Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Media, life, era, change?

The other day I saw a commentary on CBS Sunday Morning. Basically it said; " in the 40's and 50's children had a good 10 mile radius of acceptable 'play area'. In the 70's and into the 80's 1-3 miles and today parents do not want their children out of sight.

On my way to and from work, I drive past a playground. Today I saw a couple small children with parental supervision playing. One was on a swing, the other on the slide. No other children were present. In fact, rarely are children present without an adult.

I walk my dog along the bike path. We have significant miles of bike paths along the river. Since the flood of 97 dikes and homes have been moved, creating a large 'greenway' all along the Red River. My house is a stones throw from the dike so we utilize the greenway almost everyday. When I was a kid the river and the woods on either side were our habitat. Trails through the woods, fishing, forts, smoking stolen cigarettes, building fires and living like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn was the norm. The hard-pack bike paths that used to weave along the river are long gone, rarely is there a sign that someone has been playing in the woods. Families will travel along the asphalt path, kids complete with helmet and reflectors, parents coaching 'stay to the right, be careful'...no one strays from the path. No kids play alone.

"Be home at dark" was the rule when I was 11. By the time I was 13 'dark' was more closely aligned to "when the street lights come on, you come home". That and "don't go in the river" were the parameters, the world was ours to explore and we did. We didn't wear helmets, we ate carrots right out of the ground, crab apples right off the tree.

Now it is xbox 360 and the internet. Trust me, I like pwning noobs on Call of Duty4 with the best of em', and obviously I am here on the net...more hours per day than I like to admit. I believe the entire world is in this box in front of me, but a different world is out my window and down the street, over the dike and through the woods.


I thought the HBO film "Recount" was incredibly interesting. Sort of in the same vein as "All the Presidents Men". You know the outcome, but the process in getting to that outcome is one that most Americans know little about.

We are about to transfer power again in this country. If we can refrain from rioting in the streets after an election as close as the last two we will be fine this time.

I thought the film was very 'centered' politically. However those on the right may disagree. I wonder if anyone thinks much of Harris?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Kimber Ultra Carry

I'll be shooting this today as well. Very small, very light, laser sights, .45 caliber.

Initial Reactions;
1. like, really LOUD!!!!
2. not terribly accurate...I am sure the gun if fine, I am the one that sucks
3. significant recoil, it lets you know you are pulling the trigger.
4. perfect conceal weapon with considerable stopping power.
5. Laser sites difficult to use at first.
6. Stress reliever.

The Desert Eagle .44

In about 3o minutes I am going to fire this weapon. My friend Gene always stated "every home needs a desert eagle". Today is for you buddy.

JUST BACK from shooting this canon.
Initial reactions:
1. Are you F*#$^ng kidding me? This is an explosion in your hand.
2. Better to be behind it rather than in front of it.
3. NOT a self defense weapon as it is difficult to draw down quickly for a second shot.
4. Whatever this thing hits it will kill or remove large amounts of tissue
This 'is' a bit long...and I did expect, as I often do, to see Keith O. actually explode. He doesn't explode but he makes a significant points.

I had heard about GW's "I gave up golf" interview...I viewed it, read it and now after watching this clip I started thinking.... Who fed that question to the interviewer? You have an interview with the President and you say "I see you haven't been golfing in a while"??????

That doesn't make sense to me. Why ask that?, out of all the potential questions you could ask??

Could it be that the interviewer was 'fed' that question, was told to ask that question. Did someone on the Presidents staff actually think that Bush's comments on this topic would be a good idea? If that is the case, we don't just have the most moronic leader in the history of civilization. We have the most moronic leader with the most moronic staff , leading the free world.

I am continually astounded that we are going to allow this president to finish his term. I am more astounded that those who were ready to lynch Clinton over a 'blow job' stand along side this nitwit and defend his actions.

Next November whoever is elected President should really take out a full page ad in every newspaper on the planet and say "We the people of the United States of America are so very sorry for the past 8 years. Somehow we put 'Jethro' in charge ..and then didn't do anything about it, please forgive us".

This is the right wing at work. They have no substance. They have no policy. They have no ideas. They use fear to control, fear to make political headway...they use fear to make Americans (ignorant Americans) rally to their position.

Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer.

That 'talking' is somehow dangerous is insane. Not talking is insane. This screaming baboon is held accountable and the agenda of the "fear mongering, war mongering" right is made clear.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

North Dakota Oil

There is oil on the prairie. Rather, there is oil 10,000 feet below the prairie.
This link from my friend "Blair the landman".

ND Oil

Lolife's blog

My response to Michaels post on "framing"

posted here because he insists on using MT4 (which is a complete waste and doesnt' let me respond in anyway shape or form.......) at any rate you should check out his blog as he and I agree on about 90% of all issues....

you find where you agree first. Then move to points of contention. If you show 'respect' for the other persons view "and" acknowledge where you agree or at least 'understand' the others faith, belief etc...you have a far better dialogue.

I have zero time or thought, to the points of view of the radical secularists. Why should I treat them any differently than they treat me? I also have zero time and concern for the radical right.

However, I also think if your goal is to "convince" that you are missing the larger picture.

Most people who are interested in sharing their point of view are rarely interested in hearing yours. 50% of communication is listening, and it is the most important part.

Juval Aviv

I thought this was pretty interesting and scary, if true:

Juval Aviv was the Israeli Agent whom the movie "Munich" was about... He was Golda Meir's bodyguard and she appointed him to track down and bring to justice the Palestinian terrorists
who took the Israeli athletes hostage and killed them during the Munich Olympic Games.

In a lecture in NYC a few weeks ago he shared information that EVERY American needs to know but our government has not shared. His bio is below, his book is "Staying Safe".

First, I am going to share what he discussed in regard to the Bush Administration, 9/11 and Iraq and then I will share his predictions for the next attack on the U.S.

He predicted the London subway bombing on the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox News stating publicly that it would happen within a week - O'Reilly laughed and mocked him saying that in a
week he wanted him back on the show and unfortunately, within a week the terrorist attack occurred.

Juval Aviv gave intelligence (via what he had gathered in Israel and the Middle East) to the Bush Administration about 9/11 a month before it occurred. His report specifically said they
would use planes as bombs and target high profile buildings and monuments. The Administration ridiculed him and refused to respond. Congress has since hired him as a security consultant - but still the Administration does not listen to him.

He didn't agree with going into Iraq - said it didn't make sense if we wanted terrorists responsible for 9/11 (and also he believes in Golda Meir's approach which was to bring justice to the terrorists but do not take down civilians - killing civilians only creates more terrorists - but similar to Bush, Israel's subsequent leaders were not as insightful as Golda Meir) - however, when we did decide to invade Iraq we should have learned from Israel's past mistakes.

He very articulately stated that Israel's greatest mistake against their war on terror was to invade the West Bank and Gaza and stay there... He said they should have done the proven
anti-terrorist strategy which was "Hit and Leave" instead of "Hit and Stay." Now we are stuck in Iraq and it is worse than Vietnam - Iraq is the U.S.'s West Bank/ Gaza. He doesn't think we will ever be able to truly leave because even when we are able to pull our troops back we will still have to go back regularly which will keep us quagmired. We should have hit hard and left immediately.

Now for the scary stuff.... He predicts the next attack on the U.S. is coming within the next few months.

Forget hijacking airplanes because he says terrorists will NEVER try and hijack a plane again as the people on the plane will not go down quietly. Aviv believes our airport security is a joke- we are being reactionary versus looking at strategies that are effective.

1) our machines are outdated. They look for metal and the new explosives are made of plastic

2) He talked about how some idiot tried to light his shoe on fire - we now have to take off our shoes, a group of idiots tried to bring aboard liquid explosives - now we can't bring liquids on board. He is waiting for some suicidal maniac to pour liquid explosive on their underwear and light up in a plane or in the terminal and then we will all have to travel naked!

3) We only focus on security when people are heading to the gates, he says that if a terrorist attack targets airports in the future, they will target busy times and on the front end when people are checking in. It would be easy for someone to take two suitcases of explosives, walk up to a busy check-in line, ask a person next to them to watch their bags for a minute while they run to the restroom or get a drink and then detonate the bags BEFORE security even gets involved. Israel checks bags before people can enter the airport.

Now, back to his predictions: He says the next attack will come in a few months and will involve suicide bombers and non-suicide bombers in places that people congregate: Disneyland, Las
Vegas, Big Cities (NY, SFO, Chicago, etc...) and there it will be shopping malls, subways in rush hour, train stations, casinos, etc.. as well as rural America (Wyoming, Montana, etc...). The attack will be simultaneous detonations around the country (they like big impact) 5-8 cities including rural areas. They won't need to use suicide bombers because at largely populated
places like the MGM Grand in Vegas - they can simply valet park!

He says this is well known in intelligence circles but our government does not want to alarm Americans. However, he also said that the US will attack Iran and Syria before Bush leaves office. In addition, since we don't have enough troops The US will likely use small, strategic nuclear weapons regardless that the headlines the next day will read "US Nukes Islamic World" and the world will be a different place to such an extent that global warming will be irrelevant. He travels regularly to the Middle East and he knows his stuff.

On a good note - he says we don't have to worry about being nuked - he says the terrorists who want to destroy America will not use sophisticated weapons - they like suicide as the frontline approach.

He also says the next level of terrorists will not be coming from abroad, but will be homegrown - having attended our schools and universities - but will have traveled frequently back and forth to the Middle East. They will know and understand Americans but we won't understand them - we still only have a handful of Arabic and Farsi speaking people in our intelligence networks
and we need that to change he said...

What can we do? From an intelligence perspective he says the U.S. needs to stop relying on satellites and technology for intelligence but follow Israel, Ireland and England's example of human intelligence both from an infiltration perspective as well as trust citizens to help. We need to engage and educate ourselves as citizens but our government treats us like babies and thinks we can't handle it and will panic.

He did a test for Congress recently putting an empty briefcase in 5 major spots in 5 US cities and not one person called 911 or sought a policeman to check it out. In fact, in Chicago - someone tried to steal it! In Israel an unattended bag or package would be reported in seconds with a citizen shouting "Unattended Bag" and the area cleared slowly, calmly and immediately by the people themselves. Unfortunately, we haven't hurt enough yet for us to be that concerned....

He also discussed how many children were in preschool and kindergarten after 9/11 without parents to pick them up and the schools did not have a plan. Do you have a plan with your kids, schools and families if you cannot reach each other by phone? If you cannot return to your house? If you cannot get to your child's school - do they know what to do? We should all have a plan.

He said that our government's plan after the next attack is to immediately cut-off EVERYONE's ability to use their telephone, cell phone, blackberry because they don't want terrorists to be able to talk to one another - do you have a plan if you cannot communicate directly with those that you love.

Last week the Today Show began with a segment that Al Qaeda was resurfacing - the same kind of action on the Pakistani border occurred before 9/11... It is scary, but we do not have
panic, we just need to be aware....

Bio follows:

Juval Aviv holds an M.A. in Business from Tel Aviv University and is President and CEO of Interfor, Inc., an international corporate intelligence and investigations firm.

Juval Aviv is President and CEO of Interfor, Inc. Based in New York with offices around the world, founded in 1979, Interfor provides foreign and domestic intelligence services to the legal,
corporate and financial communities and conducts investigations around the world. In addition, Mr. Aviv serves as a special consultant to the U.S. Congress and other policy makers on issues of terrorism, fraud and money laundering.

A leading authority on terrorist networks, Mr. Aviv served as lead investigator for Pan Am Airways into the Pan Am 103-Lockerbie terrorist bombing. He was featured in the recent film, Munich, as the leader of the Israeli team that tracked down the terrorists who kidnapped the Israeli Olympic team. Interfor's services encompass white-collar crime investigations, asset
search and recovery, corporate due diligence, litigation support, fraud investigations, internal compliance investigations, security and vulnerability assessments. Since its inception, Interfors asset investigation services have recovered over $2 billion worldwide for its clients.

Before founding Interfor, Mr. Aviv served as an officer in the Israel Defense Force (Major, retired) leading an elite Commando/Intelligence Unit, and was later selected by the Israeli Secret Service (Mossad) to participate in a number of intelligence and special operations in many countries in the late 1960s and 1970s. While working as a consultant with El Al, Mr. Aviv surveyed the existing security measures in place and updated El Al's security program, making El Al the safest airline in business today.

Most recently, Mr. Aviv wrote Staying Safe: The Complete Guide to Protecting Yourself, Your Family, and Your Business, (2004,Harper Resource). He has been a guest on ABC Nightline, FOX News, CNN, BBC Newsnight, ZDF (German National Television) and RAI (Italian National Television) and has been featured in numerous articles in major magazines and newspapers

Sunday, May 4, 2008