Saturday, December 12, 2015

OSS - Intelligence at its best!

Click here for original commentary in Defense One

In keeping with our program of republishing relevant, important commentary 
to broaden its exposure, our highlighted post today is written by Charles Pinck to 
honor the original and remaining members of the OSS, the historic US intelligence 
service.  We take special pleasure in this post as we served and worked with several
distinguished members of this organization during our service as an intelligence officer; 
among others, we served with LTG Vernon Walters while he was Reagan's Ambassador 
at Large and through whom, we met and worked with many former OSS officers.  Walters 
also was the undeclared Deep Throat - engineering the removal of Henry Kissinger from power.

With his support, we also created the Defense Clandestine Service in 1984 modeled 
somewhat on the OSS, and populated it with well-educated military officers who 
were specialists in geographical areas of military interest for future conflicts 
[e.g., Iraq, Iran, Yemen], and whose reporting was lauded by the Senate 
Special Committee on Intelligence.

Former OSS officer/Director of Central Intelligence Vernon Walters and President Reagan

What do attorney James Donovan (portrayed by Tom Hanks in “Bridge of Spies”), the “French ChefJulia Child, Virginia Hall (the only American civilian woman to receive the Distinguished Service Cross during World War II), Nobel Peace Prize recipient Ralph Bunche, Pulitzer Prize recipient Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Hollywood director John Ford, and architect Eero Saarinen (who designed Dulles Airport) have in common? 

They all served in the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS, the World War II predecessor to the CIA and the US Special Operations Command.

As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II this year - and increasingly rely on our intelligence and special operations communities to defend the United States - we should remember that they were born in the crucible of World War II

In June 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt created the OSS and appointed as its director the legendary General William “Wild Bill” Donovan, the only American to receive our nation’s four highest decorations, including the Medal of Honor. Donovan dedicated his entire life to serving the United States, starting in World War I as part of the “Fighting 69th” Infantry Regiment. 

Wild Bill Donovan

One of our nation’s leading attorneys, he served as an assistant United States attorney general and as the US Attorney for the Western District of New York.  President Roosevelt sent him to Great Britain in 1940 as one of his personal emissaries. Following World War II, he served as ambassador to Thailand during the height of the Cold War.

[Donovan, though a "junior" general, commanded so much respect that senior officers showed him special deference by rising when he entered the room]

Fisher Howe, who served as a special assistant to Donovan, said that “if you define leadership as having a vision for an organization, and the ability to attract, motivate and guide followers to fulfill that vision, you have Bill Donovan in spades.” Roosevelt called Donovan his “secret legs".  Donovan led by example, going behind enemy lines and taking part in several invasions, including D-Day.

Professor E. Bruce Reynolds said the “OSS was an organization designed to do great things.” It did great things. The OSS was the most remarkable organization ever created by the U.S. government, from building resistance movements behind enemy lines in Europe and Asia, to gathering intelligence in advance of Operations Overlord (Normandy) and Torch (North Africa); waging unconventional warfare against the Japanese in Burma by OSS Detachment 101 (the most effective fighting force in the OSS and the recipient of a Presidential Unit Citation); inventing and implementing innovative technologies (including the first underwater rebreathing device that was used by the OSS Maritime Unit, the predecessor to the US Navy SEALs); carrying out the greatest rescue mission of World War II, Operation Halyard; and its recruitment of leading academics.

At the core of the OSS were the incredible group of Americans whom Donovan recruited to serve from every military branch and the civilian population. 
OSS Org Chart - Far less complicated than CIA's 
They included the actor and Marine Sterling Hayden, who won a Silver Star; Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg; Colonel Aaron Bank, a founder of the US Special Forces; Colonel William Eddy, who was described as the “Lawrence of America”; Fred Mayer, the “real inglorious basterd” who, after being tortured by the Gestapo for several days, convinced his torturers to surrender Innsbruck, Austria, and was nominated for a Medal of Honor; and, members of the Jedburghs and Operational Groups, forerunners of today’s US Special Operations Forces, who went behind enemy lines as did many other members of the OSS.  Donovan said they performed “some of the bravest acts of the war.”  

1) Some of the most notable journalists of the Cold War were former OSS officers
2) The US Congress, with only limited access to information about the OSS, was opposed to it, and "... charged that it was riddled with Communists and criminals.  
   a) After WW2. the HUAC charged several OSS officers with treason for operating with Communist leaders Mao Tse Tung and Ho Chi Minh.
   b) One officer, Willis H Bird, was destroyed professionally and financially by these accusations, but Donovan, then US Ambassador to Thailand, brought Bird back to Thailand where he became successful both in finance and assisting the Thai government establish a highly effective intelligence service.]
3) Newly-seated President Truman, after reviewing a damning report on the OSS's "profligate spending" and potential as a "Gestapo", turned the report over to the Congressional Committee on Agency Liquidation which closed the OSS and demanded Donovan's removal. ]

Senators Roy Blunt, R- Mo., and Mark Warner, D-Va., and Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, have introduced legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the members of the Office of Strategic Services “in recognition of their superior service and major contributions during World War II.” 

The Senate bill has the support of the entire Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. When Donovan died in 1959, President Eisenhower called him the “last hero.” 

It is time to honor the “last hero” and all the heroes of the OSS, who are dwindling in number, with a Congressional Gold Medal. Congress should pass this bill. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Trump will fix VA

The only candidate with a legitimate and workable VA reform        [Reuters photo]

In our continuing series of guest posts from reputable reporters and analysts, 
we highlight  Betsy McCaughey's Opinion Piece in the New York Post [3 Nov 2015] 
to provide a wider dissemination [i.e., global] to her comments.

Click here for original article [Trump shows real policy chops with great fix for ailing VA]

20% of voters are Military Vets
A whopping 20 percent of Republican primary voters are military Veterans. No wonder GOP presidential candidates are making the scandal-plagued Veterans Affairs Department a campaign issue.

And the man frequently tagged as lacking substance — Donald Trump — just came out with the best reform plan so far.
Under Trump’s plan, vets of all ages who are eligible for VA care could get treated at any civilian doctor’s office or hospital that takes Medicare. No bureaucratic hoops, pre-approvals or wait lists.
Trump’s proposal leverages the close connection between Medicare and Veterans Affairs — 45% of VA users are already on Medicare. Opponents are carping that Trump’s plan lacks details, but we don’t need a 1,000-page bill. Trump’s proposal works. It also does an end-run around the VA bureaucracy that has sabotaged every effort so far to allow Vets to go outside for care.
VA excludes Disabled Vets           [MrConservative]
For 20 years, Veterans Affairs has failed to provide timely care to sick vets. Congress has been alerted again and again that VA schedulers falsified wait lists and even lied to vets, telling them they were in line to be seen when they weren’t. After several vets died needlessly at the Phoenix VA facility, Congress finally enacted reform last year. It promised vets the option of civilian care.
Every vet gets a “choice card,” but it’s a cruel joke. The law erects so many hurdles that few vets can actually use it.
Vets have to live more than 40 miles from a VA facility or have waited more than 30 days to be eligible. Then they have to get a letter confirming eligibility from Veterans Affairs — good luck with that. Then their civilian doctor has to call for pre-approval before treatment — fat chance getting that call answered. After all that, treatment is limited to 60 days. Like you can cure cancer in 60 days!
More than half of vets haven’t even heard about the choice program, which is just what the VA bureaucracy wants. But count on Trump — the master marketer — to get the word out about his plan if he’s elected president. And to fire VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who is a mere apologist for the system.
Competitors criticize Trump for not estimating the cost. But the facts suggest his plan will be low-cost, because nearly half of VA users are already on Medicare. Astoundingly, over 1 million of them have Medicare Advantage, which means taxpayers are paying insurance companies to care for them and then paying Veterans Affairs to care for them. This nonsensical double payment sends 10 percent of the VA health budget down the drain every year.
Overall, encouraging older vets to use Medicare instead by picking up their out-of-pocket costs when they go to a civilian doctor is a no-brainer, and it would cut VA wait lists in half. That would allow younger vets to see a VA doctor faster. But Trump also gives them access to civilian doctors, if they prefer.
Vets needing procedures such as bypass surgery and angioplasty do better at civilian hospitals that perform them in high volume. Medical studies support Trump’s idea. (No kidding!)
Concerned Veterans for America lashed out at Trump’s plan for lacking details. It proposes moving vets into private health plans with subsidies to help pay the premiums. But the plans resemble ObamaCare, meaning most vets could face large out-of-pocket costs.
That’s a nonstarter. 
Vets already earned their care. At the VA, they can see a doctor for $15. Maybe Concerned Veterans was fast to criticize Trump because one of their plan’s authors is an adviser to another presidential campaign.
So we lost a few at Benghazi!
Hillary Rodham Clinton says she’ll unveil a VA reform plan next month. 
She’s already brushed aside evidence of VA corruption, denying it’s widespread. Trump is the candidate best equipped so far with a real alternative when she launches into a defense of the VA’s rotten status quo.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Trump - Builds Stuff - May ReBuild America

Help me retake America from the Communists

We continue our series of guest blog posts by superior thinkers and writers.
Today's piece was written by G. Murphy Donovan, who covers national security, 
military affairs, intelligence, threat analysis, and terrorism.  He had two tours in Vietnam, 
and is a recognized professional smart guy when it comes to Russian studies and political and diplomatic assessments.  Although his pieces are widely distributed, we republish here to ensure his work, and his blog get even wider distribution through our global audience.  
We salute Mr Donovan and trust he will continue to provide us with his superb insight on national and world events. 

Donald Trump is a piece of work even by New York standards: tall, white, loud, brash, entrepreneurial, successful, rich, ruthlessly candid, well-dressed, and fond of heterosexual women. He has married at least three delicious ladies in fact. Trump has five children and seven grandchildren. Indeed, his progeny are well above average too, smartly groomed, photogenic, and successful to boot.

Created thousands of jobs
As far as we know, Donald does not have any tattoos, piercings, unpaid taxes, or under-aged bimbo interns. He is not a drunk or a junkie either. Trump projects and enterprises probably employ more folks than the NYC school system -- or the United Nations.

You could say that Trump is living the life, not the life of Riley, but more like Daddy Warbucks with a comb over. “The Donald,” as one ex-wife calls him, is not just living the American dream. Trump is the dream -- and proud of it. 

You could do worse than think of Trump as upwardly mobile blue collar. He is the grandson of immigrants and the product of Long island, a Queens household, and a Bronx education. The Donald survived the Jesuits of Fordham University for two years before migrating to finish his baccalaureate at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania .

When readers of the New York Times, The New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books speak of “the city”, they are not talking about the Queens or the Bronx.  Growing and schooling in the blue-collar boroughs gives Trump a curb level perspective, something seldom found in Manhattan . Or as any “D” Train alumnus might put it, Trump has “a pretty good Bravo Sierra detector.”

So what’s not to like about Donald Trump? He doesn’t just stay in four-star hotels; he builds them. He doesn’t just own luxury condominiums; he makes them. He doesn’t just own historic buildings; he restores them. He doesn’t just eat at the best restaurants; he creates them. He just doesn’t belong to the best country clubs; he builds those, too.

And Donald Trump, unlike the Manhattan/Washington fantasy Press and every Beltway political pimp, doesn’t just pay lip service to a bigger and better economy, he creates micro-economies every day.

The only thing we don’t know about Donald Trump is why he would like to emigrate to the District of Columbia.

Wished AIDS on Jesse Helms
In any case, the merits of entrepreneurs like Trump might best be defined by the character or motives of his critics. Trump detractors are for the most part “B” list politicians, ambulance chasers, and a left-leaning Press corps that lionizes the likes of Nina Totenberg, Dan Rather, Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell, and Brian Williams.

If the truth were told, most of Trump’s critics are jealous, envious of his wealth, and they loath his candor.  Donald might also be hated for what he is not. Trump is not a lawyer, nor is he a career politician who lives on the taxpayer dime. Trump is paying for his own campaign. Bernie, Barack, McCain, and Kerry could take enterprise lessons from a chap like Trump.

Unlike most government barnacles, Trump can walk and chew gum at the same time. He knows how to close a deal and build something. He is a net creator, not consumer, of a kind of wealth that provides “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for Americans -- real jobs not feather merchants.

Today, Trump has nothing left to prove. Yet, success has allowed him the rarest of public privileges, an electoral pulpit and the courage to speak his mind. Alas, truth is not necessarily a political asset in a socialized democracy.

Indeed, the erstwhile presidential candidate stepped on his crank recently by suggesting that Mexico, already exporting dangerous drugs, cheap tomatoes, and even cheaper labor, was also exporting violent felons to the US.

Truth hurts!
Sanchez murdered Steinle  in Sanctuary city 

Trump’s rude candor is underwritten by nearly half a million illegal felons in American jails. 

Coincidentally, events have conspired to support Trump’s take on Mexican dystopia with the El Chapo Guzman jailbreak and the murder of Kathryn Steinle by Francisco Sanchez.

Señor Sanchez sported a lengthy criminal record and had been deported on four previous occasions. San Francisco, a "sanctuary" city, failed to honor existing warrants and released Sanchez from jail just before he blew Kathy Steinle away.

As serendipity would have it, Trump then went to Phoenix on 12 July and gave a stem winder to a sell-out crowd on the subject of illegal immigration. Senator John McCain was not pleased to have The Donald on Arizona’s front lawn and intemperately called Trump supporters “crazies.” Trump returned fire saying that McCain was no hero.

Here again Trump cut to the quick, pointing out that no one qualifies as a hero because he was shot down or captured. Indeed, being a hostage in North Vietnam is not necessarily heroic either. McCain is thought by some to be a heroic because he refused to accept an early release.

In fact, the Hanoi parole offer was a ruse, a Hobson’s choice, designed to embarrass McCain and his father at CINCPAC.

If McCain took the parole and abandoned his fellow POWs, he would have shamed his father and been ostracized by shipmates. Indeed, had John McCain not been the son and grandson of famous nd victorious, Pacific Command flag officers, no one would have noticed him then or now.

Few of the demagogues who have come to John McCain’s defense could name any of the 600 Vietnam-era POWs other than McCain. McCain is famous today because he, like John Kerry, has parlayed a very average Vietnam military service into a three-decade political sinecure.

We know of 50,000 Vietnam veterans that might be more deserving than John McCain. Unfortunately, they died in a war that generals couldn’t win and politicians couldn’t abide. A body bag seldom gets to play the “hero.”

McCain is no political hero either.

[Ed Note: McCain's return flight to the US following his release from the Hanoi Hilton was unique since there were three armed Military Intelligence Special Agents on board the aircraft to prevent the other former PWs from killing McCain.]

McCain is famously ambiguous on domestic issues like immigration. He is also a Johnny-come-lately to Veterans Administration rot, which has metastasized as long as McCain has been in office. On foreign policy, McCain is a Victoria Nuland era crackpot, supporting East European coups, playing cold warrior, and posturing with neo-Nazis in Kiev. McCain pecks at Putin too because the Senate, like the Obama crew, hasn’t a clue about genuine threats like the ISIS jihad or the latest Islam bomb.

To date, Trump has run a clever campaign. He is chumming, throwing red meat and blood into campaign waters and all the usual suspects are in a feeding frenzy. McCain, the Press, the Left, and the Republican establishment all have something to say about “the Donald". It is truly amazing how cleverly Trump manages to manipulate the establishment.

If you are trying to sell an idea or a candidacy, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Who knows where the Trump campaign goes? 

For the moment, he has scored direct hits on Mexico and McCain. With El Capo on the loose again, every time a toilet flushes in Sinaloa, Mexican garbage is likely spill out in Los Angeles, Hollywood, San Francisco, Portland, or Seattle.  Indeed, it’s hard to believe that the Left Coast could survive without cheap labor, pistileros, meth, coke, heroin, or weed. Necrotic immigration and its by-products are ready-made targets for a gunslinger like Trump.

Trump is no bigot. He probably employs more Latinos and Blacks than Enrique Peña Nieto or Barack Obama. In his own way, Donald Trump is both immigrant and POW, a refugee from Queens and still a prisoner of Wharton. The Donald is The Dude, the guy with babes and a role of Benjamins that would choke a shark. He is the wildly successful capitalist that some of us love to hate.

At $337 Million per - a DOD Bargain!  [cdn images]
Before democratic socialism, success and effectiveness were measures of merit.  It doesn’t take much insight to compare Trump’s various enterprises with federal programs.  Public education, banking oversight, public housing slums, poverty doles, veterans fiascos, Internal Revenue hijinks, and even some Defense Department procurement programs are consensus failures.  

The F-35 “Lightning” fighter is an illustration, arguably the most expensive single DOD boondoggle in history. Pentagon progressives seldom win a catfight these days, but they still spend like sailors.

If and when Trump fails, he is out of business.

In Trump’s world, failure has consequences.  In contrast, Washington rewards failure with better funding. Indeed, generational program failure is now a kind of perverse incentive for Beltway politicians and apparatchiks to throw good money after failed programs.

The difference between Trump and McCain should be obvious to any fair observer; Trump has done something with his talents. McCain, in contrast, is coasting on a military myth and resting on the laurels of Senatorial tenure.

Any way you look at it, Donald Trump is good for national politics, good for democracy, good for America , and especially good for candor. If nothing else, The Donald may help Republicans to pull their heads out of that place where the sun never shines.

Friday, October 9, 2015

#DHS Outs #McCarthy

Elmers and McCarthy -- reportedly closed door sessions were not just political strategy   [GotNews]

Click here for related story [NY Post]

The political game of feints and jabs on the Hill just took a new turn.
The buzz has been over why McCarthy dropped out of contention for the Speakers position, and of course, there's been enough finger pointing to put a few eyes out.
But, the New York Post now reports that allegations of McCarthy's affair with Renee Elmers [R-NC] were the real cause. [Both have denied the allegation.] Normally, we would not repeat such tawdry accusations, but, in this case, due to the circumstances, we'll make an exception.
Now, this would be standard political subterfuge, normally expected among political foes. But, in this case, it turns out the allegations were posted on Wikipedia, by, ummm, 
-- none other than the Department of Homeland Security, which has had more than its share of scandal in recent years.
Seems the perp was unaware that posting to Wikipedia tracks back to the Internet [IP] address of the person/organization posting. In this case, the poster was located in the DHS office in Springfield, Va.  
Oops! Call in the Hatch Act police.
[FYI, the Hatch Act outlaws "pernicious political actives"]
This Kabuki drama now takes a decidedly new twist, which will very likely result in an inquiry/investigation/inquisition by both Parties in Congress as to why DHS is slandering politicians via the Media.
It's annoying enough that NSA is eavesdropping on Congress, and that CIA has been spying on Congress, but, heaven forbid, we certainly can't have DHS joining in the political fray of slander, back-stabbing, and innuendo.
These nasty situations inevitably result in a uniting of the political Parties against a common foe -- in this case, the Administration, which may have used a national security organization to slander [expose?] a Congressman.  
It's not that Congresspersons or Senators [or Presidents] do not have affairs [we would be surprised if they weren't having affairs; it's what they do!]; but, by golly, they don't want such news leaking back to their constituents who expect their political representatives to exercise at least a modicum of marital fidelity, or sobriety while representing their constituents.
Now, the search begins for the perp, and who put him/her up to this mischief.
The last iteration of such political engagement by a national security organization resulted in the Church and Pike Committees gutting the Intelligence Community.  Will Congress go after DHS with the same zeal?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

#Clinton suppressed terrorist reports

Clinton Legacy?

Click here for related story [IBD]

We've previously addressed the unique relationship of Hillary with the Muslim Brotherhood and Sisterhood, as well as Hillary's foiled covert meeting with Iran's President Ahmadinijad leaders; we've also noted Bill's seeming incompetence when it came to pursuing Osama bin Laden.

But, now we learn from US Intelligence officers and executives that Bill actually suppressed evidence of terrorism sponsored and carried out by Muslim extremists, with support from Saudi and Iranian backers.

Here's the list, as presented by IBD in the referenced article:
1)   1993: World Trade Center Bombing:  Six killed, 1,000 injured.
      No follow-up action

2)   1995: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia US Military Training Center Bombing:
       Five Americans killed.

3)   1996: Khobar Towers Bombing:
      19 US Servicemen killed; hundreds wounded.
      a) The six Saudis involved in the attack told the FBI they obtained
          their Iranian passports and reported to an Iranian general.
      b) FBI Director Louis Freeh confirmed that Bill Clinton and NSC chief
          Sandy Berger called the evidence "hearsay" and ordered Freeh to
          not disseminate lest it undermine closer relations with Iran.
      c) Clinton's knowledge of this evidence was confirmed in a 1999 Top Secret cable [now
          declassified] in which he discussed with then President Mohammad Khatami of "credible
          evidence" that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps worked with Hizballah
          in the bombing of the Khobar Towers resident complex in Saudi Arabia.
      d) Wayne White, a State Department Intelligence Officer [1979-2005] advised that intelligence
           on the attack had been cut off by Sandy Berger, National Security Advisor to Bill Clinton.

4)  1996:  Sudan's President Bashir offers to
     arrest and extradite Osama bin Laden to Saudi
     Arabia; in the absence of a US response,
     bin Laden was "evicted".  Sudan also tossed
     out a number of the functionaries in the 2001
     bombing of the World Trade Center in New
     York.  Clinton's non-response was an
     indicator that Sudan might be targeted by
     Clinton for political purposes; thus Bashir's
     eviction notice to bin Laden.

5)  1998: Bombings of US Embassies in Nairobi,
     Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania:
     224 killed; 5,000 injured.

6)  1998: US bombing [political] of Iraqi sites to
      distract Media attention from Monica
      Lewinski Impeachment scandal.
      [The Iraqis had fully cooperated with US/UN inspection demands, until the US 
      demanded access to Saddam's personal quarters.  Clinton used this refusal as the basis for 
      bombing Iraq.]

7)  2000: USS Cole bombing by al Qaeda in Yemen:  17 US Sailors killed, 37 injured.
     Clinton blamed Sudan.  Bin Laden celebrated and received massive new donations and
     large numbers of new recruits.

Interestingly, this new reporting supports the history of Democrats forcing the Intelligence Community to distort or suppress actionable or exculpatory intelligence to support the sitting President's political agenda.

It dates back to FDR's suppressing Intelligence that the Japanese were planning to bomb Pearl Harbor, LBJ's creating the "evidence" of hostile actions by North Vietnam as the basis for his assault on Tonkin Bay to escalate US involvement, Jimmy Carter's muzzling of the US Intelligence Community on reporting on North Korea and, later, on Iran and the Ayatollah Khomeini; and, of course, Mr 0bama's consistent dismissal of his daily Intelligence Briefs ignoring Russian and Chinese threats to the US -- not to speak of his loosely shaded links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The IBD asks [rhetorically],
"Do we want another Clinton in the Oval Office?"

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

EcoFuel Innovation

Click here for referenced story  [Erin #Blakemore Washington Post]

We're not sure if this young scientist is actually a genius since this technology has been around longer than he's been alive.  [Ask the Japanese]
What IS new is the public awareness of the technology and pressure to implement it.

In short, he developed a process by which fecal waste [i.e., poop] from humans, chickens, pigs, and Democrats] can be converted into a fuel product; he added leftover fats and proteins to bolster the fat content for a more efficient biodiesel burning process.  The side benefit, of course, is to remove all these waste products from the environment.
[The Japanese traditionally distributed human waste in their vegetable fields in what were termed "honey pots"; the end products were very healthy veggies -- if you didn't mind the rather unique flavor.]

[#AGICO Group]
Currently, BioFuel is one of the fastest growing US industries as it converts wood chips and sawdust into efficient burning fuel pellets for industrial heating and energy.

Less expensive than fuel oil or coal, and easy to convert the furnaces, US companies are being pressured by coal and oil companies
[read Warren Buffett and Rockefeller] to ignore the new technology.

So, currently, Europe is the major consumer of this US product, and US factories and energy plants are operating in the 19th Century mode.

Now, with the wood biofuel, there is a massive savings in energy fuel -- and the carbon footprint is almost negligible.

Take it one step further, and convert chicken and pig feces to fuel pellets, and you have a massive supply of fuel at minimal cost since the farmers have been under pressure for years to clean up the feces waste products from their farms.  Making this transition and capitalizing on the solution to a pollution problem simply makes sense.  But, as we've seen, any time the government [e.g., the EPA] gets involved, there is no positive result.

EPA&ADM vs Amish Farmers
Currently, the EPA is targeting the Amish farmers who stockpile their manure to recycle as fertilizer rather than allow it to run off into nearby streams.  EPA, in this case, seems to be fronting for Archer-Daniels-Midlands [ADM] which won a $99 Million Department of Energy "carbon-capture" contract tied to its ethanol production.

Pollution flowing into the Chesapeake Bay[] 

As bio researchers will point out, though, the chicken and pig farmers are being pressured by their buyers to NOT clean up and to NOT sell their animal feces to the biofuel producers as the buyers are being pressured by
-- you guessed it, the coal and oil industry.

In the meantime, pristine water preserves such as the Chesapeake Bay, which used to be full of fish, oysters, clams, and crabs, are now nearly devoid of marine life.

If you want to see this situation change, contact your elected official and make a stink [so to speak].

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

#DHS Censoring Your Mail?

Note to constituents.

If you mail a letter to your Congressperson or to your senator in Washington, DC, allow two to three weeks [or up to six months] for delivery.

As we were aware, US Postal Service [USPS] mail to this esteemed group of luminaries is screened for toxins, lest the politicians be eradicated like weeds or vermin by "evil-doers".

However, we were not aware of the loss of privacy, nor of the excessive amount of time consumed in processing our mail.

But, here's how the process works now:

1) Your local post office sends your letter to Capitol Hill in DC.

2) Your letter then gets routed to the screening center.

Why, there's a giant turd in this bag!
3) The screening center then sends it to Buzzards Point in DC, where thousands of gnomes reportedly feed your letter through scanners and little vacuum cleaners to sniff out any poisons [e.g., anthrax, ricin, stamp glue, human perspiration, lice, or buffalo feces].

4) Your letter is then opened and "screened" to see if you used spell-check, or if your ink was poisoned, or, if your paper came from China.

Lightly censored mail to a senator

5) After the screeners have a good laugh over the contents of your letter, they decide if it actually needs to go to your political representative, or if it should go into the dumpster.

6) If they deem your letter worthy of actually forwarding, it is then scanned and digitized to be forwarded at some future time to your political representative.

7)  The scanning process apparently leaves much of your letter and attachments illegible as the text and images all come out extremely dark. When that is the case, your politician's staff will ask you to resend all your material to the local office rather than the US Capitol.

8) Your attachments may or may not be included; and, your letter may undergo some censorship.

9) Your letter, with or without attachments, in digitized form, may or may not be read by the politician's office since they receive the screened correspondence in bulk, and the staffers are not inclined to hunt through a pile of hundreds of accumulated digitized letters.

So, you may wish to hand deliver your correspondence to your politician's regional office since the USPS offers no guarantees on timely delivery [or even delivery at all] once DHS gets hold of it.

Aren't you glad the DHS is protecting you and your politician so well?

[If you find this "protection" process a bit invasive, and unconstitutional, to "protect" our politicians, voice your concern directly to your elected politician; but, we recommend you communicate via other than USPS.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Unbelievable Movie Scripts

Movie Explosion from a cherry bomb

We're always impressed that events in movies are so believable, no matter how improbable.

We have purloined a list of such improbable movie scenes provided by an anonymous donor via email.  Fortunately, we were unaffected by the caveat that we forward to 10 unsuspecting recipients immediately lest we be forced to listen to another 0bama speech blaming Bush for the most recent disaster.

The following scenes are completely apolitical, and we trust you enjoy each episode.

Not a splinter in her back!
1  If you try hard enough, you can outrun an explosion.  If it lifts you off your feet, and throws you into the dirt, your back will be unaffected by the flying shrapnel.

2  If your town is threatened by an imminent natural disaster or killer beast, the mayor's first concern will be the tourist trade or his forthcoming art exhibition.

3  Natural disasters only occur after the local mayor scoffs at the possibility.

4  If an expert makes a prediction and is disbelieved, then it will come to pass exactly as he predicted. If he makes a prediction and is believed, it won't happen.

5  Women staying in a haunted house should investigate any strange noises while wearing their most revealing underwear.

6  Women's skin and hair can't be damaged by natural disasters, though their clothing can be shredded -- except for the bits required for minimal decency, which are made from completely indestructible fabric.  The same rule applies to a female TV reporter.

7  If a man and a woman are exposed to the same conditions and the same environment, the man will need to wear more clothing than the woman.

8  If a man and a woman meet under circumstances under which any two normal people would instantly hate each other, they will marry before the picture is over.

9  Deadly reptiles will always attack a woman first, even if she's in the presence of thirty men.

10 Women are immortal unless they take off their shirts or they're ugly.

11 If a woman takes a bath, bubbles will cover the personal parts. If she takes a shower and reveals her personal parts, she will die.

12 If a blonde and a brunette are in equal peril, the brunette will die.

13 White characters have the best survival rate.

14 High class strippers with a heart of gold, will, if the plot demands it, turn out to have specialized technical skills and abilities.

15 Most human action is initiated by shy loners.

16 All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off.  It is always important for the hero to debate for almost the entire duration of the count-down before cutting the red wire - at 01 seconds to go; and it will be the right wire to cut.

17 It's easy to pull the pin on a grenade with your teeth.

18 An explosive device capable of leveling a large office building will fit inside a toolbox or small backpack.  Any grenade will set off a fiery explosion at least 100 feet high.

19 Potentially fatal attacks are always preceded by a false alarm a few seconds earlier.

20 Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds -- unless it's the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside.

21 Cars that crash will almost always burst into flames.

22 A million dollars in cash or cocaine will invariably take up exactly the amount of space available in your briefcase.

23 The only people who ride city busses are "victims."

24 The universal medical procedure is defibrillation. Any time an EMT appears in a scene he/she will defibrilate someone before going back home. ER doctors defibrilate all patients, regardless of complaint.

25 If defibrillation doesn't work, the best way to revive someone whose heart has stopped is to scream "You can't do this to me! I love you, goddammit!" at them.

26 There are only a few real medical problems. Cancer means "I am being taken out of the plot soon and must tie up my affairs." Brain injuries and tumors mean the plot is going to hinge on amnesia. Bad skin problems signify the same character constellation that Elizabethans associated with bastardy.

27 A cup of black coffee/splash of cold water in face is enough to render the most inebriated person stone cold sober and capable of running a four minute mile.

28 Creepy music coming from a graveyard should always be closely investigated.

29 All minorities possess mystical knowledge. If they wind up in a fight where their choice of method is either Western technology or somekinda mystical tribal thing, the fight cannot end until the former has failed them and the latter has been invoked.

30 The Chief of Police is always black.

31 If an investigation proves dfficult, a Chief of Police will either suspend his star detective or give him 48 hours to finish the job. A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.

32 Police departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite.

33 During all police investigations it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.

34 Action heroes never face charges for manslaughter or criminal damage despite laying entire cities to waste.

35 If you need to reload your gun, you will always have more ammunition -- even if you haven't been carrying any before now.  If you are firing a revolver, you never have to reload.

36 The more people there are firing at you, the less likely they are to hit you.

37 You can only threaten someone with a gun if you are within arm's reach of them.

38 If a man with a machine gun and a man with a pistol have a gunfight, the man with the pistol will win.

39 One man shooting at 20 men has a better chance of killing them all than 20 men firing at one.

40 The world's most accurate, easy-to-use weapon is the .38 caliber revolver with a snub nose 3" barrel; it can kill a sniper on a rooftop 100 yards away.

41 Guns are like disposable razors. If you run out of bullets, just throw the gun away. You can always find a new one lying around the next time you need one.  They are highly effective as missiles to throw at one's pursuer.

42 Give a man one gun and he's Superman. Give him two, and he's God.

Head shot, or foot shot, take your choice!
43 No one ever aims at the legs of a monster that's chasing them. They just keep running away, pausing every now and then to pump bullets into its torso, until it overtakes and kills them.  While running away from a pursuing vehicle, the vehicle traveling at 60 mph cannot catch up to a man running at 5 mph who insists on running in a straight line instead of turning into an alley or off the highway.

44 No matter how dead you think you've killed a bad guy, he can still get up at least three more times.

45 Cats are spring-loaded, and are most commonly found inside closets or cabinets which are equipped with doors that can't be operated by cats.

46 The strongest force governing human survival is the possession of a name.

47 It is possible to use a helicopter to sneak up on someone.

48 A monster can always sneak up on you, no matter how big or clumsy it is.

49 It's easy to walk through an unfamiliar forest on a moonless night.

50 A leap from a hotel roof is completely safe as long as you can land in the pool.

51 Most laptop computers are powerful enough to handle realtime videophone contact, and can override the communication systems of any invading alien civilization.

52 Any self-respecting modem can handle about two gigabytes of data per second.  Computers, when turned on, instantly are ready to use.  When breaking into an encrypted system, the hacker needs only a few keystrokes to break into NSA's mainframe.

53 Interbreeding is genetically possible with any creature from elsewhere in the universe.

54 Attractive women sometimes fall for weird-looking aliens, but attractive men only fall for attractive women.

55 The feasibility of an idea is inversely proportional to its initial apparent plausibility.

56 All writers are wealthy; all publishing companies are glamorous; all artists are self-supporting and have large, attractive, well-lit loft studios.

57 If being chased through town, you can usually take cover in a passing St. Patrick's Day parade -- no matter what time of year it is. If you can't find a St. Patrick's Day parade, try for a Chinese New Year celebration and hide in the dragon.

58 A pudgy older star who's visibly falling behind his partner during a chase scene will catch up with him while the camera's looking away.

59 If a gas station and a man with a machine gun appear in the same scene, before the scene ends the gas station will explode. The same is true of fuel drums.

60 If you are trapped in a tunnel, in a sinking ship, or a burning building, a cute little girl, a nun, and a feisty granny will be trapped with you.

61 It's easy for anyone to land a plane, provided there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.

62  The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No one will ever think of looking for you in there. And you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty, or making a loud thumping sound which echoes.

63 No ship, base, or compound ever has more than one emergency radio.

64 By the 24th century the concepts of circuit breakers, fuses, and uninterruptable power supplies will have been lost.

65 Although in the 20th century it is possible to fire weapons at an object out of our visual range, people of the 23rd century will have lost this technology.

66 In the future, everyone will spend their time standing around explaining everyday objects and practices to each other in terms of their 20th-Century equivalents.

67 No monster-killing stratagem can be used more than once, even if it only failed through some bizarre fluke. Neither can it be refined and tried again. You have to start over with a completely different approach.

68 No matter how badly a spaceship is attacked, its internal gravity system is never damaged, and oxygen supplies are always ample.

69 All aliens have single monolithic culture: one language, one religion, one outfit, one planet.  All aliens can speak English.

70 Good chess players can see 15 or 20 moves ahead, in detail, from a middle game, where there are still many pieces on the board.

71 It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts -- your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.

72 You're very likely to survive any battle in any war -- unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.

73 Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language. A German accent will do.

74 When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other.

75 You can see the Eiffel Tower from every window in Paris.

76 All telephone numbers in America begin with the digits 555.

77 A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.

78 Medieval peasants had perfect teeth.  The British use dentists to make their teeth crooked.

79 The jungles of Vietnam were filled with Nautilus machines.

80 Stripping to the waist makes a man invulnerable to bullets.

81 Magical forces cluster in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

82 Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant.

83 If you have sex in the woods, you will die in the woods.

84 All beds have special "L"-shaped sheets which reach up to the armpit level on a woman but only to waist level on the man lying beside her.

85 All grocery shopping bags used to contain a bunch of celery. Now they all contain a baguette.

86 Even when driving down a perfectly straight road, it is necessary to turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments.  When being pursued, never use the rear view mirror to monitor your pursuer; always turn completely around to look out the back window, no matter how fast your are traveling.

60 mph over speed bump - minor damage
87 If there is a large bump in a downhill road, a speeding car will fly over it and hit the ground in shower of sparks. Unsecured passengers will not be injured, and no tire damage, broken axles, or suspension failures will occur. The car will then execute a sharp turn involving a skid.

88 If, during a fencing match, the combatants demonstrate their skill by cutting through all the candles on a candelabrum, the light level in the room will remain constant.

89 A slight blow to the head can cause total amnesia, but neither that nor a blow sufficient to knock a person unconscious is enough to cause concussion or other brain damage.

90 Losing a hand causes the stump of your arm to grow six inches.

91 Gunshot wounds will not disable you as long as you still have an important task left to do.  Victims of gunshot wounds will rarely exhibit more than a hand sized blood splotch.

92 No one dies in an elevated position without falling from there to the ground, even if they have to jump to do it.

93 Anyone who falls from a high place while dying will let out a loud sustained shriek, even if they've just been shot several times in the chest.

94 No one involved in a car chase, hijacking, explosion, volcanic eruption or alien invasion will ever go into shock.

95 Any government-developed virus or biological agent will have no known cure.

96 An electric fence, powerful enough to kill a dinosaur, will cause no lasting damage to an eight year old child.

97 Electricity will travel any distance through water to electrocute the villain, rather than go immediately to ground (e.g. a toaster tossed into the shallow end of a swimming pool will nail the bad guy over by the diving board).

98 You can only electrocute someone while you are looking directly at them.

100 Circuit breakers don't work.

101 Once applied, lipstick will never rub off -- even while scuba diving.

102 A single match will be sufficient to light up a room the size of RFK Stadium.  When entering a dark room, possibly occupied by a dangerous villain, never use the wall switch to turn on the lights but instead, light a match.

103 Computers never display a cursor on screen but will always say: Enter Password Now.  Computers, when the hero has finished downloading key data before the owner walks in, can turn off the computer instantly with no sound or queries asking if you want to save the document.

104 If you input a partial password on someone else's computer, the system will give you additional prompts that will enable you to guess the rest.

105 When paying for a taxi, don't look at your wallet as you take out a bill -- just grab one at random and hand it over. It will always be the exact fare.

106 Kitchens don't have light switches. When entering a kitchen at night, you should open the fridge door and use that light instead.

107 If an old fashioned landline phone line is broken, communication can be restored by frantically pressing the cradle switch and saying, "Hello? Hello?"

Deranged Killer On the Loose!
108 If there is a deranged killer on the loose, this will coincide with a thunderstorm that has brought down all the power and phone lines in the vicinity.

109 It is not necessary to say "Hello" or "Goodbye" when beginning or ending phone conversations.

110 During a very emotional confrontation, instead of facing the person you are speaking to, it is customary to stand behind them and talk to their back.

111 Answering machines do not have messages from aluminum storm door salesmen or collection companies.

112 Mothers routinely cook eggs, bacon and waffles for their family every morning even though their husband and children never have time to eat it.

113 Having a job of any kind will make all fathers forget their son's eighth birthday.

114 Incriminating evidence will always be found as photograph number four in a stack, or in the next to bottom drawer. Important data storage will have labels like "tape of Senator Foggbotham with underage girl" or "List of all nuclear launch codes."

115 Most people keep a scrapbook of newspaper cuttings, especially if any of their family or friends has died in a strange boating accident.  The scrapbook is large enough to cover the kitchen table, but fits easily into a nearby cabinet.

116 Villains are fond of explaining everything to anyone in sight.

117 Villains are improbably competent and inventive, but can only make money by pulling stupid robberies. They will risk everything they have and are to get revenge on some guy who once thwarted them.

118 Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their arch-enemies using complicated machinery involving fuses, pulley systems, deadly gases, lasers and man-eating sharks that will allow their captives at least 20 minutes to escape.

119 Any priest is either kindly or the villain. While nuns can deliver exposition, nuns are never villains.

120 Everyone knows the words to every song you want to sing and will sing along with you. They can even carry the solo part so that they can sing the song back to you, even if they have never heard the song until you sang half of it.

121 If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps.

122 It is always possible to park directly outside the building you are visiting, without need to feed the parking meter.

123 Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you personally at that precise moment.

124 Dogs always know who's bad and will naturally bark at them.

125 Most dogs are immortal.

126 Larry King plays himself.

127 You can stop a runaway car by crashing it into a wall at the bottom of a long hill, but not at the top.  There is no point in using the emergency brake on a runaway car until the emergency has concluded

128 The most unstable object in creation is a roadside fruit seller's cart.

129 If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it before long.

130 Light level is not a reliable gauge of whether it's night outside. You have to judge by the cricket noises.

131 You can always find a chainsaw when you need one.

132 All loose ends are always tied up.

133 Large, loft-style apartments in New York City are well within the price range of most people whether they are employed or not.

134 At least one of a pair of identical twins is born evil.

135 Should you decide to defuse a bomb, don't worry which wire to cut. You will always choose the right one.

136 When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your bedroom will still be clearly visible, just slightly bluish.

137 Honest and hard working policemen are traditionally gunned down three days before their retirement.

138 All grocery shopping bags contain at least one stick of French bread.

139 Even when driving down a perfectly straight road, it is necessary to turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments. Tires will squeal on any surface, at any speed.

140 If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you meet will know all the steps.

141 If a woman is being chased by a monster or villian, it is neccessary that she wear high heeled shoes for the chase, usually in her most reavealing outfit. It also stands to reason that if she is chased and a man is with her, she will always fall, hurt her ankle or foot, and need the man to carry her or help her run to safety.

142 If a woman is near a body of water and in danger... she will nearly always fall or otherwise end up in the body of water, no matter the distance to it. She will also likely be wearing a transluscent white blouse. This also appears to be a universal law of nature, if she is caught in the rain.

143 If a grenade is thrown at you, there is always time for you to go pick it up, look, aim and throw it back and always kill your enemy who originally threw it.

144 No matter how large an explosion is, you can always hear bad guys yell in pain over the percussion of the explosion.

145 If there is a war or battle, you can always see your enemy, they are only going to use their least lethal weapons first against you (pistols, rifles, grenades, then artillery... often in that order) and the good guys always see the enemy and are able to kill them with the least amount of effort.

146 A firearm becomes more lethal and accurate if you hold it "gangsta style", turned sideways, rather than with a vertical grip.

It is possible to fire a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, held sideways, with a perfect shot pattern, and enduring no ill-effects from the recoil from each round.

147  When murderers or other criminals are caught, they are all to willing to divulge every secret just before having a final battle to the death.

148 When murderers or other serious criminals are caught, they confess everything the moment handcuffs are put on them toward the end of the movie, even if they are caught by an unarmed old woman who was just too clever for them but posed no threat whatsoever to them.