Interesting Comparison

This is an interesting piece that I stumbled across. It is edited and put together by folks that I am not familiar with but, based on what I see are sure to have their own agenda. While their conclusion is not wrong, I don’t think that it is presented fairly. What caught my attention more than anything, is the feel of the Russian footage. It reminds me of US footage from the ’80’s and 90’s.

Mostly, I find the compilation interesting and I wanted to capture it here.

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NHL Game – Part 2

In the last post I wrote about the Rangers – Capitals incident from 3 May. I would like to contrast that with the Flyers – Penguins incident from 4 May.

This particular incident looks really minor but, is in actuality one that placed the Penguins player at risk of significant injury. To set the stage, the Penguins are winning the game handily (I believe it was 6-3 at this stage), and in desperation the Flyers pull their goalie to try and get a couple of goals to tie things up.

You can ses Friedman on the breakaway just directing the puck into the empty net. Behind the play a Flyer player slashs Friedman and the referee’s arm goes up to call the penalty, which is negated by the goal being scored. After the play is over, and Friedman is coasting away from the play there is a cross check to his hip that causes him to loose an edge and have an out of control collision with the boards.

This is a play that warrants a very close look by the Department of Player Safety, and a hearing has already been scheduled. Gostisbehere reached out to cause the contact after the play. He may not have anticipated Friedman losing his edge but, this one probably gets a one game suspension and a fine.

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NHL Game

This one is a bit of a departure from the mainstream world, to focus on an event in sports. To put this in context, this is a sport that I have played, coached, and officiated since I was a wee lad. I have played and coached at moderately high levels within the sport, and I am still playing and coaching 50+ years after starting.

During Monday night’s game between the New York Rangers, and the Washington Capitals a fairly standard “scrum” occurred after the end of the play. The genesis of the event has a hard play in front of the Washington net where several players made contact, and one fell across the arm and stick of the Capital’s Tom Wilson, pulling him down to the ice. Mr. Wilson took exception to this, and after disengaging his hand from underneath Buchnevich game him a bit of a punch to his shoulders and head. Really, not a big deal. But, this is Tom Wilson and the Rangers initiated their scrum to “protect” their guy.

Let’s stop here for a second and provide a bit of background. Tom Wilson is a talented NHL player. He isn’t a superstar but he has earned his role as a top 6 forward with the Caps. Mr. Wilson also plays the game physically hard. He is a prototypical “power forward” and is a large man. As a result of his physicality, there have been incidents in his career that have resulted in his being suspended previously, and in fairness some of those incidents were not good decisions on his part. The man has a history of physicality, is listed as 6′ 4″ and 220 lbs. He is a professional athlete in a physical sport, and has the strength that you would expect from a man in this profession.

From this clip you can see the events that take place. It’s a five minute clip where the first 30 secs are all that really matter. Ignore the commentators who have their own bias.

Buchnevich is in the crease and gets knocked to the ice, falling across Wilson’s stick and trapping his arm beneath his body, Honestly, given Buchnevich’s body position, I think he might be unconscious as he does nothing to protect himself from faceplanting on the ice. Wilson gives him a shove and then grabs him by the sweater to turn him. At that point Strome dives in to pull off Wilson and the scrum starts. Wilson is still in a scrum when Panarin jumps on his back.

Artemi Panarin is a slightly built player whose game is built around speed and evasiveness. At best he is 5′ 11″ and listed at 170 lbs. He is not a physical player, and this was not a battle for him to be engaged in.

Panarin jumps on his back, and Wilson just stands up with him on his back like a child. Some other guys scrum it up and Wilson is trying to get past Panarin to others. He has no idea who that blue shirt is. He finally goes to the ice with him and throws a couple punches. Gets up and tries to throw him back to the ice and out of the way. Falls onto Panarin again and the pile on starts. The entire incident is less than 40 seconds. During which there are four to five different scrums and the five seconds where Panarin is fighting above his weight class.

This is hockey. Get over it. There was no malicious targeting going on. Panarin was an idiot. The officials did what they were supposed to do, the players pretty much did what they should have done (easy to arm chair quarter back this one), and the league did what they should have done. Arguably they over-fined Wilson for the incident.

No sticks flying at people, no chasing players or spectators in the stands. No targeted hits to the head or knees.

Honestly, if Strome hadn’t jumped in on Wilson in the crease this probably devolves into shouting and name calling.

The Ranger organization on the other hand has taken it upon themselves to crucify the league and Wilson in the media. The Ranger’s need to get over themselves. Their team is built around young men that have not yet reached their physical prime. They are building around speed and skill without the physicality necessary to play the game. As a result the management team takes to the airwaves to crucify the league and the Department of Player Safety because they have built their team without having physical players. It is funny to listen to the commentators “how do the Rangers respond”? The suggestions of pulling players up from the minors just to be goons. Ridiculous. Play the game. Keep the incident in mind and when the time is right, then take appropriate action.

I will count myself as an expert on this topic and say, Wilson’s actions were appropriate for the game of hockey. It is horrific to see Panarin thrown around like he was but, there are consequences to actions and Panarin chose poorly. The coaches always told us, if the gloves come off and you are not involved your job is to pair off with someone and just keep things even. A youngster like Panarin that is coming from Russia probably never had the benefit of that advice.

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View of the US from Down Under

First… I’m back!! After a four year hiatus, I think I am back to producing some content again. We will see how it goes.

I recently ran across this video from Sky News Australia.

Let’s face it the US political landscape is fractured and polarized. Media in the US has an editorial approach to reporting the news, and in some cases (CNN) will admit to their role as a propaganda machine. That being said, I find this piece from Australia very interesting.

The Australian point of view is actively shaped by the regional politics of the South China Sea and that viewpoint definitely comes across. What really surprises me is the grasp of what is taking place in the US, and the implications / consequence, that this reporter brings to the op-ed.

I walk away from this piece with the impression that our allies across the globe are doubting the resolve and the ability of the United States to meet our commitments and, they may not be wrong. The video is 5:28 in length, and is professionally produced by SKY News. It is worth watching with an open mind.

It is worth noting that the Presidential line of succession does not have a lot of competency or youth in it.

  1. Vice President
  2. Speaker of the House
  3. President Pro Tempore of the Senate
  4. Secretary of State
  5. Secretary of the Treasury
  6. Secretary of Defense
  7. Attorney General
  8. Secretary of the Interior
  9. Secretary of Agriculture
  10. Secretary of Commerce
  11. Secretary of Labor
  12. Secretary of Health and Human Services
  13. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  14. Secretary of Transportation
  15. Secretary of Energy
  16. Secretary of Education
  17. Secretary of Veterans Affairs
  18. Secretary of Homeland Security

Keep an eye on this as we will likely see a Presidential leadership change unlike anything we have seen before. Probably before the year is out.

I remember the Agnew resignation, the rapid move to appoint Ford as VP followed by Nixon’s resignation and the confirmation of Rockefeller as Ford’s VP. With the Senate split, if Harris succeeds Biden the next VP is likely to be a difficult compromise that may not be able to balance the administration.

Frightening times.

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Changing the Game

Hostage Rescue in the Age of ISIS

Think about that for just a minute or two.  Hostage Rescue in the Age of ISIS… What changes?  Why does it change?  What does that mean to me and more importantly what should I expect?

James Gagliano has a nice essay about all those things over at the Havoc Journal.  It is about three pages long but, it provides a nice summary of what has changed in the 45 years or so that US Law Enforcement first began really focusing on hostage rescue, and negotiation.  What it means to you today, is that negotiation is slipping out the window as the hostage taker’s goals change.  Expect a more immediate dynamic response.

It is a good article, go read it here.

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Terrorists and a Porous Border

A while back I pointed out the threat that was developing as individuals hostile t0 US interests were poised to use the human trafficking channels through Central America to enter the US surreptitiously.  At the time the focus was primarily on Iranian sponsored conduits.  Today we are seeing hard evidence of these channels being used by groups that have an established animosity to the US and a connection to terrorist organizations.

An article in the Washington Times points out active operations by multiple smuggling organizations to move terrorists into the United States across the southern border.  The activities reported here only touch on the operations where the Border Patrol apprehended, or are aware of the activities.

Some of the men handled by the smuggling network were nabbed before they reached the U.S., but others made it into the country. The Afghan man was part of a group of six from “special-interest countries.”

The group, guided by two Mexicans employed by the smuggling network, crawled under the border fence in Arizona late last year and made it about 15 miles north before being detected by border surveillance, according to the documents, which were obtained by Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican.

The article goes on to describe some of the functional breakdowns that face the Border Patrol on a regular basis.

…the Border Patrol didn’t immediately spot the Afghan man’s terrorist ties because the database that agents first checked didn’t list him. It wasn’t until agents checked an FBI database that they learned the Afghan may be a danger, the documents say.

“It’s disturbing, in so many ways,” said Joe Kasper, Mr. Hunter’s chief of staff. “The interdiction of this group … validates once again that the southern border is wide open to more than people looking to enter the U.S. illegally strictly for purposes of looking for work, as the administration wants us to believe. What’s worse, federal databases weren’t even synced and Border Patrol had no idea who they were arresting and the group was not considered a problem because none of them were considered a priority under the president’s enforcement protocol. That’s a major problem on its own, and it calls for DHS to figure out the problem — and fast.”


The group of six men nabbed inside the U.S. — the Afghan and five men identified as Pakistanis — all made asylum claims when they were eventually caught by the Border Patrol. Mr. Hunter said his understanding is that the five men from Pakistan were released based on those claims and have disappeared.

I don’t know about you but in these few paragraphs we see a number of very correctable operational issues.

  1. Databases:  This is a no brainer folks.  Relational databases and data mining tools have existed and been improving for decades.  A simple data warehouse combining data from all of the related databases across the agencies would solve this.  Update it on a daily basis and all of the sudden we become a whole lot better at using the information that we have.
  2. Political asylum seekers are not typically people that will travel halfway acround the world, spend thousands of dollars to a smuggling organization, crawl under a border fence, enter the country illegally, travel many miles on foot, and then claim political asylum only after being detained and questioned by authorities.
  3. If someone is claiming political asylum why would we release them rather than hold them for processing?
  4. Enforcement Priorities.  I believe that this comment is a reflection of the will of the current administration to uphold the Constitution and laws of the Republic.  Common sense dictates that when you are “at war” (“in conflict with” whatever phrase you choose to use) with an organization (not a nation state in this case but an organization and belief) that was sworn to destroy all that are unlike them, that you would prioritize securing the homeland from them.

Daesh, Al-Qaeda, ISIL, ISIS, Hamas, PLA, etc. (and there are many of them) are all supporters or active players in the declared jihad against Christianity, “the West” (including Europe), and the the United States in particular.  These organizations span the globe including APAC, EMEA, and the Americas.  All of these organizations rejoice and redouble their efforts, every time there is an attack at the heart of their enemies (Paris, London, NY, Washington).  This conflict that is not a recent development.  These hostilities go back in history to as early as the 6th Century.  To put that in context the Crusades were not initiated until the 11th Century.

Terrorism is real, and will be with us for a very long time.  Any administration that holds the reins in the United States needs to be much more conscious of that fact and much more active in balancing security and the freedoms that make this nation what it is.

As an action plan (obviously not having all of the detailed facts, budgets etc.) I would suggest to the administration that the following steps be taken immediately.

  1. Improve border security, and enforcement.  Do this by taking the following steps:
    1. Consolidate all intelligence and enforcement data on persons of interest into a single data warehouse.
    2. Implement stricter enforcement of existing laws regarding immigration.
    3. If required to complete B establish additional courts, law enforcement staff, and detention facilities to properly process everyone detained.
    4. Retask or launch additional surveillance equipment and analysis personnel to interdict air, sea, and land infiltration of the US.
    5. Provide for additional interdiction personnel and equipment to respond to actionable real time surveillance information developed from above.
  2.  Port Security
    1. Increase port security personnel and equipment to prevent human smuggling as well as potential other attacks.
  3. Airport Security
    1. ICE personnel at airports should be reinforced with additional trained personnel, equipment and K9 units.
    2. Revamp the TSA from top to bottom.  The current structure and approach is not effective.
  4. Intelligence and Enforcement agencies need to work in concert globally to ferret out and stop attacks prior to the attack entering an operational phase.
    1. Improvements have been made in this aspect of our fight but, there are still improvements to be made.

No matter what happens from a prevention standpoint, the United States will be the target of additional terrorists attacks.  These may take place within the US, or they may take place against US interests overseas.  It is inevitable that no matter what we as a nation do an attack will occur.  However, if the security of this Republic is a priority (and the Constitution makes it a priority of every administration) then there are actions that can be taken that will make a difference, provide better efficiency to the enforcement actions, and give the taxpayers a better value.  Many of these actions are common sense actions and only take a little bit of will, desire, and a very small budget to implement.  Now, we just need an administration with the will and desire to get it done.

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Recent History and Context

So here’s video that would be considered alarmist, extreme, and probably “racist” in many circles.  I wanted to drop it in here for a several reasons.

  1. Historical context.  There are some things that we tend to forget about the middle east that are really pretty important.
  2. Contemporary events.
  3. Volume.  When the video talks about population volume.  Give those facts some critical thought and put them in context.

The world is not a safe and fun place right now.  Unfortunately, that is not going to change for quite some time.

Posted in Current Events, History, Terrorism | 1 Comment

240 Years


Happy Birthday, to all that have earned the title.

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Beruit 1983

October 23rd, 1983.  A Sunday if I remember correctly was not a good day.

The Beirut Barracks Bombings (October 23, 1983, in Beirut, Lebanon) occurred during the Lebanese Civil War when two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces—members of the Multinational Force (MNF) in Lebanon—killing 299 American and French servicemen. An obscure group calling itself ‘Islamic Jihad‘ claimed responsibility for the bombings.[2]

The chain of command likely ran from Tehran, to Iran’s Ambassador to Syria, Ali Akbar Mohtashamipur in Damascus, to IRGC commander Hossein Dehghan, in Beirut, as the Iranians drew on assets in Lebanon.[3] Hezbollah, Iran and Syria have continued to deny any involvement in any of the bombings; even though, in 2004, the Iranian government erected a monument in Tehran to commemorate the 1983 bombings and its “martyrs”.[4]

Suicide bombers detonated each of the truck bombs. In the attack on the building serving as a barracks for the 1st Battalion 8th Marines (Battalion Landing Team – BLT 1/8), the death toll was 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 sailors, and three soldiers, making this incident the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since World War II‘s Battle of Iwo Jima, the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States military since the first day of the Vietnam War‘s Tet Offensive, and the deadliest single attack on Americans overseas since World War II.[5] Another 128 Americans were wounded in the blast. Thirteen later died of their injuries, and they are numbered among the total number who died.[6] An elderly Lebanese man, a custodian/vendor who was known to work and sleep in his concession stand next to the building, was also killed in the first blast.[7][8][9] The explosives used were later estimated to be equivalent to as much as 9,525 kg (21,000 pounds) of TNT

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In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions

This is a really good op-ed piece from the NYTimes.  It shines a light of reality on the issue.  We live in a Republic that is blessed by it’s structure and the foresight of the founding fathers.  However, it seems to me that we are now at a point where our prosperity has lost touch with reality, and our morality has put on a set of blinders that only allows us to see (and act) about what we want to see.


Do Americans who are upset about Cecil even realize how terrifying animals can be?

Source: In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions

Why does a single trophy hunter generate all this attention and hatred from Americans when he is cheered by the residents of the country in which the lion was harvested?  Yet the same, vocal individuals turn a blind eye to the actions of Planned Parenthood?  They turn a blind eye to the actions of governmental leaders in relation to Benghazi?

As a culture how can we pull our heads out of the sand, and our “reality” TV and recognize what is happening around us, and take substantive corrective action?  If there is one issue that should be addressed in the upcoming Presidential Campaign (and it won’t be) I think that is it, and it encompasses foriegn policy, domestic welfare, economic programs, tort reform, tax reform, environmental policies, everything.

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