Overseas travel could be more dangerous following Bin Laden’s death.

While the U.S. (and other Nations) rejoices following the news of Bin Laden’s death, those about to embark on overseas travel, especially those holding U.S. passports, should exercise extreme caution.

Not only has the State Department issued travel alerts (http://www.emergencyemail.org/newsemergency/anmviewer.asp?a=1058&z=1 ), but a plethora of INTEL and Govt. types have also issued warnings concerning the need to be aware of the possibility of retaliatory attacks.   It is too simplistic to feel that Bin Laden’s demise will bring about the downfall of Al-Qaeda.  

Whilst it is true that the A.Q. organization will be “leaderless” until they can find a suitable replacement, this does not mean that they are not capable of inflicting serious casualties to “get back” at those who have denied them of their leader.  This can be looked upon as a type of “wounded animal” syndrome. 

Speaking on CNN’s “Piers Morgan” last night, former NYC Mayor, Rudy Giuliani said; “in the short term we are in more danger, but in the longer term, we will be safer”.  The question remains however; ”how long is “in the short term”?  I have an immediate vested interest in trying to understand the viewpoint of these grieving radicals, since I will be flying to a volatile part of Asia next week.

My advice is not to take chances with your safety.  If travel can not be avoided or postponed, focus intently on your own personal safety and on the safety of those you send overseas – whether employees or family members.  This reminds me of a call I received from a potential client last year. 

He and other staff members were going to Pakistan to form a joint venture involving a lucrative project for his company.  He was concerned for their safety and asked about bringing U.S. bodyguards on the trip.  The host company in Pakistan told him that they would provide the foreigners with local security.

Having worked around the world on many International assignments, I was experienced in how certain countries train their personnel.  I advised the potential new client to bring experienced U.S. security personnel as part of their team.  The busines owner was concerned that he might insult his new business partners if they discovered that they had brought their own security consultants. 

This is why it is important to find a highly experienced security consultant and LISTEN to what they tell you.  There are ways to include highly trained and experienced security personnel with your staff so that they blend in as engineers or legal assitants or whatever else may be your business.  What you should NEVER do, is to to compromise your safety or the safety of your employees.   

If something happens, what effect do you think it will have on your company’s reputation?  Ask yourself is it worth it.  Our advice to you is not to rely on local resources, but to bring those experts with you – either openly or covertly.  Remember that training standards in many other parts of the world are nowhere near the level that they are in the U.S.

Who Exactly are the "Oath Keepers"?

Very interesting story from CNN correspondent Jim Acosta on the anti-President group; “The Oath Keepers”.

You may very well be wondering; “Who are the Oath Keepers”?, they are a growing group – militant in nature and growing more so by the day apparently. They are led by Stewart Rhodes, a former Army Paratrooper, and aid to Congressman Ron Paul.

What makes them dangerous is that they blatantly claim to swear an Oath to the Constitution, but not to the President. In addition, they are actively and openly recruiting serving military personnel and sworn Law Enforcement Officers. Thus, they are not concerned about providing paramilitary training to their members.

These people are not hiding in the bushes either. Between get togethers in a Las Vegas Casino and displaying their “Oath Keepers” insignia on their US military uniforms overses, they may become a real force with which to be reckoned.

D.C. Metro Train Driver Endangers Lives by Texting while Driving

This story that has been covered by Fox News as well as CNN this morning is enough to send a shiver down your spine. Especially since we just witnessed the funerals of Metro riders who were killed in the recent Metro crash.

The question is begging to be answered; “is the loss of 5 days pay adequate punishment for someone who endangers the lives of Metro riders by disregarding procedures and policies?”

Apparently this Metro Train driver does not take the job that seriously, despite having ultimate responsibility of so many lives. Unfortunately, we recently saw what can happen and the devastation that can be caused when a train on “auto pilot’ crashes.

I think this driver should have been charged with reckless driving or reckless endangerment and prosecuted in a court of law at a minimum. It seems that Metro riders are literally taking their lives in their hands when riding decrepit trains being driven by people playing with their cell phones.

Which begs another question; “does the Metro transit system not employ any inspectors or have any oversight in place and if not, why not?”

Terrible animal abuse caught on video at Westland/Hallmark meat company

It would have been difficult for anyone to have watched the CNN video yesterday morning regarding animal abuse at the Westland/Hallmark meat processing plant and to not have felt outraged.

The video, which was covertly recorded by a factory employee, showed cows being pushed, dragged and prodded in order to get them into the slaughter house. As was obvious from the video, some of these animals were so sick that they could not stand up on their own and were “scooped” up by fork lifts and dropped into the killing area.

The reporter commented how these animals’ symptoms were similar to that of the fatal “mad cow” disease. However, that did not stop the meat company from including them with the others that were being butchered and sold to fast food restaurants and to schools to feed the nation’s children.

Yesterday, two fast food chains: “Jack in the box’ and “In-out burgers”, stated that they were no longer purchasing beef products from Westalnd/Hallmark. Today, 150 school districts dropped the meat company as their vendor.

What is difficult to understand is how the company President, Steve Mendell, could come out with a statement assuring the public that they “have met the highest standards for harvesting and processing meat”. Either he is of the belief that the general public are about as sharp as bowling balls or the industry must have some really low standards overall.

Another difficult thing to understand is the fact that Westland/Hallmark claimed to have a full time USDA veterinary medical officer on site IN ADDITION to a full time officer from USDA’s Grading Service. “Full time” should mean that they are always there durng work hours, should it not? It seems that the USDA has a lot of questions to answer.

It is ironic that last week we saw so much in the press about the Congressional hearing into Roger Clemens and the allegations that he took steroids. If he did, he shouldn’t have, but is it right to devote so much attention and resources to an athelete when hundreds of thousands – possibly millions, of peoples lives and health are jeopardized by unscrupulous business practices that should have been detected by the very Govt. Agency assigned to over see such abuse?

I for one, will be reading labels in the supermarket more closely in the future. I would suggest that all of you do the same.