Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Jon Stewart Daily Show take on Wikileaks (Video)

Wikileaks analysis by The Daily Show's Jon Stewart

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Public wifi security warning: Firesheep can steal your identity

Have you ever heard of Firesheep?

I never did until I read a story about it and went to the web page of the creator of the program. It is amazing to me that Firesheep has been around for over a month, is legal albeit immoral and that I have never heard of it. I dug a little deeper and apparently it is authentic, another risk to internet security and available in open source which means anyone can get it.

Firesheep is a Firefox extension that gives its user the capability to steal your personal and login information at certain websites including Facebook, if you are using a public wifi internet connection. The websites at risk begin with http and not the secured https.

This would mean that tens of thousands of internet users private information is at risk daily in airports, hotel lobby's, coffee shops and anywhere else there is a public wifi connection!

Firesheep is a danger to our cyber security

Firesheep was developed by Eric Butler. His stated purpose is to "show" the owners of websites like Facebook the security flaws in the system so that they will fix it. What he accomplished instead is to provide an extremely dangerous tool to basically anyone that wants it.

Apparently hackers who are internet savvy have been able to do what Firesheep does for some time. The danger with Firesheep is that anyone can simply download this capability because it is not that difficult. I know because I did it to see how much computer and internet knowledge is required to accomplish it. The answer is not much. I then deleted it from my system and am now trying to figure out the fix.

Google the term Firesheep, read about it, understand the problem and let us know your thoughts and even more importantly, any fixes that you may have found.

Monday, November 29, 2010

John Bolton for President

Former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, for President? I doubt it but most definitely for national security czar.

He is not warm and fuzzy and would no doubt lack any mainstream appeal in the Republican Party, but when it comes to a rationale understanding of what is going on in foreign policy matters I have always been extremely impressed with John Bolton.

He is direct, analytical, rationale and decisive in his statements over the moves that should or should not be made concerning our enemies. Would he have any chance of winning the nomination? No, but I will tell you this much; he would definitely have some national security role in any new administration that I was putting together.

These are some of his current thoughts regarding North Korea and Iran presented in an Op-Ed that he wrote for the LA Times:

"...The North may once again be testing America's strategic patience. We must avoid repeating our recent errors. After U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously concluded in mid-2002 that Pyongyang was preparing an industrial-scope enrichment program, the Bush administration decided to confront the North. At a key meeting in October 2002, the North defiantly admitted it was engaged in enrichment. Unfortunately, the U.S. response was to launch the hapless negotiations known as the six-party talks, providing cover for the North's continued progress on nuclear weapons.

Worse, in
President George W. Bush's second term, an assertive group of deniers in the State Department and the intelligence community claimed or implied that North Korea did not have a substantial or ongoing uranium-enrichment program. They denied that the North Koreans had conceded as much in 2002 and that there was sufficient evidence of a continuing program. The intelligence community downgraded its confidence level in its earlier conclusion, not because of contradictory information but because it had not subsequently acquired significant new data. State Department negotiators scorned the idea that the North had a serious enrichment capability.

All of this was done to support a passion for negotiation, hoping Pyongyang would yet again pledge to denuclearize. But denying and minimizing the threat of enrichment for most of the last decade was well wide of reality. When the North announced after its second nuclear detonation in May 2009 that it was "beginning" an enrichment program, Pyongyang was simply bringing into the open activity almost certainly begun 15 years before. The North had once again successfully played Washington for a fool.

We must avoid these grievous errors going forward, not only regarding North Korea but also
Iran, whose involvement with Pyongang on ballistic missiles and probably nuclear weapons is long-standing. There is substantial reason for concern that Tehran's capabilities and its penchant for cooperating with the North exceed U.S. intelligence estimates. Moreover, the spinning of North Korea-related intelligence in recent years bears an uneasy similarity to the famously distorted 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear weapons program. Such politicization of intelligence provides a clear basis for high-priority investigations by the incoming Congress..."

EMP: Like a Star Trek photon torpedo only real

Today I am going to leave Wikileaks, North/South Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, EU stability, jobs and the US economy to others. If you can believe it, there are other, possibly even greater potential risks to the United States.

The topics mentioned above include some of the US national security and foreign policy concerns that have been discussed here before. Wikileaks will put them onto the front pages of every newspaper in the world today. Some story's from predictable outlets (i.e. Aljazeera and possibly even the New York Times) will discuss the benefits to having leaked this information in the spirit of full disclosure, despite, or maybe because of the fact that it puts American national security as well as Americans at risk. This while the majority will express the indignation, anger and disgust it deserves.

Rep. Peter King of New York said yesterday that Wikileaks should be designated a foreign terrorist organization. This designation would bring onto Wikileaks and its creator, self-described "information activist" Julian Assange the full wrath, penalties and punishments that the U.S. can bring down on them.

Because of the overwhelming coverage, I am going to discuss something that I have read about previously through research that has been done at The Heritage Foundation, and that I was reminded of today by an article at WorldNetDaily.

Electromagnetic pulse attack (EMP) is the threat that turns a science fiction movie into the ultimate horror show!

The following is a brief description of what an EMP is and the incredible devastation that it could wreak. If interested, I would recommend going to the link at The Heritage Foundation to find out more about it, whether there are ways for the United States to mitigate the problem and whether any steps are being taken.

"...An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack represents one of the greatest threats imaginable—to the United States and the world. An EMP occurs when a nuclear device is detonated high in the atmosphere—a phenomenon of which America’s enemies are well aware. The electromagnetic discharge can permanently disable the electrical systems that run nearly all civilian and military infrastructures. A massive EMP attack on the United States would produce almost unimaginable devastation. Communications would collapse, transportation would halt, and electrical power would simply be non-existent. Not even a global humanitarian effort would be enough to keep hundreds of millions of Americans from death by starvation, exposure, or lack of medicine. Nor would the catastrophe stop at U.S. borders. Most of Canada would be devastated, too, as its infrastructure is integrated with the U.S. power grid. Without the American economic engine, the world economy would quickly collapse. Much of the world’s intellectual brain power (half of it is in the United States) would be lost as well. Earth would most likely recede into the “new” Dark Ages..."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wikileaks release: Worse and worser (Video)

Wikileaks release: What it is all about

The news will be dominated in the coming days by the story of the Wikileaks release of classified intelligence data. If you are not that familiar with Wikileaks and what it is trying to accomplish, as well as the potentially serious ramifications of its actions, this video will provide some of that foundation.

Danger of a twenty-four hour news cycle: Tailor made for the attention span of the American public

TSA groping, the 24-hour news cycle story d'jour

The availability of news 24 hours a day is great for those of us who for one reason or another have trouble sleeping through the night. Years ago, and I mean years ago, the only option was to watch the test pattern that television stations used after signing-off for the night. That is certainly not the case today.

The problem with this never ending need to capture the attention of the American public is that in order to compel viewers to watch, the only story that matters is the story of the day. The news story d'jour if you will. This news model works incredibly well because it plays directly into the miniscule attention span of the American public. The mentality of "I want it and I want it now!"

The problem with this way of thinking is that it develops complacency and prevents us from leaning on our representatives in Washington for real solutions to real problems. Not that leaning on them will necessarily result in action that will produce real benefit, but not forcing them to focus guarantees it.

The October crisis

Before you look below, what story dominated the airwaves from late October into the beginning of November...

If for some reason you happen to be drawing a blank, the story had to do with bombs being placed on cargo planes disguised as ink cartridges, originating in Yemen with some of them close to detonating. Remember now?

Cargo entering the US is a huge problem due to the sheer amount of it, and that it travels on trucks, cargo ships, cargo planes and even in diplomatic pouches (I included this as food for thought because diplomatic pouches cannot be searched). Extremely small amounts of this cargo are checked and even then those checks will mostly be cursory. Think about what could be smuggled in and the prospect is terrifying (i.e. nuclear material of some kind).

So what steps have been taken since that time to insure that the issue of cargo entering the US is addressed? My guess is that there have been some committee meetings but no real sense of urgency in Washington as the story has since faded from view, replaced by the TSA. What would make the story resurface? I think we know the answer to that which is, God forbid, another attack.

My point? A cargo plane crashed soon after takeoff in Pakistan today. Was it engine failure? The weather? Pilot error? Or could it have been a bomb that went off on schedule over a densely populated part of Karachi or that went of early by accident?

Focused on issues

Despite the importance of developing a fix for airport security that does not include the potential for cavity searches (we could always start with the obvious that includes profiling, with heightened scrutiny of whoever has proven to be involved in the past), we as a society need to stay focused on the myriad of issues that we face today.

We hear about North Korea on a small scale (although that could be the next story d'jour), Iranian nukes every once in a while, the slow collapse of the EU and some of the eery similarities to what is happening in the US, the Ground Zero mosque and other story's who had their day in the sun and have faded from the public consciousness. This, although they are no less dangerous or less important than they were before.

We as a society need to take responsibility for, and to focus on all of the story's that have the potential to impact us in a negative way, and to somehow make sure that the leadership in Washington is focusing on it too.

There is, unfortunately, no group of people more focused primarily on the story d'jour than our representatives in Washington. We must stay on top of them to make sure that they have their collective eye on the prize (national security etc.). One of the best ways we can accomplish that is to do the same thing ourselves!

Article also appears at Death By 1000 Papercuts.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Derek Jeter, a sense of entitlement and a warped sense of reality - Saturday thoughts

Saturday thoughts: Derek Jeter-New York Yankees contract negotiations "could get messy"

Watching professional football on Thanksgiving made me think about compensation, effort and the different set of realities that people possess.

I am often forced to consider effort watching professional games because, depending on the score, the commentators will speak about the losing team and the fact that they are still trying. As if it would be understandable if they just gave up.

Pampered and incredibly well paid earning a living playing a kids game. Thanks for trying. How about laying tar on a roof on a 95 degree day. Then talk about trying. Or a running a small business fallen on hard times where the owner busts his ass seven days a week, twelve hours a day to keep things afloat until the economy hopefully improves. Then talk about trying.

This introduction was a roundabout way of getting to the contract negotiations between the NY Yankees and Derek Jeter. This topic combines the mentality of many athletes versus the concept of real life. I wanted to take this opportunity to offer a couple of my thoughts to Derek Jeter.

The Lebron James effect

There is nothing that I, as a follower of sports in New York, can think of that is negative about Jeter. He works hard, has played well, has been a leader of his team and has been a great role model in that he never appears in the news for anything other than sports related activities. But that, as we have recently witnessed, will only take you so far.

Jeter best be careful not to fall into the Lebron James trap of the overestimation of one's stature. James showed very clearly that hard earned goodwill developed over years can be destroyed quickly if the fans somehow feel abused. Derek Jeter looking to maximize his income does not fall into the same category of ego as The Decision, but this negotiation to the casual fan does not look good and does not look reasonable.

For Derek Jeter, a thirty-seven year old coming off a bad season and historically past his prime, being offered $15MM per for three years seems like a pretty fair deal.

Democrat approach to salary negotiations - A sense of entitlement

The Yankee's offer begins to appear that much better if put into the context of what others who play his position earn who are still in the prime of their careers. It seems as if the Yankees are willing to overpay an aging star as a reward for past service and for his being the current face of a franchise.

Should the Yankee's, who are running a business, pay for something that they most likely will never receive?

Compare what these players will earn in 2011 to the $15MM the Yankees are offering Jeter:

Hanley Ramirez 27 $11MM
Jimmy Rollins 32 $8.5MM
Rafael Furcal 32 $12MM

Unlike government entitlement programs that can be funded by printing more money, should the Yankee's offer a huge salary based on a reasonable expectation that they will not be getting their money's worth?

It's a business, not a charity and $15MM is still pretty good money for playing a kids game. My suggestion to Jeter would be to swallow his pride and take it before he dips into free agency and is forced to face reality. At least the reality of a professional athlete.

Not to worry though. If the negotiations fail, he can always try and get a job laying tar on rooftops.

Friday, November 26, 2010

China and Russia: Strange bedfellows or a reddish-hued match made in heaven?

Note regarding the crisis on the Korean peninsula:

In order to stop North Korea's aggression against the South, our "friend" China needs to step in. China is the only government North Korea listens to, so the question is will China intervene? Failing that intervention, the next question has to be whether North Korea is actually acting as a proxy for China?

China and Russia versus Japan and United States?

Who would have thunk it? Consider this, that China, Russia and the United States, the troika of combatants and the equilateral triangle of enemies, now may be a two against one isosceles triangle with the odd man out being the United States. Wow!

Confused by the analogies? So was I when I read an article on Wednesday that talked about China and Russia using their own currencies for bilateral trade instead of the global currency of choice, the US dollar. It spoke of closer relations between these two countries and of their two currencies beginning to trade with each other on the Forex market.

Is the phrase odd man out slightly over-dramatic? Is this announcement concerning the dollar really a big deal?

Not so much in economic terms as the level of trade will not be all that significant. But definitely a big deal in the scope of U.S. foreign policy and even national security. The fact that these two former arch enemies of ours and most certainly of each other are now forging a closer relationship is certainly concerning. The only thing that brings solace is that they will hopefully be as reliable friends to each other as they are to the U.S.

Additionally, while this announcement not a tacit denunciation of the dollar, it is a shot across the bow.

Chinese and Russian statements

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that the partnership between Russia and China had reached "an unprecedented level," and that the two countries will "never become each others enemies." That over the year "our strategic cooperative partnership endured strenuous tests and reached an unprecedented level." That cooperative partnership is evidenced by the oil pipeline running from Siberia to Daqing in China.

A senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said that this new yuan-ruble relationship reflects the problems with a dollar denominated world that became apparent after the financial crisis hit. A specialist at Remnin University of China said much the same thing. These statements coming out of China, would undoubtably require sanctioning from some higher authority.

Veiled statements of historical disdain against the U.S. and Japan were also made in a trip made by Russian President Medvedev to China back in September.

Are the statements of friendship between China and Russia, the start of currency trading and increased trade all about symbolism or about something more. Do the United States and Japan have anything to worry about?

Not yet, but this certainly is not a great and welcomed development! And finally, do these announcements have any relation to the perceived strength of the Obama administration around the globe.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving cartoon and thanks

zwani.com myspace graphic comments

Happy Thanksgiving

First and foremost, as one who has much to be thankful for this year, I wish a very happy Thanksgiving holiday to all!

Now for the traditional Thanksgiving Day pardon by the President:

Ground Zero mosque developer Sharif el-Gamal on NBC "People of the Year" Thanksgiving special (Video preview)

Matt Lauer interviews Ground Zero mosque developer Sharif el-Gamal, one of NBC's "People of the Year" on a Thanksgiving night special

I am not going to take the easy road and say that NBC is "honoring" el-Gamal as a hero. As the promo on the NBC website states, "NBC takes a look at what made 2010 a year filled with world-wide inspiration and outrage..."

I will give the network and Matt Lauer the benefit of the doubt and say that el-Gamal will be presented as one of those who inspired outrage. We know the story of the proposed Ground Zero mosque, Park51, the players involved as well as the clear and nefarious intentions (clear at least to most of us) behind the project. I will say that Matt Lauer will grill this man on why he and the Imam Rauf are trying to do what it is they are trying to do, and that while Lauer is at it he will push to try and get an admission from el-Gamal as to the background, associations and beliefs of Imam Rauf (as well as himself).

The unfortunate reality of the Lauer/El-Gamal interview

The benefit of the doubt that I wanted to give to Matt Lauer faded into reality when I viewed the video below on the NBC website. What one could have hoped would be a tough and probing interview actually appears to be a softball question party during which Lauer lobs slow pitches that allow el-Gamal to present himself and his project in any light he wishes.

It seems, according to el-Gamal, that his center will be no more dangerous than a local Jewish Y. Somehow it is hard to imagine the same activities going on at the 92nd Street Y that would go on at the Ground Zero mosque if it is allowed to be built.

Maybe the remainder of the interview will include the tough and probing questions that I was hoping for. Maybe, but I won't hold my breath as after all, el-Gamal is only a shadowy character trying to build an Islamic shrine next to the WTC site. It's not as if he is a conservative truly deserving of NBC's disdain. Right?

Gobble, gobble

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Is there a ticking time bomb in the banking system? (Charts)

Housing market update as of 10:00 AM: New home sales drop 8.1% in October and median home prices dropped 14% to the lowest level since 2003.

No North Korea, TSA or Iran this morning. Today a look at the huge weight still sitting on the US banking system. Will it bend and not break or is another shoe going to drop?

What are these weights? Foreclosures and loans soon to become foreclosures!

Is the price action in major banks such as Bank of America and Citi telling us something? Something about the real health of the banking system and the economy? Different than the story the bank are telling themselves?

It could very well be! Due to be released next week on Tuesday is the FDIC list of banks at risk of failure while a report this week showed major banks still holding huge amounts of bad home loans.

While the "too big to fail" institutions won't be on the list of the banks on life support released next week, it is expected that the number of banks at risk of failing could rise to over 900. This from a number of only 829 at the end of the second quarter.

So, is there a story in the price action of the common stock of major banks, the riskiest asset (for the owner) in the corporate food chain? Is it telling us something about the future health of the banking system and by extension an already floundering economy?

Still huge amounts of bad single-family loan debt on the books, equity prices going nowhere while the broader market has done nothing but rally.

From the charts below it is apparent that while the INDU has rallied sharply, the common stock of banks B of A and Citi have not. It is often said that the stock market is a great predictor of the future (although in many cases it certainly is not).

Data released this week showed that the major banks still hold huge amounts of single-family mortgages either already foreclosed or in the process of foreclosure.

How huge? Consider the numbers below, ponder the problem as you know it, look at the common stock price action and then decide if all of the economic shoes have dropped, or if there are other shoes hiding in the background.

  • B of A, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan each have more than $20 billion of single-family loans in foreclosure or in the process of foreclosure.
  • In the pipeline of mortgages that are more than 30 days past due and therefore in danger of moving into the in-process of foreclosure column, each bank has over $50 billion in exposure (although all past due loans will not go into foreclosure).
  • If the total of current foreclosures plus potential foreclosures of past due loans are combined, the numbers are staggering:
- B of A $74.9 billion
- Wells Fargo $68.6 billion
- JP Morgan $65 billion
(Source: DSNews.com)

This poses potential future risk to bank capital, common stock shareholders, an already fragile and stagnant economy and the banking system itself.

On top of the global risks faced, the domestic economy and financial system is definitely still on the front burner and is no slouch!

Common stock price history of B of A, Citigroup and the Dow Industrials average

Prices as of 10/23 pre-open

Dow Industrials


Bank of America

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

North Korea attack, Iranian nukes, TSA pat downs, Fed report of economic slowdown? Nah, Obama stops at the Gingerbread House Bakery to feed the kids

World crises abound but Obama and Biden are tied up elsewhere
playing politics

This from the White House press pool. Obama and Biden visit the Gingerbread House Bakery in Indiana to spread Thanksgiving cheer in a bid to spur economic growth by buying danish. The rest of the worlds problems are not as pressing as playing politics with photo ops in Indiana.

White House Pool Report

Potus and Vpotus left the Chrysler plant at 2:38 pm.

Next unannounced stop: the Gingerbread House Bakery.

"How long you guys had this spot?" Potus asked. Pool couldn't hear the answer.
The cafe is tiny. Potus and Vpotus perused the offerings of pumpkin rolls, cream rolls, apple fritters and other sweet stuff.

Potus: "I understand you guys gor some help from the SBA?" The owners said yes, and Vpotus asked "Could you have gotten along without it?"

Reply was no.

Potus: "The girls arent supposed to have dessert on weekdays but its thanksgiving week." He asked for a variety of "product."

Biden: "I want to take two of those cream rolls home."

Potus: "And for the pool what do you guys want?"

Bashful pool wouldn't say.

Potus: "You guys just want some donuts?"
"I'm gonna need some apple fritters, pecan rolls," for the pool.

Biden: "If we give them the whole roll they might not follow us as fast."

Potus: "I'm buying for the pool.
Man those look good."

Potus: "The only thing I feel bad about is who ever comes after this won't have much left."

After the bakery the two men worked a rope line outside the car wash across the street.

North Korea attacks South Korean Yeonpyeong Island drawing "sharp" rhetoric from Obama spokesmen (Video)


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This after North Korea just announced its advanced uranium enrichment facility drawing little Obama administration response

What is the North Korean endgame? What is the plan of the North after announcing uranium enrichment activities and now launching an overt military strike at South Korea in which a South soldier was killed, South fighter jets scrambled and South Korea moving to the highest level of peacetime alert?

Is it what is typically termed North Korean bluster to get themselves back into the news?

Well they accomplished that with the revelation concerning uranium enrichment so there was no real need to lob artillery shells at the South.

Is it what has been called part of the transition of power from North Korean leader and insane dictator to his son and soon to be insane dictator?

Again, the ratcheting up of uranium enrichment was enough to cover that angle as well. So what is the endgame of North Korea?

Obama administration response

In basic Obama administration fashion prior to the military attack but after the announced uranium enrichment, the top US envoy for North Korean policy said these words that indicate the administrations strategy of just more of the same old rhetoric and diplomatic naivete:

“we regard this development with great seriousness."
“we do not consider it a crisis.”
“This is clearly a very serious development and one we must fully take into account as we continue our coordination of moves designed to lead eventually to the resumption of the six-party talks, however does not call for a reassessment of our entire strategy towards the DPRK.”

Administration response after the North Korean attack?

This call from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on North Korea:

"to halt its belligerent action and to fully abide by the terms of the armistice agreement,"

And this from President Obama earlier this month:

"Pyongyang should not be mistaken: The United States will never waver in our commitment to the security of the Republic of Korea. We will not waver."

News flash for President Obama:

Maintaining his current level of international believability and stature in which his rhetoric carries absolutely no weight will only maintain the resolve of our enemies to act!

President Obama, your actions speak much louder than words and nobody is swayed by your words!

Dangerous times call for strong and decisive leadership, so it may be time to approach national security from that angle!

Related posts

Monday, November 22, 2010

What would a TSA bumper sticker say? Lots of things

If the TSA could make bumper stickers, what would they say?

Thanks to Maggie's Farm

Opt-out Day, airport security and body scan protestors: misguided or just plain dumb?


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TSA body scan to be protested by some in the flying public, but do they understand the issues?

The day before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel days of the year, a website named optoutday.com is calling for the flying public to tell the TSA screeners "I opt out." This statement would create the need for an enhanced pat down that will gum up the works, but more than that serve for some as a protest of the perceived intrusiveness of the body scanning. This scanning which provides an anonymous image of the outside of the body and shows anything that is being concealed under clothing.

Does it work or not work? Privacy vs. security

The mitigating factor when I get on a plane is that I get to my destination safely. Does the body imaging and pat down accomplish this? That is the question and really the only question for me. The bad guys don't understand intrusiveness or an uncomfortable feeling. They understand the desire to bring down a jet and to kill innocent people!

If the security process is effective, then I am all for it! If not, then by all means protest it.

Towards that end, this system of taking an image of the outside of my body or feeling around in an enhanced pat down for explosives does not necessarily make me safer. This is because terrorists understand our security measures and will work around them. Explosives placed inside the body will still not be detected and this would most likely be the next step that they take.

Question: If there is an outcry over anonymous imaging or a somewhat intrusive pat down, what would the reaction be to x-rays and a proctological exam?

What will help to make us safer? Profile, profile profile!

Difficult question to answer, but profiling is definitely one step in the right direction. Who is most likely going to attempt an act of terrorism, and then give that demographic increased attention.

Have professionals who can observe a crowd and who possess the ability to detect the physical or psychological behavior or mannerisms that indicates increased attention is needed.

Develop some technology that is not physically harmful that can detect contraband inside the body.

Move people through so that hundreds, and this week possibly thousands of people are not confined to a small area presenting an easy target to terrorists before getting to security!

Obama administration implementation incompetence

Does this security process make us safer or not? President Obama is making excuses for the TSA implementation, although if it is necessary and effective he should be making no apologies. The fact is that the effectiveness of this security is far from a sure thing. Said Obama:

"You have to constantly refine and measure whether what we're doing is the only way to assure the American people's safety. And you also have to think through, are there ways of doing it that are less intrusive."

"constantly asking them whether what we're doing is absolutely necessary, have we thought it through, are there other ways of accomplishing it that meet the same objectives?"

"One of the most frustrating aspects of this fight against terrorism is that it has created a whole security apparatus around us that causes huge inconvenience for all of us."

Message to the flying public and optoutday.com

Do you want to protest intrusiveness? Protest instead for effective security. Understand the enemy and understand the dangers.

The critical summary is this: understand what we face as a society, and then question just how effectively we are addressing actual solutions to those problems.

There needs to exist more of an understanding by the citizenry of the nature of our enemy, less concern with intrusions on our physical privacy (if the intrusion is ACTUALLY effective in stopping the attempts of the enemy), less concern over whether it is okay to profile those who want to commit the acts and much more concern over the inability of, or lack of desire of those in Washington to direct resources at staying one or two steps ahead of the enemy as opposed to placing band-aids on threats from one or two steps behind!

The enemy has but one goal that is the destruction of the West. More than that, it includes the death of anybody and any society, including other Muslims, whose thoughts, ideas and way of life differs in any way from the radical Islamic ideology!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

North Korea uranium enrichment follow-up from the Republicans: MOVE!


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Press Release From Ileana Ros-Lehtinen , Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee:

“The revelation of this highly advanced uranium enrichment plant is very disturbing. It confirms once again the true intentions of the North Korean regime, namely to lull the U.S. and the world to sleep to give it time to advance its clandestine nuclear weapons program.

“The administration’s policy of outreach to the North Korean regime has clearly failed. It is time to get tough if North Korea is to be prevented from continuing to expand its nuclear weapons capability.

"As a first step, I have urged Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher to re-list North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Pyongyang's removal from the list two years ago as a reward for cosmetic actions on one component of its nuclear activities was a grave error. It is time to correct this mistake.

“This month’s UN report stating that North Korea is supplying Iran, Syria, and Burma with nuclear and ballistic missile-related equipment, know-how, and technology demonstrates that the regime is determined to expand its nuclear and missile threat to the maximum extent possible. This latest discovery underscores the need to move swiftly and forcefully to prevent our national security and that of the world as a whole from being further undermined.

“Given the North Korean regime’s dependence on China to remain in power and continue its aggressive policies, the U.S. must insist that Beijing take immediate steps to pressure Pyongyang to halt and dismantle its uranium enrichment program.

“We must remember that in addition to the North Korean regime, we face growing national security threats from Iran and Syria as well. By refusing to vigorously enforce sanctions and apply overwhelming pressure on these regimes to compel them to halt their clandestine nuclear programs, we have allowed the threats they pose to us and the world to continue to grow.”

Obama and North Korea, just keep on talking about talking!


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Uranium enrichment going on in North Korea, and all the administration can say is "yet another act of defiance , and if true, contradicts its own pledges and commitments."

As I sit and write I am struck by the redundancy of it all. Iran and North Korea, North Korea and Iran. I feel like I have written about this so many times before because I have.

2,000 centrifuges in North Korea that can be easily adapted to enrich uranium for weapons use in what was described to be a "stunning" show of technological sophistication.

Is North Korea providing nuclear technology to Iran and/or is Iran funding the development? Will North Korea, should it possess the ability to enrich uranium to weapons grade levels, put any limits on what organizations or countries that it would sell it to?

Of course not as this rogue regime, desperate for hard currency and led by a maniacal dictator, would sell to anyone, anywhere and at any time.

The Obama administration response will be "strong condemnation" and a call for North Korea to join with the civilized world for the good of the country and for the good of its people.

Where will it end? This is really a rhetorical question that is meant to say to the Obama administration, go off tele-prompter and take some serious steps to deal with some serious problems!

Story from Fox News can be read here.