Month: November 2015

If Only the Ruling Included a Kick to the ‘Nads

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals just issued a permanent injunction against the Cook County Sheriff enjoining them from contacting credit card companies to threaten them into dropping n adult web site:

Nov 30 A federal appeals court on Monday ordered an injunction blocking the Cook County, Illinois, sheriff from pursuing any effort to stop credit card companies from handling transactions for, a classified ad website that the sheriff said promotes sex trafficking.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said Sheriff Thomas Dart, whose jurisdiction includes Chicago, violated Backpage’s First Amendment free speech rights by demanding that companies such as MasterCard Inc and Visa Inc ban the use of their cards to buy ads on the website.

Writing for a three-judge panel, Circuit Judge Richard Posner said Dart’s “official bullying” and “campaign of suffocation” amounted to censorship, preventing even transactions for ads touting “indisputably legal” activities from being processed.

“As a citizen or father, or in any other private capacity, Sheriff Dart can denounce Backpage to his heart’s content. He is in good company; many people are disturbed or revolted by the kind of sex ads found on Backpage’s website,” Posner wrote.

But as sheriff of a county with more than 5.2 million people, Dart cannot make “dire threats,” including of possible prosecution, in a campaign “to crush Backpage’s adult section – crush Backpage, period, it seems,” the judge added.


The injunction bars Dart from coercing or threatening sanctions against card companies, processors and financial companies that do business with, while the company pursues its lawsuit to stop his campaign.

In August, U.S. District Judge John Tharp had rejected’s bid for a preliminary injunction.

Posner said that was a mistake because would probably succeed on the merits, and suffered “irreparable injury” from its loss of First Amendment freedoms.

Dart’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His office has said it has made more than 800 arrests since 2009 connected to ads.

800 arrests from lurking on an internet web site looking for sex workers.

How about policing those gun shops in Cook County, just over the border from Chicago who are selling to any sort of skeevy straw buyers with two nickels to rub together instead of pursuing some masseuses giving tug jobs?

I hope that takes him to the cleaners in a civil suit.

I also would like to see the Department of Justice go after Sheriff Dart for criminal conspiracy to deprive of its civil rights, but I don’t expect to see that happen.

It should happen, but it won’t.

Russian Shootdown Update

First, it appears that Erdogan’s Son Bilal owned the oil trucks that were bombed by Russia on the day before the shootdown. Funny how that works:

The prime source of money feeding ISIS these days is sale of Iraqi oil from the Mosul region oilfields where they maintain a stronghold. The son of Erdoğan it seems is the man who makes the export sales of ISIS-controlled oil possible.

Bilal Erdoğan owns several maritime companies. He has allegedly signed contracts with European operating companies to carry Iraqi stolen oil to different Asian countries. The Turkish government buys Iraqi plundered oil which is being produced from the Iraqi seized oil wells. Bilal Erdoğan’s maritime companies own special wharfs in Beirut and Ceyhan ports that are transporting ISIS’ smuggled crude oil in Japan-bound oil tankers.

Gürsel Tekin vice-president of the Turkish Republican Peoples’ Party, CHP, declared in a recent Turkish media interview, “President Erdoğan claims that according to international transportation conventions there is no legal infraction concerning Bilal’s illicit activities and his son is doing an ordinary business with the registered Japanese companies, but in fact Bilal Erdoğan is up to his neck in complicity with terrorism, but as long as his father holds office he will be immune from any judicial prosecution.” Tekin adds that Bilal’s maritime company doing the oil trades for ISIS, BMZ Ltd, is “a family business and president Erdoğan’s close relatives hold shares in BMZ and they misused public funds and took illicit loans from Turkish banks.

BTW, it now appears that between the Russians deploying a guided missile cruiser and S-400 long range SAMs, has created a no-fly zone in Syria, for the Turks:

The Turkish army has suspended flights over Syria as part of an ongoing joint military campaign with the United States against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after it shot down a Russian jetfighter, sparking an unprecedented crisis between Ankara and Moscow.

The decision was taken following the eruption of the crisis with Russia in which a Turkish F-16 downed a Russian warplane early Nov. 24 after it allegedly violated Turkish airspace, according to diplomatic sources.

Sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, stressed that the suspension of the Turkish jetfighters’ participation in the U.S.-led military operations against ISIL was in fact a mutual decision taken with Russia, which also halted its aerial campaigns near the Turkish border. Both parties will continue to be as careful as possible in a bid to avoid a repetition of such incidents until they re-establish dialogue channels to reduce the tension.

Turkish and Russian military officials held initial talks on the incident on Nov. 25 as the office of the Chief of General Staff invited defense and military attachés from the Russian Embassy to military headquarters to inform them about how the incident took place. However, there is still a need for high-level political meetings to let the two parties reconcile and reduce the tension.

I would take the bit about Russia standing down, because we have numerous report of continued airstrikes by Russia against targets across Syria.

The important part of Turkey standing down in Syria is probably that the Kurds, who are now supported by both the Russians and the US are likely to have far greater freedom of operation, as they will not have to worry about Turkey bombing them.

Rather unsurprisingly, we now have a timeline, with the Russian jet in Turkish airspace for less than 18 seconds according to Turkish claims (how you warn an aircraft 10 times in 18 seconds is an activity I will leave as an exercise to the reader), which implies that this was not a timely response to a Russian provocation, but a predetermined and preplanned shootdown, which indicates that the (absurd) Turkish assertions that they did not know the plane was Russian are lies.

Meanwhile, the Russians have implemented a series of sanctions against Turkey.

Most significantly, it appears that this will involve the shutting down the tourist trade to Turkey, which is something like a quarter of Turkey’s tourism business, though it will also likely involve agricultural products and textiles.

Russia is not doing anything involving natural gas exports at this time.

I think that sanctions involving natural gas are highly unlikely:  Turkey actually pays for its gas, and were they to do so, it would spur alternate pipelines to Turkey, and perhaps to through Turkey to Europe.

It’s a mess, but in the short term, it appears, in the short term at least, that Turkey is coming out the worse on this, because they will be less able to prosecute their policies in Syria.

Cui Bono?

As Bear who Swims observes, it turns out that the latest “bipartisan” efforts to reform criminal justice have been hijacked by a Koch brothers attempt to make it next to impossible to prosecute white colar crimes:

For more than a year, a rare coalition of liberal groups and libertarian-minded conservatives has joined the Obama administration in pushing for the most significant liberalization of America’s criminal justice laws since the beginning of the drug war. That effort has had perhaps no ally more important than Koch Industries, the conglomerate owned by a pair of brothers who are well-known conservative billionaires. Now, as Congress works to turn those goals into legislation, that joint effort is facing its most significant test — over a House bill that Koch Industries says would make the criminal justice system fairer, but that the Justice Department says would make it significantly harder to prosecute corporate polluters, producers of tainted food and other white-collar criminals. The tension among the unlikely allies emerged over the last week as the House Judiciary Committee, with bipartisan support, approved a package of bills intended to simplify the criminal code and reduce unnecessarily severe sentences.


One of those bills — which has been supported by Koch Industries, libertarians and business groups — would make wholesale changes to certain federal criminal laws, requiring prosecutors to prove that suspects “knew, or had reason to believe, the conduct was unlawful,” and did not simply unknowingly violate the law.

Many laws already carry such a requirement — known as “mens rea” — but Congress left it out of many others, and libertarian groups say that has made it too easy to unknowingly violate obscure laws. Some environmentalists argue, however, that the real motive of Charles Koch, the philanthropist and the company chairman, in supporting the legislation is to block federal regulators from pursuing potential criminal actions against his family’s network of industrial and energy companies, a charge the company denies.


The proposed standard, Justice Department officials said, might have prevented guilty pleas in a variety of cases, such as the charges filed in 2013 against Jensen Farms of Colorado for failing to adequately clean cantaloupe, resulting in an outbreak of food-borne illness that was cited as a factor in at least 33 deaths. It also might have prevented the plea in the 2012 charges against the owner of a pharmacy who sold mislabeled, super-potent painkillers blamed in three deaths.

The same powers, officials said, have allowed the government to pursue charges against major corporations, like the 2011 conviction of Guidant, the giant medical device company, for failing to report safety problems with defibrillators, used to restart heartbeats.


Mark V. Holden, general counsel and senior vice president at Koch Industries, acknowledged in an interview this week that the company’s efforts to pursue revisions in federal criminal law were inspired in part by a criminal case filed 15 years ago against Koch Industries claiming that it covered up releases of hazardous air pollution at a Texas oil refinery. Those charges resulted in a guilty plea by the company and a $20 million penalty.

That case, Mr. Holden said, demonstrated that the Justice Department too often pursues criminal cases even when the accused had no criminal intent. The company itself discovered the problems and notified the authorities, he said, meaning the company did not knowingly violate the law.

Yeah, right.

Koch industries did nothing wrong.

If you believe that, I have some swampland in Florida for you.

I was wondering when the other shoe would drop.

I kind of figured that there would be a Republican turd in the punch bowl.

This is a Feature, not a Bug

What a surprise. Obama’s Jihad on whistle-blowers, and openness has led to a situation where there is no accountability in government programs:

Justice Department watchdogs ran into an unexpected roadblock last year when they began examining the role of federal drug agents in the fatal shootings of unarmed civilians during raids in Honduras.

The Drug Enforcement Administration balked at turning over emails from senior officials tied to the raids, according to the department’s inspector general. It took nearly a year of wrangling before the D.E.A. was willing to turn over all its records in a case that the inspector general said raised “serious questions” about agents’ use of deadly force.

The continuing Honduran inquiry is one of at least 20 investigations across the government that have been slowed, stymied or sometimes closed because of a long-simmering dispute between the Obama administration and its own watchdogs over the shrinking access of inspectors general to confidential records, according to records and interviews.

The impasse has hampered investigations into an array of programs and abuse reports — from allegations of sexual assaults in the Peace Corps to the F.B.I.’s terrorism powers, officials said. And it has threatened to roll back more than three decades of policy giving the watchdogs unfettered access to “all records” in their investigations.

“The bottom line is that we’re no longer independent,” Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general, said in an interview.

The restrictions reflect a broader effort by the Obama administration to prevent unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information — at the expense, some watchdogs insist, of government oversight.


n a rare show of bipartisanship, the administration has drawn scorn from Democrats and Republicans. The Obama administration’s stance has “blocked what was once a free flow of information” to the watchdogs, Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said at a hearing.

They have it wrong.

Obama simply does not believe in accountability for his administration, because he believes that they, and he, are honorable men, so we have the war on all forms of public accountability.

This is counter to both common sense, and to the intentions of the founders when they created the Constitution, who understood that a balance of powers, for which regulatory authorities need knowledge of what is going, is crucial to that idea.

Why I say that Barack Obama is the Worst Constitutional Law Professor Ever.

Our NATO “Ally”

Journalists in Turkey uncovered arms shipments from the Turkish Military to ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/Whatever.

Of course, the response of Ankara was to charge those journalists with espionage and treason:

A court in Istanbul has charged two journalists from the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper with spying after they alleged Turkey’s secret services had sent arms to Islamist rebels in Syria.

Can Dundar, the editor-in-chief, and Erdem Gul, the paper’s Ankara bureau chief, are accused of spying and “divulging state secrets”, Turkish media reported. Both men were placed in pre-trial detention.

According to Cumhuriyet, Turkish security forces in January 2014 intercepted a convoy of trucks near the Syrian border and discovered boxes of what the daily described as weapons and ammunition to be sent to rebels fighting against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

It linked the seized trucks to the Turkish national intelligence organisation (MIT).

The revelations, published in May, caused a political storm in Turkey, and enraged president Recep Tayyip Erdogan who vowed Dundar would pay a “heavy price”.

He personally filed a criminal complaint against Dundar, 54, demanding he serve multiple life sentences.

Turkey has vehemently denied aiding Islamist rebels in Syria, such as the Islamic State group, although it wants to see Assad toppled.

“Don’t worry, this ruling is nothing but a badge of honour to us,” Dundar told reporters and civil society representatives at the court before he was taken into custody.

Understand, the very fact that they were charged with, “divulging state secrets” means constitutes an admission on the part of the Turks that they did sent arms to ISIS.

This is not a surprise.

Erdogan is looking to establish an Islamic state in Turkey, so it’s no surprise that he is supporting the Islamic state in Syria.

It does put that shoot-down of the Russian in perspective, though.

Germany Finally Does Something Useful for Greece

It appears that Germany had combed through the data that it has managed to obtain from various tax havens, and has turned over to Greece the names of over 10,000 tax cheats:

Germany has handed Athens the names of more than 10,000 of its citizens suspected of dodging taxes with holdings in Swiss banks.

The inventory, which details bank accounts worth €3.6bn – almost twice the last instalment of aid Athens secured from creditors earlier this week – was given to the Greek finance ministry in an effort to help the country raise tax revenues.

They could have done this at the beginning of the whole crisis, and done a lot more to help both the Greek people and the Euro Zone.

The Germans wanted their pound of flesh, though, so it’s taken 3 years for them to turn over this data.

And of Course, the Media is Avoiding All Use of the Word Terrorist

In (where else) Colorado Springs, Colorado, Home of Focus on the Family and the epicenter of the Christofascist movement in the United States, a gunman opened fired at a Planned Parenthood clinic:

A gun battle erupted inside a Planned Parenthood center here on Friday when a man armed with an assault-style rifle opened fire and began shooting at officers as they rushed to the scene. The authorities reported that three people were killed, a police officer and two civilians, and nine were wounded before the suspect finally surrendered more than five hours after the first shots were fired.

A police official in Colorado Springs, who was not authorized to speak, identified the man in custody as Robert Lewis Dear, 59. No other information about him was available.

The police did not describe the gunman’s motives. For hours on Friday, officers traded gunfire with him inside the clinic before they were able to shout to the man and persuade him to give up, according to Lt. Catherine Buckley, a police spokeswoman.


And only time that the “T-word” is used in the story is in a direct quote from a representative of Planned Parenthood:

In a statement, Vicki Cowart, president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said the group had strong safety measures and worked closely with local law enforcement.

“We don’t yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this criminal action, and we don’t yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack,” she said. “We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country. We will never back away from providing care in a safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust.”

This is an act of domestic terrorism, and should be treated as such and called such by the government, the press, and the public.

The Stupid, It Burns!

In Canada, a Yoga class has been canceled because of accusations of cultural appropriation:

In studios across the nation, as many as 20 million Americans practice yoga every day. Few worry that their downward dogs or warrior poses disrespect other cultures.

But yoga comes from India, once a British colony. And now, at one Canadian university, a yoga class designed to include disabled students has been canceled after concerns the practice was taken from a culture that “experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy,” according to the group that once sponsored it.

In a telephone interview with The Washington Post, Jennifer Scharf, who taught the class for up to 60 people at the University of Ottawa, said she was unhappy about the decision, but accepted it.

“This particular class was intro to beginners’ yoga because I’m very sensitive to this issue,” she said. “I would never want anyone to think I was making some sort of spiritual claim other than the pure joy of being human that belongs to everyone free of religion.”

Oh, you poor delicate flowers.

On a related note, I am starting a charity, the Association of Cranial Rectal Inversion Disease, (ACRID) for people with their heads chronically up their asses.

H/T Stephen Saroff      o o  The Bear who Swims      
oo oo

The New York Times Uses the “L” Word

By the “L” word, I mean that the Times is calling Donald Trump a liar, and they are actually using that word:

America has just lived through another presidential campaign week dominated by Donald Trump’s racist lies. Here’s a partial list of false statements: The United States is about to take in 250,000 Syrian refugees; African-Americans are responsible for most white homicides; and during the 9/11 attacks, “thousands and thousands” of people in an unnamed “Arab” community in New Jersey “were cheering as that building was coming down.”

In the Republican field, Mr. Trump has distinguished himself as fastest to dive to the bottom. If it’s a lie too vile to utter aloud, count on Mr. Trump to say it, often. It wins him airtime, and retweets through the roof.

It’s nice that they are calling a lie a lie, but there are a lot of other cases where the word, “lie”is completely justified.

It be a real public service if they were to call other liars out in no uncertain terms.

And this is Mild Compared to the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The WTO has just ruled that requiring the labeling of dolphin safe tuna is an unacceptable restraint of trade:

International trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) need to be carefully examined piece by piece because they can take precedence over a country’s own laws.

Case in point: the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday ruled that dolphin-safe tuna labeling rules — required by U.S. law, in an effort to protect intelligent mammals from slaughter — violate the rights of Mexican fishers.

As a result, the U.S. will have to either alter the law or face sanctions from Mexico.

I wrote a few weeks ago about how the “investor-state dispute settlement system” baked into trade agreements can force countries to compensate corporations when regulations cut into their profits.

The long-running quarrel over tuna reveals another way that domestic laws can be overturned by trade agreements: when countries can file trade challenges on behalf of domestic industries.

“This should serve as a warning against expansive trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would replicate rules that undermine safeguards for wildlife, clean air, and clean water,” said the Sierra Club’s Ilana Solomon in a statement.

This short of crap is a feature of trade deals, not a bug.

He’s Back!

Remember Martin Shkreli?

The parasite who (ironically) bought the anti-parasite, and then raised the price by over 5,000%.

After the media sh%$ storm, he promised to lower the price.

He lied:

Turing Pharmaceuticals AG will not reverse its decision to raise the price of a decades-old drug, Daraprim, by more than 5,000 percent, backing out of previous statements that it would cut the cost by the end of the year.

In an announcement on Tuesday, the company said that the list price of Daraprim, which jumped from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill earlier this year, will not change. Instead, the company will offer hospitals up to 50 percent discounts and will make other adjustments to help patients afford Daraprim, a drug used to treat a parasitic infection and often given to HIV patients.

Out of the goodness of their hearts though, they will be selling a smaller bottle to make it a bit easier for hospitals to stock the drug.

We need villagers, torches, and pitchforks.

Our Noble Allies in the Middle East

The United Arab Emirates is sending Colombian mercenaries to fight in Yemen.

One wonders if they were hired from the right wing death squads, or the naroterrorist FARC:

The United Arab Emirates has secretly dispatched hundreds of Colombian mercenaries to Yemen to fight in that country’s raging conflict, adding a volatile new element in a complex proxy war that has drawn in the United States and Iran.

It is the first combat deployment for a foreign army that the Emirates has quietly built in the desert over the past five years, according to several people currently or formerly involved with the project. The program was once managed by a private company connected to Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater Worldwide, but the people involved in the effort said that his role ended several years ago and that it has since been run by the Emirati military.

The arrival in Yemen of 450 Latin American troops — among them are also Panamanian, Salvadoran and Chilean soldiers — adds to the chaotic stew of government armies, armed tribes, terrorist networks and Yemeni militias currently at war in the country. Earlier this year, a coalition of countries led by Saudi Arabia, including the United States, began a military campaign in Yemen against Houthi rebels who have pushed the Yemeni government out of the capital, Sana.


It is also a glimpse into the future of war. Wealthy Arab nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Emirates, have in recent years embraced a more aggressive military strategy throughout the Middle East, trying to rein in the chaos unleashed by the Arab revolutions that began in late 2010. But these countries wade into the new conflicts — whether in Yemen, Syria or Libya — with militaries that are unused to sustained warfare and populations with generally little interest in military service.

“Mercenaries are an attractive option for rich countries who wish to wage war yet whose citizens may not want to fight,” said Sean McFate, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and author of “The Modern Mercenary.”

“The private military industry is global now,” said Mr. McFate, adding that the United States essentially “legitimized” the industry with its heavy reliance on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan over more than a decade of war. “Latin American mercenaries are a sign of what’s to come,” he said.

Hiring mercenaries is not an indication that our “Allies” in the region are the good guys.

Neither is the indiscriminate bombing of civilians by the Saudis.

Our foreign policy is both morally bankrupt and incompetent.

This Smells Like a Coverup,

U.S. Military Suspends Members Over Kunduz Hospital Strike – The New York Times

The top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John F. Campbell, said Wednesday that several service members had been suspended from duty after an internal military investigation of the American airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz last month.

Calling the airstrike a “tragic mistake,” General Campbell read a statement announcing the findings of the investigation, which he said concluded that “avoidable human error” was to blame, compounded by technical, mechanical and procedural failures. He said another contributing factor was that the Special Forces members in Kunduz had been fighting continuously for days and were fatigued.

The special forces were “Fatigued”.

Sounds like, “The dog ate my homework.”

General Campbell and his staff did not say how many people were being disciplined, or how. But a senior United States military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that one of those punished was the Army Special Forces commander on the ground in Kunduz during the fighting. The official would not identify the commander by name, but said the officer, a captain, was relieved of his command in Afghanistan on Wednesday morning.

Translation: he is the the chosen patsie, because he is only a captain.

This what happens in these cases:  They lay everything at as low a level as is possible, and/or blame reservists or national guardsman.

Kunduz, a provincial capital in northern Afghanistan, had been seized by the Taliban in the days before the airstrike. General Campbell said the gunship’s crew believed it was firing on a different building identified as a Taliban base in the city. He said that the aircraft’s targeting systems failed to deliver accurate information and that email and other electronic systems aboard the aircraft, including a video feed that would normally have sent pictures to higher-level commanders in real time, also failed during the operation.


The general confirmed that Médecins Sans Frontières, the French name of Doctors Without Borders, had succeeded in reaching the Special Forces commander to inform him of the attack about 12 minutes into the airstrike, at 2:20 a.m. But he said the strike was not called off until 2:37 a.m. — after the aircrew had already stopped firing. But that timeline does not agree with accounts by the aid group and other witnesses, who said the strike went on for more than an hour.

The aid group, which has called for an independent, nonmilitary international inquiry into the airstrike, was sharply critical of General Campbell’s remarks. “The U.S. version of events presented today leaves M.S.F. with more questions than answers,” said Christopher Stokes, the organization’s general director. “The frightening catalog of errors outlined today illustrates gross negligence on the part of U.S. forces and violations of the rules of war.”

Gee, you think?

This stinks to the high heavens.

(on edit)

And the fact that they dumped this the day before thanksgiving is also highly suspect.

Why did This Take a Year

A police officer in Chicago has finally been charged with murder after shooting a black teen 16 times, the bulk of the shots coming after he was already on the ground:

A white Chicago police officer has been charged with murder over the shooting death of a black teenager, just one day before a deadline by which a judge has ordered the city to release a squad-car video of the incident.

Veteran officer Jason Van Dyke was indicted on Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge after shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. The officer was denied bail at a hearing in Chicago’s main criminal courthouse hours after the state’s attorney, Anita Alvarez, announced the charges against him. 

City officials and community leaders have been bracing for the release of the video, fearing an outbreak of unrest and demonstrations similar to what occurred in Ferguson, Baltimore and other cities after young African American men were killed by police. The judge ordered the dash-cam recording to be released by 25 November after city officials had argued for months that it could not be made public until the conclusion of several investigations.

At a press conference before the video’s official release, Alvarez said the officer’s actions “were not justified or the proper use of deadly force by an officer”.


Documents filed in court describe the video’s contents, in which the teen is said to be shown walking away from officers on a Chicago street. As McDonald turns away, Van Dyke takes one step towards the teen and begins to fire his gun, the description says.

For 14 to 15 seconds, according the documents prepared by the state’s attorney’s office, the officers unloads his entire gun into the teen, who spends 13 seconds laying face down on the pavement with his arms and legs jerking from the shots making contact with his body. Three clouds of smoke appear during the incident that indicate shots hitting the pavement, according to officials.


Van Dyke is the first on-duty officer to be charged with murder while working for the Chicago police department in nearly 35 years.


According to a freedom of information request by the Chicago Tribune, the veteran officer has had at least 15 complaints filed against him while working in high-crime neighborhoods, for accusations including using racial epithets and pointing a gun at an arrestee without justification.

In 2007, the officer was involved in a traffic stop in which he and his partner were found to have used excessive force on a man with no prior convictions, leading to a $350,000 award for damages in the case, the Tribune reported.

The murder occurred on October 20 of Last Year, and it was caught on camera, and it still took them a year to file charges, and the initial release from the authorities, portrayed Laquan McDonald as a cross between Rambo and the Incredible Hulk.

The charges and the release of the dashcam video (I am not embedding it) only happened because the protests did not end.

It is clear that everyone on the law enforcement side of this just wanted it to go away.

BTW, there are still some people who should be charged as an accessory to murder, specifically the cops who deleted surveillance video from a Burger King in a clear attempt to obstruct justice.

I’m not sure how to stop this, though I think that the idea that police should be require to self insure might be a good start.

When being a bad cop boosts their liability insurance rates, cops will get better.

Oh Crap………

Turkish Radar Track

Competing Russian Radar Track

The Turks just shot down a Russian SU-24 near the Turkish border:

NATO faced being thrust into a new Middle Eastern crisis on Tuesday after warplanes from member state Turkey shot down a Russian jet that Turkish officials said had violated their country’s airspace on the border with Syria.

The incident marked a serious escalation in the Syrian conflict that is likely to further strain relations between Russia and the NATO alliance.

Russian officials confirmed that a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft was shot down Tuesday morning but insisted it had not violated Turkey’s airspace.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said one of at least two pilots probably died during the incident, and a marine also was killed by apparent Syrian insurgent fire during a helicopter rescue operation to retrieve the downed airmen.

The downing brings renewed attention to a scenario feared for months by the Pentagon and its partners: a potential conflict arising from overlapping air missions over Syria — with Russia backing the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State.


Russian President Vladimir Putin had strong words for Turkey, calling the incident a “stab in the back.”

By way of scale, that little bit of Turkey is in dispute is about 2 miles wide, while the Russians are maintaining that the Turkish aircraft entered Syrian airspace during the shoot-down.

This is a F%$#ing mess, and the US is between a rock and a hard place.

The Turks are clearly providing tacit support to Jihadis, including (in the past, at least) ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/Whatever, but they are also NATO allies, which means that the US is treaty bound to support them.

Particularly when juxtaposed with the fact that the elements of the US military and foreign policy establishment are still aggressively supporting the idea of the violent overthrow of the Syrian government, (which worked so f%$#ing well in Libya) this has all the makings of a fiasco.

An Interesting Perspective on Russia’s Goals in Syria

I hadn’t thought about it before, but there are thousands of Russian Jihadis in Syria, and should they win, whey will come back to the Caucuse:

I find nothing sinister or difficult to understand in Russia’s increased involvement in Syria. In June, extremists declared the Dagestan Governorate of the Islamic State in Russia’s southernmost republic. Think about this for a sec. Russian jets started flying missions three months later.

This is a legitimate security issue for Russia, as things like Chechnya and Beslan show.

It doesn’t matter if  the fighters are fighting with ISIS, or al Nusra, or the Kurds, or the Turkomen.

If they win, they will be back in Gorzny and Moscow with their new friends.

For all the crap about “Fighting them there” that we have in the US, the Russians actually have a real problem with people bringing terrorism back.