Alex Mascioli and his pretend company North Street Capital? A year ago last May Mr. Mascioli made (modest) headlines with his bid to take over Winnebago Industries. Drawing upon my deep, profound knowledge of securities fraud (and the fact that Mascioli is a convicted drunk with no record of accomplishment in anything), I suggested that the bid was as phony as its originator. I received a couple of angry phone calls from Mascioli but other than that I’ve never heard of or from him again, and Winnebago, so far as I know, is still privately held (and Saab, another company he announced he’d be taking over, is still defunct). Anyone out there run into Alex? Is he still renting a garage apartment here in town?
Daily Archives: September 3, 2013
I have to say I am fairly conflicted about Syria. My logic is generally fighting itself and my personal feelings towards taking action.
Part of me says that we need to take a stand against chemical weapons. President Obama announced that using chemicals weapons was the line, and Assad crossed it. The fact that even the French President has called for “proportional and firm action” says something. I’m not sure how the UN can stand by while Syria kills 1300 citizens, including women and children. The line was drawn, and Assad crossed it.
But does the U.S. always have to be the one to deliver consequences? We are stretched thin, tired, and broke. My personal feeling is no. I’m more inclined to be ok with our involvement if we’re talking about actions by the Air Force and the Navy. We are too tired to put boots on the ground. But as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal tech, I know what would go into disarmament of chemical weapons. And that’s just not a job I want anything to do with. And I don’t want my Soldiers doing it. Not only is the process long and exhausting, it’s dangerous in different ways than we have been dealing with.
From former Cpl. Jack Mandaville, a Marine Corps infantry veteran with 3 deployments to Iraq:
In mid-March of 2003, I was a 19-year-old Private First Class waiting to cross the border into Iraq. I was aware that there was a significant portion of veterans (mostly Vietnam-era) back home who were fundamentally opposed to the invasion of Iraq. Like the majority of my peers and superiors, I didn’t really care nor did I give it much thought. We just wanted our war.
A little over 10 years later, the majority of individuals in my generation have recognized the Iraq folly for what it was. I’m still proud of my service, as are my buds, but we understand that Iraq was completely unnecessary and cost way too much money and, more importantly, American lives.
We witnessed our politicians and countrymen send us to war on a surge of emotion and quickly forget about us for nearly a decade. We had the training and capabilities to deal with Iraq, but were set up for failure by timid members of Congress and the Executive branch who futilely attempted to conduct a PC war.
The worst part about this Syria debacle, among many things, is how closely it resembles Iraq. Those Vietnam veterans who warned us about disastrous results in Iraq were doing so based off their experience in a war that, contrary to popular belief, was vastly different from our war and was separated by at least two decades. Many veterans of Iraq are still in their twenties and have a firsthand understanding of Arab political issues. The complicated things we faced with Syria’s next door neighbors is freshly ingrained in our memories. How quickly the American people and our political leaders forget.
Our involvement in Syria is so dangerous on so many levels, and the 21st century American vet is more keen to this than anybody. It boggles my mind that we are being ignored. My anger over this issue has actually made me seriously comment on our foreign policy for the first time since 2006 when I was honorably discharged after three stints in Iraq and subsequently watched it continue for nearly another six years. I’m sickened that we’re putting ourselves in a position for another prolonged war where the American people will quickly forget about the people fighting it.
Jon Venables – one of the child killers of James Bulger – has been secretly freed from prison, it was revealed today.
The 31-year-old, who was released from his life sentence for the brutal murder of the toddler in 2001, was locked up again three years ago after being caught with child porn on his computer.
But it has been claimed today that he was released last week and given a fourth new identity – with the cost of protecting Venables believed to have passed £1million.
He was also arrested over a drunken brawl and cocaine offences, but the then Justice Secretary Jack Straw allowed him to remain at large.
Following his arrest for child porn offences, it was revealed that Venables had fallen into a spiral of drink and drug addiction because he struggled with the psychological pressure of living under an assumed name.
It is said to have taken officials two months to prepare his new identity.
Venables was first given a new identity when he and Thompson were sent to a young offenders’ institution for murdering the toddler.
A second new identity was created for him when he was released in 2001, and he was given a third identity after he was sent back to jail in 2010 for possessing child abuse images.
The new, “Smarter Diplomacy” as promised by Obama was just an invitation for his fellow naifs to help run foreign policy
Bush said Pelosi’s trip signals that the Assad government is part of the international mainstream when it is not. “A lot of people have gone to see President Assad … and yet we haven’t seen action. He hasn’t responded,” Bush told reporters soon after Pelosi arrived in Damascus on Tuesday.
Flashback, 2009: John Kerry travels to Syria to woo Assad. Doesn’t work.
In 2011, the NYT had high hopes for the Senator who hoped to become Secretary of State,gushing, “Kerry’s roots run deep in the New England gentry, and his fine sense of social codes may be better suited to the courts of Central Asia and the Middle East than to presidential debates” ,
In fact, Kerry saw the world very much the way Obama did. As a candidate, Obama distinguished himself not only from George W. Bush but also from Clinton by advocating a new foreign policy of “engagement.” He vowed that as president he would meet the leaders of Iran and Syria and other enemies without preconditions, which Clinton deemed “naïve.” Kerry was already practicing engagement: as a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and a man who had come within a whisker of being elected president, Kerry had been meeting with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and forming close relationships with autocratic as well as democratic leaders around the world.
Kerry became Assad’s most important booster in Washington, endorsing his commitment to peace with Israel. Some experts thought that Kerry was being taken for a ride. Andrew Tabler, a former journalist in Syria now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says: “Despite all the things that have happened over the last two years, Syria’s behavior” — transferring arms to Hezbollah, cracking down on domestic dissent — “has gotten markedly worse. Engagement is not working.” And that was before Assad’s security forces killed hundreds of peaceful protestors in cities across the country, a brutal response that made Kerry’s praise look naïve.
The Bush administration argued that talking to Syria, which maintained close relations with Iran and sponsored the terrorist organization Hezbollah, would legitimize its conduct. But Obama, like Kerry, viewed Syria as an important example of the new policy of engagement.
Why the collapse of the US anti-war movement after 2008? One-word-answer: Obama. If you guessed “principle”, you were wrong.