Tuesday, March 31, 2009
HAPPY GAIA, MORONS
The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don't work as well. Spokane County became the launch pad last July for the nation's strictest ban on dishwasher detergent made with phosphates, a measure aimed at reducing water pollution. The ban will be expanded statewide in July 2010, the same time similar laws take effect in several other states.
But it's not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green.
Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe's left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap.
As a result, there has been a quiet rush of Spokane-area shoppers heading east on Interstate 90 into Idaho in search of old-school suds.
Real estate agent Patti Marcotte of Spokane stocks up on detergent at a Costco in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and doesn't care who knows it.
"Yes, I am a smuggler," she said. "I'm taking my chances because dirty dishes I cannot live with."
GM and Chrysler's first commercial ..FREE OF CHARGE
Your competitor is NOW the US government.
The CEO and Board have just come down and DOUBLED your advertising budget, you wonder if they sense a magic moment to drive GM and Chrysler under, or if they are just playing defensive ball.
- Get down and dirty?
- Be subtle?
Miss Universe at Gitmo:"I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful"
A "relaxing, calm, beautiful place" may not be everyone's description of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the United States holds about 240 prisoners in a detention center that has drawn condemnation from around the world.
But this was the opinion of reigning Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela, who visited the U.S. naval facility in eastern Cuba this month on a trip organized by the United Service Organizations (USO) which supports U.S. troops.
The Guantanamo Bay base, whose presence Cuba's government has contested as illegal for years, is used by U.S. authorities as a prison camp for foreign terrorism suspects. Critics have condemned it as a symbol of abuses in Washington's war on terrorism launched after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
"It was a loooot of fun!," Mendoza wrote, describing how she and Stewart met U.S. military personnel and took rides around the camp, which is encircled by a barbed-wire fenced, minefields and watchtowers. She said they also visited a bar on the base and the "unbelievable" beach there.
"We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the(y) recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting," she wrote.
"I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful," she added.
Former detainees and human rights groups have alleged the use of torture, including "waterboarding" (simulated drowning) and other physical abuses, at the Guantanamo prison.
Give President Obama a grade
POLL IS HERE
U. S. Naval Institute
March 31, 2009
With tensions already rising due to the Chinese navy becoming more aggressive in asserting its territorial claims in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy seems to have yet another reason to be deeply concerned.
After years of conjecture, details have begun to emerge of a "kill weapon" developed by the Chinese to target and destroy U.S. aircraft carriers.
First posted on a Chinese blog viewed as credible by military analysts and then translated by the naval affairs blog Information Dissemination, a recent report provides a description of an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) that can strike carriers and other U.S. vessels at a range of 2000km.
The DongFeng 21 (NATO code name: CSS-5) is a two-stage, solid-propellant, single-warhead medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) system developed by China Changfeng Mechanics and Electronics Technology Academy (also known as 2nd Space Academy). The missile design is based on the two-stage JuLang 1 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). The DongFeng 21 is capable of delivering a 500kT nuclear warhead over a distance of 1,800km. Some DongFeng 21 missiles are reportedly armed with a conventional warhead. The improved DongFeng 21A with extended range was reportedly introduced in 1996. China has also developed the Kaituozhe 1 (KT-1) space launch vehicle based on the DongFeng 21 design.
The range of the modified Dong Feng 21 missile is significant in that it covers the areas that are likely hot zones for future confrontations between U.S. and Chinese surface forces.
The size of the missile enables it to carry a warhead big enough to inflict significant damage on a large vessel, providing the Chinese the capability of destroying a U.S. supercarrier in one strike.
Well we already had a problem with the air/sea fired KSH-55 Sunburn which flew wavetop then hit at Mach 2+ giving our point defense weapon 2.5 seconds for a hit, which coincidentally was less than the time required to sense, target and fire, by the Phalanx. The Sunburn is fielded by Russia, China and we believe, Iran. Sweet, right?
Our response was to mount a high powered SeaRam system....One has to do some digging to find out how effective the system is. Raytheon isn't really saying much about it's performance, but I've managed to dig up some info.
"In 10 scenarios, real Anti-Ship Missiles and supersonic Vandal target missiles (Mach 2.5) were intercepted and destroyed under realistic conditions. RAM Block 1 achieved first-shot kills on every target in its presented scenarios, including sea-skimming, diving and highly maneuvering profiles in both single and stream attacks."
"With these test firings RAM demonstrated its unparalleled success against today's most challenging threats. Cumulatively to date more than 180 missiles have been fired against anti-ship missiles and other targets, achieving a success rate over 95%"
The SeaRAM is a drop in replacement for the Phalanx system. The RAM missle itself is a mach 2, second generation derivative of the Sidewinder and Stinger missles. It features BOTH infrared and radar based target tracking, allowing for use against future low radar cross section (stealthy) anti-ship missles. The effective range of the RAM missile is 11 miles. The CIWS part of the SeaRAM can track multiple targets and fire multiple missles at a single target. Each SeaRAM platform holds 11 RAM missiles.OKAY?
This threat is not going to be much faster at interception ranges, should be defensible by Aegis at longer ranges, and as a ballistic missile, even maneuverable and fired in a depressed trajectory won't be nearly as agile as the Sunburn. If the Aegis cannot defend at longer ranges than point defense, we have a much larger problem than carriers, and it's time for, and no excuses ..SPACE BASED DEFENSE
The Information and Dissemination blog puts it this way:
I think that in times of war, they would launch many micro-EO satellites that have short duration to increase reconnaissance in the area approaching Taiwan. Similar to US, they would have HALE UAVs to do advanced scouting in front of the war zone. The OTH radar will give the base initial idea of incoming fleet. This information would be combined with data of the recon satellites to provide a more precise and more accurate targeting data. The missile would be launched to the estimated position based on initial position + velocity, but this would obviously be off. Although, I think the movement of the carrier group will not be overwhelming. If the target is 2000 km away and the missile is traveling at mach 10 (343 * 3.6 * 10 = 10,000+ km/h) , it would get there in less than 12 minutes. During that time, if the fleet moves at 30 knots, it would move at most 6 knots or around 11 km from the original location. Still, if we add this to the initial precision problems of OTH radar + EO satellite, this could still cause the fleet to be outside the scanning area of the ASBM. In the cruising process, the missile would have to continuously communicate with the base through those new Data relay satellites (like TianLian-1 that they launched recently) to get more improve the precision. The ASBM will also likely veer off the path at this time, so it would need communication with Beidou-2 constellation in order to keep it on track. When it gets close to the target, the blog talked about 3 phases in its attack: high altitude guidance, high altitude gliding and low altitude guidance. I'm really not sure how accurate is the blog's description of the process. Its general theme is slowing down the speed of the missile as it gets closer to the target to maybe give the seeker more time to lock on to target and make unpredictable movements to penetrate defense.
THIS is the link to the US military report on China, ~pages 32-36
Well, while you're there plotting around your table, reading that decadent Western material on your computer make sure you watch this video.
Great music and hey -- wait a minute -- what you got going on there? Is that an AK-47 in your pocket or are you just happy to see a woman's legs? Allah's sake, fellas, take it outside! Not with your brother. Good heaven's there must be a willing goat or camel around somewhere.
Salary control: You knew it was coming
By Michelle Malkin • March 31, 2009 10:42 AM
This is not a surprise. Grabby Hands Barney Frank has been signaling his salary control plans for weeks. In early February, you’ll recall, he told Business Week that compensation restrictions might be restricted to all US companies, not just TARP recipients.
Now, via Byron York:
[I]n a little-noticed move, the House Financial Services Committee, led by chairman Barney Frank, has approved a measure that would, in some key ways, go beyond the most draconian features of the original AIG bill. The new legislation, the “Pay for Performance Act of 2009,” would impose government controls on the pay of all employees — not just top executives — of companies that have received a capital investment from the U.S. government. It would, like the tax measure, be retroactive, changing the terms of compensation agreements already in place. And it would give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner extraordinary power to determine the pay of thousands of employees of American companies.
The purpose of the legislation is to “prohibit unreasonable and excessive compensation and compensation not based on performance standards,” according to
the bill’s language. That includes regular pay, bonuses — everything — paid to
employees of companies in whom the government has a capital stake, including
those that have received funds through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or
TARP, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The measure is not limited just to those firms that received the largest sums of money, or just to the top 25 or 50 executives of those companies. It applies to all employees of all companies involved, for as long as the government is invested. And it would not only apply going forward, but also retroactively to existing contracts and pay arrangements of institutions that have already received funds.In addition, the bill gives Geithner the authority to decide what pay is “unreasonable” or “excessive.”
And it directs the Treasury Department to come up with a method to evaluate
“the performance of the individual executive or employee to whom the payment
The bill passed the Financial Services Committee last week, 38 to 22, on a nearly party-line vote. (All Democrats voted for it, and all Republicans, with the exception of Reps. Ed Royce of California and Walter Jones of North Carolina, voted against it.)
But you can thank the 85 Republicans, led by Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who helped pave this path with their hysterical vote for the 90 percent AIG bonus tax.
from Front Page Mag:
Playing Politics with Martyrs
By Nir Boms & Shayan Arya
FrontPageMagazine.com Tuesday, March 31, 2009
In four short months, the Islamic Republic of Iran will hold its next presidential election. For a while it looked like that the two main candidates were incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and former president Mohammad Khatami. But when Former Prime minister Mir Hossein Moussavi entered the ring and announced his candidacy, Khatami, in a move that shocked and surprised many of his supporters, withdrew his name. It is not clear what effects, if any, this move is going to have on the so-called reformer camps. But whatever the effect of Khatami’s move might be, if you thought that the presidential campaign was warming up, you should look at Iranian universities, which are already red hot with protests.
According to the Office for Fostering Unity, one of the main student organizations in Iran, twelve students have already been arrested at the universities of Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan and Hamedan, in the last few weeks. Many more have been arrested in recent months in an attempt to intimidate the students, who are becoming increasingly restless and vocal in their opposition to the policies of the Islamic regime. Iranian University restlessness came to a head-on collision with the authorities when the Islamic regime announced a new campaign to bring the remains of unknown Iran-Iraq war martyrs for burial in campuses around the country.
Students all across Iran staged demonstrations to voice their opposition to the announcement. At Tehran’s Amir Kabir University, already known for student protests, students carried banners complaining that their campus was being turned into a cemetery and that, in turn the Evin prison in Tehran was being turned into a university. Security forces that arrived at the scene appeared to have taken their message. 10 of the students, according to Human Rights Watch, were sent to Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. Radio Farda reports an additional 70 university students detained on February 23 for protesting the state-sponsored burial of five soldiers who died during the Iran-Iraq.
Shortly after the events in Amir Kabir University, students at other universities issued statements in solidarity with the Amir Kabir Students, pledging to resist and not to allow similar burials to take place on their campuses.
The obsession of the Islamic regime with death is quite remarkable. Thirty years ago and after returning from exile, Khomeini gave his first speech in Tehran’s vast “Beheshte Zahra” (Zahra’s Paradise) cemetery. In an accusatory tone he blasted the late Shah for building nice modern cemeteries while ignoring the development of the rest of the country. Now thirty years on, the Islamic regime seems to be obsessed with turning the whole country into symbolic cemeteries, even University campuses!
It is not even clear why, twenty years after the war, the Islamic government still possess the unburied remain of soldiers. But whatever the reasons might be, many students believe that it is yet another organized campaign by the regime to intimidate and suppress them. However, there could yet be another explanation.
Both Khatami and Moussavi along with the so-called reformers have remained silent about the recent events and have not openly sided with the students. In fact, these events have placed them between a rock and a hard place. If the reformers side with the students they will be accused by the hardliners for not honoring the memory of the martyrs. If they side with the hardliners and defend the state-sponsored burial, they will infuriate the students and lose whatever support they have left from the student movement. Hardliners, who never had a stronghold in Iranian Universities, have been successfully able to put the reformers in a lose-lose situation.
As is typical of reformers, they have chosen the third option. They have chosen to remain silent about the whole affair. But this strategy is not without risk for it reminds Iranians of what they despise most about the reformers: their indecisiveness.
The State-sponsored burial of Iran-Iraq war martyrs in University campuses, just prior to the presidential election, seems to be a clever move on the part of the hardliners. Although it is not clear if they will be successful in suppressing the students once more, they have at least succeeded in showing their rival’s weakness.
The reformers have always preferred calm over turmoil as well as avoiding a confrontation with the hardliners. However, they may have done themselves a great disservice by remaining silent. For as Dwight D. Eisenhower said: “History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.” The reformers are timid and as Thomas Jefferson famously said, “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.” The recent burial protest should serve as a reminder that it is the Islamic revolution that the students wish to burry and not any martyrs from the past. As it seeks to engage Iran, the US should listen more carefully to these voices.
Expert: N. Korea Has Several Nuclear Warheads
Tuesday , March 31, 2009
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea is believed to have several nuclear warheads that could be mounted on a missile, an international security expert said Tuesday ahead of a rocket launch that regional powers suspect will test weapon delivery technology.
But Daniel Pinkston, a Seoul-based North Korea expert for the International Crisis Group, stressed it is unclear if the communist nation has mastered the technology necessary to mount the warheads onto missiles.
North Korea says it will send a communications satellite into orbit between April 4 and 8. The U.S., South Korea and Japan think the communist regime is using the launch to test long-range missile technology, and warn it would face sanctions under a U.N. Security Council resolution banning the country from ballistic activity.
Japan is particularly concerned about the launch because the multistage rocket is expected to pass over its territory.
Click to view photos Satellite image of the launch area
"North Korea should listen to the international community, and we strongly urge the North to refrain from the launch," said a resolution passed unanimously in both houses of Japan's parliament. Prime Minister Taro Aso said Tokyo will take the issue to the U.N. Security Council for possible punishment if the launch takes place.
Pinkston said the communist nation has two underground nuclear warhead storage facilities near bases for its medium-range Rodong missiles, which are capable of striking Japan.
He said he obtained the information from intelligence officials from a country or countries that he wouldn't identify.
"Their assessment is that North Korea has deployed" and assembled "nuclear warheads for Rodong missiles, and there are two nuclear warhead storage facilities near Rodong bases," Pinkston told The Associated Press.
He said it is unclear if Pyongyang has mastered technology to miniaturize the warheads and put them on Rodongs, which have a range of 620 to 930 miles. The North is believed to have five to eight warheads, he said.
The National Intelligence Service, South Korea's main spy agency, said Tuesday that it could not confirm Pinkston's remarks.
Kim Tae-woo, a missile expert at the state-run Korea Institute for Defense Analyses in Seoul, said the North has been focusing on efforts to mount nuclear warheads on the Rodongs because the long-range Taepodong series has not been fully deployed yet.
"Rodong is the most likely weapon to be mounted with nuclear warheads," Kim said. He said it's also "natural" for the North to try to put a nuclear warhead on a missile with a longer range.
The North has designated a zone near Japan's northern coast where debris could fall, prompting Tokyo to deploy battleships and Patriot missile interceptors to protect the area and Tokyo. The North has warned that any attack on its satellite would be an act of war; Japan has said it will only try to protect itself from debris if the launch fails.
Two U.S. destroyers are believed to have departed from South Korea to monitor the rocket launch. South Korea is also dispatching its Aegis-equipped destroyer, according to a Seoul military official who asked not to be named, citing department policy.
Further fueling tensions, hundreds of U.S. and South Korean troops planned to conduct an air assault exercise Tuesday. Pyongyang has strongly condemned similar joint drills in the South as preparations to invade the North.
The two allies conducted large-scale annual exercises for 12 days in March, prompting angry reaction from Pyongyang, including threats to South Korean passenger planes and a repeated halts in cross-border traffic.
Adding to the complexity of the situation on the Korean peninsula, the North announced Tuesday it will indict and try two American journalists accused of crossing the border illegally from China on March 17 and engaging in "hostile acts."
The North may try to use the detentions as a bargaining tool after the rocket launch, said Yang Moo-jin, an analyst at Seoul's University of North Korean Studies.
Separately, a South Korean worker was detained Monday at a joint industrial zone in the North for allegedly denouncing Pyongyang's political system and inciting North Korean workers to flee the communist country.
Taliban Chief Vows 'Amazing' Attack on Washington 'Soon'
Tuesday , March 31, 2009
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan — The commander of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility Tuesday for a deadly assault on a Pakistani police academy and said the group was planning a terrorist attack on the U.S. capital.
Baitullah Mehsud, who has a $5 million bounty on his head from the U.S., said Monday's attack outside the eastern city of Lahore was in retaliation for U.S. missile strikes against militants along the Afghan border.
"Soon we will launch an attack in Washington that will amaze everyone in the world," Mehsud told The Associated Press by phone. He provided no details.
Mehsud and other Pakistani Taliban militants are believed to be based in the country's lawless areas near the border with Afghanistan, where they have stepped up their attacks throughout Pakistan.
The Taliban leader also claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing that killed four soldiers Monday in Bannu district and a suicide attack targeting a police station in Islamabad last week that killed one officer.
Such attacks pose a major test for the weak, year-old civilian administration of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari that has been gripped with political turmoil in recent weeks.
The gunmen who attacked the police academy in Lahore on Monday killed seven police and two civilians, holding security forces at bay for about eight hours before being overpowered by Pakistani commandos. Some of the attackers wore police uniforms, and they took hostages and tossed grenades during the assault.
Earlier Tuesday, a spokesman from a little-known militant group linked to the Pakistani Taliban also claimed credit for the attack and a similar ambush-style attack against the Sri Lankan cricket team earlier this month in Lahore. It was not immediately possible to reconcile the two claims.
Omar Farooq, who said he is the spokesman for Fedayeen al-Islam, said the group would carry out more attacks unless Pakistani troops withdraw from tribal areas near the Afghan border and the U.S. stops its drone strikes. The group previously said it was behind the deadly September bombing of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad that killed 54 people.
Mehsud declined to comment on Fedayeen al-Islam's claim that it carried out the attack or to say whether the group is linked to his own.
"At this time, I will not give any detail," Mehsud said.
The Pakistani Taliban leader also said he was not deterred by the U.S. bounty on his head.
"I wish to die and embrace martyrdom," he said.
The AP has spoken to Mehsud several times in the past and recognized his voice, and a request for an interview with Mehsud was submitted through his aide. The militant leader also granted phone interviews to other media organizations.
The Pakistani Taliban has links with Al Qaeda and Afghan Taliban militants who have launched attacks against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan from a base in the border region between the two countries.
Pakistan faces tremendous U.S. pressure to eradicate militants from its soil and has launched several military operations in the Afghan border region.
The U.S. has stepped up drone attacks against militants in the area, causing tension with Pakistani officials who protest they are a violation of the country's sovereignty and kill innocent civilians.
Monday's highly coordinated attack highlighted that militants in the country pose a threat far outside the border region. It prompted Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik, Pakistan's top civilian security official, to say that militant groups were "destabilizing the country."
The gunmen killed six police during the assault, and one died late Monday from his injuries, said Lahore's commissioner, Major Azam Khan. He said Tuesday that the initial investigation revealed that two civilians were also shot and killed, but he did not reveal their identities.
More than 90 officers were wounded in the assault, according to officials.
After gunmen stormed the academy, masses of security forces surrounded the compound, exchanging fire in televised scenes reminiscent of the militant siege in the Indian city of Mumbai in November and the attack on Sri Lanka's cricket team.
Khan said three of the attackers blew themselves up when commandos retook the police academy to avoid arrest. Authorities arrested four others at the scene.
Wasim Ahmad Sial, a senior Lahore police official, said authorities have obtained fingerprints of the attackers who blew themselves up and have determined one of their identities. He did not provide further details.
Punjab police chief, Khawaja Khalid Farooq, told reporters Tuesday that a suspected militant who was captured at the scene of the attack had provided "genuine and actual leads that are beneficial for interrogation."
He said about 50 other people in Lahore were detained overnight for questioning.
Send in more DEA agents and what you will wind up with is more dead DEA agents.
Ya wanna destroy the opium trade fine. Use napalm on the fields. Lots and lots of it. Everyone loves the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like victory.
Can we please PLEASE stop fucking about and get serious?
U.S. to send more drug agents to Afghanistan
DEA aims to cripple terror-narcotics networks by driving up their costs
WASHINGTON - American authorities are planning a broad new campaign against terrorist financing networks in Afghanistan, sending in dozens of federal drug enforcement agents to help stem the country's massive opium trade, the Associated Press has learned.
The surge of narcotics agents, which would boost the number of anti-drug officials inside Afghanistan from a dozen to nearly 80, would bolster a strategy laid out last week by the Obama administration to use U.S. and NATO troops to target "higher level drug lords."
Detailed plans described to members of Congress behind closed doors earlier this month suggest the effort will be modeled after the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's campaign against drug cartels in South America.
Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., chairman of the House Armed Services terrorism subcommittee, said the DEA's effort is aimed at crippling the Afghan narcotics networks by driving up the costs of the opium trade.
"Any financing effort is really going to focus on the drug trade and the DEA is going to have to play a key role," Smith said.
Unveiling his new strategy for Afghanistan last week, President Barack Obama said the country's economy "is undercut by a booming narcotics trade that encourages criminality and funds the insurgency."
As the U.S. beefs up its military and civilian presence there, Obama said officials will track the growth of the Afghan illicit narcotics production as one measure of the administration's progress.
The strategy review called the drug trade the major driver of corruption in Afghanistan, and said allied forces must support local counternarcotics efforts to destroy drug labs, equipment and caches. It also urges efforts to identify other agricultural programs for Afghan farmer to replace their dependency on the illegal drug trade.
Financing the Taliban
The DEA aims to complete its expansion inside Afghanistan by later this fall, building a team of nearly 80 agents and some additional analysts, said Michael Braun, who was DEA's operations chief until late last year.
"We are undergoing a significant increase there as we speak," said Braun, now managing director of an international security consulting firm that works with U.S. authorities in south Asia.
Braun said proceeds from the drug trade in Afghanistan have allowed the Taliban to flourish. There are also indications, he said, that al-Qaida is heavily involved in Afghan opium trafficking.
Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium, the main ingredient in heroin. The Afghan drug trade accounts for 90 percent of the worldwide production. The U.N. estimated last year that up to $500 million from the illegal drug trade flows to Taliban fighters and criminal groups.
The ramped-up drug effort in Afghanistan is similar in structure to a 2005 U.S. program in Iraq that targeted terror networks funding the insurgency in Iraq. The Baghdad-based effort, led by Pentagon and Treasury officials, collected and analyzed intelligence on terror financing and the flow of weapons and fighters into Iraq.
The multi-pronged approach used Treasury Department sanctions against organizations, assets freezes and orders banning financial transactions.
Follow the money
Matthew Levitt, a former Treasury and FBI official and now a terror financing expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told lawmakers that insurgencies can be disrupted when their financing networks are targeted. As core leaders of al-Qaida and other militant groups are less able to finance cells in other regions, those insurgent franchises may become more localized and easier to track and control.
The new Afghanistan anti-drug effort will also hone in on money flow, but it will concentrate on the money laundering operations used by drug dealers. The effort will trace both high-tech operations like offshore banking and cell phone transfers and more informal operations like the hard-to-penetrate hawala money-brokering system that flourishes in the Islamic world.
Defense officials declined to reveal details of the new Afghanistan program, and instead met with lawmakers in a closed session to provide additional information.
Katie Couric, Charlie Gibson, Brian Williams and a tough old U.S. Marine Sergeant were captured by terrorists in Iraq .
The leader of the terrorists told them he'd grant each of them one last request before they were beheaded and dragged naked through the streets.
Katie Couric said, 'Well, I'm a Southerner, so I'd like one last plate of fried chicken.'
The leader nodded to an underling who left and returned with the chicken. Couric ate it all and said, 'Now I can die content.'
Charlie Gibson said, 'I'm living in ' New York, so I'd like to hear the song, The Moon and Me, one last time.'
The terrorist leader nodded to another terrorist who had studied the Western world and knew the music. He returned with some rag-tag musicians and played the song. Gibson was satisfied.
Brian Williams said, 'I'm a reporter to the end. I want to take out my tape recorder and describe the scene here and what's about to happen. Maybe, someday, someone will hear it and know that I was on the job till the end.'
The leader directed an aide to hand over the tape recorder and Williams dictated his comments.He then said, 'Now I can die happy.'
The leader turned and said, 'And now, Mr. U.S. Marine, what is your final wish?'
Kick me in the ass,' said the Marine.
'What?' asked the leader, 'Will you mock us in your last hour?
''No, I'm NOT kidding. I want you to kick me in the ass,' insisted the Marine.
So the leader shoved him into the yard and kicked him in the ass.
The Marine went sprawling, but rolled to his knees, pulled a 9 mm pistol from inside his cammies and shot the leader dead. In the resulting confusion, he emptied his sidearm on six terrorists, then with his knife he slashed the throat of one, and with an AK-47, which he took, sprayed the rest of the terrorists killing another 11. In a flash, all of them were either dead or fleeing for their lives.
As the Marine was untying Couric, Gibson, and Williams, they asked him, 'Why didn't you just shoot them all in the first place? Why did you ask him to kick you in the ass?
''What?' replied the Marine, 'and have you three assholes report that I was the aggressor'?
(silly wife of mine. everyone KNOWS the Marine would have pulled a .45 -- MR)
Obama nominee sees no "reason why sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States"
Big fan of "transnational legal process"
On top of that, this Obama pick believes that "America's focus on the War on Terror [is] 'obsessive.'" And his list of countries that flagrantly disregard international law highlights North Korea, Iraq, and the U.S.A. -- which he collectively calls "the axis of disobedience."
"Obama's most perilous legal pick," by Meghan Clyne for the New York Post, March 30 (thanks to Doc Washburn):
JUDGES should interpret the Constitution according to other nations' legal "norms." Sharia law could apply to disputes in US courts. The United States constitutes an "axis of disobedience" along with North Korea and Saddam-era Iraq.
Those are the views of the man on track to become one of the US government's top lawyers: Harold Koh.
President Obama has nominated Koh -- until last week the dean of Yale Law School -- to be the State Department's legal adviser. In that job, Koh would forge a wide range of international agreements on issues from trade to arms control, and help represent our country in such places as the United Nations and the International Court of Justice.
It's a job where you want a strong defender of America's sovereignty. But that's not Koh. He's a fan of "transnational legal process," arguing that the distinctions between US and international law should vanish.
What would this look like in a practical sense? Well, California voters have overruled their courts, which had imposed same-sex marriage on the state. Koh would like to see such matters go up the chain through federal courts -- which, in turn, should look to the rest of the world. If Canada, the European Human Rights Commission and the United Nations all say gay marriage should be legal -- well, then, it should be legal in California too, regardless of what the state's voters and elected representatives might say.
He even believes judges should use this "logic" to strike down the death penalty, which is clearly permitted in the US Constitution.
The primacy of international legal "norms" applies even to treaties we reject. For example, Koh believes that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child -- a problematic document that we haven't ratified -- should dictate the age at which individual US states can execute criminals. Got that? On issues ranging from affirmative action to the interrogation of terrorists, what the rest of the world says, goes.
Including, apparently, the world of radical imams. A New York lawyer, Steven Stein, says that, in addressing the Yale Club of Greenwich in 2007, Koh claimed that "in an appropriate case, he didn't see any reason why sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States."
A spokeswoman for Koh said she couldn't confirm the incident, responding: "I had heard that some guy . . . had asked a question about sharia law, and that Dean Koh had said something about that while there are obvious differences among the many different legal systems, they also share some common legal concepts."
Score one for America's enemies and hostile international bureaucrats, zero for American democracy.
Koh has called America's focus on the War on Terror "obsessive." In 2004, he listed countries that flagrantly disregard international law -- "most prominently,North Korea, Iraq, and our own country, the United States of America," which he branded "the axis of disobedience.[...]
Even though he's up for a State Department job, Koh is a key test case in the "judicial wars." If he makes it through (which he will if he gets even a single GOP vote) the message to the Obama team will be: You can pick 'em as radical as you like.
BERLIN (JTA) -- A high-level Iranian official said that Iran will not dialogue with the United States until Iran has a nuclear bomb.
Remarks by the secretary general of Iranian Hezbollah were reported in Berlin from a March 26 symposium on "Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah: Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial."
Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer Kharrazi reportedly told the Iranian state news agency Shabestan that Iran "will arrange contacts to America as soon as we build our own bomb."
"If one is not allowed to build an atom bomb, then no contacts are allowed. And if there are to be contacts, then it will be necessary to build the atom bomb," Kharrazi said, according to a translation from the original Farsi, reported by Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, a senior research fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy.
Officially, the Iranian government dismissed the recent Persian New Year greeting and overture from President Obama, insisting that the United States has to be the first to change its approach.
Obama's offer for dialogue is a good first step but it is likely doomed to fail, said Israeli scholar David Menashri, head of the Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University, one of several speakers at the symposium.
"You can't do anything serious against Iran without dialogue first," said Menashri, adding that he had been roundly criticized in Israel for espousing this view. "You have to signal that you will come to the table.
"But Iranians don't like dialogue. They achieve what they want without it. Obama is serious: He wants dialogue, and if that doesn't work, then one has to move to phase 2," which is more intense pressure on Iran.
The symposium was hosted by an independent academic forum, the International Institute for Education, Social Research and Anti-Semitism Research, together with the Yale Initiative for the Study of Anti-Semitism and the Center for Iranian Studies in Tel Aviv. It was supported by the Berlin State Agency for Civic Education and the New York-based Legacy Heritage Fund.
TEL AVIV -- Israel is preparing for the prospect that Iran would attempt to smuggle radiation bombs into the Jewish state.
Officials said the government has ordered the installation of advanced systems to detect radioactive substances. They said the systems would be installed in major airports and sea ports.
"We believe that Iran could be plotting with terrorist groups a radiation attack," an official said.
Such a weapon would be easily deniable, and might give the mullahs the dream they could escape the inevitable cataclysmic response. Anyone who tries this with Bibi at the helm is out of their gourd. Southern Lebanon, Gaza, Syria, Iran......GOOOOOOOOOOOOONE. PFFFFFFFFFT.
Officials said a radiation-detection system has been installed in the Israeli port of Haifa, which processes 1.5 million containers per year. They said the system was capable of scanning containers for radioactive material.
The intelligence community warned the government in 2007 of the prospect of a radiation bomb. Officials said such a bomb could be assembled by Iran, Hizbullah or Al Qaida.
"A dirty bomb could result in thousands dead without any fingerprints," the official said. "It is a more likely option than Iran firing a nuclear missile."
In fact the nuclear material, smuggled from hospitals in the USA (for instance) could be managed EASILY. That's why it's so important that retaliation against nation states which support terror be believed. And why Israel makes it clear that it is not only ready to ACT ALONE, but be alone in the aftermath. This should be stated publicly. Just the way JFK did.
"An attack from Cuba will be regarded as an attack
from the USSR and will be met by retaliation"
The Mullahs, Hassan Nasrallah, and HAMAS should all be left thinking that 'those jews are crazy and will kill everyone, and that will be the end of the Islamic revolution, and the end of us and our movements'
Officials said the radioactive detection system would also be installed in Ben-Gurion International Airport. Ben-Gurion is the largest airport in the country.
The Israeli effort has been coordinated with the United States. The United States has recruited allies to help track ships believed to contain weapons of mass destruction.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Conflict resolution is still not high on list of Syria's strategic priorities
The U.S. intelligence community has determined that Iran and North Korea were the key contributors to Syria's nuclear weapons program.
The men who run Syria
Affiliation: Alawi sect of Shia
-- The Syrian regime has never been regarded as particularly helpful to Western interests in that it quietly but actively aided Al Qaida insurgents transiting its borders to and from Iraq and has continuously helped supply both Hizbullah and Hamas in their proxy wars against Irael.
And yet the leader Bashar Assad (and his attractive wife) dress in fashionable European designer attire and eschew the thuggish public behavior of other dictators in the region.
The quiet military/intelligence band of Alawi brothers he heads and that run the country carefully cater to the Sunni majority that makes country function to the degree that it does and holds down key posts in the middle levels of government.
But the same covert clique worked with North Korea to build a nuclear reactor apparently aimed at producing a Syria arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.
This inconvenient fact is downplayed by the newly-empowered U.S. State Department that chafed under President George W. Bush's inclination to favor the Pentagon (during his first term at least) in foreign policy debates.
Under President Barack Obama, the diplomatic corps and significant segments of the U.S. intelligence community under its sway, see engagement with Syria and Iran as the key to conflict resolution and peace in the Middle East.
Good luck with that.
As an advisory by Middle East Newsline warned:
In the latest assessment by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Syria's alliance with Iran is described as unnatural and "may erode if Syria is accommodated significantly in any diplomatic agreement with Israel."
Somebody at DIA might want to know that the Syrian alliance with Iran is nearly 30 years old and survived three Arab wars. DIA might also want to know that President Assad's Alawi-dominated Syria, the minority that comprises 10 percent of the population, has never maintained normal relations with any of its neighbors -- Arab, Sunni, secular, Islamic or Jewish.
Jordan's King Abdullah II, right, welcomes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad upon his arrival at the Amman airport. AFP/Khalil Mazraawi
Syrian opposition sources report Damascus has been hosting foreign delegations to plan the resumption of its nuclear program. They said the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad plans to construct a nuclear facility over the next year.
"A new delegation of Iranian and Ba'athist Iraqis supported by Iran has arrived to Damascus last week to energize the Syrian nuclear program," the Reform Party of Syria said on March 12. "The delegation is comprised mostly of nuclear scientists but their specialized expertise remains a mystery."
The U.S. intelligence community has determined that Iran and North Korea were the key contributors to Syria's nuclear weapons program. In September 2007, the Israel Air Force bombed a suspected plutonium production plant in northeastern Syria near the border with Iraq.
RPS did not provide details of the Iranian delegation to Syria. Sources in Damascus said the destroyed site at Al Kibar has been rebuilt as a missile facility.
The U.S. intelligence community has also determined that Syria is modernizing its military, including the fighter-jet fleet and missile arsenal.
The Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that Syria was upgrading its missile, rocket, anti-tank, aircraft and air defense inventories. The Pentagon agency said Syria was receiving advanced Russian air defense systems to combat any Israeli air strike.
Before and after photos of a suspected plutonium production plant in northeastern Syria targeted by the Israeli air force in a strike carried out just after midnight on September 6, 2007. Wikipedia
"Significant air defense related deliveries include at least two SA-22 self-propelled short-range gun and missile air defense systems from Russia in June 2008, out of a contract for several dozen," DIA director Michael Maples said. "Recent Syrian contracts with Russia for future delivery include new MiG-31 and MiG-29M/M2 fighter aircraft, and the SA-X-17 medium-range SAM system."
The SA-22 has been marketed by Moscow as the Pantsyr-S1 mobile air defense system. Pantsyr was developed with financing by the United Arab Emirates, a leading client of the system.
The MiG-31, a high-altitude interceptor meant to replace the MiG-25, has been deemed one of the most advanced fighter-jets in the Russian Air Force. The MiG-29M/M2 marks an upgrade of the legacy MiG-29, the staple of the Syrian Air Force. Damascus has not bought fighter aircraft in more than 20 years.
"Syria's ballistic missile inventory is designed to offset shortfalls in the country's conventional forces," Maples said. "It includes older Russian-built SS-21s as well as Scud B, Scud C, and Scud D missiles. Syria continues to flight test ballistic missiles which it views as a strategic deterrent against Israel."
In a briefing to the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 10, Maples said Syria was supplying anti-tank guided missiles to the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah. He said Damascus has regarded Hizbullah as an "extension of its own defense capabilities against Israel in potential future conflicts."
DIA assessed that Syria contains a stockpile of chemical warfare agents, including nerve gas, which could delivered by aircraft or ballistic missiles. The agency said Damascus has advanced its biological weapons program and could fire missiles with a BW warhead.
"Based on the duration of Syria's longstanding biological warfare program, we judge some elements of the program may have advanced beyond the research and development stage and may be capable of limited agent production," DIA said in a report submitted to Congress.
"Syria is not known to have successfully weaponized biological agents in an effective delivery system, but it possesses a number of conventional and chemical weapon systems that could easily be modified for biological agent delivery."
Syria is also involved in supplying of the Hamas regime in Gaza, an operation that has become more difficult since its 2008 war with Israel.
A report by the Israeli intelligence community said that Iran, in wake of the Israel war, would face greater difficulty in restoring Hamas's military capabilities than in Teheran's rearmament of Hizbullah in 2006. The report by the state-financed Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center pointed out that Iran does not have direct access to the Gaza Strip as it does to Lebanon.
However, Hamas's military buildup in the Gaza Strip has been directed by Hamas headquarters in Damascus, Syria, headed by Khaled Mashal, the report said. The report said the buildup has focused on rockets and mortars and IEDs in an effort similar to that of Hizbullah in 2006. Hizbullah was said to have engaged in weapons smuggling for Hamas.
"In the Middle East, there are some countries which manufacture such rockets, including Iran and Syria," the report said. "In our assessment, Iran initiated the technological adaption to make it easier to dismantle the rockets for smuggling into the Gaza Strip for Hamas and the other terrorist organizations."
While new thinking seems to be in vogue these days in Washington policy circles, the priority in Teheran and Damascus remains what it has been: high tech weapons of mass destruction.
US ..borrow all the existent money on earth, sell more loans in bonds, and automagically electronically manufacture a trillion when you need it, and make it up as you go along, then bring 500 people to the meeting, while you take over industries, cancel protests, and call it an emergency
Russia .. drop the dollar, go back to gold (which they mine), suppress all dissent
China, drop the dollar, use IMF SDR's..........maybe, but drop the dollar, suppress all dissent
Britain - spend and stimulate, but do it this way, take your lumps in Parliament
Germany ..no way, and Obama, get straight, be huffy and arrogant
Brazil .. this is all bullshit and it's the fault of blue eyed white guys, look drunk and bigoted
France..this is all bullshit and I'm going home..., be French above all
Nicolas Sarkozy's threat to walk out of global summitAnglo-Saxon gibe strains relations with Obama
President Sarkozy yesterday threatened to wreck the London summit if France's demands for tougher financial regulation are not met.
France will not accept a G20 that produces a "false success with language that sounds good but contains no commitments", his advisers said.
Asked if this meant a possible walk-out, Xavier Musca, Mr Sarkozy's deputy chief of staff for economic affairs, said: "A basic rule with nuclear deterrence is that you do not say at what point you will use the weapon."
We're SCREWED out here.
In a year, anyone who is spending money right now, will be a SCHMUCK.
Our leaders are PYGMIES. I didn't vote for a goddamn one of them.
As things get dicey look for more and more dissension and then finger pointing.
Wait till Obama wants NATO to ante up more troops for Afghanistan
Angie Harmon is not afraid to come out and say she doesn’t like how President Obama is handling the job — but she’s sick of having to defend herself from being deemed a racist.
"I do think McCain would have done a better job, only because I think he has more experience. I also think if W or John McCain or Reagan would have gone and done a talk show, the backlash would have been so huge and in his face, and ‘What is our president doing? How unclassy!’ But Obama does it and no one says anything," Harmon said.
Thanks to Christian Soldier for putting the, um , thought in my head :)
This is outrageous. Refusing the right to peacably assemble because too many may show up. What will they do if people show up anyway? Riot cops? Water Cannons? Arrest the usual suspects? Putting a limit on the number of people who can exercise their god given constitutionally protected right to peaceful protest!
If there's a Tea Party in your area get there. If it's canceled ASSEMBLE AND PROTEST ANYWAY! The assaults on our freedoms are coming much too fast now.
first from WINK News:
Cape "tea party" canceled; City fears too many attendees
By WINK News
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A tea party to protest government spending and taxing is
canceled. Canceled by the government.
Why? They feel too many people could show-up.
Lynn Rosko planned to hold a tax payer tea party at Jaycee Park in Cape Coral on April 1st. The idea was announced at a Cape Coral City Council meeting, then an e-mail blast by the Republican Party and it was mentioned in the local media.
With all of that attention, the City of Cape Coral felt there could be more than 500 people attending the tea party.
Therefore Rosko needed to get a permit and insurance for the event. Rosko says she's not willing to get insurance and accept liability for something that a stranger could do. Rosko told WINK News, "I have rescinded any organizing or supervision or what ever you want to call it over this tea party on April 1st." the rest
Now here's the h/t story from Stoptheaclu
Florida Gov’t Cancels Tea Party Fearing ‘Too Many Attendees’
Posted on March 29, 2009
-By Warner Todd Huston
Remember this report from our nation’s history?
CNN (Continental News Network) Boston, 1773: The city of Boston canceled a proposed protest over tea taxes today, citing the fear that too many people dressed as Indians would be gathered near the wharves. Organizers expressed sadness over the cancellation, but meekly returned to their homes fearful of upsetting the officers of the Crown. Taxmen breathed a sigh of relief as the tar and feathers were put away not to be used this day.
You don’t remember that pre-revolutionary history? I should say you shouldn’t, because it didn’t happen. But flash forward a few hundred years and you’ll find it is happening today in Cape Coral, Florida where city officials canceled a tax day tea party gathering because they “feel too many people could show-up.”
That’s right, folks, the God-given, long-held American right to assemble and protest the actions of our government has been canceled due to too much popularity of the protest.
And what does it come down to? Money. You see, the city officials want an insurance policy taken out so that organizers can cover any loss that might occur as a result of the rally. And those insurance policies cost hundreds of dollars.
The tea party organizers of Cape Coral, though, aren’t the only ones to find this restriction of their free speech and rights to assemble. Tea party organizers all across the country have begun to find out just how difficult, if not impossible, it is to be “allowed” to exercise their God-given right to speak their minds against government excess and criminality. City governments all across the country are charging fees for “permits,” forcing organizers to pay out huge sums for “insurance policies,” and binding tea party organizers in all sorts of government red tape.
In many instances, organizers are being told that they aren’t “allowed” to hold rallies on government property. Imagine that? We, the taxpayers of the city/state/federal government aren’t “allowed” to gather on property that our own taxes paid for.
And then there are the “permits” required to reserve the day, arrange the police protection, and clean up afterward. Often those “permits” can only be applied for at certain times a year, precluding any spontaneous assembly. Also, these “permits” can be denied with no reason stated quashing at birth any plan to exercise the right of assembly.
Here one might wonder how it is that we so often see those lefties appearing on our TV sets engaging in their many organized protests? Don’t the flotsam and jetsam of the far left seem to have large protests all the time? One might be drawn to imagine that the government is involved in some sort of grand conspiracy to allow those with anti-American sentiment, the moonbats of the left, to march with impunity. But, hold the tinfoil hats, won’t you? Because the wackjobs of anti-war ilk and the shrill, circus acts of the Code Pinkos are expected to cut through the same red tape the tea party organizers have been confronted with. The lefties are just better at it.
You see, contrary to popular conception, the far left has some deep-pocketed backers (your George Soros types, unions and even government funds) and a raft of organizations that do “protests” as a full time job. Their protest marches and rallies are far from spontaneously organized. These groups are thoroughly knowledgeable about the red tape and governmental hoops through which they must jump to carry off a successful protest assembly. After all, the hatemongers of the left are intimately intertwined with city governments all across the country. They understand what needs to be done because, by and large, city officials used to belong to, or belong still to the sorts of groups that plan lefty protests. Your new president is one of them. Being part of government, these leftie protest marchers help write the rules, being intimately associated with government they are quite well informed about what is required and how to get around or satisfy those rules.
But the obstacles are coming as a shock to the average citizens that love this country. For their whole lives peace-loving, work-a-day Americans have taken for granted that there exists the freedom to assemble completely unaware that those rights have been eliminated by stealth regulation by governments all across the land.
And now the folks in Cape Coral, Florida have learned their lesson.
Americans do not have the rights they always thought they did. There is no right to protest government. There is no right to assemble. The people have no rights at all to voice their displeasure. Shut up people. Go home. Nothing to see here. Go quietly back to your IPods and DVDs. Big daddy government will take care of you. The Obemmessiah will decide what’s best for you. Don’t worry your little heads. Oh, and thank you for your payments on April 15th.
Put away the tar and feathers, won’t you? There’s a nice fella.
At an airport in Amsterdam several years ago, writer G. Willow Wilson ran into a problem on her way back to Denver. Ms. Wilson, a white woman and Muslim convert from New Jersey, was grilled by an official at the gate for the plane and had to defend why she had a different surname from her husband. "The situation was funny to me," Ms. Willow says, so she decided to write a comic book about the not-so-friendly skies.She may be downplaying it, but still seems to have a problem with being asked questions at all. Ahem: standard security procedure, ma'am, so don't complain. Everybody can be asked questions at the airport.
In her comic series "Air," Ms. Wilson follows a flight attendant who gets drawn into a magical world of intrigue after encountering a mysterious secret agent. Ms. Wilson's previous comic, "Cairo," was a surrealistic jaunt through her favorite city and part-time home. She fell in love with the Egyptian capital after a trip there during college. "Nothing works, but everything works out," she says about the city.
As a child, Ms. Wilson was attracted to comics for their conflicts. "X-Men" was a particular favorite. "[Comics] formed my ideas about heroism and they were more at my level than the bigger classic literatures," she says.
"Air," published by Vertigo (the adult imprint of DC Comics) and illustrated by M.K. Perker, is part of Ms. Wilson's attempt to make sense of her life as a Muslim after 9/11. She says that in the wake of the terror attacks, "It was weird and strange to be a white convert." She soon found that the very things that made her life difficult also provided great raw material for her comics.
And the part about X-Men being a favorite may be exaggerated too: In this interview on USA Weekend:
I hear your first introduction to comics was the X-Men.But is worshiping the Religion of Peace and Shari'a law the right path?
I must have been 10 or 11 at the time. It wasn’t even a real issue of X-Men. It was one of those public service things that they do, an anti-smoking issue where some kid is on the track team, starts smoking, slows down, and the X-Men set him on the right path. But that’s all it took.
It's just so funny/sad how people like these go so far as to say certain comics are what "inspired" them, yet they take up ideologies that suggest otherwise.
I find the mention of her being a "white" convert rather puzzling too. There are plenty of white Muslims, perhaps more so than black ones, and it seems redundant to bring up the subject of skin color.
If anything, I figure Wilson is one screwed up individual.
A commentor on Comics Should Be Good asked the following question:
G. Willow Wilson is a confused idealistic young woman. As a muslim convert, she fails to understand how that culture endangers her as a woman. Does she endorse forced female circumcision? Does she support Sharia’s lack of human rights for women? What foolishness it is to laud someone like her. Please help her understand her folly.Yes, someone certainly needs to help her out. Maybe that someone could be Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or even Bosch Fawstin!
Update: I found this old post from a blog called FunnyBookBabylon from last year that tells that Wilson had quite a Muslim audience at a conference held at the NYU where she spoke about the earlier book of hers called "Cairo", mentioned above. That too can give a clue just where and how she stands.
Update 2: Newsarama, which is fairly leftist, published an interview with Wilson where the following comes up:
NRAMA: Blythe is a flight attendant, and you've said before that this was partially inspired by an experience with one. Can you elaborate on that for us?No kidding. It sounds more like she disliked being asked questions because she doesn't think the Religion of Peace is any concern, that's what! Even if this doesn't deal directly with Islam, it's still appalling if it's an allegorical form of apologia.
GWW: I was once subjected to this mini-interrogation by a blonde stewardess at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. It laid the groundwork for that scene in Issue 1 where Blythe interrogates Zayn, who is traveling under an alias. Only Blythe is a lot more interesting than that stewardess, who was mostly just rude.
NRAMA: Cotinuing to talk about air travel -- this series is about the airline industry and terrorism: two volatile subjects when mixed in light of September 11th. As a writer doing this, did you have any apprehension or attempts to handle this with kids gloves so to speak?Again, even if it doesn't focus directly on Islam, and remains allegorical/metaphorical, if it's what I suspect it is, courtesy of some of the hints she's given, that's appalling.
GWW: I can't afford gloves. A lot of these issues affect me and my community, directly or indirectly. I wanted to tell a certain story, and if it irked some people, that was okay with me.