Thursday, June 22, 2017

Opuscula

Mother’s love:
Teach hate
And murder


Educate to hate and die must end

Terrorist’s mother wished he’d killed 100 Jews

The mother of the terrorist who murdered a young Israeli woman on Friday was also arrested in connection with the attack and regrets that her son didn’t kill 100 more Jews.

Israel Police on Wednesday arrested two people in connection with last Friday’s Palestinian terror attack in which 23-year-old Border Policewoman Staff Sgt. Hadas Malka was murdered at the Damascus Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City.

Police said the woman, a resident of the Palestinian village of Deir Abu Mash’al near Ramallah, where the terror cell was situated, was arrested on suspicion of forging contacts with the intent of committing a crime. She is also suspected of incitement related to recent statements lauding shahids [martyrs] and calling for the harming of Jews.

“We will meet in heaven. I’m proud. I wanted him to kill 20, 50, 100 of them,” the Palestinian mother stated after the attack.

Former Congressman Allen West, commenting on mother’s desire asks Just how are we to achieve peace when the mindset of mothers is that they’re proud of their sons being jihadists. They’re proud and wished they could have killed more. And when we have a Fatah government that pays the families of Islamic jihadists, well, how far can, or will, this endeavor for peace go?

Hate groups abound.

In the United States, the Southern Poverty Law Center maintains a list of what it determines are terror groups.

Hate Groups (alphabetically from Southern Poverty Law Center.org)


Click on image to enlarge or go to the SPLC site above

Anti-Immigration
Anti-LGBT
Anti-Muslim
Black Separatist
Christian Identity
General Hate
Holocaust Denial
KKK
Neo-Confederate
Neo-Nazi
Racist Skinhead
Radical Traditional Catholicism
White Nationalist

The SPLC.org list is trimmed to just 10 on the SPLC's Active Hate Groups page. The ORDER of presentation is by SPLC.

Ku Klux Klan - 130
Neo-Nazi - 99
White Nationalist -100
Racist Skinhead - 78
Christian Identity - 21
Neo-Confederate - 43
Black Separatist - 193
Anti-LGBT - 52
Anti-Muslim - 101
General Hate – 100

Blame it on Trump

CNN reporting on 'A resurgence of white nationalism': Hate groups spiked in 2016 quotes the Southern Poverty Law Center's Mark Potok thus:

The report singled out Donald Trump's pledge to bar Muslims from entering the country*, his harsh language around immigration from Mexico, his appearance on conspiracy-theorist Alex Jones's radio program, and his engagement with white nationalists on Twitter as key moments that encouraged extremist groups during the campaign.

"Trump's run for office electrifed (cq) the radical right, which saw in him a champion of the idea that America is fundamentally a white man's country," wrote Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the SPLC. "Several new and energetic groups appeared last year that were almost entirely focused on Trump and seemed to live off his candidacy."

"The country saw a resurgence of white nationalism that imperils the racial progress we've made, along with the rise of a president whose policies reflect the values of white nationalists," Potok noted.

INTERNATIONAL TERROR



Wikipedia lists 61 Foreign Terror Organizations (FTOs). While non-Islamists are represented on the list, of the 61 FTOs, 49 are Muslim groups. (One Jewish group made the list.) Since the Wikipedia list was for foreign terror organizations, the SPLC-identified organizations were not listed.

 


* CNN, never concerned with truth, once again gets it wrong. Campaigner Trump, and later as President Trump, said he would temporarily ban Muslims from specific countries known to export terrorism — exactly what his predecessor did but for which the media was generally silent. The courts over-ruled POTUS’ plan . . . but were not at all disturbed by the previous president’s executive order banning even more Muslims.

As for Mexicans, Trump repeatedly stressed that the only Mexicans he wished to bar were illegal aliens who also were criminals.
<>/P>

Trump distanced himself from white supremacists and rejected their support.

The “news” at CNN: if it fails to conform to CNN’s view, CNN “modifies” it until it does conform.


 

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

 

Comments: In my opinion

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Opuscula

The two faces
Of Democrats
In the Senate

I SAW ON tv “news” this morning (6/20/17) Sen. Chas. Schumer pressing Sen. Mitch McConnell for more than 10 hours to review the latest GOP health care plan.

McConnell’s only reply was “There will be ample time to review the plan.”

That was NOT the case then President Trump’s predecessor dumped HIS plan on congress, all 2,000-plus pages of it and demanded the Democrat-packed congress pass it “right now.”


Cartoon credit: Caglecartoons.com

I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY Schumer wants ample time to study the GOP plan … past GOP efforts have fallen woefully short. Even many Republicans found fault with the earlier plans, assuring the plans would fail to garner the votes needed to become law (until overturned by the courts).

Trump promised many things for his first days in office. Most have failed to occur, and a cobbled together healthcare plan without being well thought out and lacking Democrat support is one of those things.

But why the rush?

Those covered under the current slight-of-hand health care plan will remain covered until the replacement plan is in place (and allowed by the courts). No one covered today will be left uncovered tomorrow.

This scrivener is of the opinion that the U.S. needs national healthcare of some type. It will not prevent indigents showing up at emergency rooms for treatment of both minor and major issues; it will not prevent the local government from being “stuck” with the bill for indigent care. The in-place plan allegedly penalizes people who lack any type insurance by slapping a surtax on their federal income tax. But indigents, by definition, don’t have incomes to pay taxes, so the threat is empty.

There ARE good things about the current plan, but there also are many things that need to be improved upon. Drug costs, for example. Access to practitioners. While there are many good practitioners who accept the current plan, there are many who refuse to accept patients covered by the plan.

Similar to Medicare, some practitioners fail to see the huge consumer base, preferring to charge more for patients covered by private insurance or who pay from their own pocket.

As I understand it, a national health plan — regardless of who gets credit — or blame — is designed to (a) move non-emergency care out of emergency rooms and into a physician’s office (or urgent care center) and (b) to assure that citizens receive ongoing attention from a medical practitioner, preferably the same practitioner each time they visit. Preventive care is (a) less expensive and (b) offers better results than emergency care, especially by a practitioner who has zero history with the patient and who, in almost all cases, will not see the patient again — at least for the same complaint.

Perhaps, rather than insist all citizens have health insurance it would be acceptable to all political points of view if the government opened clinics in impoverished areas or on BRAC-closed military installations — most of which have at least a Class A infirmary (clinic with a few beds). The clinics could be staffed by newly minted practitioners (nurses, doctors) whose education was partially funded by the government. A similar situation exists that sends doctors to regions otherwise without physicians.

Indigents would need to show photo IDs (provided gratis –reducing the chance of fraud) to receive no charge care, while others (e.g., low income) would pay on a sliding scale. Common medicines would be dispensed at no cost or minimal cost to the patient (as is done in a number of countries).

While I believe everyone should pay something for health care, if a person has nothing, what can they pay? (Perhaps in-kind services to the clinic, assuming the courts would permit that.)

There is no question that emergency rooms should be for emergencies — only.

Likewise there is no question that people should have a long-term relationship with the same practitioner.

Finally, there is no question that indigents can’t pay (the regular rate) for healthcare even if there is a tax penalty.

It might be necessary to pair a clinic with a police sub-station; the clinics would probably NOT be located in the classist sections of town and any drugs on a clinic’s shelves would be tempting to criminals, even non-narcotics.


As a long-ago Air Force medic, I have some experience with clinics and hospitals emergency rooms. I later briefly worked at a civilian hospital.


 

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

 

Comments: In my opinion

Friday, June 16, 2017

Fake News

Clintons, Obama
Condemn attack
At Nationals Park

DID ANYONE READ THAT ANY Clintons or Obamas, or even ex-DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz condemned the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise at Nationals Park on June 14 (Flag Day, as it happens).

Did they say anything about the Capitol cops — Crystal Griner, who was wounded, and David Bailey — injured doing their jobs protecting the congressmen? How about lobbyist Matt Mika or congressional aide Zach Barth, both wounded by James T. Hodgkinson.

Socialist Bernie Sanders, for whom Hodgkinson once worked, condemned the shooting, saying ”Violence of any kind is unacceptable.”

Search the internet — use any search engine you fancy — and as of 11 .m. Friday, June 16, there are zero —- no — links to any remarks from

    the Clintons
    the Obamas
    Wasserman-Schultz
No condemnation of the act. No commendation for the Capitol Police. No sympathy for the wounded.

Not a tweet. Not a sound bite. Nothing.

Sen. Claire McCaskill D-MO commented on Twitter: “No partisan politics over this. Let’s come together against evil. United by our common decency.”

To her credit, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-CA tweeted "This morning, the U.S. Congress suffered a despicable and cowardly attack. My thoughts and prayers are with Whip Steve Scalise and the others wounded, Capitol Police and staff, and their families. We are profoundly grateful for the heroism of the Capitol Police, whose bravery under fire undoubtedly saved countless lives. On days like today, there are no Democrats or Republicans, only Americans united in our hopes and prayers for the wounded."

Former VP Joe Biden sent a "Get well soon" tweet to the injured, but no condemnation of the crime.

Rather than try to bring the country together, the Clintons and Obamas have encouraged action against “anything Republican.” Hillary actually encouraged illegal civil disorder following the election.

By their silence, the Clintons, Obamas, and Wasserman-Schultz seem to be applauding Hodgkinson’s action. Certainly they are doing nothing to bring the political pendulum back to center or even to reduce its swing from extreme to extreme.

Compare that to the wounding of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). "Gabby Giffords was a friend of mine," President Obama said Saturday afternoon in a nationally televised statement from the White House. "It’s not surprising that today Gabby was doing what she always does: listening to the hopes and concerns of her neighbors."

"This is more than a tragedy for those involved," he said. "It is a tragedy for Arizona and a tragedy for our entire country."

At a news conference following the shooting, a clearly emotional Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik repeatedly cited what he characterized as the "vitriol" that has infected political discourse. He said that his own state has become "the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

The dead included John Roll, chief judge of the U.S. District Court of Arizona. Also killed was Gabe Zimmerman, 30, the congresswoman's director of community outreach, and a 9-year-old girl. Two other Giffords staffers were injured.

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is a Democrat.

Source: NPR

It may be crass, but perhaps there should be “Republican lives matter” organization.

By the way, the Democrats won the annual charity game.


WORTH READING: The LA Times analyzed the shooting. The results are given in an article titled Reaction to shooting at congressional baseball practice reveals a nation that doesn't just disagree. It hates


 

 

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Comments: In my opinion

ERM-BC-COOP

Eyes that do not see
Ears that do not hear*

ACCORDING TO NUMEROUS news reports emanating from the UK, the Grenfell Tower was known for some time to be a death trap.

Residents complained.

An “action group” complained.

Apparently a government minister heard of the complaints, but allowed the structure’s managers to push back a request to discuss the concerns.

All the above is pretty much the experience of risk managers worldwide.

ENTERPRISE RISK MANAGEMENT practitioners can tell a client there are problems and how to avoid or mitigate the problems.

But unless the client is willing to accept, and act on, the practitioner’s recommendations, nothing gets done . . . until a disaster such as the Grenfell Tower fire occurs. (In the U.S., it took the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire on March 25, 1911 to bring about changes to building safety. It cost 145 workers their lives.)

In England, who knew there was a problem?

Residents of Grenfell Tower have said they raised multiple concerns about the risk of fire in the months before the fatal blaze at the building, but were “brushed away” by the council’s tenant management organization.

Survivors of the disaster said on Wednesday they had raised fears about the fact that there was only one escape route. They also told the Kensington and Chelsea tenant management organization (KCTMO) of their concerns over the placement of boilers and gas pipes, the absence of a building-wide fire alarm or sprinkler system, and piles of rubbish being dumped and causing a fire risk.
Source: Grenfell Tower residents say managers 'brushed away' fire safety concerns

An action group predicted the Grenfell Tower fire was an accident waiting to happen four years ago but claim their warnings fell on deaf ears.

The fire service confirmed this morning there had been a number of fatalities in the horrific blaze which was reported just after 1 am today thought to have been caused by an exploding fridge.

It engulfed the 27-storey building where 600 people were said to be living in 120 flats and twelve people have so far been confirmed dead.

Grenfell Action Group said: 'Watching breaking news about the Grenfell Tower fire catastrophe. Too soon to even guess at numbers of casualties and fatalities.

'We have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC).

'All our warnings fell on deaf ears. This was inevitable and just a matter of time.'
Source: 'Only a catastrophic event will expose the neglect': Action group called for Grenfell Tower to be pulled down FOUR YEARS ago but say their warnings about appalling safety 'fell on deaf ears'

Experts said in March that after a review into building regulations, parliament should ask "really serious questions" about the safety of tower blocks and the danger posed by fire. The warnings have been restated after multiple people died in a fire in West London.

Housing minister Gavin Barwell had committed last year to review the specific part of building regulations that relate to fire safety. But that report was delayed earlier this year, Fire Risk Management reported in March, with a spokesperson then refusing to give a date for the launch of the review.

There are still 4,000 tower blocks that are under the same old building regulations as those in Lakanal House. It's not clear whether Grenfell Tower, where the horrific blaze broke out, was built according to those regulations.

Fire safety expert Sam Webb told Fire Risk Management that "really serious questions" needed to be asked in parliament about fire safety. He pointed specifically to the kind of materials used in buildings, saying that they are "not fire-resistant and in some cases they're flammable.
Source: London fire: Government delayed review of tower block fire safety regulations after deadly blaze

Again and again, if the English papers can be believed, the safety of the building — and by extension, others like it — has been a topic of discussion for some time, yet nothing was done to eliminate or at least mitigate the problem.

Now, after a number of residents lie in a morgue has the building’s hazards come to the attention of the British prime minister who ordered a “public inquiry” into the fire.

The question remains: Even after all the “public inquiry” will anything be done to protect other people in similar towers?

‘Course the cause of the fire still must be determined.

Accident or arson, according to the reports in the English press, the building’s design and materials turned a small fire into a building-wide disaster.

A building-wide disaster that could have been mitigated, if not prevented.



* From Psalm 135: They have mouths, but cannot speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear — referring to idols made of silver and gold by the hands of man.

 

 

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Comments: In my opinion

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Opuscula

If Trump “rolls back"
Relations with Cuba,

Why not China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt ...

PRESIDENT TRUMP is considering rolling back his predecessor’s orders on Cuba.

No one denies the Cuban government is a dictatorship – despite twice-a-decade elections; elections that some contend are rigged..

No one will dispute that freedoms are limited on the island and that there is a high price to be paid for dissent.

But consider...

China is a much more totalitarian government than Cuba. Remember the Tiananmen Square Massacre? According to one estimate, “the number of civilian deaths has been estimated at anywhere from hundreds to thousands.”

Then there is America’s good friend Saudi Arabia. Oppressive Yes. Misogynistic? Most assuredly.

How about Egypt, another “good friend” of America. When the Islamic Brotherhood won the elections and Hosni Mubarak was installed as president, the military booted him out and Mohamed Morsi was named president. A similar situation happened in Algeria.

Russia, with which we have diplomatic and commercial relations, has Putin, the man who ordered the invasion and theft of the Ukrainian Crimea.

The list goes on and on and on.

Yet the U.S. allows Americans to travel to these countries – albeit often with a State Department “travel advisory” that visiting is not encouraged – more or less freely.

Granted, Russia and China are not a mere 90 miles off the U.S. coast, but both Russia and China have nuclear missiles than can strike U.S. cities. Cuba has no missiles that threaten the U.S. (Why bother? Cuba's dissidents invaded south Florida and took over the place.).

It seems to me that, with so many Cuban ex-pats who claim they want to return to the island, that President Trump should expand his predecessor’s effort and make travel and commercial activities easy for all Americans, especially Cubans who want to go back.

Let Americans invest in Cuban enterprise; give the ex-pats a reason to go “home.”

The Cuban government is LESS dangerous to the U.S. than Russia or China; it will cost the U.S. LESS to prop up Cuban economy than it costs in foreign aid to Egypt and a host of other countries, friendly and not so friendly. (Saudi Arabia received a paltry US$237,832 in 2016, a drastic drop from previous years of the previous administration.)

On top of China’s ability to militarily damage the U.S., it’s proxy, North Korea, is building weapons that can do the same … in cooperation with Iran (no surprise). China also ships unsafe products to the U.S. and manages the rate of exchange to put the U.S. deeply into China’s debt.

Admittedly, Cuban cigars could be dangerous to Americans’ health, but the U.S. has no fear of Cuban missiles or a rigged import/export trade balance.

The Cubans arrived to American hand outs; escapees from the (former) Soviet Union only got hand outs from private individuals and organizations. The latter integrated into U.S. society, learned English, and strived to become red, white, and blue citizens. Not so the Cubans.

To be fair, I grew up in south Florida and went to school with Cuban-Americans whose English communication skills were as good as mine. But, also to be fair, if someone wants to work in south Florida, especially in retail, the person must speak Cuban Spanish, albeit not necessarily English.

Opening the door to Cuba may be the single good thing Trump’s predecessor did in his eight long years in the White House.

I hope Trump has the wisdom to fully normalize American-Cuban relations, to put it on a par with – at worst, Mexico, at best, Canada – countries around the world that (so far) do not export terrorists to our shores.

To me, it’s a no brainer that can be put into a 140-character tweet.


 

 

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

 

 

Comments: BCPlanner@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Muslims must prove themselves

* Terrorists
* Extremists

THE LONDON ATTACK was by terrorists; likewise the Manchester attack; the Paris attacks -– plural — were by extremists. Ditto Spain and Germany.

But tv talking heads, being “Politically Correct” — or simply following ex.-president Obama’s lead — won’t pronounce “Islamist” (or “Muslim” terrorist or extremist in the same breath.

That’s as stupid as giving a description of a person wanted for murder as “n” feet tall and weighing so many pounds but omitting the suspect’s skin color.

BUT, we must be politically correct.

TO BE FAIR, in some cases the authorities had been alerted by Muslims about other Muslims who seemed extreme.

    As an example, Anti-extremism organization the Quilliam Foundation have said they reported London Bridge attacker Khuram Butt to counter-terrorism authorities almost a year before the deadly attack.

    Quilliam chief executive Haras Rafiq said its report should have been taken more seriously as it came from a counter-terrorism group rather than a member of the public.

    The Muslim community in Barking had highlighted concerns about London Bridge attacker Khuram Shazad Butt, who is thought to have once attended the Jabir Bin Zayd Islamic Centre in Barking, according to a community leader.

    Ash Siddique, the secretary of the Al-Madina Mosque in Barking which is close to centre, said concerns were raised about Butt on three occasions, the Press Association reported. (Source: The Guardian)

Unfortunately, the Quilliam report is the exception to the rule.

Most of the terrorists/extremists are known to their fellows for what they are. They might not wear shirts proclaiming “I Am A Terrorist,” but their behavior and choice of associates HAS to offer a clue to their intent.

The problem is, in most cases, the people who may suspect someone refuse — for a multitude of reasons — to come forward. Even when they are better off in all respects than they were in the lands from which they emigrated, they still are suspicious of, and uncomfortable with, the more or less democratic governments of the countries that gave them sanctuary. There is a similar problem with blacks in America; many don’t trust “The Man.” At other times, the fear for their own safety in their community is sufficient to silence people.

    In the U.S. — tragically proven by 9-11 (2001) — the so-called federal cops (FBI, CIA, NSA, etc. and et al) refuse to cooperate among themselves; turf wars are as much responsible for the deaths on 9-11 as the Muslim terrorists who high jacked the four planes. Despite presidential proclamations that the organizations are now cooperating, in real life, the turf battles continue.

The UK, France, and Germany have taken in tens of thousands of Muslims who, for one reason or another, left their homelands. Some fled from civil wars; some fled from Obama’s Arab Spring. As with most immigrants, the newcomers tend to congregate in neighborhoods where the language and customs are similar to the once they left behind. Unlike earlier immigrants, they are loath to integrate into the nation’s society, setting up their own (Sharia) laws and demanding anyone entering their domain adhere to their laws. (Rather like going to Mea Sharim in Israel where attacks on outsiders can range from words to rocks.)


Terror resume’

Of the 11 terrorist attacks in the UK since 2005, eight were at the hands of Muslim extremists/terrorists. The following from Wikipedia except as otherwise indicated. Prior to 2005, most terrorist attacks were carried out by the IRA.

  • 2005, 7 July: 7/7 central London bombings conducted by four separate Islamist extremist suicide bombers, which targeted civilians using the public transport system during the morning rush hour. Three bombs were detonated on three separate trains on the London Underground and one on a double-decker bus. 56 people were killed and 700 were injured. It was the UK's worst terrorist incident since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and the first Islamist suicide attack in the country.
  • 2007, 30 June: Glasgow International Airport attack perpetrated by Islamist extremists. Five people were injured and the only death was of one of the perpetrators.
  • 2008, 22 May: Exeter attempted bombing in a café toilet by an Islamist extremist, injuring only the perpetrator.
  • 2013, 22 May: A British soldier, Lee Rigby, was murdered and decapitated in an attack in Woolwich by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, two Islamist extremists armed with a handgun and a number of bladed implements including a cleaver. Both men were sentenced to life imprisonment, with Adebolajo given a whole life order and Adebowale ordered to serve at least 45 years.
  • 2015, 5 December: A man with a knife attacked three people at Leytonstone Tube Station in East London. The attacker was 29-year old Muslim Muhaydin Mire who was shouting "this is for Syria". The attacker was found guilty of attempted murder in June 2016. Three people were injured in the attack and one was seriously injured.
  • 2017, 22 March: 2017 Westminster attack - Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old British man, born in Kent as Adrian Elms, drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, before crashing the vehicle into the Palace of Westminster's perimeter. He then entered the grounds of the Palace of Westminster, the meeting place of the Houses of Parliament, before being confronted by a police officer, whom he fatally stabbed before being shot himself. Six, including the perpetrator and the officer, were killed in the incident, and 49 people were injured. The attack is being treated as an act of terrorism motivated by Islamic extremism.
  • 2017, 22 May: 2017 Manchester Arena bombing – Suicide bomber Salman Abedi is believed to have travelled to Syria and become radicalised before returning to the UK to cause carnage at a gig in the city where he was born. The son of Libyan parents, who reportedly fled their native country and sought refuge in the UK, he is thought to have come back to Britain from Libya just days before the massacre. It was the most deadly terror related incident in the United Kingdom since the 7/7 London bombings in 2005.
  • 2017, 3 June: June 2017 London attack, still developing. 7 people were confirmed dead and at least 48 injured, some of whom are still in a critical state in hospitals across London. A white van drove at high speed across London Bridge, running into groups of people, then crashed. The occupants then ran to close by Borough Market where they stabbed many people. All three of the terrorists involved were shot dead by police just 8 minutes after the incident was reported. All three were wearing what appeared to be suicide bomb vests, which turned out to be fake.
Muslims were targeted on 2013, 29 April to 12 July by Pavlo Lapshyn attacks. Lapshyn, a Ukrainian student and right-wing extremist, stabbed Mohammed Saleem, a Birmingham resident to death on 29 April. He later admitted to police that he wished to start a "race war". Lapshyn later detonated a home-made bomb outside a mosque in Walsall on 21 June. 150 homes were evacuated but no person was injured. On 28 June Lapshyn detonated a second home-made bomb near a mosque in Wolverhampton, and attacked a mosque in Tipton with an improvised explosive device containing nails on 12 July. Friday prayers were delayed that day, and so his intended victims were still inside. Laphsyn was later sentenced to serve a minimum of 40 years.

Of 30 terrorists attacks in France since 2003, 19 have been directly attributed to Islamist extremists. The list is from Wikipedia.

  • 8 October 2004: Bomb attack against the Indonesian Embassy in Paris, claimed by the Front islamique français armé.
  • 11-22 March 2012: Toulouse and Montauban shootings, murders of three French paratroopers, and a French Rabbi and three French schoolchildren (aged eight, six and three), carried out over a period of 11 days by Mohammed Merah.
  • 23 May 2013: 2013 La Défense attack by an Islamist knifeman against a French soldier in the Paris suburb of La Défense.
  • 20 December 2014: 2014 Tours police station stabbing. A man yelling "Allahu Akbar” attacked a police officer in Joué-lès-Tours with a knife. He was killed and 3 police officers were injured.
  • 7-9 January 2015: January 2015 Île-de-France attacks, a mass shooting at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, carried out by Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, two Islamist gunmen who identified themselves as belonging to Al-Qaeda in Yemen. During this period, a third Islamist gunman and close friend of the Kouachi brothers, Amedy Coulibaly was responsible for two shootings and an hostage taking at a Hypercacher kosher market. He said he synchronized his attacks with the Kouachi brothers. Coulibaly had pledged allegiance to theIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
  • 3 February 2015: 3 military men, guarding a Jewish community center in Nice, are attacked by Moussa Coulibaly (not related to the January Coulibaly attacks).
  • 19 April 2015: Unsuccessful attack against 2 churches in Villejuif by an Algerian jihadist. He killed a woman probably when trying to steal her car but accidentally shot himself in the leg, putting an end to his plans.
  • 26 June 2015: Saint-Quentin-Fallavier attack. An Islamist delivery driver probably linked to ISIS decapitated a man and rammed a company van into gas cylinders at the Air Products gas factory in an attempt to blow up the building.
  • 13-14 November 2015: November 2015 Paris attacks. The single deadliest terrorist attack in French history. Multiple shooting and grenade attacks occurred on a Friday night; among the locations targeted were a music venue, sports stadium and several bar and restaurant terraces. 90 persons were killed during a siege at an Eagles of Death Metal concert inside the Bataclan. French president François Hollande evacuated from a football match between France and Germany at the Stade de France, venue for the UEFA Euro 2016 Final, after three separate suicide bombings over the course of about 40 minutes. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks and President Hollande named the Paris attacks an "'act of war'"
  • 1 January 2016: A man rammed his car twice into 4 soldiers protecting a mosque in Valence. He said he wanted to kill troops and jihadi propaganda images were found on his computer.
  • 7 January 2016: January 2016 Paris police station attack, a jihadist wearing a fake explosive belt attacked police officers in the Goutte d'Or district in Paris with a meat cleaver, while shouting "Allahu Akbar". He was shot dead and one policeman receiving injuries. The ISIS flag and a clearly written claim in Arabic, were found on the attacker.
  • 13 June 2016: 2016 Magnanville stabbing, a police officer and his wife, a police secretary, were stabbed to death in their home in Magnanville by a jihadist. ISIS claimed responsibility.
  • 14 July 2016: A 19 ton cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The driver was Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian resident of France. The attack ended following an exchange of gunfire, during which Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was shot and killed by police.
  • 19 July 2016: An Islamist staying in a holiday resort, in Garda-Colombe, attacked a family of four with a kitchen knife. He told prosecutors he was offended by their lack of suitable clothing.
  • 26 July 2016: 2016 Normandy church attack, two terrorists attacked a church during a mass, killing an 86-year-old priest. ISIS claimed responsibility.
  • 19 August 2016: A rabbi was stabbed in Strasbourg by a man reportedly shouting Allahu Akbar.
  • 4 September 2016: Two Islamists attacked an author and his son, with blows to the head and stomach. The author, who wrote a book on 'Jihad', lost consciousness, and has now requested full police protection on his premises. Both victims were called 'filthy whites' and the author's daughter was also verbally abused.
  • 3 February 2017: 2017 Paris machete attack. A soldier near the Louvre museum opened fire on a man who attempted to enter the museum with a machete. The man was shouting "Allahu akbar" and injured the soldier's scalp.
  • 20 April 2017: 2017 shooting of Paris police officers. An Islamist opened fire on police officers on the Champs-Elysees. ISIS claimed responsibility.

Until 2000, most of Germany’s terror attacks came from the Red Army or other non-Muslim groups. However, the Islamists made themselves known twice in Munich (1970, 1972); in Berlin (1982, 1986). Muslim terrorist activity picked up starting from September 2015. (Source: Wikipedia)

  • 10 February 1970: Munich - Three terrorists attack El Al passengers in a bus at the Airport with guns and grenades; one passenger is killed and 11 injured. All three terrorists were captured by airport police. The Action Organization for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claim responsibility for the attack
  • 5 September 1972: Munich (Munich Massacre) - Eight armed terrorists stage an attack during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany on 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team, who were taken hostage and eventually killed, along with a German police officer. Five of the attackers also died in the raid to free the hostages.
  • 15 January 1982: Berlin - An explosion at the Mifgash-Israel, a Jewish owned restaurant in West, injures 25 people. An infant girl, who was in critical condition after the blast, later dies of her injuries.
  • 4 April 1986: Berlin - A bomb placed on the dance-floor of the La Belle Discotheque, popular with United States military personnel, explodes, killing 3 and injuring hundreds more. Two of the dead were members of the United
  • 17 September 2015: Berlin - A 41-year-old self-proclaimed Islamist was shot dead in Berlin after he severely stabbed and injured a policewoman in an incident on a public street in Berlin
  • 19 July 2016: Wurzburg - On 18 July 2016, a 17-year-old asylum seeker injured four people, two critically, with a knife and hatchet on a train near Würzburg in Germany. A fifth person was injured outside. The state office of criminal investigations called it a terrorist attack with an Islamist religious motive. The attacker's Islamic State instructor "ordered" him "to use an axe rather than a knife in his attack. In a martyrdom video, the attacker blamed unspecified infidels trespassing against and murdering men, women and children, as well as leaders and Muslim citizens who did not object to this..
  • 24 July 2016 Multiple locations - Fifteen people were injured, four seriously, in a suicide bombing outside a wine bar in Ansbach, Germany.[3] The bomber, identified as Mohammad Daleel, was a 27-year-old Syrian refugee who had pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State. He was the only fatality in the incident. According to German authorities, Daleel was in contact with the Islamic State and had been planning more attacks before his backpack bomb exploded accidentally. The incident followed three other attacks in Germany within a week, including a knife attack that killed a pregnant woman in Reutlingen earlier in the day, a mass shooting that killed nine people in Munich several days earlier, and a train attack in Würzburg. All of these were committed by people of Middle Eastern or Pashtun background, all of whom, save for the Munich shooter, were refugees or asylum seekers that recently came to Germany
  • 19 December 2016: Berlin - On 19 December 2016, a truck was deliberately driven into the Christmas market next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, leaving 12 people dead and 56 others injured. One of the victims was the truck's original driver, Łukasz Urban, who was found shot dead in the passenger seat. The perpetrator was Anis Amri, a Tunisian failed asylum seeker, urged by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Four days after the attack, he was killed in a shootout with police near Milan in Italy. An initial suspect was arrested and later released due to lack of evidence. The event was designated as a terrorist attack./LI>

 

 

 

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

ERM-BC-COOP

Client won’t believe
Vendors are risks

A NEWS STORY MAKING THE ROUNDS reports that BMW has to slow down production due to a parts shortage from neighbor Bosch.

According to Reuters, German carmaker BMW (BMWG.DE) said a shortage of steering gears supplied by Robert Bosch [ROBG.UL] slowed production of several of its compact and mid-sized models and caused stoppages at its plants in South Africa and China.

Some companies ignore the “VENDOR THREAT” as something that could not POSSIBLY happen to them.

British Airways probably is the most famous “the vendor won’t fail us” case of a vendor bringing down a client. (Search for “British Airways and Gate Gourmet”)

I once had a potential client who wanted a risk management plan for his retail flooring store chain. (He wrongly assumed I watched and remembered his company’s commercials when he arrogantly told me that I knew his company’s tv blather.)

He told me he wanted to know how I would protect his stores while we talked on the phone. (Fat chance of THAT happening, )

    Alas, he was not the only caller who thought it OK to steal a plan over the phone; others asked for a detailed plan “right now” and over the phone. Not great for the caller — unless a practitioner knows the details of an operation, there is NO WAY that operation can be protected — and not great for the practitioner who is working for nothing — wives and other financial managers dislike giving away the product.
I asked him the origin of his product. “China,” was his response. So I told him his first risk was supply chain interruption.

"Í don’t CARE about the supply chain" he interrupted; "all I want is to protect my stores.”

No product, no store. Reasonable to me but not to the caller.

In the end we agreed that he should find another practitioner. His business still is a going concern and, I assume, he still is importing from China. What could possibly go wrong?

Let me count the ways.

      1. Defective/dangerous product (China has a reputation, after all)
      2. Manufacturer fails to receive raw materials
      3. Manufacturer unable to produce product to customer
      4. Government prevents lading onto ship -– could be Chinese or U.S. government
      5. Strike at port
      6. Ship fails to make destination port — it sinks or is high jacked for ransom
      7. Container is “lost at sea” *
      8. Strike at port
      9. Intermodal transportation is struck
      10, Truck is high jacked
      11, Traffic accident that causes product to be damaged
AND THE PRODUCT HAS NOT YET BEEN DELIVERED TO THE STORE!

* I worked for a company that carried cargo around the globe; I know that containers sometimes fall overboard, especially containers that would prevent a ship from making port; e.g., a container Customs did not clear to off-load at a U.S. port

Still, the flooring company caller — did he even have the authority to engage my expertise? — wasn’t interested. His only concern was protection of the retail outlets. In the end I suggested he buy insurance and keep careful records.

I did not volunteer what TYPES insurance to buy — property, business interruption, employee (including management) theft . . . maybe even D&O. I don’t know if “hutzpah insurance” is on the market; I could have used that to protect myself from this, and similar, callers.

Some folks remain on the dark ages of Disaster Recovery.

Others, some dragged kicking and screaming, have accepted Business Continuity that focuses on what goes on within a company’s facilities.

A few enlightened managers know the only way to protect the operation is with an ENTERPRISE RISK MANAGEMENT plan that is exercised and maintained.

The enlightened managers are the ones who give an Enterprise Risk Management practitioner a reason to continue in the profession. Too bad there are so few.


PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Opuscula

Bad time to be
Fiscal conservative
And social liberal

I HEARD ON tv this morning (Monday, May 22, 2017) that POTUS — or someone — is considering reducing several social welfare programs; Medicaid and Welfare were specifically included.

How much truth there is in the information, given that the information is third, fourth or even more hands from the source, is beyond my speculation. I know the media is biased — only a person blind and deaf would deny that — but sometimes even in the worst lie there may be a kernel of truth.

I consider myself a financial conservative and a social liberal. That really is not an oxymoron. while I saw the movie Dave, I came to my position on my own long before the movie was released. (It is a good flick.)

I don’t want to “waste” money on — among other things — sending U.S. troops to bases around the world. England, Germany, Japan, et al, all can defend themselves at least until U.S. rescuers arrive. The U.S. has missile-equipped submarines and surface ships with nearly unlimited range and aircraft that can be dispatched from carriers or U.S. bases (that have not been decimated by BRAC.)

True, the only way to hold ground is with “boots on the ground,” but must U.S. troops be military first responders? Let the locals manage for themselves, at least initially.

It’s an open secret that there is waste and fraud in welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, and, frankly, most government programs — including the military (cost over-runs, low-ball bidding, among other options).

Build up the military; give the county a strong military with all the resources it can justify. Go back to Theo. Roosevelt’s day and “speak softly and carry a big stick,” or, if you prefer, keep an “iron fist in a velvet glove.” Diplomatically, “negotiate from a position of strength.”

Going back to BRAC for a few words.

In an effort to cut defense spending — I’m not certain it really did that — the government in its “wisdom” closed bases. Some of the bases, such as Orlando AFB, were re-puposed to become Naval Training Center Orlando, later shuttered because Orlando’s summer was too hot for Navy recruits (but Great Lakes is OK in the winter?). NTC Orlando, nee’ Orlando AFB, was sold off to developers. The only remaining thing “military” is 56-bed Residential Rehabilitation Program operated by the VA.

    I was stationed at the 1360 USAF Hospital at Orlando AFB, ergo my interest in the facility. The 1360 had an entire ward dedicated to VA patients.

Rather than “decommission” military installations, they could have been repurposed to help welfare families get off welfare while keeping military personnel (a) in the U.S. and (b) maintaining needed skills.

    I once suggested the following to a far left email acquaintance; her response was to call be a nazi.!

People who are willing to work should be provided (alphabetically)

    Child care
    Clothing
    Housing
    Job training
    Meals
    Medical care

And a small stipend.

If any reader has been in the military, this may sound a lot like basic training. My “stipend” as an Air Force “slick sleeve” (Airman Basic) was $78/month.

Meanwhile, their children, if any, go to local schools that receive federal assistance in the same way they did when the base was active.

Job training would be for jobs that (a) the trainee can perform (physical and mental) and (b) are needing workers. Whenever possible, military trainers would teach the trades (keeping the trainers proficient); military medics would provide medical care; military cooks would provide food prep (with occasional “KP duties” by the trainees — just like basic training — imagine . Housing for the duration would be barracks for singles and on-base housing for families.

The duration of the training would depend on the job requirements.

At the end of the training, the graduates would be outfitted in “civilian” clothes and, when appropriate, work clothes. If there are local jobs available, the graduates would apply, with employers getting a stipend to help pay the apprentice employees. If no jobs are available locally, the graduate — and family — would be relocated to a place where the graduate’s skills are in demand.

    Veterans will recognize this as something they — we — went through “back in the day.”

Worst case, the government should be the “employer of last resort” as it was when Eleanor Roosevelt was in the White House.

People who cannot perform work of any type due to physical or mental conditions would be exempt from the above and provided all the financial and material/medical resources they require.

People who CAN work but refuse the opportunity would be removed from the federal welfare rolls, including Medicaid.

I am from a generation that considered going on the dole, or even collecting unemployment compensation as something to be avoided. If we DID receive assistance, we worked diligently to become self-sufficient again.

I firmly believe the U.S. can be fiscally conservative and militarily strong while at the same time being liberal on social issues, taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves.


 

 

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Opuscula

Overbooked
And “de-seated”
Airlines’ problem

OVER THE YEARS I have traveled many miles in airplanes of many types, from Douglas Commercial DC-3 “Gooney Birds” (c 1952), Fairchild C-119s, Lockheed Super Constellations (L-1049) and L-1011s, to Boeing 7x7s and Airbus 3xxs.

    I’ve also flown tail-dragger Aronica Champions and Piper Cub J-3s, but they only have two seats so they are “out of scope” for this rant.

I cannot understand why, in this “age of computers (where nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go ..)” airlines have to remove seated passengers to make room for either other passengers or free-flying airline employees.

It simply does not compute.


ALMOST EVERYTIME I’ve flown “commercial” (vs. as a “guest” of the government), if the airline overbooked a flight — a situation largely the fault of the customer * — it offered customers compensation; compensation that ranged from a free meal to overnight lodging and possibly a seat upgrade.

Most flights found room for stand-bys.

As passengers are called to board, their airline-issued boarding passes are checked by an airline employee, No boarding pass, no boarding. The passes normally are scanned by a reader connected to a computer so any double-booked seats SHOULD generate an alarm.

Passengers show their boarding pass to a flight attendant (FA) at the aircraft’s door and the FA directs the passenger to his or her seat.

Before the door is closed, the FAs do a head count — seat by seat. If there is a problem, e.g., two passengers booked into the same seat, an all too frequent situation with some airlines, the FAs sort things out, typically by finding an empty seat “somewhere” on board. (In all my years I never have seen an FA ask a passenger to deplane because of an airline seat error.)

Still, if even 10% of the many reports of abuse by FAs are accurate, then the airlines need to educate the FAs to better represent their employer to the people who ultimately pay the FA’s salaries.

Calling on pseudo-police — in the United scandal, the “police” were not police and had been forbidden to wear clothing marked “Police” — is entirely inappropriate. If a passenger needs to be removed for cause — not just “because some airline employee wanted the PAYING passenger’s seat” — then call real police, sworn officers. Leave the “rent-a-cops” drinking coffee.

There are, most assuredly FAs who are having a bad day, but what has happened lately on several major U.S. airlines is more than a bad hair day for the FAs.

    The SkyTrax web site offers an A-Z Airline Quality Rating of airlines throughout the world. According to SkyTrax, the rating are based on quality of the carrier’s front-line product and staff service standards.

Understand that all airlines can give sub-par service from time to time. Surly FAs, delayed flights, too long waiting to take off and too long waiting to get off the plane. Some airlines ignore the jetways at modern airports and still force passengers to disembark via stairs and then bus to the terminal. (One airline did offer a handicapped passenger a lift with a special truck. Interesting solution to a common problem.)

ON THE OTHER HAND there is a famous story of a family of Delta passengers who, although bumped from their flight, still like Delta. The Forbes story’s headline reads: Why Delta Air Lines Paid Me $11,000 Not To Fly To Florida This Weekend


* Airlines were “forced” to overbook by potential passengers who booked a trip on several airlines (back when there was more competition). To counter that, the airlines sold more tickets than seats on the premise that some customers would be no shows. If the airlines guessed wrong, they offered compensation to passengers willing to catch a later flight, but in no event did the airline remove a passenger already buckled in. If a passenger got on board, the passenger stayed on board.

UAL’s problems

United Airlines passenger violently dragged from seat on overbooked flight

Two girls barred from United flight for wearing leggings (UAL later changed its corporate mind and now allows leggings.)

 

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Opuscula

Who is meddling
In whose elections?

ACCORDING TO THE L.A Times, The U.S. is no stranger to interfering in the elections of other countries. (The LA Times is no friend of the current administration; on the same web page the Times has a link to A six-part opinion series on Our Dishonest President)

    The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it’s done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University. That number doesn’t include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn’t like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring.

The Times article lists U.S. interference in elections held in

    Czechoslovakia
    Haiti (Reagan)
    Italy (Truman)
    Israel (Obama)
    Nicaragua (Carter)
    Russia (Clinton)
    South Vietnam (JFK)
    UK (Brexit)
    Yugoslavia (Clinton)

The list fails to include invasions of Cuba (JFK, 1961, failed), Grenada (Reagan, 1983, succeeded), Iraq (Geo. W. Bush, 2003, failed) and Panama (Geo. H.W. Bush, 1989, succeeded).

Good for gander, good for goose

In perhaps the most audacious act of hypocrisy, considering the current charge that “the Russians” have intervened in the recent presidential election, the United States made a move to help the reelection effort in 1996 of Russian President Boris Yeltsen. President Bill Clinton endorsed a $10.2-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, supposedly to help Russia move toward a capitalist economy. Yeltsin then used the fact that he got this loan as a reason for voters to support him. Some of the money was used in social spending just before the election, to bolster his popular support. (New American)

Clinton’s meddling in Israeli elections

According to the Times piece,

    In the Middle East, the U.S. has aimed to bolster candidates who could further the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. In 1996, seeking to fulfill the legacy of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the peace accords the U.S. brokered, then president Clinton openly supported Shimon Peres, convening a peace summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheik to boost his popular support and inviting him to a meeting at the White House a month before the election.

    “We were persuaded that if [Likud candidate Benjamin] Netanyahu were elected, the peace process would be closed for the season,” said Aaron David Miller, who worked at the State Department at the time.

    In 1999, in a more subtle effort to sway the election, top Clinton strategists, including James Carville, were sent to advise Labor candidate Ehud Barak in the election against Netanyahu.

Obama’s meddling in Israeli elections

Under the auspices of Chairman Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) has released a report confirming allegations that an NGO with connections to President Obama’s 2008 campaign used U.S. taxpayer dollars attempting to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015. President Obama has had the worst relationship of any U.S. president with the elected prime minister of the Jewish State.

Sen. Claire McCaskill dutifully defended the administration, ” While this report shows no wrongdoing by the Administration, and should put to rest such allegations, it certainly highlights deficiencies in the (Obama State) Department’s policies that should be addressed in order to best protect taxpayer dollars.”(Washington Post)

The Hill reported under a headline reading Netanyahu pollster: Obama role in election larger than reported that "There was money moving that included taxpayer U.S. dollars, through non-profit organizations. And there were various liberal groups in the United States that were raising millions to fund a campaign called V15 against Prime Minister Netanyahu," John McLaughlin said. Former Obama political operative Jeremy Bird and that V15, or Victory 15, headed the operations.

  • The OneVoice Movement reportedly received $350,000 in State Department grants
  • The State Department at the end of January, early February, expedited visas for [Israeli] Arab leaders to come to the United States to learn how to vote
  • They were running an Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), Obama Organizing for America-type campaign over there with the digital ads, the billboards, the phones. (Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-NY)

The Washington Times added that In one stunning finding, the subcommittee said OneVoice even told the State Department’s top diplomat in Jerusalem of its plans in an email, but the official, Consul General Michael Ratney, claims never to have seen them.

He said he regularly deleted emails with large attachments — a striking violation of open-records laws for a department already reeling from former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s handling of official government records.

Ratney headed the Israel-Palestine portfolio at the State Department under John Kerry. Obama appointed Ratney as U.S. Special Envoy for Syria in July, 2015.

Other Obama meddling

The conservative, pro-Trump New American web site reminds its readers that if the Russians did covertly attempt to alter the outcome of the presidential election, it would seem somewhat hypocritical of the U.S. government to take umbrage. After all, the United States, under several presidents both Democrat and Republican, has repeatedly interfered in foreign elections, both covertly and overtly, multiple times in the past several decades.

The article cited one of Obama's final day attempts to influence an election. Most recently, President Obama told British voters that they better not vote for Brexit — the public vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (EU) — or they would find themselves “at the back of the queue [line]” in getting any sort of trade deal with the United States.

What’s it really all about?

A little background from Snopes. The Snopes’ article seems unbiased.

    If the link does fails to open the Snopes’ page, the URL is
    http://www.snopes.com/2017/04/18/russia-us-fake-news/”Snopes

Russia’s overt media outlets and covert trolls sought to sideline opponents on both sides of the political spectrum with adversarial views towards the Kremlin. They were in full swing during both the Republican and Democratic primary season and may have help sink the hopes of candidates more hostile to Russian interests long before the field narrowed. Senator Rubio, in my opinion you anecdotally suffered from these efforts. … This past week we observed social media accounts discrediting Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, hoping to further foment unrest inside U.S. democratic institutions. Clint Watts, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and Foreign Policy Research Institute fellow.

The main advantage of conspiracy theories as political tools is that they can spread a general anti-establishment sentiment and they can destroy the credibility and trust in all the established leaders and institutions. It’s not only an American phenomenon that conspiracy theorists are popping up and operating around anti-establishment candidates. Péter Krekó, a Fulbright scholar from Hungary and a visiting professor of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University Bloomington


Who wrote what

  • NGO connected to Obama’s 2008 campaign used U.S. tax dollars trying to oust Netanyahu (Washington Post)
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2016/07/12/ngo-connected-to-obamas-2008-campaign-used-u-s-tax-dollars-trying-to-oust-netanyahu/

  • The U.S. is no stranger to interfering in the elections of other countries (LA Times)
    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-us-intervention-foreign-elections-20161213-story.html

  • U.S. Has Interfered in Foreign Elections Multiple Times (New American)
    https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/foreign-policy/item/24916-us-has-interfered-in-foreign-elections-multiple-times

  • Obama admin. sent taxpayer money to campaign to oust Netanyahu (Washington Times)
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/12/obama-admin-sent-taxpayer-money-oust-netanyahu/

  • Obama State Dept: $350K For Campaign Infrastructure Used Against Netanyahu In Israel Election (CNS)
    http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/state-dept-350k-group-built-campaign-structure-used-against-election-israels

  • Netanyahu pollster: Obama role in election larger than reported (The Hill)
    http://thehill.com/policy/international/236565-netanyahu-pollster-obama-role-in-election-larger-than-reported

 

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Opuscula

Why does Israel
Act as if Obama’s
UN action is surprise?

IN A MOVE TO MAKE THE U.S. State Department trolls happy, soon-to-be ex-president Obama told his rep to the UN Security Council to abstain on an anti-Israel vote, assuring that his friends in the PA would remember him as if he was a shahid to their cause.

Israeli media seems “shocked” by Obama’s order, yet any Israeli — certainly any Israeli in politics or the media — knew the abstention was in the works. It was the culmination of the almost ex-presidents anti-Israel bias over the last eight years.

Blame it on the personal feud between Obama and Netanyahu, but don’t act surprised.

Obama’s dislike of Netanyahu, Israel, and Jews embarrassed even leaders of his own (Democrat) party.

According to media reports,

    The Obama administration’s decision to abstain from a United Nations Security Council vote on Israeli settlements on Friday was the subject of intense opposition from lawmakers in the president’s own party, with Democratic leaders warning that the resolution will damage efforts to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

    Incoming Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said hours before the vote that “the proposed resolution does not bring us any closer to the goal of a two-state solution. Peace must come from direct negotiations between the two parties.”

    House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) similarly condemned the resolution on Thursday, saying that the vote “seeks to place responsibility for continued conflict fully on Israel and ignores violence and incitement by Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority and Hamas leaderships. Any workable and long-lasting solution to this conflict must come about through direct, bilateral negotiations, and this resolution undermines that effort.”

    Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, added on Thursday that “the UN should stop wasting its time trying to embarrass Israel, and the United States should continue the policy of vetoing anti-Israel resolutions.”

    The ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), said on Friday that the resolution “does nothing to move forward the shared goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security. This resolution is one-sided and unfairly calls out Israel without assigning any blame for the Palestinian role in the current impasse.” Cardin emphasized his support for “direct negotiations between the parties” and criticized the speed with which the resolution was pushed to a vote, saying that “by introducing the resolution yesterday and scheduling a vote this week, other members of the Security Council have not had sufficient time to consider the text.”

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) warned on Thursday that the “resolution would undermine, if not undo, the chances for productive discussions between the two sides,” remarks echoed the following day by Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), who also called the resolution “unconstructive.” Sen. Sherrod Brown called (D-Ohio) stressed on Friday that “any lasting peace must be negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians, not imposed by the international community.”

    Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) noted that “longstanding U.S. policy has been to stand with Israel against attempts to use the United Nations to internationalize the peace process, and that policy should be maintained.”

    “I am concerned that some delegations to the United Nations continue to advance counterproductive resolutions such as the one introduced this week, while they turn a blind eye to international crises that should demand our immediate attention and action, including the conflict in Syria and Russian aggression in Ukraine,” he added.

Perhaps those who agree with the almost ex-president — including many of Hollywood’s luminaries, even those who forgot their promise to leave America — continue to ignore the reason why there cannot be a peace treaty between Israel and the so-called Palestinian Authority.

The Arabic language media reports that

    Fatah, the party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, praised its “most outstanding” terrorist attacks in two posts over two days on its Facebook page, according to the monitoring group Palestinian Media Watch. One post highlighted the “10 most outstanding operations” in the entire history of Fatah; the other the “10 most outstanding operations in the Al-Aqsa [Second] Intifada”, the wave of Palestinian violence lasting from 2000-2005 and killing more than 1,000 Israelis. The former post showed a flag of “Palestine” depicting all of Israel and the Palestinian territories.

    Incitement to violence by Fatah and Palestinian leaders has been a constant driver of the conflict, and was responsible for a wave of stabbings and car rammings that has killed more than 40 Israelis since September 2015. Fatah boasted in August that it had “killed 11,000 Israelis.” Abbas praised a Jordanian who was shot while attempting to stab Israeli Border Police officers as a “martyr” in a condolence letter to his family last month. He has consistently refused to condemn acts of terrorism. A senior adviser to Abbas stated this past June, “Wherever you find an Israeli, slit his throat.” When a Palestinian terrorist went on a stabbing spree in Jaffa that killed American Army veteran Taylor Force, the PA’s official TV news station called the terrorist responsible a “martyr” and on Twitter, Abbas’s Fatah party hailed him as a “martyr” and a “hero.” Last February, Abbas met with families of terrorists who carried out attacks against Israelis, telling them: “Your sons are martyrs.”

Inciting terrorist acts is the PA “leadership’s” idea of pressuring Israel to commit national suicide. The single democratic state in the region has repeatedly caved to Arab pressure only to find the Arabs’ promises of peace were not worth the paper on which they were printed.

Why Israel remains a member of the UN, in which it is the only nation condemned for “human rights” violations when even the left-wing media occasionally reports on atrocities around the globe , while “PA” terrorists daily attack Israelis and the “PA” leadership incites hatred of Jews and Israel from pre-kindergarten until the grave, is beyond my ken.

Why the U.S., which soon thankfully will have a new president, continues to fund an organization that unfairly condemns its ally and that often berates the hand that feeds it, likewise if beyond my ken.

There will soon be three countries that can deal with each other and all other states without need of the (dis)United Nations: China, Russia, the U.S.

The UN failed in its mission to avoid wars. The UN failed in its mission to protect human rights (consider Africa, consider China and North Korea, consider Muslim-dominated nations). The IDEA of the UN -– a later-day League of Nations whose failures soon were recognized and the League disbanded — was good; the implementation is found lacking.

As for Israel, even the retiring UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, admits to the world press that

    (T) he organization has a “disproportionate” volume of resolutions against Israel, which he believes has “foiled the ability of the UN to fulfill its role effectively”.

    Addressing the UN Security Council, Ban said: “Over the last decade I have argued that we cannot have a bias against Israel at the UN.

    "Decades of political maneuvering have created a disproportionate number of resolutions, reports and committees against Israel.


Opuscula

If the links
Are broken,
Blame Google

I WAS REVISITING SOME old blog entries this morning (Thursday, May 11, 2017) and discovered that the links to other articles — some of them mine, many others’ — were “broken.”

When I checked the copy, I discovered — alas, not for the first time — that Google had “modified” the links.
In the sample below, Google added the red in the text strings.

I HAVE BEEN CREATING HTML-coded copy for a long time. I have done it for commercial clients, I did it for my own web site (now inactive), and I have been doing it on this blog since “Day 1” several years ago.

I know how to code a link to another URL*

Google does other “strange” things to a writer’s works,

On one blog site, the indentation code <UL>/</UL>> works fine. On another blog site, Google ignores the code.

How do I know the code is correct when I upload — “publish” — the copy? I check my coding by saving my word processor file as plain text as <something.html> and opening the file in Google’s Chrome browser.

The URL code - <A HTML=”destination URL” TARGET=”new window”> followed by the linked text, e.g., Laugh-In’s Flying Finger of Fate, and ending with </A> This code has been around since before my well-worn copy of Netscape 2 Unleashed was published in 1996.

Perhaps Google believes I should create my files within its “blogspot” using its limited attribute icons.

Most of the time most of my code seems to work OK. Even multi-cell tables display properly — most of the time.

The easy way to create a table is to use a spread sheet application (e.g., LibreOffice Calc), then add extra columns for HTML code; finally, save the now coded spread sheet as a text (*.txt) file and embed the file into the copy.

I have a love/hate relationship with code. Back in the day — before page composition applications such as FrameMaker, PageMaker, and Ventura learned to “read” word processor codes, I coded my word processor files for the destination application.

I didn’t ENJOY the time-consuming task — shades of WordStar and its pre-< A HTML=”http://justsolve.archiveteam.org/wiki/WordStar#Control_characters” TARGET=”WordStar codes”>WordStar codes>/A>WYSIWYG coding (see http://justsolve.archiveteam.org/wiki/WordStar#Control_characters .


Source: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/25/internet_archive_historical_software_collection/

I thought the mono screen would bring back memories for my generation.

I wonder — and that’s all I can do — if I was able to FTP** my text to Google if the blog app would let my coding remain the way I intended.

I am not asking Google to let me use some esoteric code, or something that only Firefox can read; all I am asking is that Google stop rewriting my link code. It also would be nice if it was consistent across all blogs — I can indent on one but not the other (ibid.).
Complain to Google? Impossible.

BOTTOM LINE: If the link code FAILS and you read a “Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist.” message, RIGHT CLICK on the link, select INSPECT from the pop-up menu, and find the URL in the window to the right.


* URL: Uniform Resource Locator. In the event that the URL is corrupted by Google, the URL is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/URL

** FTP: File Transfer Protocol. In the event the URL is corrupted by Google, the URL is http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/F/ftp.html

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

ERM-BC-COOP

Organization’s risk:
Outdated policies
And procedures

IT WAS A SMALL LINK buried in the daily Advisen Front Page News (FPN) digest, but it raised a flag (turned on the light and other expressions of new awareness) that corporate policies and procedures need to be reviewed to assure they comply with the laws du jour.

The article linked from Advisen FPN is headed: Is It Time To Recall Some Of Your HR Policies? (From http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=7bb5092f-e947-4431-ad8a-2d873768c0a6)

    Factory recalls have become a fact of life for those who sell and drive vehicles. The scenarios have a common theme: a vehicle part does not operate as designed or is determined to present a possible risk of failure. Once there is enough evidence to suggest a problem or potential problem exists, the recall process begins.

    While the risks and potential harms pale in comparison to vehicle recalls, some employer policies should be similarly recalled and replaced. Some policies no longer work as designed because of subsequent changes to certain laws. Other policies and practices thought to be sufficient when implemented have not been as effective in application as they could be. Still other policies would benefit from a few overdue improvements that you didn’t consider at the time of drafting.

The article continues by focusing on seven specifics:

  • Employment Applications And New Hire Packets
  • FCRA Disclosures And Adverse Action Letters
  • Reasonable Accommodation Policy
  • Leave Policy
  • Employee Reimbursement Policy
  • Post-Accident Drug Testing Policy
  • No-Harassment Policy

THE PRIMARY CONCERN for employers are labor laws and the several federal and state agencies that enforce them.

The laws are “subject to change”; unless someone is aware of the changes, policies and procedures that were legal yesterday may not be legal tomorrow.

When I was consulting I met an HR manager who, when asked if there were any risks associated with his function thought for a moment than answered with a firm “No.” Fortunately he had an assistant who was aware of a federal form that, if lacking for employees could have cost the company thousands of dollars. The form was the I-9.

From https://www.uscis.gov/i-9

    Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization. The employee must also present his or her employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record the document

OSHA – the federal government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and state versions of OSHA, constantly are on the lookout for labor law violations, particularly where worker safety is involved. Safety standards and safety gear remain in a state of flux.

From https://www.osha.gov/about.html

    The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and its related Administration, was created to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.

EEOC – the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigates workplace discrimination complaints.

From https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/

    From is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

    Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws (20 employees in age discrimination cases). Most labor unions and employment agencies are also covered.

    The laws apply to work situations or all types including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits.

The problem for too many “business continuity” practitioners — and a few enterprise risk management practitioners as well — is a tendency to ignore HR.

That, given the always in-flux legal fiats from Washington and state capitals, can be a costly mistake. Likewise, legal advisors need to be included in risk management procedures; they need to interpret the laws and how they impact the organization, and, if necessary, be ready to defend the organization if challenged by a regulatory agency.



PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

State of the Nation

S A D

THIS MORNING ON THE tv ‘news’ I watched as a robber attacked a woman at an ATM.

That happens all the time, but this time was different.

This time there was another woman making a transaction at the adjacent ATM.

If you are looking for a Good Samaritan to come to the aid of the elderly woman being robbed,

FORGET IT

The woman at the adjacent ATM moved out of the way as the robber and the senior struggled. When the tussle moved away, the woman calmly returned to her ATM to finish her transaction, not even bothering to look at the woman being attacked.

    Florida law states that a person witnessing a crime must call 9-1-1. The law does not require the witness to DO anything.

By all accounts, the witness did nothing — except calmly finish her ATM transaction. The entire event was caught on video,

The victim, the robber, and the witness all were black. In itself that is irrelevant; however, it does explain why there is so much black-on-black crime that goes unsolved. There are too many John Banners* who see nothing and know nothing.

Let’s consider what the witness might have done.

    Run away from the ATM and yell for help.

    Call 9-1-1; apparently everyone has a cell phone these days.

The robber was a large man and the witness was small in stature, so while some people might risk life and limb by jumping on the attacker’s back to help the victim defend herself, the witness simply ignored the ruckus going on next to her.

The robber was fortunate that there was no one in the vicinity with a concealed carry permit … or even a person with an illegal gun or knife, of which there are too many — who very likely would have come to the victim’s assistance.

It’s one thing to deny knowledge of a crime’s perpetrator a la John Brenner’s tv character, but to stand, watch a crime on a person and do nothing is abhorrent.

The witness showed no fear in the video — her actions strictly were: I’m not involved — not my problem.

It’s a sad day for America and Americans.


* The late John Banner (died 1973) played Sgt. Schultz on the long-running Hogan’s Heroes tv sitcom.

PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Opuscula

Travel warning
Just good sense

THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT has issued a Travel Warning for travel to Europe.

Travel agents are upset because some potential travelers will vacation in America rather than go overseas. (I guess they make a higher profit on overseas trips.)

Aside from “Seeing America First” being both a good and a patriotic idea, an overseas travel warning must be a way of life for travelers, especially those heading to places where anti-terrorism efforts are less than the best.

    The most dangerous parts of my flights to Israel — where terrorism threats are taken seriously — is the change of planes in either a U.S. or European airport.

AS A RETIRED Enterprise Risk Management practitioner, I think travel warnings ought to be on-going. Most — albeit never “all” — travel incidents can be avoided by using common sense and heeding the warnings of experienced travelers.

The State Department has a plethora of Internet-based information, including:

There are a number of web sites that offer good to excellent information for travelers. Much of the advice can apply to travel at home as well as overseas. A list of these sites is given below the black line.

Several lists made a point that when visiting a country or location with strict religious rules to (a) know the rules and dress code (especially for women), (b) dress appropriately, and (c) respect the rules. In other words, don’t go into Mea Sharim or Beni Brak in Israel in short shorts and halter top; in Muslim-dominated countries — and some Hindu ones as well — women should be prepared to cover their heads. (Men will be expected to cover their heads in synagogues and may be asked to cover their heads in a mosque. Check with someone before entering any place where prayers are said for local customs.)

After thought: Whenever possible, buy tickets for local transportation before boarding. Try to find out the cost of the trip before boarding and, if there is no option to buy a ticket, have the right change when boarding. In the U.S. many (most) city buses require the correct fare — no change is offered. Most countries, other than the U.S., offer inexpensive, fast, comfortable, and clean rail transportation.


Picks of the litter

Worth a look