The Legacy of WW 1 in France’s Red Zone”

 The Real “No-Go Zone” of France:   A Forbidden No Man’s Land Poisoned
When you imagine France and its scenic countryside, you might think of the picturesque villages, vineyards a plenty and endless rolling green hills to drive through on a blissful summer road trip. But there’s one corner of this scenic country that no one has been allowed to enter for nearly a century, known as the “Zone Rouge” (the red zone).
Pictured above is an artist’s impression of the forsaken territory in the years following the Great War. Today, around 100 sq km (roughly the size of Paris), is still strictly prohibited by law from public entry and agricultural use because of an impossible amount of human remains and unexploded munitions yet to be recovered from the battlefields.
Step inside the real “No Go-Zone”…
After WWI, unable to keep up with the impossible task of removing endless undetonated weapons, human and animal remains,
the French government decided on a forced relocation of residents which led to the creation of the Zone Rouge.
Entire villages wiped off the map were considered “casualties of war”.
“Douaumont, Destroyed Village”
The once busy farmland was abandoned, and without human presence, soon became unrecognizable thick forestland.
“Here, stood the church.”
For decades however, much of this deceivingly lush forestland was still regularly used by forest keepers and hunters until 2004,
when researchers found extremely dangerous levels of up to 17% arsenic in the soil, a thousand times higher than levels typically found previously within the red zones.
The water in the area was found to contain toxic levels of arsenic that were 300 times above the tolerated amount
and abnormally high lead levels were recorded in some animals, particularly in the livers of hunted wild boars.
The nearby residents, forest keepers and hunters of the area, like the ones who built the abandoned hut (pictured above)
to have lunch and store their prey in, were never subject to any medical study.
Authorities finally prohibited public access to the site in 2012, known locally now as “Place-à-Gaz”.
The French government actually formed a special agency dedicated entirely to the ongoing munitions clearing,
called the Department du Deminage. Over time they’ve managed to reduce the size of the red zone and return less
affected zones to civilian and agricultural use. Unfortunately, in several cases, this was done much too prematurely…
The map below indicates the red zone and the less dangerous zones in yellow, green and blue.
Until the mid 1970s, much of the “clean-up” was only done superficially, destroying hundreds of thousands of
unexplored WWI chemical bombs without considering the leaks and contamination to the soil and water.
Alarming amounts of lead debris scattered by shrapnel were also left in place, contaminating the soil with
non biodegradable lead, mercury and zinc likely to remain for at least 10,000 years to come.

After WWI, in a rush to convert areas for the growth of crops or livestock, the first industrial pig farm was established as
early as 1929 near the site of the Battle of Verdun, the longest sustained conflict of World War I, lasting 300 days and
costing more than 300,000 French and German lives. The 25 hectare pig farm was riddled with shell holes after the chemical treatment of the soil.
The French word “Verdunisation”, referring to the treatment of drinking water using chlorination which originated in Paris in 1911, actually takes its name from this region.
Farmers in less dangerous re-populated “yellow” and “blue zones”, still hit shells every year, damaging their farm machinery
and sometimes narrowly escaping death by the remains of a hundred year old war. In Verdun , there are road signs to indicate a dumping grounds for farmers to leave the shells they’ve plowed up on their land to be collected by authorities.
They call it the “iron harvest”, in which nearly 900 tons of unexploded munitions are recovered each year by Belgian and French farmers after plowing their fields.
Crops from these areas should be continuously monitored by the French and European government but there is some doubt as to whether this is actually being done enough or even at all.

The aftermath of a French battlefield…
More than a century later, there are still large quarantined parts of the red zone where 99% of plant and animal species perish.
Dchets de                                                          Guerre, le                                                          poison                                                          inconnu
Clearing the red zone is an extremely dangerous job, and fatal casualties from gas shells are not uncommon amongst munitions removers .
Authorities estimate that if they continue working at the current rate, it could take anywhere from 300 to 700 years to complete.
Other experts believe the Zone Rouge will never be fully cleared of its unexploded munitions.
Meanwhile, teetering on the edges of the Zone Rouge on northeastern France , surrounding villages and towns are making the best of a bad situation. To compensate for all the quarantined land they can’t and probably never will be able to farm or ever set foot on, locals take advantage of the region’s military history.
In Pozières, one of the villages that was completely destroyed in World War I and subsequently rebuilt, there is a café and restaurant called “Le Tommy”, dedicated to the sacrifice of the allied forces, which has reconstructed a WWI trench in its back garden for tourists (pictured above).  

North of Verdun, in the ghost villages that “died for France ” and were never rebuilt, discovery trails and memorial sites have been opened to the public around the red zones .
Locals also keep themselves busy with their own impressive private museums of war remains they’ve collected over the years in the area, lending pieces to local tourist museums.
A 20 hectare contaminated site abandoned by the French Society of Munitions Recovery, which went bankrupt in 2006. No one knows the effect this pollution is causing and no one known when or how it will be cleaned up.
The Red Zone is still very much off limits, an area of untold dangers to its surroundings. In 2012, it was announced that the consumption of drinking water was banned in 544 municipalities in the area due to excessive levels of percholate, used in the manufacturing of rockets and ammunition.
Each of those municipalities affected by the ban correspond exactly to the locations of old front lines of major WWI and II battlefields.
The explosive remains of war…

Photography (c) Olivier Saint Hilaire

Fired Crawford police officer gets probation for indecency

WACO — A 29-year-old former Central Texas law enforcement officer must serve 10 years of probation for fondling a juvenile girl while he was on the police force.

William Geoffrey Byrom was sentenced Tuesday in Waco after earlier pleading guilty to indecency with a child by contact.

William Byrom

Byrom was a police officer in Crawford when the allegations surfaced and he was fired in 2014. Investigators say the case involved a girl under age 17.

An affidavit says the girl was interviewed, by officials with the Waco Child Advocacy Center, in 2013 about several alleged incidents of Byrom molesting her.

What We Learned At the Debates Part 2

Loss of Liberty, one boiled frog at a time..


Concentrating on the 2nd Amendment while ignoring the others feeds right into the hands of those that wish to oppress us.  Does anyone think that we are freer today than we were in 1968?

And yet the NRA has taken in untold billions of dollars to “protect” our gun rights, the Republicans have taken in similar amounts and elected “good” folks, the Democrats have taken in just as much and claim to be anti-gun.

Yet, when the Republicans had majorities in both Congress and the Presidency, nothing changed for the better.

When the Democrats had majorities in both Congress and the Presidency, nothing changed that dramatically.

Except for a few things.

Folks that owned stock in gun and ammo companies made lots of money.

Both political parties took in lots of donations for and against the gun cause.

The NRA got rich.

While we were fixated on the 2

View original post 1,804 more words

Homeowner shoots, kills burglary suspect in SW Houston

A homeowner shot and killed an apparent  burglary suspect early Tuesday morning at a residence  in southwest Houston.

The shooting happened about 1:30 a.m. in the 8500 block of Maplecrest Drive near Elmsworth Drive, said Ken Fregia, a homicide investigator with the Houston Police Department.

Fregia said the homeowner, identified as an Asian man,  told investigators he was asleep but woke up when he heard the sound of glass breaking at his front door. He grabbed a gun and went to investigate. He saw a man breaking into the door and entering his home. He confronted him and fired several gunshots at him, wounding the suspect.

The suspect, whose name has not been released, dashed away after the gunshots but collapsed nearby. He died at the scene.

The homeowner, who was at the residence alone at the time of the shooting, was not hurt. He had recently moved into the residence.

Pasadena, Tx police officer serving month suspension for having sex in patrol car

A Pasadena Police Department officer is serving a 30-day suspension without pay after video evidence revealed that he was using the back seat of his patrol car for something other than hauling bad guys to jail.
A Pasadena, TX police officer demonstrates his in-car dash camera and monitor, August 19, 2013 in Pasadena, TX. Photo: Eric Kayne, For The Chronicle / ©2013 Eric Kayne

Photo: Eric Kayne, For The Chronicle


According to a release from Pasadena PD it was the routine check of a video system in a patrol car that revealed that officer Jeff Mubarak had sex in the back of that car. He admitted to the incident which happened while he was on duty. A dash cam captured what happened.

Police said the incident occurred last August. The officer has been with the department for nine years, according to KTRK-TV.

KTRK-TV spoke to Chief Michael Thaler who said that the woman in the footage was in the Citizen Ride Along program and interested in becoming a police officer. Mubarak and that woman later became romantically involved.

The ride along program has since been suspended and is under review.

“He was honest and accepted responsibility. He expressed extreme concern or remorse for his actions for the embarrassment he caused himself, the department and the community of Pasadena at large, Thaler told reporters.

Thaler said the officer will be able to return to work after he serves his 30-day suspension, which is just short of being fired.

By Craig Hlavaty

Published 2:31 pm, Friday, February 19, 2016

Intruder shot dead by Homeowner in failed home invasion

Officials searching for one person who fled scene

UPDATED 9:18 AM EST Feb 17, 2016

CINCINNATI —A man was shot dead Tuesday during a home invasion in Lockland, police said.

The incident happened around 2:15 p.m. at a home near the intersection of Maple and Locust streets.

Police said the man living in the home called police, saying he shot a man who entered the home.

Watch this story

According to 911 calls obtained by WLWT, the caller tells dispatchers, “Guy just tried to come in here and cut my throat and he’s dying on the floor.”

Police arriving at the home found one man inside the home with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials said the man living at the home is cooperating with police.

“We’re all cooperative and working together,” said Lockland Police Chief James Toles. “(We’re) trying to get the gun violence off the street and unfortunately it had to come back to this.”

Police said the resident reported that four people entered the home and threatened to kill him with a knife. Three others were still on the scene when police arrived and were questioned, officials said.

A fourth person stayed in a car while the burglary was in progress, police said. He fled the scene in a gold vehicle, authorities said.

Officials said a gun and knife were found at the scene.

Neighbors said it is not surprising to see police on the street. However, they said they are surprised it happened at this particular home.

“He’s a defender, you know, he defends his community. He defends himself, quite naturally,” Lockland resident Dwayne Palmore said. “What would you do if somebody came in your home?”

The fatal shooting was the first homicide in Lockland in 2016.

Stupid RINO Tricks

GREENVILLE, South Carolina — The chairman of the local Republican Party here confirmed to local television that 2016 frontrunner billionaire Donald Trump’s concerns—and those of his closest competitor Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) —with the Republican National Committee (RNC) allocation of debate audience tickets are well-placed.

 Chad Groover, the chairman of the Greenville County Republican Party here, told WYFF—the local NBC News station—that party donors get tickets to the debate.


“You’ll have a good mix of people who are donors, people who are donors and workers, and people who are just workers,” Groover said, noting that he got “a couple of dozen” of tickets to hand out to the party’s faithful donors.

“I didn’t have hundreds of tickets. I had a couple of dozen tickets,” Groover said.

That means a significant proportion of his stack of approximately 24 tickets went to monied interests backing the GOP—not to actual voters in the upcoming election.

Sources close to the process who work for the RNC, but are not authorized to speak on the record, confirmed to Breitbart News throughout the evening on Saturday that that is standard operating procedure for the RNC and the party as a whole for all debates: Donors get tickets while voters have to watch on TV at home.

As such, the same appears to have been true party-wide. One well-placed source who works for one of the GOP presidential campaigns and was in attendance at the debate on Saturday evening here—but was not authorized to speak on record about the matter—told Breitbart News that

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)  and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley were personally given scores of tickets to distribute. Both despise Trump and have said so publicly–Haley even using the platform of the official GOP response to the State of the Union to do so–and it would be no surprise if they did aim to stack the audience with anti-Trump sentiment.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said another source in the audience, someone who has attended several of the GOP debates. That source said the anti-Trump and anti-Cruz audience members—who were thoroughly cheering for

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and his mentor former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush when they made passionate cases for amnesty for illegal aliens, something entirely non-representative of South Carolina’s electorate—were behaving unlike any audience he’d ever seen in his lifetime of attending GOP presidential debates.

The Republican National Committee’s Sean Spicer confirmed to Breitbart News pre-debate that the RNC proper distributed 367 tickets while the state party and locally elected officials received 550 tickets. Meanwhile the debate partners—CBS News, the Peace Center, and Google—received another 100 tickets. That means more than 1000 tickets—1,017 by Spicer’s admission—went not to voters in the upcoming election and not to campaigns for equal distribution to their supporters but to special interest distribution of those connected to the party, mostly high dollar donors. Only 600 tickets were distributed equally among the six remaining GOP campaigns, which to be fair to the RNC is the highest number of tickets distributed as such so far this election cycle.

But Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is calling for the RNC to drop all donor tickets and stop handing them out to special and monied interests entirely. Lewandowski says at all the rest of the debates from here on out, Spicer and the RNC must equally allocate all tickets among the various campaigns so they can distribute them equally and fairly to their supporters—and cut out all the donors and special interests who get tickets.

“I think the RNC does a terrible job in allocating the tickets, to be honest with you, There’s an opportunity—there’s 2,000 seats out there, there’s six candidates on stage, they should just divide them evenly so everyone has them, but instead they just give them to the donor class, they give them to the lobbyists and to all the special interests,” Lewandowski said in the spin room. “It’s not fair, it’s not equitable. So I think what they should do moving forward is take the total number of seats available, allocate them across the board and let the candidates bring their people in, because that’s who should be here, not the donors.”

Spicer has refused repeatedly over the course of several emails on Saturday and Sunday morning to answer whether the RNC will comply with Lewandowski’s request to drop all RNC and state and local party ticket allocation and just allow the campaigns to equally distribute all debate tickets fairly to their supporters in the future.

Trump’s and Cruz’s concerns are even being confirmed by many across the political spectrum. In fact, even the left-of-center Huffington Post confirms that the RNC’s ticket allocation system seems to have been “behind” the excessive and unwarranted booing of Trump and Cruz—and cheering of the donor class supported Rubio and Bush.

“The audience at Saturday’s CBS News Republican presidential debate was more boisterous than unusual — booing, clapping and generally making its feelings known during several exchanges between candidates on stage in Greenville, South Carolina,” the Huffington Post’s Igor Bobic wrote. “At various points, attendees seemed to favor former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and to be very much against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and real estate mogul Donald Trump — the two candidates currently leading the race. The way the Republican National Committee distributed the tickets may have been behind the heightened reactions.”

Vox, another left-of-center outlet, ran a headline that made it even clearer: “The Republican establishment packed the debate audience with Donald Trump haters.” In the piece, author German Lopez noted that the audience’s pro-Rubio and pro-Bush cheering was “very peculiar” as was the booing of Trump and Cruz.

“Something very peculiar happened at the Republican debate on Saturday night: When Donald Trump talked, the audience booed. Yet when Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and even John Kasich talked, they got loud cheers and applause,” Lopez wrote. “This happened again and again. It even led a spike in Google searches for ‘Why are people booing?’”

Vox even admits that Trump’s claim on stage that the odd—and unrepresentative of the party’s voting base—audience was made up of “Jeb’s special interests and lobbyists” was really not “that far-fetched.”

“Prior to the debate, the Republican Party decided not to use a lottery system to decide who should be in the audience,” Lopez wrote. “Instead, most tickets went to elected Republican officials, donors, and other workers for the party picked by local, state, and national party officials. The result, it seems, is the room was packed with Republican voters who overwhelmingly dislike Trump.”

That seems to be why Lewandowski is calling for a new system for fairness, one that cuts the RNC completely out of the process. It remains to be seen if other campaigns will get on board with this, but earlier in the cycle–due to the RNC’s ineffectiveness in dealing with biased moderators–the entire field of campaign managers met privately to cut the RNC out of the process of negotiating with the networks. It is only logical that the next step is that the campaigns work to ensure fairness in debate audience selection, something the RNC clearly failed at providing.


More Cops Gone Bad….

Bastrop deputy arrested on DWI charge while on duty….

5:58 p.m. CST January 29, 2016

BASTROP, Texas — A Bastrop County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested Friday morning and charged with Driving While Intoxicated with an open container.

Fred Ensinger

According to the sheriff’s office, dispatchers heard Patrol Deputy Frederick “Fred” Ensinger talking over the radio with slurred speech and added he wasn’t making sense. The dispatchers told a supervisor around 8:30 a.m., who went out to find Ensinger.

The sergeant found Ensinger along the 100 block of Navasota Street in the River Chase Mobile Home Park. According to the affidavit, Ensinger’s patrol car was parked on the street with the engine running and headlights on. When the sergeant approached Ensinger, he said Ensinger’s breath smelled of alcohol. Upon searching his patrol unit, he found an open backpack on the front passenger seat, holding an open quart-sized bottle of vodka that was about 1/3 full of liquid. An empty bottle of prescription medication was also found with the alcohol.

Ensinger was arrested and taken to the Bastrop County Jail where deputies obtained a search warrant to collect a blood specimen from him. The affidavit states Ensinger voluntarily gave a breath sample but would not consent to give blood.

Bond for the 43-year old was set at $10,000 but Ensinger was released on his own recognizance, meaning he did not have to put up any money, but rather swore to show up for all proceedings regarding the charge.

In addition to serving as a sheriff’s deputy, Ensinger is running for Bastrop County Commissioner, Precinct 3. KVUE News reached out to his opponents for comment on his arrest. Candidate Marc Mulkey responded with the following statement:

“My wife and I are saddened to hear about this situation and we’re praying for Fred and his family as they work through this difficult time.”

The sheriff’s office said Ensinger has been employed with them since May 2015, when he started as a jailer. He transferred to the patrol division in September 2015.

Montel Williams & Racism

Montel Williams has called for the federal government to shoot & kill those who have occupied a remote federal building in Oregon.

Now regardless of your opinion of what this group is up to, or why: so far we’ve seen no violence, no injuries, no looting, no property damage. There is every reason to believe this episode can be brought to a peaceful end unless someone in the FBI or some other federal agency gets trigger happy. Quite unlike Ferguson & Baltimore, where blacks turned what may have been legitimate complaints into orgies of violence, looting, & destruction.

If you do not think Montel WIlliams’s comment was inexcusable & racist — obviously made because, as left-leaning corporate media has been hammering all day, the militiamen are white males — then just imagine the races reversed. Imagine a white equivalent of Montel Williams (whoever it might be) saying the same thing about, e.g., blacks in Baltimore whose protests against the Freddie Gray police killing turned into mass violence & destruction. Then ask yourself who the real racists in U.S. society are.

Waco, and the evolving discovery process


, ,

Mark Twain once wrote that “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

That is precisely the issue in Waco. Within hours of the shootings, Sgt. Swanton could barely conceal his glee in announcing that the Texas bikers didn’t come to Twin Peaks to eat Bar-B-Que and have a cold drink. Oh, no sirree Buffalo Bob. We haven’t seen the good Sgt. Patrick in a good while, have we? All speculation, but could it be that he let on maybe a little bit too much in terms of how sausage is made when he added during an early presser: “At least some of the bikers involved were shot by police.” Feel safer yet, Murica?

Some day, we WILL look at this event and say to ourselves, “Justice was finally served.” Unfortunately, that day is not today. In a tired and rather sickening game of narrative keep-away, Judge Matt Johnson of the 54th District Court, McLennan County Texas today allowed that yes, the Twin Peaks video may be released to Defendant and his legal counsel, but also issued a “gag order” forbidding them to speak to anyone else about it. To find a basis for this ruling, Judge Johnson said he didn’t want the jury pool to be tainted. Tainted? Hell judge it’s been poisoned and napalmed by the quickly unravelling and flexible narrative of the WPD.

What is “Discovery?”

Discovery, in the law of the United States and other countries, is a pre-trial procedure in a lawsuit in which each party, through the law of civil procedure, obtains evidence from the other party or parties by means of discovery devices such as a request for answers to interrogatories, request for production of documents, video, request for admissions and depositions. Discovery can be obtained from non-parties using subpoenas. When a discovery request is objected to, the requesting party may seek the assistance of the court by filing a motion to compel discovery. (1)

Art. 39.14 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of Texas has regulated discovery in criminal cases.

Under Subsection h:

The state shall disclose to the defendant any exculpatory, impeaching, or mitigating document, item, or information in the possession, custody, or control of the State that tends to negate the guilt of the defendant or would tend to reduce the punishment for the offense charged.

Further, each prosecutor is charged under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure art. 2.01 “not to convict, but to see that justice is done.” What you rarely hear quoted is the next sentence: “They shall not suppress evidence or secrete witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of the accused.”  This DUTY to seek justice rather than convictions includes setting the innocent free—and it has been this way for decades.

Unless the fix is hopelessly in (and that’s a real possibility) the next step is a Writ of Mandamus. Mandamus is a judicial remedy in the form of an order from a superior court, to any government subordinate court, or public authority—to do some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do —and for whatever reason that entity is refusing. (2)

Here’s an example:

The sooner the legal theater for this mess gets out of Waco & McLennan County, the better. Because, well “jury pool.”



Hundreds of bikers from around Texas rally for motorcycle rights at the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents Legislative Day at the Capitol on Monday January 26, 2015.  The bikers paraded from the Austin American-Statesman to the Capitol for a rally on the south steps before going inside to talk to their representatives.  JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Hundreds of bikers from around Texas rally for motorcycle rights at the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents Legislative Day at the Capitol on Monday January 26, 2015. The bikers paraded from the Austin American-Statesman to the Capitol for a rally on the south steps before going inside to talk to their representatives. H/T to JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN


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