Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Stowaway Story, con't

Information is trickling in.  CNN is reporting..
..he was trying to get to Somalia to see his mother, a law enforcement official told CNN on Tuesday.
No wonder they didn't want to provide more information.  Of course there's no threat because the FBI has already dropped off the investigation, convinced there was no threat despite the unbelievable story and ties to Somalia.  They may be correct, but one has to wonder where he learned the trick. 

Anyway, the central unanswered question continues to be survivability.  Those in the know say he couldn't have survived with limited oxygen and temperatures near -80 Fahrenheit (correction to the earlier post, they were using Fahrenheit not Celsius, which most high altitude weather charts use.  -80F is plausible).  But is it really that cold where the rider was stashed?  Here's a picture of the underbelly of a Boeing 767, notice the main gear cavities:

It folds into the underbelly, not the wing.  So our Somali stowaway was likely stashed in a small compartment basically under the passenger cabin and beside the baggage compartment, where animals are often transported.  Residual heat would surely be present in such a confined area and with heat from the main gear tires as they retract into the bay. 

Further speculation should probably include a realistic estimation of what the internal temperature of the area was where he was riding. It surely wasn't -80F.   

But even if the temp was not Antarctic-like his survival still seems shaky considering the three plus hours at altitudes above 30,000 feet in an unpressurized chamber.  Experts on CNN told us that kind of condition would have killed the passengers on MH370 in minutes--in a warmer cabin.   The rider says he passed out, which makes sense, but his unfrozen raggedy andy body would have had no defense against tumbling down into the gear apparatus as soon as the plane made a left bank. Lying on the gear it would seem plausible to think he would have been ejected downward as the gear was lowered on final approach. But he didn't fall out.  So did he belt himself onto a pole or other structure before passing out? 

Or did he actually find some way to enter the baggage compartment when nobody was looking?  Is that maybe why it took him an hour to exit the plane?   Would the authorities cover that up for some reason?  Or did Allah actually perform a miracle?   Whatever the case, the fact he wasn't cited--at least for trespassing--is perhaps the biggest mystery of all. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Aviation Update

Of course the big news today is not Syria possibly crossing the red line..again...after a negotiated settlement (and Carney effectively saying 'big deal').  No, the BIG story is the 16 year old kid who embarrassed the San Jose, California airport authority/security by hoping the fence and stowing away on a Hawaiian Airlines wheel well and surviving the flight to Maui.  Allegedly..
The teen, who hasn't been named, is believed to have jumped a fence at the San Jose Airport and settled into the Hawaiian Airlines jetliner's unpressurized wheel-well, unnoticed by airport security.
Authorities said the teen told them that he passed out after the Maui-bound plane took off, and somehow survived, despite freezing temperatures and a lack of oxygen -- a feat that has experts puzzled.
Crew members found him wandering the tarmac in Maui without identification. He was taken into custody and examined by a doctor who found no injuries. At this time, the teen isn't facing federal charges, Simon said.
First, not sure why they wouldn't at least pretend to charge him to discourage copycat activity. They could back down later. Second, guys like Captain John Nance are rightfully scratching their heads because everyone assumed that if a body is exposed to limited oxygen and temperatures below zero for hours on end they should be dead.  Is this one of those things we thought we knew, but didn't?  Maybe the kid didn't die because he didn't know he was supposed to die.

Third, maybe it's not as cold in the wheel well of a commercial jet once the gear retracts as people think. We keep hearing -40, -60....one report even said temperatures of -80 at 39,000 feet (which is bordering on Day After Tomorrow lunacy) but simple logic would say the inner part of the sealed wing does not get nearly that cold, especially after the heated tires retract up into that slot. Still, the limited oxygen combined with say temperatures below zero F (conservative estimate) should make it hard for a body to survive.

Fourth, the media has told everyone over and over that the passengers on MH370 would have died within a few minutes after the flight reached 39,000 ft with cabin pressure removed. Maybe that's not true.

Fifth, maybe this story is complete poppycock.  But if it is, how did the kid get to Hawaii?


The stowaway kid story is interesting, but it comes just as two other somewhat strange aviation events have happened over the last several days.  Taken apart they are not much, taken as a whole maybe something else.  On Friday one made national news:
"Why did it take so long? What was the real holdup here? What were they really looking for?" asked Jace Booher, according to CNN affiliate KDVR. A law enforcement official told CNN that a bomb threat found written on a note prompted the security screening after the plane landed at Denver International Airport.
Just a day earlier a Southwest jet destined for Indianapolis made an emergency landing in a similar fashion:
An Indianapolis airport spokesman says a Southwest Airlines flight has safely made an emergency landing after the airline received some kind of threat. Spokesman Carlo Bertolini says Southwest Flight 362 requested the emergency landing and landed without incident Wednesday afternoon at Indianapolis International Airport.
The flight with 138 passengers and a crew of five aboard originated in Baltimore and was headed to Indianapolis already. The emergency landing means the flight was met with emergency vehicles.
There seems to be no follow up report on the actual threat.  The aircraft was checked, including all the baggage, as if they might have also been looking for a bomb.  Apparently two false alarms, two days apart.  

But these stories come on the heels of a weird release of a video this past Wednesday showing dancing jihadists in Yemen parading around out in the open threatening America, including their elusive AQAP supreme leader Al-Wuhayshi.   Keep in mind this group isn't like the Syrian or Iraqi branches of AQ that Obama doesn't seem to care about, this is the aviation branch of AQ, home of bombmaker al-Asiri, whom we have been targeting viciously over the past few days.  For all anyone knows these domestic stories have been dry runs.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What's Not in the Clinton Document Dumps

Another round of documents oozed out of the Clinton Library last night, openly admitted as a 'document dump' by the WaPo.  Thing is, there's not much there there.

Most of the stuff that has emerged so far in the several dumps has been in the nothingburger category, or even positive for the Clintons.  Yeah, it's interesting to hear Clinton staffers worried and mused about how the press might see this or that, and granted, this was funny:
Among a long list of interview ideas, Caputo suggested Clinton do a "television magazine" show and offered Maria Shriver as interviewer. She said the segment should show Clinton "doing it all" - working on health care, picking out flowers for state dinner and include b-roll of "you attending one of Chelsea's soccer games or making a run to the local supermarket."
Who wouldn't want to see Hillary going to Wal Mart to pick up some generic cereal and a pair of mom jeans for Bill?  And why Arnold's wife would have been considered a go-to friendly source who would have accommodated such a ruse is left to conspiracy theorists.  But this is all known--every administration tries to finagle the press and public for image.  Sometimes the press obliges, sometimes they don't.  Usually based on R and D.

But what hasn't been seen, or reported on at least, are any bombshell documents/emails pertaining to the biggest story that emerged from the 90s--growing Islamic terrorism.  For a president who claimed to have 'done more than anyone' to kill bin Laden and destroy AQ there seems to be a dearth of emails being released on the subject.  Nothing also on staffer thoughts about Saddam Hussein, who was bombed regularly, or TWA800, which Clinton told historian Taylor Branch some months later that it could have been done by Iran because 'they want war'.

Will there be any emails released about how the coverage of the 1993 WTC bombing might have been affected by the ATF's raid on the Branch Davidian compound one day later and how that might have taken media coverage (and a spotlight on Clinton's response to finding the perps) away from a focus on international terrorism over to more comfortable domestic issue?  Oklahoma City was mentioned, but only insofar as Gore contributing a piece to Clinton's 1996 State of the Union address, not about how sleazebag Dick Morris might have influenced Clinton to blame it on Rush Limbaugh. Nothing about the disputed notion of Clinton being offered UBL by the Sudan in 1996.

Speaking of Sudan, how about some emails about whether the bombing of the pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum in 1998, sold to the public by implicating Saddam's scientists as in cahoots with bin Laden to produce VX nerve gas, would play in the media to possibly distract from Lewinskygate.   

Or will all the good stuff remain classified to protect national security?  Maybe somebody could pay Sandy Berger to make another trip to the Archives with some baggy socks. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Aviation Update

Drudge is pointing to this Daily Mail story with angst..
A new photo of a mysterious flying object over Kansas has been revealed. It appears to be the same aircraft as one that was snapped soaring over Texas last month. The exact identify of the aircraft remains a mystery, but rumours abound that it could be a secret jet.
Here's the Daily Mail photo:

Now, here's a few photos of a United States B2 bomber:

Seems pretty close to me.  The wingspan on today's photo doesn't look like the one the Daily Mail claims is the secret aircraft.  B2 bombers are stationed at Whiteman AFB near Knob Knoster, MO, so seeing one in Kansas would hardly be shocking.

MORE  4/20/14

Some have said it appears the picture up top shows a smooth trailing edge to the flying V, as opposed to the B2 which is jagged.   That's apparent when looking closely at blowups of the pic.  Part of the uncertainty is the high altitude at which this plane is flying along with the camera zoom needed to capture it.  The contrails line up with the B2's engine position, the wingspan appears similar, the region is close to the B2's home base.  But if the trailing edge is indeed smooth (and this isn't an illusion created by atmospheric conditions or photography effects) then obviously it could be a new model.

The next question would be, whose new model?   

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Cure for the Lost "News" Conference

Today's impromptu presser held by the president in the White House briefing room was yet another complete joke.  These are not 'news' conferences, they are staged campaign events.

Does the media have no shame?  Why would they so easily acquiesce to being treated like children with this ridiculous idea of pre-selecting reporters chosen to ask the King a question?  This tactic was around under Bush as well, so it's not purely just sucking up to the cool guy.

Whatever the reason, the American people are worse off for it.

Just imagine if President Transparent pulled such a thing after a 9/11 type attack or something else horrible, ie, he comes out to the podium, reads a statement, then asks 5 hand-picked reporters for questions to which he filibusters his answers for 5 minutes each, essentially saying nothing.  Few would accept such a thing.  But the press accepts it now like baby food coming in.

They claim to be mad about access, saying media photographers have been banned from far too many events in favor of the propaganda department.   Well, if they had a collective set of balls they would team up and hijack the next presidential presser to make a protest statement.  Imagine the prez coming out and reading the card calling out the first questioner only to have the entire press corpse begin yelling questions at the same time, ignoring an agitated Carney as he stands there like a school marm pointing his finger!   

What would happen?  Would the Big Guy get mad and storm out?  That would look bad.  Would he try to demand they stay on the protocol and refuse to answer?  That would look opaque.  Would he begin demeaning the press?  That would appear arrogant and insolent.   Or would he become frustrated but eventually start answering the questions one by one like a regular public servant at a regular press conference?   Why not try it and find out? 

But they won't, of course.  They are too afraid of being called rude.  Or racist.  Or losing their book deal or cocktail party status in "This Town".  So, the result is the White House admitting that the toughest interview they faced in 2012 was from a comedian.  They also had some tough ones from local TV reporters with nothing to lose, but nothing hard from the so-called pros.  And as a result, the American people did not get straight answers. 

Even Bill O'Reilly was relatively tepid in his scheduled Super Bowl interview but he did manage to get the president to say that not a "smidgen" of corruption occurred in the IRS targeting scandal, which at the time was an ongoing FBI investigation--which they routinely never comment on.   So it boggles the mind as to why the White House reporters wouldn't pursue an even tougher strategy in pursuit of straight answers.  Certainly ALL of them can't be partisan hacks.  Right? 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hey CNN, Stick to the Plane

Don't accuse CNN of ignoring other stories, like domestic terrorism, while saturating their airwaves with MH370 breaking news.  Case in point, their go-to lefty terror expert Peter Bergen beclowns himself by backing junk science:
According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11. (The total includes the latest shootings in Kansas, which are being classified as a hate crime). "Since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies...have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology."
By contrast, terrorists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology have killed 23 people in the United States since 9/11. (Although a variety of left wing militants and environmental extremists have carried out violent attacks for political reasons against property and individuals since 9/11, none have been linked to a lethal attack, according to research by the New America Foundation.)
Bold and shocking!  Right wing terrorists lead the pack, lefty crazies haven't killed anyone, so nothing to worry about.  Those damned tea baggers need to be stopped!

But here at Fore Left we believe in science and data.  So let's not, as the president might say, jump to any conclusions.  The New America Foundation think tank, which provided the study via Bergen, and features CNN's Fareed Zakaria and Google's Eric Schmidt as board members, should be a red flag right off the bat.  But OK, how did they come to their numbers?  Well, here's how they explain in the 'methodology' section:
The dataset also includes individuals inspired by right wing, left wing, and other non-Jihadist political ideologies, who have been indicted for terrorism related crimes. The data on non-Jihadist extremists is less developed than the data on Jihadist extremists but where available it is included to provide a comparison across ideologies. The dataset relies mainly upon court documents, wire service reports, and local news reports as sources.
In other words, the grad students involved based a lot of their conclusions on selected stories from the mainstream media.  Maybe even stories by CNN's Fareed Zakaria or Peter Bergen!  Not very scientific.  

If you really insist on seeing some actual data to be sure they're putting this out as propaganda to help Obama defeat the Tea Party in November, look at their list of attacks and you'll see it right there, in black and white, what they consider a "right wing" attacker--confirmed left wing kook Joseph Stack, who flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin, TX, killing a federal worker.   The guy who quoted Marx in his manifesto.

If you absolutely insist on seeing their list of left wing attackers, good luck.  It's not easily findable on the site.  But somehow, as explained in the CNN story, they couldn't find a single example of a left wing attack that killed someone.

Such as, oh, the Obama supporter professor in Huntsville, Alabama who killed three of her colleagues at a board meeting rampage.  Not listed.  

That's just two, there are many more, especially if one considers the mass shootings in Colorado, Washington Navy Ship Yard, and Newtown, CT, as part of the body count, since all of those perpetrators leaned further left than right if they leaned any direction.  Or, we could just say all of the attacks since 9/11 have been pulled off by nuts, including the jihadists, but many serious jihadist attacks that could have killed hundreds or more were stopped.  But that doesn't fit the narrative.

And that's not to say there aren't far right wingers who cross the rubicon into violence...they most certainly exist and the government and the public should not pretend otherwise.  But researchers and so-called experts should also not pretend when it comes to reality or when making such incendiary charges.  Bergen's long been a lefty hack, but Steve Coll of the NAF should be ashamed.  CNN should be most ashamed since they published it.  They need to focus back on the open Indian Ocean, a porpoise may pop up for a breaking news update.

Funny though, even the biased New America Foundation included Major Hasan's rampage at Ft. Hood as as example of Islamic jihad terrorism, unlike the Obama administration.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Update Update

Latest update on MH370, scrawled across the top of CNN's web page...


Is it really breaking news that a sub went down, then came back up?

They may be onto something with the cellphone data, again, another piece of information that should have been available within days of the event.  Also more proof Malaysia was completely BS'ing the region and world about the search area for days after the disappearance because if they knew Hadid's cellphone pinged a tower near Penang there was no way the airplane could have been off the coast of Vietnam in the South China Sea.

Yes, CNN is living and dying on this coverage and it's been discussed and even joked about.  Certainly it sure beats reporting on Obama scandals or inconvenient news, or possible regional wars, all of which can be a real headache.  Besides, few go to CNN to read bad news about Obama anyway, so it's not a ratings play for them.   It almost seems like they are paying Malaysia to drag this out.  But that would be a conspiracy theory. 

What's more frightening is that the Blood Moon is only hours away.   Yet that is not the top story.