Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Jihadist Who Almost Stole Christmas...


...or at least Black Friday.

Above is the booking photo of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a 19-year old who's had visions of jihad dancing in his head since he was 15.  He tried detonating a car bomb during a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, OR.

Fortunately, all the material was inert, thanks to the FBI who managed this sting operation.   Yahoo and AP has the story:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101127/ap_on_re_us/us_portland_car_bomb_plot 

At 19, I guess he couldn't wait any longer to get his alloted 72 virgins.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Breaking News: N. Korea Fires Artillery Rounds into S. Korea


While working through nightshift, my coworker and I caught this special report bulletin:  North Korea fired several artillery rounds into South Korea, inflicting several casualties.  (The artillery battery pictured above is a generic photo).

The Washington Post (WaPo) has this unfolding story:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/23/AR2010112300880.html

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seattle-Tacoma's Winter Wonderland

(Image of morning commute from:  The Seattle Times)

Winter held the Pacific Northwest in it's icy grip throughout the day.  A combination of below-freezing temperatures, high wind and snowfall was enough to cause major traffic snarls during the morning commute.
From The Seattle Times:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013497332_seattleroads23m.html 



(Image of the evening commute from:  The Seattle Times)

While this morning's commute was bad, this evening's was worse.  We got hit with another round of snow, but thanks to my 4-wheel drive, I made it in to work.  (I hijacked the picture above before leaving).
Once again, from The Seattle Times:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/theweatherbeat/

But as the evening wore on, things got ugly, especially in Seattle:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/theweatherbeat/2013498581_i-5_seattle_areas_newest_parking_lot.html

Parts of I-5 were at a complete standstill with folks stuck for over 6 hours--and counting--on the highway, with no relief in sight.

While a little additional snow is predicted for the next couple of days, temperatures are expected to remain below freezing.  The weather is suppose to warm up by Thanksgiving.

Something we can all be thankful for.

Here's a photo & video gallery (with a commercial), illustrating some highlights of today's weather:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/photogalleries/localnews2013497477/

Friday, November 19, 2010

Audacity of Grope


Yeah, this elderly woman is obviously a threat to national security. 

I copied the title of this post, from the following article in Frontpagemag.com:

http://frontpagemag.com/2010/11/19/the-audacity-of-grope/

Outrage over TSA's politically-correct infested procedure is growing.  Just like the Israelis, we know who our enemies are and it's time start profiling people instead of devices.  I became disgusted with the security procedures since the liquid bomber incident.  Since I get dehydrated easily, I use to pack my own water and sports drinks.  And I've been stranded too many times, that I liked taking a full-sized shaving kit with me to stay fresh during my ordeal.

I, along with millions of travelers, aren't allowed such conveniences anymore.  So the question is:  How much more are law-abiding travelers willing to take?

Charles Krauthammer rolls-in with an excellent piece in the Washington Post (WaPo) against the "...national homage to political correctness..." that is TSA:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/18/AR2010111804494.html

Meanwhile, Sean Hannity and Mark Steyn, a long-time critic of the "shoeless shuffle," tag-team Lanny Davis over this issue in yesterday's episode of Hannity:

http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/hannity/transcript/039give-me-liberty-or-give-me-grope039-heated-debate-tsa-screenings

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Salvatore Giunta: America's Newest Hero


Two days ago, President Obama awareded the Congressional Medal of Honor (CMH) to Staff Sergeant (SSG) Slavatore Giunta for his actions in Afghanistan.  What makes SSG Giunta's award so unique is that he survived his ordeal.

I can't put it any more eloquently than Willaim McGurn of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ):


Here's a Fox News article with a video interview of SSG Giunta:


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

(Image:  Seattle Lightning by Marc Staiger, 07/03/08; on Storms in the City website)

While there were no reported lightning strikes, as depicted in the above photo, last night's storm roared in with 45-60 mph winds.  When I drove to the gym bright and early this morning, roadways were covered with pine needles, leaves and branches.  Little did I know that hundreds of thousands were without power.

The Seattle Times has the story:


Meanwhile tonight's forecast is:


Even though I was up and about, I didn't feel this morning's earthquake either:



Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Two Faces of Rememberence Day (11 November), UK


The above photo of a Rememberence Day Parade shows multiculturalism, coupled with assimilation, at its best.

Unlike the photo below, demonstrating what happens when you remove assimilation from the multiculturalism equation:



The UK's Mail Online has an excellent story on these events, highlighting the cultural fault line running through the British Isles:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1328703/Two-faces-Armistice-Day-Boy-brimming-pride-fanatics-burning-hate.html


Seminar on Russian Gangs


Last week I attended a one-day seminar on Russian gangs.  The speaker was Al Valdez, PhD., a specialist on youth violence and gang sociology.  He is also the author of Gangs: A Guide to Understanding Street Gangs

He was a very informative, engaging and amusing speaker.  I highly recommend attending any training session he teaches.

He can be contacted via his website at:


His book is available through Amazon.com:


While we were given handouts, watched several short videos and had the opportunity to buy his book, I managed to jot down the following notes--

Quote from Vincente Fox, President of Mexico:


It is not the drugs or the guns, but the money that causes problems

Everybody has a price

Introductory Notes:

Joining gangs can be a matter of survival for teens in poorest parts of the world.

China is dumping money into S & C America to exploit its resources and build ports, which could inlfuence South American gangs and organized crime.

When you have a corrupt society, there is no one you can trust. Everyone wears multiple hats and have multiple personalities.

World-wide drug market: $400 billion.

US consumes ½ the worlds drugs.

Pot is the #1 illegal cash crop in the US.

Drug cartels use some proceeds for public works—a “Robin Hood” effect.

Generational Gangs:

1st—Turf Gangs, or street gangs
2nd—Market orientated gangs, drug centered
3rd—Mix of political/mercenary elements

--involved in: Politicization, Globalization (assisted by technology) and sophistication.

Concentration of economic and political power of these 3rd Level gangs is equal to, or greater than the GDP of many nation-states. These gangs pose a significant threat to national security (see Mexico).

The activities of gangs reduce the effectiveness of a nation’s police force(s) and military authority.

Russian Social Slang Terms:

Stilyagi—Youth’s imitating western culture.

Khippie—hippies

Fanaty—rowdy soccer fans

Pacifics—Punk rockers

Rokery—Biker gangs

Metallisty—Metal band fans.

Banda—generic term for gangs

Pakhan—boss

Bezprisornye—the current, generic term for gang.

Vorovskoy Zakon—Thieves Code.

American gang culture is/has been exported due to globalization.

“Mim”—mimicking cultures.

Gangs in Russia:

Gangs and organized crime (OC) have existed for 400 years, but first documented between 1918—1921. Then described as hooliganism.

1927—The “Neglected Children,” or “Gezpriornye,” orphans of the Russian Civil War and WWI. Russians used the term Informal Youth Groups (IYG). Russian delinquency reached as high as 70-75%.

In Russia, gang members are often coworkers.

Prison gangs formed first, then street gangs. (Whereas in the US it was just the opposite).

Poverty has played a big role. Many people are merely opportunistic, in order to take advantage of goods and services that are in short supply.

From 1960s-1980s over 35 million people were incarcerated in the USSR. (Compared to about 3 million in the US today).

Now about 28-30 million Russians have prison tattoos (“tatted”).

Russian prison gangs were known as the Society of Thieves or Thieves World.

From 1945-1953 prison violence was known as “The Bitch War.” During WII, many prisoners accepted Stalin’s promise of parole if they’d join the army and fight. When the war was over—they went back to prison and were looked down upon by the other prisoners. Called “Suki,” or bitches.

9 Nov 1989—The Berlin Wall falls.

25 Dec 1991—The USSR falls.

These events left a power vacuum in Russia in which OC took over.

1st US criminal activity of Russian Organized Crime (ROC)--?

There are now 200 ROC groups operating in the US.

ROC is now transnational. While in the US ROC has banded together with other gangs.

Nicknames: The Red Mafia, or Red Fellas.

Gang Initiations:

“Entry fee” into a gang is a “beat-in,” or “jump-in.” That is, the candidate is beaten by members in order to be accepted. Sometimes a “crime-in” can be done in place of a beat-in. For girls, they enter a gang through a “sex-in.” They do this for protection against physical or sexual violence. The girls are most often underage.

Gang Culture:

Spread through music--rap being the most popular.
Attracts 13-16 yr-olds.
4-11% of gang members are female.

There are 3 types of female gangs:

1. Auxiliaries of a male gang
2. Coed gangs
3. All-female gangs.

Most female gangs disappeared in Russia by ’96 and are now coed gangs.

19-24 yr-olds constitute 70% of gang members
10-30 yr-olds constitute 85% of gang members

Market types:

White—1st Tier, or legal goods
Grey—2nd Tier, or restricted goods, possibly illegal
Black—3rd Tier, or illegal goods

Gang Violence:

Violence is a universal language.

Violence is a strong cohesive force in the world.

Crime statistics can be skewed due to advances in modern medicine. Most shooting victims are rushed to the ER within the “Golden Hour,” where they stand an 85% chance of survival. Therefore, statistically speaking, deaths due to violent crime appear to have gone down, when in actuality, crime rates are escalating.

92% of gang violence is done with handguns.

Gang Organization:

Elite--Top Tier
Support and Security--Middle Tier
Working Teams--Low/Street Tier
Street operators do not know the identity of the upper tier leaders.

Typical Gang Activities:

Fuel Frauds
Fake IDs
Extortion
Telecommunications Fraud
Medical Goods & Services Frauds
Medical and Auto Insurance Frauds
Loan Sharking
Auto Theft
Murder and Contract Hits
Money Laundering (for ROC primarily through Finland, Cayman Is., Europe and the US).

US Law vs. Gangs

It is not illegal to join a gang in the US. The Freedom of Association is guaranteed by the US Constitution. Therefore, US military and employees have to hire gang members.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Who'd a Thunk It?


News agencies are a-buzz over an exodus of folks from Arizona in the wake of it's impending tougher immigration law.  Depending on what article you read, these folks are classified as "aliens," "illegal aliens," or merely "Hispanics."

Here's an Hispanic slant from USA Today:


While Fox News rolls-in with the illegal alien angle:


Many of these folks are fleeing to other states within the US.  But what FOX News (and only FOX News) points out, is that many others are returning to Mexico. 

I should be surprised other news agencies aren't broadcasting this new phenomena.  But over the past several years, the main stream media has demonstrated its bias in nearly every breaking story.

Back to the folks leaving Arizona:  Amazing what happens when laws are enforced isn't it?

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Evergreen State Retains its Tinge of Blue


The WA State senatorial race finally ended.  Dino Rossi, the Republican contender, conceded earlier today with the results, according to the Tacoma News Tribune, of:

Murray--51.27%
Rossi----48.73%

A 2.54% lead, is not exactly a mandate.

The Seattle Times has the full story:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013349573_senate05m.html

One of my friends made this excellent observation:  That our newly re-elected senator must be on really thin ice.  During her campaign, she had the following political heavyweights fly in to help her out:  Obama--twice, the First Lady and Joe Biden.  And yet she couldn't get beyond a 3% lead.

Patti Murray, along with several other senators and congressmen, managed to hang on to their seats, despite the Republican resurgence on Election Day.  For WA State, it usually boils down to Seattle/King County, Everett/Snohomish County and Olympia/Thurston County, being the final arbiters of elections.

At least we're not as bad off as New York or California:

http://city-journal.org/2010/eon1103fs.html

Yet.

I think this assessment by Mark Steyn in his Reading the Tea Leaves blog during the Election Night coverage, is spot-on:

11.45pm In California, Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown have beaten Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, two Republican candidates tailored for the Golden State, professional, centrist, and without any of that establishment-disturbing Tea Party craziness like certain lady candidates in Delaware and Nevada. And they both lost. I think we're seeing in California the limits of the democratic process in a Big Government state. The statist workforce and the dependency class can outvote the productive class. And, given the number of Californian small businesses who'll be ordering the U-Haul in the morning, that electoral gap will only widen in 2012 and beyond. California is Greece: The arithmetic does not allow for meaningful correction. The question is whether Texas and other non-insane states will volunteer to play Germany to Sacramento's ouzo-swiggers.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Liberal Pundit Spin on Election Day 2010


MSNBC, as well as liberal pundits from other networks and news agencies, pulled out all the stops to denigrate the GOP wins on Election Day.

S.E. Cupp rolls-in on several of the worst biased offenders in the NY Daily News:

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/11/03/2010-11-03_election_results_show_liberal_media_more_out_of_touch_than_democrats_pundits_bli.html

Meanwhile, The Daily Beast, posted a collection of choice video clips:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-11-03/election-media-coverage-video-of-msnbcs-apocalyptic-night/

And it's not just the conservative, "worse than the Taliban," commentators that have taken notice.  Apparently, Ol' Tingly Legs Matthews is drawing fire for his "hypnotized" comments at Michelle Bachmann:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20101104/el_yblog_upshot/matthews-msnbcs-election-night-line-up-sparks-criticism

Even CNN was given a passing grade for unbiased election coverage.  No wonder MSNBC is dead last in the viewership ratings.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Well, You Can't Win 'Em All


Before Election Day was officially over at midnight, it was clear the Republicans will gain control of the House of Representatives, while the Democrats retain control of the Senate.  Pundits are still sifting through the data and reading the politcal tea leaves.

From FOX News:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/03/republicans-capture-house-historic-wave-make-gains-senate/

With a similar story from the Seattle Times:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2013329364_uselexmain03.html

Unfortunately, for us right-of-center folks here in the Evergreen State, it appears that Patty Murray will be able to retain her seat in the Senate:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013329525_elexsenate03m.html

However, even more important than the candidates, the WA State midterm election was about several proposals that were on the ballot.  This is one of the few states in the union without a state income tax--and Washingtonians voted to keep it that way.  The tax on soda, candy and bottled water, the state legislature snuck in last year was also tossed.  The details are in the Seattle Times:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013329508_elextaxinits03m.html

Despite how one feels about the election's outcome anywhere in the country, the results send a clear message to politicians who think of themselves as our political ruling class:  You better keep "checking your 6 o'clock position" (your backside)--you answer to We, the People.

Monday, November 1, 2010

T'was the Night Before Election Day...


Most pundits agree that Republicans will make gains throughout the country in tomorrow's Election Day.

The question is:  How big will their gains be?

FOX News has an Election 2010 guide:


From a local perspective, the Seattle Times highlights key races and the decisive times:


Speaking of local perspective, here in the Evergreen State, one of my coworkers pointed out that Patty Murray is having some real problems.  Despite visits by Obama (twice), First Lady Michelle Obama and Joe Biden, she's still fighting for her political life against Dino Rossi.  Polls show it to be either a dead heat, or she's ahead by a mere 2%.

Regardless of this almost-good news, a few of us are rather cynical about Washington State's electoral process.  It will probably come down to Seattle/King County deciding the winner and only after several recounts until the person with  the parenthetical "D" attached to their name is declared the winner.

We'll see.