Portland: Protests vs Riots

I watched about an hour’s worth of Portland videos before writing this only to learn that my thoughts two months ago are still valid today.

a) The daytime protests are in line with non-violent protests I have seen for the past 50 years. Regular people wearing regular clothes singing, carrying signs, shouting their cause through megaphones and at the top of their voices. These are the ones who care passionately about reducing police brutality and preventing the death and injury of people being arrested for a crime.

b) Towards dusk and later, the crowds wear black, they don helmets, they hurl objects, and they attack bystanders as well as police and property. If I were to stereotype the Antifa, the violent people, the destroyers of social order, I would say that if they wear gas masks, wear black, shout their hatred towards the police, and taunt the police, these are the ones I would target for arrest as a police officer assigned to maintain social order.

I read with disgust the statements of Mayor Ted Wheeler, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, and the Oregon Governor Kate Brown related to the death of a Trump supporter. They blamed the death of a Trump supporter on …the presence of Trump supporters… who the officials say were there to incite violence.

The Trump supporter was shot dead by someone in a red car. This is not intimidation, it is not Trump-oriented violence. It is an occupant of a red car who shot the man as he was walking in the street. The video is on the internet if you look for it.

When I read and hear what the officials of Portland and state government say, I am reminded of the expressions “Well that’s what she gets for dressing like this” and “well, what did you expect being there at that time of night”.

If any one needs to be “woke”, it’s the Mayor, the County Chair, and the governor. The violence does not stop until they make it stop. It is their job to provide for the safety of everyone. They have failed to do that. They are illegitimate as a government.

Trump may not do anything now, but if this is still happening on November 4th after the election, I expect the US Military to be on the streets of Portland to quell the violence. And I expect they will remain until January 20th if Trump is not elected to a second term… and longer if he is.

It is UnReasonable to permit civil unrest for social injustice to exist this long. The Governor, the Mayor, and the County have had four months to craft a new police policy as a way to stop the riots and they have not done a thing. Shame on their leadership. Shame on them.

New Government Entitlements for 2013!

Congress and President Obama have joined forces for the first time to bring you new government entitlements. I hope you like them because you are paying for them.

The US Government is:

1. entitled to spend whatever they want, whenever they want.

2. entitled to make you pay taxes over and over again on the same money.

3. entitled to force you to buy insurance from insurance companies or tax you.

4. entitled to tell you what kinds of products you can buy, like light bulbs.

5. entitled to read all your emails and listen to all your conversations whether you have committed a crime or not.

6. entitled to bomb anyone, anywhere, as long as they call them an enemy and do it for 60 days.

7. entitled to torture and detain any American citizen.

8. entitled to waive habeas corpus at any time.

9. entitled to sell weapons to criminals and watch them commit crimes with them.

10. entitled to tell your school what they should serve as food and what should be taught in the school.

11. entitled to track your whereabouts and use facial recognition software to spot you anywhere.

12. entitled to prevent you from remaining silent.

13. entitled to search you or your belongings anytime, anywhere.

14. entitled to force you to reveal your security pass codes so they can read your electronic papers and effects.

15. entitled to make you take off your shoes and other garments before you board a plane.

16. entitled to deny you travel by private air courier by putting your name on a list.



U.S. Closes Another Embassy? Say it ain’t so


The US has ordered all non-essential government personnel to leave its consulate in the Pakistani city of Lahore.A senior State Department official said the move was in response to a “credible threat” to the consulate. US personnel remaining in Lahore should limit non-essential travel within the country, the official said.On Thursday, the US reiterated a travel warning advising all US citizens to defer non-essential travel to Pakistan.”We are undertaking this drawdown due to concerns about credible threat information specific to the US Consulate in Lahore,” the official said.

Have we closed all US Embassies in Muslim countries yet? Seems like we are well down this road now.

Well, at least we can count on President Obama to go on vacation soon. It is difficult work closing embassies when faced with a terrorist threat. He needs a well-deserved rest.

Please send President Obama a buck to help defray the cost of his vacation to recover from talk shows and embassy closures. Consider this the Bucks for Obama program.  Write ‘Buck for Obama’ on a dollar bill and send it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC. If you wish to earmark the dollar bill to pay someone to protect our embassies, please write ‘Buck for a Battalion’ and mail it to the same address. The hope is to raise enough money for the US military to actually protect American embassies in Muslim countries.

Thanks for your support.

(This is all snark in case you didn’t notice.)

Al Qaeda Chatter: Prison Breaks or US Embassies?

Interpol asked that its 190 member nations “closely follow and swiftly process any information linked to these events and the escaped prisoners.” It also cited the anniversaries of high profile terrorist attacks by Islamists, and noted that a similar security alert was issued by the State Department on Friday.

It said that it would be “prioritizing all information and intelligence in relation to the breakouts or terrorist plots.”

Al Qaeda’s Iraq affiliate carried out carefully synchronized operations at two prisons, in Abu Ghraib and Taji, in late July. The group used mortar fire to pin down Iraqi forces, sent suicide bombers to penetrate their defenses and then sent an assault force to free the inmates, Western experts said.

A few days later, more than 1,000 prisoners escaped from a prison near Benghazi, Libya.

Shortly after that, as many as 150 fighters armed with guns and grenade launchers “blew holes in the perimeter wall of a century-old prison at Dera Ismail Khan, just outside Pakistan’s tribal belt,” said the Times, citing Pakistani police.

I know that our government thinks highly of itself but perhaps they should consider that the Al Qaeda chatter may be more about Al Qaeda’s success in attacking prisons than in their plans to attack US embassies.

No one like me really knows, but you cannot believe or trust what our government tells you because they tell you what is convenient and not necessarily what the truth is.

Just consider what you have heard recently:

1. President Obama to close Gitmo. Gitmo detainees to be sent to foreign prisons
3. Al Qaeda prison breaks
4. More prison breaks
5.Al Qaeda chatter
6. US closes embassies for a day, then a week

How do you prevent everyone from realizing that the Al Qaeda is not dead when they have successfully freed their members from foreign prisons? Perhaps you pretend that your embassies are under attack and bury overshadow the story in the Wall Street Journal with a deluge of pundits talking about embassies rather than prison breaks. Al Qaeda-planned prison breaks represent a refutation of President Obama’s meme that Al Qaeda is decimated… (except for Yemen, of course).

The horses are out of the barn again except for the Gitmo horses. President Obama is now thwarted in his efforts to return detainees to their home countries for fear of prison breaks (maybe). President Obama’s opinion of Al Qaeda’s strength is shamed. It is not a good time to be President Obama.

Let’s try to find the nine prison breaks by name and date. You can help by finding them and letting me know in the comments.

A tip of the hat to reader Cari for this…

(Minor edits made to correct mistakes and make this more readable)

Who’s Afraid Now? Obama and Kerry.

On the news everywhere is the meme that e-chatter among Al Qaeda bodes ill for US Embassies across the Mideast and Northern Africa. And what does the President and the Secretary of State do? They close the embassies and send everyone home. God, I hope SecDef Hagel did not freakin’ agree with Obama and Kerry.


The only answer to e-chatter is to send contingents of GIs and Marines into each Embassy and prepare for a fight. Instead, our *cough* leaders decide to take a freakin’ week long holiday.

We look like cowards to the rest of the world. If we won’t fight for our territory over there why should anyone expect us to fight for our territory here?

You have to say “This far and no farther.” Any military threat to any US embassy should be met with a military response. Get the gd contractors out and put some God and Country lovin’ US Military in their to protect what is ours. Use whatever you must… but do it.

You can tell who means business and who doesn’t when the chips are down. This President and staff don’t mean business. They intend to solve the problem  by using drones. How’s that workin’ for ya now?

Update on Justin Carter July 8 2013

Grisly new details emerged in the story of the ongoing imprisonment of Justin Carter, who racked up months in jail for making sarcastic, violent threats after playing an online video game.

Carter has been beaten up multiple times while in jail in Comal County, Texas, according to NPR. He is now on suicide watch.

“This was his first incarceration, his first charge, and without getting into the really nasty details, he has had concussions, he has had black eyes,” said Jack Carter, Justin’s father, in a statement.

Carter also said his son has become depressed about his situation, has spent time in solitary confinement and has been moved out of fear that he might hurt himself.

Justin Carter was arrested last February for making a sarcastic, threatening remark against a school after being provoked by another player in League of Legends, an online video game. Carter followed his remark with “lol” and “jk,” signalling that it was not a serious threat. Nevertheless, Texas authorities have charged him with making threats of a terrorist nature, and set his bail at $500,000.

Carter’s lawyer, Don Flanary, was shocked by the high bail amount.

“I’ve represented murderers terrorists, rapists, anything you can think of,” said Flanary in a statement. “I’ve never seen a bond at $500,000.”

A spokesperson for Comal County told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Carter’s bail was set by a judge, but couldn’t say why the amount was so high. A large bail typically indicates that the suspect is extremely dangerous, or a substantial flight risk.

The Fourth of July 2013 Memorial?

Independence Day… Time for a memorial or a celebration?

The news tells us about the US government spying on its citizens.

Fireworks displays at military bases are suspended because of sequestration.

A citizen is hounded around the world, his passport is revoked, and foreign nations fear granting him asylum because the USA is after him. His crime? He revealed the illegal and unethical nature of US spying around the world.His trial? Never happened.

The President vacations in Africa while White House tours are suspended. A purge of US generals is occurring. The President has the highest record of charging whistleblowers with crimes in the history of the US.

Congress is determined to hold its breath until it dies rather than breathe legislative life into anything.

The Supreme Court is rife with partisanship instead of objectivity.

Two teen age boys are in jail facing charges of terrorism because they mouthed off while playing video games.

American citizens are hunted down and killed without a trial.

American citizens are no longer secure in their possessions or their homes.

National Security Letters allow any federal law enforcement to acquire anything about you they wish without showing that you are a suspect in a crime.

This is not the Fourth of July like any other. It is the first memorial to the Fourth of July.

Like you, I love my country and what I always thought it stood for. I wish it stood for those things today. Freedom, Responsibility, Choice, Constitutional Government, and the Rights of Citizens. These noble ideas have been trammeled in the pursuit of global power and by making people serve the government.

Now silly threats are a terrorist activity…Sheesh

Sheesh. Can we ever get over this mess that the Patriot Act created?

Josh Pillault was arrested last October for threatening to kill people and destroy buildings. At the time of his arrest, he was 19-years-old, and an avid video game player.

The threats were made while he was playing “Runescape,” an online multiplayer fantasy game. Another player began antagonizing him, and eventually told him to kill himself.

Irritated, Pillault said he would kill not just himself, but also take out the local high school. He also mentioned Columbine — the name of an infamous school shooting — according to reports.

It was the response that the other player had been hoping for, according to Pillault’s mother.

“His gleeful last words to Josh were ‘Knock, knock!’ which is a reference to the feds he sent our way,” wrote Stacey Pillault in an email to TheDC News Foundation.

Federal authorities raided the Pillault home a few days later, arresting Josh. He has been in jail ever since.

Nine months of jail without a trial. The family is scared to death of the US judicial process.

Josh was adamant about maintaining his innocence, but the family eventually decided that the odds of a conviction were simply too high. On June 20, Josh plead guilty, hoping for a lighter sentence. He is now awaiting transfer to a federal prison, where medical experts will evaluate his mental condition. Sentencing should take place a few months from now. Josh could get 10 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000.

So after he pleads guilty to the crime of being 19 years old and playing video games, his mental condition is being evaluated. Does anyone think that maybe this could have happened while he was in jail for 9 months?

Josh is not the first to suffer under this Draconian Patriot Act:

The Pillault case mirrors the case of 19-year-old Justin Carter, who has been in jail since February due to threats he made over the Internet after playing an online game. When another player called Carter insane, he made a sarcastic comment that he was crazy enough to attack a school. Immediately afterward, he wrote that he was just kidding.

Still, a Canadian woman saw the threat online, and reported it to Texas authorities, who arrested Carter for make threats of a terrorist nature. He has been in jail ever since, and faces an eight-year sentence. Like Josh, Justin celebrated his birthday in jail.

When all you have is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail. Two young men in jail for doing nothing wrong except being young and foolish. Where is the justice and why are there no investigations? Simply charges and the court?
Perhaps the American judicial system needs a makeover. Investigate first, charge second, trial third. An investigation is more than “Well this is what he said and saying this is against the law.” When the justice system becomes so compartmentalized that everyone acting honorably produces an unjust result it is time for an overhaul.

No-Fly List: US Global Control

What do you do if you are an American citizen who is denied the freedom to fly about the country? You have committed no crime but you know a guy who knows a guy and now find that you can leave but never return to the US. It gets messy when you are on a list and that list is secret and you cannot get off it because the people who put you on the list are unknown to you.

Kevin Drum gives us one example:

A few weeks ago, Rehan Motiwala tried to board a flight home to Los Angeles. Here’s what happened when he changed planes in Bangkok:

Airline staff in Bangkok refused to issue him a boarding pass for his connecting flight. U.S. and Thai officials told him that he could not travel but offered no explanation, leading him to believe he’d been placed on the U.S. government’s secret no-fly list.

After dozing on benches and wandering the airport terminal for four nights, Motiwala was told that a Justice Department official had arrived from the United States to question him. When he declined to answer questions without a lawyer present, U.S. officials left him in the custody of Thai authorities, who tossed him into a detention center in the bowels of Suvarnabhumi Airport.

….Motiwala, whose parents are of Pakistani origin, was not told why he might be on the list. A likely possibility, however, is his contact with Tablighi Jamaat, a conservative Muslim missionary movement based in South Asia.

Obviously Motiwala wasn’t on the no-fly list when he left the country last year, and obviously he was on the list when he tried to return. The lesson is pretty clear: be careful who you talk to, citizen. You really don’t want to get on our list, do you?

Other articles about the incident have this to say:

He finally flew out of Bangkok on Friday, landing at LAX around 11 a.m., but was held for questioning for over three hours by Customs and Border Protection officers. The agents asked him about his travels and confiscated his laptop, external hard drive, flash drive, SIM card and other materials, saying they wanted to make copies of the contents, Motiwala said.

“I’m pretty tired but just very glad to be home and back with my family,” he said.

Motiwala’s legal difficulties may not be over. His lawyers believe he may still be on the no-fly list and barred from air travel. They said he had not decided whether to pursue legal action against the government.

A US citizen on US soil and he is not “secure in his persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,…” Was it reasonable to search and seize his effects because he may know a guy who knows a guy? Emphasis on “may”….

Sequestration and TSA and flying in America

“Transportation Security Administration: Isn’t planning any furloughs; will rely on a hiring freeze and reductions in overtime, according to a union official”

Here’s the link.

Ken Braun says that long lines at airports are all my fault. Look here.

Napolitano says that we should not yell at TSA agents.Look here.

Remember this? “The Obama Administration claimed the cuts would cause massive back-ups at security checkpoints. It didn’t. They said international travelers would face gigantic waits at Customs and Immigration facilities. We haven’t. They warned the closure of 147 air-traffic-control towers at lightly used airports would devastate commercial aviation. It won’t. Besides, a flurry of last-minute lawsuits has delayed any shutdowns until at least June 15.”

So if nothing has occurred that impacts the number of planes that can fly nor the number of TSA agents to screen people , then why did I spend 45 minutes trying to get through Seattle airport security on a Friday morning?

And it is not my fault, Ken. I have a routine that I follow every time I go through security but, until Friday, I have never had to remove my handkerchief from my back pants pocket and I have flown as much as 100,000 air miles in a single year.

Air travel sucks today. Bring back regulation. The de-regulation policy has brought lower prices for seats (it used to be passage, remember?) but every bag that I check costs me money while idiots with more carry-ons than a Hyundai can pack in its trunk are free to stuff them in the overhead. Every change in reservations costs me $150 round trip. Really? Really!

And don’t get me started on the customer service, the on board service, the cramped seating, and full airplanes. But if you really want to pick a fight with me, try telling me how pre-screened authorization for travelers is something that I ought to do.

I am so glad that I no longer fly 100,000 miles a year. I don’t have the stomach for it. Nor the cash for all the things that once were included as part of my passage. Tell me again how free markets work to the advantage of the consumer.

I can get a really cheap and uncomfortable seat if I book 30 days in advance, don’t change my reservation, don’t check any bags, and don’t eat on board. I can board last and not find any overhead bins to lay my jacket in without it being crushed by 40 pounds of garment bags. While waiting to board, there are not enough seats in the lounge area and people sit on the floor nearest to electrical outlets for laptops.

The sky may still be friendly but the person I talked with to have my wife and I sit together told me I had to get a seat assignment at the gate.(And I am a SkyMiles member, too!)  So I went on line and found that I could pay an additional $40 each for premium seats and we could book seats together.

Did I mention that the tickets were free? They were redeemed for being a good credit card customer. Those two free tickets cost me $600 when all was said and done. That is in addition to taking my clothes off, shoes off, belt off, and removing my handkerchief, pulling my iPad out of a case and sticking it into its own bin. I could not place my lightweight fleece zip-up on it for security reasons. Oh, I did read the sign that says if I was born before this date in 1937 that I could keep my shoes and jacket on while going through security. Shame that I missed that by about 14 years. I am guessing you missed it, too.

Why fly anymore? Well, there is the time vs money trade-off and I can tell you that driving for two days is now more appealing than flying.

If sequestration isn’t the problem then what is?

I think we need to bring back regulation and improve the travelers’ experience with flying.

And if you start telling me about terrorism, I will point out that no other travel mode has this level of security and they are doing just fine. Let’s get rid of this cr@p and get back to serving customers.It is a shame on the flying industry that I prefer government regulation over what we have today,

If you are an executive for Delta, United, Southwest, American, or any of the other 11 airline companies in the US, what are you doing to improve the traveler’s experience with your airline company? I say ‘nothing’. What do you say?