President Obama’s Inclusive Speech

My favorite bits:

“We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers.”

“We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.”


Catching up on a Few Shows

I’ve taken a couple of weeks of from blogging to catch up on episodes of Numb3rs via streaming video and DVD. You can watch year 5 here at CBS via streaming video. I have a BS in Applied Math and a MS in Aerospace Engineering, and I just love the use of math in the show. I try not to let my rather pedantic nature get in the way of enjoying the show. I also love mysteries as well. I try not to mind that the characters assume way too much information in order to use some of the math they try on the show.

FBI Report on Hate Groups in the Military

In July of 2008, the FBI released a report entitled (U) White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel Since 9/11 describing the activities of hate group members in the United States military services. This post is a continuation of this previous post.

Some choice bits from Page 7:

• Two Army privates in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, received six year prison sentences for attempting to sell stolen government property in mid-2007 to an undercover FBI agent they believed was involved with the white supremacist movement. The property included ballistic vests with plates, a combat helmet, and the controlled substances morphine sulfate and Diazepam.

• In May 2003 the US Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) advised the FBI of six active duty soldiers at Fort Riley, Kansas, with possible AN affiliations. One of the six, who has unconfirmed service in Iraq, sought to recruit members from within the Army and served as the AN’s point-of-contact in Kansas.

• In mid-2000 and leading into the early 2001 assessment period, Army CID and FBI sources of unspecified credibility reported on the recruiting of individuals stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, by an AN Tennessee leader who also sought information about troop deployments, unit sizes, and military missions. The subject also expressed interest in setting up a training camp for instruction in assault, infantry, camouflage, reconnaissance, and building bunkers. Although the FBI assessed the subject successfully recruited soldiers from Ft. Campbell into the AN, his arrest on felony firearms charges in December 2000 and sentencing to two years probation in April 2003 effectively disrupted his leadership and training activities.

From Page 8:

• According to reliable information, an incarcerated former member of Volksfront and the Confederate Hammerskins attempted to submit an article to the NA’s Resistance magazine in December 2006. In the unpublished article, the author, who claims having received counterterrorism training in the Navy, urges Aryans to pursue “a long war of attrition” against the “Zionist” US Government similar to the strategies of insurgents in Iraq and Northern Ireland. This would include “sporadic bombing campaigns” against the public and “executing prominent officials.”

• According to reliable and corroborated source reporting, in 2006 the leader of the Celtic Knights—a now defunct Hammerskin splinter group in central Texas—planned to obtain firearms and explosives from an active duty Army soldier based at Fort Hood, Texas, and to use the soldier in attacks against methamphetamine labs in the Austin area. The soldier, who served in Iraq during 2006 and 2007, concurrently held membership in the NA and probationary membership in the Celtic Knights. The soldier is going through proceedings for military discharge.

• In November 2005 a federal court convicted a former Army intelligence analyst on a weapons violation for having assisted a convicted felon in purchasing a firearm. Military police at Fort Bragg discovered white supremacist materials and several weapons hidden behind ceiling tiles in the subject’s quarters. The subject was formerly associated with the NA but founded a Spokane-based skinhead group after leaving the Army—a group for which the subject reportedly advocated pursuing tactical training in firearms, knives, close-quarters fighting, and “house sweeps” for general readiness and possible use in robbing drug houses.

Looks like these members are doing much more than only advocating for their racism and white supremacism, as was discussed in the previous post.

The above figure shows where military trained supremacists end up in some of these hate groups. It looks like skinheads and neo-Nazis end up with the most military trained members. Scary.

Is It A Baptist Church or a Driving School?

One of the more unusual sights I encountered on my vacation was the Parkview Baptist Church in Sulphur, Louisiana. The image is located at their website. I can tell this is the same place because the sign and building appear the same as the church I drove past several times and the prefix for their phone number is 527 which is one of the prefixes of the Sulphur area. Are they a church or are they a driving school? Do they get tax exemptions for the profits generated by the driving school? They can be contacted here.

Sulphur is an old mining town, previously mining for sulphur and salt. Now Sulphur is home to many petrochemical plants.

So to get more information I decided to take a look on the web. Holy craptastic religious driving school! It’s a state-wide business or is it? The map on their web site is a little ambiguous or perhaps ambitious. Are the red dots locations they have driving schools at, or is it merely wishful thinking? A casual search on Google reveals there is a Parkview Baptist Church in the marked cities, but no mention of a driving school at any except the Sulphur location.

Check it out:

And what’s really hilarious about the poorly designed and mostly empty website is this page.I clicked on the Parkview Baptist School link and it’s empty. Are they trying to hide the church link? I drove past the building several times during my stay and observed a church as well as a church school. I thought that Christians, especially Baptists, just love to talk about “The Lord” every opportunity they can get. Well, perhaps “The Lord” will keep their aspiring drivers safe, or perhaps not. Just bizarre, as is the large “Thank You Jesus” sign located on Highway 90 on the west side of town.

Snowstorm Here in Antelope Valley

It’s sure nice to be back home after two weeks of visiting family in Louisiana. We headed out on Friday, the 19th of December, for a 3 day drive from Southern California to Southwest Louisiana. We were just getting over a rare snowstorm here in the Antelope Valley.

We received up to a foot of snow in the area on Dec 17th. Here is a video on YouTube of some nearby kids having fun in the snow. Rare here in the high desert.

The drive was long but uneventful.We arrived on the 22nd after an overnight stay at my mother’s in Houston. She has a tree down on her backyard due to Hurricane Ike. The city has yet to deal with it. It was good seeing my Mom again. She flew out to visit us in November.

The next day we arrived in Louisiana, where we would stay at my Mother-in-Law’s house for two weeks. It was good to be back in Lousiana to visit family and friends again. Time went by much too quickly. I saw several interesting scenes while on vacation and will write about them.