Tuesday, October 6, 2015

LAPD Officers Feared Ambush Because of Rappers' Video

At the Los Angeles Times, "LAPD shooting: Officers feared ambush after seeing video, attorney says":

For days, a 15-second video circulated on social media that alarmed Los Angeles police.

Taken from a vehicle parked behind a black-and-white police cruiser in downtown L.A., the clip opened with a view of the patrol car then flashed down to show someone holding a revolver. The person showed the gun off for the camera, then cut back to the patrol car as an officer got out and walked away.

Worried the video was a threat against its officers, LAPD officials briefed the rank-and-file about the recording, warning officers in roll call meetings to be on alert.

On Tuesday, police said that the department’s robbery-homicide detectives — tasked with investigating the LAPD’s more complex and high-profile cases — now believe the video wasn’t a threat against officers but a promotional video filmed by an early 1990s rap group trying to earn street cred and make a comeback.

The clip, however, has already had serious consequences. Investigators have arrested one person who they say was in the car at the time and have a warrant for the man they believe was holding the gun.

Meanwhile, an attorney representing two officers who fatally shot a man Saturday night said the pair had seen the video and thought they were under attack when the man threw what turned out to be a beer bottle through their patrol car’s back window.

Attorney Gary Fullerton said the video was discussed in at least two roll call meetings that the officers attended, including one the same day as the shooting. The officers were also warned that they might be ambushed from behind, he said.

“Both officers were very focused on that,” Fullerton said. “When the window got blown out, they looked at each other and said, 'We're being shot at.'“

Fullerton said that after the shooting, the officers told investigators they thought they were being attacked because of the video they had seen.

The lawyer said that even if the video wasn't a threat, there are others who do want to harm police officers. He defended the officers' actions, saying it was reasonable for them to think they were being fired upon.

“Officers feel very, very vulnerable out there right now. They feel that at any moment somebody could attack them,” he said. “The officers feel terrible because they were 100% convinced that the guy was shooting at them.”

As of Tuesday evening, the man's name had not been released by coroner's officials, who are still trying to locate his family. He was the 18th person shot and killed by LAPD officers this year.

LAPD officials said the man walked up behind the police cruiser, which was stopped at a red light in Van Nuys, and threw a 40-ounce beer bottle, shattering the car's back window. The two officers bailed out of the car and opened fire, killing the man.

When investigators searched his body and the nearby scene, police said, they did not find a weapon...
Keep reading.

U.S. Concludes Russia Targeting CIA-Backed Rebels in Syria (VIDEO)

Holly Williams has the report at the CBS News clip below.

And at the Wall Street Journal, "U.S. Sees Russian Drive Against CIA-Backed Rebels in Syria":

Russia has targeted Syrian rebel groups backed by the Central Intelligence Agency in a string of airstrikes running for days, leading the U.S. to conclude that it is an intentional effort by Moscow, American officials said.

The assessment, which is shared by commanders on the ground, has deepened U.S. anger at Moscow and sparked a debate within the administration over how the U.S. can come to the aid of its proxy forces without getting sucked deeper into a proxy war that President Barack Obama says he doesn’t want. The White House has so far been noncommittal about coming to the aid of CIA-backed rebels, wary of taking steps that could trigger a broader conflict.

U.S. officials said Russia’s targeting of its allies on the ground was a direct challenge to Mr. Obama’s Syria policy. Underlining the distrust, the Pentagon decided against sharing any information with Moscow about the areas where U.S. allies were located because it suspected Russia would use that information to target them more directly or provide the information to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

“On day one, you can say it was a one-time mistake,” a senior U.S. official said of Russia’s strike on one of the allied rebel group’s headquarters. “But on day three and day four, there’s no question it’s intentional. They know what they’re hitting.”

U.S. officials say they now believe the Russians have been directly targeting CIA-backed rebel groups that pose the most direct threat to Mr. Assad since the campaign began on Wednesday, both to firm up regime positions and to send a message to Mr. Obama’s administration.

Russian officials said last week that they had launched the air campaign in Syria to fight the extremist group Islamic State and other terrorists—adopting the language that the Syrian regime uses to refer to all its opponents. U.S. intelligence officials said the primary mission of the operation appeared to be shoring up the Assad regime and preventing rebels gaining any additional ground on government-controlled areas, rather than fighting Islamic State.

A spokesman for Russia’s Embassy in Washington said: “Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has made it clear on multiple occasions that the airstrikes are targeted at ISIL [Islamic State], Nusra, and other terrorist groups.”

Top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have described the current campaign as limited to airstrikes. But Adm. Vladimir Komoyedov, the head of the defense committee of Russia’s lower house of parliament, said he couldn’t rule out that Russian “volunteers” might surface in Syria, much as they did in Ukraine on the side of separatists, according to state news agency Interfax...
Russian "volunteers," like the "little green men" in Crimea back in early 2014. Funny how the "volunteers" just show up so conveniently in all the hot spots.

But keep reading.

Josephine Skriver Wicked Hot in Revealing Lingerie

She's a Victoria's Secret gal.

At Egotastic, "Jospehine Skriver just jumped several rungs on the sextastic ladder, both for Danish and international climbers, with her new revealing lingerie pimping particulars for Victoria's Secret."

And on Twitter.

'Whatever Gets You thru the Night...'

From the Sound L.A., during yesterday afternoon's drive time.

At Wikipedia:
This was Lennon's only solo number 1 single in the United States during his lifetime, and Lennon was the last member of The Beatles to achieve his first American number one solo hit. The recording featured Elton John on harmony vocals and piano. While in the studio, Elton bet Lennon that the song would top the charts, and such was Lennon's scepticism that Elton secured from him a promise to appear on stage at one of his performances should the record indeed hit number one. When the record did achieve that feat, Lennon appeared at Elton John's Thanksgiving performance at Madison Square Garden on 28 November 1974. It was his last major concert appearance.

Light My Fire
The Doors

Hot Blooded
3:22 PM

Back On the Chain Gang
3:18 PM

Old Time Rock & Roll
Bob Seger
3:15 PM

Straight On
3:11 PM

Hurts So Good
John Mellencamp
3:07 PM

Born to Be Wild
3:04 PM

Second Hand News
Fleetwood Mac
3:01 PM

London Calling
The Clash
2:52 PM

Whatever Gets You Thru the Night
Elton John & John Lennon
2:49 PM

Somebody to Love
2:44 PM

Welcome to the Jungle
Guns N' Roses
2:39 PM

Pink Floyd
2:33 PM

Don't Stop Believin'
2:22 PM

Don't Do Me Like That
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
2:19 PM

Summer In the City
The Lovin' Spoonful
2:17 PM

Just What I Needed
The Cars
2:13 PM

Dana Loesch's Hands Off My Gun Out in Paperback!

Don't miss Dana's book in paperback, Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America.

How About a Debate Over Common-Sense Mental-Health Laws?

At WSJ, "A Shooting in Oregon":
As we went to press Friday, federal, state and local authorities in Oregon were trying to piece together the inevitable puzzle of motive that led to the slaughter of at least nine students at a community college in the small town of Roseburg.

Sheriff John Hanlin of Douglas County, like law officers elsewhere recently, has ordered his staff not to use the name of the alleged killer, lest it merely glorify what he did. This is an understandable, if ultimately quixotic, gesture in the modern media age. The whole world soon will be saturated with the name of Chris Harper-Mercer and every possible detail—some of it true, some of it barely verified—of his life and the tragedy at Umpqua Community College.

One certainty in the wake of the massacre is that gun control will be discussed avidly for the next few weeks, as after past incidents. This debate emerged after a crazed gunman killed 12 individuals at the Navy Yard in Washington in 2013. And after a classroom in Newtown, the movie theater in Aurora and after Virginia Tech.

President Obama called for gun legislation: “This is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America.” But Americans did not choose to set a madman loose with a gun. Mr. Obama also called for “common-sense gun-safety laws.” The American people, we suspect, would like more evidence of which “common-sense” policies will work and which won’t before they consent to abrogating the Second Amendment.

Our own view remains that what deserves equal if not greater political attention are common-sense mental-health laws. It is now established that Harper-Mercer attended the Switzer Learner Center, in Torrance, Calif., which treats teenagers with emotional disabilities and mental-health problems. He ended up in Roseburg.

The element of untreated mental or emotional disturbance is present in most of the individuals who commit horrific mass killings in the U.S. If it is preordained that talking heads must argue for days now about guns in America, at least let some specialists enter the debate to discuss how identifying and treating disturbed brains might contribute to forestalling the madness of murdering innocent strangers...

Leftists don't want a debate on mental health. They want to abolish the Second Amendment.

Just Out from Steven Lee Myers, The New Tsar

Well, Putin certainly seems more impressive by the day. This last week's maneuvering in Syria, with Russia bombing U.S.-backed rebels, was quite the move --- and with no repercussions from the Obama White House!

See Steven Lee Myers, The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin.

 photo 9780307961617_zpsgzzjotqj.jpg

Disneyland Raises Annual Pass Prices (VIDEO)

When he was in high school, we bought our oldest son annual passes a couple of years in a row. They were about $400.00. Now the top-level pass is going for $1,000.00.

At the O.C. Register, "Disneyland raises annual pass prices, introduces $1,000 pass, and discontinues Premium pass."

Angels Still Feel Sense of Achievement After Season-Ending Loss

Well, I was saying so much the other day.

At LAT, "After season-ending loss, Angels still feel a sense of achievement":
The adrenaline rush from three weeks of playoff-intensity baseball and the euphoria of several heart-stopping victories gave way to the emptiness of a long, cold winter for the Angels on Sunday.

Postseason longshots after a 10-19 August, the Angels kept their playoff hopes alive right up to the final day of the season, going 20-10 in September and October, winning 12 of 13 one-run games since Sept. 9 and staging a remarkable comeback with a five-run ninth inning Saturday.

But those visions of a momentum-fueled run through October were dashed amid a flurry of walks, fielding miscues and hits during a 37-minute seventh inning in which the Texas Rangers scored six runs against five Angels relievers en route to a 9-2 victory in Globe Life Park.

Left-hander Cole Hamels, acquired from Philadelphia in a July 31 trade, gave up two runs, three hits and struck out eight batters in a complete-game effort to help the Rangers clinch their sixth American League West title and knock the Angels out of playoff contention.

Adding salt to the Angels' wounds: Houston lost to Arizona on Sunday. Had the Angels defeated Texas, they would have forced a one-game tiebreaker against the Astros on Monday to determine the second AL wild-card team. Instead, Houston will play the New York Yankees in Tuesday night's wild-card game...

Plus, "Angels' rallying cry next year: Remember Game No. 161."

Monday, October 5, 2015

Gerod Roth Fired from Polaris Marketing Group for Racist Facebook Post

At the Atlanta Blackstar, via Memeorandum, "Multiple Firings After Racially Charged Facebook Remarks Mocking a Black Child Go Viral."

Also at London's Daily Mail, "White marketing employee fired after posting a selfie and hateful racist comments with the son of a black colleague calling the little boy a 'slave'."

Just one more reminder that social media often brings out the worst in people, and also that people are way to casual about the kind of stuff they post to their feeds, thinking that their indiscretions won't be seen by the wider world out there. Times have changed folks. While personally I've seen much worse online, clearly, especially given how adorable that kid is, some people need to dig down deep in search of some moral well of decency.

Claire Danes Discusses 'Homeland'

Season five's first episode was great. I especially liked agent Peter Quinn's debriefing on his two years spent in Syria, in a meeting to top CIA honchos (he says the U.S. needs 200,000 boots on the ground, if we're serious, and that Islamic State has a strategy, plans for a caliphate, while the U.S. has bupkes).

See Variety, "‘Homeland’ Recap: Meet the New Carrie Mathison in ‘Separation Anxiety’." And at WSJ, "‘Homeland’ Season Five Premiere: An Intelligence Expert Weighs In."

Obama Not Welcome in Roseburg, Says Local Newspaper Publisher (VIDEO)

You gotta love it.

From Lee Stranahan, at Big Government:
David Jaques, the publisher of the conservative newspaper the Roseburg Beacon, says he believes that President Obama would not be welcome to the town after making remarks politicizing the shooting that left nine dead and nine injured at Umpqua Community College on October 1. Jaques told Breitbart News that he believes officials of Douglas County would also not welcome the President using the tragedy to score political points for a gun control agenda.

Any visit by President would be “a campaign stop for agenda to take away American citizen’s right to own firearms” said Jaques in an exclusive interview...
Plus, watch here, "Roseburg Beacon publisher David Jaques says a problem Obama is not welcome after his comments politicizing the shooting death of nine people at Umpaqua Community College."

Discrimination Against Asian-Americans in College Admissions

It's not a new problem, but as we get even more diverse, especially with Chinese immigrants emerging as the fastest growing immigrant group, expect to see more controversy over race-based affirmative action policies.

See Robert Stacy McCain for the write-up, "Anti-Asian Discrimination: The Hidden Secret of Elite Educational ‘Diversity’."

And see if you can get to this piece, which I can still recall from back in the day, at WSJ, "Is Admissions Bar Higher for Asians at Elite Schools?"

Also, on Facebook, Asian Americans Against Affirmative Action.

U.S. Freighter El Faro Sunk by Hurricane Joaquin (VIDEO)

Jeez, this is freakin' rad.

At the New York Times, "US-Based Cargo Ship With Crew of 33 Sank in Storm."

The Breakdown of the Black Family

From Kay Hymowitz, at the Atlantic, "Mass Incarceration and the Uncomfortable Realities of Black Family Life":
With the publication of “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration” Ta-Nehisi Coates has added an elegant and forceful voice to the growing frustration with the inefficacy and injustice of America’s criminal-justice system. Mandatory-sentencing laws, the War on Drugs, juvenile-justice sentences that seem to do more to create than deter criminals, racial arrest and sentencing disparities: All are ready for a tough national cross-examination.

But even in the unlikely event that Washington and state legislatures successfully adapt the nation’s crime policies to a safer, more racially sensitive era, the nation will still look around to find more black men in prison than it might expect or want. There’s a simple reason for that, one that Coates himself notes: Relative to other groups, blacks commit more crimes. To understand why is to tackle some very hard-to-talk-about realities of black family life.  And on that issue—and despite his announced interest in the topic—Coates has been the opposite of lucid.

Coates puts forward two interconnected, but flawed, theories about mass incarceration. First, he argues that there is no relationship between crime and incarceration rates, pointing his readers to a chart showing two apparently disparate trend lines. The first line shows crime levels rising dramatically after 1960; the second shows the rise in incarceration rates coming some 15 years later. Because of the 15-year gap, Coates concludes something other than a crime wave must have led Americans to lock up so many black men after 1975. “Imprisonment rates actually fell from the 1960s through the early ’70s,” he writes “even as violent crime increased … The incarceration rate rose independent of crime—but not of criminal-justice policy.”

That conclusion ignores something American history teaches over and over: The democratic process is groaningly, and often tragically, slow. Policy lags the most pressing social problems: Today’s exhibit A is immigration. “Thought leaders were slow to catch up,” after crime rates began falling and incarceration rates rising in the early 1990s, Coates observes. So too were they slow to catch up in the 1960s as crime was on the rise while incarceration rates moved not at all. It takes time to distinguish trends from blips, national changes from local upticks; witness the current debate over the significance of murder rates that are rising in Baltimore, St. Louis, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., while remaining relatively flat in New York and Los Angeles. Contemporary surveys of public opinion show precisely the expected reaction to rising crime. “Popular support for liberal policies on crime and rehabilitation grew steadily” from the 1930s until the mid 1960s,” according to Thomas and Mary Edsall. “At that juncture public opinion shifted decisively in a rightward direction as crime rates rose sharply.”

Courts and legislatures dawdled, as they often tend to do. Today’s agonizing pictures from Europe, though, illustrate how people, particularly parents, living under the threat of violence will vote with their feet if they possibly can. In the 1960s, whites still living in increasingly crime-ridden urban areas, and more than a few blacks, simply left for safer suburbs. (An excellent chronicle of how this played out in the South Bronx can be found here.) Those blacks who remained, often because of the discriminatory housing policies Coates describes, joined local community and church groups to demand more aggressive policing and harsher penalties for crimes, including for drug offenses.

Black alarm about crime raises doubts about Coates’s second theory, that “the carceral state” was a new “system of control,” of black people. According to this line of thinking, the reason Americans started putting more people in jail circa 1975—“mass incarceration” wasn’t “mass” for years after it started—was that they wanted to perpetuate a racial caste system, or as Coates puts it, to keep blacks “unfree.”
Keep reading.

Hymowitz is the author of, Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age.

Hillary Clinton Exploits Oregon Massacre to Push for More Gun Control

At Bloomberg, "Clinton Proposes New Gun Measures, Staking Claim vs. Sanders."

Hillary Gun Control photo CQZOR5bUwAAiuXc_zpsjyfbtocr.png

Also at Memeorandum.

Image Credit: Ms. EBL.

Delta Force Secretly Killed Iranian Agents in Iraq — with IEDs

From Sean Naylor, at the New York Post:
The Iraq war was, in part, a proxy battle between the US and Iran. But fighting it had “political restrictions,” author Sean Naylor writes. In his new book,Relentless Strike: The Secret History of Joint Special Operations Command,” Naylor reveals that US special operations forces came up with a solution, one that would let them conduct secret assassinations without anyone — even our own FBI — finding out.

By early 2007, some US intelligence estimates held that as many as 150 Iranian operatives were in Iraq. Many were member of the Quds Force, the covert arm of Iran’s Shi’ite theocracy. Their mission was to coordinate the violent campaign being waged against US forces by Iraq’s Shi’ite militias.

“It was 100 percent, ‘Are you willing to kill Americans and are you willing to coordinate attacks?’ ” said an officer who studied the Quds Force’s approach closely. “ ‘If the answer is “yes,” here’s arms, here’s money.’ ”
The Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) set up a new task force, named Task Force 17.

Its mandate was simple: go after “anything that Iran is doing to aid in the destabilization of Iraq,” said a Task Force 17 officer...
Keep reading.

I blogged Naylor's book last night, "Sean Naylor's New Book, Relentless Strike: The Secret History of Joint Special Operations Command."

Putin's Aggression in Syria Taking Advantage of Obama's Inaction, New Regional Architecture

A great piece, from Caroline Glick, at Town Hall, "Israel's Risk Aversion Problem":
On Wednesday the Obama administration was caught off guard by Russia’s rapid rise in Syria. As the Russians began bombing a US-supported militia along the Damascus-Homs highway, Secretary of State John Kerry was meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, at the UN. Just hours before their meeting Kerry was insisting that Russia’s presence in Syria would likely be a positive development.

Reacting to the administration’s humiliation, Republican Sen. John McCain said, “This administration has confused our friends, encouraged our enemies, mistaken an excess of caution for prudence and replaced the risks of action with the perils of inaction.”

McCain added that Russian President Vladimir Putin had stepped “into the wreckage of this administration’s Middle East policy.”

While directed at the administration, McCain’s general point is universally applicable. Today is no time for an overabundance of caution.

The system of centralized regimes that held sway in the Arab world since the breakup of the Ottoman Empire nearly a century ago has unraveled. The shape of the new order has yet to be determined.

The war in Syria and the chaos and instability engulfing the region are part and parcel of the birth pangs of a new regional governing architecture now taking form. Actions taken by regional and global actors today will likely will influence power relations for generations.

Putin understands the opportunity of the moment.

He views the decomposition of Syria as an opportunity to rebuild Russia’s power and influence in the Middle East – at America’s expense.

Russia isn’t the only strategic player seeking to exploit the war in Syria and the regional chaos. Turkey and Iran are also working assiduously to take advantage of the current absence of order to advance their long term interests.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is exploiting the rise of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq to fight the Kurds in both countries. Erdogan’s goal is twofold: to prevent the establishment of an independent Kurdistan and to disenfranchise the Kurds in Turkey.

As for Iran, Syria is Iran’s bulwark against Sunni power in the Arab world and the logistical base for Tehran’s Shi’ite foreign legion Hezbollah. Iranian dictator Ali Khamenei is willing to fight to the bitter end to hold as much of Syrian territory as possible.

Broadly speaking, Iran views the breakup of the Arab state system as both a threat and an opportunity...
Keep reading.

Rose Bertram Takes Topless Dancing to Another Level (VIDEO)

Watch, at Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, "Topless dancing. Endless twerking. A bikini-clad SI Swimsuit rookie. If that doesn't get you excited for this video, I don't know what will. Rose Bertram visited St. John in the US Virgin Islands for her photo shoot and I'm not sure the folks of this quaint island knew what hit them."

No Room for Indifference on anti-Semitism

From Professor Michael Curtis, at American Thinker:
Actions speak louder than words, but nevertheless it is a welcome sign of change that the European Commission is holding its first annual Fundamental Rights Colloquium on October 1-2, 2015 in Brussels. Its theme is tolerance and respect, preventing and combating anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hatred in Europe.

The Colloquium is not simply an opportunity for a widespread discussion of issues. Participants, governments, political, civil, religious, and academic leaders, are expected to explore concrete ways to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred. However, it should be said at the outset that while anti-Arab and anti-black attitudes are contemptible and should be opposed, they do not have the same resonance as anti-Semitism.

The need is urgent. A 2013 EU Fundamental Rights Agency survey on discrimination and hate crime against Jews found that more than three quarters of those surveyed felt that anti-Semitism, including anti-Semitism on line, has got worse in the countries in which they lived. It is surprising that about three-quarters of Jewish people do not report anti-Semitic harassment to the police. More correct and accurate data on the perceptions and experiences of Jews is essential if corrective action is to be taken. A related problem is that the number of officially recorded incidents is so low that it is difficult to measure a long-term trend.

Evidence is clear that a worrisome increase in hate incidents concerning Jews has occurred in recent years. Some of the recorded data is as follows...
Oh, there's plenty of evidence, but keep reading.

High School Shooting Plot Foiled in Tuolumne County — 4 Boys in Custody (VIDEO)

Phew, good thing.

And sheesh, it's chilling.

At the Modesto Bee, "Tuolumne County sheriff offers details into arrest of four in Summerville High shooting plot":

SONORA - Deputies have arrested four male students after uncovering a shooting plot targeting Summerville High School, authorities said.

At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Tuolumne County Sheriff Jim Mele said the case came to him Wednesday when students noticed three suspects acting suspiciously and notified administrators. School staff on the Tuolumne campus immediately called the sheriff’s department.

During the investigation, detectives identified a fourth suspect. While serving two search warrants in the case, Mele said, authorities found “evidence verifying a plot to shoot staff and students at Summerville High School,” which the suspects later confessed to in statements to investigators. He said the plot was detailed, and included a list of victims, locations and methods for the attack.

“They were going to come on campus and shoot and kill as many people as possible on the campus,” Mele said. “It is particularly unsettling when our most precious assets —which are our students, their teachers — are targets for violence.”

Authorities said the plot was in the beginning stages and no students or adults were hurt. Mele said he wanted to emphasize that there is no current danger to students or staff at the high school and the department is confident they have all the suspects involved in custody.

“I believe, with all my heart, the reason we were able to stop this was because we have a level of trust within our community,” Mele said. “When you have a level of trust with the law enforcement, your education – we meet monthly, we meet constantly – you can do this.”

Detectives arrested all four students on charges of conspiracy to commit an assault with deadly weapons on Friday afternoon at their homes and turned them over to the Tuolumne County Probation Department. The suspects’ names were not released because they are juveniles. Mele also would not release their ages or grade levels. Mele said all of the suspects’ families have cooperated fully with the investigation.

Mele said the plan was uncovered when students overheard the suspects talking about it at school and alerted staff Wednesday afternoon. Evidence was later found included paperwork with statements and a list of potential victims including “several students and/or staff” who would be targets at an upcoming event on campus. Three of the students were taken out of school immediately on Wednesday and as the investigation continued the fourth was taken out of school on Friday morning.

No weapons were found, but Mele said the students were in the process of trying to obtain some to carry out the attack...
Keep reading.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

California Capital Airshow 'After Dark' (VIDEO)

Hmm... It's a big weekend for air shows.

Watch, at KCRA News 3 Sacramento, "Planes set sky on fire during airshow."

Sean Naylor's New Book, Relentless Strike: The Secret History of Joint Special Operations Command

At Amazon, Relentless Strike: The Secret History of Joint Special Operations Command.

Relentless Strike photo 9781427264329_zpsczi69ywd.jpg
Since the attacks of September 11, one organization has been at the forefront of America's military response. Its efforts turned the tide against al-Qaida in Iraq, killed Bin Laden and Zarqawi, rescued Captain Phillips and captured Saddam Hussein. Its commander can direct cruise missile strikes from nuclear submarines and conduct special operations raids anywhere in the world.

Relentless Strike tells the inside story of Joint Special Operations Command, the secret military organization that during the past decade has revolutionized counterterrorism, seamlessly fusing intelligence and operational skills to conduct missions that hit the headlines, and those that have remained in the shadows-until now. Because JSOC includes the military's most storied special operations units-Delta Force, SEAL Team 6, the 75th Ranger Regiment-as well as America's most secret aviation and intelligence units, this is their story, too.

Relentless Strike reveals tension-drenched meetings in war rooms from the Pentagon to Iraq and special operations battles from the cabin of an MH-60 Black Hawk to the driver's seat of Delta Force's Pinzgauer vehicles as they approach their targets. Through exclusive interviews, reporter Sean Naylor uses his unique access to reveal how an organization designed in the 1980s for a very limited mission set transformed itself after 9/11 to become the military's premier weapon in the war against terrorism and how it continues to evolve today.
 Buy the book, at Amazon.

Rangers Win American League West; Angels Playoff Hopes Shattered (VIDEO)

Well, considering all the ups-and-downs of the Angels' season, I think the players can be proud. They have no quit in them, and yesterday's spectacular comeback win was one of the best ever.

Frankly, I'm surprised they stayed in contention right to the very last game of the season. There were a couple of times in the last month or so that I'd pretty much given up on them.

Better luck next year.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Rangers use seventh-inning outburst to eliminate Angels from playoffs."

Also at ESPN, "Rangers win AL West on final day; Angels' loss puts Astros in playoffs."

Plus, watch, at MLB, "10/4/15: Rangers clinch AL West behind Hamels' gem."

Thousands Enjoy Last Day at MCAS Miramar Air Show, Despite Morning Rain (VIDEO)

Well, good thing we're getting some rain. I think folks down in San Diego can live with a shortened air show schedule. We need the water!

Watch, at ABC News 10 San Diego, "Thousands enjoy last day of Air Show despite morning rain."

$50 Credit with Qualifying Camera Purchase

Any photographers among my readership?

Get a credit on camera purchases at Amazon, Shop - Get a $50 Credit Toward a Camera or Lens with a Qualifying Accessory Purchase.

Plus, in books, from Michael Wolff, Television Is the New Television: The Unexpected Triumph of Old Media in the Digital Age, and Alan Wolk, Over the Top: How the Internet Is (Slowly but Surely) Changing the Television Industry.

'Saturday Night Live' Premiere Was Basically a Hillary Clinton Campaign Ad

Yes, unexpectedly!

(Click through at the link to a lengthy analysis at the Daily Beast.)

Arizona State Sorority Sisters Mocked for Taking Selfies at Baseball Game (VIDEO)

The MLB video's here, "9/30/15: Fans are having some fun with their smartphones, taking some selfies as the D-backs host the Rockies at Chase Field."

Also, an Inside Edition video, "Sportscasters Mock Sorority Girls Taking Selfies at Baseball Game."

See London's Daily Mail, "'Here's the first bite of my churro; here's the second!' MLB announcers mock sorority sisters taking selfies during Arizona baseball game in scathing rant live on air."

And they were given some free tickets, which they donated to charity. Pretty classy, at Hollywood Reporter, "Sorority 'Selfie' Girls Decline Free Baseball Tickets, Ask to Donate to Domestic Violence Charity," and ABC News 7 San Francisco, "SELFIE-TAKING SORORITY GIRLS USE INTERNET FAME FOR GOOD."

A Call to Arms for 'Conservatarians'

It's Charles C.W. Cooke's new book, The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right's Future.

Two Israelis Murdered by Palestinian Terrorist in Stabbing Attack in Jerusalem

It's bad enough that Israelis are being murdered, but then the BBC whitewashes it with Orwellian headlines, "Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two."

They've changed the headline now, but see the Times of Israel, "Israel raps BBC for ‘unethical’ terror attack headline."

Plus, "Islamic Jihad threatens return to suicide bombing attacks."

And watch, at Arutz Sheva, "Funeral of Terror Victim in Jerusalem," and "Second Jerusalem Stabbing Victim Laid to Rest."

PREVIOUSLY: From yesterday, "Thousands Attend Funeral for Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin, Who Were Murdered by Arab Terrorists in Front of Four Children (VIDEO)."

Doctors Without Borders Closes Afghan Hospital, Condemns 'U.S. War Crimes' (VIDEO)

Nobel Peace Prize update.

At the Los Angeles Times:

The medical charity Doctors Without Borders closed its hospital in the Afghan province of Kunduz on Sunday, and charged that a suspected U.S. airstrike that killed 22 people there appeared to have been a war crime.

The closure was a blow to the embattled northern province where more than 400 people have been injured in the last week in fighting between Afghan security forces and the Taliban. The group took control of the provincial capital briefly last week.

The Pentagon said there are three investigations into the airstrike, one by the Defense Department, one involving both the United States and Afghanistan, and one by NATO. Pentagon officials have thus far said only that a U.S. airstrike Saturday morning may have caused collateral damage.

Doctors Without Borders said it would be satisfied only with an investigation by an independent, outside authority.

The aid agency called the bombing, which went on for more than an hour, horrifying and said it had informed U.S. and Afghan officials of the hospital's GPS coordinates before the strike occurred.

Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) in French, said Sunday that the death toll had risen to 22 — 12 staff members and 10 patients, three of them children. The toll was an increase of three over the figure announced previously. In addition, dozens of people were injured.

“Under the clear presumption that a war crime has been committed, MSF demands that a full and transparent investigation into the event be conducted by an independent international body,” the organization said in a statement on its website. “Relying only on an internal investigation by a party to the conflict would be wholly insufficient.”

Senior Pentagon officials said the three investigations that have been launched are centered on whether the U.S. military knew the hospital was nearby when an AC-130 gunship opened fire and whether the clinic was being used by the Taliban to launch attacks.

Thus far, no U.S. or Afghan personnel have been able to gain access to the hospital because the area remains contested, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Sunday. He called the situation “confused and complicated.”

The investigations “will be, and needs to be, full and transparent," Carter told reporters aboard the Pentagon's E-4B “Doomsday” plane en route to Madrid. “There will be accountability, as always in these incidents, if that is required.”
Still more.

Springfield Armory M1A™ SOCOM 16

From Kurt Schlichter, on Twitter, "Picked up my SOCOM 16 today. Store packed with free Americans defying President Fail. @ChrisLoesch @DLoesch."

Demi Lovato Vanity Fair Photo Shoot (VIDEO)

Here, "Demi Lovato’s Spontaneous, Nude, Makeup-Free Photo Shoot."

And watch, "Demi Lovato Explains Her Nude, No-Makeup Photo Shoot."

John Boehner Cries on 'Face the Nation', Wants to Be Remembered as 'a Good Man' (VIDEO)

Poor Boehner.

In the end, he's going to be remembered as a candy-assed compromising crybaby.

With John Dickerson this morning, at Face the Nation:

The full interview is here, "Full interview: John Boehner, September 27."

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."

 photo Roseburg-600-LI_zps3da2n3p1.jpg

Also at Reaganite Republican, "Reaganite's SUNDAY FUNNIES," and Theo Spark's, "Cartoon Roundup."

Still more at Paco Enterprises, "Sunday Funnies."

Cartoon Credit: Legal Insurrection, "Branco Cartoon – Horrible."

BONUS: At Knuckledraggin', "You surely didn’t expect him to leave ’em hanging…"

Poll: Majority Doubts More Gun Control Would Stop Criminals and Mentally Ill from Purchasing Firearms

The poll's from September 14, at CNN, a couple of weeks before the Oregon shooting massacre.

We might see a bump in support for more gun control, but any increase will be ephemeral.

See, "CNN/ORC poll: Guns, immigration, abortion increasingly important to voters":
At the same time, many express doubts that expanded gun laws would be able to prevent those with mental health problems from buying guns (44% see that as likely, 56% unlikely), or that such laws would keep guns out of the hands of convicted criminals (42% say that's likely, 58% unlikely). But most also say it wouldn't necessarily make it harder for a law-abiding citizen without mental health problems to buy one, 57% say it's unlikely to do that.

Even among those who say it is now too easy to buy a gun, just small majorities believe that implementing more comprehensive background checks for all gun purchases would be likely to stop gun purchases by the mentally ill (53%) or convicted criminals (55%).

President Barack Obama receives mostly negative reviews for his handling of gun policy, 59% disapprove of his handling of the issue on which he said he's been the "most frustrated and most stymied" during his presidency; just 35% approve of his work. That's worsened since a June poll, and nears his 2014 low of 33% approval on it. That drop off comes particularly among liberals. In the new poll, just 53% of liberals approve of Obama's handling of gun policy, down from 63% in June. Among moderates (44% then, 41% now) and conservatives (23% then, 19% now), the declines have been smaller.

New Jobs Report Shows Weak Employments Gains, Corporate Earnings

Updates from the Obama depression.

At IBD, "Will Chilly Job, Wage Gains Keep the Fed on Ice?":
U.S. private-sector job growth downshifted to the slowest pace in more than three years as the labor force participation rate sank to a 38-year low, the Labor Department reported Friday.

The unexpectedly soft job growth and flat wages in September lowered the odds that the Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates in December.

Stock indexes opened sharply lower on concerns that global weakness is hurting the U.S. more than was thought, but the prospect of a more patient Fed seemed to raise spirits. The S&P 500 turned a 1.6% drop into a 1.4% gain. The 10-year Treasury yield still settled at 1.99%, the lowest close since April.

The private sector added 118,000 jobs in September after August's downwardly revised 100,000 rise, the worst two months since the spring of 2012. Private hiring averaged 205,000 over the first seven months of the year and 254,000 in 2014.

Government added 24,000 jobs in September, lifting total payrolls by 142,000, well below the 206,000 expected.

The jobless rate held at 5.1%, the lowest since 2008, but only because 350,000 people stopped looking for work, pushing labor force participation to 62.4%, the lowest since October 1977.

IHS Global Insight Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh blamed the tepid job growth on "weakness outside the U.S. hitting exports and volatility in the stock market," which led firms to slow hiring and capital spending. He thinks slower hiring may persist for a few months but sees "slightly better than 50/50 odds" of a December hike, as long as the next couple of job reports aren't quite as bad as Friday's.

Barely more than half of all private industries — 52.9% — added staff, the weakest report since February 2010, noted John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities.

"Job losses in the mining and manufacturing industries reflect the effects of continued weakness in commodity prices and sagging global demand," he wrote...
Still more.

Oregan Shooter Chris Harper-Mercer Purchased Firearms Legally

Yeah, here's another fact that depraved leftists completely ignore.

At PuffHo, "Authorities: Weapons Recovered In Oregon Shooting Purchased Legally."

Dana Loesch Schools Cory Booker on Calls for Gun Control Laws That 'Already Exist'

At Twitchy, "Dana Loesch schools Cory Booker on calls for gun laws that ‘already exist’."

See the whole thing.

Obama Hails Australia's Gun Confiscation in Push to Abolish Second Amendment (VIDEO)

Following-up, "Obama to Exploit Mass Shootings to Push Gun Control for Remainder of Term (VIDEO)."

In his statements on Friday, seen below (toward the end of the clip), Obama hailed "other countries" like "Australia" that "almost eliminated mass shootings." And of course, Australia's the preferred example because in 1996 the government imposed a compulsory gun "buyback" program that confiscated somewhere between 650,000 and 1,000,000 automatic and semiautomatic rifles. The far-left ghouls at Vox have been touting the Australian confiscation regime in their latest gun control push here at home. Unfortunately for them, there's no conclusive evidence that the Australia law reduced the homicide rate. See, "Australia confiscated 650,000 guns. Murders and suicides plummeted":

Pinning down exactly how much the NFA [ National Firearms Agreement ] contributed is harder. One study concluded that buying back 3,500 guns per 100,000 people correlated with up to a 50 percent drop in firearm homicides. But as Dylan Matthews points out, the results were not statistically significant because Australia has a pretty low number of murders already.

However, the paper's findings about suicide were statistically significant — and astounding. Buying back 3,500 guns correlated with a 74 percent drop in firearm suicides. Non-gun suicides didn't increase to make up the decline.
Actually, there's no causal evidence that the Australian murder rate declined due to the 1996 gun confiscation regime. The Vox leftists are lying trough their teeth, and it's not the first time.

See, Mark Antonio Wright , at National Review, "Australia’s 1996 Gun Confiscation Didn’t Work – And it Wouldn’t Work in America."

Also, from Varad Mehta, at the Federalist, "The Australia Gun Control Fallacy":
After any mass shooting someone will invoke the name “Australia” and raise the question, “Can Australia’s gun-control laws be a model for the United States?” This time [after the Charleston massacre] the honor belonged to CNN’s Laura Smith-Spark, who recounts the circumstances that led to Australia’s current gun-control laws and outlines their provisions. The laws were passed after the Port Arthur massacre, a 1996 mass shooting in which one man killed 35 people. Australia outlawed semi-automatic rifles, certain categories of shotgun, and implemented strict licensing and registration requirements. The cornerstone of its new gun-control scheme, however, was a massive gun buyback program. The Australian government purchased 650,000 to one million guns with funds raised via a special tax.

The Australian paradigm became popular in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shootings in 2012. USA Today, ABC News, Slate, the Washington Post, and the Christian Science Monitor were among the outlets that published articles urging Americans to look closely at the actions their antipodean cousins took after a similar tragedy. Nor are Americans the only ones who think we should heed the Australian example. Numerous Australians have expressed pride in their country’s gun laws by penning columns beseeching Americans to transport America’s gun laws from Down Under.

These articles all point to the reduction in the rate of gun deaths in Australia after the new system was established as its main achievement. But it is the policy that allowed that system to be established which holds the writers’ and consequently the reader’s attention. That policy is the gun buyback program, which removed up to one million weapons from Australians’ hands and homes. This was, depending on the estimate, a fifth to a third of Australia’s gun stock. The statistic does not seem remarkable as a raw number, but it is quite so when expressed as a percentage. No wonder commentators fixate on it. The problem is the way most of them tell that tale: when they describe Australia’s gun buyback program, almost none of them tell the truth about it.

The Australian Law Banned and Confiscated Guns

The crucial fact they omit is that the buyback program was mandatory. Australia’s vaunted gun buyback program was in fact a sweeping program of gun confiscation. Only the articles from USA Today and the Washington Post cited above contain the crucial information that the buyback was compulsory. The article by Smith-Spark, the latest entry in the genre, assuredly does not. It’s the most important detail about the main provision of Australia’s gun laws, and pundits ignore it. That’s like writing an article about how Obamacare works without once mentioning the individual mandate.

Yet when American gun control advocates and politicians praise Australia’s gun laws, that’s just what they’re doing. Charles Cooke of the National Review shredded the rhetorical conceit of bellowing “Australia!” last year after President Obama expressed his admiration for gun control à la Oz:
You simply cannot praise Australia’s gun-laws without praising the country’s mass confiscation program. That is Australia’s law. When the Left says that we should respond to shootings as Australia did, they don’t mean that we should institute background checks on private sales; they mean that they we should ban and confiscate guns. No amount of wooly words can change this. Again, one doesn’t bring up countries that have confiscated firearms as a shining example unless one wishes to push the conversation toward confiscation.
Following the links takes us to Cooke's article, at National Review, "Obama Praises Australia’s Gun Confiscation."

The key thing about all of this, for the millionth time, is the staggering secrecy and deceit that accompanies the president's ---- and the left's ---- calls for more and more gun control. The secrecy is required because what their calling for is not only massively unpopular, but unconstitutional as well. And as both the articles by Wright and Mehta point out, if the radical left were fully able to implement mandatory gun confiscation in the U.S., we'd end up with massive violence (and perhaps an untold loss of life) as citizens rose up against efforts by law enforcement to confiscate the firearms of law-abiding citizens. It's simply not going to happen. But that fact will not stop the left from trying, because, seriously, that people might die in such a program is just so much acceptable collateral damage.

Obama to Exploit Mass Shootings to Push Gun Control for Remainder of Term (VIDEO)

That's an excellent clip from CBS News 2 Los Angeles below.

And at WSJ, "Obama to Use Public Campaign Against Gun Violence":

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama vowed to use the bully pulpit for the remainder of his term to draw attention to gun violence following Thursday’s mass shooting on a college campus in Oregon.

Mr. Obama, speaking during a news conference on Friday, appeared resigned to getting no traction on gun-control legislation before he leaves office. Instead, he said his primary strategy going forward would be to mount a public campaign.

“I’m going to talk about this on a regular basis, and I’m going to politicize it,” Mr. Obama said. “Because our inaction is a political decision that we are making.”

Thursday’s shooting took place at Umpqua Community College, outside Roseburg, Ore., which is about 180 miles south of Portland.

Mr. Obama said until the political dynamic on gun safety changes, he won’t make a big dent in the problem.

He dismissed critics’ argument that the issue is mental illness—not guns. The majority of people who have mental illnesses aren’t shooters, he said, and other countries have angry young men but lower homicide rates.

“The only thing we can do is make sure they can’t have an entire arsenal when something snaps,” the president said. “You can’t kill as many people when you don’t have easy access to these kinds of weapons.”
And at Big Government, "Obama Goes Beyond Mere Gun Control, Hints at Confiscation."

Homeland Season 5 — Premieres Tonight (VIDEO)

I love this show.

At Vanity Fair, "Homeland’s Renaissance Continues in Season 5."

MCAS Miramar Air Show (VIDEO)

Folks were having a lot of fun.

At ABC News 10 San Diego, "Thousands enjoy day two of MCAS Miramar Air Show."

From Kumbaya to Chaos: 7 Years of Obama's Appeasement

An editorial, at the New York Post, "How 7 years of Obama brought the world from Kumbaya to chaos" (via Memeorandum):
Just three years ago, President Obama famously ridiculed GOP opponent Mitt Romney’s statement that Russia remained America’s main geopolitical foe by taunting: “The 1980s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back.”

Four years before that, Obama stood at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate to declare that once he became president, all people would join him around a global campfire, hold hands and put an end to the world’s evils and miseries.

Well, seven years into Obama’s presidency, the promised worldwide Kumbaya is instead global chaos — caused in large measure by his willful retreat from America’s position of leadership.

Washington’s traditional allies increasingly feel abandoned, its enemies emboldened. The United States isn’t even leading from behind — it’s cowering in weakness.

And no one is taking better advantage of this than Vladimir Putin, now storming headlong into the yawning chasm of American retreat and reasserting Russia’s global influence and power — just as Mitt Romney said.

Putin remains unchallenged in his invasion of Ukraine, leaving him free to intervene — again unchallenged — in the Middle East.
In Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world hasn’t ended the threat of terrorism. On the contrary, it has seen the rise of “JV team” ISIS and new power for the Taliban. Israelis and Palestinians remain as far apart as ever — because only Israel has been targeted to make concessions.

This president accuses his political foes of wanting to wage war as their first option and warns of the limits of unilateral military power.

But in his eagerness to leave office as the president who ended America’s wars, he refuses to consider any use (or even a credible threat) of US force — even when hundreds of thousands are being massacred in Syria, many by the chemical weapons he claimed to eliminate.

His premature abandonment, against all military advice, of Iraq and Afghanistan (where the pullout is still under way) has left both countries worse off. Iraq, in particular, is bleeding far more than it did even in the worst years of “George Bush’s war.”

Equally eager to open America’s arms to longtime adversaries, this president has begun new relationships with Iran (all but giving Tehran a direct path to a nuclear arsenal) and Cuba without any concessions in return — even on such basic issues as human rights...
Keep reading.

It's been chaos for awhile now, actually. I mean, those "red lines" in Syria are to die for, literally.

Keep reading.