Archive for category Washington

Black Swan Events: Earthquake/Tsunami In Japan, Uprisings In The Middle East

     This is tragic, and my heart goes out to all those impacted by these disasters.  I was watching the tsunami in Japan on television and the footage was remarkable.  The tsunami was a result of an earthquake and it has pummeled Japan. There is a tsunami warning for Hawaii, other Pacific islands, and the entire West Coast in the US. To follow this stuff, definitely track the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and your local news to get updates.

     A couple of things that come to mind on this.  This event, along with what is going on in Libya and potentially in Saudi Arabia, are all combining to make a Blackswan Event. Events that were not predicted, and change the dynamic dramatically. What I mean by that, is that the shock waves from both disasters, could have drastic consequence. The price of oil will rise, and all the business and economies that depend upon the stability of Japan will be negatively impacted. If Hawaii and the West Coast of the US are hit, that could have consequence as well. I will further update this post as events unfold and we will see how it goes…. -Matt

Update: 03/12/2011- Now the latest deal is the Nuclear Facilities in Japan are in dire straights. If they melt down, the fallout is of concern.  In the comments section, I have put up an article that discusses the fallout potential, and especially how it would impact North America via the Pacific Jet Stream.

Major Earthquake, Tsunami Hit Japan

Saudi police open fire at protest

Oil Rises in New York as Libyan Violence Intensifies, Refinery is Bombed

Major Earthquake, Tsunami Hit Japan

March 11, 2011

A massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake has struck off Japan’s northeastern coast, triggering a four meter tsunami that washed away cars along parts of the coastline.Video from national broadcaster NHK showed dozens of cars, large ferries and some buildings being swept out to sea in the port city of Kamaishi in the province of Iwate.The Japanese Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warming for the entire Pacific coast of Japan following the quake that struck about 125 kilometers off the eastern coast, at a depth of 10 kilometers.  Residents in the coastal areas have been urged to immediately evacuate to higher ground.The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in the U.S. state of Hawaii said a tsunami warning was also in effect for Russia, Marcus Island and the Northern Marianas.  It said a tsunami watch was issued for Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Hawaii.

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Fish And Game: Bagging A Five Point Buck In The Palouse

Bagging A Five Point Buck In The Palouse

October 23, 2010

     The reason why haven’t blogged for the last week or so is that I have been deer hunting.  It was a successful trip and I had a great time doing a little ‘live tissue training’. lol

     This trip was special for me because I got to be with my father and uncle for a hunt I used to do when I was younger. Work has gotten in the way of me doing this hunt for a long time, and my schedule this year finally produced a window for something like this. Plus, hunting in the Palouse is special unto itself.

The Palouse

A good shot of the rolling hills and wheat country of the Palouse.

     The Palouse is a region of Southeast Washington State that is defined by lots of wheat fields mixed with steep and rocky cliffed river valleys and patches of forest eyebrows. These eyebrows are basically areas of wheat fields that cannot be tilled and are used by deer in the area to bed down. The river valleys have cliffs and steep edges, with lots of gullies and areas where deer can hide. They are lush areas and can be very interesting to hunt.

     For this trip, I had to buy a bunch of new equipment and square away my rifle. That meant lots of trips to the gun stores and the local Cabelas here in Boise. I had fun doing this, and Boise is definitely a hunter’s town.

     I also rented a 2010 Ford F150 from a rental car place(the flex fuel model), and I abused the crap out of this vehicle. It was used for the trip to the Palouse from Boise and back, and it was used for all the wandering around in the wheat country and river valleys. It was also used to haul out deer, cross rivers, climb steep hills, and even tow a deer off of a cliff edge.

     So after getting my gear, rifle and truck assembled, I headed on out to the town we stay in. I was to link up with my father and uncle there and it was about a 8 hour trip from Boise. I pulled into the town in the afternoon.

     The camp we were to call home was a garage that was converted into a hunting lodge of sorts. Inside was lots of deer horns, a wood stove, power, and enough space for us to set up some tables and chairs to eat at and hang out.

That night we prepared for hunting and talked shop with the local farmers, and the various land owners and farmers/ranchers/hunters of the area that stopped by. It was great fun to touch base with all of these folks, and everyone was excited for opening day the next morning. (a big shout out to Tim for being such a great host and hunting guru)

     The first day we started hunting, I probably hit a record for observing the most amount of deer in one day.  The problem was that our party couldn’t get a shot at anything shootable. The deer have to be three pointers, or have three tines on one horn to include the eye guards. Anything less than a three point and you could be heavily fined.

     Opening day sounds like a war zone. There are gun shots going off all over the place, and guys are slinging large rifle calibers all over the place.  This is why wearing hunter orange vests is required, because you definitely do not want to be accidently shot by any of the dozens of hunters scattered throughout the area. I also thought to myself if a hunter orange plate carrier might have some interest to some folks?  Who knows, and maybe someone is already selling such a thing?

Cliffs

The cliff area I was hunting. 

     The next day is when I got my deer. I was up on cliff edges above the river doing some glassing (using binoculars) and decided to try and get lower on the stepped edges of the cliff. I definitely had to be careful doing this, and find an access point that was safe enough. But these stepped areas of the cliff edges are where the big Whitetail deer like to hang out, and especially the bucks, so it is worth the effort.

     Over the years, our hunting party has taken quite a few bucks in the cliff areas of the Palouse. Most hunters of the area will not go up there because getting a deer there requires a lot of work to get out, and it is just tough hunting. But those cliffs are where the big guys like to hang, to include the one I got.

     How I got him was an interesting story. As I was crawling down, I heard some noise in the bushes below me and a two point buck popped out. I raised the rifle on him and looked at his horns to identify how many he really had. You look for little nubs on the eye guards, or any kind of growth on the horns to give you any indicators for a shot. But nothing on this guy’s horns would indicate a three point, so I had to let him go. I notified my uncle via a small Motorola ‘talk-about’ radio we use, that this deer was heading his way.

     So as I was going down the slope, I was looking for another point to glass from.  I found a good edge and was able to start glassing again.  It was a great spot because it allowed me to look at the cliffs around me with a better angle. It also shortened up my range if I had to shoot into the river valley. I had a Nikon range finder at the time, and most of my shots would have been in the 200 to 300 yd range. Perfect for the rifle I had set up.

     Then while I was glassing and talking with my father on the radio about another doe we spotted, I had heard some noise in the brush from where the two point buck came out of. I brought my rifle up again and had to move closer to it in order to see what it was. To my astonishment, it was another buck that decided to get up. This guy was definitely shootable and big, and was holding tight in his little hiding spot. I had to shoot quick because he was getting ready to bolt, and I popped him dead on in the chest at about 36 yds.(he walked a little from his position, and then was squared up facing me when I shot).

My deer

The five point buck I shot up on the cliffs.

    The shot thwacked him in the chest and he went down immediately. He then rolled down the slope and I put my safety back on the rifle to go after him. Basically, I had to follow him over the cliff edge and through the ravine that he was rolling down. Luckily he was going down a ravine that was passable and I felt I could do it safely.

     As I came up on him, I poked his eyeball to make sure it was dead. You always dead check these things because a wounded animal with horns can certainly hurt you. This guy was dead and it was a good clean shot. The 185 grn. bullet entered the chest and stayed in the body. The bullet did reach the right side tenderloin and was a little screwed up–but not bad.

     From that point on I had to plan on how to get the deer out of there. I unloaded my rifle and slung it on my back and took some clothing off so I did not overheat. I then dragged the animal down the slope with gravity being my friend. The thing felt like it weighed about 190 lbs.

     Once at the bottom of the slope I came across the river that the cliff was overlooking. On the banks of the river, I gutted the deer and washed him out in the river. The river is also what I used to float the deer to a pick up point for my vehicle. (After shooting the deer, I notified my father and uncle to go get the pick up and meet me below to pick up the deer.)

     This next part of the deer hauling process was interesting as well. I had two choices for dragging the deer. Drag it across the river and over land for about 300 yds, or float the body down the river a ways and drag it up the banks to a pick up point for the vehicle, which would make my drag just 30 yds. I chose the ‘Deliverance’ method. (movie reference) lol

     It worked well and I only tripped in the water once.  The water was cold but not that bad, and the animal was floating just fine in the water. Once I got it to the bank on the other side, that is when my hunting party arrived and was able to help me get it up on the road.

     After loading up the deer into the truck, we took it back to camp and hung it on a tractor. Once it was hanged we skinned the thing and parked in a cool dark area of a tractor garage. We then loaded up the truck and went back out to catch a little hunting before dark.

     I was pretty happy. It was an ethical kill meaning it did not suffer, and I did not get hurt hauling it off of the cliffs or through the river. The meat was in one piece and there was tons of fat on this deer. (these deer are basically grain fed animals with all of the wheat and corn in the area, and taste like really lean beef)

     As the week progressed, my uncle shot a deer up on the cliffs as well. We actually had to haul that ‘up the cliff edge’ using my truck as a tow. That was a first for us, and  the potential for falling off the edge was definitely there. My uncle’s deer was a four point. I guess we could have pushed the deer over the ledge, but then that would have damaged the meat and horns.

     Once the week ended I drove back to Boise to drop off my deer at the butcher and rent a meat locker. I asked the butcher to make steaks and hamburger out of it. (and add a little beef to the burger) I will also cut the horns off the head and put it on a mount. I can’t wait to taste the meat, and I already have some recipes that I want to try.

     All and all this was probably my best hunt in this area and I hope to go back again next year. I can’t tell you how many deer we saw, to include shootable bucks. The weather was perfect, the company was excellent, the food was outstanding and all the planning and preparation produced a fantastic experience. The Palouse is a winner! -Matt

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War Art: Will The Real Likeness Of ‘Draw Mohammed’ Artist Molly Norris Please Stand Up?

“It’s essential that we stand by her side, as a community, Muslims along with everyone else,” Bukhari said. “We should stand up to people who make these kinds of threats, not look the other way.”

Yet there’s been a “low-grade indifference” to Norris’ plight, Jackson says. Public officials haven’t contacted her, not even privately.

“Here’s a case of a wanted terrorist demanding the head of a Northwesterner,” Jackson wrote on the Web site Crosscut. “Why, then, has Molly Norris been met by the mother of all silence?” 

*****

     I wanted to post this to show my support for what Molly was originally going for with this cartoon, and that is to show solidarity with the folks at Comedy Central when they poked fun at Muhammad. Of course jihadists threatened them, and they also threatened Molly, and both Comedy Central and Molly for whatever their reasons were, stopped.  What kind of message does that send? And the Seattle Weekly should be changed to the Seattle Weak Knees. You guys should have backed up Molly and stood your ground against these idiots.

     Why do artists and media groups continue to ‘bow down and kiss the ring’ of these Islamic extremist dorks? For all you folks know, it was some 12 year old kid on a computer trying to get your goat.  I say press on and exercise your right to free speech.

    Even if it was legitimate terrorists, these guys are weak sauce. I have been making fun of these idiots for awhile now and it is an essential part of my wonderful day! lol (the Potential poster is my all time top post on the blog-go figure?) I actually want them to say something, just so I can get a good laugh and channel more traffic to the blog.

   There is another reason for why you should not back down.  Terrorism works, when you actually show fear. hint hint? So Molly, keep your name, get out of hiding, and draw Momo! Free speech only remains your right if you have the courage to fight for it. Inshallah. -Matt

Facebook Page for Draw Momo And Be Happy Day here.

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Molly Norris

The cartoon that started it all.

Terror threat to Seattle cartoonist should draw response

Danny Westneat

September 18, 2010

The case of the Seattle cartoonist who used to be named Molly Norris makes me wonder: Shouldn’t we be sturdier than this?

The case of the Seattle cartoonist who used to be named Molly Norris makes me wonder: Shouldn’t we be sturdier than this?

Last week Norris made worldwide news, when it was announced she was “going ghost” because she had been put on an Islamic terror hit list.

“There is no more Molly,” wrote the Seattle Weekly newspaper, where her cartoons once ran. “On the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is … moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity.”

This news was bewildering. The FBI had insisted a U.S. citizen renounce her identity, all because some radical in Yemen doesn’t like her art?

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Industry Talk: Seattle Authorities To Review Security Rules After Transit Beating

   First off, I know these guys were limited by the terms of their contract. But to me, this would have been a scenario where violating those terms of the contract could have saved this victim from being beaten. Common sense and basic human compassion should have been applied to this situation.  I know most guys on the high end of security contracting, would have stepped in regardless, because that would have been the right thing to do. For the lesser paid, and minimally trained folks who the company really doesn’t care about anyway, then scenarios like this are going to happen. This just happened to be filmed.

   From a pragmatic point of view, the guards did exactly what they were supposed to do.  If anything, I think Metro’s policy is what is really at fault here, because they hired and trained these folks to just be observers, and that is it.  The policy has put these guards into a terrible position, and it is something to think about for us all. Especially after incidents, where organization create knee-jerk reactionary policies and make asinine rules that are supposed to somehow make it impossible for another incident to ever happen again. pffft. For all we know, this ‘just observe’ policy was created as a less than lethal, cheap, and less liability option, as opposed to hiring armed guards who know what they are doing.  Who knows, but now that the film is out, and the public has outraged, here we go….

   With that said, if you are with a company who has set up policies within the contract that do not meet the realities of what is going on out in the field, then either you need to demand a re-thinking of the contract/policies or leave. While on post, you should be going through your head, every ‘what-if’ situation you can, and game that situation.  If you are severely limited by your current policies, and your life or the lives of innocents are impacted negatively by those policies, then you need to say something. Of course be tactful, but still, it needs to be brought up and a supervisor needs to know about it. How else is it to be changed?

    Another example, is these unarmed contracts for ship security in the Gulf of Aden?  We know pirates attack boats using all the weapons of warfare, yet there are those in the industry that continue to promote this concept that you can defeat those tools of warfare with less than lethal options.  It does not work.  An RPG trumps a water cannon, every time.  AK 47′s trump LRAD sound machines, every time. And when we watch entire security teams jumping over the side of boats in order to escape the wrath of an attacker, all because they were not able to defend the boat with their less than lethal tools, then what was the purpose in the first place for hiring these guys?  The same rule applies to this deal in Seattle.

    The other point I want to make is the money and liability of security these days.  Thanks to a violence averse and litigation happy society, private security has been weakened in many places throughout the world.  There must be a recognition for the fact that security is a human endeavor, and sometimes it is not perfect.  How could it be? Contracts should reflect this, and they should have protections for the guards so they can actually do their job.

   Or that companies continue to play the odds, and think they can ‘do without’ just fine, and luck will be on the side of their ineffectual and low cost guards following weak policies. Pffft.  Criminals and terrorists are laughing at us.

    We also have criminal and terrorist type elements who know how to exploit this stuff. The obvious angle, is the kinetic one–just use a gun and you have now put the fear of god in that unarmed, minimally trained, low paid guard. That equates to those thugs doing whatever they want. Criminals or terrorists could also make a film of these pathetic guards, throw it up on youtube, and the thing makes the rounds across the world. If their intention was to show some weakness of a security apparatus or destroy the legitimacy of a state’s institutions through propaganda, well then they just accomplished that task.

     Since everyone has camera phones now, this reality becomes very sobering to think about.  As security professionals, we need to think how our actions will look to the public or innocents, if in fact we were filmed. Of course there will always be someone who will film it, edit it, and try to take it out of context.  But still, we have to be focused on doing the right thing out there. That is another reason why I like the Jundism concept of ‘be the guy that does it right, when no one is looking’. Let me know what you think. -Matt

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Seattle authorities to review security rules after transit beating

February 11, 2010

Seattle, Washington (CNN) — Video of unarmed transit guards watching a girl being beaten on a bus tunnel platform has prompted Seattle authorities to review guidelines that kept the guards from intervening.

“Public safety is our top priority. I am appalled by the sight of uniformed guards standing by while a person was kicked and beaten,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement released Wednesday.

“I have ordered a full review of all operating polices that govern Metro’s contract with civilian security guards to determine what changes must be made. People have an expectation of safety when riding public transit, and we must take every measure we can to assure that.”

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Law Enforcement: Four Washington State Officers Killed in Ambush, Police Seek Ex-con Maurice Clemmons

   Rest in peace to the fallen. The thing I am hearing on all the forums, is the reinforcement of the idea of always face the entrance, when sitting in a public establishment. And if you can get all the way to the back, with a wall and an exit near you, that would be pretty cool too.  That way you have nothing to worry about behind you, and you have a means to maneuver on this guy through the exit door if need be. You want to be in a position were you can see everyone coming in, and you have options for movement, so you can be prepared for any kind of attack.  Sad deal, and especially during the holidays. -Matt

Edit: 12/1/2009- Sheriff’s spokesman says Seattle police have fatally shot suspect in officer shooting

Authorities believed the man sought in the slaying of four police officers had been aided by a network of friends and family, a police spokesman said Monday night.

Edit#2: 12/1/2009- From Blackfive:

Lakewood Police Independent Guild accepting donations

The Lakewood Police Independent Guild is accepting donations for the families of the slain officers.

Every penny will go to the families; if you want to donate to a specific officer you can write his or her name in the memo section.

Please make the check out to the LPIG Benevolent Fund and mail to: P.O. Box 99579 Lakewood, WA 98499. Visit their web site for more information: The Lakewood Police Guild.

 Forza sets up donation boxes

Forza has set up donation boxes inside their stores for the families of the fallen Lakewood officers.  The coffee company’s web site also is accepting donations. Go to their web site: Forza Coffee Company.

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Maurice Clemons

Police Seek Ex-Con in Ambush on Wash. Officers

Sunday , November 29, 2009

A man with an extensive criminal past — including a lengthy prison sentence commuted by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee nearly a decade ago — was being sought Sunday in a deadly ambush on four police officers who were gunned down inside a coffee shop.

Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer told reporters that Maurice Clemmons, 37, was believed to have been in the area around the time of the shooting, but declined to say what evidence might link him to the shooting.

Clemmons has an extensive violent criminal history from Arkansas, including aggravated robbery and theft, the sheriff’s office said. He also recently was arrested and charged in Washington state for assaulting a police officer, and second-degree rape of a child. Using a bail bondsman, he posted $150,000 and was released from jail last week.

Still unclear was why a man entered the coffee shop and gunned down Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39; and Officers Ronald Owens, 37; Tina Griswold, 40; and Greg Richards 42.

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Jobs: Executive Protection Professional, Washington State

     This sounds like an excellent opportunity for you Washingtonians out there.  I haven’t a clue who the company is that they are hiring for, nor am I the point of contact for this job.  Just passing on the info.

     Also, if you are in the market for security manager type stuff, this headhunter company is pretty good at getting the gigs. Check them out from time to time if you are in the market for stuff like this. -Matt

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SMR Group

Executive Protection Professional

Confidential

Posted 9/30/2009

Location WA – Washington

Salary $78,000 – $95,000

Department Security

Qualifications

SUMMARY:

 This non-exempt position’s main focus will be to safeguard principal from safety and security hazards. The job requires a high level of personal integrity and honesty, confidentiality, good judgment, strong problem-solving skills, especially under pressure, and the capacity to follow instructions.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The first responsibilities of the Executive Protection Professional will include assisting and shadowing a senior specialist in a variety of duties and the completion of trainings in protective services, driver, medical, firearms, and defensive tactics.

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