Friday, July 22, 2016

Le Gîte Maux?

Will there be a Guantanamo-a-la-Franaise? Could be, if MP George Fenech gets his way. It would not be the first time France had a prison island, after all.
But as France struggles to adapt to the increased threat from jihadists, the French MP who led a parliamentary inquiry into the November terror attacks in Paris believes Ile de Ré should also welcome the country’s most dangerous jihadists.

George Fenech, MP for centre-right Les Republicains party, believes a Guantanamo à la Francaise could be set up on the island to house all those jihadists who are expected to return from fighting in Iraq and Syria.

"A French Guantanamo would be the simplest solution," said Fenech. "An institution dedicated to radicalised individuals would be a solution," he told right-wing magazine Valeurs Actuelles.

And Fenech believes the ideal place for an offshore prison would be Ile-de-Ré, where there is already a jail that needs renovating in the town of Saint-Martin de Ré.

Fenech says the prison could be adapted to house the “tidal wave” of radicalized fighters returning from the Middle East although the local tourist board and residents might have something to say about his plan.

The MP says he is concerned by the government’s lack of preparation for the impending return of hundreds of French jihadists if and when Isis are toppled.

-- Snip --

Fenech’s idea is not the only radical suggestion put forward by MPs since the deadly rampage in Nice.

Right wing MP Alain Marsaud wants a law passed to allow the French to carry arms in certain conditions and also suggests the creation of armed civilian defence patrols.

Other MPs have talked of arming police with rocket launchers in certain sensitive spots so rampaging lorries can be stopped, while some have talked about bringing back the death penalty.

I like the Gîte Maux idea far better than the one about rocket launchers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Bumpy Arrival For SecState Kerry at #10 Downing Street


Video courtesy of the UK Daily Mail.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was on the front steps of 10 Downing Street in London, about to meet with new U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, when he stopped to wave at the crowd.

The man holding the door presumably thought Kerry was going to stay outside and shut the door, just as Kerry turned to step inside.

Dalai Lama Tactical Tip Tuesday

"Human potential is the same for all. Your feeling, “I am of no value”, is wrong. Absolutely wrong. You are deceiving yourself. We all have the power of thought – so what are you lacking? If you have willpower, then you can change anything. It is usually said that you are your own master."

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."

Readiness is all (as Shakespeare knew), and making yourself ready for whatever comes is an all-important attribute for anyone who prepares to use a gun for self-defense.

As His Holiness models in this meme, the shooter must make himself or herself ready. And not just for a timed drill on the range with your hands up and facing away from the targets, but ready for whatever life presents us with as we go about our daily business.

That was never more true than in this day of lone wolf terrorist attacks on public venues and the targeted killing of police in our cities. You are responsible for creating happiness for yourself and others through your own actions. Therefore, and although I realize this may seem counterintuitive, HH would have you practice with and carry the most effective handgun you can conceal.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dalai Lama Tactical Tip Tuesday

“The foundation of the Buddha’s teachings lies in compassion, and the reason for practicing the teachings is to wipe out the persistence of ego, the number-one enemy of compassion.” - Dalai Lama XIV

Why is His Holiness laughing? Without intending offense to owners of Kimber 1911s or any other pistol with a four-figure price tag and twice that in customization, please consider what HH says about ego.

So far as I understand it, the term "ego" actually originates outside of Buddhism, in Western psychology, and it refers to the psychological construct that is our identity. In both Western psychology and Buddhism, the term refers to the self, to "I."

When you invest your ego in a firearm you fall into spiritual error. Plus, you fool yourself, because, as every shooter knows deep down inside, the more you 'improve' a pistol the less reliable it becomes. The plain GI Pistol, Caliber .45, Automatic, M1911A1  that I was issued in the 1980s U.S. Army was near-perfect in reliability, yet it rattled when I shook it, barely had any sights, used worn plastic grips, and had practically no finish left on the slide. Carrying that pistol taught me to give up ego when it comes to defensive gun use.

His Holiness knows why he is laughing. A custom Kimber with all the most expensive improvements is a gun you show your friends. A plain Glock or a humble J-frame .38 is a gun you show your enemies.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Dalia Lama Tactical Tip Tuesday

His Holiness considers life in its entirety, in the physical as well as the mental, emotional, and spiritual. In this tip, he brings all those aspects together. 

During a defensive gun use, or drill, there comes a point at which the shooter begins to fear he is running out of ammo and knows he must reload quickly. Above all, he knows he must avoid fumbling with or even dropping the fresh magazine. This is a moment that could induce panic.

At that point, HH gives some plain common sense advice: rely on the tactile feel of the reload in your hand to guide your actions, and your physical senses will complement your mental and spiritual efforts and give you reassurance and a sense of calm.  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Finally, A Backlash Against Iraq's Fake Bomb Detectors

The most recent terrorist attack in Baghdad killed more than 120 persons and employed a suicide car bomb in a shopping district. Also, it seems to have provoked a long overdue and richly deserved public backlash against the Iraqi government and its outrageous practice of using fake bomb detectors at checkpoints through the country.

From the WaPo story linked above, there is this:
On social media, Iraqis turned their anger toward a wand-style device that has been proved to be fake but is still widely used at checkpoints as a bomb detector. On Sunday night, Abadi announced that the devices should be withdrawn from checkpoints. Little more than an aerial attached to a plastic handle, they have been sold as capable of detecting explosives.

Earlier Sunday, after the bombing, the Interior Ministry’s website was hacked and a picture was posted of a bloodied baby and one of the supposed bomb detectors. “I don’t know how you sleep at night,” the hacked website read.

Hacked Iraq MOI website image

The scandal of these fraudulent devices, which were sold to Iraq under the name ADE 651, is well known and documented. See this Vanity Fair article for background. The Iraqi government purchased the scam detectors in 2008 at a cost of $85 million.

According to the WaPo's Baghdad Bureau Chief, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has finally, just tonight, ordered all the ADE 651s removed from Iraqi checkpoints. That decision comes about two years after he first acknowledged they were fake and promised to remove them.

Now, how about the governments of Pakistan, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Mexico, and Thailand? So far as I know, they all still use the ADE 651 or a copy, under various names, to pretend to detect bombs at airports and other potential targets. Is a hacked website all it will take to cause them enough embarrassment that they'll stop that nonsense?