Monday, November 2, 2015

ALERT!! American Airlines SPAM EMail !!

Greetings:

There is a SPAM EMail going around that really looks like it came from AA - complete with locator number (which is not valid).  Your first indications that this is spam
  • the email says that you (well, mine did) are flying from Richmond, VA to Chicago, IL to Dallas - and I am NOT in Richmond at the time.   
  • the "ticket_AA77799543.doc" attachment - AA never sends one with that weird numbering sequence.  
  • you probably have not made that reservation.  
  • my reservation left at 8:00 this morning. 

Anyway, do NOT click on the attached document.  AA is aware of this but they have NOT sent out an email to any of their cherished customers telling them that this is SPAM. 

jco

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What the Heck?

Greetings:

OK, enough is enough.  Recently, three Americans (aka, citizens of the USA) and a Brit ex-patriot living in Paris, responded when a terrorist attacked the passengers on a high-speed French train.  The terrorist, a 26-year-old Moroccan man, Ayoub El-Khazzani, who boarded the train in Brussels, was armed with an AK-47 automatic (yes, automatic, not semi-automatic) rifle and a (semi-automatic) 9mm pistol.  Two of those Americans, Spencer Stone (USAF) and Alek Skarlatos (USA - NG), are American military; buff and trained in some combat situations.  Alek had just returned from a tour in Afghanistan.  The fourth tag-along was a college student named Anthony Sadler - a fairly trim young man who was vacationing with his two military friends.  Chris Norman, a British citizen who lives in Paris, was the real hero.  The Frenchman who first jumped on the gunman is still recovering from his wounds and wishes to remain anonymous. But he took a bullet to the neck in the first few seconds of the attack.

Anthony appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (as well as several other TV shows and news reports) and is telling "his story" around the world.  Some in California are even taking up a collection to help him pay for his last year in college.  So, what is wrong with all of this?  Well, let's see; first, according to what I saw last night, Anthony was sleeping when the gunman first fired through a glass partition on the door of their partition.  When he groggily started to get to his feet, his two military buddies were already charging down the aisle toward the gunman.  Not wanting to be left out, Anthony went along behind his two military buddies.  On The Tonight Show, Anthony said that they "... pounded on the guy... " to put him down.  Brave words indeed.  Especially since Stone was the one who put the gunman in a choke hold and was wrestling him to the ground.

In the ensuing struggle with the gunman, Stone had his thumb almost sliced off when the gunman produced a box cutter from his pocket.  One of the two military guys, Alek, was a medic in Afghanistan and helped Chris, the Brit, who had been shot in the neck.  Alek kept the guy from bleeding to death until help could arrive.  

Here's the thing:  The two military guys have been, for the most part, ignored by press.  I wonder why?  They seem normal.  Maybe the press is just infatuated with the Chris Rock look-alike and the service guys just look too ordinary to be heroes.  But somewhere along the line, the press and the Hollywood elite will have to own up that the least heroic of the four was Mr. Sadler - yet, he seems to be getting all the press. 

This is like the Three Muskeeters.  Remember them?  (These descriptions came from Wikipedia.)
  • Porthos – Isaac de Portau: A dandy, fond of fashionable clothes.
  • Aramis – Henry d'Aramitz: A deeply religious younger Musketeer.
  • Athos – Armand de Sillègue d'Athos d'Autevielle: The last Musketeer to be introduced. He seems immune to romantic feeling. To an extent, he becomes a father figure to d'Artagnan.
Finally there was the tag-along, much like Anthony in our story.  D'Artagnan – Charles de Batz de Castelmore d'Artagnan: He is not one of the "Three Musketeers" in the sense that he does not become a Musketeer until nearly the end of the novel, being merely a guard attached to Monsieur des Essart's company for the majority of the book.  But he is the main focus of the story.  A mere lad who lacks the good sense to actually JOIN the Muskeeters and rise through the ranks like the three real heroes of the story. 

Go figure...  
jco

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Installing JBoss and Drools WorkBench

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Basic (Undocumented) Drools WorkBench Concepts

FIRST:  Install JBoss (or another AppSvr).  For JBoss follow the following instructions:

 CAUTION:  REMEMBER THESE TWO DIRECTORIES
Assume that you have installed Drools 6.2 to drool/drool6.2
Assume that you have a directory named JBoss in the root directory

Match Java JDK 7 to JBoss 7.
Match Java JDK 8 to JBoss 8.

Download JBoss zip (or tar.zip for Unix/OSX) to the JBoss Directory
Unzip JBoss
Open up a terminal screen

cd to the /JBoss/jboss-as-7.1.1 or /JBoss/jboss-as-8.2.1 directory
cd bin
Enter the following commands from the command line
./add-user.sh (or .\add-user.bat for Windows)
> a
  jco, jw, rm, user1, whatever…
> **********
admin

b
  jco, jw, rm, user1, whatever…
> **********
admin

./standalone.sh (or .\standalone.bat for Windows)

Start up a browser window
Enter the following for the URL:  127.0.0.1:8080
You should see the following screen




Click on “Deploy an application
You should see the following screen




Click on “> Create Deployment” (in blue in the “Deploy an application” box)
Your should see the following screen  BUT  “Name” and “Runtime Name” will be blank.







Click on “Add” tab at the right-hand-side of the screen



Click on “Browse” Tab in the popup
You should see the following screen

Browse down to the following directory (for a Mac OSX)
/Users//drools/drools-6.2/kie-drools-wb-distribution-6.2.0.Final/binaries

Select the following file
kie-drools-wb-distribution-wars-6.2.0.Final-wildfly8.war

The “Name” and “Runtime Name” should now be filled in. 
Note, “Name” CAN be anything but most leave it at the same name a “Runtime Name”.

OK – NOW your are ready to start up WorkBench

Select a new FoxPro screen (Ctrl-N) or tab (Ctrl-T)
Enter the following URL


You should see a KIE Login Screen.  Login with the name and password that you set up initially.

You should now see the following screen:




You are now ready to follow the videos at

Start with the first one.  About 1/3 of the first video will be what you just did. 
Note that you can set the speed on a YouTube video to ½ or ¼ of regular.  I had to use ¼ speed the first time through. 
Also, these videos (as of today, 150817) are for version 6.0 of Drools WorkBench and version 6.x of JBoss AppSvr.  If you have a question, call, email or text me.  (jco)






Friday, August 14, 2015

21st Century Gun Control

Greetings:

Warning:  This is NOT technical but I wanted my friends to be able to find it.  And it is quite long but, hopefully, interesting.

I grew up in the Southern USA where we really never thought about gun control.  Almost every home had hunters of one form or another.  My family were mostly rural folks and we had guns for hunting almost anything that could be eaten.  Most times that majority of the guns in the house were owned by the oldest male member, like Grandpa.  But, Grandma had her own 12 gauge, single-shot shotgun that she used to shoot hawks that might be thinking of raiding her chicken coop - and she was a pretty good shot.  Hers was a 12 gauge that had a 30" long-barrel, full choke that would reach out 50-75 yards and bring down (or at least, scare off) almost any predator that threatened her chicks.  It was rumored that she also took pot-shots (with rock-salt and bacon-rind filled shells) at any would-be watermelon thief.  It wasn't meant to kill them, just to "salt their pants" so they would not come back.

And there were other guns that were owned by other family members who did different kinds of hunting.  One cousin had a 20 gauge auto (actually, semi-automatic) with an 28" barrel and a modified choke that he used for bird hunting.  Another had a 12 gauge pump, 30" or 32" barrel and full choke that he used for deer hunting along with his rifle.

Almost all of the men over 21 (some over 16) had a 30-06 (same caliber as the M1 military rifle) with either 150gr (long shots) or 180gr (hunting in the brush) that they used for deer hunting.  Some had scopes on them while others hunters liked iron sights for hunting in the woods.  Most hunting rifles had a 24" barrel although some had the shorter 20" or 22" barrel.  Hunters back then used ONLY bolt action rifles because they were far more accurate than a semi-automatic.  And everyone had a "trigger job" by the local gun smith so that the break was between 3 and 4 pounds of pressure with a "breaking-glass" action.  That cost an extra $20 - $50, depending on the gun smith.  But most low-end rifles only cost $200 - $400 depending on caliber, make and model.  These were, after all, rugged hunting rifles used at close range in the woods and we used them to bring home meat for the family, not something to "show off" to friends and neighbors.

In the rifle category, most of us had Remingtons or, if you were a bit up-scale, Winchesters. But we heard of some city guys who had Weatherbys - we never saw one but we heard about them.  A scope back then cost almost as much as a rifle so only those who hunted where you got a shot of over 150 yards carried such things.  If you "rode fence" for someone you always got yourself a 30-30 Winchester, the ultimate Cowboy rifle.  Old Timers sometimes carried a Henry 30-30.  If you could not afford a Winchester, you might get one by Marlin Mod 336 or a (now discontinued) Savage Mod 99.  It usually had a short barrel (24") and its overall length was only about 44".  And you carried it in a saddle holster, just like the old-time cowboys did.  But, it was NOT a fashion statement!  It was necessary for protection against wolves, coyotes (sometimes) and, if you did not carry a pistol, snakes.
 
Most hunters back then carried a small caliber pistol for shooting snakes and other varmints that might interfere with hunting.  Usually a .22 long-rifle or snub-nose .38 tucked into your belt or carried in a hip holster or under the arm - but always out of the way of the rifle.  Very few ever thought of carrying a pistol for hunting.  Some carried a .45 because that is what they had in the military (Army or Marines) and they had gotten used to it.  But .45 ammo was expensive back then - it still is, compared to .22 or .38 caliber.

We started in early our youth (usually six or eight years old) learning to shoot BB guns and by the time we were 10 we had moved up to a .22  caliber rifle (.22 long rifle, of course) for shooting squirrels and rabbits.   Usually these were bolt actions as well but some had the .22 auto-loaders that held up to 10 rounds of ammo in the long hollow tube below the barrel.  After that, we moved up to a .410 gauge (actually, caliber) shotgun that did not have a lot of recoil (kick) and you could shoot the gun and almost watch the flight of the pellets, just like the BB rifle.  Then, at about 16 years old you probably got your first, real manly-man shotgun; a 12 gauge pump.  The 12 gauge Remington Wing Master Pump shotgun was the cheapest thing on the market and WalMart carried them in peak hunting season for as low as $90 with a 30" barrel (or 28") and usually any of the three choke variations; full, modified or open.

Since training started at six or eight years old, parents and loved ones greatly emphasized safety.  We were well-trained NOT to shoot unless you could make the shot.  Again, gun safety was paramount!  You did not want to waste ammo.  My cousin was probably the best shot in the family.  He would line up old-style kitchen matches (the "strike-anywhere" kind) out at about 50 or 60 yards, lie down and try to light the match with a .22 by shooting just above the match so that the heat of the passing shell would light the match.  The objective of this was so that you shoot a squirrel in the head rather than in the body and mess up the meat.

If you practiced that shot long enough, eventually, with enough practice and help from friends, family and neighbors, you learned that this is not really complicated.  Just a matter of proper breathing, nerves, positioning and focus.  (Very similar to making a hard golf shot, like a pre-planned fade or draw that will go the right distance and land where you want it to land.  Think of Phil Mickelson's scrambling.)  This came in really handy when hunting and you were trying to make a 200- or 300-yard shot.  We never tried any shots much longer than that since we were not into "trophy hunting" and we did not want to just wound the animal and have to track them down for two or three hours to make sure that they died and did not suffer. Probably this is one reason that Good Ol' Southern Boys were the best shots in the US Army or Marines.

My cousin would go out in the morning with 10 shotgun shells and bring back, say, five rabbits and five left-over shells.  Or four squirrels, two rabbits and four left-over shells.  The same thing applied to the even more expensive rifle ammo.  A box of 20 30-06 cartridges cost about $10 back then so that was $0.50 per round.  (They cost about $20+ these days.)  We used the cheaper ammo for target practice - it might have costs $5 but it was only for practice - and you never used more than one box for sighting in and practice.  When hunting, you wanted every round to count so you bought the better stuff to be sure that you hit your target.  You used the much cheaper .22 LR ammo for  "target practice" and general shooting.

Then, about 1960 or so, came the Clint Eastwood movie; "Dirty Harry".  That movie drove demand for a .44 magnum pistol, double/single-action, Model 29 Smith and Wesson 6.5"-barrel pistol sky-high.  Most of us bought the cheaper Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 magnum.  The S&W cost about $500 (even back then) and the Ruger Super Blackhawk (traditionally a 7.5" barrel) cost about $150 - maybe $175.  The really GOOD .44 Magnum was the Colt Anaconda, a stainless steel, double/single-action pistol with micro-sights and a 6" barrel.  It also had a glass-break, 4-pound trigger right from the factory.  But the Ruger was a single-action (cowboy style) piston that had micro-sights and was extremely accurate.  I sighted mine in for 50 yards but it was fairly accurate out to 75 yards if you aimed about 6" to 8" high - I brought down a wild hog with that gun.  And one time I was hunting (in the rain, no less) took a few shots in the rain out at 125 yards at a deer after my .303 jammed.  (Yes, bad hunting karma but I thought that I could make the shot.  I quit after the 3rd shot hit the water on the ground in front or beside him.)  You could get a scope for either one of those .44 Mag pistols but it was useless when trying for a quick shot on a deer or hog.  (But I sure could have used one on the 125 yard shot that I was trying in the early morning rain that October day.)

I carried my Ruger .44 on my hip (yeah... Cowboy Style!) when hunting and sometimes went into those little country stores with it still on - I just forgot to take it off and put it in the trunk.  After all, we were there only long enough for gas, a soda pop and maybe a snack.  But, back then, nobody thought anything about it.  If you were silly enough to forget and leave it on, the owner (or the guy behind the counter) always knew that you were a hunter because of your dress, demeanor and, usually, you were with a bunch of other bad-smelling guys in boots, heavy jackets and hats.  Usually you had some International-Orange (a very loud paint color) splashed on you somewhere that told everyone that you were a hunter.

Bottom line:  Most country guys, who could afford it, had two shotguns; one long-barrel 12 gauge, modified or full choke, for duck, geese, pheasant and deer and a short-barrel 16 or 20 gauge, modified or open choke, for dove and quail.  We really liked the double barrel side-by-side shotguns; some had the far more expensive over/under shotguns but most shotguns were either semi-automatic or pump shotguns that held anywhere from three rounds.  OK, some guys removed the wooden "plug" and it would hold up to five rounds when deer hunting or the game warden was not around.

In addition, we usually had a few rifles:  A .22 LR for rabbit and squirrels, a 30-06 or a .308 (7.62mm) for deer and larger game.  Some had other calibers such as the .223 (5.56mm) military-style with a short barrel and scope - but those were mostly "weekend hunters" who like to look fancy and they needed lots of shots to bring down the big-game.  Most of us had the sniper motto inscribed on our trucks; "One Shot, One Kill".  If you hit that at which you are aiming the first time, you don't need a second shot and waste a lot of ammo.  Not only that, the first shot alarms the game and they take off running.  It is far easier to hit a standing deer (or squirrel or rabbit) that it is to hit a running deer when they are bounding through the woods.

Then came the dark days of "Gun Control".  It had always been illegal to carry a concealed weapon unless you were a peace officer (policeman, sheriff, highway patrol, constable, etc) or unless you had an extremely rare license that was issued to people such a diamond salesmen, politicians in high-profile positions, judges, etc.  But now the gun nuts (yeah, gun nuts back then) got some legislation passed that would allow you to carry a concealed weapon IF you went to two eight-hour classes on gun law, gun practice, gun safety, passed about five or six controlled shot groups on the shooting range that went from 3 to 7 to 15 yards shooting both slow-fire and rapid-fire.  All with your own gun, not something new to you.  And you had to score fairly high (about 75% of the shots had to be in the so-called "kill zone") in order to pass the class.

And the teachers are, for the most part, really skilled in guns and teaching.  One of mine was a retired Air Police (USAF) cop (APs) and had also retired from the Dallas Police Department (20 years each one).  He emphasized that only about 2% of the officers EVER have to discharge their weapon in the line of duty.  And, of the ones that actually kill someone in the line of duty, about 90% retire within one year.  Some had been know to take their own life in remorse.  Bottom line:  Is that wallet or car really worth your own life or the life of another human being?  Most of the "hot shots" who came into the class with that teenager mentality left with a better sense of what you might be up against if and when you had to actually shoot a person.  I do not remember anyone who did not change their opinion of what they might have to do in case of having to use their weapon for self defense.  Also, he said that the two times that he had to use his weapon, he fired all six shots at a distance of 20 feet (not yards), reloaded and fired six more.  Both of those times he actually hit the guy with the second loading.  Meaning that when the other guy is firing back you cannot hit the target like you can on the range.  And this guy (and others like him) are all excellent shots on the range.

All that to say this:  Those of us who have a CHL (Concealed Handgun License) now carry pistols of varying size and caliber.  The first thing that you learn is that a .22, .25, .30 or .32 low-velocity (subsonic) are useless for self defense.  You need at least a 9mm or .38 with a 115gr slug traveling at 1,000 fps in order to stop a determined attacker.  Most guys carry a .357, 10mm, .40 caliber or larger.  (No derringers, please!)  And a lot of guys (and gals) carry a .45 with a 220/240gr slug that travels at about 900fps.  It may not penetrate a vest, but it will knock you down on the ground and leave a huge black-and-blue mark that will stay around for several weeks.  He showed us a picture of a couple of guys who had gotten shot while wearing their vest.  Not pretty.

Me?  I found the perfect carry gun:  It is a Belgium-made, Fabrique National (FN) 5.7mm.  Without ammo it weighs only 1.5 pounds, about 0.68Kg.  And the clip has 20 rounds.  (You can get a 30-round clip - but why?)  The shell is only 40gr but it travels at 2,000+ fps and can knock you down just like a .45.  I figure that I probably won't be using it anyway but it is nice to know that I have the extra shots without having to reload.  (I do not carry an extra clip but I have been known to put that extra clip in the glove box when traveling long distances.)

Now, imagine that I am in CA and, sooner or later, someone asks me a question about guns and the conversation usually goes like this:

"Do you have a gun?"
      Yes.
"What kind?"
     A few.
"You have more than one gun?"
     Yes.
"Why do need more than one gun?"  

Now, at this point, I can try and educate that person or I can just say, "Different guns are for different things." and walk away.  If they will let me.  But usually they want to get me into a conversation to prove that I am some kind of gun nut and that they have all the answers.  But they are not from a rural setting, they know nothing about guns and probably have never had to have one.  But I do think that there are a couple of bumper stickers that says what I need to say:
  • "When guns are outlawed, only Outlaws will have guns."
  • "There are two kinds of people; those who carry and victims."

So, if you live in LA, NYC, Chicago or some large city that has lots of thugs and criminals and you do not carry (or cannot carry) then the thugs and criminals can carry without a permit (and they will) and you will be the victim.  Police cannot be everywhere, every place all the time.  We have to protect ourselves, our family, our children and our neighbors as best we can.  And we are not all like that nut that killed the kid in the hoodie just because the kid was black and in the "wrong neighborhood."  If you live in up-state NY, rural MN, PA, VT or MI, then you probably grew up just like we did down here.  Out here, guns are nothing more than farm tools.  And we carry a concealed pistol when we go to the big city just to be sure that we get home OK.

And, for some folks, even the police cannot be trusted.  What about the guy in Baltimore who was arrested for "running while black."   And then given a "rough ride" to the station without a seat belt.  Some cops, maybe 1% or less, are not only racist but sadists as well.  Some are just sadists and faked their way through the psychological screening to get onto the police force.  But, for the most part, our police force is thoroughly professional and our best friend when we are in a jam- just woefully undermanned for the territory which they are assigned to cover.

I read an article the other day in one of the more liberal newspapers about gun control in Switzerland.  They don't have any.  Every man and woman, at the age of 21, is expected to serve a tour of duty in the military.  Upon discharge, each one is issued a 7.62mm fully-automatic or semi-automatic NATO rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammo to keep at home.  They then have to show up once every month for one day to qualify to show that they can still hit a target at 100 meters (or 200 meters).  Some, a few specialists, have to qualify with a pistol at 25 and 50 meters as well.  And if you see someone on the street in civilian clothes with a rifle (or pistol) you know that it is OK and they are either headed to the shooting range or out hunting somewhere in that beautiful country.  For this reason (and a few others) Switzerland had never been invaded.  (Indeed, it has been said that Switzerland is the retirement home for the original Knights Templar from the days of the Christian Crusades.  You do NOT want to mess around with those guys!) 

OK, enough for one day.  Maybe later I will add to this.  Please feel free to comment (respectfully and without "bad" language) and I will respond when I get some time.

jco

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ya'akov's Cardinal Consulting Rules

Greetings:

Some things are just understood.  Others have to be written down:
(Updated 24 March 2016- jco)
  1. Know your customer and give that customer your complete loyalty.
  2. Prioritize you customers - you might have more than one or two at one time.
  3. Own your clients objectives as though they are your own.
  4. Never tell a client what to want.  They might have a completely different agenda from what you think.  And what you want is not necessarily what the client wants.
  5. Never make choices for the client.  Present the available choices, as you understand them, and let the client make their own choices.
  6. Be professional but totally independent.  
  7. Be truthful at all times.  You do not have to "spill your guts" but never, ever tell a lie or shady half-truth.
  8. Always give a "fair and equitable" price.  If you work for "scab labor" prices, then you are, in effect, scab labor.
  9. Never, ever bill for hours that you did not work.  The is stealing.
  10. Never, ever double bill two clients for the same time period.  That is what Lawyers, Barristers (UK), Solicitors (UK) and Attorneys do as a normal practice.  And we all know the public opinion of those guys.   Is is not professional even though those guys do it all the time.
  11. Remember, you can always decrease your price by a bit to meet competition but never can you increase your price by any significant bits because you dropped it earlier.
  12. Consultants do not get a "pay raise" nor a "pay rise."
  13. Everything that you client tells you MUST be considered totally confidential.  Nothing is ever for sharing with friends, family nor anyone else.
  14. Never criticize another consultant - especially not in writing nor on any conversation that might be recorded.  It could always come around and bite you in the backside.
  15. Never use material from one project on another project UNLESS that material is Open Source or free to the public OR is considered (by a reasonable person) public information.
  16. Always remember the "conflict of interests" problem.  If something seems to make a situation more profitable for you but not for your client, then you probably have a conflict of interest.
If you can think of more rules, please let me know and I will add them.

 jco

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Benjamin Netenyahu's Speech to Congress

Benjamin Netenyahu gave these quotes at the end of his speech to the combined houses of Congress.

Deuteronomy 31:6

 חִזְקוּ וְאִמְצוּ, אַל-תִּירְאוּ וְאַל-תַּעַרְצוּ מִפְּנֵיהֶם:

"Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them"

The full video of the speech can be found at
https://www.youtube.com/embed/wRf1cdw4IAY?autoplay=1

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Congress Tuesday about the emerging nuclear deal with Iran.

Here is the full transcript:

Thank you  Thank you…

… Speaker of the House John Boehner, President Pro Tem Senator Orrin Hatch, Senator Minority — Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.   I also want to acknowledge Senator, Democratic Leader Harry Reid. Harry, it’s good to see you back on your feet.  I guess it’s true what they say, you can’t keep a good man down.

My friends, I’m deeply humbled by the opportunity to speak for a third time before the most important legislative body in the world, the U.S. Congress.  I want to thank you all for being here today. I know that my speech has been the subject of much controversy. I deeply regret that some perceive my being here as political. That was never my intention.

I want to thank you, Democrats and Republicans, for your common support for Israel, year after year, decade after decade.  I know that no matter on which side of the aisle you sit, you stand with Israel.
The remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States has always been above politics. It must always remain above politics.  Because America and Israel, we share a common destiny, the destiny of promised lands that cherish freedom and offer hope. Israel is grateful for the support of American — of America’s people and of America’s presidents, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama.  We appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel.

Some of that is widely known, like strengthening security cooperation and intelligence sharing, opposing anti-Israel resolutions at the U.N.  Some of what the president has done for Israel is less well- known.  I called him in 2010 when we had the Carmel forest fire, and he immediately agreed to respond to my request for urgent aid.  In 2011, we had our embassy in Cairo under siege, and again, he provided vital assistance at the crucial moment.  Or his support for more missile interceptors during our operation last summer when we took on Hamas terrorists.  In each of those moments, I called the president, and he was there.  And some of what the president has done for Israel might never be known, because it touches on some of the most sensitive and strategic issues that arise between an American president and an Israeli prime minister.

But I know it, and I will always be grateful to President Obama for that support.  And Israel is grateful to you, the American Congress, for your support, for supporting us in so many ways.  Last summer, millions of Israelis were protected from thousands of Hamas rockets because this capital dome helped build our Iron Dome.  Thank you, America. Thank you for everything you’ve done for Israel.

My friends, I’ve come here today because, as prime minister of Israel, I feel a profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people: Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.  We’re an ancient people. In our nearly 4,000 years of history, many have tried repeatedly to destroy the Jewish people. Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we’ll read the Book of Esther. We’ll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies.  The plot was foiled. Our people were saved.

Today the Jewish people face another attempt by yet another Persian potentate to destroy us. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei spews the oldest hatred of anti-Semitism with the newest technology.  He tweets that Israel must be annihilated.  You know, in Iran, there isn’t exactly free Internet. But he tweets in English that Israel must be destroyed.

For those who believe that Iran threatens the Jewish state, but not the Jewish people, listen to Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, Iran’s chief terrorist proxy.  He said, "If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of chasing them down around the world."  But Iran’s regime is not merely a Jewish problem, any more than the Nazi regime was merely a Jewish problem.  The 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis were but a fraction of the 60 million people killed in World War II.  So, too, Iran’s regime poses a grave threat, not only to Israel, but also the peace of the entire world. To understand just how dangerous Iran would be with nuclear weapons, we must fully understand the nature of the regime.

The people of Iran are very talented people. They’re heirs to one of the world’s great civilizations.  But in 1979, they were hijacked by religious zealots — religious zealots who imposed on them immediately a dark and brutal dictatorship.  That year, the zealots drafted a constitution, a new one for Iran. It directed the revolutionary guards not only to protect Iran’s borders, but also to fulfill the ideological mission of jihad. The regime’s founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, exhorted his followers to “export the revolution throughout the world.”

I’m standing here in Washington, D.C. and the difference is so stark.  America’s founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran’s founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad. And as states are collapsing across the Middle East, Iran is charging into the void to do just that.  Iran’s goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world’s oil supply.
Just last week, near Hormuz, Iran carried out a military exercise blowing up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier.

That’s just last week, while they’re having nuclear talks with the United States. But unfortunately, for the last 36 years, Iran’s attacks against the United States have been anything but mock. And the targets have been all too real.  Iran took dozens of Americans hostage in Tehran, murdered hundreds of American soldiers, Marines, in Beirut, and was responsible for killing and maiming thousands of American service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Beyond the Middle East, Iran attacks America and its allies through its global terror network. It blew up the Jewish community center and the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. It helped Al Qaida bomb U.S. embassies in Africa. It even attempted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, right here in Washington, D.C.

In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow.  So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations.

We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.  Now, two years ago, we were told to give President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif a chance to bring change and moderation to Iran. Some change! Some moderation!  Rouhani’s government hangs gays, persecutes Christians, jails journalists and executes even more prisoners than before.

Last year, the same Zarif who charms Western diplomats laid a wreath at the grave of Imad Mughniyeh. Imad Mughniyeh is the terrorist mastermind who spilled more American blood than any other terrorist besides Osama bin Laden. I’d like to see someone ask him a question about that.
Iran’s regime is as radical as ever, its cries of “Death to America,” that same America that it calls the “Great Satan,” as loud as ever.

Now, this shouldn’t be surprising, because the ideology of Iran’s revolutionary regime is deeply rooted in militant Islam, and that’s why this regime will always be an enemy of America.  Don’t be fooled. The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn’t turn Iran into a friend of America.  Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.

In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.  So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.  The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. We must always remember — I’ll say it one more time — the greatest dangers facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can’t let that happen.

But that, my friends, is exactly what could happen, if the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran. That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them.

Let me explain why. While the final deal has not yet been signed, certain elements of any potential deal are now a matter of public record. You don’t need intelligence agencies and secret information to know this. You can Google it.  Absent a dramatic change, we know for sure that any deal with Iran will include two major concessions to Iran.

The first major concession would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure, providing it with a short break-out time to the bomb. Break-out time is the time it takes to amass enough weapons-grade uranium or plutonium for a nuclear bomb.  According to the deal, not a single nuclear facility would be demolished. Thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium would be left spinning. Thousands more would be temporarily disconnected, but not destroyed.

Because Iran’s nuclear program would be left largely intact, Iran’s break-out time would be very short — about a year by U.S. assessment, even shorter by Israel’s.  And if — if Iran’s work on advanced centrifuges, faster and faster centrifuges, is not stopped, that break-out time could still be shorter, a lot shorter.  True, certain restrictions would be imposed on Iran’s nuclear program and Iran’s adherence to those restrictions would be supervised by international inspectors.

But here’s the problem. You see, inspectors document violations; they don’t stop them.  Inspectors knew when North Korea broke to the bomb, but that didn’t stop anything. North Korea turned off the cameras, kicked out the inspectors. Within a few years, it got the bomb.  Now, we’re warned that within five years North Korea could have an arsenal of 100 nuclear bombs.

Like North Korea, Iran, too, has defied international inspectors. It’s done that on at least three separate occasions — 2005, 2006, 2010.  Like North Korea, Iran broke the locks, shut off the cameras.  Now, I know this is not gonna come a shock — as a shock to any of you, but Iran not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them.

The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, said again yesterday that Iran still refuses to come clean about its military nuclear program. Iran was also caught — caught twice, not once, twice — operating secret nuclear facilities in Natanz and Qom, facilities that inspectors didn’t even know existed.  Right now, Iran could be hiding nuclear facilities that we don’t know about, the U.S. and Israel. As the former head of inspections for the IAEA said in 2013, he said, “If there’s no undeclared installation today in Iran, it will be the first time in 20 years that it doesn’t have one.”

Iran has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted. And that’s why the first major concession is a source of great concern. It leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and relies on inspectors to prevent a breakout. That concession creates a real danger that Iran could get to the bomb by violating the deal.

But the second major concession creates an even greater danger that Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal. Because virtually all the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade.  Now, a decade may seem like a long time in political life, but it’s the blink of an eye in the life of a nation. It’s a blink of an eye in the life of our children. We all have a responsibility to consider what will happen when Iran’s nuclear capabilities are virtually unrestricted and all the sanctions will have been lifted. Iran would then be free to build a huge nuclear capacity that could product many, many nuclear bombs.

Iran’s Supreme Leader says that openly. He says, Iran plans to have 190,000 centrifuges, not 6,000 or even the 19,000 that Iran has today, but 10 times that amount — 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. With this massive capacity, Iran could make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal and this in a matter of weeks, once it makes that decision.

My long-time friend, John Kerry, Secretary of State, confirmed last week that Iran could legitimately possess that massive centrifuge capacity when the deal expires.  Now I want you to think about that. The foremost sponsor of global terrorism could be weeks away from having enough enriched uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear weapons and this with full international legitimacy.  And by the way, if Iran’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program is not part of the deal, and so far, Iran refuses to even put it on the negotiating table. Well, Iran could have the means to deliver that nuclear arsenal to the far-reach corners of the Earth, including to every part of the United States.

So you see, my friends, this deal has two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade. That’s why this deal is so bad. It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb; it paves Iran’s path to the bomb. 

So why would anyone make this deal? Because they hope that Iran will change for the better in the coming years, or they believe that the alternative to this deal is worse?  Well, I disagree. I don’t believe that Iran’s radical regime will change for the better after this deal. This regime has been in power for 36 years, and its voracious appetite for aggression grows with each passing year. This deal would wet appetite — would only wet Iran’s appetite for more.

Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger? If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it’s under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted? Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism?

Why should Iran’s radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy the best of both world’s: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?  This is a question that everyone asks in our region. Israel’s neighbors — Iran’s neighbors know that Iran will become even more aggressive and sponsor even more terrorism when its economy is unshackled and it’s been given a clear path to the bomb.

And many of these neighbors say they’ll respond by racing to get nuclear weapons of their own.  So this deal won’t change Iran for the better; it will only change the Middle East for the worse.  A deal that’s supposed to prevent nuclear proliferation would instead spark a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the planet.

This deal won’t be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox.

If anyone thinks — if anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road, we’ll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve come here today to tell you we don’t have to bet the security of the world on the hope that Iran will change for the better. We don’t have to gamble with our future and with our children’s future.

We can insist that restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program not be lifted for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world.  Before lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East. Second…
Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.

And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.  Thank you.  If the world powers are not prepared to insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal is signed, at the very least they should insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal expires.  If Iran changes its behavior, the restrictions would be lifted. If Iran doesn’t change its behavior, the restrictions should not be lifted.

If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country.  My friends, what about the argument that there’s no alternative to this deal, that Iran’s nuclear know-how cannot be erased, that its nuclear program is so advanced that the best we can do is delay the inevitable, which is essentially what the proposed deal seeks to do?

Well, nuclear know-how without nuclear infrastructure doesn’t get you very much. A racecar driver without a car can’t drive. A pilot without a plan can’t fly. Without thousands of centrifuges, tons of enriched uranium or heavy water facilities, Iran can’t make nuclear weapons.
Iran’s nuclear program can be rolled back well-beyond the current proposal by insisting on a better deal and keeping up the pressure on a very vulnerable regime, especially given the recent collapse in the price of oil.

Now, if Iran threatens to walk away from the table — and this often happens in a Persian bazaar — call their bluff. They’ll be back, because they need the deal a lot more than you do.  And by maintaining the pressure on Iran and on those who do business with Iran, you have the power to make them need it even more.  My friends, for over a year, we’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal.

Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.  Now we’re being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That’s just not true.  The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal.  A better deal that doesn’t leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and such a short break-out time. A better deal that keeps the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in place until Iran’s aggression ends.  A better deal that won’t give Iran an easy path to the bomb. A better deal that Israel and its neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally. And no country…
… no country has a greater stake — no country has a greater stake than Israel in a good deal that peacefully removes this threat.

Ladies and gentlemen, history has placed us at a fateful crossroads. We must now choose between two paths. One path leads to a bad deal that will at best curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions for a while, but it will inexorably lead to a nuclear-armed Iran whose unbridled aggression will inevitably lead to war.  The second path, however difficult, could lead to a much better deal, that would prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclearized Middle East and the horrific consequences of both to all of humanity.

You don’t have to read Robert Frost to know. You have to live life to know that the difficult path is usually the one less traveled, but it will make all the difference for the future of my country, the security of the Middle East and the peace of the world, the peace, we all desire.

My friend, standing up to Iran is not easy. Standing up to dark and murderous regimes never is. With us today is Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel.  Elie, your life and work inspires to give meaning to the words, “never again.”  And I wish I could promise you, Elie, that the lessons of history have been learned. I can only urge the leaders of the world not to repeat the mistakes of the past.  Not to sacrifice the future for the present; not to ignore aggression in the hopes of gaining an illusory peace.

But I can guarantee you this, the days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over.  We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves.

This is why — this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.  But I know that Israel does not stand alone. I know that America stands with Israel.  I know that you stand with Israel.

You stand with Israel, because you know that the story of Israel is not only the story of the Jewish people but of the human spirit that refuses again and again to succumb to history’s horrors.
Facing me right up there in the gallery, overlooking all of us in this (inaudible) chamber is the image of Moses. Moses led our people from slavery to the gates of the Promised Land.

And before the people of Israel entered the land of Israel, Moses gave us a message that has steeled our resolve for thousands of years. I leave you with his message today, (SPEAKING IN HEBREW - SEE ABOVE.), “Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them.”

My friends, may Israel and America always stand together, strong and resolute. May we neither fear nor dread the challenges ahead. May we face the future with confidence, strength and hope.

May God bless the state of Israel and may God bless the United States of America.

Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you all.

You’re wonderful.

Thank you, America. Thank you.

Thank you.

Friday, June 5, 2015

71 Years Ago Today

Greetings:

71 years ago today, it will be 0000Z (UK Time, or GMT) in about 10 minutes at the time of this writing.  The greatest armada that the world has ever seen is just steaming out of all of the ports in England.  The ones on the western side started early, probably about an hour ago.  The ones on the eastern side are just casting off their ropes.  The invasion fleet was drawn from eight different navies composed of 6,939 vessels that included:
  • 1,213 warships
  • 4,126 transport vessels (landing ships and landing craft), and 
  • 736 ancillary craft and 
  • 864 merchant vessels.[17]

On board the ships are about 130,000 men with rifles, pistols, sub-machine guns, machine guns, tanks, jeeps, bazookas, Bangalore Torpedoes, ammo and nobody has a bullet-proof vest.  Most have on a Mae West, a life jacket of sorts that will not, contrary to what they have been told, keep them afloat with all of the stuff that they are carrying.  But, they trust in the CO and faithfully put on their Mae West hoping that they don't have to use it.  By the end of 11 June 1944, (D + 5), 326,547 troops, the Allies had brought over 54,186 vehicles and 104,428 tons of supplies.  By 30 June 1944, (D+24) over 850,000 men, 148,000 vehicles, and 570,000 tons of supplies had been ferried over from England.  By July 4th (the anniversary of American Independence) well over one million men had been landed at Normandy. 


Meanwhile, on the other side of the English Channel, most of the German officers and generals are taking a bit of time off.  Genral Irwin Rommel, the man in charge of the Normandy defense, has gone home to see his wife and Der Fuehrer Adolph Hitler.  You see, most of the German weather boats have been sunk or captured but, for some reason, they are absolutely sure that in this foul weather that nobody can mount an invasion.

But the Allies have better reporting.  They have a forecast that there will be a small break in the weather on the 6th of June.  So, betting on a spotty-at-best forecast, General Dwight David Eisenhower orders the invasion.  Having all of the troops already on the ships and planes, having followup troops already staging and on the way, it would have been impossible to call it off.  Looking back, early May would have been the absolute best time to have invaded.  The Allies were just fortunate that they got a small, one-day break in the weather.  And, above all, it was the best kept secret of WW II.  Nobody in England had a clue WHEN the invasion would happen, but it will happen in a few hours.

I think about this every year.  You see, my Dad (MSgt Carl P. Owen of the First Special Service Forces - precursors to the Green Berets) and my Uncle Bill (TSgt William L. Leach) were both in WW II.  At this point in time, Dad was battling his way up through Italy having started at the Anzio beachhead.  My Uncle Bill was in the 82nd Airborne and he had already geared up and was in the plane by this time.  Nervous as Hell and, like all of the other men (despite what Holly would have you believe) NONE of them would admit to being scared.  That kind of namby-pamby BS happens only in the "modern" army or in Hollywood.  Back then, you did not show fear.  Fear is contagious and NOBODY showed that he was scared as hell.  And all of them, except for the "crazies", were scared.  Personally, I think that Uncle Bill was one of the "crazies."  I know that Dad was.  :-)

In about six hours, midnight my time, the Allies will open up with 15" and 16" battle ship guns.  The shell was almost as big as a Volkswagen bug.   When it went over the boats going ashore, the men in the boats said that the small landing craft would literally lift up out of the water because of the tremendous vacuum created by a shell that big going going that fast just overhead.  (OK, maybe so, maybe not - but it really was a huge shell!)  But the German bunkers were built really, really stout.  Very few were destroyed by the shelling.  However, when that 14", 15" or 16" shell hit those bunkers it deafened those inside.  No sound deafening had been provided.

The American forces landed at Omaha and Utah beaches - the most heavily defended coast line.  The foul weather had prevented the Allies from pounding those defenses as much as was needed and most were still intact.  And the Allies paid dearly for it.  Rommel had done an excellent job of ensuring that not a single foot of the beach could not be raked with 9mm and 10mm machine gun fire as well as 20mm and 40mm rapid-fire cannons.  The British and Canadians landed at Sword, Gold and Juno beaches.  These were not quite as heavily defended.  Most of the gun emplacements did not even have the guns mounted yet.  However, they paid later when they ran into the interior German armies.

Intermixed with these assaults (usually with the English landing parties) are the Canadians, Australians, Free French, Belgian, Czechoslovakians, Netherlands, Danish, Greek, New Zelanders, Norwegian and Polish.  No mention of the Swedes, Spanish, Turkish, Mexican nor any other South American nation has ever been made.  Probably there were some, but not enough to have been mentioned.

To quote from Wikipedia:

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The Normandy landings were the largest seaborne invasion in history, with nearly 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participating.[183] Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on D-Day,[29] with 875,000 men disembarking by the end of June.[184] Allied casualties on the first day were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead.[185] The Germans lost 1,000 men.[186] The Allied invasion plans had called for the capture of Carentan, St. Lô, Caen, and Bayeux on the first day, with all the beaches (other than Utah) linked with a front line 10 to 16 kilometres (6 to 10 mi) from the beaches; none of these objectives were achieved.[32] The five bridgeheads were not connected until 12 June, by which time the Allies held a front around 97 kilometres (60 mi) long and 24 kilometres (15 mi) deep.[187] Caen, a major objective, was still in German hands at the end of D-Day and would not be completely captured until 21 July.[188] The Germans had ordered French civilians, other than those deemed essential to the war effort, to leave potential combat zones in Normandy.[189] Civilian casualties on D-Day and D+1 are estimated at 3,000 people.[190]

Victory in Normandy stemmed from several factors. German preparations along the Atlantic Wall were only partially finished; shortly before D-Day Rommel reported that construction was only 18 per cent complete in some areas as resources were diverted elsewhere.[191] The deceptions undertaken in Operation Fortitude were successful, leaving the Germans obligated to defend a huge stretch of coastline.[192] The Allies achieved and maintained air superiority, which meant that the Germans were unable to make observations of the preparations underway in Britain and were unable to interfere with bomber attacks.[193] Transportation infrastructure in France was severely disrupted by Allied bombers and the French Resistance, making it difficult for the Germans to bring up reinforcements and supplies.[194] Some of the opening bombardment was off-target or not concentrated enough to have any impact,[149] but the specialised armour worked well except on Omaha, providing close artillery support for the troops as they disembarked onto the beaches.[195] Indecisiveness and an overly complicated command structure on the part of the German high command was also a factor in the Allied success.[196]
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There are several really good links that tell about this day.  Some are
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normandy_landings
http://www.history.army.mil/html/reference/Normandy/asltforce.html
http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/d-day

Two GREAT movies about D-Day are
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Longest_Day_%28film%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saving_Private_Ryan

And then there is D-Day, the movie
http://en.dday-normandy1944.com/D-Day-1944-the-film/home-2.html


Check out some of the other references at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normandy_landings#Further_reading

But, remember of these men who went ashore close to 10,000 men died on that day and close to 1 million Allied military men died by the end of the June - died so that we could live in peace.  If you see a soldier, marine, coast guard sailor, navy sailor or airman, THANK THEM for being there then and here today.  Buy their breakfast, lunch or supper if you see them in a restaurant. 

See you in December:

Shalom
Ya'akov