Tuesday, March 20, 2007

ALF…Six Degrees of Separation

Major Michael McBride
(reprinted with permission of townhall.com)

The kooky domestic terrorists at the Animal Liberation Front have struck again, this time in animal friendly Portland, Oregon.

ALF, known in FBI circles as…

“…a leading domestic terrorist threat,…”

…has taken to targeting investment advisors for Wachovia Securities, in some warped Six Degrees of Separation scheme that somehow makes a securities advisor in Portland, Oregon a “legitimate” target for their activities against GlaxoSmithKline; who apparently use the services of Huntingdon Life Sciences, a company founded in England, who is apparently, their ultimate target.

Can Kevin Bacon be more than two steps away?

Huntingdon Life Sciences evaluates the effects of chemicals and drugs, and yes, this involves testing on animals. Their homepage acknowledges that with the stringent demands for drug safety and necessity to minimize the risks to their human end users, surprise, they use animals in their experiments. Huntingdon provides scientific services (experiments) for varied uses such as, veterinary medicines, human medicines, and other testing that ultimately benefits us as humans. They provide a breakout of their procedures used on animals, and obviously overlooked by ALF, an overwhelming majority of their testing occurs on rodents.

I guess the hooded cretins at ALF choose to ignore these facts, so that they can justify their incoherent targeting of innocent securities advisors in the advancement decidedly illegal activities, many highlighted at the Animal Liberation Press Office. I guess, in the best traditions of hooded anarchists, their single-purpose ends, justify their intimidating and illegal means.

ALF’s new tactics are disturbing. By their own illogic, virtually anybody that eats at McDonald’s, or takes prescription drugs may end up being one of their targets. Most of us understand that animals are used in a variety of ways to facilitate our everyday lives…some a bit extravagant, such as furs and cosmetics; some somewhat selfish, such as veterinary products that aid our pets, and enhance our enjoyment of them; and some quit necessary, such as prescription drug testing. None of us deserve to be individually targeted or intimidated simply because we interact with those that participate in this very vital function.

Who at ALF has not taken prescription drugs or taken their pet to the vet for treatment that ultimately led to some kind of drug treatment? It is impossible for even the most stringent ALF anarchist to walk through life without using the benefits of animal testing. So how does a securities analyst in Portland, Oregon get singled out for threats and intimidation?

Coupled with this illogic, is the MSM’s refusal to deal with these “terrorists” as the social threat that they are. While the Oregonian acknowledges in their article that ALF is considered a serious threat by the FBI, the Oregonian mitigates this label by calling them “activists” in their headline.

ALF claims responsibility for over forty “activist” activities over the past three years, many involve disruptions and suppression of legal activities. For all of their focus on the “negative effects” of the Patriot Act over the past five years, you would think that the MSM would likewise object to the threatening and destructive attacks that ALF and their cousins have perpetrated, that have the same net effects on others’ personal liberties. But I guess that it is okay to deny others their legal rights, and destroy their property, if you wrap your abuse of their liberties in the fuzzy cuteness of infant monkeys and puppies.

In the end they are the terrorists that the FBI classifies them as. But until we begin to recognize them for the threat that they are, we will be enabling their activity and emboldening them to take more aggressive measures to achieve their aims. Their activity needs to be stifled and directly engaged by the appropriate law enforcement agencies, until they can contain their methods to true civil disobedience bounded by existing laws, and that is respectful of others’ rights and property.

Their enablers, the MSM, need to begin to live in the real world and recognize that these violent “do-gooders” are not the innocents that they pretend to be, but that they are a true threat to our individual liberties, and because of their random methodologies, a potential physical threat to their varied targets.

ALF’s recent stretch to targeting indirectly connected associates of their prime targets is an ominous turn, and one that requires the immediate attention of law enforcement, and the blind MSM. Turning an indifferent eye to this dangerous group is in itself dangerous and reckless. Domestic terrorism is a real threat and ALF is proving that it cannot be further ignored.

Particularly if Kevin Bacon may eventually lie in the wandering path of ALF’s accelerating violence.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Global Swarming: The Great Swindle...


A new UK Documentary takes a hard look at the The Great Global Warming Swindle,

According to a group of scientists brought together by documentary-maker Martin Durkin, if the planet is heating up, it isn't your fault and there's nothing you can do about it. We've almost begun to take it for granted that climate change is a man-made phenomenon. But just as the environmental lobby think they've got our attention, a group of naysayers have emerged to slay the whole premise of global warming.
View it here...

...If you have the courage to resist the swarm.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Legacy of Walter Reed’s Failings

Major Michael McBride

While the over-staged drama of Congressional hearings will continue to dominate the Walter Reed story for weeks to come, there are some real cautions for our Congress and media before they jump in and help the military “solve” the problems at Walter Reed.

The problem is fairly simple. The staff at Walter Reed was caught derelict in their duties.

I am sure that while Democrat lead Congressional hearings, and the bent media coverage find some way to prove that the President planted the black mold in the hospital, they will be missing a couple of points.

Military medicine is BIG medicine. It, combined with VA operations, are enormous “businesses” that are currently not efficiently managed or effectively lead. Managing a tentacled behemoth is no small task, and it must be left to professionals…managers, not doctors. These entities should not be “lead” by tenured physicians with some weekend MBA. They need to be lead by professional and experienced leader/managers. Not efficiency experts, and accounting fanatics, but thoughtful managerial professionals used to leading large, diverse organizations or corporations.

In the case of the military hospitals, they need to be lead by experienced line officers that have earned management degrees outside of military channels. This is the same approach that is taken with the variety of military post-graduate schools, including its War Colleges and its variety of specialized degree programs. But these should be line officers, not doctors trying to extend their careers outside of their operating room duties. It would be even better that any facility that handles the combat wounded, be managed by line officers that were themselves, previously wounded.

This new style of hospital leader would be tied to their patients in a way that would ensure, that in the execution of the primary purpose of their existence, these facilities would be hallmarks of excellence, not paragons of medical mediocrity. Be still moaning doctors…you, as with your educational brethren have had your chance as manager/leaders, and have failed miserably. Now you get to do business the military way; the way in which “leaders” accomplish their missions, or are rightfully relieved of duty.

The military’s medical services and the VA need to get themselves in shape immediately. They need to meet recognized standards, and sustain them. This is accomplished by getting the cronyism out of the VA, and putting line officers in charge of our military facilities…with no apologies. Changing the leadership strategy for hospital management will be unwelcome by medical professionals, but this change is absolutely critical, if we are to ensure that our wounded are dealt with in the interested and respectful manner that they deserve.

Doctors and dentists in the services and the VA are there for one simple reason, to provide care to our wounded servicemen/women…ALL else is secondary. Failing to accomplish this in the middle of a protracted war is a grievous failing that the Army must atone for, and that all other facilities must guard against…assuming they would pass muster today. For those that wish to keep your jobs, refocus on what is important, and put our wounded as your number one priority…all else is a distant second.

You lost focus at the worst possible time. There is no excuse. It is time for a drastic change.

The services should also move to end charitable campaign solicitations from our service members that do not support military related programs. Through the Combined Federal Campaign, only a fraction of the millions our service members contribute finds its way back onto our bases. This type of charitable campaign should be re-focused to serve only the very specific needs of our service members. This could easily include higher end items or advanced care that our services may not able to provide; such as extended or advanced physical therapy, hi-tech prosthetics, and advanced reconstructive surgeries.

We are missing an opportunity to support “our own” by shipping millions of charitable dollars off our bases each year…it is time to cut off the flow, and call in our marker from those charities that have thrived over dozens of years from the donations of our servicemen and women.

Let’s take care of our own, and lay claim to what we need, and let’s get some of it from those we have supported for so long.

Now we will see if all of the Congressional posturing over the past couple of weeks about supporting our troops will be supported with long term action. Support DOD and VA hospital budgets through adequate funding, including enough monies to attract top level doctors and managers to the DOD and VA hospitals. Provide minimum level of care guidelines that stretch our capabilities, but are measurable, so that “adequate care” is not a moving target impossible to hit by ever-wandering congressional standards. Congressional visits to our hospitals should be a routine occurrence, not an infrequent grip-and-grin for PR reasons.

Real congressional involvement, combined with firm standards of care, and adequate budgets would go a long way in stabilizing the slipping state of DOD and VA health care.

For the social program pushing Dems and MSM, this is what non-competition, governmental, BIG medicine can become…even in the best intentioned facilities. This is the harbinger of a national health care system, and the by-product of a non-competitive industry. Without competition or incentives to improve, public medicine will spiral into complacency, just as the staff at Walter Reed did.

Of course the Dems and the MSM will be pleased with themselves, as all citizens will now be covered by health insurance, regardless of how mediocre it becomes. New, BIG medicine will easily evolve into an endless source of “investigative reports” and Congressional hearings. They will forever be able to uncover zillions of shortcomings effortlessly found in under funded systems, and unwieldy organizations; leaving only a trail of exasperated, yet well-intentioned public servants in the wake of their near-continuous stream of “fact-finding” activity.

If you want to see what universal, government backed health care will look like, or worse…look at Walter Reed. The administrative latitude that the services have in accomplishing their mission is unparalleled in the civilian world…if they struggle, you can bet that big, government managed systems will struggle far worse, with many more grievous examples of sub-standard care than will be found at Walter Reed. Congressional dictum cannot “will” mammoth systems to function effectively or efficiently, and such systems will only become self-licking ice cream cones for the left and the MSM…a endless source for malpractice investigations and Congressional windbagging.

The legacy of Walter Reed’s failings will be the imprint that their malfeasance has left on our injured troops; our diminished confidence in our services’ ability to set and sort priorities; and the congressionally mandated overhaul which the VA and military medical systems will certainly undergo in short order.

But the true lesson of Walter Reed, is that monstrously large medical systems are not easily managed, and a lack of competition breeds complacency…this is a preview of a national health care system, and it will not be an Oscar winner.

© Michael McBride 2007

Friday, March 09, 2007

Global Swarming: Dying Polar Bears...


So we've all by now heard the News stories, read the editorials, listened to the Ad Council spots for the Environmental Defense Fund, and the lamentations of friends and co-workers...

Those poor Polar Bears are dying... from Global Warming... and its our fault!


Well, not exactly, says London's Daily Telegraph... (ht:wretchard)

More to come...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007



Austin lost another icon. Stella Boes passed away last night. She was one of Austin's folk legends, and had appeared over the years several times on various local radio shows. She had been a long-time feature of
Austin's Carousel Lounge and even into her 90's walked and danced for causes and charities like the March of Dimes. She was recently featured in National Geographic's series, Dance Across America as well as other articles,

The Austin Chronicle

The Daily Texan

And others.

Stella was a rugged Canadian gal who became a real Texas folk hero in many ways. And those who came to know her are all very sad about her passing. She is survived by two Sons, Gary and Wayne, and a Daughter, Karen... and many beautiful grand children.

So long, Stella. Keep dancing!



Molly Ivins has passed away, RadioAustin, KGSR has posted her obituary, here...

Syndicated political columnist Molly Ivins died of breast cancer Wednesday evening at her home in Austin. She was 62 years old, and had much, much more to give this world.She remained cheerful despite Texas politics. She emphasized the more hilarious aspects of both state and national government, and consequently never had to write fiction. She said, “Good thing we’ve still got politics—finest form of free entertainment ever invented.”

We here at My Sandmen may not have ever agreed with her on a single thing she wrote or believed, but she was nevertheless a strong, determined, and quite articulate champion of the causes and issues she chose to address. She will surely be missed. Dont Ask Why.

God's speed, Molly!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Which Troops Does The Oregonian Support?...


This is how Portland's Oregonian elects to support the troops...

...by running two-day old Taliban propaganda as the lead story, front page, Monday morning.

The story by AP reporter, Rahim Faiez, is headlined, "Afghans say Marines hit civilians."

Its curious, however, that you cannot find this story listed on their official website. A search for it yields this story,

Ambush on U.S. convoy leaves 16 dead
The suicide bomber hit the American convoy with an explosives-packed minivan, said Noor Agha Zawok, the spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, and militants then fired gunfire from several directions, the U.S. military said. Coalition forces returned fire in defense of the attack, the U.S. said.

It wasn't immediately clear if the Afghans were killed by the militants gunfire or that of the U.S. soldiers.

This is quite different form Faiez report that, "The Americans, fleeing a suicide bombing and militant ambush moments earlier, were in a panicked rush... their gunners fired indiscriminately along the busy road."

In the fog of war, with the details vague (or in this case not really), count on the Oregonian to choose their favored side in this conflict by nature of their presumptive reporting. Its clearly not OUR troops they support.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Lesson of Walter Reed...


By now, the story of Walter Reed Hopsital has achieved public infamy, much to the driveby media's delight, as they report near gleefully that,

....the bureaucratic red tape that bedevils wounded soldiers and their families had become standard operating procedure. When they first arrive at Walter Reed, wounded soldiers receive world-class medical care, but that is only the first step on a long road to recovery, adds Martin. After their wounds have been stabilized and they are out of immediate danger, they become outpatients, living in apartments provided by the Army or renting their own.

That's where they fall into limbo — or at the very least into the life of a low-ranking soldier coping with the intricacies and indifference of the Army's bureaucracy. At any given time, there are 55 soldiers being treated for their wounds in the hospital as well as 600 outpatients undergoing therapy or waiting for further surgery. The system clearly is not capable of handling that many outpatients and that is the system Weightman inherited when he took over.

Clearly the 'Driveby's' intend to clobber the administration with these recent revelations. But, this simply sounds to me like the condition of public healthcare that I experienced while living in Chicago, Illinois. And yet, the good, young (naive and quite incapable) Senator from that State attempts to deliver meaningful attention to the issue,

Responding to reports of deplorable conditions at Walter Reed, Illinois Sen. Barak Obama is introducing a bill to set higher standards, require outside inspection of Army hospitals, and let wounded vets cut through the nightmare of paperwork to get needed services, reports CBS News correspondent Bob Fuss. "The administration has not thought this through," said Obama. "They underestimated the costs and they continue to do so."

Nevertheless, politely ignoring the adequate Senator's inane suggestions, and his quite absurd accusations, I'd like to point to this condition as a sterling example of what America will get, with Nationalized Healthcare... compliments of Obama and/or Clinton. Because, if this is how the Federal healthcare bureaucracy treats America's 'Hero's,' imagine if you will, how it will treat your children... unwanted or otherwise.

Do you wish to choose?

Choose wisely!