Government in Action

A government scientist kept silent about a potentially dangerous lab blunder and revealed it only after workers in another lab noticed something fishy, according to an internal investigation.

The accident happened in January at the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. A lab scientist accidently mixed a deadly strain of bird flu with a tamer strain, and sent the mix to another CDC lab and to an outside lab in Athens, Georgia.

No one was sickened by bird flu. But unsuspecting scientists worked with the viral mix for months before it was discovered.

CDC officials have called the incident the most worrisome in a series of lab safety problems at the government agency, long regarded as one of the most respected public health agencies in the world. Earlier this summer, a lab mishandled anthrax samples and both the bird flu and anthrax labs were shut down.

And I probably read way too much science fiction — because my mind flashed to “And the Zombie Virus was accidentally created and released due to mishap at a government lab”.

Just gives me thrills thinking about the government in charge of things; how about you?

This went well beyond a simple mix up – into the coverup territory.

The USDA lab notified the CDC lab in May, and the CDC lab confirmed the finding.

But the CDC team leader didn’t report what happened to supervisors or anyone else, reasoning that the viral mix was at all times contained in specialized laboratories and was never a threat to the public, the investigation report said.

CDC officials were only notified in June after the second CDC lab reported a problem with its sample. Two weeks later, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden was notified.

6 Months ! It took 6 months for the management team to be notified of a serious breach in protocol.

Anyone know where I can get a good deal on bio-hazard gear?

 

 

Please join the discussion.

 

 

 

Scattered Thoughts on Kolbe Decision

Random Thoughts from the  Kolbe Decision.

Assuming that recent sales have increased the number of assault weapons in the
current civilian market to nine million, such weapons would represent about three percent of the civilian gun stock.

 

Let’s see — 12,000 homicides with all firearms around 475,000 firearm related violent crimes per year according to the Bureau for Justice Statistics. Even if every homicide and firearm related violent crime was accomplished by a separate gun owner (estimated around 46,000,000) that means rounding up for easier math 500,000 divided by 46,000,000 times 100 to express as a percentage — 1.09% of all gun owners were involved in a homicide or firearm related crime ! Half the percentage of gun owners.

Even if we estimate firearm at the low side of 270,000,000 — that would be 0.019% of all firearms being used in a crime each year. Heck even if every gun crime was committed by ‘an assault weapon” (9,000,000 per the decision) that is still only 5.55% of all the assault weapons being used in a crime each year. What does she think that other 94.45 % are being used for?

————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

Further, although the court recognizes the need to build proficiency with a firearm for the purposes of hunting or self-defense, there has been no indication from the Supreme Court that competitive marksmanship in itself is a purpose protected by the Second Amendment.

Oh, Joy….look at that. The court recognizes the need to be proficient but that competitive marksmanship — a sport that predates the founding of our country isn’t protected.

————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

Continue Reading

2 Trouble Spots – Half Way Around the World Apart

First location is ‘near’ most of us:

Ferguson, Missouri (CNN) — Late night protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting death of Michael Brown, dispersed after bottles flew at officers, who answered with tear gas, police said Wednesday.

Protesters gathered in the St. Louis suburb for a fourth day and shouted at police officers.

“Don’t shoot!” they said, holding up signs protesting Brown’s killing. “No justice, no peace!”

Blocks away from where the protests took place, there were two shootings. But police do not believe the violence was related to the protests.

4 Days of violence and unrest. Minor by comparison to what is happening half way around the world in Iraq.

(CNN) — In an exodus of almost biblical proportions, thousands trudge across a river to escape killers belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

Entire families carry nothing but the clothes on their back. Some are barefoot. And not everyone who set out on the arduous journey survived.

Jamal Jamir, a 23-year-old university student from Sinjar, told CNN his family fled into the barren and windswept Sinjar Mountains more than a week ago after ISIS captured their town. They spent days on the mountain, desperately waiting for air drops of food and water.

The family then escaped the mountain on foot, and made a marathon 15-hour journey to Syria. We met them as they crossed a bridge back into Kurdish-controlled Iraq.

What do they have in common? The fact that the ‘state’ either can not or will not protect the individuals. The police in Ferguson Missouri eventually tried to stop the looting Sunday Night; but to do that they pulled nearly every officer in the city and surrounding cities.

This is where the “individual ”  portion of the right to keep and bear arms is most acutely displayed — self defense. Individuals may be caught up as a victim of the rioting, they may be required to defend their homes, business or self against one or more people. The ability, skills and equipment needed to do so have to be protected so that groups can be formed to react to larger problems.

Think of how easy it would be for a mob to form in front of or around an Amory and keep the militia from accessing armament to respond to the problem. This is why Law Enforcement started carrying rifles and shotguns in their cars.

When ISIS approached their town, Jamir and his family fled to the Sinjar Mountain, where they spent days camping and desperately waiting for aid. The family finally escaped on foot.

A senior Kurdish official estimated that as many as 70,000 people remain trapped on Mount Sinjar, and that at least 100 have died so far from dehydration and the heat.

The situation in Iraq on the other hand is an example of the “Militia” side of the argument. 70,000 people remain trapped. Let’s go with just those numbers and not even consider how many people have already fled as refuges that could have been part of the solution.

70,000 people, let’s assume that half are kids. 35,000 people — let’s assume that half are women — and due to cultural reasons unwilling or not allowed to fight. 17,500 men left. Half too old or too young to fight — still leaves 8,500 men of fighting age. That would be nearly a force equal to an army division.

Even if half of them are willing to fight (4,250); that puts the strength at a short brigade strength wise or an over-sized regiment !

Estimates put the fighting strength of Isis in Syria and Iraq at around 7,000 but its numbers in Iraq appear to have been bolstered by other groups, including local Sunni militants and Ba’ath nationalists particularly in Tikrit. Despite claims that they have captured helicopters in Mosul, it seems unlikely they would be able to deploy them. Lightly armed with Toyota pickup technicals, RPGs and small arms, Isis has captured some armoured Humvees, although there are suggestions that some equipment has been sent back to Syria.

So they would have near parity or half the numbers of ISIS fighters in Iraq. Training and organization would be lacking by comparison but the defensive advantages would help compensate, right?

Even if fewer people were armed and fought – even with what American citizens generally own – semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, bolt action rifles and pump shotguns, think of the change in tactics and rate of advance it would make.

This is why the 2nd Amendment protects the right of the armed people to form a militia. Because the state can not or will not always be there to protect people.

Two different examples, two different situations entirely but both support the idea that the people should be

Tell Me Again, How People Don’t Need….

“High Capacity” magazines, AR-15 type rifles and militias. Carefully note the police response to the riot in Ferguson Missouri.

What began as a peaceful protest of the shooting of an 18-year-old unarmed black man by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb turned into what the town’s mayor called a “huge mess” as several businesses were looted and cars were vandalized.

A candlelight vigil was held Sunday evening in Ferguson, Mo. for Michael Brown, whom witnesses and authorities said was shot several times by an officer who had scuffled with the teen and another person. 

Afterward, some people looted a convenience store. Several other stores along a main road near the shooting scene were broken into and looted, including a check-cashing store, a boutique and a small grocery store.

People were seen carrying bags of food and toilet paper. TV footage showed streams of people walking out of a liquor store carrying bottles of alcohol, and in some cases protesters were standing atop police cars or taunting officers who stood stoic, often in riot gear.

The police stood by as people broke the law and stole property. The police “stood stoic” as the livelihood of others was taken.

Police Department

The Ferguson Police Department provides protection of life and property in Ferguson through the enforcement of laws and ordinances and assistance with emergency medical services.

Except where they could get hurt or further inflame tension……then you are on your own.

 

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said there were no reports of injuries but confirmed widespread property damage. “Right now I’m just worried about people, not property,” he said.

Not worried about property! So it is okay for rioters to loot as long as they aren’t hurting people physically? This is insane folks. The local government and law enforcement simply abandoned their responsibility.

 

.

.

Brian Schellman, with the St. Louis County Police Department, said close to 300 police officers from at least 15 different departments were called to Ferguson when angry mobs began smashing windows, setting fires and looting businesses in the area.

Let that sink in for a moment also. Think carefully about the potential consequences and how it could impact other communities. 15 different departments sent officers to 1 city for one small/medium riot.

Now imagine if there were riots in multiple cities; would the police be able to protect individuals? Would they even been willing? This isn’t a slam on most cops; although it may seem that way. Most cops want to do the right thing and protect people but in some situations, like riots, we’ve seen them abandon people in order to maintain their own safety.

Day 1
The riots happened quickly. Liquor stores, chain stores, fast-food places, and white people were the main targets of looting, fire, and violence. On the first day of the riots, the most infamous event took place. Reginald Denny, a white truck driver, was crossing Florence and Normandie. He was pulled out of his car by Damian Williams, a resident of the area. He was severely beaten while a helicopter recorded the incident. Williams took a piece of concrete and slammed it against Denny’s head and then celebrated. Denny barely survived. The police were withdrawn from South Central, and the 110 Freeway was closed from Century to King. The media concentrated on this attack throughout the riots. They did not report that Fidel Lopez, an immigrant from Guatemala, suffered similar brutality.

Day 2
The riots were more organized and South LA began to burn. Korean store owners came to defend their stores and had gunbattles with rioters. There were not any police or National Guard present at this point as LA burned.

Day 3
Rodney King was put on TV and asked LA, “can we all get along?” People could not at this point. The police and National Guard continued to let the city burn as a huge power outage hit South Central.

Day 4 and 5
The National Guard enters South Central and begins to restore order. There are random areas of violence for days on end.

Result
In the end, 53 people were killed, most all were rioters or innocent victims. Over $1 billion in damages were done. People rioted because of the built up anger and frustration of recent events.

 

And that isn’t the only time it’s happened. The police in New Orleans mostly abandoned the city — where they didn’t join in the looting.

Negro cops joining other Negroes/blacks/African-Americans in looting and pillaging New Orleans in the aftermath of the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina.

Negro cops joining other Negroes/blacks/African-Americans in looting and pillaging New Orleans in the aftermath of the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina.

Those who say the “militia is outdated, antiquated, no longer in use” should look to see how the people in L.A. and New Orleans responded. They should look to the fact that looting is usually countered by the people working together. On the whole people do respond well in emergencies; working together to rescue people, to clean up an area. And to respond to those who would commit crimes.

 

Reality keeps showing how flimsy the anti-rights cultists arguments really are; Don’t fall for them. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is just as vital now as it was 200 years ago.

 

Please Join the Discussion.

Dallas Police Department – Information Gap

Recently we talked about the low morale at the Dallas Police Department; now comes a report that might help explain why.

 DALLAS — More than 100 Dallas police officers have been effectively left in the dark; locked out of a vital computer database that they need to do their jobs

.

.

 

123 officers, 62 of them actually patrolling the streets because required training wasn’t accomplished on time. There is plenty of blame to go around on this; partly the individual officers, they should stay on top of their training schedules. It sounds like at least some of them have tried but without success.

This is primarily a management issue:

Officers must undergo training every two years. If they don’t happen, their access is revoked.

The Dallas Police Department fell behind on training officers during the problem-plagued rollout of its new $4 million records management system (RMS). Police officials acknowledge 123 officers currently lack access, including 62 in patrol.

“The training team has been assigned the last two months almost on a full-time basis to RMS,” Maj. Scott Bratcher told News 8.

This is management 101; stay on top of projects, don’t let them distract you from the basics, manage your staffing. And the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas City Council are failing at the basics.

Yet we are supposed to rely on organizations like this for our safety according to the anti-rights cultists. Doesn’t that just fill you with confidence and hope?

I understand how problems like this occur. In private business it impacts the financial situation of a company and its employees. In a governmental agency; this doesn’t just impact employ safety but the safety of the public also. Cops could be missing information to make arrests needed to get criminals off the streets. If officers have to double up; fewer cars will be on patrol or responding to problems.

And it is all avoidable with proper management.

So the question becomes; is this the means you want to de

 

I’ll Take Cash, Please.

DFW AIRPORT — The Transportation Security Administration will pay $15,000 to those who can come up with a way to make security lines move more efficiently.

It quietly posted an advertisement online hoping someone somewhere has an idea it can incorporate at airports nationwide.

 

DISBAND THE T.S.A.

Pay me before you do so though.

Training Effectiveness

Let’s imagine there is an organization providing training for people wanting to get their Concealed Handgun License — in one class only 7 out of 27 students passed the written examination on the first attempt. An examination that requires students only to get 70% of the answers correct.

Well that could be a fluke, right? Just a bunch of people who didn’t take it serious.

What if you found out that out of the last 4 classes there were similar problems; students seemingly unable to master the concepts of when to use force, what the law says, etc?

I don’t know about you but I would worry just how much those students had learned.

 

Now what if I told you that organization was the Dallas Sheriff’s Training Academy?

 

An exclusive NBC 5 investigation reveals a crisis inside the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.  

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Training Academy is at risk of being shut down by the state because last year’s recruits did so poor on the state’s basic licensing exam.

NBC 5 Investigates obtained records from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, which certifies Texas Police Academies, that indicate only 25 percent of last year’s recruits passed the exam on the first try.  

Their records show 27 recruits took the exam at the academy in 2013 but only seven passed on the first try. The state requires 80 percent of recruits pass on the first attempt and every police academy in Texas did that last year, except Dallas County who had the worst percentage in the entire state.

NBC 5 Investigates learned the state put Dallas County’s academy on probation last fall, which means they are at risk for losing their license.

NBC5 posted that report back in May — sorry blog and real life issues kept me from addressing this sooner.

Does that fill you with confidence and security knowing that it took multiple attempts for the majority of the class to get a “C” on the final exam? In interest of full disclosure, for a Concealed Handgun License with its admittedly shorter/less comprehensive test also requires a passing grade of 70% on the examination.

Before last year, the academy had stellar grades.  In 2012, recruits logged a 100 percent passing rate.

Law enforcement training experts said a sudden drop often points to a poor recruiting class or poor teaching and that both could be a problem.

 

Follow up investigations reveal that the issues do not appear to be with a single class.

NBC 5 Investigates obtained copies of the scores for the last four academy classes. A score of 70 is a passing grade for individual cadets, but in the last four classes the average score on the problem solving and critical thinking portion of the test ranged from just 50 to 60 percent. Three of the last four classes had failing scores on the force options section — which gauges their knowledge of when it’s OK to use a weapon.

Recent Dallas County academy classes also had scores averaging below 70 percent in test areas including controlled substances, arrest search and seizure, traffic laws and crisis intervention – mental health code training.

In one recent academy class, the average score on the family code and juvenile justice portion of the test was a mere 36 percent.

So, let’s consider the ways that the recent classes, including the 2012 class which had a 100% pass rate could have passed.

a. The prospective peace officers took the test repeatedly until they got it right.
b. The prospective peace officers received illegal assistance in passing the test.

Does either scenario fill you with confidence and security about the peace officers coming out of that organization? Especially when you consider that once they passed the test; any department or agency could have hired them!

 

The anti-rights cultist generally harp on how people who carry firearms need to be trained like professional law enforcement officers are trained. Yet the reality of the situation is peace officers aren’t held to incredibly high standards. I’ll be covering the training requirements in more detail later. I want to assure people this isn’t a knock on law enforcement in general; more of pointing out the problems with a major training institution and the tendency of the antis to put law enforcement on a pedestal.

The simple fact is most officers are decent people trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately they are also working for agencies usually headed by political appointees or elected officials trying to stay in office. Unfortunately most officers do not possess the in depth knowledge of the law or the Constitutions.

In fact, I was shocked that for a Basic Peace Officer certification only 8 hours out of 643 — a measly 0.16% of the of the time — is spent on the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution and the Texas  Constitution.

Please join the discussion.

 

And thanks for sticking around and the messages regarding the blog; it really helped to know that people were reaching out to me during the past couple of months.