Wednesday, March 30, 2016


My latest @ Opportunity Lives: To Win the Future, Strengthen American Families

Monday, March 28, 2016

Scott Jones



From the BBC: ''The explosion, believed to have been carried out by one suicide bomber, hit the main gate to the Gulshan-e-Iqbal park in the early evening, a short distance from the children's playground. Officials said the device had been packed with ball bearings.''

This situation is not specific to Lahore. Instead, Lahore is just one example of the utter political dysfunction that defines Pakistani political life. For too long, extremist Sunni Imams have been able to hold bastions of power under the authority of the Pakistani state. But until Pakistan purges the ISI and other corrupted institutions of government, this attack and other atrocities (notably the Peshawar school massacre) will continue with regularity. The Pakistani Taliban revels in the annihilation of civil society and religious freedom. That TPP have again attacked children with ball bearings marks in blood our responsibility to destroy them. My piece on the Peshawar school attack - and politics - can be found here.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The McLaughlin Group - March 26th - CBS-NY, PBS-Nationwide

My time linked comments:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Speaking with Buck

Please NOTE: At 56m02s mark (click here for time link) I make the point that academic self-guilt and unwillingness to confront the counter-terrorism threat at a tactical level - interdiction - is morally pathetic.
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Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good

As Larry David would say. Honored that my book review of Henry Kissinger's World Order - you can read the review here - is now on the front cover of the latest editions of his book. That said, the words in the below quote are taken from multiple parts of the review.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Paris Attacks

Saturday's New York Times has an exceptional report on the French investigation into ISIS operations in Europe. It explains how ISIS has established a highly professional, compartmentalized cell structure towards Paris-style attacks. The report specifically notes how ISIS used encryption to avoid detection  by intelligence services:
I warned about this specific threat back in March 2014 on Real Time with Bill Maher (here at 4m51s), and in May 2014 at the Telegraph (here). My collected writings on this threat can be found here and here.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Non-Compete Clauses in Media

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To enforce the non-compete clause a media outlet would have to show that they suffer more by an individual working elsewhere than that individual would do by not working (Above). They would have to to show a court that they were suffering significantly by the individual's alternate work, and more importantly, the company would have to show that the hardship placed on an individual by the non-compete (IE not working for alternate media for year+) was not undue. Basically, enforcing non-compete clauses against young journalists is not easy.
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''From day one, Sreepur officials work hard to ensure residents will become self-sufficient. For women, this involves a skill-development training programs and dedicated savings accounts.''

Note, if you wish to donate to Sreepur Children's Village you can do so here.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The McLaughlin Group - March 12th - CBS-NY, PBS Nationwide

My time linked comments:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bangladesh Suffering

A report/photo that an aid worker in Bangladesh sent to my aunt, Pat Kerr. She sent it to me. It covers one Bangladeshi boy's suffering earlier this week.

In Dhaka the children of the streets are everywhere; playing on the corners and in the roads, sleeping in the middle of the pavement, wandering along the pavements searching for plastic or paper to recycle with their sacks slung across their backs. They come from all over Bangladesh, some fleeing abuse but most just fleeing poverty and trying to eke out a living so that they can eat. They are so visible that they have become invisible to most; it is a common sight to see people stepping over or around the small forms that sprawl across the pavement. The SPP Tongi Urban Project is a place specifically created to provide these children with some recognition and normality; a place to socialize and watch TV; a place to wash themselves, their teeth and their clothes; a place where the lunch is free; a place that provides a sleeping place during the night that is free from fear; and, most of all, a place where the adults can be trusted. It has developed beyond this now, becoming a networking hub that can help these children access the services they are desperately in need of. Anik is one such child and has been using the Night Shelter at The Tongi Project for over a year. Anik travelled to Dhaka from Chittagong (a distance of 300km) for one of the reasons above (he has chosen to never reveal the exact reason) and like many he spends his days riding the trains and moving between areas where he knows he can earn some money or get food. Unfortunately, like many of the children on the streets of Dhaka, Anik has also developed a dependency on dendrite, or ‘denty’ as it is locally known, using it as a method of coping with the harsh reality of being one of these invisible children. On Monday night Anik and his friends were on a train, sitting in the space between the carriages and using denty, something they had done many times before. Although this time it went disastrously wrong; Anik fell from the train and the train went over his left arm. Thankfully some people saw it, realized the severity of the injury and took him to Tongi Medical clinic; this clinic just told them to take him to a specialist hospital. Anik however knew who he could trust and told them that he spent the evenings at the Tongi Project and they should take him there; thankfully they did. On his arrival he was bleeding badly but the two workers on duty took him to Dhaka Medical College, where they knew he could be treated, and contacted a partner organisation that pays for medical crises such as this. They spent the night with him to make sure that other adults, who work to support children such as Anik, could take over and ensure his care. Anik life was saved because he knew who he could rely on in his time of need. He will never be able to thank all the people who helped him or who have made the SPP Tongi Project possible, but we will. Thank you.

Harvard Law's War on Intellectualism

My latest @ Opportunity Lives: Harvard Law's War on Intellectualism

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

TV commentary

Just noticed this comment below a posting on a McLaughlin Group episode from November 2015. He/she refers to my Grandfather in this context.

''As I understand it Tom is of American parentage ~ both parents?, don't know ~ born, raised and schooled over there. Grandpa is an authentic Yank, ditto, Dad at least. I suspect that Tom is an Israel First Neocon "clash of Civilisations" Islamophobe and question his ethnocreedal status & loyalty. The fact that it is hard to get background data on him makes one suspicious. It didn't seem like Mort particularly liked him, but one wonders whether he is Mort's replacement for the "Jewish seat", the way these people operate. John should clarify this and explain Mort's absence. The silence is really quite arrogant. Even though I am coming to tolerate Rogan better, and know that young people deserve a chance, I think that just making him a "regular" was "over the top" and pre-sumptuous.''

Free Trade

My latest @ Opportunity Lives: Free Trade Serves U.S. Interests

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Secret Service and the Media

Yesterday, at a Trump campaign rally, a US Secret Service agent was involved in an altercation with a Time photographer. A number of videos of the incident have been posted, but this is the key one. It shows the Agent being pushed backwards at the one second mark (which constitutes assault on a Federal Officer - see here). The Agent then slams the photographer to the ground. When the photographer gets up, he grabs the Agent's neck. But if, as appears, the push of the Agent is the first unlawful physical contact, that is the key to the incident. That's because the push would constitute assault on a Federal agent. 

Case closed. 

Yet judging the media reaction to these circumstances, you would surmise that the Secret Service agent is the guilty party. For a few examples, consider Mashable's tweet, or that of Huff Post's Michael Calderone, or that of Politico's Marc Caputo. Indeed, Daily Beast reporter, Olivia Nuzzi tweeted that an objective assessment of the Agent's actions was a mortal sin. These tweets from supposedly objective journalists really pissed me off. And be under no illusions, there were many more tweets than those linked above. In part, my anger is personal - I've worked in close protection (at a lower level - see video below!), but it's also professional - Journalism deserves better. Thus, I went on Twitter rant...

1) I explained why the Secret Service is rightly concerned about maintaining the integrity of media pens. This is a fact that many in the media - one example - inexplicably do not understand. Their ignorance is both intellectually pathetic and inexcusable.

2) Most in the media have no clue about US Secret Service role/challenges. In terms of both protection and personal sacrifice, Officers and Agents of the Secret Service give a great deal. The lacking regard for the Agent's perspective was outrageous. The Secret Service as a protective agency, is worthy of trust and confidence.

Regardless, my main gripe here is that the collective media scrum to blame the Agent was immoral. Had there been clear, immediate evidence that the Agent had committed misconduct/assault, the media reaction would have been justified. But there was no evidence of those presumed circumstances. And it was rapidly obvious because of the variable camera angles that no evidence existed. By rushing judgement here, many in the media have betrayed journalistic best practices by allowing bias to define their reaction. They saw a law enforcement officer an altercation with a journalist, and they chose to side with the journalist. They decided that the assessment of facts didn't matter. That reaction shows that far too many in the media today are unable to grasp that journalists are not the sole guardians of democracy. While the media rightly must draw scrutiny to power - think Watergate - the Secret Service play a critical role in facilitating American elections. I personally think Trump is a sociopath and an ignoramus, but democracy demands our acquiescence to the lawful will of the people. The Secret Service defend that principle: whether its Obama, Sanders, Trump or someone else. 

Fortunately, not all journalists are inane when it comes to assessing law enforcement. Enter the Washington Post's Petula Dvorak. Yesterday, Dvorak wrote an opinion piece on the challenges Police Officers face every day. She singled out Ashley Guindon, a 28-year-old Prince William County Officer who, on Saturday, lost her life on her first patrol. I disagree with much of Dvorak's piece in terms of gun control. But her nuance in assessing law enforcement strikes a very different tenor to what many other journalists wrote yesterday.

Beware journalists bearing claims of unimpeachable objectivity. That true virtue is rare.