Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Death To Juice!

The photo above depicts Muslims last Sunday mounting a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Manhattan. The radical Islamic nutcases think it's unfair for Israel to attack targets in Gaza in retaliation for thousands of rockets shot from there by Hamas into Israel.
But this hatred for Zionist juice seems over the top to me. Who's behind THAT? Maybe it's some sort of anti-semitic plot by Starbucks, eh? Or maybe those Red Bull bastards peddling their energy drinks. Maybe even the French vintners, eh? I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it was all some sort of Pinot Noir conspiracy.
Anyway, it reminds me of the famous poem by Pastor Martin Teetotaller:
In Palestine, they came first for the juice drinkers,
And I didn’t speak up because I didn’t drink juice;
And then they came for the tea drinkers,
And I didn’t speak up because I didn’t drink tea;
And then they came for the alcoholics,
And I didn’t speak up because I didn’t drink alcohol;
And then . . . they came for me . . .
And by that time there was no one left in the bar but us Diet Coke drinkers.
You're not safe, not even if you're drinking lemonade.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Shin Dong-Hyuk

Shin Dong-Hyuk was born in Camp Number 14, fifty-five miles north of the North Korean capital of Pyong Yang, one of the Kimg Jong Il's archipelago of gulags, where the political prisoners tend pigs, tan leather, gather firewood and work in the in mines until they die or are executed, which ever comes first.

Shin's mother was given by the camp to another prisoner for his good work as a mechanic. Shin lived with her until he was twelve, when he was separated to live with the other boys, per camp policy. He feels no attachment to her. Says Shin, "She never hugged me, never."

Food was scarce. A young girl found with five grains of wheat in her pocket was beaten to death. Shin found three kernels of corn in a pile of cow dung, picked them out, cleaned them off on his sleeve, and ate them. "That was my lucky day," he writes.

The camp was savage. His cousin was raped by prison guards. His mother offered herself to the guards to survive. Public executions were common. The tip of Shin's middle finger was cut off at the knuckle to punish him for dropping a sewing machine. Shin writes, "I didn't think the world I lived in was wrong. I was born to it."

One day in 1995 when he was 14, Shin was dragged into interrogation for two days about his mother's escape plot. He knew nothing of it, having not seen his mother for two years. His interrogators revealed to him why he was in prison. Two of his uncles had sided with South Korea during the Korean War forty years earlier and fled south. His father was guilty because he was their brother. Shin was guilty because he was his son. Shin accepted that, "I thought it was only natural that I pay for my parents' sins with hard labor."

When Shin didn't tell them what he didn't know, he was hung upside down by ropes from the ceiling over a charcoal fire. To stop him from writhing, the guards stuck a hook in his gut. Shin passed out.

Shin was thrown into a cell with an older prisoner who gave him half his food ration and nursed him back to health. Finally, the guards fetched him from his cell where he was brought together with his father and marched to the public square where executions were carried out. He expected to be executed with his father. Instead, his mother was brought to the square and hung in front of him. His only brother was shot with her.

Shin: "I felt she deserved to die. I was full of anger for the torture that I went through. I still am angry at her."

Nine years later, Shin was paired up with an older prisoner who had seen the outside world beyond North Korea and told him about it. He taught Shin the first song he had ever heard. When the older prisoner plotted an escape, Shin went along out of curiosity. When the older man got caught in the electrical fence on the perimeter, Shin stepped on him and took off running, eventually making it to South Korea in 2005 where he lives now in Seoul. He is the only prisoner to ever escape from a North Korean concentration camp.

Shin is a bit at sea in the free South Korea: "I never heard the word 'love' in the camp. I want to have a girlfriend, but I don't know how to get one. Two months ago, I found myself without any money. It suddenly occurred to me that I had to go out and support myself."

To tell his story, Shin wrote a book, "Escape to the Outside World," which is available in limited edition in Korean only.

Shin, at 26 years of age, has just celebrated his birthday for the first time, which was a very moving event for him, bringing him a discovery, "I realize you really need a family... I have recently discovered that I am lonely."

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Northwest Airlines Captain Thomas B. Cook

The Oberoi Hotel at Nariman Point, Mumbai, India

Hank, an old room-mate from the Air Force Academy who is now an airline captain, sent me this account of the Mumbai attacks from a Northwest Airlines (NWA) pilot who was caught in the Oberoi by the terrorists. These photos were not taken by the captain, but were snatched by me off the Internet to illustrate the story. F/A means Flight Attendant:

To all my friends and relatives, It has been a week since F/A Daryl Jones and I were released from the Trident/Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai, India.

First, a sincere and heartfelt "Thank you" to all for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. Believe me when I say, "we needed them!" Here's my story: Timeline starts Wednesday night 26 NOV (all times local BOM)

2100: Returned alone from dinner(luckily not Leopold's). Headed down to 10th floor aircrew lounge to use the computer. Made a couple of calls to the USA using Skype connection.

2155: Returned to room #1510 and realized I had missed my 2150 wake- up call. Noticed message light NOT flashing. Almost immediately heard what sounded like loud fireworks coming from the street level. My room faced the water. Peaking outside, I saw no unusual activity. The noises continued. I started to think that the cadence was unusual and not really like fireworks.

2205: I then decided to call reception to find out if the flight was operating on time---no answer at the front desk. I then called the hotel operator---no answer! At this point I started to think "terrorist attack" The hotel is extremely customer oriented and they normally pick up the phone on the first ring.

A normal view from a room at the Oberoi Hotel

2210: Looked out the window to see if there was indeed any panic in the street. Everything appeared normal. Nobody running around etc. I start to think that my imagination was getting the best of me. Surely if there were terrorists shooting up the lobby that the people walking around outside the hotel would be running around seeking shelter. At this point I made an unfortunate and almost fatal tactical error. I decided to go down to the lobby to get some first hand info on our pick-up time.

The lobby of the Oberoi

2212: Still wearing jeans and a golf shirt, I jump into the elevator. As I descended toward the lobby I had a thought. "If there are terrorists in the hotel-maybe I should stand closer to the side(by the buttons)of elevator car. Don't want to give the bastards too easy a target!

Elevator doors open and I see a pool of blood directly in front of me. I hear screaming and moaning I immediately realize that my worst fears have come to fruition. I press the button to close the doors and simultaneously look up past the blood and see a guy, who has just noticed me, holding an AK-47. He turned toward me and fired just as the doors were closing. If the doors had not closed as quickly as they did I'm sure I would have been toast.

2215: Ran like lightening back to my room and locked myself in. At this point it took a few minutes to "get it together". Had to really concentrate on exactly what course to take. With all my lights off, I again peaked out between the curtains.

2220: While looking out side, I heard the first of many loud explosions and saw pieces of the hotel falling into the street below. This one sounded like it came from just to my left and above. (in retrospect, I believe some of these bombs were planted days earlier by sleeper cell employees) Glad they hadn't chosen my room!!

2230: "Breaking News" on the attacks was just starting to hit the TV airways when they reported that my hotel was on fire. Not surprising considering all of the explosions. I started to feel very helpless. I faced an unenviable quandary, if I left he room I'd probably be shot, but remaining in burning hotel was almost as unappealing.

2245: Made contact with Northwest Airlines SOC in Minneapolis. Fortunately, they were in contact with my 2 First Officers who were outside the hotel(another story). They were able to conclude that the Trident(my) side of the hotel was not on fire. Amidst all this horror, a little good news goes a long way.

The terrorists occupied various section of the Oberoi/Trident Hotel complex for about the next 37 hours. I won't go into the hostage taking and other atrocities. These were all well reported by the various news outlets throughout the Thanksgiving holiday. Eventually our TV, internet and hot water were cut off. The hotel phone continued to work and I was able to keep in contact with NWA and my family. I was also in contact with Daryl who was on the 23rd floor. As time slowly dragged on, I found myself going through periods of hope and despair. I was hopeful when the sun finally came up and I could see Indian soldiers on the sidewalk below. Though intermittent explosions could be heard, I continued to hope for some good news from NWA but the status quo prevailed. "Hotel not secure--do not move" I started feeling badly for the men and women with whom I spoke. I knew that they wanted desperately to give me some good news. The SOC, Chief Pilot (thanx OC) and NWA security did a super job keeping us informed as best they could. Information was at a premium. About mid-afternoon on Thursday I was told that our evacuation would happen within the hour. This was a real high point. Sadly, no one came. And when the sun started to set I began to think I'd never get out. Soon after, I found out the the last NWA A330 out of town had just departed for AMS--without us. A very sinking feeling.

Halfway through the night I heard a door open in the hallway. Using my peep hole, I could see people across the hall carefully sticking their heads out of the room. They were Lufthansa flight attendants. I was really glad to find that I was not completely alone. I was told that their Purser was on the 17th floor and had informed them that Lufthansa was sending an A319 rescue aircraft. This was very uplifting news. I called Daryl to tell him that we had a "for sure" ride out of town.

The next morning at about 11:00 we were evacuated by the Indian Army. The walk through the lobby was sobering. Looked like a war zone. Details later(preferably at the Belgique). After out-processing, we, along with Lufthansa and Air France crews were bussed to a hotel near the airport. After a hot shower and some lunch, we were boarding the Lufthansa A319. (about 1800 Fri eve)

I can't thank Lufthansa enough. They sent their head flight surgeon, psychologists and all crew members had been trained in Critical Incident Stress Management. We could lean a lot from them.

We were then met in FRA by Lars Reuter and Bob Polak from AMS. They were awesome. Met us in the middle of the night, had our hotel accommodations and follow-on travel arranged. Again, "Thank you Lufthansa" for the first class seat to BOS.

In BOS, I was surprisingly met at the aircraft door(upstream of customs!!) by my family and my dear friend, BOS manager Tommy Neylon. Tommy even had the State Police watching our cars at the curb-right in front Terminal E(Tommy knows everybody!!!)

I'll save all my lessons learned captain stuff for a different audience.

Thank You to all, Cheers-Capt. Thomas B. Cook

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gitmo's Greatest Hits

1. Enter Sandman – Metallica
2. Bodies – Drowning Pool
3. Shoot to Thrill – AC/DC
4. Hell's Bells – AC/DC
5. I Love You, from the Barney And Friends children's TV show
6. Born In The USA– Bruce Springsteen
7. We Are The Champions – Queen
8. Babylon – David Gray
9. White America – Eminem
10. Sesame Street – theme from the children's TV show

These ten songs are being used to torture terrorists at Gitmo and in CIA clandestine prisons.

Binyam Mohammed, who was planning to bomb high-rise apartment buildings in America with dirty bombs, claims he was a victim of such music torture at the CIA "Dark Prison" in Afghanistan, where his fellow terrorists, unable to endure it, banged their heads on the walls to make it stop: "There was loud music, (Eminem's] Slim Shady and Dr Dre for 20 days. I heard this non-stop over and over ... The CIA worked on people, including me, day and night for the months before I left. Plenty lost their minds ... To lose your sight or lose your mind. While having your eyes gouged out would be horrendous, there is little doubt which you would choose."

Sometimes the CIA fiends would play Barney the Purple Dinosaur singing for days his happy song:
"I love you, You love me
We're a happy family
With a great big hug
And a kiss from me to you
Won't you say you love me, too?

"I love you, You love me
We're best friends like best friends should be
With a great big hug
And a kiss from me to you
Won't you say you love me, too?"

Over and over and over until the Al Qaeda bastards cracked.

Singer-songwriter David Gray, whose song, Babylon, was used to break terrorists, is outraged: "What we're talking about here is people in a darkened room, physically inhibited by handcuffs, bags over their heads and music blaring. That's torture. It doesn't matter what the music is – it could be Tchaikovsky's finest, or it could be Barney the Dinosaur. It really doesn't matter, it's going to drive you completely nuts."

Likewise, Tom Morello, a guitarist formerly with Rage Against the Machine, was horrified to find his songs were used as an "enhanced interrogation technique" instead of waterboarding.

The success of the rock music torture is undeniable. It is said that the would be 20th skyjacker Mohammed al Qahtani was forced to confess by pop hits by Christina Aguilera. For some patriotic rock stars, use of their songs to fight terrorists is a point of pride. Bassist Stevie Benton of the group Drowning Pool brags that their song, "Bodies," is used as a weapon by interrogators: "I take it as an honor to think that perhaps our song could be used to quell another 9/11 attack or something like that."

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The Global Warming Fraud

While demagogue Al Gore declares the debate over and wacky-do greenies claim unanimous scientific consensus on global warming, some six hundred fifty scientists have not gotten the word that anthropogenic global warming is their gospel. They are currently challenging the UN's orthodoxy on global warming at a conference going on now in Poland. The opinions of the dissenters is featured in a newly updated U.S. Senate Minority Report:

Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever:
“I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.”

Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson:
"Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.”

UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, PhD environmental physical chemist:
Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.”

Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet:
“The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists.”

Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico:
The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC "are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.”

U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA:
“It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.”

Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ:
“Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.”

Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs:
“After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri's asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it's hard to remain quiet.”

Geologist Dr. David Gee, Uppsala University, Sweden:
“For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?"

Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee:
“Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp…Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact.”

Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh:
“Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined.”

Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal:
“Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense…The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.”

Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research, Chubu University, Japan:
“CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another….Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so…Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.”

Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, University of La Plata:
“The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds.”


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Child 44

I don't read many novels but "Child 44" by Tom Rob Smith was something else, that rare novel that just grabs you by the lapels and forces you to read on. What the author, Tom Rob Smith, has done is remarkable, taking you back into the crazy, paranoid, conspiratorial, vicious and Kafkaesque world of Stalin's Soviet Union in a way only fiction could. Smith's protagonist, Leo Demidov of the secret police, discovers to his amazement that crime exists in the Soviet Union where communism has purportedly eliminated all the capitalist conditions that lead to crime. From there, it's one wild ride through Stalin's deadly and psychotic police state. The ending is lame but the journey makes it all worthwhile. I read it in a weekend, it was that good.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Moshe Holtzberg

Moshe Holtzberg, aged two, was with his parents, Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg (see below), in the Nariman House in Mumbai, India when two Muslim terrorists attacked their house, part of the larger attack that included the train station and Taj Mahal Hotel. Moshe is pictured above at his parents memorial. Gavriel was 29, Rivka 28.

Gavriel was a rabbi with the Chabad-Lubavitch Movement who had come to the Chabad center in 2003 to run a synagogue and Torah classes to serve the small Jewish community in Mumbai. That small presence was too much for the Muslims who took the Holtzbergs and six other people hostage and then executed them. An Indian doctor who examined the bodies said they were tortured. Rivka was several months pregnant.

Sandra Samuel, the Holtzberg's nanny, locked herself into a room on the first floor when the Muslim gunmen came, escaping their notice. She could hear Rivka screaming from the second floor, "Sandra help!" Then it stopped.

That night Indian commandoes stormed the six story building from the air and fought it out with the two Muslims, who were high on amphetamines and cocaine. The next morning, it was quiet. Sandra could hear the baby crying.

Sandra unbolted the door and crept upstairs to a gory scene (above). She found Moshe alive next to his dead parents and two guests, soaked in their blood. The two terrorists were up on the roof. She snatched Moshe up and ran outside. Sandra has since flown to Israel with Moshe to give him to his grandparents. His parents were buried Tuesday on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives.

The terrorists were from Pakistan, from the poor and rural Punjab, to be exact. It's doubtful that any of them had ever met a Jew before they encountered the Holtzbergs. Everything they knew about Jews they heard from the radical mullahs who indoctrinated them to hate them.

Hopefully, Moshe will have no memory of his parents deaths. His only memories are likely to be abstract ones, like this image of him and his Dad.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, where the Muslim terrorists were equipped and trained, the local state-run television claimed that the terror plot was neither Muslim nor Pakistani in origin, but the act of Western Zionists, Hindu Zionists, Israelis, and Mossad.

Some Muslims celebrated the slaughter, like Bilal from Britain:

"It was pleasantly refreshing to hear they targeted Chabad Lubavitch. Allah will destroy His enemies wherever they are in the world. You will know when the Muslims have ignited in an insurrection when there is blood on the streets of London and New York like there is blood on the streets of Fallujah (and Mumbai). There is nowhere they can hide from the wrath of Allah and His soldiers."

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