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Britain Appoints First Ambassador to Somalia in 21 Years
Today's Headlines
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Family Furious After Calumet City Police Shoot, Kill Boy With Autism
Police in Calumet City were defending their actions Wednesday after officers shot and killed a 15-year-old boy, who has a form of autism, after he threatened them with a knife.

Stephon Watts' family said he suffered from Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, and attention deficit disorder.

As CBS 2's Susanna Song and WBBM Newsradio's Steve Miller report, they claimed the boy was only holding a butter knife. Police would only describe it as a 'kitchen knife.'
Strike one.
The deadly encounter happened at the boy's home at 541 Forsythe Av. in Calumet City, police said. Calumet City Police Chief Edward Gilmore said the boy cut a police officer through his shirt sleeve with a 'kitchen knife.'
A police officer who is an adrenaline junkie with an attitude perhaps?
"I think they did everything they possibly could to avoid this," Gilmore said. "It's unfortunate that we had to get to this situation."
Strike two.
As CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot reports, Stephon's mother, Danelene Powell-Watts, arrived at the police station in Calumet City on Wednesday shortly before police held a news conference to discuss the shooting. Powell-Watts was screaming, livid, and inconsolable after her son was killed. She was furious that officers used deadly force against her son this time, rather than subduing him with a stun gun.

"They shot my son," she yelled as officers as she was blocked from entering the Calumet City police station. "Every last one of you know my son has autism."
Strike three.
Gilmore said police had been called to the home 10 times since 2010 to deal with the boy. Stephon's father called police again Wednesday morning after the teen had become aggressive.

"We tried to do everything we could to keep him from being a victim, as he was an offender. He chose to be an offender," Gilmore said.
If only that were true you might have a leg to stand on. Strike four.
The chief said police were called to the home to get Stephon under control, as they had been before. But that didn't work, he said.

"When he slashed the officer's arm, the officer felt his life was in jeopardy and he had nothing else to do, but to defend himself," Gilmore said.
Strike five.
Stephon's family said police have used a stun gun on him in the past.

"They didn't have to murder him. This is nothing but murder and they shoot to kill," Powell-Watts said. "He had a butter knife and┬ş my husband said that he lunged at the police officer."

Stephon's uncle said police had subdued his nephew with stun guns before.

"They didn't have to shoot him. They could have tasered the child. He's only 15 years old," Wayne Watts said. "They could have tased him, like they did him before, took him to the hospital and he would have been fine and that's what I want to know. Why couldn't they do that to him so that he could still be breathing with us right now?"

Gilmore said a stun gun wasn't used because the lead officer did not have a stun gun.
Strike six.
Five officers responded to the Watts home after Stephon's father called police, according to Gilmore. Two entered the house, heading to the basement where they found Stephon. One of those two officers did have a stun gun with him.
Five officers against one little fifteen year old boy with autism? I wonder if more than one of them pulled a lethal weapon, or just the one. Strike seven. At least.
"Unfortunately today, when he slashed the officer's arm, the officer felt his life was in jeopardy and he had nothing else to do, but defend himself," Gilmore said.

The boy's family said police should have used a stun gun and spared his life, especially since they'd been to the home before and knew what to expect.

Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave.

Dr. Louis Kraus, professor and section chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center, questioned whether deadly force was really necessary.

"With everything that they've done before, they should have known before going in what they were dealing with. And, you know, the goal really should have been to have gotten this child to a hospital," Kraus told CBS 2's Dana Kozlov.

He said people with autism can frequently become aggressive, but not because they are trying to hurt someone.

"What we know is that, when they get anxious -- probably more commonly than they typical person when they get anxious -- they might lash out; not with the intention of doing harm, but simply because of how frightened they are," Kraus said.

Calumet City Ald. Brian Wilson had questions about the shooting as well. "I think less deadly means could have been used," Wilson said.

The alderman is staging a protest at 7 p.m. outside the Calumet City police station.

Meanwhile, Illinois State Police are investigating the shooting.
Unnecessary. It's part of the coverup effort. I wouldn't want my money spent on this kind of thing.
Gilmore said a year ago, all of the officers in the department went through a three-day autism awareness program to learn how to handle calls involving people with autism.
Apparently at least one of them has attention issues.

Bottom line: Would they do it again?
Posted by: gorb || 02/03/2012 10:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1832 views] Top||

#1  Bottom line: Would they do it again?

Yes.

This is all too similar to so many instances of police / fed over-reaction which I think is based on the militarization of Law Enforcement. This is based on a long list of things from wanting to appear "tough on crime" by politicians to the added opportunities for union power and increases in funds available for all sorts of graft and corruption.
Posted by: AlanC || 02/03/2012 10:50 Comments || Top||

#2  I see nothing wrong with shooting a attacker of police, Handicapped doesn't apply(Except to whine about).
Makes good headlines.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/03/2012 11:30 Comments || Top||

#3  RJ when the "attacker" is a known autistic who has been handled 10 times before there is no excuse for this at all.

This was pure and simple incompetence by all members of the police force involved from the chief on down. In a case like this I think that a charge of manslaughter should be considered. I hope that the parents sue the city into bankruptcy.
Posted by: AlanC || 02/03/2012 12:08 Comments || Top||

#4  Oh, horseshit. From the evidence provided by the family:

*He was Asperger's - NOT autistic - which is more of a personality disorder than a type of retardation
*He had a weapon in hand, and had already assaulted an officer
*This is the *tenth* time they've had officers in their home dealing with a fifteen-year-old with a history of violence
*He's been repeatedly stun-gunned in the past during those previous domestic disturbance calls

Just think of it as evolution in action, and stop wasting my time with this crying-wolf bullshit, gorb. This isn't "militarization of police", this is suicide-by-cop.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 02/03/2012 12:10 Comments || Top||

#5  Bottom line: Would they do it again?
Bottom line answer: He's dead, Jim. Of course they won't do it again, at least not to this alleged perp, unless they dig up the body and shoot it again.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 02/03/2012 12:29 Comments || Top||

#6  If you think Autism is a form of retardation - you don't know what your talking about. Some people do place Asperger's on the Autism Spectrum. Personally I think its a bit different but then I'm not a Doctor, didn't play one on TV, nor stayed in a Holday Inn...

Most likely the poor kid couldn't help himself - he was just in that state of mind and couldn't get out of it.

Should the police also shoot-to-kill a drunk on the 10th call too? How about a drug user? A jaywalker?

Sounds like the police knew what they were getting into. they encountered this kid before and knew he could become violent and require a stun gun. Yet the lead officer whet in armed with nothing but deadly force while his partner did have a stun gun.

I'm not saying it was or wasn't justified. I wasn't there and this story is woefully lacking in details (What kind of knife was it really? How many times was he shot?...)
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/03/2012 12:52 Comments || Top||

#7  Mitch, you have no idea what you are talking about it, and you don't even know it. Asperger's is on the spectrum. The kid is not a criminal. He had a butter knife, not even a steak knife. This hits close to home because my kid is on the spectrum, and I know very well what I'm talking about. Police and society in general need to understand what this means. And even if he wasn't on the spectrum, he's obviously got issues. This is a total overreaction by the police, who should have known better, as should anyone who has a heart or looks at life more than one layer deep. There is no crying wolf here. This is a difficult situation, and I hope you figure it out without having to have a relative killed to get there. The kid is violent because his brain is fuc&ed up, not by his own choosing. But it's not a predatory violence, it's reactive /protective. What's the solution? Sometimes they can be recovered, sometimes they have to be institutionalized, which can tear up the parents. And who says the Asperger's diagnosis is perfect? It may just be a convenient place to put him to get his education tuned better. Or it could be what the parents were able to handle. Read a little deeper next time. People aren't out demonstrating because they are idiots. Trust your fellow man a bit more next time.
Posted by: gorb || 02/03/2012 13:09 Comments || Top||

#8  Pretty sharp butter knife if he cut the cop.
Posted by: tipover || 02/03/2012 13:21 Comments || Top||

#9  A no win situation for the police. Relying on my 37 yrs. in law enforcement, if you come at me with a deadly weapon (yes a table knife can be a deadly weapon)with the ability to cause great bodily injury/death, I'm using deadly force. It's easy to "armchair quarterback, but if you weren't there STFU.
Posted by: OCCD || 02/03/2012 13:23 Comments || Top||

#10  EVERYONE is on the Autism spectrum. Until Autism activists return to the honest evaluation of Autism effected people thay have lost credibility.
Posted by: Hellfish || 02/03/2012 13:23 Comments || Top||

#11  Slashed the cops arm? Let's see the pics and how many stitches he needed.

My wife deals with these kinds of kids every day and knows what they can be like. Are cops such wuzzies these days that a kid with a butter knife is a deadly threat that they have to shoot? Hell, their were 5 cops their for 1 15 yr. old and they needed to shoot him?

Way too many cops get their self image from Dirty Harry movies and have to see anything at all as a threat to their lives and an excuse to play shoot em up.
Posted by: AlanC || 02/03/2012 15:04 Comments || Top||

#12  Relying on my 37 yrs. in law enforcement, if you come at me with a deadly weapon (yes a table knife can be a deadly weapon)with the ability to cause great bodily injury/death, I'm using deadly force.

So you'd kill a 15 year old known-autistic kid armed with a butter knife because he lunged at you? With the intent of doing "great" bodily injury/death?

And you'd sleep well at night, too, right? Probably thinking you were doing the parents some kind of favor.

Then you'd do it all again.

I'll bet it would have been easier to subdue him or withdraw than to take the time to draw your weapon, line up, and shoot him without shooting anyone else.

In any case, the police seemed to have survived nine previous encounters with this 15 year old child.
Posted by: gorb || 02/03/2012 15:08 Comments || Top||

#13  I'm leaning heavily to supporting the police on this one. If you see a bladed weapon held offensively, and if the distance is under 15' (I'd prefer under 25', but that's just me), and you have a gun, you had better shoot and shoot quick.

Bladed weapons kill. They are much, much harder to fix most of the time than many gunshots in an ER, and it is difficult to gash on the torso more than 4" wide x 1" depth without hitting a major capillary or several.

Don't ever, ever pull a bladed weapon on an LEO. That is all the reason he needs to shoot you fair and square, and it doesn't matter if you are the reanimated Mother Teresa or a psychotic crank head. Or a 15 year old boy with Asperger's.

If what the police said is true, that he did manage to score a cop on the arm, then the police screwed up, and let him get too close while brandishing, or he ambushed them.

Other info gleaned from web:

Wayne Watts repeatedly called his nephew "a computer genius" who could, "take apart a computer and put it back together."

He was "very strong and liked to fight with police."

Five officers went to the home Wednesday, and found the boy in the basement, holding a kitchen knife. He said two of the officers went to the basement, where the teen "lashed out" with the knife, cutting a forearm of one officer.

"At that time, cornered and having no way to retreat back up the stairs, the officers fired one shot each, striking the (boy) twice."

The officer who was cut was treated on the scene by paramedics.

┬"I do believe race played an important part of this ┬-- that if this had been done in a white community, the officers would have had a different attitude about how they approached this child, knowing that this child had autism,┬" said David Lowery, Jr., president of the NAACP┬'s Chicago Far South Side Branch.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/03/2012 16:02 Comments || Top||

#14  "I do believe race played an important part of this"

Oh, ferchrissakes, give it a rest. It's either right or it's wrong - leave race out of it.
Posted by: Barbara || 02/03/2012 16:11 Comments || Top||

#15  Good points moose. We can't tell if it's justified or not from what was in the story. We don't know what happened so shouldn't jump to conclusions either way.

Unless of course your a professional race baiter like David Lowery, Jr., president of the NAACP┬'s Chicago Far South Side Branch.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/03/2012 16:33 Comments || Top||

#16  Five officers went to the home Wednesday, and found the boy in the basement, holding a kitchen knife. He said two of the officers went to the basement, where the teen "lashed out" with the knife, cutting a forearm of one officer.

There's the first problem. They should never have gone down into the basement. These kids don't see the reality of their situation. They don't get it. The kids may well think this is a game, and that he gets to play it whenever he is in the mood.

Usually, teachers get the kids to come to them. In the case of autism spectrum, the teachers have to go to the kids. Same with law enforcement. On top of that, authority figures are a problem if seen in a disciplinary or enforcement role. I'll bet the officers tried to assume the usual dominant role here, which will not work. Ask any teacher worth their salt.

If these components are missing from law enforcement training, it desperately needs to be included. It will save lives, possibly including LEOs. It may well save a LEO's psychological health, too.

These kids can be the sweetest thing in the world 99.9% of the time, and turn around and be serious buttheads for any of a zillion apparently related or unrelated reasons. They usually settle down after a while, though. And then they can be approached and dealt with. Had the police waited upstairs for half an hour, I'll bet the whole situation, both for the dead kid and for the LEO who now has to question his actions for the rest of his life.

It also sounds like the parents didn't know how to deal with him. Sometimes this can be dealt with earlier in life, but if it continues later in life and the kid is too big to handle, they need different arrangements. They were probably hoping it was a phase, but it sounds like he needed to be institutionalized.
Posted by: gorb || 02/03/2012 16:43 Comments || Top||

#17  I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that families in Calumet City don't have access to good autism therapies that can help a kid with Aspergers function in society. IIRC, Calumet City is not a wealthy community. If the kid had lived in Oak Park or Evanston, his family might have had more resources for therapy. So while I won't go so far as to say this is a racial issue, economic factors do matter.

Also, how many police depts have "dealing with kids with neurological disorders" in their training programs?

Our friend "Billy" is 16, 6 feet tall and weighs 185 lbs. He is marginally verbal, and lower functioning. He reacts to stress by running. The police dept in his small town were open to a training session from an autism therapy provider in our county. They also gave him a GPS bracelet, so that every time "Billy" barges out of the house and starts running, they can find him, and can handle him when they catch up to him.

We have three kids on the Autism spectrum, one of whom tends to go to hyper-defensive mode. When he was in 5th grade, we had the school liaison officer talk to him in words of one syllable about the consequences of acting out. We reinforced this with "social story" protocols. The kid spent lots of time in the Vice-principal's office in 6th grade, but made real progress, and is now in high school and on the honor roll. Emotionally he's 13, but he's grown very much.

Our eldest was being aspergery and bopping around talking to himself while on break at the community college, and somebody called the campus cops. The campus cop looked at our son and said, "I know that guy. He sounds weird, but he's harmless. Don't worry about it."

I hope that this event causes police depts to review their strategies for dealing with kids. I can appreciate Moose's and OCCD's positions; but I know that some cops are willing to be pro-active and learn more about dealing with kids like this.
Posted by: mom || 02/03/2012 17:10 Comments || Top||

#18  EVERYONE is on the Autism spectrum. Until Autism activists return to the honest evaluation of Autism effected people thay have lost credibility.

Which activists? Who says that everybody is on the autism spectrum? Document your assertions please.
Posted by: mom || 02/03/2012 17:20 Comments || Top||

#19  Wasn't there.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/03/2012 17:47 Comments || Top||

#20  Good points Gorb. My kids are both really good kids - not much problems at all. Except if they get all wrapped around the axle about something - and it could be just about anything. Then they can be completely unreasonable. And I mean completely - worse then a leftie who's presented with a truth...

There's certain criteria which must be met to be diagnosed - and it's hard at an early age when intervention is most effective. With our oldest our pediatrician referred us to the children's hospital for evaluation and even they gave us a "we can't absolutely diagnose it at his age but it looks like he might...".

Early diagnosis (or even a 'looks like') and intervention is the key (sometimes intensive intervention). In our case with my oldest it was a lot to do with his mother and being in a daily program early. He's now usually pretty good - but does have his moments. Oh Yes he has his moments....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/03/2012 18:21 Comments || Top||

#21  Along that note - if you are interested in a good 'autism' move see Temple Grandin. Its a very good movie and I recommend it.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/03/2012 18:30 Comments || Top||

#22  And I mean completely - worse then a leftie who's presented with a truth...

Let's not get carried away here, but I know what you mean. ;-)
Posted by: gorb || 02/03/2012 19:35 Comments || Top||

#23  Well...all of the emotional rhetoric aside, his problems are over. Personally I think our society has become too soft and we expend way too much effort on the most marginal our members.

Wire-head and warehouse them, or recycle them once it has been determined they will never be productive or contributing to society. Harsh? Yes. Pragmatic? Definitely.
Posted by: Secret Asian Man || 02/03/2012 19:58 Comments || Top||

#24  Those involved will live with this the rest of their lives. Replayed over and over again. It is over for the boy. The looks the police get will be difficult to deal with. Things will go wrong. Some of the situations they must deal with every day does take a toll. Difficult job that is just not for everyone. Do your job and get home is all you can do every day, even off days.
Posted by: Dale || 02/03/2012 20:47 Comments || Top||

#25  Wire-head and warehouse them, or recycle them once it has been determined they will never be productive or contributing to society. Harsh? Yes. Pragmatic? Definitely.

Nazis thought the same thing.
Posted by: gorb || 02/03/2012 21:11 Comments || Top||

#26  Secret Asian: It costs the taxpayers a helluva lot more to waste a life in an institution than it does to come alongside and make them productive members of the community. My kids are working and paying taxes. Not full time, and not a lot yet, but they're on their way.

I'm going to assume that you had a rotten day at work and your beer is warm and flat, so you're in a bad mood; and that under normal circumstances you would not have posted a comment that Hitler would applaud.
Posted by: mom || 02/03/2012 22:09 Comments || Top||

#27  To reach and cut the officer, Stephon must have been within melee range at least. Cut-off from the stairs, just got cut by a subject obviously violent and moving in? The Cop may have pulled his gun and fired before he was aware. Subconcious reaction to immediate danger tends to over-ride judgement sometimes.

I personally don't blame Police for this one. To me anyway it seems they were slowly approaching Stephon to calm him down when the Lash-Out happened.

10 times calling the police seems alot. You can say that they knew, which yeah they did. But the police also dodged shooting him ten-times. You'd think after the first 5 the family would get their own Taser instead of relying on the police. I mean why keep risking it time and again and again?

And I'm not saying the family MEANT this to happen, it's horrible to think of anybody this way. But there's is like a .00001% chance the family couldn't deal with it anymore and sought just this outcome for a city-settlement. Horrible to think about, but the possibility remains.
Posted by: Charles || 02/03/2012 22:42 Comments || Top||

#28  have they necessitated calling the cops 10 times? Are they wielding weapons, however banal they might seem?

I have no autistic or asperger's kids, so I can't say boo from a personal level. I can address the societal level as I see it. This is similar to kids with a peanut allergy: all kids must cease eating peanut butter or peanut products at school due to the occasional kid (usually a very nice kid, of course) who has an unique allergy. All lives as usual stop, society changes for that unique individual. We can all say and feel how awful should that child suffer a death by anaphylactic shock! However, there has always been incidents, however tragic, when society, by and large moved on, and some...did not.

You wield a weapon (however "harmless") at family, public, and law enforcement,you risk this end. If they have been called 10 times - obviously he's out of control or teh family would've handled it. To second-guess after an officer has suffered a cut is lame IMHO. Your personal experiences and defensive attitudes seem to be in place first. If I'm a cop, called AGAIN and AGAIN to a semi-dangerous (or why would police be called?) situation, and my fellow officer got cut? I'm not gonna try to "wing him". If tasers were not the operative measures (were they used before and unable to disable?) then I shoot to stop

Just My NSHO
Posted by: Frank G || 02/03/2012 22:48 Comments || Top||

#29  "We tried to do everything we could to keep him from being a victim, as he was an offender. He chose to be an offender," Gilmore said.

The problem is a toxic combination of general ignorance (that many have of these problems because they don't have to deal with them) and the choices that an individual with (similar ignorance) made as far as getting his officers trained up on these kinds of things.

Low blood sugar. Stroke. Autism spectrum. All of these conditions can lead to behavior that an officer that hasn't been trained can take in the wrong way and end up killing the person with the problem. The autistic didn't choose the situation any more than the hypoglycemic or the stroke victim. They're innocent.

With proper training, these deaths are mostly preventable, especially with forewarning.

Perhaps police need to spend some time in one of these institutions to understand the metamorphosis some folks like autistics and other mental problems have to deal with. After they come out of it they'll say they were sorry for what happened, and they'll wish they weren't that way. They choose nothing here. It is bestowed upon them.

One way to take the measure of a society is how it treats and accomodates these innocents. And elderly.

Training was lacking here. Training the chief should have been aware of, taken, and offered to his police force.
Posted by: gorb || 02/03/2012 23:53 Comments || Top||


Feel-Good story of the day: New York Times loses $40million in 2011
The New York Times Company suffered a net loss of almost $40million in 2011, with its fourth quarter profits falling by 12.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2010.

The company is grappling with sinking advertising revenue and a recent change in the top management after losing CEO Janet Robinson, who received a multimillion dollar severance package.
She wasn't lost, she was fired. There's a difference...
They said it continued to add subscribers for its digital products in the fourth quarter.
Surely most of them were RBers who felt bad for them.
The company's loss was blamed on the terminal decline in print advertising. The problems plaguing newspaper companies are well known.
Terminal. Good adjective.
Readers have ditched print for digital, causing circulation and advertising revenue to plummet.

The company, which rolled out an online pay system last year for digital subscribers, said paid digital subscribers of The Times and the International Herald Tribune rose 20 per cent from the third quarter to about 390,000. The digital subscription strategy helped circulation revenue to grow five per cent to $241.6 million in the fourth quarter.

Chief Financial Officer James Follo said: 'We are confident that our plan to sustain momentum through the rollout of a series of new features, functions and content will enable us to steadily build our digital progress to date.'
Captain Smith was confident that his ship couldn't be sunk...
The Times Company is also planning on selling more of its stake in the Boston Red Sox.
Because they are planning on being so successful, no doubt.
They confirmed today they agreed to sell an additional part of its stake in Fenway Sports Group for $30 million, pending the approval of Major League Baseball. Last July the company sold more than half its stake to three separate buyers for $117 million.

The Times Company also announced in December that it had agreed to sell its regional newspapers for $143 million to Halifax Media Holdings. This sale is not reflected in the 2011 figures.

The company expects total advertising revenue trends in the first quarter to be similar to the fourth-quarter levels, and total circulation revenue to increase in the high-single digits.
But they've been going down, so why would you expect them to increase...
Shares of the company, which have gained more than 30 percent in value in the last three months, were flat at $7.64 on Thursday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.
Posted by: gorb || 02/03/2012 09:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [221 views] Top||

#1  Awwww, my heart just aches.

No, wait - that's just the chili.
Posted by: Barbara || 02/03/2012 9:28 Comments || Top||

#2  ...of course this never precludes bonuses for the one percent senior management.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/03/2012 9:54 Comments || Top||

#3  Is there any way for people such as myself to hasten this hopefully-terminal decline?

I know, it's not nice thinking.
Posted by: Free Radical || 02/03/2012 12:51 Comments || Top||

#4  til Pinch is turning tricks for cognac money, I'm not satisfied. Perhaps the ChiComs could buy them out and make Friedman CEO (he would do their bidding without having to be asked) and Teh Krugman CFO
Posted by: Frank G || 02/03/2012 14:45 Comments || Top||

#5  Is there any way for people such as myself to hasten this hopefully-terminal decline?

I kinda like the slow, agonizing thing myself. They deserve it.
Posted by: gorb || 02/03/2012 15:43 Comments || Top||

#6  Multi-milllion dollar losses will lead to multi-million dollar GIvernment bailout. After all how could an America survive without the NY Times.
Posted by: Airandee || 02/03/2012 18:14 Comments || Top||

#7  Where did the Mexican go?
Posted by: manversgwtw || 02/03/2012 21:24 Comments || Top||

#8  Manolo! Notify my crack whores! Tell them daddy needs loving!
Posted by: Pinchy || 02/03/2012 21:50 Comments || Top||


Africa North
Port Said Security Chief Sacked after Football Deaths
[An Nahar] The Egyptian government sacked the head of security in the northern city of Port Said after an kaboom of football violence that left 74 people dead, state media reported Thursday.

Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim fired city security chief Essam Samak because of the rioting that erupted late Wednesday seconds after the final whistle at a match between two rival teams, the MENA news agency reported.

The violence, one of the deadliest incidents in football's history, saw hundreds of supporters of Port Said team al-Masri invade the pitch to attack fans of Cairo's al-Ahly, including by hurling bottles and stones.

State television ran footage of riot police standing rigidly in rows as pandemonium erupted around them.

Ibrahim has said most of the deaths were caused by the crush but medics said some people were stabbed. Hundreds were also reported maimed.

Police said 47 people had been locked away.
Posted by: Fred || 02/03/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [212 views] Top||


ICC Rejects Gadhafi Daughter's Offer of Information on Seif
[An Nahar] The International Criminal Court
... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ...
rejected Thursday a request by slain Libyan leader Muammar Qadaffy's
...whose instability was an inspiration to dictators everywhere, but whose end couldn't possibly happen to them...
daughter to give information about her brother Seif al-Islam, who is wanted for crimes against humanity.

ICC judges said the application by Aisha Qadaffy
...the Claudia Schiffer of North Africa...
was aimed at obtaining permission to contact her 39-year-old brother rather than providing the court with information on the accused, as she had claimed.

Her lawyer Nick Kaufman said she had "concrete" information that could help ICC decide whether the Libyan authorities "truly desire to provide Seif al-Islam Qadaffy with effective legal representation or to afford him a fair trial".

Aisha's application said she wanted to "protect the interests of her brother", who was placed in durance vile on November 19 and is being held in the custody of the military council of Zintan, a town southwest of Tripoli.

Seif al-Islam is wanted by the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the conflict in Libya, but the National Transitional Council has said it wants to try him on Libyan soil.

The ICC issued a warrant for Seif al-Islam in June and this week denied that it had agreed that Qadaffy's most prominent son can be tried in Libya, saying it had not made a decision.

Aisha, her brothers Mohamed and Hannibal and their mother Safiya have been given shelter in Algeria for "strictly humanitarian reasons," according to Algiers.
Posted by: Fred || 02/03/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [215 views] Top||


Africa Subsaharan
SA Farmers Lodge Formal Genocide Complaint Against ANC-Regime
h/t Gates of Vienna
┬"The farm murders are not ordinary crimes but fit into the context in which the ANC-regime wants to rid itself of especially its Afrikaner- and other white farmers purely for political reasons. This is in other words, a genocide and a crime against humanity.┬'

This was the shocking message by the South African Henk van de Graaf, the deputy-chairman of the Transvaal Agricultural Union. He was addressing the European parliament┬'s international conference, attended by more than 50 European parliamentarians and other high-level functionaries from Great-Britain, France, Italy, Flanders and Austria.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/03/2012 16:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [218 views] Top||

#1  Wait until the Jihad hits SA come 2015.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/03/2012 23:59 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Kuwait opposition seeks gains in Parliament vote
KUWAIT CITY: Opposition groups in Kuwait urged for high voter turnout Thursday in parliamentary elections that could increase the voice of government critics including hard-line factions in the country.

The outcome is widely expected to bring gains for groups that include both liberals inspired by the Arab Spring and Islamic-guided blocs that favor strict rules such as banning women from taking part in international sporting events. A stronger political hold by the hard-liners also could complicate Kuwait┬'s close relationship with the US military, which now has its main contingent of ground forces based in this country after the withdrawal from Iraq in December.
Wonder how much longer we'll be there.
Kuwait┬'s ruling family controls all key affairs in the oil-rich state. But its 50-seat Parliament is one of the few elected bodies in the Gulf that openly challenge the country┬'s leadership and that has the ability to bring no-confidence motions against government officials as high as the prime minister.

Opposition leaders were out in force trying to mobilize supporters on a blustery day with sandstorms in some areas. Security forces were deployed in many districts, but there were no reports of unrest after a turbulent run-up that included arsonists torching a rival┬'s campaign tent and mobs storming a TV station during a debate.

Results from the hand-counted ballots are expected early Friday.

Kuwait┬'s emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, dissolved Parliament and called elections in December after months of political showdowns that included opposition lawmakers demanding to question the prime minister over an alleged payoff scandal and protests that culminated in anti-government crowds storming Parliament.

Officials said 400,296 Kuwaitis are registered to vote in what will be the first parliamentary election since May 2009. The more than 280 candidates include 23 women, including re-election bids by four lawmakers who were the first women in the assembly. Pro-government lawmakers had a slight edge in the last Parliament.

Opposition groups have gained strength in recent years over complaints that the country has failed to keep pace with the Gulf powerhouses Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in the past decade.

In late November, the emir selected Defense Minister Sheik Jaber Al-Hamad Al-Sabah as the new prime minister, replacing the long-serving Sheik Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah. He had survived several no-confidence votes in Parliament, but was the target of a growing campaign for his dismissal over allegations that government officials funneled payoffs to bank accounts outside the country. He has denied the charges.

While the expanding array of opposition candidates are expected to do well collectively, the election is a particular test of strength for the hard-line factions after similar groups dominated post-revolution elections in Tunisia and Egypt.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/03/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [208 views] Top||


Caribbean-Latin America
Mexican standoff as Veracruz state officials claim cash was legit
For a map click

By Chris Covert

One week after two Veracruz state political operatives were caught at the Toluca, Mexico state airport with MP $25 million (USD $1.9 million) in cash, the matter appears to be in a stalemate.
To read background material on the Mexican Policia Federal seizure of MP $25 million in cash, click here.
Wednesday, news reports questioned claims made by Veracruz officials that the two individuals detained last week with the money were state officials. An article in La Reforma news daily reported that neither Miguel Morales Robles nor Said Sandoval Zepeda were listed in the Veracruz state telephone directory of government officials -- which is a legal requirement in Veracruz state. Monday news reports stated that Morales Robles was an employee of Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa as a staff member. Said Sandoval Zepeda was said to be on Governor Duarte de Ochoa's security staff.

The money, as far as news reports indicate, is still in impound after Polica Federal agents took possession of the cash last Friday. A spokesman with the Mexican Procuradoria General de la Republica (PGR) or attorney general vowed not to release the money back to Veracruz officials until its origins could be identified.

The money had been gathered and stuffed into a suitcase and a backpack, according to Veracruz state officials as payment to a Mexico state-based company for services to be rendered for promotional matters relating to three upcoming celebrations in Veracruz state.

Wednesday officials with 3 Industries, which had contracted for promotional services, confirmed that the contract entered into provided for payment either by electronic funds transfer or by cash. A spokesman for the state said Wednesday that the contract for the funds transfer was signed in January.

The celebrations covered by the contract were Candelaria en Tlacotalpan, Carnaval de Veracruz and Cumbre Tajin.

Ricardo Sanchez Reyes Retana, an attorney for 3 Industries told Mexican press sources he was due to meet with a PGR delegate in Toluca Friday to submit a copy of the contract. Officials with the company told press sources they were unaware that Veracruz state was planning to pay with cash, and that they were unaware of the logistics involved. The cash had been transported on a Friday evening in a Veracruz state owned aircraft.

That meeting will quiet the controversy on the payment end, but may not resolve the origins of the cash, nor the actual employment status of the two operatives.

The PGR demand, while prudent given the country is awash in illicit drug money, may also be political. Partido Accion Nacional (PAN) politicians in Veracruz state have charged the public money was intended to fund the presidential campaign of current Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) candidate Enrique Pena Nieto. A similar charge had been levelled in the past against disgraced PRI president Humberto Moerira Valdes, and against Pena Nieto himself. Other PAN politicians have charged that PRI governors have been diverting cash from their state coffers to ensure the election of Pena Nieto.

Thursday evening Partido Revolucion Democratica (PRD) presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Orbador came out with an accusation that specifically named Mexico, Veracruz and Zacatecas as states for which the MP $25 million was to be used to buy votes. He also said the 45 day break between the end of the primaries campaigns season in February and the start of active campaigning March 30th, would likely be used to refine the PRI's plan to buy votes.

The El Diario de Coahuila report did not provide additional elaboration to Lopez Obrador's remarks.

On January 17th, 2011, PRD officials filed a complaint with the Guerrero state election board accusing Pena Nieto of using public funds to finance the campaign of Tiempos Mejores coalition candidate Manuel A├▒orve Ba├▒os. His campaign lost by 13 points to PRI candidate Angel Aguirre Rivero during the January, 2011 election..

The apparent, though not stated reason for the PGR refusal to return the cash is the crime of money laundering. Money laundering in Mexico, as elsewhere, is illegal but is a crime that is rarely prosecuted. Currently, no Mexican law exists which makes it a crime for any public official from the president down to city council members to carry unusually large amounts of cash on their person.

The protests and explanations made by Veracruz state officials may not completely resolve the matter.

In a related development, Aguascalientes PAN senator Ruben Camarillo Ortega has demanded a senate investigation into the matter.
Posted by: badanov || 02/03/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [213 views] Top||

#1  So - the Governor's bag-man and his minder.
Posted by: mojo || 02/03/2012 10:00 Comments || Top||


Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Turkey gives Chechnya three Mohammed hairs
From his chinny-chin-chin?
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has given three hairs from Mohammed to the Chechen Republic. The hairs were brought from Istanbul to Grozny on Thursday.

Aihan Ergyuven, chairman of the Chechen committee Sivas, said at the Grozny airport, "The Chechen diaspora in Turkey asked Erdogan to give the holy hairs to Chechnya. We received a positive response within a month and the priceless gift has been delivered to Grozny today."

Despite the freezing weather, thousands of Chechens, including Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, met the hairs at the airports and in the city's streets. An Islamic ritual marking this event was held in the republic's central mosque.

A different hair from Mohammed was brought from Uzbekistan to Chechnya early last year. The hair is in a capsule located in a box. Historical documents claim that the hair, also taken to the Grozny central mosque, had been in Uzbekistan since the times of the Caliphate.
Posted by: ryuge || 02/03/2012 08:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [207 views] Top||

#1  The Turks also claim to have King David's sword and John the Baptist's head among the other sacred relics in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.

I've been waiting for the salafis to bomb this place since they (the Salafis) believe the display of sacred relics leads to the worship of sacred relics which in turn is the worst form of polytheism. But so far, the Salafis have found other things to bomb.
Posted by: Lord Garth || 02/03/2012 9:47 Comments || Top||

#2  I sincerely hope the Turks substituted dog hairs, Maybe from the tail, near the anus.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/03/2012 11:37 Comments || Top||

#3  Somebody else has the skull of St. John the Baptist when he was only 12, as disclosed in The Name of the Rose.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 02/03/2012 12:34 Comments || Top||

#4  I can find a Mo-hair jacket on E-Bay. Wonder what that's worth to them
Posted by: Frank G || 02/03/2012 14:46 Comments || Top||

#5  Any DNA to be gotten from the hair? If so, here is a buisness idea...PCR up the DNA and transfect pigs with some of the genes. Pig meat will become sacred. One could then open up some restaurants throughout the Middle East and sell Mo-ham and cheese sandwiches.
Posted by: Chemist || 02/03/2012 19:58 Comments || Top||

#6  I would suspect Mo's DNA would lack some chromosomes from modern human DNA
Posted by: Frank G || 02/03/2012 20:45 Comments || Top||

#7  Despite the freezing weather, thousands of Chechens, including Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, met the hairs at the airport and in the city's streets.

Yeah, these people aren't fucked in the head...

Posted by: tu3031 || 02/03/2012 21:34 Comments || Top||

#8  Mohammedan holy relics? Is that why ...

To wit,

* WAFF > [Youtube]RUSSIANS IN LUCK: UMAROV ORDERS NO CIVILIAN ATTACKS | RUSSIAN ISLAMIST CHIEF ORDERS HALT TO CIVILIAN ATTACKS, in response to perceived popular disgust st Moscow's harsh or brutal methods agz the Hard Boyz, + anti-Putin mass protests.

"EMIR" UMAROV DOING A MULLAH OMAR + TALIBAN? = Hard Boyz will still selectively strike at Military, Legal, + Political targets as pertinent???

POLITICAL-LEGAL-ELECTORAL JIHAD COMES TO THE CAUCASUS?

versus

* RIAN > PROKHOROV WARNS OF RUSSIAN CIVIL WAR, as possible "worst-case scenario" vee on-going, anti-Putin mass protests [March 2012 Elex].

HMMM, HMMM, ANTI-PUTIN PROTESTS = RUSSIAN EQUIVALENT OF US ANTI-OSAMA ABBOTTABAD RAID WHICH PO'ED PAKISTAN???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/03/2012 22:17 Comments || Top||


Fifth Column
SF Occupy to go after police
Protesters arrested during an Occupy Oakland rally Saturday said they were abused by police, subjected to illegal mass arrests and suffered a litany of human rights violations while held at two county jails - which only strengthened their commitment.

Organizers held a news conference outside Oakland City Hall on Wednesday to denounce police and restate their goal to move into a vacant building. Members called for another demonstration Saturday night, the latest in what Occupy activists have dubbed "F- the police" rallies, as well as a march to a courthouse Monday.

"Even the people who suffered the most traumatizing experiences are back out here," said Caitlin Manning, an Occupy Oakland member. "Santa Rita (county jail) spawns rebels. People who go through that don't come out broken; they come out strengthened."

Earlier Wednesday, Police Chief Howard Jordan said he had assigned a team of investigators to look into Occupy protesters' allegations of police abuse.

"We take allegations of abuse seriously," he said.
He has to say that...
"Obviously, this is a very volatile situation that needs to be addressed immediately. We are not shying away from these allegations."
They'll just dismiss them...
On Saturday night, hours after police turned back Occupy activists seeking to take over the vacant Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, hundreds of protesters were arrested outside the YMCA on Broadway. Police said the protesters had ignored dispersal orders, but Occupy activists said they never heard any such order.
Since they were screaming at the tops of their lungs at the cops...
Noah Zimmerman, 31, an information-technology consultant from Richmond,
Whoa! A guy with an actual job at the Occupy? That twitched the surprise meter. Or maybe 'consultant' means '90% unemployed'...
said he would have left the area had police given him the chance. Instead, he was arrested and spent 24 hours in jail.

"I did not hear an order to disperse because there was no order to disperse," Zimmerman said. "I had no intention of going to jail."
Most lawbreakers don't, you know...
On Sunday, Jordan said his officers had made the dispersal orders and "rightfully conducted the arrests."

Once detained, protesters said they had waited in plastic handcuffs for hours before deputies processed them into two county jails.
That's what happens, of course, when a large number of people are arrested at the same time...
Sgt. J.D. Nelson, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, said that with more than 350 bookings, it was the busiest day in nearly 30 years. He said he was unaware of any complaints filed against the jails.

Nelson said officials had planned to send most of those arrested to Glenn Dyer Detention Facility in downtown Oakland, but protesters gathered outside the building and forced drivers to divert buses carrying 250 people to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

"Their own actions caused their own slowdown," Nelson said.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/03/2012 10:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [208 views] Top||

#1  People who go through that don't come out broken; they come out strengthened."


That problem can be fixed ya know.
Posted by: AlanC || 02/03/2012 10:38 Comments || Top||

#2  Some crucible they've been through. If that's the most traumatic thing any of them have been through I think they've got some surprises coming.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 02/03/2012 13:36 Comments || Top||

#3  Boy the quality of 'Brown shirts' sure isn't what it used to be.

I mean having to wait in plastic handcuffs for a couple hours - Oh WHERE's THE HUMANITY!

Maybe they would prefer the Egyptian police instead. But then we would have the Police'es human rights offended (horrible image alert!) for having to perform virginity tests on them.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/03/2012 14:21 Comments || Top||

#4  ...I suspect the virginity test has been 'outsourced' at the lockup.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/03/2012 14:25 Comments || Top||

#5  These people don't understand the Dems have determined they are no longer useful. With that said harsh measures to silence them could be used with minimal media coverage. Either that or they are gonna be beaten and it will be claimed retroactively that they are Tea Party protestors.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 02/03/2012 14:49 Comments || Top||

#6  "The pigs turned us all into newts!"
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 02/03/2012 15:21 Comments || Top||

#7  Virginity tests? With these clowns?

Why bother? You know in advance what the answer would be....
Posted by: Barbara || 02/03/2012 16:00 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Shahbaz suspects plot in drug deaths
[Dawn] The chief minister has blamed a medicine manufactured and supplied by a Sindh pharmaceutical company for scores of heart patients' deaths in Punjab in the recent weeks.

At a presser here on Wednesday, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said his government would thoroughly investigate whether the supply of the tablets was by a mistake or a "conspiracy against the people of Punjab".

He said the factory producing the drug had been sealed in Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
and its owners put on the exit control list by the Sindh government.

Mr Sharif cited reports from a British laboratory, saying the killer drug, Iso Tab, produced by the Efroze Chemicals contained 50mgs of an anti-malaria agent.

He said doctors would prescribe only 25mgs per week of the agent to malaria patients while heart patients were prohibited from using it.

To the relief of poor heart patients affected by the tablet, he said, local health experts with their European counterparts had found the drug's antidote which was now being administered to the affected people.

The chief minister said the Punjab inspector general had gone to Bloody Karachi on a special plane to initiate an action against company officials. He said the Sindh chief secretary had confirmed that the chemicals factory had been sealed and its owners restricted from traveling abroad.
Posted by: Fred || 02/03/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [206 views] Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Dupe URL: Samaria in a sewage stalemate
All but one of 22 Palestinian villages refuse connection to sewage line, Environmental Protection Ministry says.

Swirling in the strikingly green valley below the southern Samaria community of Nofim is a rambling stream amid grass and trees ┬-- filled with dangerous quantities of sewage.

A subterranean sewage pipe connects to the underbellies of four of the five surrounding settlements ┬-- Nofim, Yakir, Etz Ephraim and Sha┬'arei Tikva ┬-- and will within a few months also connect to that of Ma┬'aleh Shomron, bringing all of the effluent to a treatment facility in Eliyahu.

Despite Israeli offers to connect the 22 surrounding Palestinian villages to the same pipe, all but one of them refused the proposal, Environmental Protection Ministry and Shomron Regional Council officials explained during an exclusive tour of the area on Thursday.

Instead, their sewage flows into the aquifer below and ends up directly in the stream, according to the officials.

┬"That┬'s a testament to the fact that we are doing everything we can to prevent pollution in Judea and Samaria, but nevertheless, the Palestinians refuse to cooperate,┬" Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan told The Jerusalem Post during the tour.

Although planned about 15 years ago, the pipeline was only constructed about eight years ago, and a decade ago sewage from the settlements as well flowed directly into the stream, according to Shomron Environmental Association director Itzik Meir.

Erdan expressed hope that donor countries would agree to only continue giving the villages financial support if they agree to connect to the sewage pipeline. Meanwhile, he also said he hoped that the relationship between the local Palestinian and Israeli communities would improve, though he certainly has doubts about this matter.

Another Environment Ministry official was slightly more optimistic, explaining that one of the 22 villages had, in fact, recently agreed to hook up to the sewage pipe, a deal that would be finalized in a few weeks time. The official said he could not reveal the name of the village at this point.

Yet a third official told the Post he suspected that the local Palestinian governments were unwilling to connect their villages due to ┬"political reasons┬" ┬-- simply ┬"because they don┬'t want to recognize Israel as a presence in the area.┬"

The Palestinian Water Authority could not be reached by press time.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/03/2012 06:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [206 views] Top||


Samaria in a sewage stalemate
All but one of 22 Paleostinian villages refuse connection to sewage line, Environmental Protection Ministry says.

Swirling in the strikingly green valley below the southern Samaria community of Nofim is a rambling stream amid grass and trees -- filled with dangerous quantities of sewage.

A subterranean sewage pipe connects to the underbellies of four of the five surrounding settlements -- Nofim, Yakir, Etz Ephraim and Sha'arei Tikva -- and will within a few months also connect to that of Ma'aleh Shomron, bringing all of the effluent to a treatment facility in Eliyahu.

Despite Israeli offers to connect the 22 surrounding Paleostinian villages to the same pipe, all but one of them refused the proposal, Environmental Protection Ministry and Shomron Regional Council officials explained during an exclusive tour of the area on Thursday.

Instead, their sewage flows into the aquifer below and ends up directly in the stream, according to the officials.

"That's a testament to the fact that we are doing everything we can to prevent pollution in Judea and Samaria, but nevertheless, the Paleostinians refuse to cooperate," Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan told The Jerusalem Post during the tour.

Although planned about 15 years ago, the pipeline was only constructed about eight years ago, and a decade ago sewage from the settlements as well flowed directly into the stream, according to Shomron Environmental Association director Itzik Meir.

Erdan expressed hope that donor countries would agree to only continue giving the villages financial support if they agree to connect to the sewage pipeline. Meanwhile,
...back at the pie fight, Bella opened her mouth at precisely the wrong moment...
he also said he hoped that the relationship between the local Paleostinian and Israeli communities would improve, though he certainly has doubts about this matter.

Another Environment Ministry official was slightly more optimistic, explaining that one of the 22 villages had, in fact, recently agreed to hook up to the sewage pipe, a deal that would be finalized in a few weeks time. The official said he could not reveal the name of the village at this point.

Yet a third official told the Post he suspected that the local Paleostinian governments were unwilling to connect their villages due to "political reasons" -- simply "because they don't want to recognize Israel as a presence in the area."

The Paleostinian Water Authority could not be reached by press time.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/03/2012 06:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [205 views] Top||

#1  Muslim hygiene on display. I'm sure that they sit on the left hand of Allan.
Posted by: AlanC || 02/03/2012 8:57 Comments || Top||

#2  "their sewage flows into the aquifer below and ends up directly in the stream"

And don't that just sum up the paleos.... >:-(
Posted by: Barbara || 02/03/2012 9:24 Comments || Top||

#3  Your right Barb - that's it in a nutshell.

And of course when their kids start to get sick and die off they (and the left here and the U.N.) will blame those 'Filthy Jews'.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/03/2012 10:40 Comments || Top||

#4  "My privy drains into my well
after the fashion of Christendie.
My children suffer from fevers and fluxes.
I wonder why God has afflicted me."

h/t Kipling
Posted by: Richard Aubrey || 02/03/2012 18:11 Comments || Top||


Olde Tyme Religion
Only in Atlanta
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/03/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [211 views] Top||


Science & Technology
USAF Reveals Latest X-Plane: X-56A
Posted by: Mike Ramsey || 02/03/2012 10:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [206 views] Top||

#1  "Boom for a joined wing, thereby enabling testing of more advanced Aerodynamic Concepts".

IMO read, TRUE/REAL LONG-ENDURANCE SPACE PLANE, NOT JUST HIGH ATMOSPHERE.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/03/2012 22:23 Comments || Top||


Science
Posted by: Mike Ramsey || 02/03/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [236 views] Top||

#1  I remember some of the original rationaleof the Harrier and needing a VTOL was to avoid bombed out airstrips that the Soviets would take out (mainly the Brits making that case), or to fly off of smaller capacity amphibs.
Posted by: OldSpook || 02/03/2012 0:29 Comments || Top||

#2  F-35 yes, Harrier, not so fast. a report out of England recently stated that the USMC has bought all the mothballed Harriers from them for parts to keep the existing fleet flying until the replacement can be fielded ( presumably the F-35, but maybe not). and the AV8 is still much cheaper than the Hornet ( any flavor). and the Harrier is still superior to anything the USMC is likely to encounter in the forward areas; maybe not the latest and greatest, but good enough to win. and good enough is good enough.
a better idea to save some $$ would be to reduce those VAQ squadrons that have already made the switch to the electric Lawn Dart by one plane so that the remained can transition sooner, retire the EA-6B faster so there is only one logistic trail and then when the rest of the EFA-18 build out comes on line, restock the squadrons to the original 5 plane level. theat would also generate a corresponding reduction in manpower as the Prowler has a 4 man crew and is much more maintenance intensive. (Yes Steve, this is really me saying these Pro-Lawn Dart things)
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 02/03/2012 1:05 Comments || Top||

#3  USN Ret -

What I'd love to see is an upengined AV-8 with new electronics and AMRAAM capable, plus a two-seat version thereof with the EW rig from the EA-18. It would be expensive, but a lot LESS expensive than the -35B, and as you point out it would be equal to or better than anything the Corps is likely to face coming across the beach.

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 02/03/2012 7:59 Comments || Top||

#4  I would rather have the helo fleet at my back any day over the jets anyway. Too bad so much money has been put into the F35b before this decision was made. What about the other 2 f-35s? Are they still gonna be in use?
Posted by: chris || 02/03/2012 8:18 Comments || Top||

#5  What about the other 2 f-35s? Are they still gonna be in use?

Yes. There are too many contractors in too many districts to pull the plug on this gold plated fiasco. And they will remain in use half as long as the F-15.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/03/2012 8:55 Comments || Top||

#6  Golly USN Ret, I know how hard it was for you to praise the Lawn Dart :-)

Chris, the Air Force version of the F-35 is a done deal. They have the first few rolling on the assembly line now (to be 'upgraded' once the final design is locked down). The Air Force needs replacements for the F-16 as these are getting old, old, old. And the export buyers, of which there are many, have paid into the development fund, so they expect planes.

I do wonder about the Navy version (F-35C). The F-18E/F is going to be the best thing flying over the ocean for the next couple decades, and the 35C has had some real problems in its development.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/03/2012 8:55 Comments || Top||

#7  The F-18E/F is going to be the best thing flying over the ocean for the next couple decades

Years, perhaps, but not decades. That will go to the X-47C+.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/03/2012 9:00 Comments || Top||

#8  Every book I've read on the Falklands praises the Harrier as completely awesome in a dog fight because the VTOL also allows incredible manueverability. Sure I wouldn't want one to go up against the top of the line whatever, but I should think it would outclass anything the third world could field and it has to be a lot cheaper than the top of the line. Marine amphibious task forces should be armed with these (or else always bundled with a supercarrier for protection).
Posted by: rjschwarz || 02/03/2012 10:20 Comments || Top||

#9  VTOLs are nice for amphibious units as they can land and take off from short or no runways and can carry a crap load more weapons than a helo. They are also faster and can dogfight. There will be a place for fixed wing VTOLs, but I am wondering if a drone VTOL might not be a better investment than a F-35B.
Posted by: DarthVader || 02/03/2012 11:06 Comments || Top||

#10  Every book I've read on the Falklands praises the Harrier as completely awesome in a dog fight because the VTOL also allows incredible manueverability.

The Harrier edge in the Falklands was mostly due to the fact that the Argies were flying at the absolute far edge of their fuel envelope and couldn't maneuver at all, if they didn't want to splash down miles short of their home airstrips. All they had time for was to find their targets, get their Exocets away, and make for home before they got bounced by British CAP. Absolutely no gas to spare for jinking about or defending themselves.
Posted by: Mitch H. || 02/03/2012 12:16 Comments || Top||

#11  Mitch H, you are right, but even the Argentine pilots praised the Harrier so there must have been something more than fuel.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 02/03/2012 14:43 Comments || Top||

#12  Mitch - that's why the Argies have built all those carriers to back up their aggressive little threats?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/03/2012 14:53 Comments || Top||

#13  I know the Harrier has heat signature issues, even though it is built a bit different does the 35B have similar concerns?

Oh, and cancel the A-10, useless in the post USSR world.
/sarc
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/03/2012 17:36 Comments || Top||

#14  luv the Warthog
Posted by: Frank G || 02/03/2012 20:40 Comments || Top||

#15  (Yes Steve, this is really me saying these Pro-Lawn Dart things)

Heh. I admit I jumped to the end to see who was writing this. But it seems like practical advice; something you often get from people who actually *do* stuff, as opposed to academics and fanboys.

And speaking as a fanboy, I can't wait for the autonomous RoboHornet.
Posted by: SteveS || 02/03/2012 20:52 Comments || Top||

#16  All of the US-NATO mentioned here have proven themselves in sustained combat since the 1980's -the latest Russian + Chicom airframes have NOT.

In similar to how NASA is proposing US dev of a NT Dirigible-based "Common/Universal Carrier" to replace Trucks, Cargo Planes, Rail, + Merchant Vessels, etc. logistics mediums, the USDOD is in favor of dev Multi-Role Aircraft of "Common/
Universal" Design [Common Configuration].

* See DEFENSE NEWS > USAF TURNING TOWARDS FLEXIBLE MULTI-ROLE AIRCRAFT.

The Service plans to ...
> Get rid of FIVE Sqdrns of A-10 CAS Aircraft.
> Refurbish up to 350 F-16's wid new Capabilities + extended life-spans for their air frames.
> F-35 is a Multi-Role Aircraft in line wid USDOD needs, while the F-22 is a dedicated Air Superiority Aircraft [fighter].
> F-22, C-5M, C-17, F-15C, + F-16 Series all to devol into "Common Configurations".

Iff the plane is not MR or "Common Configuration" the USDOD doesn't want 'em around???

versus

* TOPIX, RIAN > RUSSIA TO BUILD SIX SUBMARINES, AIRCRAFT CARRIER ANNUALLY STARTING IN 2013.

Russki "Bottom-Up" versus US "Top-Down"???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/03/2012 22:45 Comments || Top||



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