15FEB11 More rants and raves about the news of the day!

...or MRARANOD (pronounced Murrrahh-NOD)!


Yet another reason to follow El Al's example of screening from the moment people show up at the airport and observing their actions up until they board instead of the screening we currently have in place now with the DHS TSA. Corruption was certainly bound to happen, and did in New Jersey.

“Michael Arato, 41, of Ewing also admitted Monday in federal court in Newark that he regularly stole from passengers who went through his checkpoint in Terminal B.
Prosecutors say Arato permitted a worker he supervised to steal between $10,000 and $30,000 in cash from travelers' bags over a 13-month period. In exchange, the subordinate would give a portion of the money to Arato. The subordinate, who was not named, cooperated with the federal investigation that led to Arato's arrest in October.”

The Middle East is definitely in the spotlight as of late with Egypt's coup d'etat. Interesting how when Egypt has turned over the reigns of power to the Military and they suspend both parliament and the Constitution nobody on the Left in this country is screaming foul (like they did in Honduras back in 2009 when the military arrested the President after he attempted to be able to become President for life... parliament actually requested the Honduran military remove him from the country if I recall). However, there is indeed good signs coming out of some of the actions of Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, largely the Parliament was run by Mubarak supporters, and parts of the Constitution worked for Mubarak to rig elections... However, its still a situation to observe closely and skeptically based on historical precedent.

While Rick Francona doesn't see the same religious undertones he saw in the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, the possibility still remains for the Muslim Brotherhood to turn Egypt into an Islamic Republic. So far people are pretty positive about the Muslim Brotherhoods sincerity in creating, and allowing, other political parties; however many of us who have read about the Muslim Brotherhood and their history in the region remain skeptical. While they are all about democracy and the ballot box today, when they gain control tomorrow that remains to be seen. Democracy in its truest form is mob rule, whoever has the most votes DICTATES just as much as an autocratic dictator; this is why our country is a Constitutional Republic with a form of Representative Democracy with safeguards to protect minorities. Seeing how Islamic Republics like Iran, or the Taliban, 'respect' minorities such as Christians, Jews, tribal sects, and women; I'm remaining cautiously skeptical. Good things can certainly happen within Egypt, so long as the Muslim Brotherhoods dream of an Islamic Republic of Egypt is NOT realized. One of the primary concerns here is the Muslim Brotherhoods demands that the treaty with Israel is not recognized by any new regime... This to me is very telling that the party of reform in Egypt is also the party of war; that is the Muslim Brotherhood. I highly, highly, recommend folks read “The Looming Tower” by Lawrence Wright; the history of modern radical Islam in that book is enlightening (especially the relationship of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda).

This movement has indeed emboldened many across the Middle East to do the same kinds of protests, and its fascinating to see whats going on in Iran. To me the silence of the American media and our current Administration is deafening. On the one hand, they covered Iran's regimes mass demonstration in support of the Egyptian protests that toppled Mubarak (because Mubarak was an American supporter), yet on the other hand when the 'chickens come to roost' in Iran the Iranian government is seeking to crush them completely? Irony. Of course, you never saw the same level of support from Obama and the American Left for Irans protesters back in 2009, nor are we going to see the same level of support they gave Egypt this time as well. I believe that the current Administration needs to come out much more strongly in favor of the protesters in Iran, and do so publicly as a clear message that we aren't going to play Iran's nuclear game any more, nor are we going to accept their actions in the form of Hizbollah. We need to send a clear message that the current Islamic Regime is unacceptable and needs to be toppled. But that would require our government to grow a pair and wield the big stick that goes with talking softly. What ever happened to the idea of a war of liberation, or at least the threat of force to ensure liberation? If we do nothing, many more are going to die soon if we do little or nothing.

Got to love Doomsday scenarios... We are now an apocalyptic people, we all see apocalypse around us in our media; be it the zombie apocalypse (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead, and a whole host of clones and remakes), post nuclear apocalypse (Mad Max, Fallout 3, etc.), or biblical apocalypse (Left Behind, End of Days, etc..). New York has finally gone ahead and published a Doomsday 'manual'! Really, its just a Public Health Legal Manual, a guide for Judges, Attorneys, and Public Health Professionals. What should be done is perhaps teaching their people how to be somewhat self sufficient... Or else when disaster hits the hordes of barbarians will raid and pillage those who have prepared and leave everyone starving. Its likely going to be a bloody mess of mobs and the Judges, Attorneys, and Public Health Professionals will likely be able to do too little to stop the chaos. It'll be up to the people outside NYC to clean up the mess, most likely a disproportionate amount of American resources will be wasted trying to recover a dead NYC should an event of apocalyptic proportions affect NYC, thats the cost of most of the population not having to leave a three mile radius most of they're lives (not to mention the proportion of welfare recipients who will suddenly cease to get any of it rather suddenly).

Perhaps what makes my head explode more is the fact that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) wants to end the practice of US Representatives living in their Congressional offices... Apparently, 33 Representatives who don't leave the House when they are in Washington DC is 'un-ethical'. They equate it being dorm rooms and frat houses? Apparently they believe it violates House Rules and and is an unreported tax benefit?! What planet are they on? I'm happy to see Representatives practicing some fiscal sense and not paying $2,000 a month to the Watergate Hotel for a one room suite! How much you want to bet Watergate is behind CREWs investigation?

On a more positive note, Soldiers love the XM-25 25mm 'smart' grenade launcher! Nothing like 'smart' grenades that explode overhead at specific distances needed by the soldier over the heads of stupid terrorists! Ballistic trajectories just got a heck of a lot more interesting!

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