Earth day predictions- 1970

I remember the whole “the world is dying” when I was in high school. Freezing, poverty, starvation, etc.  Here is a list of some of the “sky is falling” crowd.

Saturday is Earth Day — an annual event first launched on April 22, 1970. The inaugural festivities (organized in part by then hippie and now convicted murderer Ira Einhorn) predicted death, destruction and disease unless we did exactly as progressives commanded.

Sound familiar? Behold the coming apocalypse, as predicted on and around Earth Day, 1970:

  1. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald

  2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner

  3. “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”New York Times editorial

  4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich

  5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich

  6. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day

  7. “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter

  8. “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine

  9. “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

  10. “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich

  11. “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

  12. “[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.”Newsweek magazine

  13. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt

Keep this in mind when you next hear Al Gore and others yell about climate warming, err uh change, uh weather.  It is and has always been about attention and the money.

For example.

Bill Nye’s income stream would be interesting to review.  Where is he getting his money. Also, note that Bill wants to dominate the conversation, tells the other guy to basically shut up.

Remember, given the choice warmer is better.  Cold kills crops and starves people, moves civilizations.

Europe

The Frozen Thames, 1677

The Little Ice Age brought colder winters to parts of Europe and North America. Farms and villages in the Swiss Alps were destroyed by encroaching glaciers during the mid-17th century.[21] Canals and rivers in Great Britain and the Netherlands were frequently frozen deeply enough to support ice skating and winter festivals.[21] The first River Thames frost fair was in 1607 and the last in 1814; changes to the bridges and the addition of the Thames Embankment affected the river flow and depth, greatly diminishing the possibility of further freezes. Freezing of the Golden Horn and the southern section of the Bosphorus took place in 1622. In 1658, a Swedish army marched across the Great Belt to Denmark to attack Copenhagen. The winter of 1794–1795 was particularly harsh: the French invasion army under Pichegru was able to march on the frozen rivers of the Netherlands, and the Dutch fleet was fixed in the ice in Den Helder harbour.

Sea ice surrounding Iceland extended for miles in every direction, closing harbors to shipping. The population of Iceland fell by half, but that may have been caused by skeletal fluorosis after the eruption of Laki in 1783.[22] Iceland also suffered failures of cereal crops and people moved away from a grain-based diet.[23] The Norse colonies in Greenland starved and vanished by the early 15th century, as crops failed and livestock could not be maintained through increasingly harsh winters, but Jared Diamond has suggested they had exceeded the agricultural carrying capacity before then. Greenland was largely cut off by ice from 1410 to the 1720s.[24]

The Twentieth Century climatologist Hubert Lamb said that in many years, “snowfall was much heavier than recorded before or since, and the snow lay on the ground for many months longer than it does today.”[25] In Lisbon, Portugal, snowstorms were much more frequent than today; one winter in the 17th century produced eight snowstorms.[26] Many springs and summers were cold and wet but with great variability between years and groups of years. Crop practices throughout Europe had to be altered to adapt to the shortened, less reliable growing season, and there were many years of dearth and famine (such as the Great Famine of 1315–1317, but that may have been before the Little Ice Age).[27] According to Elizabeth Ewan and Janay Nugent, “Famines in France 1693–94, Norway 1695–96 and Sweden 1696–97 claimed roughly 10 percent of the population of each country. In Estonia and Finland in 1696–97, losses have been estimated at a fifth and a third of the national populations, respectively.”[28] Viticulture disappeared from some northern regions and storms caused serious flooding and loss of life. Some of them resulted in permanent loss of large areas of land from the Danish, German, and Dutch coasts.[25]

Sooo…. given the choice.

Don’t get me wrong. We need to allow our people to watch for abuses and change directions if there is a REAL threat.  There is a huge difference between making corporations clean up rivers that used to actually catch on fire due to their chemical runoff and turning every citizen in the world into a carbon unit to be taxed for simply living in order to fund bankrupt governments and enriching those like Gore and Soros.

Telling the difference can ONLY be accomplished through truthful research and discussion.  Bill Nye isn’t that.

 


 

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General Kelly’s story of honor, duty and sacrifice. Two Marines standing at the gate.

marines ramadi truck

Against a terrorist in a truck filled with explosives.

Two years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22nd of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 “The Walking Dead,” and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi. One battalion in the closing days of their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour.

Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines.

The same broken down ramshackle building was also home to 100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the fight against the terrorists in Ramadi, a city until recently the most dangerous city on earth and owned by Al Qaeda. Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000. Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle class white kid from Long Island.

They were from two completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines they would never have met each other, or understood that multiple America’s exist simultaneously depending on one’s race, education level, economic status, and where you might have been born. But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.

The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like: “Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.” “You clear?” I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like: “Yes Sergeant,” with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, “No kidding sweetheart, we know what we’re doing.” They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, al Anbar, Iraq.

A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way—perhaps 60-70 yards in length—and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck’s engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it stopped.

Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and because these two young infantrymen didn’t have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms.

When I read the situation report about the incident a few hours after it happened I called the regimental commander for details as something about this struck me as different. Marines dying or being seriously wounded is commonplace in combat. We expect Marines regardless of rank or MOS to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what the mission takes. But this just seemed different.

The regimental commander had just returned from the site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American witnesses to the event—just Iraqi police. I figured if there was any chance of finding out what actually happened and then to decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I’d have to do it as a combat award that requires two eye-witnesses and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy Iraqi statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the signature of a general officer.

I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine. They all said, “We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing.” The Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion.

All survived. Many were injured … some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, “They’d run like any normal man would to save his life.”

What he didn’t know until then, he said, and what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal. Choking past the emotion he said, “Sir, in the name of God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did.”

“No sane man.”

“They saved us all.”

What we didn’t know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.

You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before: “ … let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.”

The two Marines had about five seconds left to live. It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were—some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.

For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines’ weapons firing non-stop…the truck’s windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore in to the body of the son-of-a-bitch who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers—American and Iraqi—bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground. If they had been aware, they would have known they were safe … because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber.

The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.

The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God.

Six seconds.

Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty … into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight—for you.

Young outstanding men. That’s why if the politicians get out of the way, we’d end this siege of Islamic terror.

 

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Rachel Maddow is just crazy. She thinks Venezuela is rioting over Trump…

Bat shit crazy.  Of course Maddow now thinks she’s the only true Don-Quixote ideologue worthy of chasing the Trump windmill.  She had one big night of ratings revealing to everyone a 2005 IRS return illegally obtained by her people showing Trump paid a buttload of taxes.

Still..she persists

The footage from Venezuela was captioned as “Unrest in Venezuela Over Trump Donations” during the segment on MSNBC about the country and its donations to Trump’s campaign. Maddow, a Rhodes Scholar, said “Venezuela is a country in intense turmoil right now.”

“The sanctions that the US put on Venezuela were put there in 2014 after 43 people got killed while participating in anti-government protests. Another three people got killed just yesterday. There have been protests for weeks and weeks and weeks. And today Venezuelans are enraged anew by this brand new FEC filing from The White House.”

Maddow’s attempt to link the protest in Venezuela to donations to Trump was also refuted by her fellow journalists just down the hallway at NBC News who wrote about the real reasons Venezuelans came out to the streets:

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets to protest the government of President Nicolás Maduro as the country marked its 207th anniversary of the revolution that led to its independence from Spain.

The country entered its fourth week of protests following two Supreme Court decisions — to revoke the immunity that protects legislators and to dissolve the opposition-controlled legislature, a move that many including the Organization of American States (AOS) dubbed as an “auto-coup d’etat.”

Interestingly, MSNBC has sheepishly scrapped the unfortunate caption from the official website of Maddow’s show, where the show’s recordings are available, although come up short of issuing an apology. However, numerous recordings of the program on YouTube have shown the caption in its place.

To make such an assertion, knowing the REALITY of what is going on in that country should have a normal person immediately removed from the air and put into serious counseling!

But this is a liberal, and under the standards of liberal insane behavior, she’s about down the middle.

The fact it is being reported that Venezuela is literally starving to death and children are dying from the lack of basic medical care.

But Maddow spent minutes saying Obama’s inauguration was bigger, so THERE! Frankly, I would hope the first black President would be the biggest thing ever, but that’s not the point of the Obama time in office. The scandals are.

But Rachel sees what only what she wants to see. Bat shit crazy has a narrow focus.

Image result for rachel maddow crazy

“See, and then there was a big giant spaceship that flew down and lasers from it burnt up everything. I looked up and there was a giant gold “T” on the side. That’s right the aliens were working with Trump.

Trump has crept so deeply into her brain she sees nothing else.  You can either watch her video embedded in the link above, or just watch the Inspector Clouseau/Chief inspector Dreyfus video to get the same result!

And like Dreyfus.  She will end up like this!

 

Image result for Chief inspector dreyfus in straightjacket padded room

 

 

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How the oxycodone crisis proves the point on legalizing marijuana. If it is available, you will have more addicts.

People in general are weak and prone to do stupid things in their lives. Most people survive the experience, get smarter and tougher and don’t make the same mistake.  Others, many others, get trapped within the problem and never get out.  Oxy addicts fall into that category.  So will a growing number of marijuana users, especially those who start young, or are weaker in will, or have addictive personalities, and believe the current bullshit meme by government and the dope industry that weed is harmless.

It isn’t.

With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington and Colorado, questions about cannabis have vaulted into the public consciousness. For a couple minutes, let’s put aside policy concerns and look just at the effects of cannabis in the brain. Two studies published in top journals, both in April 2014, look inside human brains at the long-term effects of cannabis use. Is cannabis addictive? Is it safe? Let’s consider the evidence.

First, an article in the Journal of Neuroscience used MRI scans to look inside the brains of young, recreational marijuana users at regions associated with addiction. Previous studies have shown that other drugs known to be addictive affect the brain’s reward centers – especially the brain’s amygdala, which controls emotional learning, and a structure called the nucleus accumbens, which controls pleasure (including our ability to laugh). We’ve also known that adding cannabis-based chemicals to the brains of rats creates changes in these structures related to addiction. But it’s quite a leap from introducing cannabinoids to rat brains and knowing the effects of smoking pot on humans.

So a team of Harvard-led researchers recruited 40 young adults – 20 marijuana users and 20 non-users – to see if what is true in the brains of rats is also true in the brains of college students. Sure enough, human marijuana users had changes in volume, density and topography in both of the amygdala and nucleus accumbens.

“These data suggest that marijuana exposure, even in young recreational users, is associated with exposure-dependent alterations of the neural matrix of core reward structures,” the researchers write.

This study and the studies that lead up to it show that marijuana use creates physical changes in the brain associated with addiction. And, the researchers point out, these results were seen in non-dependent, young adult users. What are the effects of even heavier pot use on the brain?

That’s the question of the second study, published in the Nature journal, Neuropsychopharmacology. Again, the study used MRI imaging to ask if the effects of cannabis-based chemicals seen in rat brains are also seen in human brains. This time the study compared heavy marijuana smokers to occasional smokers to see if overall brain changes are more extreme, the more you smoke. And it looked outside just the structures of addiction to explore changes in overall brain structures: how does marijuana use affect the brain?

The study found reduced grey matter volume in nearly all brain regions that are rich in the “receptors” that can trap and respond to cannabis-based chemicals. These regions include a long list of structures, almost all of which are part of a network that controls motivation, emotion, and emotional learning. Here’s an important part: the degree to which these brain areas changed was due to one of two things – either heavy use or starting use during adolescence. Long-term heavy users had the same reductions in grey matter volume as lighter users who started in their teens.

So let’s revisit our two questions. Is marijuana addictive? Yes, and a real, visible change in the brain’s reward system. And is marijuana safe? No, and the younger you start or the more you use over time, the more dangerous it is to your brain. Whether or not you believe recreational marijuana should be legal, it’s time to admit its power as a dangerous, addictive drug.

There are TON of other studies and articles, all reviewed and validated that show weed is bad. But those went down the MSM memory hole when the drive to legalize marijuana became the cause of the day.

Image result for pics of hippie pot smokers

No long term effects…..Riiight! You think this guy is on the short list for NASA?

We know why government wants it- revenue. We know why liberals want it-  it helps destroy a functioning society because the people become easily malleable.  A couple of clips of Watter’s World interviewing the average college, weed smoking, moron student shows just how little they are paying attention.  Weed will do that to you. It WILL make you stupid.

Right now the cause of the day is the oxycodone  addiction destroying segments of our society.  But we are truly schizophrenic when it comes to saving one segment and destroying another, so tomorrow it could be something else.  We are also phenomenally stupid. We are focusing on stopping oxy addiction saying it destroys lives, but at the same time we are opening up the spigots of another, even greater, addiction from marijuana.  Like I said, split freaking personalities.

How did oxy get so out of control and how does that link to marijuana.  Remember, Oxycodone was supposed to be the new way of controlling chronic pain in people without creating the severe addiction issues.  A “miracle drug” if you will. But that didn’t turn out to be true- at all. All it did was open the door to a new addictive drug and new addicts.

SAN DIEGO – Ninety-one Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. It’s a problem that’s becoming so prevalent, the U.S. Surgeon General labeled the issue a national health crisis.

Just 15 years ago, most prescription drugs were not even on the radar of doctors, parents and addicts as a possible source of getting high. Today, they have become the main “gateway drug” to heroin.

To understand how America got to the point of abusing painkillers it’s important to have some context about what was happening in the medical community in the late 1990s.

In 1996, OxyContin, now one of the most abused painkillers, hit the market after getting FDA approval. Its maker Purdue Pharma also spent tens of millions of dollars to incentivize doctors to prescribe it. It was one of the first pharma companies to send sales representatives to individual doctor’s offices to promote their drug.

Read more: The faces of opioid addiction

In 1996, sales of Oxy were $45 million. By the year 2000, sales jumped 2,000 percent to more than $1 billion.

A 2002, an LA Times investigation found hundreds of doctors recklessly prescribing Oxy, sometimes over the phone, knowing patients were getting addicted.

Dr. Roneet Lev runs the emergency department at Scripps Mercy Hospital. She is also the Chair of the RX Drug Abuse Medical Task Force.

“There was a whole focus on pain in the late 1990s. California passed several legislative measures including the Patient Pain Bill of Rights. We changed our prescription pads to allow and accommodate for stronger prescriptions overnight,” she explained. “We changed from Tylenol with Codeine to Vicodin and Percocet that we weren`t allowed to do before. And we were told only 1 percent of people were getting addicted and if you don`t prescribe then you`re not compassionate. It wasn’t until years later we learned 100% of users get addicted.”

100%….

The people who want marijuana legalized for medical reasons are also liars, like the famed lawyer from Morgan and Morgan here in Florida. It is all about the cash.  Legalizing for medical purposes is just the camel’s nose under the tent.  Is it the best solution to pain? In some cases maybe, but what part of marijuana is the key? It can’t be the toxic particulates inhaled. It can’t be all the other foreign chemicals- like the pesticides or fertilizer or the feces from the grower that makes the difference. So what is it, and can it be delivered to the patient in a safer manner?  The answer is yes. I like the highlighted portion best.

Aside from the fact that Marinol can only be taken orally, there are a few key differences between synthetic THC and botanical marijuana.

According to the University of New Mexico Cancer Center, Marinol provides standardized THC concentrations and does not contain the other 400 uncharacterized substances found in smoked marijuana, such as carcinogens or fungal spore.

It is also not associated with the quick high of smoked marijuana.

However, patients who have tried both say marijuana is a more effective method for relieving their symptoms.

Synthetic THC lacks several of the therapeutic compounds or cannabinoids that are available in natural cannabis. It is also much more effective at binding to CB1 receptors in the brain, which can trigger reactions such as seizures and psychosis.

Some mesothelioma patients also claim cannabis oil, another alternative treatment extracted from marijuana, has helped strengthen their immune system to fight off diseases.

So can we “bottle” marijuana’s key elements, eliminate the dangerous side effects and make sure people who need it get it?  Sure.

But where’s the fun in that? Right?

And that’s the point isn’t it.

Image result for crowd of pot smokers

Not ONE MENSA candidate in the mix- at least not anymore!

Like I said, a society full of stupid people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Adults lacking. The United Airlines fiasco second video.

The trouble with Americans is they feel “privileged” over about anything today. That mistake causes them to make bad decisions.  When the “privilege” meets the police, those bad decisions end up on video and solidify a narrative that is often wrong- like Michael Brown’s “hands up don’t shoot.”

For this reason and this reason alone, I’m going to defend the police here. Not United, not the crazy regulations and laws, not the TSA etc.  Just the cop standing over an idiot and wondering how this is not going to play out well for either of them.

Here is a second video showing the first part of the confrontation.  The passenger is being “privileged.” Now think about this. ONE MAN is affecting the movement of hundreds of innocent people over a legitimate dispute about his travel. This happens all the time, but usually the person realizes the bigger picture and finds a better solution.  But not here.  Not “I’m a Doctor” Dao.

From the Blaze.

In the new video, two Chicago aviation officers are seen standing at the end of the aisle on board the plane where Dao was seated. But as one can assume from watching the now-viral video, Dao refused to leave, saying he had to be at work the next day.

“I won’t go. I’m [a] physician. I have to work tomorrow. 8:00,” Dao said, appearing to be on his cellphone while speaking with the officers.

“I tell you … to make a lawsuit against United Airlines,” Dao said just moments later.

Confronted again by officers, Dao reiterated, “No, I am not going.” That’s when one officer threatened to “drag” him instead.

Dao replied: “Well, you can then drag me. I don’t go. I’m not going. I’m staying right there.”

“They’re trying to use force,” Dao then said, still talking on his phone.

“This can be a lot harder—” one officer told Dao, urging him to exit the aircraft.

“I’d rather go to jail,” Dao replied.

“Rather go to jail than just get off?” the officer asked.

“Yeah,” Dao said.

You can see the passenger is on the phone, apparently with a lawyer wanting to start a lawsuit, BEFORE he is subjected to any physical contact by the police.  He also tells the police in essence “I ain’t f-ing leaving! You are going to have to throw me off!” The trouble with this approach is the man has moved from a legal, policy, “United Airlines is wrong” argument to a simpler equation- him vs the police.  If the officer reaches down and his hand is swatted away or the guy fights, it is now ONLY ABOUT THOSE TWO. This may be taking place on a plane, but it is repeated on the street a million times a year when some person decides today is the day they are going to fight the police.  And a million times a year, they lose.

Plus the officer is tasked with removing this passenger so the hundred or so other people can leave, and the crew can get to the other flight so those people can travel.  So what choice did he have?  You also have to realize the officer was acting in good faith. He is employed by an agency that told him to follow orders. He was ordered to this location and told to remove an uncooperative passenger. The “why” isn’t important in this case. He is assuming- in good faith- that they aren’t asking him to commit a crime.

Image result for united airlines passenger removal

Once this starts happening, you have made the wrong choice. Be a good citizen and comply. Then follow the law for redress and compensation. That way you keep your teeth in your head. Idiot.

Dao should have been a good citizen and chose to handle this in a more civilized manner. Get up, follow the officer’s commands and get off the plane. Reschedule his appointments, then file a complaint, a lawsuit, and get his obligatory CNN interview where the talking head asks if possible racism was the issue.  You know the drill.  But the fact is he resisted a lawful command with plenty of opportunity to be an adult rather than a privileged 10 year old stomping his feet.  In the end, he lost teeth, got a concussion and yes he will be richer, but not better.

Was it worth it?

Obviously, one problem is the law. What laws applied, did United have the right to force him off etc.  However, nobody knows exactly as we see by the websites arguing over which law applied and which doesn’t.

“…As a direct result, the government adopted a rule which permits a carrier to deny boarding to a ticketed passenger, but only after going through a process of seeking other passengers to give up their seats.

United’s Rule 25, as its title clearly implies, applies only to denied boarding. Thus, it uses the word “denied boarding,” and variants such as “deny boarding,” but says nothing about requiring passengers who have already boarded to give up their seats.

Indeed, it states in part, using the word “boarding” twice, that: “other passengers may be denied boarding involuntarily in accordance with UA’s boarding priority.

Clearly, a “boarding priority” does not include or imply an involuntary removal or refusal of transport.  Moreover, under well accepted contract law, any ambiguous term in a contract must be construed against – and in the way least favorable to – the party which drafted it.

So, even if United argued that there was some ambiguity in “denied boarding” based upon “boarding priority” – and that it could possibly mean removal based upon a removal priority – a court would be forced to rule against this interpretation because United drafted the contract.

This denied boarding rule, and similar rules applying to Great Britain and the European Union, only permit denying boarding, not removing a passenger who has already boarded.  The situations under which airlines are permitted to have a passenger who has already been boarded disembark are contained in a completely separate section the United’s COC entitled “Refusal of Transport.”

Rule 21, entitled “Refusal of Transport,” is very different because it clearly and expressly covers situations in which a passenger who has already boarded the plane can be removed.  It states clearly: “Rule 21, Refusal of Transport, UA shall have the right to refuse to transport or shall have the RIGHT TO REMOVE FROM THE AIRCRAFT AT ANY POINT, any passenger for the following reasons.” [emphasis added]

The rule, which unlike the denied boarding rule does provide for removal “from the aircraft at any point,” lists some two dozen justifications including: unruly behavior, intoxication, inability to fit into one seat, medical problems or concerns, etc.  But nowhere in the list of some two dozen reasons is there anything about over booking, the need to free up seats, the need for seats to accommodate crew members to be used on a different flight etc.

This is very important because, under accepted legal principles, a law or rule which lists in detail several different factors must be read not to include other factors which were deliberately not included or listed.  So, for example, if a rule provides that a license to drive a car may be forfeited by violations of laws governing speeding, intoxication, reckless driving, or driving without a license, it cannot be read to also permit license revocation for parking violations, or for having a burned out license plate illumination light.

In this case, the failure to include over booking, or the need for additional seats, in a long list of justifications for removing a passenger “from the aircraft at any point” means that passengers may not be removed for these non-listed reasons.

The conclusion is further reinforced by the fact that there is a completely separate section of United’s COC which does deal expressly with the need for additional seats, but it provides that the concern must be dealt with by preventing passengers from boarding, not ejecting them once they have boarded. …”

Another website points out where the problems lie.

There are a lot of myths about the situation, and it’s leading people to some bad conclusions.

  • This didn’t happen because United sold too many tickets. United Express (Republic Airlines) had to send four crew members to work a flight the next morning. The weekend was operationally challenging, this was a replacement crew, if the employees didn’t get to Louisville a whole plane load of passengers were going to be ‘bumped’ when that flight was cancelled, and likely other passengers on other flights using that aircraft would have their own important travel plans screwed up as well.

  • United couldn’t have just sent another plane to take their crew even if they had such a plane it’s not clear they had the crew to operate it legally, or that they could have gotten the plane back to Chicago in time legally so prevent ‘bumping’ via cancellation the whole plane load of passengers it was supposed to carry next.

  • If the passenger could have just taken Uber, why not the crew? because United doesn’t get to transport its crew any way it wishes whenever it wishes, they’re bound by union contracts and in any case they were following standard established procedures. We can debate those procedures, that’s productive, but United didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.

United should have just kept increasing the denied boarding offer passengers didn’t willingly get off at $800, they should have gone to $1000 (would that have made a difference?) or $5000 or $100,000 — it’s not the passengers’ fault United didn’t have enough seats. Though the time this would have taken might have lost a takeoff window or taken time where the crew went illegal (and the whole flight had to cancel) or the replacement crew wouldn’t get the legally required rest.

More importantly, United didn’t do it because Department of Transportation regulations set maximum required compensation for involuntary denied boarding (in this case 4 times the passenger’s fare paid up to a maximum of $1350). So they’re not going to offer more than that for voluntary denied boardings, especially since the violent outcome here wasn’t expected and the United Express gate agent had no authority to do more.

So next time, if the police show up and you are on a rant, think twice.  The long term outcome of being civilized will be the same.  Choosing to fight, in that moment men and women, who are tasked to keep the peace, serves no purpose, but may make your dentist richer.

 

 

 

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And as Trump weighs the options, here comes the “false flag” claims.

As TCTH says, does it matter?  I think we need the truth, then decide, so yes.

Related image

It’s hard to look away and do nothing.

Was the gas attack an attack or an explosion of gas containers hit by bombs?  It would be nice to know if the tasked satellite over Syria caught the Syrians loading those planes from a different depot, rather than the usual conventional bomb armories.  There was a hint we know the exact flight and the actually saw that flight being loaded up.  I say share and let us decide if Trump is being played.

President Trump earned neocon applause for his hasty decision to attack Syria and kill about a dozen Syrians, but his rash act has all the earmarks of a “wag the dog” moment.

Just two days after news broke of an alleged poison-gas attack in northern Syria, President Trump brushed aside advice from some U.S. intelligence analysts doubting the Syrian regime’s guilt and launched a lethal retaliatory missile strike against a Syrian airfield.

Trump immediately won plaudits from Official Washington, especially from neoconservatives who have been trying to wrestle control of his foreign policy away from his nationalist and personal advisers since the days after his surprise victory on Nov. 8.

There is also an internal dispute over the intelligence. On Thursday night, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. intelligence community assessed with a “high degree of confidence” that the Syrian government had dropped a poison gas bomb on civilians in Idlib province.

But a number of intelligence sources have made contradictory assessments, saying the preponderance of evidence suggests that Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels were at fault, either by orchestrating an intentional release of a chemical agent as a provocation or by possessing containers of poison gas that ruptured during a conventional bombing raid.

One intelligence source told me that the most likely scenario was a staged event by the rebels intended to force Trump to reverse a policy, announced only days earlier, that the U.S. government would no longer seek “regime change” in Syria and would focus on attacking the common enemy, Islamic terror groups that represent the core of the rebel forces.

The source said the Trump national security team split between the President’s close personal advisers, such as nationalist firebrand Steve Bannon and son-in-law Jared Kushner, on one side and old-line neocons who have regrouped under National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, an Army general who was a protégé of neocon favorite Gen. David Petraeus.

Here’s the problem with conspiracies of this proportion- it involves too many working parts.  If it is true about the gas being rebel held, it may be more likely Syria figured out where it was and dropped bombs on it, breaking open the containers. WE need to know that and give that information to Trump and our citizens.  It may not make a difference, or it may force BOTH SIDES to give the chemicals up.

But what do we really know anymore?

What we do know  is ISIS seized chemicals from a warehouse bunker in Mosul. As a double killing of liberal memes; the bunker housed ALL of the WMDs Americans found in Iraq up to today, which was a bunch.  They were planning to burn or dispose of the chemicals, which is not as easy as 007 would make you think, and never got around to getting rid of all of them. So ISIS has them and has used them in this current war.

We know Syria has chemical weapons. We don’t know, but suspect, the rebels got a hold of some of them.

We know Assad has them and has probably used them before. In fact, the carefully parsed lie told by the Obama administration representatives proves they knew the Russians were screwing with them, but they didn’t care.

We also know the Russians are very good at putting out well designed false information to undermine the truth. The classic one from the eighties is the “CIA created AIDS to kill black people.”   That stupid idea actually stuck and is cited over and over by people who do not use critical thinking.  Is the real “false flag” the Russians saying the Syrians didn’t do it?

So as Rumsfeld famously pointed out in his “Known Knowns” speech.

Does Trump trust his intelligence to be righteous and correct? Does he harbor suspicions that the same people willingly spying on him to prevent him from winning might be feeding him crap to make him jump in the direction of THEIR choice? If he finds out they are lying, will he expose them and then fire/arrest them?

All good questions.  But let’s assume Assad or his people are idiots and arrogant and did this.  What choice does a nation, which has the capability to send a message, do? For millennials, like the one who compared being gassed to death as equal to being shot (for the record it is not), there is always an excuse to do nothing.

There is a forming policy in the Trump administration where they will force Syria to split apart and leave the Western edge to Assad.  That way the Russians keep the ports, pipeline and airfields.  Syrians get the rest to rebuild- 0f course after the Syrians clear out the ISIS fighters.  If so, maybe this is Trump just jump starting the change in direction.

We cannot make a habit of bombing Syria over policy issues.  Concentrate on pushing ISIS into the Russians and let the hammer crush it against the anvil.

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Trump supporters suffering from whiplash.

Almost as bad as his critics!

The Conservative Treehouse gang is woozy.  However, Sundance stays the course of “Sure it was another brilliant move by Trump” mantra by defending the missile attacks in Syria.  I am not going to be critical about this, his guy won, but Sundance will need to get used to the fact that Trump is just unpredictable because he’s not moored in any party affiliation.  Frankly, I like the idea, but Trump supporters shouldn’t blind themselves to the fact they are going to get hurt by Trump.  He’s not the guy they think he is.

There is a predictable disconnect amid political followers who have not paid close attention to the direct Mid-East visitors to the Donald Trump White House regarding the origin of the chemical weapons use in Syria.

Focusing on who used chemical weapons is a moot point in the larger issue of the Syrian conflict. It doesn’t matter whether ISIS “rebels” deployed them or whether Bashir Assad used them against the “rebels” when contemplating President Trump’s response to stop using them. The victims are Syrians. The regional alliance members don’t care who used them. The message is to stop.

We could make a solid argument that either interested party: Bashir Assad or “the rebels” (al-Qaeda, ISIS, al-Nusra et al) had motive and opportunity to use chemical weapons.

We’ve written for several years about the manipulative intentions of both sides, all sides, in the Syrian conflict. We’ve written about President Obama’s policies toward Syria and how his administration armed and equipped all elements; gaining nothing except a horrific death toll and chaotic civil war as an outcome.

We’ve provided lengthy and cited research on arms into Syria from Obama, Clinton and Kerry. The Benghazi Brief outlined Man-Pads and chemical weapons delivered to Syria as an outcome of the collapse within Libya.  We’ve outlined the Libyan weapons caches that became the Jihadist market/yard-sale. We’ve also documented weapons deliveries directly from the State Department using actual recorded audio admissions of Secretary Kerry to his Syrian benefactors.

Additionally, no-one questions whether Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Assad’s BFF, delivered stock piles of his own chemical weapons to Syria, because it was well documented.  Both Bashir Assad and Saddam Hussein previously used chemical weapons.   Historically Hussein used Chemical Weapons to kill up to 300,000 Kurds in Northern Iraq.

None of this is in doubt.

I agree, but the issue here is which side is Trump going to be FORCED to land on?  Let’s say the rebels- many who are AQ and ISIS affiliated- decide to launch a gas attack on Syrian soldiers.  Will we find our cruise missiles heading towards Raqqa?  If not, then Trump has picked sides, which is the EXACT thing he campaigned he was against.

In this area Trump is right. Sometimes events overtake policy and theory. The best example of this is 9/11 and GWB’s hopes of  what he wanted to accomplish as President. I believe GWB was intending to focus on domestic issues like figuring out a way to implement his “compassionate conservative” approach to big government.  9/11 turned him into a war President. It was an act of God, he was President during 9/11 and not Al Gore, who would be still fumbling around while we got whacked again and again.  KSM admitted to his interrogators they had three or four follow on attacks planned, assuming America would just absorb them, as it did during the Clinton years.  He stated without reservation that the invasion of Afghanistan at the speed it occurred threw them off balance and all those plans were scrubbed, as the leaders of AQ fled for their lives.

But the counter-attacks executed by GWB were responses to a clear danger to America, Syria is not.  Yes, it causes regional and European instability. It causes some issues here because we, under Obama, chose to take in Syrian refugees. We cut that off and that’s not a problem. Oddly, if we did, more than one Syrian would agree. They don’t want to come here, culturally it is like living on Mars to them.  Many want to stay in Syria and go home after the war.   Here is one guy taking that message to a CNN talking head, who squirmed under that revelation.  Funny and illustrative at the same time. She tried to make HRC relevant and gets slammed!

Peter Hitchens points out the trick bag Trump could find himself in.

…And President Trump was playing host at the White House to the head of Egypt’s military junta, General el-Sisi, whose security forces undoubtedly massacred at least 600 protesters (probably many more) in the streets of Cairo in August 2013.

And then mark that the pretext for this bizarre rocket attack was an unproven claim that President Assad of Syria had used poison gas. Yes, unproven. The brutality of Sisi and the Saudis is beyond doubt. They didn’t use gas, but our leaders’ outrage at Assad’s alleged gas attack looks a little contrived if they keep such company.

Also what happened to the rules of evidence? Many people have written, spoken – and now acted – as if the charge was proven. Why the hurry?

Now, Mr Assad is not a nice person. I have been writing rude things about his bloodstained and wicked regime for years. But he is not insane.

He knows that the use of poison gas is the one thing that will make the USA intervene against him. They have said so. He is currently winning his war against Islamist fanatics, with conventional weapons.

He had even finally got the USA to stop demanding his dismissal. Five days before the alleged attack – five days! – America’s UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, announced: ‘Our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out.’ ….

All good points and his claim why would a sane person draw a target on his back has merit, but we’ve seen sane people do stupid shit for stupid reasons since the beginning of time, so… who knows.

On the other hand, it was a well executed attack, according to the UK Daily Mail photo record.

Aftermath: This is the aftermath of one of the Tomahawk missile strikes, underneath one of the protective concrete plane shelters. US officials said that 20 Syrian jets were destroyed in the attack

This plane no fly no more!

So what is going on here in this now mired Trump led swamp that Trumpsters are trying to get their head around?  My theory is simple. Being President is a royal pain in the ass and reality is a fickle bitch that will do her best to slap you around.  Good Presidents weather the onslaught, cowardly ones hide behind lies pushed out to a supportive MSM and the UN.

It is now obvious Susan Rice lied, Obama lied, Clapper lied, Brennen lied, Rhodes lied, the MSM knew it and they all stood shoulder to shoulder to protect their progressive agenda. The only person who probably told the truth, Mike Flynn, was run off and ruined by our intel community. Which goes to questioning their agenda does it not? Are we at a point where we realize this whole thing is Matrix like and they are all lying?

Trump, by acting, showed the world and Americans, that we can’t trust anything we saw or heard for a long time.  That is a sad, but educational moment- and it drives the Left crazy. Right now there is pitched battle between the crazy right (which has been correct a few times- there ARE conspiracies) and the newly out of power and flailing against reality Left, which has joined the conspiracy nuts. This is great stuff!

We need to get the right-wing and left-wing conspiracy theorists together to hash this out. Was Assad’s chemical attack in Idlib a false flag perpetrated by some shadowy agent (Syrian rebels, the “deep state,” Mossad, etc) to give Trump’s new establishment masters a pretext to lead him into war? Or was it a real attack cynically exploited by Trump a la “Wag the Dog” to change the subject from bad news here at home (the Russia probe, health-care failure, sagging job approval, etc), possibly with the cooperation of Vladimir Putin? Under the first theory, American hawks are trying to push Trump into conflict with Russia and Assad. Under the second theory, Trump and Putin are trying to create the appearance of conflict to give him cover on Russiagate and other matters. Which is it?

I go with door number three.  Trump is a man who takes things personally, loves his country and love the IDEA of America- which stands for being the guy who punches bullies in the nose when they deserve it. He has said as much. I do not think he is brilliant (In fact I believe he has adult ADHD and may be a little dyslexic, reports of his inability to read any long reports is out there.). I do not think he is a deep thinker, or better put, well read, which may be because of the above conditions.  But I believe he loves the idea of America.  He sees it from his youth, sees it from the seventies and eighties when he was coming up.  I get that. So do I.

An alternate theory via McKay Coppins: Despite the many approving noises about isolationism that he made as a candidate, Trump is a Jacksonian. He’s impulsive and obsessed with projecting strength, especially in contrast to Barack Obama. When the opportunity to enforce Obama’s “red line” presented himself, he couldn’t resist. Occam’s Razor.

Though Trump lacks the level of knowledge and grasp of history necessary to form an all-encompassing foreign policy doctrine, he has consistently articulated a belief that America’s enemies around the world can be terrified into submission—if the commander-in-chief is willing to send a strong message. Even if Trump had opted to stay out of the Syrian conflict, that belief of his—paired with a general aversion to the compromises of diplomacy—likely would have led him to abandon whatever isolationist tendencies he harbored sooner or later

Beyond fighting terrorism, Trump has often said the U.S. needs to be more “unpredictable” on the world stage. While running for president, he pointedly refused to take the potential use of nuclear weapons off the table, even in places like Europe. That probably wasn’t because he had big plans to bomb Estonia; it was because he wanted to place as few constraints on himself as possible, believing that the more nervous he made the world as commander-in-chief, the less likely it was that adversaries would mess with America. Some have identified this approach as a return to the “Madman Theory,” Richard Nixon’s belief that if his enemies thought he was unbalanced, he would have a stronger negotiating position against China on the Vietnam War.

You never know when a displeased Jacksonian might punch you in the face, an important lesson early in Trump’s presidency not just for Assad but for, among other people, Kim Jong-un. But explaining away Thursday’s bombing by citing Trump’s erratic bellicosity does him a disservice in that it implies he doesn’t care much about Syria on its own terms. On the contrary, reports CNN, he’s been talking privately about action there for months, since before the inauguration:

Months earlier, during an off-the-record holiday gathering with reporters at his opulent Mar-a-Lago estate a week before Christmas, Trump spoke at length about the carnage of the Syrian civil war, revealing that the issue was weighing on him as he prepared to take office. Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks authorized CNN on Friday to report the contents of his remarks on the topic at the gathering, which CNN attended.

He described the slaughter of civilians in Syria as a “holocaust,” and remarked on the “high pain threshold” of the population there.

Trump also described in detail a video he had seen of an elderly woman being shot multiple times in Syria, struggling as she tried to continue to walk.

And then, he acknowledged that the US had a “responsibility” over the devastating Syrian conflict — the same word he would use months later before approving the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles to target a Syrian Air Force base.

But he needs to contain that urge. This world is NOT the world of the eighties, where the dying Soviet Union was our most troublesome foe. Plus, the progressive corruption in the government and the bureaucracy could motivate those he has to trust to do bad things and set him up.  There is nothing good here.

Oddly, I think Trump, for all his faults, has a moral compass unlike Obama and gang. His people around him are the same way.  It is like adults are now driving the car, instead of spoiled, petulant, lying ten year olds on a sugar high, like the last eight years.

Reagan didn’t fight every battle. He did fight the ones that solved problems and changed the world.  Trump needs to find that niche.  I hope he does.

Not that it will make a difference to the now totally unhinged Left.

Actually, as loony as she is, she may be right on one thing. Putin wants the airfields, the ports and the pipeline. He doesn’t care about Assad. He is a means to an end.  Putin hates Islamic terrorism and sees it in the light of a Crusaders- them or us.  If I were Trump I would trade. Give Putin what he wants, replace Assad with another Alawite more willing to concede to change, restructure Syria into zones where the western side belongs to them and controlled by the Russians, and give the east to the Syrians who want their nation back.  Provide EU money to rebuild. Send back the Syrians from all the countries and let them resettle.  In time, Syria will either stay two, or three depending on the Kurdish demands, or come back together. The truth is the Middle East is unstable because the separate tribes were forced together by European nations. Let them break back up into tribal or religious regions and then they can go back to trading with or whacking each other like the Bedouins they are, and have been for the last four thousand years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Who gassed the Syrians?

Right now Trump is doing a victory lap over a limited airstrike in retaliation for what he believes is the Syrian government bombing people with nerve gas.  That’s about it.

But what do we know?  We know the Brits sent the Syrians precursors. After what Assad did, you’d think they would stop, but no.

British companies sold chemicals to Syria that could have been used to produce the deadly nerve agent that killed 1,400 people, The Mail on Sunday can reveal today.

Between July 2004 and May 2010 the Government issued five export licences to two companies, allowing them to sell Syria sodium fluoride, which is used to make sarin.

The Government last night admitted for the first time that the chemical was delivered to Syria – a clear breach of international protocol on the trade of dangerous substances that has been condemned as ‘grossly irresponsible’.

The sales were made at a time when President Bashar Assad was strongly suspected to be stockpiling the chemical weapons that have caused an international crisis.

The UK firms delivered sodium fluoride to a  Syrian cosmetics company for what they claim were legitimate purposes. But intelligence experts believe President Assad’s regime uses such companies to divert chemicals into its weapons programme.

Last export license was 2010.

How the British chemicals aid Assad

How it is done.

So the embarrassing question to the Brits would be how much of the chemical weapons used against children were created out of supplies sold to Syria by them?

Not to mention the old theory that Saddam sent his stuff to Syria to avoid being caught with it after the invasion in 2003.

Some old conspiracy theories (and frankly after what we have learned in the past few years maybe no so conspiracy-ish) have the Brits and maybe our CIA planting gas attacks in order to convince Obama to attack.  Then again, we have ISIS seizing chemical weapons from Mosul and used them.

ISIS militants used chemical weapons during the battle for the city of Mosul last week, injuring a number of civilians, according to a senior Iraqi security official.

The official’s assessment comes after the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), issued a statement last week saying that their workers had treated patients from Mosul who were suffering from symptoms consistent with exposure to a toxic chemical agent.

Over a number of days last week, the ICRC said it treated 15 such patients.

“The first cases who arrived were a mother and her five children, aged from 1 month to 11 years,” Iolanda Jaquemet, an ICRC spokeswoman, told NBC News.

“It was certainly [the result of] a toxic chemical agent, because their symptoms were absolutely clear. People had blisters, they vomited. They had irritation in the eyes and coughed,” she added.

The World Health Organization said in a statement that it was “extremely alarmed by the use of chemical weapons in Mosul, where innocent civilians are already facing unimaginable suffering.”

The statement added that “the use of chemical weapons is a war crime.”

Both the WHO and ICRC said that the patients’ symptoms were consistent with exposure to a blistering agent.

A senior Iraqi security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told NBC News Monday that the official believed that the chemical agent used in the attack was mustard gas.

So who is gassing whom?

In that mix comes the open distrust of our intelligence agencies. How do we know they are telling the truth, or if they KNOW the truth.  They may be biased by agenda or stunted by incompetence.  That is scary.

Trump should tread lightly, regardless of the love being shown him by the Syrians on social media. We know he craves the attention, that he is getting,  and will respond, but he’s President, and his thoughts, words and deeds affect the world.

Arabs on social media are praising President Donald Trump for ordering the first direct U.S. military action against Syrian government forces, and they’ve even invented an honorific title for him: “Abu Ivanka al-Amriki.”

“You what!? Good morning.. How big you are Abu Ivanka,” wrote Moussa al-Omar, a Syrian journalist living in London.

The full title — Abu Ivanka al-Amriki — means, “Father of Ivanka the American,” the BBC reported.

The Guardian‘s Kareem Shaheen, a Turkey and Middle East reporter, shared this hilarious photo of Trump with the title in Arabic, complete with full blonde beard.

With all the crap Obama threw, nobody in the torn regions reacted with this love and levity.

 

He needs to figure that out, or it is going to a long four years.  Pinched between Trump haters and Trump’s own impulsiveness, he will struggle. Which is too bad. I like the way he is shaking things up.

Trump sent the missiles. Now he must use his brain, not his emotions, for the next move.

 

 

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The new effort to seize personal data at the borders and entries is a bad, bad idea. It does no good.

Here’s where Rand Paul and his friends either stand up or shut up. Anything less and he’s just another poser, trying to gain fame with words not deeds.

Image result for rand paul

It’s his time. Do the right thing.

It has now become horrifyingly apparent our intelligence agencies have been politicized- period.  As Mark Levin read an article from Lee Smith, dealing with the Obama administration spying on Congress and the Jewish lobby trying to stop his Iran nuclear deal, I think everyone suddenly realized their own “ah shit” moment.

It’s over. We know, they know, we know they are now a weapon- against us. I believe it is, by and large, against the will of the people in the intel community. Although others argue against that saying there is now an ideological bent influencing the people inside the intel agencies. If that is true, then it is even worse than we thought.  What if a tech sitting at a desk listened to Flynn and HE decided it was his duty to tell Rice, because he agrees with Obama’s agenda?  That is getting real close to East German Stasi thinking.

A great movie to watch in order to grasp what it is like to live in a world like that is “The Lives of Others.”

Image result for the lives of others

Listening to everything, waiting for you to criticize your government.

So how do we address this and still keep our capability to find terrorists?  Which, by the way, is the actual goal.  If Trump were a true patriot, he would be tasking his people to go and find the documents proving that Obama spied on Congress in the Iran deal. If so, let Paul have the data and let Congress fix this before it gets worse.  He needs to hurry up because sadly, it is about to get worse.

The Department of Homeland Security will continue searching the mobile phones and electronic devices of travelers at U.S. airports, the agency’s leader said as lawmakers of both parties questioned whether the anti-terrorism tool is unlawfully intrusive.

DHS Secretary John Kelly, speaking Wednesday to the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said such searches are valuable in the fight to keep terrorists out of the U.S. and that they affect a fraction of the 1 million people who enter the country every day.

The electronics searches are “not routine; it’s done in a very small number of cases,” the retired Marine general told lawmakers. “If there’s reason to do it, we will do it. Whether it’s France, Britain Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Somalia, it won’t be routinely done at a port of entry.”

Kelly appeared before the panel to announce that the number of undocumented immigrants apprehended at the border last month reached a 17-year low since President Donald Trump took office.

Critics of the searches say they discourage visitors from coming to the U.S. and amount to an invasion of privacy that could ensnare innocent Americans who traveled abroad. Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, pointed to multiple media accounts of law-abiding citizens whose electronics were searched without a warrant.

The practice is increasing: U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it processed more than 390 million arrivals in fiscal 2016 and performed 23,877 electronic media searches, or 0.0061 percent of the total. A year earlier 4,764 electronic media searches were conducted on 0.0012 percent of the 383 million arrivals.

Current standards allow border agents to search phones and other electronics of anyone whose statements appear to betray inconsistencies, and Kelly said agents have used searches to nab pedophiles as well as suspected terrorists. Failure to comply could result in devices being seized by federal authorities and the person not being admitted to the U.S.

In a recent conversation with my MENSA bright buddy, who is a veteran intel law enforcement officer and an advocate of good policing, I took the position that anyone coming to America had no right to privacy.

My friend pointed out this rule applied to AMERICAN citizens returning to America.  Worse, he pointed out the issue of what criteria is being used to discern who is to be stopped and who is not.  Right now, if you are single white middle-aged male traveling alone you fit the profile of a pedophile… or just a businessman traveling alone.  Suddenly, you are pulled aside and you are told you can either give up your passwords and devices, or get your property seized and searched- without a warrant.  Because somebody- but not you- did crime. Think about that!  All because you fit a profile, taught to people with limited skills and talents, by a trainer, who may also have limited skills and talents, but has the blessing of the bureaucracy. That’s  a lot of power concentrated in a small area! (Even Kelly uses the “it’s for the good of the children” argument in his testimony, always a “tell” that someone is on thin ice with a policy. Think gun control.)

I lived this life for a generation.  Trust me, we are just regular guys and gals with the same intelligence and abilities as you. And you know you, right?  That is why we are overseen by judges and courts, and controlled by due process. It’s just in case we get it wrong, which we do on more than one occasion. By removing the probable cause requirement and replacing with an overreaching administrative rule- which is becoming how our government seems to be acting lately- you have allowed limited skills people, with limited guidance and training, make decisions beyond their Constitutionally  recognized limits.  In America, the law says the police are prevented from signing their own warrants, and for good reason.   Yet, at the border they do exactly that.

Do I want bad guys and terrorist caught? Absolutely.  What many don’t want is being seized, without probable cause, due to the acts of others.   My buddy calls it “lazy policing.”  The authorities seize data, look for anything  ever said or done that is a violation of any number of offenses and sends that data over to the appropriate agency.  You say so what? I’m not a criminal.  My answer is how do you know?

Now turn to the argument made by Kelly that it will stop terrorists. The question I ask, as  a veteran cop, is this- how? You may catch the dumbest terrorist ever, who tweets to his buddies some idiot comment about a pending attack as his plane taxis in to the gate. But you will not catch the smart terrorist, who simply creates a fake history or has none.  They are not stupid people. Do you think the TSA guy at the border can recognize a fake history? What is the policy if the guy comes into Customs and says “I have no phone, no FaceBook and no computer.” Does he get in? So all a terrorist has to do is memorize his handler’s phone number and buy a burner when he gets here and he’s good to go.

But even if you catch someone with a phone history showing he visited a Muslim website how does that exclude him for entry, and who makes that decision? Some middle management guy from the TSA, who took a class in terrorist identification? I was that “guy.” So was my buddy and hundreds like us.

And if the Muslim complains, what do you think will happen? Does he get sent back to his home nation, and who pays? Does he get detained? Does he end up wandering the airport like Tom Hanks because nobody has figured out the next step?  Or does he get free press and he gets in anyway through some judge’s order.  History has shown it is door number four. Why? Because bad policy leads to bad law.

And what if you complain?  History shows you may end up being tucked into a room and harassed or even arrested.

Worse, to avoid “profiling” like right after 9/11, is the TSA going to demand data from every third or fifth random traveler? Tall people today, short people tomorrow? What is the criteria?  Imagine the explanation for the warrantless search. “Look pal, what can I say, we don’t want to piss off the Muslims so we picked you to prove we aren’t profiling, so give up your phone.”  Wait, what??!

So what has Kelly accomplished?  Nothing, other than grabbing up your data, without warrant, and shoving that data into the growing database  that can be, and has been, politicized as a weapon. (Imagine if your wife sent you a “I miss you” pic. Now the NSA has it. Or your mistress? How much is that worth in blackmail if you hold a position unfavorable to any current administration?)

From Lee Smith article we have learned that not only has that been done, but it has been done to Congress. (Which makes you think about why Corker suddenly shifted his position.) So what do you think they are willing to do to you?

In a December 29, 2015 article, The Wall Street Journal described how the Obama administration had conducted surveillance on Israeli officials to understand how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, like Ambassador Ron Dermer, intended to fight the Iran Deal. The Journal reported that the targeting “also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

Despite this reporting, it seemed inconceivable at the time that—given myriad legal, ethical, political, and historical concerns, as well as strict National Security Agency protocols that protect the identity of American names caught in intercepts—the Obama White House would have actually spied on American citizens. In a December 31, 2016, Tablet article on the controversy, “Why the White House Wanted Congress to Think It Was Being Spied on By the NSA,” I argued that the Obama administration had merely used the appearance of spying on American lawmakers to corner opponents of the Iran Deal. Spying on U.S. citizens would be a clear abuse of the foreign-intelligence surveillance system. It would be a felony offense to leak the names of U.S. citizens to the press.

Increasingly, I believe that my conclusion in that piece was wrong. I believe the spying was real and that it was done not in an effort to keep the country safe from threats—but in order to help the White House fight their domestic political opponents.

“At some point, the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents,” says a pro-Israel political operative who was deeply involved in the day-to-day fight over the Iran Deal. “The NSA’s collections of foreigners became a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism—activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners. We began to notice the White House was responding immediately, sometimes within 24 hours, to specific conversations we were having. At first, we thought it was a coincidence being amplified by our own paranoia. After a while, it simply became our working assumption that we were being spied on.”

This is what systematic abuse of foreign-intelligence collection for domestic political purposes looks like: Intelligence collected on Americans, lawmakers, and figures in the pro-Israel community was fed back to the Obama White House as part of its political operations. The administration got the drop on its opponents by using classified information, which it then used to draw up its own game plan to block and freeze those on the other side. And—with the help of certain journalists whose stories (and thus careers) depend on high-level access—terrorize them.

Once you understand how this may have worked, it becomes easier to comprehend why and how we keep being fed daily treats of Trump’s nefarious Russia ties. The issue this time isn’t Israel, but Russia, yet the basic contours may very well be the same.

In arguing with my friend about access, and starting to lose badly, I pointed out this was a reaction to the San Bernardino attack and the rubber stamping of finance visas.  He agreed there are exceptions and this is one. If you want to come here on a visa that is beyond simply a business or a tourist visa, say like a student visa or a finance visa, you must be willing to give up everything and wait.  And your “sponsor” must do the same.

So in the San Bernardino shooting, both the husband and the wife could apply, give up their info, and then allow for time to be vetted.  Now that gets back to policy – Obama’s was to let them in regardless of a shady history, hopefully Trump is different. And capability -can our government exercise enough resources and talents to uncover a terrorist who is actually trying to hide? That is a question that may never be answered, though history doesn’t give us much hope. But it removes the issue from a random search through an administrative rule to a more identifiable set of circumstances that can be limited and reviewed.

But let’s get back to  grabbing up personal data. At first I was in favor.  Coming here is not a right, but a privilege.  Don’t like it, don’t come.  However, my buddy pointed out nothing occurs in a vacuum and a ruling like this will cause other nations to respond in kind. Also, it creates a problem for people coming here for a legitimate reason. What if you are a businessman from Korea or Indonesia or Brazil, who wants to buy an American product? So you come to visit the plant where it is produced to see if it is a viable operation.  You arrive at Customs and  you have to give them passwords to your account that exposes your entire business dealings?  How long before you don’t come here and find another manufacturer.

Then we have the issue of another country retaliating and suddenly Americans traveling abroad are being forced to give up their passwords and data, put into that database (and maybe shared back to the NSA).  How long before nobody travels?

So what is the answer?  The first thing we must accept is we aren’t going to catch all of them.  Bad guys get away all the time in exchange for our citizens having freedom from an intrusive government. The option is letting the government have total access to your life. As my friend illustrated.  “What is being asked here is basically this.  The government says let me have the keys to your house and your safe and all your passwords to your accounts. Trust us that we will never use any of them to violate your rights, but on occasion we may walk in and check things out to make sure everybody is on the level.  Would you agree to that?” 

The answer, of course, is no.

And here is where those like Rand Paul just have to throw the yellow flag and say enough.  Make violations of our privacy, without cause, a real crime with real penalties. Make the guy thinking about doing it think twice, because the last guy who did it found himself in a fed pen eating baloney sandwiches with his new best friend Gerome, who finds him cute.

Trust me, no bureaucrat wants his career path to take that sudden hard left turn. They will reign themselves in.

…The law is written to protect the political operatives, but they cannot function alone.  So the way to solve this is simply make it a mandatory jail sentence for any bureaucrat to assist in the crime.  That way when some political idiot like the guy in “Office Space” walks by with a cup of coffee and says “Hey, could you unmask this for me?”  the cubical dwelling middle management bureaucrat will nod his head to an empty chair and say, “Fred, who used to sit over there, helped once.  He is coming up for parole in about three years.  He writes and says being a girlfriend for a 300lb guy named “Tiny” isn’t all that bad.  But I think he’s lying…soooo no!” …

That will cure a lot of this.

 

 

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How long has Obama’s people been spying? The weaponization of the NSA.

According to one report, maybe for a long time. Which means Susan Rice will not testify or testify truthfully IF the right questions are asked.

But what if Donald Trump wasn’t the first or only target of an Obama White House campaign of spying and illegal leaks directed at domestic political opponents?

In a December 29, 2015 article, The Wall Street Journal described how the Obama administration had conducted surveillance on Israeli officials to understand how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, like Ambassador Ron Dermer, intended to fight the Iran Deal. The Journal reported that the targeting “also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

Despite this reporting, it seemed inconceivable at the time that—given myriad legal, ethical, political, and historical concerns, as well as strict National Security Agency protocols that protect the identity of American names caught in intercepts—the Obama White House would have actually spied on American citizens. In a December 31, 2016, Tablet article on the controversy, “Why the White House Wanted Congress to Think It Was Being Spied on By the NSA,” I argued that the Obama administration had merely used the appearance of spying on American lawmakers to corner opponents of the Iran Deal. Spying on U.S. citizens would be a clear abuse of the foreign-intelligence surveillance system. It would be a felony offense to leak the names of U.S. citizens to the press.

Increasingly, I believe that my conclusion in that piece was wrong. I believe the spying was real and that it was done not in an effort to keep the country safe from threats—but in order to help the White House fight their domestic political opponents.

“At some point, the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents,” says a pro-Israel political operative who was deeply involved in the day-to-day fight over the Iran Deal. “The NSA’s collections of foreigners became a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism—activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners. We began to notice the White House was responding immediately, sometimes within 24 hours, to specific conversations we were having. At first, we thought it was a coincidence being amplified by our own paranoia. After a while, it simply became our working assumption that we were being spied on.”

This is what systematic abuse of foreign-intelligence collection for domestic political purposes looks like: Intelligence collected on Americans, lawmakers, and figures in the pro-Israel community was fed back to the Obama White House as part of its political operations. The administration got the drop on its opponents by using classified information, which it then used to draw up its own game plan to block and freeze those on the other side. And—with the help of certain journalists whose stories (and thus careers) depend on high-level access—terrorize them.

Once you understand how this may have worked, it becomes easier to comprehend why and how we keep being fed daily treats of Trump’s nefarious Russia ties. The issue this time isn’t Israel, but Russia, yet the basic contours may very well be the same.

I was wondering where the leaks were coming from. If this is true, somebody in the bowels of the NSA is probably sweating because he’s the guy that did the transcripts on orders from someone like Rice, Rhodes, Brennan or Clapper.  That request and the resulting effort is documented.

This is entirely a paper chase case.  IF the Congress doesn’t ask the right questions you can beat they are invested in covering up for Obama administration misdeeds in order to protect the NSA data collection.

Image result for john brennan susan rice

“Somebody’s lying!”

If so, shame on them.  You can do both, protect the country and make it illegal (which mandatory penalties) to abuse that power.

Obama isn’t anything new, just someone who knew no limits when considering the ends justify the means. To him, this was all necessary.  To his followers, it will always be so.

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