' Inslee said.

Pacholke said he welcomed the external investigation.

'The agency should be held accountable for this breach,' he said.

Republican state Sen. Mike Padden said the Law and Justice Committee he chairs will convene hearings on the early releases when the Legislature returns to the Capitol in early January.

'We will see what we can find out about this and whether any of these individuals have committed crimes and what crimes they committed when they should have been in prison,' Padden said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A computer glitch that hasn’t been fixed in a dozen years? Sumbitch! Some heads need to roll here, starting with Corrections Department Secretary Dan Pacholke.


Seattle’s ‘gun violence tax’ of $25 on each firearm sold in the city, plus a tax on ammunition, is upheld by a local judge

The NRA and several other gun-rights groups challenged Seattle’s ‘gun violence tax’ of $25 on each gun sold in the city, plus 2 or 5 cents per round of ammunition, depending on the type. The tax was uphekd by King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson.

The city council claims the tax is designed to pay for and to reduce gun violence. Horseshit! The tax looks like a sham with the sole purpose of making it harder for law abiding citizens to buy a gun or ammunition.

Unfortunately, I think the tax will also be upheld on appeal.


By Gene Johnson

Associated Press
December 22, 2013

SEATTLE -- A judge upheld Seattle's so-called gun violence tax Tuesday, rejecting a challenge from the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups.

King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson dismissed arguments that Seattle's tax, adopted last summer, exceeded the city's authority under state law.

The measure — one of only a couple of its kind in the nation — adds $25 to the price of each firearm sold in the city, plus 2 or 5 cents per round of ammunition, depending on the type. Officials expect it to raise up to $500,000 a year to help offset the costs of gun violence. The measure is set to take effect next month.

"The NRA and its allies always oppose these commonsense steps to shine light on the gun violence epidemic," said City Council President Tim Burgess, who sponsored the law. "Judge Robinson saw through the NRA's distorted efforts to put gun industry profits ahead of public safety."

The NRA did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment, but another plaintiff, the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation, promised an immediate appeal. The groups have argued state law puts responsibility for regulating firearms solely in the hands of the Legislature, not local governments.

"It is unconscionable for Mayor Ed Murray and the City Council to codify what amounts to social bigotry against firearms retailers and their customers," Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb said in a written statement.

But the judge found the measure falls within the city's taxing authority and is not an impermissible regulation.

The City Council modeled the tax after a similar one in Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago; the NRA has said Chicago is the only other city with such a measure. The revenue would be used for gun safety research and gun violence prevention programs.

Between 2006 and 2010, there were on average 131 firearms deaths a year in King County, according to Public Health-Seattle and King County. An additional 536 people required hospitalization for shooting injuries during that time.

Officials say the direct medical costs of treating 253 gunshot victims at Harborview Medical Center in 2014 totaled more than $17 million. Taxpayers paid more than $12 million of that. City officials estimate the new tax would bring in $300,000 to $500,000 a year, but gun shop owners told council members those numbers were inflated. They said the law would cost them customers and sales and could force them to move out of the city.

"Guns now kill more people in the United States than automobiles," Seattle's mayor said. "Our community will not stand by as so many in our city, particularly young people of color, continue to pay the highest price for inaction on gun violence at the national and state level."

Friday, December 25, 2015


Here are some more terrific movie dance scenes all mashed together for our enjoyment.

The song is Uptown Funk sung by Bruno Mars.



Because a coldblooded murderer claims he was sexually abused as a child, Hollywood elites succeeded in getting a new sentencing trial for Bernie Tiede who robbed and stabbed an 81-year-old woman to death

Some years ago shrewd defense lawyers conned kooky headshrinkers into agreeing that a violent criminal should be shown some leniency if he had been sexually abused as a child.

I have never been convinced, nor can anyone convince me now, that an abusive childhood should be considered a mitigating circumstance for a criminal when he commits a violent crime.

What the fuck difference does it make if a criminal’s father took his rubber bathtub ducky away or his mother looked backwards in the mirror while she was pregnant? In this case, Bernie Tiede’s belated claim that some deviate played with his teeny-weeny sure as hell did not make the robbery and deadly stabbing of an 81-year-old woman any less serious.

I wonder if either Richard Linklater, Jack Black or Matthew McConaughey would have come to Tiede’s aid had that worthless piece of shit stabbed their mother or grandmother to death?


By Craig Malisow

Houston Press
December 23, 2015

If you're a cold-blooded killer confined to prison for the rest of your life, it helps to have celebrity friends on the outside — friends with the kind of sway and money to get you another crack at freedom.

In the case of Bernie Tiede, who shot an 81-year-old woman four times in the back and hid her body in a freezer — after, that is, of robbing her of more than $3.5 million — those friends include director Richard Linklater, Jack Black, and Matthew McConaughey. Those three are of course responsible for the cult film "Bernie," based on the 1998 Texas Monthly article about Tiede, a beloved small-town funeral director who killed the allegedly shrewish Marjorie Nugent. Tiede was convicted in 1999 and sentenced to life in prison. (Black and Shirley MacLaine portrayed Tiede and Nugent).

And those three are now throwing an "uber-private" fundraiser for Tiede's re-sentencing trial. Writes the Texas Tribune.

In the invitation, Linklater writes that the fundraiser "will include a dinner and music line-up we'll all be talking about for years. Jack Black, Bernie composer Graham Reynolds and Bernie Tiede himself will perform songs from the movie and more. After that, Jack's band Tenacious D will take the stage."

As an added incentive to those who help pay for a table at the fundraiser, Linklater promised 'the most exclusive screening of Bernie EVER' with Tiede, McConaughey, Black and 'possibly' MacLaine in attendance, according to the invitation.

Tiede's sentence was vacated in 2014 after an appellate lawyer argued that newly surfaced evidence could have resulted in a lighter sentence. Curiously, the "new" evidence came from Tiede himself: he claimed to have been sexually abused by an uncle when he was a child. His appellate attorney, Jodi Cole, has said this was backed up in part by books on surviving sexual abuse found in Tiede's home at the time of arrest. (Tiede was released on bond, and has been living in Linklater's guest house).

Cole successfully argued that Tiede killed Nugent in a "dissociative episode" brought about by the abuse, and that the murder was not premeditated, as the State claimed at trial. (Tiede's uncle, Elmer Doucete, had previously been charged with molesting Tiede's cousin, but the charges were dropped after authorities realized that the statute of limitations had tolled).

At trial, the State's expert psychiatric witnesses testified that Tiede's mental health history was unremarkable. After the allegations of sexual abuse were raised, the expert conceded that, had he known, he would have testified differently at trial. Because of that distinction, the expert's testimony is now referred to in court briefs as "false."

In a concurring opinion for the Court of Criminal Appeals, Judge Elsa Alcala wrote:

"I agree that, at first blush, it seems peculiar to characterize information as newly discovered — the fact that he had been sexually abused as a child — when, at least at some subconscious level, it had to have been known by [Tiede] himself at the time of trial. But this phenomenon was explained in the habeas record by experts who averred that [Tiede] had been the victim of sexual abuse as a child for many years and had suppressed his actual awareness of it to the point that he was incapable of revealing the memories to anyone at trial."

It's a little unclear how Tiede's claim, years after his conviction, became "fact," but the Tribune article notes that attorneys on both sides are under a gag order, so if there's persuasive evidence, we'll have to wait until the re-sentencing to hear it.

As expected, Nugent's family is skeptical, writing in a friend-of-the-court brief:

The concurring opinion permits criminal defendants like Tiede to game the system by following a simple set of instructions:

1) Withhold mitigating information concerning sentencing from your attorneys and all the expert witnesses.

2) Permit the expert witnesses to testify on facts you know to be false due to your own concealment of information.

3) Roll the dice with the jury and see if you get a favorable result.

4) If not, seek habeas relief based on the "false evidence" created by your own withholding of information.

Writing for the Dallas Morning News, Tod Robberson casts some doubt on the "dissociative episode" theory:

Tiede did not, as his lawyer now argues, kill his longtime companion Marjorie Nugent in an act of sudden passion out of some dissociative episode related to the alleged sexual abuse he received as a child. Tiede killed her to cover up the fact that he had stolen millions of dollars from her and manipulated documents to hide that fact. Nugent and her family, and Nugent's banker, finally had caught up with Tiede's criminal behavior, and the day he shot Marjorie Nugent in the back, the two were scheduled to meet with her banker to discuss what Tiede had done with Marjorie's money. And we're talking about more than $3.5 million here.

Depending on how you look at it, that's either a really fortunate or a terribly unfortunate day to experience your only dissociative episode on record.

Given how abusive Nugent allegedly was to Tiede — she was apparently so wicked that she evoked suppressed memories of childhood trauma — we're kind of surprised he'd even want to be there for "the most exclusive screening of Bernie EVER," as Linklater's fundraiser invitation promises. Shouldn't guests be worried that the screening could trigger another deadly episode? Or would they be reassured by their celebrity hosts that they shouldn't worry — after all, it's just make-believe.


By Bob Walsh

The grandson of Oakland City Council President (city councils have presidents?) was shot to death Sunday afternoon on Mandela Parkway in the crime-ridden and gang-infested shithole of Oakland (CA).

Torian Hughes became a bullet catcher about 1340 hours and died shortly after in a local hospital. The young man was a student in an independent study program at the time of his murder, rather than being in attendance at a more traditional and structured high school.

The city of Oakland has been actively looking at increased “gun safety” measures within the city. Oakland has had 83 homicides this year, more or less the same as last year.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to “support the family” with a goal of $7,000. They are more than half-way there.

The City Council President, Lynette Gibson McElhaney, is said to be an outspoken advocate of gun safety. Typically that means that a politician is a fan of forced unilateral personal disarmament of law abiding citizens, but you never know. It could actually mean what it says.


BY Bob Walsh

If you follow such things you might remember a number of San Francisco P D officers were found, during the course of an internal investigation into corruption, to have exchanged a large number of in-your-face racist and homophobic messages a couple of years back. The Chief of the Department vowed to fire them for their attitudes. He maybe overplayed his hand.

The incidents are well past the one year statute of limitations under POBOR (Peace Officer Bill of Rights) in California. Judge Goldmsmith of the Superior Court ruled the department could not proceed against the officers. The city and the department have said they will appeal. The city has been aware of these text messages since February 2014. It took the chief over a year to decide to move against the eight officers involved, allegedly to protect the internal investigation. POBOR does not contain any such exception to the law.

Yolanda Williams, the spokesperson for Officers for Justice, an organization of exclusively non-white peace officers, was highly offended. One of the texts that showed up during the investigation referred to her as a “nigger bitch.”

Three of the accused officers have resigned. One of them asked to be reinstated after the statute of limitations issue came up. He was in fact reinstated.

Clicking the link below will go to a pretty good S F Chronicle piece on this story.

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Under the state's Police Bill of Rights, according to the ruling, the charges against the officers violated a statute of limitations

By Curtis Skinner

December 22, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO -- A judge ruled on Monday that San Francisco police officers can keep their jobs and not face discipline despite being involved in a scandal stemming from racist text messages that forced the review of thousands of criminal cases, court records showed.

The move comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of racism and discrimination by law enforcement following numerous high-profile police killings of unarmed black people across the United States since mid-2014.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith found in favor of officer Rain Daugherty, who filed a lawsuit in May along with several other officers, saying his suspension violated a statute of limitations provided by a police officer's Bill of Rights.

Goldsmith said the statute "serves to both protect the rights of police officers and to ensure the public's safety" by requiring that investigations are conducted in a timely manner.

San Francisco City Attorney's Office spokesman Matt Dorsey said the agency was "disappointed" by the ruling and was exploring possible next steps.

Daugherty did not deny sending "grossly inappropriate texts" but argued in court that an investigation was not launched for roughly two years after the messages were uncovered in 2012 - a year longer than allowed under the statute.

Police Chief Greg Suhr in May moved to have Daugherty and seven other officers fired and six more disciplined.

Prosecutors have been forced to review thousands of arrests linked to the officers, which has led to the dismissal of 13 criminal cases thus far, according to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office.

"The fact that San Francisco is forced to retain police officers that demonstrated explicit racism will have ramifications for the reputation of the department," District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement after the ruling.

The offensive texts came to light during an FBI corruption investigation involving Ian Furminger, a former San Francisco police sergeant.

Court documents in the Furminger case said officers used their phones to text offensive messages. In the texts, Furminger used racial epithets, bragged that a relative was a slave auctioneer, and joked about the Ku Klux Klan. He also sent texts insulting Latinos and gay people, the documents said.

The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper reported that three officers resigned in connection with the probe, though one asked to be reinstated after Daugherty's case was filed.

EDITOR’S NOTE: According to the Los Angeles Times of March 17, the officers referred to minorities as “savages,” used the word “nigger” to refer to African Americans and suggested they be spayed like animals, and used an epithet for homosexuals. Other text messages insulted Filipinos and Mexicans.

These officers are lucky their texts were not discovered until the Justice Department conducted a probe into corruption within the San Francisco Police Department. In the end, I seriously doubt the officers will be able to get their jobs back.

As for the police shootings of blacks, that does not mean racist or homophobic cops want to kill minorities or homosexuals. If a cop is racist, he is nevertheless justified in shooting a black man who is perceived to be an imminent threat to the life of the officer or a citizen.


The U.S. is losing its war against cyberterrorism and someone needs to inform Obama that we're at war

Investor’s Business Daily
December 22, 2015

Cyberwars: Three recent news items are a stark reminder that the U.S. is under increasing global cyberattacks. And it should be a loud warning to the Obama administration that we're losing this war.

First we learned that in 2013 Iranian hackers had gained access to the control system of the Bowman Avenue Dam — which is less than 20 miles from New York City.

The hackers didn't take control of the dam, and no damage was done, but had they gained access to a larger dam, and managed to open its floodgates, the hackers could have caused massive amounts of destruction.

Then we learned that Juniper Networks had suffered a major breach, which involved installing back doors on computer equipment to track communications across private networks using Juniper's system. The company is a major provider of computer network equipment, including security products, to large companies and several government agencies — including the Defense Department, Justice, FBI and Treasury.

CNN reports that the FBI is now investigating whether hackers working for foreign governments were able to spy on the government for up to three years. Juniper has patched its systems, but the extent of the security breach isn't yet known. Nor do they know which state sponsored the attack.

And now we learn that hackers — believed to be from Iran — were able to break their way into networks running the U.S. power grid. The AP reports that security researcher Brian Wallace stumbled on a tranche of 19,000 stolen files that included user names and passwords and detailed engineering drawings of 71 networks and power stations operated by Calpine Corp. in 18 states.

The fact that none of these breaches resulted in any harm — as far as we know — is of no comfort. In many cases, such attacks are learning experiences. The hackers gather intelligence and data to carry out future attacks, and learn how to remain hidden in computer networks.

More worrisome is the scale, frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks being launched against government and private networks.

In 2014, for example, hackers gained control of a large utility's wind farm. The year before that, Russian hackers were able to send encrypted commands to public utilities. In another case, hackers inserted malware that let them spy on U.S. energy companies.

This year, the Office of Personnel Management discovered that it's personnel files had been hacked, allowing cyberattackers to make off with detailed information — including in some cases background checks for security clearance applications and fingerprints — on more than 21 million current and former federal employees.

The inability — or worse, indifference — of government bureaucrats to confront these risks is unacceptable. OPM had been attacked the year before and had been warned by internal auditors about network vulnerabilities. Another audit found that the Federal Aviation Administration suffers "significant security control weaknesses . .. threatening the agency's ability to ensure the safe and uninterrupted operation of the national airspace."

Obama's Health and Human Services brushed aside warnings about security gaps in its network, despite the fact that it collects massive amounts of data on millions of enrollees.

The same warnings have been issued, over and over again, to many other agencies.

The problem is that Obama doesn't seem to care. Aside from an occasional speech, and his appointing a cybersecurity "czar," he's given little indication that he's aware of the threat or the need to mobilize against it. And when a state-sponsored attack is uncovered, his response has been lukewarm at best.

Someone needs to tell Obama — or maybe his caddie — that there's a new World War going on.


Anwar al-Awlaki’s role as a propagandist, a recruiter, and an ideologue was really enhanced by killing him

By Liz Goodwin

Yahoo News
December 23, 2015

Enrique Marquez was first exposed to the ideas of Anwar al-Awlaki in 2007 by Syed Rizwan Farook, his next-door neighbor in San Bernardino, Calif. The new convert to Islam spent hours at Farook’s home listening to Awlaki’s lectures and reading Inspire magazine, the al-Qaida publication in English that Awlaki founded.

By 2011, Marquez was plotting to attack a local community college with Farook, according to the criminal complaint in the case. Earlier this month, Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, attacked Farook’s workplace, killing 14 people — using assault rifles Marquez bought for them.

Marquez and Farook are just the latest in a long line of U.S. terror plotters who were influenced by the ideas and teachings of Awlaki, an American Muslim cleric who left the U.S. in 2002 and subsequently rose to the top ranks of al-Qaida. Awlaki was killed in a CIA-led drone strike five years ago in Yemen, but his teachings continue to proliferate online. The Boston Marathon bombing, the attack on military personnel in Chattanooga, Tenn., the attempted shooting at a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, and several other plots all featured young men who watched and identified with Awlaki online, after his death. (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev tweeted before the marathon attack a link to Awlaki’s lectures. “You will gain an unbelievable amount of knowledge,” he wrote.) Awlaki has also influenced attackers abroad, including at least one of the terrorists behind the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.

Why have so many fallen under the sway of Awlaki? It is in part because he was a well-respected and popular scholar of Islam long before he turned radical and joined al-Qaida. He was the imam at a prominent mosque in Falls Church, Va., for years. His boxed CD lectures on the history of Islam and its prophets were a hit among devout English-speaking Muslims.

“He became popular when he was a legitimate preacher of mainstream Islam and a scholar of sorts, a popularizer,” said Scott Shane, a New York Times reporter who wrote a book about Awlaki called “Objective Troy.” “His status as a respectable voice was well-established, and then he gradually evolved into a spokesman for al-Qaida.”

Once Awlaki’s lectures turned to jihad, he kept the cool, reasonable-sounding tone he used in the past to talk about what makes a good marriage or the history of the prophets of Islam. His past lent legitimacy to his radical teachings that it was every Muslim’s duty to wage jihad. Most of Awlaki’s videos are also in English, which makes him seem more familiar to Western listeners. His charismatic Internet sermons, idiomatic English and intuitive grasp of American culture made him a uniquely seductive figure for those susceptible to radicalization.

“Not only could he speak English, but he’s American and he understands American culture,” Steve Stalinsky, the executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute think tank, said. “He was easily relatable.”

Interestingly, Awlaki’s legacy has not diminished with the rise of ISIS and the somewhat quieter profile of al-Qaida. In many U.S. ISIS cases, the dead cleric is “lurking in the background,” according to Shane. One of the Garland, Texas, attackers, Elton Simpson, was in touch with an ISIS recruiter online, but his Twitter avatar photo was of Awlaki. The other, Nadir Hamid Soofi, had given his mother a boxed set of Awlaki CDs before the attempted May 2015 attack.

It’s unclear what the government can do about the cleric’s enduring influence. The FBI declined to comment on Awlaki, saying the subject is too close to the ongoing investigation in San Bernardino. The State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC), which seeks to counter radical Islamic messages abroad, said it doesn’t target Awlaki in particular.

“It’s fair to say that Awlaki has some residual influence, but we tend to focus on what people are talking about online now,” said Tim Andrews, the acting deputy director of CSCC. Andrews said targeting specific individuals such as Awlaki is less effective than pointing out ISIS’s battlefield losses and their treatment of women.

One potential discrediting piece of information on Awlaki is that he continually saw prostitutes while living in the U.S., even as he preached fidelity and sexual propriety. He was arrested in 1997 for soliciting an undercover officer posing as a prostitute. It doesn’t appear as if the U.S. government has tried to disseminate this fact to paint him as a hypocrite. (In fact, reporters only learned about Awlaki’s prostitution habit through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.) That’s in contrast to U.S. officials immediately making it known that pornography was found on computers in Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad complex.

Awlaki is more prominent online among extremists now than bin Laden, Stalinsky said. The cleric and his lectures pop up again and again, both in the United States and abroad. Al-Qaida recently released a video featuring Awlaki’s teachings and jihadists created an account for him on Telegraph, an encrypted messaging app, Stalinsky said. ISIS also refers to Awlaki in its propaganda, incorporating his statements advocating for an Islamic state in its videos.

Killing Awlaki in the drone strike in 2011 stopped him from being an active terrorist operative. While alive, Awlaki coached attempted “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and terror plotters in London, among others. But the cleric’s biggest value to al-Qaida was always as a skilled propagandist and a pioneer of using the Internet for terror recruitment. He had his own website filled with his videos and teachings and also provided encryption codes so that people in the West could contact him anonymously.

His death means he can’t plot attacks, but his “martyr” status appears only to have spread his deadly influence further.

“His greater importance is clearly as a propagandist, a recruiter, an ideologue,” Shane said. “And that role was really enhanced by killing him.”


Dear Abby,

My husband hasn't worked for the last 14 years. All he does is get dressed in the morning and hop in his fancy car to visit his cronies. I know he`s cheated on me many times with young girls who could be his granddaughters. I know because he brags about this to me. He smokes fancy cigars and drinks the most expensive Champagne day and night. We sleep in separate beds because he`s always telling me he knows I`m a lesbian and my varicose veins and fat butt turn him off.

Should I bash his brains out with a baseball bat, or should I just leave him? Your advice would be appreciated.

....Mad as Hell

Dear Mad as Hell, You don`t have to take that kind of treatment from any man. I suggest you pack your bags and move out a.s.a.p.! Don`t resort to bashing his brains out with a baseball bat, and try to act like a lady! Remember ....... you`re running for President of the United States, so don't go acting like Donald Trump!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015


By Bob Walsh

The University of California has a significant stock portfolio. The system has just divested itself of about $25 million in the Corrections Corporation of American and the GEO Group, the two largest private prison operators in the U.S.

The action was prompted primarily by black student groups who view the prison system as oppressive against blacks due to their high over-representation within the prison population. They also have some issues with prisons for profit.


Homemade guns are legal to make, illegal to sell, and called ghost guns because they lack serial numbers or other identifying features

By Sam Stanton and Denny Walsh

The Sacramento Bee
December 19, 2015

On May 16, 2013, Sharod Gibbons pulled his 1997 white Infiniti into a parking lot at Watt Avenue and Arden Way, near Arden Middle School.

Gibbons got out and walked to the back of his car to show off a loaded AK-47 assault rifle and a Remington 700 bolt-action rifle to a prospective buyer, according to a federal agent’s court affidavit.

After some chit-chat, the two agreed on a price, and the buyer handed over $2,500 in cash.

That was the second firearms transaction between Gibbons and his buyer. The buyer was a government informant who eventually would pay $32,800 in cash for 16 rifles and six pistols in various locations around Sacramento, according to the affidavit by Jerry Donn, a special agent for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The undercover operation marked the start of a new effort by federal agents to tackle what they say is a growing black market for weapons being manufactured and sold throughout the region. While the San Bernardino terrorist attack and other mass shootings have brought cries for greater restrictions on gun sales by firearms dealers, these homemade guns change hands with no government oversight of any kind.

They are known as “ghost guns.”

Assembled in homes and shops, they are sold without serial numbers or other identifying features. Federal officials say hundreds of such weapons and silencers have been seized in a series of ongoing undercover operations.

It is legal, and relatively easy – especially for someone with machinist skills – to purchase and assemble all the parts needed for an AR-15 rifle. But it is a felony to sell or trade such a weapon.

“We’ve had more of these cases in Northern California than in other parts of the country,” said Graham Barlowe, special agent in charge of the ATF’s Sacramento office. “There are a lot of firearms enthusiasts in Northern California, so it may be that the principals found each other more often. All the elements are here: demand, know-how and cross-pollination of enthusiasts and criminals.”

Gun enthusiasts dispute that there is a large-scale problem with such weapons in California, noting there are 40 million to 50 million guns in the state, and the arrests being announced reflect a tiny fraction of that figure.

“It’s really a relatively minor occurrence when that happens,” said Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California. “People have been manufacturing their own guns under federal law for decades. It’s perfectly legal for you to manufacture a firearm for your own personal use.”

But ATF officials say some people are drawn to the idea that there is easy money to be made in the sales of such weapons. They say the phenomenon began to take off following the December 2012 massacre of 26 people, many of them small children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

“A fear arose in the firearms community that the Obama administration was going to propose a ban on assault rifles,” Barlowe said. “There was a run on them. The shelves were bare.”

The AR-15 – a semi-automatic rifle that is the civilian equivalent of the M-16 – already was one of the most popular weapons in the country. The perceived threat that they might be restricted from the marketplace made them even more popular.

“It became chic to have one,” Barlowe said. “It became what a hot rod is to a car enthusiast. Suppliers of gun parts began to cater to this clientele.”

The AR-15, the same type of rifle used in the San Bernardino attacks earlier this month, is legal to purchase and own in California. Online stores sell various accessories for them, including vinyl decals of the American flag and the motto “Don’t Tread on Me.”

“It’s the Barbie doll of guns,” Paredes said. “You can dress it up for whatever purpose you want, for self-defense, for hunting varmints, for target shooting.”

Some buyers and sellers found a way to exchange such guns without dealing with the paperwork, background checks and registration associated with weapons purchases. They turned to what are popularly referred to as “80 percent lower receivers.”

These are the unfinished lower portions of AR-15s, or “blanks.” They are essentially blocks of metal or Kevlar reinforced polymer that can be ordered online for less than $100.

A hobbyist with the right tools can drill out the holes and cavity spaces in the lower receiver and legally acquire the other parts to assemble an AR-15. Once the receiver is drilled out, it is considered a firearm by the government, even if nothing else is attached to it.

The tools involved can be as simple as a drill press, hand drill or Dremel, a hand-held rotary tool that can accept different bits.

“These are all fairly simple and affordable tools that can be obtained and operated by nearly anyone,” Donn, the ATF agent, wrote in an affidavit. “In most cases, they are readily available at most hardware/home improvement stores.”

Gunmakers who want to assemble multiple weapons and sell them illegally sometimes use much more sophisticated means, Donn noted, including the use of an automated drill press run by a computer with software that precisely drills out the blanks.

After such a rifle is fully assembled, there is no requirement to register it. There also is no legal way to sell it.

“You cannot sell it at all, and when you die, it dies,” Paredes said. “You can’t give it away, and you can’t sell it.”

Despite that restriction, the ATF says many people are selling their ghost guns.

“Unlike a firearm manufactured by a licensed manufacturer, these firearms are completely untraceable,” Donn wrote. “They have no serial number. They have no manufacturer identification.

“Further, these firearms are sold by unlicensed individuals with no regard to the prohibited states of the purchaser, or the legality of the firearm itself.”

Once, criminals would have risked bringing such weapons into California from neighboring states where they could be legally sold. But now, many are instead connecting with hobbyists who can make the weapons themselves, federal officials said.

“Criminals with knowledge of the firearms community found these hobbyists to be a source of supply,” Barlowe said. “Trips to the Reno gun show transitioned to unfinished lower receivers.

“It was less expensive and more convenient than going out of state and enlisting straw buyers; and a lot more secure, since these weapons are not registered and have no serial numbers. It’s like they don’t exist.”

Undercover agents buying firearms in sting operations have swept up hundreds of homemade weapons as well as conventionally manufactured weapons being sold illegally by people not licensed as firearms dealers.

In one case, filed in Sacramento federal court in October, five men were charged with making and selling firearms without a license. Officials said the investigation involved 24 undercover purchases of 67 AR-15 rifles, pistols and revolvers, and 38 silencers.

Agents executing search warrants seized another 71 firearms and 62 silencers, including many that had no markings or serial numbers.

In a case filed in federal court on Dec. 10, agents described a 14-month undercover operation featuring purchases of weapons at S&S Tires in Citrus Heights, and leading to charges against the store’s owner, Mohammad Javed, and an associate, Alphonso Harris II.

During the operation, agents purchased 44 weapons, court documents state. During a February raid on the tire shop and Javed’s and Harris’ homes, they seized 13 pistols, two that had previously been reported stolen; one shotgun; three silencers; three AK-47s; three AR-15s, and more than 1,200 rounds of ammunition.

Paredes says the cases federal officials have touted recently, including some with dozens of weapons and silencers laid out on display for the media, are the exception in California, and that his group supports going after illegal gun sellers.

“There will always be people who break the law, and with everything they need to be rooted out and brought to justice,” he said.

The ATF counters that it has seized hundreds of weapons in recent cases and that, their very nature – unmarked, unregistered, untraceable – make telling how many are being used in crimes virtually impossible.

“It’s hard to know the true extent of their use by criminals,” Barlowe said. “All law enforcement databases rely on serial numbers to track firearms and monitor trends.

“We’re back to the days when we had to call local departments and ask them what they are finding. And then you’ve got to find the right person who has first-hand information about a particular crime. It’s labor intensive.”


Hagel follows former Defense Secretaries Robert Gates and Leon Panetta in in criticizing Obama’s conduct of foreign policy

By Dan Lamothe

The Washington Post
December 19, 2015

When Chuck Hagel resigned as defense secretary last year, the narrative was clear: President Obama and he did not see eye-to-eye on how to prosecute the war against the Islamic State, so Hagel needed to go. White House officials, speaking anonymously, said at the time that the president had lost faith in Hagel’s ability to lead — a charge that Hagel’s advisers brushed aside.

Now, a little over a year later, Hagel is swinging back. In an interview with Foreign Policy magazine published Friday, he said he remains puzzled why White House officials tried to “destroy” him personally in his last days in office, adding that he was convinced the United States had no viable strategy in Syria and was particularly frustrated with National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who he said would hold meetings and focus on “nit-picky” details.

“I eventually got to the point where I told Susan Rice that I wasn’t going to spend more than two hours in these meetings,” Hagel told Foreign Policy. “Some of them would go four hours.”

Hagel said the administration struggled with how to handle Syria — hardly a surprise, given the way Obama said in August 2012 that it would be a “red line” for the United States if Syria moved or used its chemical weapons stockpiles, but did not intervene militarily the following year when Syria did so. Hagel said that hurt Obama’s credibility, even if declared stockpiles eventually were removed through an agreement reached with Damascus.

“Whether it was the right decision or not, history will determine that,” Hagel told Foreign Policy. “There’s no question in my mind that it hurt the credibility of the president’s word when this occurred.”

The White House declined to comment on the article. However, an administration official disagreed anonymously with many assertions in Hagel’s interview. Waiting before launching cruise missiles provided a window for the chemical weapons agreement reached, the official said.

Hagel is far from the first former Pentagon chief in Obama’s administration to later criticize the president and his staff. But he just might be the most unlikely. A former Republican senator from Nebraska, he saw eye-to-eye with Obama on many national security issues before he was nominated. Like Obama, he also was a strong critic of President George W. Bush’s war in Iraq — one of the first in the Republican Party.

The two men also still have a friendly relationship, Hagel told Foreign Policy. Nonetheless, he just took several large steps down the same road as Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, who preceded Hagel at the Pentagon and later laid out their grievances in memoirs written after they left office.

Gates, who served for both President George W. Bush and Obama, wrote in a book released early last year that he was “seething” and “running out of patience with on multiple fronts” with the administration. All too often, he wrote, “suspicion and distrust of senior military officers by senior White House officials — including the president and vice president — became a big problem for me as I tried to manage the relationship between the commander in chief and his military leaders.”

Panetta followed last fall with his own book, saying Obama had a “frustrating reticence to engage his opponents and rally support for his cause” and too frequently “relies on the logic of a law professor rather than the passion of a leader.” In an interview promoting the book, he added that the president had “kind of lost his way” and was partly to blame for the collapse of the Iraqi government last year because he didn’t press harder to keep American troops in the country in 2011, ahead of a complete military withdrawal.

Hagel, for his part, told Foreign Policy that he got “the hell beat out of him” figuratively at the White House for delaying in signing transfer orders to release detainees from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, when he had concerns about the individuals involved. He also said he felt micro-managed — something that Gates, Panetta and other defense officials have all expressed.

“There is a danger in all of this,” Hagel told Foreign Policy, referring to White House micromanagement and the administration’s expanding national security staff. “This is about governance; this isn’t about political optics. It’s about making the country run and function, and trying to stay ahead of the dangers and the threats you see coming.”