February 16, 2010

First, Second, Third

Chuck here.

First, I’ve gotta’ say, I have got to get me one of these!

Second, I’m certainly pleased to be on the west coast at this time, because being on the east coast or in the deep south, the latter a place where one has rarely seen any snow in the past, means falling victim to an overdose of global warming.

ATLANTA (AP) — The Big Chill turned into the Big Dig on Saturday for many Southerners — the Americans who least expect to open their doors to see up to a foot of snow.

Some stayed indoors a day after the storm moved out to sea, while others turned icy streets and snow-covered parks into sledding playgrounds. Many who tried to dig out found shovels in short supply at home improvement stores.

Tens of thousands of people lost power in Texas and South Carolina, and thousands of others were left stranded by airline flight cancellations.

The National Weather Service says Dallas got 12.5 inches of snow, while Harkers Island, N.C., got 8.8 inches, Belleville, Ala., got 6 inches, Foreman, Ark., got 4 inches and Atlanta got more than 3 inches.

OOOOOH, dogie!

Third and finally, I was having an interesting telephone conversation with Seth earlier, and we touched on the decision by Evan Baye not to seek reelection.

Like all the other Democrats who have made the same decision, he of course cited some logical reasons for the move. Congress has become too partison, to the point of gridlock, it’s time to serve the people in a more private capacity, etc. Some may say they merely wish to spend more quality time with their families, yaddayaddayadda…

The truth, of course, which they will never admit, is simple:

Between Osama Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and a few others, who attempted to bury our republic to the point of smothering it in far left agendas despite the will of the bulk of the American people, the Democrats have destroyed their own party. A Republican wave is on its way in, a Republican majority is on its way back. November, 2010 and November, 2012 will see to that.

No, all these Democrats are merely rats deserting a sinking ship. Period.

Having said that, both Seth and myself have misgivings about the aftermath.

That is, did the Republicans learn anything from their loss of the majority back in election 2006?

Neither of us considers the people on the right side of the aisle’s current tooth and nail opposition to the left wing legislation we’ve been asaulted with over the last year or so as any indication that any lesson was learned. All they’re doing now is fighting for their political lives.

What remains to be seen is what they’ll do after they have their majority back. Will it be back to business as usual, liberal-like pork spending while ignoring the conservative base, or have they truly learned, and will they make a return journey to the realm of small government, prudent spending of the taxpayers’ hard earned dollars and support of the principles that made America great to begin with? Will they renew the respect by our government for the Constitution, and embrace the will of not only their conservative electorate, but of our nation’s founding fathers?

We, as they say, shall see.

by @ 12:57 pm. Filed under Just Editorializing

April 1, 2009

My Own Personal, Money Saving Idea For A Stimulus Package

We are witnessing, via the excesses of the Obama Administration and the Democrats on the Hill, the largest and, by virtue of its size, least affordable spending spree by any government in history, sums of money so vastly beyond that which we have to spend that to say these people are overextending us would be a profound understatement.

The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the present generation, as yet unborn, are becoming unwitting lenders in the financing of the great debt being generated, yet when their taxtimes arrive, they will no longer function as lenders, but as borrowers — through rendered-necessary and heavily increased taxes, it is they who will be forced to pay off both the principals and interest of the immense debt underneath which our incumbent, irresponsible liberal “progressive” leaders are in the process of burying them.

This collective “groundbreaking” expenditure is falsely packaged as a series of measures geared toward jump-starting our troubled economy. In actuality, it is a collection of temporary bailouts that will lead to other temporary bailouts as the supposedly bailed-out companies fail under the inept auspices of government direction and allocations of massive amounts of the current and future taxpayers’ hard earned lucre to liberal “progressive” political PACs, unions and Utopian causes — you know, those bureaucracy-generating ones, for which our political left is famous, that snowball over the years into expensive tragedies.

Hundreds of billions of dollars. The concept, even, of so much money is mind boggling.

That said, stop and think.

There are what? About three hundred million people in this country? And the Obama spending spree totals more than two million times that number?

Well, Barack, Pelosi, Reid and friends, how about this?

If you’re dead set on doing the socialist thing, why not simply bail out all Americans on a case-by-case basis? This one needs his irresponsibly assumed mortgage paid off, fine: pay it off for him. That one is un-or-underinsured in the healthcare department, pay off his hospital bills or open an account from which his health insurance premiums can be debited. This one’s homeless but wants to work and be independent, get him a small studio apartment, pay the bills and give him a few hundred a month to eat and commute on while he’s attending the trade school we’re paying for and then looking for a job. Etc, etc, etc…

Let those in need of assistance file for it, give them, say, a three month window and the carved in stone warning that the government is only going to do this one time. To process claims and disburse funds, hire qualified temps with an understanding that the job will only last three months.

Even if everybody in the country had a million dollar problem, three hundred million would be a real bargain compared to what they’re serving up now.

That, friends, is about as far reaching a compromise as I would make, were I in the position to do so.

*Offer extends only to individuals, not big corporations, and only to U.S. citizens.

Capable, visionary, ambitious people built the big banks, brokerage houses and automobile companies into the dynamos they have become. Let these same concerns now fix themselves, restructure, go Chapter 11, do whatever they need to do. Don’t nationalize these private sector businesses under the pretense of bailing them out. This is America, we don’t do that kind of thing.

Or at least we didn’t.

by @ 6:29 pm. Filed under Just Editorializing, Socialism, The Economy

February 6, 2008

Those Code Pink Critters…

…and the rest of their kind, like the MSM and your general purpose liberal, as we know are still actively campaigning against the big Dubya, despite the fact that he’s not running for anything.

This is pretty much a mainstay of the liberal mindset. That is, they substitute platitudinal input for proactive tangible action — they have to know that their efforts to do whatever it is they want to do to George W. Bush is undoable, that they are merely making foolish noise in the process of burning up the contributions gleaned from their faithful followers, and more often than not making preadolescent style spectacles of themselves at the same time. I entertain no doubts as to the resentment the Three Stooges would feel had they been able to see these folks attempting to upstage them in the lunacy department.

When the Berkeley kerfuffle commenced (the peoples’ and city government’s war on the Marines recruiters there), I received a bunch of emails from Move America Forward on the issue and on their response to it, and have of course read of it in numerous other places. The backlash from around the country was sufficiently intense as to cause a couple of the Kommie San Francisco suburb’s city legislators to back pedal somewhat.

They say they support the troops but oppose Bush policies. In the same breath that they tell us they have nothing against the Marines, they tell us that the same Marines are murderers and torturers who mercenary themselves to Big Oil.

The U.S. Marines, meanwhile, are but one of several elements that comprise a community whose mission is to insure that those dizzy people in Berkeley remain free to speak out against the government and even…even against the Marines!

Please pardon me, but when the issue hit the news, and when I received the outraged emails from MAF, I hardly raised an eyebrow. I mean, this is Berkeley we’re talking about. These are the same varmints who, before the fires had even been put out on 9/11, were declaring that our country had deserved the terrorist attack. That we’d earned it. That it was our fault. How could anybody actually be shocked at anything of a treasonous nature that comes out of that lefty hell-hole?

If I were suddenly appointed king of America, I would certainly deny any voter in Berkeley, the city government included, even a dime of federal funds for anything, anything at all — this would be right before I had a large, unbroken “keep ‘em in” wall built around that leftist hell hole and then had it declared a nuclear waste dump. From then on, all people convicted of treason would be sentenced to life in Berkeley.

Radioactive Cows? In Berkeley? Mooooo!

However, I didn’t come here to talk about Berkeley. Screw Berkeley. Knock knock knockin’ on treason’s door…

A projected nine inches of snow is in the process of being dumped on Chicago, even as we speak (they’re so lucky in the Burbs, where the snow will stick, covering trees, rooftops and everything else, making for a beautiful morning after), so I’ve spent the day at home, catching up on professional stuff.

There’s a deli here called Ashkenaz that delivers a pleasing variety of Jewish fare, though I have to say that their knishes wouldn’t sell in New York — they lack every single attribute of a genuine knish, from seasoning to filling. But then, Chicago isn’t called the Second City for nothing. However, they do produce lox in all its glory, belly lox, Nova (Nova Scotia lox), etc, and deliver by the pound. They’re rather costly in this endeavor, but as far as I’m concerned, the quality of the product inspires the overlooking of their $40.00+ per pound price for cut lox. To me, salmon rules in its every form from smoked to poached in the seafood category, surpassed only by those big, meaty langostas one finds in the Caribbean.

So I’m spending this particular segment of my evening munching, in leisurely fashion, on lox and cream cheese sandwiches with ultra-thin sliced red onion and, having blown the dust off my old Enya albums (just kidding, I actually downloaded them from Yahoo! Music Jukebox), am listening to Watermark and Shepherd Moons. Celtic music with New Age overtones, good stuff.

However, I actually came here to make reference to yet another portside idiocy, one which, excluding all the above, will not take up all that much of your time. That is, the Waterboarding thing.

The left has villified it on a mega-scale, even the RINO, John McCain, has opposed it, and the tone of the arguments against it has been one that suggests it to be one of many horrible, unconscionable tortures our government employs to wrench, brutally and unmercifully, for days on end, even the most trivial, useless information from captured terrorists. It is business as usual for the fascistic, nazi Bush regime, etc, etc…

And the liberal media plays it up conjure nightmarish thoughts of the torture chambers at Prinz Albrechtstrasse or 2 Dzerzhinski Square.

Meanwhile, only three prisoners, major terrorists all, have been subjected to the actually non-harmful interrogation technique, and the longest duration involved was that of Sheikh Khalid Mohammed, a terrible minute and a half! All three subjects revealed information that saved a lot of innocent lives while leading to the neutralization of a large number of terrorists and their plans for further butchery of Americans and others.

Our intelligence pros aren’t electrocuting the functionality out of their testicles, beating them to a bloody pulp or decimating their minds with lysergic acid and amatol, they’re merely creating non-damaging discomfort for what amounts to mere seconds (while SKM, an abnormally tough customer, held out for some 90 seconds, the average is 1/3 of that time).

Yet our political left, who have just as much access to information as the rest of us, have chosen to ignore the facts and use waterboarding as an anti-Bush soap box, transforming the truth into exaggerations and bald faced lies in order to promote their false doctrines — in truth, given their desperation to strip us of our Constitutional system of government and quagmire us in socialism, I can’t say as I blame them: if you want to screw an entire electorate, you have to lie to them in a convincing manner. You have to promote your intended back-door entry as a pleasurable experience, one the entire family will enjoy, knowing that once they’ve let you in, the merciless shishkabobbing, weeping and gnashing of teeth will be beyond their control.

It doesn’t matter whether the sodomist is John McCain, Barak Hussein Obama or Hillary Klinton, the results will be the same.

Speaking for myself, when it comes to interrogating terrorists, I’d just as soon we refer to the Jack Bauer manual. Our misplaced sympathy for “ill-treated” terrorists is well defined in the old song about the gentle woman (for goodness sake) who saved the snake.

We’ve watched our politicians, justices and media intentionally misinterpret the Geneva Convention to “humanize” and redefine the status of the inmates at GITMO, and heard “certain parties” strongly suggest that we bring these terrorists into the American legal system for prosecution.

What it all boils down to, I think, is that these misguided souls are so secure in their illusion that certain bizarre things could never happen to them that they are confident that they’ll be safe, even if they eliminate the very safeguards that keep them safe.

What a bunch of maroons!

January 17, 2008

Portside Racism

I’ve been sort of avoiding posting on politics for the last few days, a short break as it were, but there seems to be an issue in the wood work that I feel a need to remark upon.

It’s this whole Obama-Clinton thing wherein the media and, to some extent, the concerned candidates themselves have brought up the color of the former and the gender of the latter in the course of their Presidential campaigns.

What causes me to take notice here is that the left, which includes the mainstream media (MSM), places so much emphasis on the minority status of one and the female status of the other.

The first black President, the first female President.

One result of this is the evident need of Hillary Clinton to shout from the rooftops of hers and her husband’s infinite and historical quest for equal rights and opportunities for blacks. Despite, of course, the former POTUS’ completely empty record in that regard.

Point being, we’re seeing the history of our political left repeat itself: For decades, they have demanded equality, for everybody else, to American born white males. I completely agree that all Americans should enjoy total equality in the marketplace, in the neighborhood and everywhere in between.

That said, those we select to represent us in government should be elected purely on the merits of their policies and their patriotism, their ideals and their courage, not because they are a certain color, a certain religion or a certain gender (I know that there are generally only two genders from which to choose, but I once lived in San Francisco and in that municipality, there may well be a third sex — I mean, I would not even consider personally investigating this from a field perspective, so I’ll leave it in the realm of uninvestigated conjecture).

But the liberals and their Democrat political domestic staff insist, as they always have, in making sure to hammer home the fact that Obama is black and that Hillary is a woman.

This is divisiveness at its highest order. Everyone knows that Hillary Clinton is a woman and that Barak Obama is black. Just look at a photograph of either. The media has a lot of influence upon questions asked and the issues involved — they do, after all, have the job of informing the public as to the above. So when they stress the genders and colors of the two Presidential candidates, what are they doing? They are disrespecting both, creating artificial wedges between them. Do we want a female or a black chief exec? For that matter, what about a Mormon?

Keeping bigotry alive is a primary objective of the left, its believers, its politicians, its media — the MSM. Without the ability to play the “race card”, liberal activists and Democrat politicians alike would lose a valuable propaganda tool — they could no longer blame a white, conservative Judeo-Christian society for “oppression” against all those who don’t belong to “the club”. They could no longer brand patriotic, conservative blacks “Oreos” or “Uncle Toms” (among others, Justice Clarence Thomas comes to mind) for succeeding on their own two feet rather than pursuing the victim agenda, and pit them against lesser achievers of the same minority status’.

They would be forced to confront the equality status for which they have purportedly fought (purportedly is the key word here) as the reality it has become, and concentrate on the true issues our politicians need to address in order to competently govern our country.

Well, at least they would have a few less distractions with which to razzle-dazzle the American people while, “behind the scenes”, they eased us into the adoption of socialism as a new platform for the distribution (allocation?) of our tax payments.

In summary, we need to ignore the ethnic prejudices projected by the MSM, and start looking at the candidates themselves. The media folks have pretty much demonstrated that they are too biased, racially and otherwise, to be acknowledged as an accurate source of information or political guidance…

August 28, 2007

Here’s Another Development I Consider An Enabler Of…

…the North American Union agenda.

Remember, the “consultants” privileged to attend the closed door SPP (Security & Prosperity Partnership of North America) meetings represent corporate interests by virtue of being the corporate interests (the North American Competitiveness Council, or NACC).

Of late, in my own industry, there has been much activity in certain places: Basically, government law enforcement has been responding to budgetary and manpower considerations by assigning exceedingly more investigative and enforcement responsibility to corporate security departments. In North Carolina, they’re providing police training to private security officers and issuing them full police arrest authority.

In my own “era” of hands-on security work and, later, security supervision, the best we could do was a citizen’s arrest. We would fill out all the police paperwork and when they arrived, we would hand them the entire package, right down to witness statements, polaroids or videotape. They would call in for a case number, swap handcuffs and transport the prisoner. As a casino security shift supervisor, I had open door access to the city attorney and other prosecutors (we had as many professional dealings with the local criminal community as the PD, and the same insights), and often during short conferences I briefed a city, state or federal prosecutor on the details not coverable in a report that is a legal document — conclusions, recommendations, gut feelings, etc. Sometimes, we would discuss the penalties the prosecution would ask for, and my opinion counted.

But we were not cops, we were private sector employees charged with protecting the assets and interests of the company we worked for.

Before and since going into the consulting biz, I’ve attended armloads of classes, courses, seminars and workshops across the security spectrum and read scores of books and reports as they came out, keeping abreast of my industry. Networking has brought me into friendships and exchanges of information with dozens of fellow security professionals.

A British colleague, one of a few colleagues who spent the past Christmas and New Year’s as my house guests, told me back then about the trend in Britain of granting police responsibilities to private security departments and firms, and more recently, in Protection Industry reports, I’ve read about the same trend beginning to take hold here, in parts of the U.S.A.

There are even private contractors building and running prisons!


Almost. If you have lots of time to read a highly informative report re just how big outsourced military and security assets have become on the world stage, read this report.

What will happen over the next few, short years is that both proprietary and contract security forces will evolve into better trained concerns that possess police authority, and we will see commensurate downsizing in public law enforcement agencies.

Basically, the government will largely be saying to businesses and gated community type venues, “police yourselves”, and gradually, law enforcement will become the purview of corporate security people, as will incarceration become a province of the private sector.

When I worked in the casino, we had an instant communications network established between the surveillance departments of all the casinos in town, and all security supervisors shared a radio frequency connected to the network. It was a natural progression as ever-advancing technology afforded us those options, and it was profoundly useful.

Who’s to think that the same sort of arrangement won’t be implemented among the security departments of the various corporations involved? Or the larger contract firms? This would place a hell of a lot of power in the hands of those business concerns.

While I’m a strong advocate of limited government, I think we ought to leave things like law enforcement and incarceration right where they belong — under taxpayer supervision. Putting them in the hands of “corporate interests” just ain’t gonna cut it.

But mark my words, it will happen soon. We will outsource our protective venues.

We will suffer for it, but it will become part & parcel of our existence should we permit the NAU agenda to reach fruition.

Credit where credit is due:

I actually had a bit of trouble composing this post, and it spent considerable time in “save” mode, but then I read a post over at Shoprat’s place that provided insight I needed to better define my point of view.

by @ 6:27 am. Filed under Just Editorializing, North American Union (NAU), Security

August 18, 2007

On Condition Of Anonymity

I was just reading a Yahoo! (AP, to be precise) news item on the German woman who was abducted from a restaurant in Kabul, and according to the report, those who gave information to reporters did so on condition of anonymity.

Maybe it’s just me, or perhaps it’s my career security orientation, but whenever I run across the quote “on condition of anonymity” in a news article I think, “Oops, another leak“:

In most organizations, public or private, American or Zambuli (think Tanya Roberts in a loin cloth, riding a zebra and leading sports reporter Vic Casey all over jungles and plains, pursued by an OJ type guy and a bunch of hired mercenaries), there are regulations inherent to employment that direct those on the payroll to refer any inquiries by the media or other inquiring entities to specific management personnel.

Such regulations are well within the purview of management, be they government or the private sector, to insist upon as a condition of employment, either as a means of protecting proprietary information, controlling the flow of what might be privileged data, preventing elements of an investigation or other proceedings to be prematurely divulged, perhaps in a stage of incompletion that might disparage the organization because “all the facts” have not yet been disseminated or otherwise contaminate public perception of the organization’s intentions or policies with damaging results. Or, management of the organization in question may be looking to cultivate a specific reputation, or an employee’s volunteering information to the press might not include facts known by those whose responsibilities include functioning as spokespersons for the organization.

At any rate, I believe these regulations are well conceived, and I believe that giving information to the media “under condition of anonymity” should be considered uncontestable grounds for dismissal.

The single exception to this rule would, of course, be in the event that an employee knows that his or her employer, public or private, is actually in violation of the law.

by @ 6:57 am. Filed under Just Editorializing

July 14, 2007

For Quite Some Time…

…I’d been having a serious craving for a dinner of knockwurst, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.

In Charlotte, the closest I could come to real knockwurst (at least, after much searching) was a pre-packaged product from New Jersey sold at the deli counter in one of the city’s more gourmet oriented supermarkets, and that hardly passed muster — it was the wurst worst I’ve ever had and shaped more like slightly fattened, short hot dogs than any knockwurst I’d seen before.

Here in Chicago, however, I figured I had a much better chance of finding the real thing, given the historic German population and the variety of foods one is more likely to encounter in a big, diverse city like this one.

Even so, I began my search with a paucity of even near success until I found a place a block from Lincoln Square, at 4661 North Lincoln Avenue, called the Lincoln Quality Meat Market.

The establishment is really small, but has what can only be called an incredible selection of fresh meats, including a large selection of homemade sausage that is guaranteed to please everyone who crosses their threshhold (except perhaps a vegan or general purpose vegetarian — those folks are on their own). There’s a whole lot more, just read their list of fare at the above link. I will be visiting them shortly regarding their cut-to-order filet mignon.

Back on topic, feeling somewhat like a little boy in a candy store, I was thrilled to discover that they sell their own homemade knockwurst, and that it is the gen-u-ine article. I bought a bunch of it, and guess what I had for dinner! We’re talking YUM!

They also feature andouille sausage (although whoever makes up their signs insists upon spelling it “andulie”, but you can’t win ‘em all), for which I developed a major affinity when I lived in Nawlins years ago.

I used the andouille in some gumbo a couple of nights ago.

Now, I can cook many good things, but gumbo, which I love beyond description, is not one of them. For that, I relied upon my old standby (the same many New Orleaneans use when they aren’t up to a lengthy cooking project), Zatarain’s. Zatarain’s products, available in supermarkets all over the country, are the closest “instant” products I’ve yet to find to foods one encounters in Nawlins, wherein dwells some of my all-time favorite cuisine.

So with a large bowl of Zatarain’s Gumbo with Rice and andouille sausage, I sat in front of the TV and watched a DVD of a film I had wanted to see since its release (I haven’t been a major movie-goer in years), Tears of the Sun, with Bruce Willis and Monica Belucci.

The film is about brave men (in this case, U.S. Navy SEALS) who defy both orders and almost certain death in following the courage of their convictions, and concludes with the Edmond Burke quote, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to stand by and do nothing”.

What grabbed me was the realism of the murderous and unspeakably evil acts of the Nigerian rebels and soldiers as they slaughtered innocent men, women and children for no sane reasons whatsoever, and did so with apparent joy, raping and killing without compunction.

We read about this penchant of Africans to conduct their “affairs of arms” thusly all the time (just look at Dharfur, for example), as a corrupt, do-nothing United Nations (spit!) and people everywhere scream their outrage — I heard some enraging stories decades ago from friends on the less conventional end of things who had hired out their military experience and skills fighting communist insurrection in places like Rhodesia (Zimbabwe since) and Angola — and little if anything gets done about it.

I, myself, have always been an optimist, and I try to understand everybody’s point of view before passing judgement, but I can also be extremely hardnosed and often ruthless when events warrant it, yet it is totally beyond me to accept the atrocities some so-called human beings perpetrate on their fellow man as anything short of grossly unforgiveable.

From the satanic deeds of the Third Reich (the very fact that the German people, all economic and other explanations notwithstanding, were capable of what they did to the Jews, including relatives I consequently never had the pleasure of meeting and those I did meet who had concentration camp numbers tattoed on their arms, and millions of others, bespeaks volumes about the contents of their souls), to the more modern acts perpetrated by Islam, the North Vietnamese, Pol Pot and these monsters in Africa who possess neither any value on human life nor any iota of the concept of mercy, I feel only intense despair and the total conviction that unmitigated, outrageous extremes are the only solution in all too many cases.

One of the things that really aggravates the living hell out of me is the aggression against Turkey by the PKK.

These assholes are so wrapped up in their own stupid millieu that they feel they have to pick a time when the U.S. and our allies are battling to stabilize Iraq to antagonize the Turks into an invasive and well justified military action. If I were the head honcho in Ankara, I’d already have a few thousand troops in northern Iraq, supported by jets bearing napalm.

Then there are Islamic terrorist activities everywhere on the planet from Indonesia to the former Soviet Socialist Republics, the MidEast and Southeast Asia, western Europe to the Balkans.

And now Iran is once again bee-essing the idiots at Turtle Bay by agreeing to talk turkey re their nuclear weapons program atomic energy ambitions.

But I’ll digress no further.

We continuously read and hear of mindless mass murder and downright genocide all over the world and then of diplomatic veneer or media apologism or blame cast on the victims, or of empty pledges by the U.N. or individual government spokespersons to proactively address the problems, but nothing ever happens other than additional or increased existing problems.

We have to face the facts: Whether they are based upon religion, political dogmas or both, the world’s problems of massive violence originate almost exclusively from sources on the African continent and southwest Asia, where murder, torture and mayhem are business as usual and human life counts for little, and spread from those locales to the rest of the planet, and no amount nor quality of diplomacy will ever serve as a permanent solution.

Civilized societies, decency and diplomacy will never break through the shell of barbarism that is shared by Islam and the inherently corrupt, violence as a lifestyle tribal mentalities of Africa.

It is my personal belief that no matter what we opine, legislate, say or do, the reality is that the final disposition of human co-existence on our planet, no matter what the individual dispositions of the myriad citizenries throughout the world may be, will be determined by a total encompassment of conventional and unconventional warfare and the deaths of billions of people.

Somehow, even utterance of the word “bummer” doesn’t cover it — so I’m going to sit back in my most excellent of swivel chairs (courtesy of Office Depot), sip some brandy and listen to the next two pieces of music in the playlist my computer is delivering, another study in complex diversity: Kiss Them For Me by the awesome Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees followed by one of my favorite classical music pieces, Smetana’s Vltava.


by @ 2:28 am. Filed under Just Editorializing

April 11, 2007

Since This Falls Inside…

…the parameters of my own professional bailiwick, I thought it only right that I remark upon it.

Wal-Mart is in the midst of a kerfuffle involving its corporate security people, the nucleus of which consists of one Bruce Gabbard.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Wal-Mart won a gag order to stop a fired security operative from talking to reporters, and a judge ordered him to provide Wal-Mart attorneys with “the names of all persons to whom he has transmitted, since Jan. 15, 2007, any Wal-Mart information.”

The court papers made public yesterday follow a string of revelations about the retailer’s large surveillance operations and its business plans.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. filed a lawsuit and request for a temporary restraining order with a circuit court judge after court hours Friday.

In the lawsuit, Wal-Mart says former security operative Bruce Gabbard violated trade secrets law by revealing to reporters “confidential information about Wal-Mart security systems and operations” and “highly confidential information about Wal-Mart’s strategic planning.” It seeks unspecified damages.

This affair leaves a rather bad taste in my mouth, as it calls into question the loyalty of a protection professional to his principal, in this case Wal-Mart — the security business is a little different from most other career venues, in that it is considered unethical, to the extent of a taboo, to disclose proprietary information on an employer, even an ex-employer, unless they have broken the law. Keeping company secrets is no less important than circumventing pilferage, shoplifting, workplace violence, industrial espionage, vulnerability to terrorist activity, workplace safety risks, fraudulent activities, unauthorized access, embezzlement, internal policy violations, liability risks such as fraudulent and/or overstated lawsuits, etc, etc…

Further, it is incumbent upon a security professional to establish the parameters of both the legalities of his/her responsibilities and the policies of his/her employer. That said…

The suit and restraining order were filed two days after Wal-Mart apologized to activist shareholders for Mr. Gabbard’s revelation that they were considered potential threats and ahead of a story in yesterday’s editions of the Wall Street Journal on Mr. Gabbard’s assertion that Wal-Mart had a supersecret Project Red aimed at bolstering its stagnant share price.

Wal-Mart declined to comment on the Project Red report except to say, “Our senior management, our board and their advisers regularly conduct thorough, strategic reviews of all aspects of our business. That’s just good governance. We look at a full range of alternatives, many of which are considered and rejected, and we will not comment specifically on any of them.”

…Mr. Gabbard had his directives. Corporate security is not the lingerie department. It was up to Mr. Gabbard to examine the legalities of his assigned tasks. When you hire a security professional, you hire a creative, thinking mind, not a robot that blindly follows orders. In doing as directed, he will, as a pro, have researched his orders. Had he found any legal discrepancies, it would have been his job to bring them to the attention of his supervisor and declined to put himself and the principal at risk by implementing them.


Mr. Gabbard, a 19-year Wal-Mart veteran, was fired with his supervisor last month for purportedly recording phones calls between a reporter and company officials and for intercepting pager messages between other people.

Wal-Mart said he violated its policies.

Mr. Gabbard was part of a 20-member security team called the Threat Research and Analysis Group.

The question here is whether or not Gabbard exceeded his brief, that is, allowed zealousness or an unreasonable drive to please his employers, whether they liked it or not. Or if he merely acceded to the lure of the “power” his access to surveillance technology afforded.

Shaken, not stirred.

Wal-Mart’s corporate leadership, on learning just how far Gabbard had pushed the envelope, dismissed him and his immediate boss, and denied having had anything to do with his excesses.

According to Wal-Mart’s upper management, he was a loose cannon on deck who took it upon himself to play Big Brother, and was, as a result, terminated from his employment.

As a supporter of Wal-Mart in the war the Democrats have declared, on behalf of their union lucre contributors, on the retailer, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how this case is resolved.

The Wall Street Journal presents a more detailed account, but access to the actual article requires a WSJ subscription. Luckily for those who don’t subscribe, an anti-Wal-Mart site called Wal-Mart Watch has conveniently reproduced the WSJ article in its entirety.

Definitely read the comment thread on the post, it’s right-thinking dominated to the point that the liberals-in-charge don’t seem to have much to contribute.

I’m sure we can now expect some new rhetoric from the left and their myriad anti-Wal-Mart sites containing lots and lots of nazi and fascist accusations, along with a healthy dose of “violation of privacy” alarmism and so on, and so on….

by @ 2:02 am. Filed under Corporate Security, Just Editorializing

December 17, 2006

Yeah, I Know, You Can’t Depend On Anybody….

…. these days.

I’ve pretty much learned that the hard way, belonging to a conservative blogger group.

I recently did a post {re the Air Force Academy} whose comment thread would have been well aided by a member of this group who had been there, done that, so to speak, and he pretty much shined me on, even though I requested his help.

As a result, I will no longer affiliate myself with the group, because I know that they are bogus allies.

No more alliances for this kid, I’ve learned my lesson.

Right at this moment, I’m listening to Songs Of Leonard Cohen and taking a break from working on my house for the tenant who will be here after the first of the year.

I actually plan to make a lot of changes — I need to bring in some outside help.

Despite a friend’s help in hooking me up with Haloscan trackbacks, that’s not working either, except for the very first trackback, I get none. (Googling my blog, I learn this) and neither is the help I thought I was getting in blocking spambots.

Bottom line: I can’t depend upon anyone I know via the Internet. Whether or not it’s their fault, they simply don’t or can’t deliver.

In short, I can’t guarantee my longevity at Hard Astarboard — I am becoming so frustrated at so many things that, well…. Let’s put it this way: I’m not a computer dude. I use a computer, but to me the technical details are pretty much like Sanskrit.

If I could get away with it, my home phone would have a rotary dial.

All that said, we will see what develops….

by @ 9:48 pm. Filed under Just Editorializing

November 13, 2006

Ruminating, Or Something….

When I was much younger, and I stress much here, in my mid to late twenties, I was one of those people who had absolutely no clue as to what I wanted to do with my life. As a kid, I’d always wanted to be a geologist, as a young adult, a journalist. I began to follow the latter course in college, but events occurred that interrupted that endeavor.

Following said events, I spent a few years roaming around the country. I lived very much hand to mouth, getting bored easily with whatever I was doing and moving on. I worked as a tugboat deckhand, a roustabout and then a roughneck on a few offshore oil rigs, I did general labor, peeled bricks, blended coffee, did construction labor, laid bricks, did pipe yard labor and various other things, often living an “if I don’t work today, I don’t eat tonight” existence. There was also some retail management in the mix, heh, and some loss prevention work, as well as a stint as an undercover rent-a-cop. I spent a short time living in a flophouse and lived in some pretty sleazy hotels. After all that, I worked in the Commodities business on Wall Street (back then, when computers weren’t following you all over the country and can’t-do ignoramuses hadn’t yet turned Human Resources into an industry that does more harm than good for Corporate America, it was pretty easy to jump from one scenario to another), spent the early 1980s therein, also running a mail order business and dealing in Persian rugs at the same time, and again got bored, only I was then in much better financial shape to take a hiatus and again look for what I really wanted to do.

It arrived, at long last, after two interesting years of traveling around without the stress of survival concerns – I went to work in an entry level position in casino security in Nevada and advanced pretty rapidly, floor officer to undercover officer to investigator to shift supervisor. The Security Director, an ASIS member and a great believer in absorbing information got me into the same mode, and I eventually left the casino and went into freelance work, in executive protection and consulting as I explored various other areas of the Protection Industry, kept on learning and expanding my areas of expertise. A couple of additional “hiatuses” and a lot of clients, countless seminars, workshops and conferences later, I’m in pretty good shape.

This piece of biography I’m sharing is being shared for a reason:

To point out the following – when I blog about issues involving day-to-day life and the situations of low income workers and so forth, I am not speaking from the position of those people who do all their talking from columns of government figures, pie charts, graphs and so-called “statistical data” – I’m speaking as someone who has been around the block on the graphic reality end of things. It’s very easy for someone who’s always maintained a level state of financial security and pursued the same career since college to opine on subjects he or she has not only no firsthand knowledge of, but hasn’t been within a zillion miles of same.

In short, I’ve lived a pretty full life.

That said, one thing my younger years taught me was that I am very definitely a survivor. I don’t share the fear so many others have of being stripped of everything I own and tossed into the street, so to speak, because I know that even at the half century mark, I have the natural instincts and the marketable asset value to “make a comeback”. You can’t keep a good Seth down.

Another product of my rather adventurous younger years is a penchant for seeing humor where most others might see only tragedy. I suppose that when you’ve had your share of hard times with no one to blame but yourself, your outlook on life changes. You often feel like you’re as much a spectator as a participant in life.

You learn to laugh at yourself, and at the idiocies of others.

I view politics thus: I am a patriot, I believe in the Constitution as it was written and I cherish my liberty, but when I watch our political leaders, the people my fellow Americans and I vote into office do what politicians do, I must admit I get a big charge out of much of it. You get streetwise, you find you see through all the passionate bullshit the politicians project from their rostrums and you laugh when they make what they, and the vast majority of those reading their quotes or listening to them speak take completely to heart.

You laugh at mainstream media spin and you laugh at outrageously off the wall declarations by idiots like Jack Murtha, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, the Admiral of Chappaquiddick, et al. You laugh, even knowing that they are now in a position to give this country the biggest fid in the history of the universe.

Why? Well, in this case, why cry? The Republicans in Congress let us down and got themselves fired in large numbers, so now the southpaws rule the roost. That’s it. Done deal. Nothing we can do about it until this month in 2008, while we’re also deciding who we want to be the CEO of the government.

The next two years will be fraught with legislation that runs in utter contradiction to what America’s founding fathers intended for this country. What those folks intended served us quite well for a couple of centuries, give or take, and was respected by both of our major political parties before a bunch of liberals decided that they needed to dismantle it all, and began subjugating the once great Democratic Party for their own ends.

In the next two years, we’ll see our taxes increase significantly, very possibly a return to the recession of the late 1990s and early 2000s, we’ll see once again a French (spit!) like cut-and-run from a war that will sell out several million people who trusted us to see them through and lead to a bloodbath not unlike that our withdrawal from Vietnam left in its wake, and a resulting emboldenment of terrorists to once again attack targets right here in the good ole U.S. of A. We’ll see them aided and abetted by the Democrats via “revision” of the Patriot Act. Perhaps we’ll also see the Democrats win the War On Fetuses, see the floodgates open for Mexico to empty its unemployed and unemployable into the U.S.

So, yes, I’ll be laughing quite a bit in sheer amusement, because of

a) The idiocy of my fellow voters in “punishing” the Republicans in Congress by replacing them with Democrats
b) The idiocy of the soon to be realized agendas of a political party that claims to have America’s best interests at heart
c) The idiocy on the part of the Democrats in blowing their first majority in a dozen years over a period of less than two.

You see, this is my own point of view: You voted for it, you deserve it. For those who voted Democrat who have no real money in the bank or in investments, or equity they can live on for some time without a paycheck, you deserve whatever happens to you in the next two years, no sympathy from me. I would rather laugh at you than give you a quarter.

Those of us who weren’t gullible enough to vote in the Democrat majority will deal with it, confident in the fact that in far less than two years most Americans will realize their mistake and in November 2008, vote to starboard. I only hope that those who voted to the right last Tuesday are financially prepared for the coming Democrat economy.

As for me, I’m heading into the kitchen to do a 1.6 lb porterhouse, marinated in my own chiante, olive oil and garlic marinade, and a big pile of from-scratch garlic mashed potatoes.

Then read some more articles and posts that abound of that which the Democrats have thus far said and done in preparation for January, since winning their congressional majority, and chuckle some more. …

by @ 8:36 pm. Filed under Just Editorializing