Religious Exemption To Mandatory Covid Vaccination

Herschel Smith · 24 Aug 2021 · 11 Comments

I authored this paper for an individual who wishes that the name be removed.  The name has been redacted from the copy provided here. In order to assist the reader with a framework for understanding this paper, it should first be emphasized that it is written from a very specific theological perspective.  The necessary presuppositions are outlined at the beginning. It could of course be objected that there may be other (what I am calling "committed Christians") who do not hold one or…… [read more]

Ted Cruz On Obamacare

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 12 months ago

There is too much “inside baseball” analysis going around, like this piece at the WSJ by James Taranto.  It’s simplier than it has been made out to be.  The GOP is benefiting from the money flowing in from opposition to Obamacare.  They want to keep that money rolling in.  They think there may actually be a chance to turn back the tide of Obamacare, but only if they let it fully implement and let the public see just how bad it really is.  That will also help the GOP to fill in seats in the House and Senate.  In other words, just like the Democrats, the GOP is taking a scorched earth policy.

But the problem is that Obamacare is going full steam ahead.  My daughter is in medical care, and the implications of Obamacare are catastrophic and disasterous.  I simply do not have the time or space to outline the horror awaiting us, nor would I keep my readers for that long.  Ted Cruz knows that, which is why he is trying to turn it back now, even if only in stages.  In short, he has a soul.  He is more concerned about America than he is his own career.  See Red State for a good writeup.  Professor Jacobson makes the point that we shouldn’t be confused by the parliamentrary tactics.  It’s a necessary part of the game that Cruz is playing.  The bottom line is that most of the Senate doesn’t care about you – but you already knew that.

The others in the Senate (with the exception of Mike Lee) are without scruples.  Harry Reid says that Cruz isn’t doing a real filibuster.  Okay.  Reid doesn’t have a real soul either, and would sell out his own mother to the Nazis in order to keep his place in the Congressional lunch room.  Turning briefly to NRO, Murdock observes that “defeatist Republicans such as Karl Rove, whose massive 2012 campaign spending was only 1.3 percent effective, are rooting against courageous senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio who are trying to defund Obamacare right now. A sad caucus of RINOs, moderates, and invertebrates wants to postpone this fight and oppose Obamacare . . . maybe . . . later. Their slogan? Tomorrow is another day, so perhaps we could stop Obamacare then.”

Okay, but he is going easy on Rove.  David Codrea is on target when he calls Rove a wretched cancerous lump.  As for me, the GOP is full of worthless suckholes.  They are dead to me.  Perhaps the best part of the Cruz speech is that the vermin scatter (including the balance of the GOP), and show themselves to be the animals they are.  In case you had any doubts, dear reader, you shouldn’t now.

How Does A Bolt Action Rifle Become An “Assault Weapon?”

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 12 months ago

My9NJ.com:

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) – Authorities say a 2-day gun buyback program staged in central New Jersey last weekend netted 218 firearms.Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni says the weapons collected at a church in Asbury Park and the Rumson police department included 126 handguns, 39 shotguns, and 24 rifles.

Among the assault weapons surrendered was a Colt AR-15, a Mossberg assault shotgun and a World War II-era Japanese bolt-action rifle.

Participants were allowed to turn in weapons for cash with no questions asked. Gramiccioni says officials spent $15,000 to buy the firearms.

The weapons collected during the buyback will be destroyed.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

So let’s forget about the nuances of “assault rifles” having three features (intermediate cartridge, mild recoil and selective fire).  And let’s remember that the phrase “assault weapon” is a fabricated bastard created by the gun control lobby for guns that are supposed to look scary.

How, pray tell, does a Japanese bolt action rifle become an assault weapon?  Well, I went ahead and did something I had vowed not to do ever since the AP forbid this practice (just out of protest) – I copied the text including the fact that the AP wrote this story.

That’s how.  You let the idiots at the AP write the report.  And by the way, how do I purchase this Japanese bolt action rifle?  It would be a shame to let it go to waste being owned by the collectivists, or just as bad, destroyed.

Obama Urges “Common Sense” Balance On Gun Control And Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 12 months ago

The Washington Post:

President Obama, addressing yet another memorial gathering after a deadly mass shooting, said Sunday evening that he senses “a creeping resignation” in the United States that homicidal lunacy like the Washington Navy Yard massacre “is somehow the new normal.” But he said “it ought to be a shock to us all” and should spur Americans to demand “a common sense” balance between gun rights and gun control.

“We cannot accept this,” Obama said of the Sept. 16 attack that killed a dozen people at the Navy Yard. “As Americans bound in grief and love, we must insist here today there’s nothing normal about innocent men and women being gunned down where they work.”

Obama was addressing about 4,000 people, including loved ones of the slain, who gathered outdoors at the Marine Corps Barracks at Eighth and I streets SE, a few blocks from the Navy Yard. The president did not vow to throw the weight of his presidency behind an effort to enact gun-control legislation, as he did in December at a memorial service after the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Instead, he urged the nation to demand such measures.

He used a shotgun – a gun most often used in America for hunting Turkey and water fowl.

Uh huh.  Did the Syria “crisis” evaporate Mr. Obama?  Do you need another crisis to deflect attention from the horrible economy and impending doom of Obamacare implementation?  Do you want people to waste their time figuring out how to make shotguns illegal instead of how to handle the clouds of economic meltdown on the horizon?

Move on.  Nothing to see here, go look at … yea, that’s it … guns again.

Monday Reading List

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 12 months ago

I have a new featured article on Bilderberg, The New American Century And The Rise Of Intelligence.

David Codrea on a U.K. columnist posing the question should the world intervene to stop U.S. gun violence.

If ingrates like Porter and his smug followers don’t like us, our Constitution and our guns, maybe they’d be better off providing for their own defense — that is if they wouldn’t rather just surrender to the coming Caliphate they seem bound and determined to incubate. Besides, it’s not like such effete wankers pose much danger of forming a humanitarian brigade to come over and “liberate” us from our guns, although as is common with their lot, including our own domestic breed of hoplophobe, they’d no doubt cheer on someone else assuming the labor and the risks of carrying out their will.

I second that.  And my reaction when I read this silly U.K. commentary was “How are you going to disarm us when we’ve got the guns and you don’t, and don’t believe in them?  You’re not going to send in the … ahem … U.N., are you?”  As another good rebuttal to this, see Stormbringer (courtesy of John Jay).

Kurt Hofmann on veterans who want to keep their guns being wary of seeking treatment for PTSD.

Their next most likely avenue of attack, then, may very well be to seek new ways to block gun purchases by military veterans who have received any kind of mental health treatment. Over a decade of combat has produced hundreds of thousands of veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The killer is said to have been suffering from PTSD, stemming not from his time in the military, but from his experience helping as a responder at the September 11. 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Yea.  This guy didn’t have PTSD.  I’ve been around a whole platoon of Marines who were diagnosed PTSD, and they didn’t act like that.  If you are a veteran you’re advised to listen to Kurt’s counsel here.  Mental health will be the new whipping boy, despite the observations I’ve made in the past about its uselessness as a determinative indicator of future violence.

Furthermore, while it’s one thing to say that you care about PTSD, it’s another thing to behave that way.  Former Soldiers and Marines who were deployed in Iraq have it tougher than you think, and employers aren’t just falling all over themselves offering jobs.  Veterans, if you’re smart, you’ll be careful just what you communicate to whom.  Your country doesn’t appreciate your sacrifice.

Mike Vanderboegh:

Taiwan develops smart munitions against China – when we refuse to help them.

Like I’ve said concerning that ridiculous “sunshine diplomacy” between N.K. and S.K.  It will end when we stop providing their umbrella of protection and they have to defend themselves.  And not only that, Japan should go nuclear.  They have enough good nuclear engineers to do it.  China is advised to consider a potential nuclear Japan and Taiwan on their shores.  Pleasant dreams, boys!

Next, listen to this lecture on the American Second Amendment.

Only a few blocks away from the US Capitol in Washington, in the heavily guarded US Naval Sea System Command headquarters thirteen civilian and contract workers were killed when two shooters entered the building and opened fire. Police and federal agents were informed and surrounded the base. All streets leading to the base were cordoned off. The first shooter was identified as veteran Navy reservist Aaron Alexis while investigation on the second gunman continues. After the incident, a sombre President Obama paid homage to the “patriots” – who “know the dangers of serving abroad”, but also faced “unimaginable violence they wouldn’t have expected at home”. US flags flew at half-mast, on Friday.

‘Unexpected’ would not be the most accurate description for America’s violent gun problem. Mass shootings in 2012 alone were a damning indictment of the national crisis on the possession of arms: schoolchildren killed in Sandy Hook, people attacked at a local theater in Aurora, devotees shot and killed at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, citizens assaulted in California and, other recent incidents are only some of the instances of gun crime that took place last year. Missing from this timeline of growing gun violence are the victims of gang war from racially gentrified neighborhoods.

The Second Amendment in the US Constitution signifies a citizen’s right to own and arm himself against potential threats of violence. There is favour and opposition by Republicans and Democrats both, on the issue of possession of weapons. However, powerful pro-arms lobbies, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA), successfully resist debate on the curtailing of arms ownership. Opposition to the reckless amassing of guns should not be seen as an offence to the Constitution or the Founding Fathers of the United States. There is enough reason and logic, along with growing proof, that administrative discipline of guns ownership will only help to preserve the values and people of America, and not otherwise, as the NRA would have Americans believe.

How nice.  Pakistan, who allows the Tehrik-e-Taliban to run around unmolested in the Northwest Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Area, and who allows Lahore to become a hotbed of radicalism, while Muslims kill Christians en mass, is lecturing us on our second amendment.

Finally, the AR-15 in Hawaii.

As has been extensively reported, following the presidential election and Sandy Hook, national (and Hawaii) sales of “black guns” have gone ballistic. A December 23 Star Advertiser story reported that OGC Tactical, a Kalihi gun store that specializes in black guns, had a ten-fold increase in sales in the week following the announcement of President Obama’s gun control task force.

Not surprisingly, the sales spike precipitated a block long line of gun owners snaking along Beretania Street, waiting patiently to register their newly purchased arms with the Honolulu Police Department.

How many AR 15s, or in gun industry parlance “Modern Sport Rifles”, are there are in Hawaii?

Numbers from the NRA report that, from 1986 to 2007, at least 1,626,525 AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles were produced in this country and recent press accounts have put the current number closer to 5 million. Suffice it to say, there are thousands of AR 15s in Hawaii and more are on the way.

[ … ]

So who exactly are these people?

A national survey by the NSSF, the gun industry trade group found:

  • The typical MSR owner is 35-plus years old, married and has some college education.
  • Nearly half (44 percent) of MSR owners are current or former military or law enforcement members.
  • 39 percent of all MSR owners purchased their most recent MSR at an independent retail store, with the average purchase price being $1,083.

I flat out don’t believe that statistic, that is, that 44 percent of MSR owners are current or former military or law enforcement.  I just don’t believe it.  Someone has go to prove it to me before I’ll pass that on as fact.

Bilderberg, The New American Century And The Rise Of Intelligence

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 12 months ago

We’ve seen how the Department of Homeland Security has pressed for biometric identification of American citizens, and how American police have adopted COIN tactics, techniques and procedures in the policing of America, including more than seventy federal agencies.  These are cogs in a larger machine.  In an event that went completed ignored in the Main Stream Media (ignored, not missed), Wikileaks recently released 249 important documents on global intelligence contractors.

Today, Wednesday 4 September 2013 at 1600 UTC, WikiLeaks released ‘Spy Files #3′ – 249 documents from 92 global intelligence contractors. These documents reveal how, as the intelligence world has privatised, US, EU and developing world intelligence agencies have rushed into spending millions on next-generation mass surveillance technology to target communities, groups and whole populations.

WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange stated: “WikiLeaks’ Spy Files #3 is part of our ongoing commitment to shining a light on the secretive mass surveillance industry. This publication doubles the WikiLeaks Spy Files database. The WikiLeaks Spy Files form a valuable resource for journalists and citizens alike, detailing and explaining how secretive state intelligence agencies are merging with the corporate world in their bid to harvest all human electronic communication.”

WikiLeaks’ Counter Intelligence Unit has been tracking the trackers. The WLCIU has collected data on the movements of key players in the surveillance contractor industry, including senior employees of Gamma, Hacking Team and others as they travel through Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brazil, Spain, Mexico and other countries.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks’ publisher, stated: “The WikiLeaks Counter Intelligence Unit operates to defend WikiLeaks’ assets, staff and sources, and, more broadly, to counter threats against investigative journalism and the public’s right to know.”

Documents in Spy Files #3 include sensitive sales brochures and presentations used to woo state intelligence agencies into buying mass surveillance services and technologies. Spy Files #3 also includes contracts and deployment documents, detailing specifics on how certain systems are installed and operated.

Internet spying technologies now being sold on the intelligence market include detecting encrypted and obfuscated internet usage such as Skype, BitTorrent, VPN, SSH and SSL. The documents reveal how contractors work with intelligence and policing agencies to obtain decryption keys.

The documents also detail bulk interception methods for voice, SMS, MMS, email, fax and satellite phone communications. The released documents also show intelligence contractors selling the ability to analyse web and mobile interceptions in real-time.

Analysis & Commentary

An important reddit comment follows this up.

Would you like to know more?

Revolution in Military Affairs

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolution_in_Military_Affairs

Former DoD analyst Franklin Spinney

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_C._Spinney

“At the core of the RMA is a radical hypothesis that would cause Sun Tzu, Clausewitz and George Patton to roll over in their graves. That is, that technology will transform the fog and friction of combat – the uncertainty, fear, chaos, imperfect information which is a natural product of a clash between opposing wills – into clear, friction-free, predictable, mechanistic interaction.”

Project for the New American Century

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century

In its “Preface”, in highlighted boxes, Rebuilding America’s Defenses states that it aims to:

ESTABLISH FOUR CORE MISSIONS for the U.S. military:

  1. Defend the American homeland;
  2. Fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars;
  3. Perform the “constabulary” duties associated with shaping the security environment in critical regions;
  4. Transform U.S. forces to exploit the “revolution in military affairs”;

CONTROL THE NEW “INTERNATIONAL COMMONS” OF SPACE AND “CYBERSPACE”

Section V of Rebuilding America’s Defenses, entitled “Creating Tomorrow’s Dominant Force”, includes the sentence: “Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor” (51).[15]

“The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities. ”

-Zbigniew Brzezinski, geopolitician, former US National Security Advisor, and member of the Bilderberg Group. Quote lifted from his book “Between Two Ages”

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zbigniew_Brzezinski

It’s a brave new world that the rulers envision, no doubt.  No more conventional warfare, not even fourth generation warfare since the rulers know what we’re doing, who we are, where we are, what assets we have, to whom we’re connected, and how to stop “trouble-making” before it gets started.  Iraq was a laboratory for stability operations, and the story about the “snake-eaters” using a synthesis of organic intelligence, signals intelligence and smart analysis and finding the bad guys in order to end the insurgency only plays into the hands of the collectivists.  But can it really work like this?

The narrative about the “snake eaters” bringing an end to the campaign in Iraq is greatly overblown.  It was primarily the U.S. Marines who brought stability to the Anbar Province, and it was the hard work of thousands of Soldiers in the balance of Iraq that brought the modicum of success that we had in Iraq, for what end I don’t really know.

The Chicago police department cannot even stop gang violence in their own city, and the Governor is considering the use of National Guard troops to quell the violence.  It won’t work, and I seriously doubt that such troops would even be under arming orders, any more than the National Guard sent to the Southern border were under arming orders.

There is another intersection of this paradigm with collectivist intentions.  In order to find money for redistribution to the masses, they need to gut the military.  Notwithstanding the ongoing debate in our community over a standing army, the point is that the collectivists are going after money, and before they target 401Ks and IRAs, they willl use defense dollars in their designs for control.  It’s easier for them that way.

But this is all well and good for the rulers until the bullets start flying.  Obamacare was and continues to be a big deal.  Confiscation of 401Ks and IRAs might be the event that pushes typical Americans over the edge.  Watching the death of loved ones due to decisions by government death panels (while their wealth goes to funding the medical care of illegal aliens) might be another.

In the end, the hives the government has created (like Chicago) don’t work because they undermine values and the organic family unit.  Whatever the final straw, if the government cannot control violence in the very hives that they’ve created, they certainly can’t accomplish that in suburbia America, where fences, yard dogs and guns every fifty yards would make the hedgerows in Normany look like inviting terrain.

To be sure, the degree of electronic control over Americans makes the situation hard, and the government knows almost everything about us.  But for the Bilderberg group and the elitist rulers, I have a suggestion.  Try a test case in which you announce gun and wealth confiscations, and send one of the many federal policing agencies up Highway 276 in South Carolina, through Marietta, and turn left on Highway 11.  Within a few minutes make a turn to the right towards Jocassee Gorges, and start your confiscations up in those hills.  My bet is that the your vehicles will be blown to smithereens.  If you do make it up the road, it’s likely that they boys with scoped, bolt action hunting rifles will make life very difficult for you.  With all due respect to the tactical trainers (which training is very good and necessary, I’m sure), there won’t be small unit maneuver warfare.  No one will ever see the boys hiding behind the trees.  They won’t go on the run as a lone wolf because you won’t ever know they were involved in anything.  The best planning, the best troops and the best equipment couldn’t handle an insurgency in America – if one ever develops.

Or try to do confiscations in Murphy, North Carolina, or any one of a multitude of places in Idaho or Montana.  To be reminded of the value of a good rifleman, I strongly recommend an article in the most recent American Rifleman magazine (October 2013).  Sometimes this publication becomes annoying with its advertizing and product reviews.  But occasionally the magazine crafts a winner, and this one is meets the criteria.

The article is entitled “Where will we bury them all?,” and in my paper copy it begins on page 95.  It’s the story about the communist invasion of Finnland in 1939, and the value of basic combat rifles and good fieldcraft.  It summarizes:

The winter war proved a costly victory for the Soviets.  The Red Army lost approximately 126,875 dead or missing, 264,908 wounded and appriximately 5,600 captured.  In addition, they lost about 2,268 armored vehicles.  The Finns suffered greatly to preserve their freedom.  In the four months of combat, Finnish losses numbered approximately 26,662 dead and more than 39,000 wounded.  A tiny nation of riflemen had held off the communist Red giant.

It would be easy to conclude that the 50% of America which is still working is on a direct collision course with the elitist rulers.  It would be just as easy for the collectivists to conclude that biometrics, numbers, cards, decryption, cameras and aggressive policing will enable their designs.  The former conclusion seems more likely every day.  The later conclusion seems dangerous for the collectivists.

Of course, everything in this article is for educational purposes only.

Department Of Homeland Security Counterinsurgency And Stability Operations

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

DHS facial recognition being tested:

September 20, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will test its crowd-scanning facial recognition system, known as the Biometric Optical Surveillance System, or BOSS, at a junior hockey game this weekend, according to the Russian news agency RT.

With assistance from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, DHS will test its system at a Western Hockey League game in Washington state. The test will determine whether the system can distinguish the faces of 20 volunteers out of a crowd of nearly 6,000 hockey fans, to evaluate how successfully BOSS can locate a person of interest.

According to DHS, BOSS technology consists of two cameras capable of taking stereoscopic images of a face and a back end remote matching system. Stereoscopic images are two images of the same object, taken at slightly different angles that create an illusion of three-dimensional depth from two-dimensional images.

The cameras transfer the pair of images to the remote matching system by way of fiber optic or wireless technology. The system then processes and stores the two images into a 3-D signature, which is the mathematical representation of the stereo-pair images that the system uses for matching.

Using the BOSS facial recognition algorithms, the signature is matched against a locally stored database created from volunteers, using a combination of mathematical and statistical analysis.

BOSS is capable of capturing images of an individual at 50-100 meters in distance. The system can capture images of subjects participating from a specific distance, or be set up in a way that tracks and passively captures frontal face images of an individual as he/she moves in front of the camera.

As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, a $5.2 million contract for BOSS was awarded to Electronic Warfare Associates, a U.S. military contractor.

Recently the system was not deemed ready since it could not achieve 80 to 90 percent identification accuracy at a distance of 100 meters and could not process and identify images in less than 30 seconds against a biometric database.

This weekend’s test will attempt to rectify this deficiency.

Apparently these “volunteers” don’t have any problem selling out their countrymen.  Folks, this is full-orbed counterinsurgency and stability operations.  The Marines were first to do it in the Anbar Province of Iraq, and the best at it between all branches of the armed forces.  They knew that to control the population you must know who everyone is, at least MMA (males of military age).

So what comes next?  Sharing of information between the states and federal government so that the DHS has a full database of pictures (e.g., from a driver’s license).  Fingerprints, iris scans, and so on will follow on.

Unapolgetically, out in the open and with intentionality.  DHS counterinsurgency and stability operations.  Just like I said.

See also WRSA.

Illegal Guns Drive Violence

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

Concerning the recent shooting in Chicago:

The perpetrators of a late-night attack in a southwest Chicago park in which 13 people were wounded, including a three-year-old, used an assault-style weapon to spray the crowd with bullets, making it “a miracle” no one was killed, the city’s police superintendent said on Friday.

Ballistics evidence shows that those behind Thursday night’s attack used a 7.62mm rifle fed by a high-capacity magazine, police superintendent Garry McCarthy told reporters. That type of weapon, McCarthy said, belongs on a “battlefield, not on the street or a corner or a park in the Back of the Yards”, the neighborhood where the shooting took place.

“It’s a miracle in this instance that there have been no fatalities based upon the lethality of the weapon used at the scene,” McCarthy said, calling on lawmakers to restrict the sale of such weapons and choke off the flow of illegal guns into the city.

Bah.  Ballistics evidence can’t demonstrate one way or another whether the gun had a high-capacity magazine, and a .308 shot from distance using a high powered scope and bolt action rifle would have proven to be more lethal.

But the chief of police has some words of wisdom for us.

“Illegal guns, illegal guns. Illegal guns drive violence.”

Strange, that.  I thought they said it was gang related violence?  The mere fact that there are guns around “drives” violence, we are led to believe.  I have a physician friend who went on a mission trip to Haiti a couple of years ago, and other than Scabies (which he was unprepared to treat because he didn’t carry the medications for it), the most common injury or sickness with which he dealt was machete wounds – deep wounds.  The gangs walk around taking things from people and swinging machetes.

Machetes, hammers, baseball bats, and in the Far East, acid thrown in the eyes of victims (according to one close friend who spent several years in Hong Kong).  Things don’t drive violence.  Evil in the heart of mankind drives violence.  You can’t ameliorate evil by banning guns.  You can only be prepared to deal with it when it happens.

Cops Winning Friends And Influencing People

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

Here is the setup to understand the upcoming video.

The man, 40-year-old Aaron Tatkowski, said he had just come home when he saw Hart pulling over the woman — his daughter-in-law — and he didn’t like how he was talking to her.

“He hollered for me to get back in my truck, so I got back in my truck,” Tatkowski told CBS affiliate WTOL. “Next thing you know, I’m yanked out of the truck and it made my girlfriend say a few things. He yanked her out of the truck.”

Tatkowski claims he was trying to comply with Hart, but was worried because his two granddaughters were still sitting in the backseat.

Tatkowski said Hart forced him, his girlfriend and his son to the ground, which is where the cellphone camera video — shot by a witness — begins.

The Toledo Blade also has coverage.  We don’t have video of the complete event, and it would be good to see the run-up to this “footage.”

But even in the absence of more video, several observations may be made.  First, something went horribly wrong for an officer to be pointing a weapon of any kind at people who are laying on the ground and obviously not a threat to him.  The escalation appears to have been the officer’s fault.

Second, the officer doesn’t appear to be in the best shape.  I’d like to see him with his hands zip tied behind his back, lying prone, and be told to get up.  I doubt that he could do it.

Third, I cannot see any reason at all the officer should have taken the cell phone from the caller and thrown it down.  I’m not sure what the caller was talking about (officer in distress?), but the phone call appears innocent enough.  At a minimum, the officer should be charged with theft and vandalism.  It wasn’t his phone to destroy.

Finally, in addition to the unfortunate and irresponsible militarization of police tactics in America, it occurs to me that the problems run even deeper with police forces.  For one thing, they apparently aren’t teaching officers well enough in Police Academies.

It also seems that there is a temper problem with many officers.  Hot heads don’t belong on the police force – the police need educated men and women, knowledgeable of the law and Supreme Court decisions like Tennessee Versus Garner, and who know how to deescalate sensitive situations.  Obviously, this event is a complete fail on every level.

Starbucks Caves On Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

I wondered how long it would take for a progressive company like Starbucks to worry enough over branding that they caved on open carry of weapons inside their business establishments that they reverse their policy.

For three years, Starbucks (SBUX) has felt the ardent love of gun-rights activists as the coffee chain tolerated customers who openly packed heat. No more.

Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz tells Bloomberg Businessweek that firearms and cappuccino don’t mix. Beginning today, the ubiquitous caffeine bars “respectfully request” that gun owners leave their weapons in their cars or at home, Schultz says. “We’re not pro-gun or anti-gun,” he explains. The chain simply wants no part of the escalating debate over the Second Amendment and the place of firearms in American society.

In an open letter released today, Schultz wrote:

“Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called ‘Starbucks Appreciation Days’ that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of ‘open carry.’ … To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners. For these reasons, today we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas—even in states where ‘open carry’ is permitted—unless they are identified law enforcement personnel.”

Since 2010, gun owners in California and other states have shown up en masse and conspicuously armed for Starbucks Appreciation Days meant to promote the open carrying of firearms in the majority of states where the practice is legal. Acrimony over the guns-and-coffee demonstrations peaked in August in Newtown, the Connecticut community that was the site of the December 2012 elementary school massacre. Some residents of the town were so upset by the prospect of a pro-gun rally that the Seattle-based coffee company closed its Newtown store early on the afternoon of Aug. 9.

Under assault from gun-control proponents last month, the chain defended its previous policy. “Our longstanding approach to the open-carry debate has been to comply with local laws and statutes in the communities we serve,” a spokesman said at the time. “We continue to encourage customers and advocacy groups from all sides of the debate to share their input with their elected officials, who make the open-carry laws that our company follows.”

I see.  So “the only ones” can still carry weapons and can be trusted to be safe with them.  It’s just everyone else – like you and me – that mustn’t exercise our rights.  Frankly, this is a very, very bad idea.  Starbucks has a right to make the decisions they want, and we must respect their decisions.  Their places of business are private property.  But gun owners are very loyal, and we will make sure that Starbucks doesn’t have the luxury of “staying out of the debate.”  Just ask Smith & Wesson.  If we’ll put the beloved Smith & Wesson out of business, Starbucks is an easy decision for us.  This move is the wrong one, and Starbucks will regret it.

UPDATE: Codrea has a different perspective.

Elitists And “Men In Black” SWAT Tactics

BY Herschel Smith
8 years ago

Mike Vanderboegh has a link that should interest all of my readers.  He cites the horrible PoliceOne.com again.

“After this (SWAT) operation, I was fascinated by the social media discussion that blossomed among ill-informed knuckleheads who were certain that the government was taking over.”

[ … ]

“What is it with this growing concept that SWAT teams shouldn’t exist? Why shouldn’t officers utilize the same technologies, weapon systems, and tactics that our military comrades do? We should, and we will.”

[ … ]

“Black helicopters and mysterious warriors exist. They are America’s answer to the evil men that the anti-SWAT crowd wouldn’t dare face. We will make mistakes but we are duty-bound to do what we can to minimize the chances of mistakes occurring.”

[ … ]

“I do believe to some degree that we SWAT operators should swathe ourselves in a cloak of mysteriousness….”

I’ll have more comments about this later, but it’s remarkable how bold and brazen PoliceOne.com has become at demonstrating to the world what kind of communists they really are.  But this snippet in particular interested me.

Black helicopters and mysterious warriors exist. They are America’s answer to the evil men that the anti-SWAT crowd wouldn’t dare face.

Now go back and read one LEO comment (see Steve Jarvis) to my article The Hazards Of A Militarized Police Force.

Guys like this sit around and talk shit about cops until they have something go wrong and then start screaming that the cops don’t show up quick (sic) enough.

So let’s overlook the fact that he needs to retake his English grammar classes.  I responded this.

Jarvis, I assure you. You will never see any of my readers “screaming” about the police not showing up quick (sic – quickly) enough. We don’t want or need your protection.

It’s laughable, really, how the SWAT teams see themselves as the savior-warrior of the American people, when in reality, no one I’ve talked to wants them around.  I admit that most of my readers have weapons … a lot of them.  But the idea that any of us would turn to a SWAT team rather than pick up one of our many, tactically positioned weapons in our home, is preposterous.

As a secondary point, the fact that we couldn’t also pick up one of our weapons at work (because of gun-free zones) is the only reason we are sitting ducks in the workplace.  It’s a problem that the government creates – and then pretends to solve.

Finally, I’ve seen commenters at reddit/guns (probably LEOs) who use slurs against people who would be so dumb (wink) as to clear rooms in their own home rather than hole themselves up and call the police.  I hope that you’re not one of those commenters, and I hope that you are not stupid enough to hole yourself up in a room and try to wait out a criminal, as if drywall is protection against a bullet.  I’ll speak more to this later as well.


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