Greg Alderete has more than a passing interest in homeland security. A retired lieutenant colonel in the Army, he has devoted most of his life to it.
So when he realized he had driven a van onto a runway tarmac at Sea-Tac airport — and that no one had asked his name, checked his ID or searched his vehicle — well, he just about lost it.”I was appalled,” Alderete says. “If you go in the airport’s front door, they take away your tube of toothpaste. But the back door? That’s the weakest security of any critical facility I’ve ever seen.”
He’s talking about the corporate jet area, on the airport’s south tip. Business and government bigwigs fly in and out of there.
Alderete and Chris Clodfelter, a former senior master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, arrived there Thursday, May 8, to pick up a two-star general flying in from Portland.
What happened floored them. When they said they were picking up an Army official, the gate opened and they were invited to drive onto the airfield.
“We were sitting there, the engine idling, nobody around, when all of a sudden I realized: We’re out on the goddamn runway,” Alderete recalled. “We’re in a gassed-up, seven-passenger van, and no one really knows who we are. We have an unobstructed path to the main runways, the commercial gates, the whole place. It was unbelievable.”
No one asked their names or screened them or the van. Both were in civilian clothes.
Both the Port of Seattle and the federal Transportation Safety Administration reviewed the incident, including videotapes, and concluded their security system is sound.
Of course it works as designed – the rabble has to turn in their tooth-paste and bottled water at the front gate, and the elite gets special treatment.
Mr Werner, chairman of C3, a Los Angeles-based holding company for private equity firms, is pouring millions of dollars into developing the Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience, a massive American-style amusement park that will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum. It is being designed by the firm that developed Disneyland. “The people need this kind of positive influence. It’s going to have a huge psychological impact,” Mr Werner said.
A public Iraqi park is being privatized and sold to American investors. These investors then build an amusement park representing some of the worst aspects of American culture. All this while most of the country doesn’t have 24 hour electricity and live under the military occupation of a foreign country.
And this a good idea, how, exactly?
You think you know database design? Think again!
In March 1996 and again the following year, McCain offered a bill that, in his own words, “would ban a candidate or a candidate’s authorized committee from paying registered lobbyists.”
In order to root out the moneyed influences, McCain continued, Congress had to unequivocally cut off the flow of campaign cash.
“Registered lobbyists who work for campaigns as fundraisers clearly represent a conflict of interest,” he added. “When a campaign employs an individual who also lobbies that Member, the perception of undue and unfair influence is raised.”
The legislation never passed.
Fast-forward a dozen years and the political dynamics have clearly changed. Now the GOP standard bearer, McCain has 115 lobbyists either working or raising money on his behalf. Many of these individuals have taken a leave of absence from these positions in order to help with the campaign. But others have held, simultaneously, fundraising and lobbyists positions.
In addition, the Senator has 70 registered lobbyists who have bundled money on his behalf – raising at least $100,000. On top of this, the Center for Responsive Politics reports that the Arizona Republican has received more than $610,000 in direct donations – not bundled cash – from lobbyists.
His recent, self-implemented, campaign policy is designed to counteract the image that such a fundraising apparatus suggests. “No person with a McCain Campaign title or position,” the document reads, “may participate in a 527 or other independent entity that makes public communications that support or oppose any presidential candidate.”
Justitie heeft de oud-hoofdredacteur van het partijblad ‘de Tribune’ van de Socialistische Partij (SP) opgepakt.
Wim H. heeft zich jarenlang schuldig gemaakt aan een ernstige vorm van proletarisch winkelen. Hij wordt ervan verdacht om op grote schaal diefstallen te hebben gepleegd uit winkels. Hij nam de goederen mee zonder te betalen en verkocht ze, aldus de verdenking, in een helercircuit.
Of Wim H. alleen werkte of samen met anderen, is niet bekend. H. was jarenlang eindverantwoordelijk voor het SP-lijfblad en hij publiceerde interviews met SP-kopstukken als Jan Marijnissen en Harry van Bommel.
Volgens goed ingelichte bronnen waren ook diefstallen uit het partijbureau destijds mede aanleiding voor de breuk tussen de SP en de Tribune-hoofdredacteur. “Hij moest weg nadat de partij deze diefstallen had ontdekt, maar ze wilden geen aangifte doen, uit vrees voor negatieve publiciteit”, aldus een voormalig SP-medewerker die lange tijd bevriend was met Wim H.
The single most pernicious threat to liberty today is humanity’s natural tendency to misunderstand the statistics of rare events.
As anyone who has tried to quit smoking knows, dependence is hardest to overcome during difficult or stressful times. That must be why, when the government helps drug abusers quit, they arrest them and take away their job, possessions, and children.
Senator John McCain’s chief advertising strategist, Mark McKinnon, announced Tuesday that he was resigning, following through on a vow he had made months ago not to work against the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama.
In telling the Cox News Service last June that he would not work against an Obama candidacy, Mr. McKinnon had said that Mr. Obama’s election to the presidency “would send a great message to the country and the world.” In that interview, Mr. McKinnon had said that he had policy differences with Mr. Obama, especially on Iraq, and that he believed Mr. McCain was best suited for the presidency because of his national security positions. But, he added, “I just don’t want to work against an Obama candidacy.”
Word 2008 is so bad that it is driving me positively nuts. Yet I have no choice but to use it sometimes, and in such situations I need to try and reduce the mental pain as much as possible.
Inevitably, this process involves customizing Word, not to make it do things your way, but simply to make it do things the normal way, i.e. the way that every other Mac OS X application does it, which of course Word is incapable of doing on its own.
Case in point: a keyboard shortcut for the “Find Next” command. The standard behaviour in word processors and text editors for the Mac is the following.
Chris Frates at the Politico reveals how Republican Leader John Boehner is seeking wiretap protection for himself, but not for ordinary Americans:
When a federal judge ordered Rep. Jim McDermott to pay House Minority Leader John A. Boehner and his attorneys more than $1 million in damages and legal fees for leaking an illegally taped phone call to the media, Boehner said he pursued the case because “no one — including members of Congress — is above the law.”
Why, then, is the Ohio Republican trying to squash similar lawsuits against telecommunications companies who cooperated with the government in warrantless electronic surveillance, ask the attorneys behind the class action suits.
The blatant hypocrisy on display here is stunning.
U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor, doctors treating him at Massachusetts General Hospital said Tuesday.
Kennedy, 76, was hospitalized Saturday morning after suffering a seizure at his family’s compound at Hyannisport, Massachusetts.
“Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe,” according to a hospital statement.