Protecting the President on the Great Wall of China

It does not come as any surprise to those of us in the “business”, but for those who are unaware of how Executive Protection works, this article by Mail One online explains it in style.

For those who don’t know it, there is a world of a difference between a “bodyguard” and an E.P. agent. There may be times when you would want both on a team, but for the most part, the role of bodyguard has traditionally been associated with Brawn.

A professionally trained E.P. agent of the other hand will have much more knowledge and rely less on size to accomplish a mission. This is not to say that a larger person can not be smart or trained as well as an agent of lesser size.

One of the reasons why size has been linked to lesser or lower standards of training, is because of clients themselves. The client who requests a 6 foot 6 inch bruiser without considering whether that person has attended formal training is perpetuating the stereo type.

I have quite a few agents who stand much taller than 6 feet and weigh more than 240lbs/17 stone. Those statistics though are not their claim to fame. They are higly trained and experienced in providing not only personal/close protection for Executives/Royal families/High Net worth individuals and Celebrities.

These true professionals are also able to advise a client should I have to send them overnight on a plane thusands of miles away to Asia or Africa. They can conduct threat assessments, risk analysis and risk management duties as well as representing the client at a “C” level security briefing/planning session.

When deciding on the right E.P. security firm, clients should consider who will be able to provide agents who can blend in, remain just the right distance away, utilize modern technology to assist them in their operations, etc.

Obama Tells Karzai: "Clean it Up".

According to the Orlando Sentinel, this is what the U.S. President told Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan after his opponent withdrew from the planned run-off elections.

I’m sure that our eloquent orator did not put it so bluntly, but you have to admit, it does make for interesting reading.

After all, we have been hearing much talk about the corrupt Karzai government and unless we want to be directly involved, they do need to “clean up their act”.

PETA Wouldn’t Hurt a Fly

I think that very few of us can ever hope to attain the lofty heights of humanity that PETA people seem to have reached.

Afterall, who amongst us would be in favor of catching pesky, dirty, germ spreading flies and then releasing them so that they could come back to annoy us all over again?

I would really like to know where PETA followers go to train to learn that kind of discipline. Do they have a PETA special forces type of training camp in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia?

Have they signed a contract with a Blackwater boot camp to turn them into super-humans, capable of ignoring “bug and people-eating animals” – even when those same bugs and animals are chowing down on them?

Scoff not, for it does take an unimaginable discipline to be eaten by mosquitos and to hold back from swatting or squashing them with a reflexive slap. I lived and worked in Africa in the early 90′s and I did not possess that kind of discipline.

Just while living in Africa, I must have killed hundreds of mosquitos (this probably makes puts me into “war criminal” class by PETA standards)and yet, those pesky little blood-suckers still managed to give me malaria.

It will be interesting to see if President Obama puts his “catch and release” fly machine that PETA gave him to good use. Apparently, there are all kinds of bugs in the Whitehouse.

Strange, I would have thought they would have all been caught after Nixon left office.

Not-so-secret Secret Ballot

For those of you who have been as confused as I have been over the Government’s support of the Union’s desire to do away with the “secret ballot”, I believe I found the answer this morning.

Up until now, there did not seem to be any rhyme nor reason why President Obama would be so much in favor of killing the secret ballot. This morning as I watched the news over coffee, the answer became more obvious. Unions raised and contributed more than $67,500,000.00 to the Democratic Party in 2008. Sounds like it’s their turn for a back scratch.

Last Saturday morning I listened to John Rutlidge, a respected financial analyst comparing the move to something that would happen in North Korea. He spoke from experience as he had just returned back from a trip to North Korea. In that country, citizens must appear in front of the Politican running for office and openly state if they vote for or against them. Do you think there there may be a slight chance of intimidation there?

There is no doubt that Unions have done a lot of good over the years. They have helped downtrodden workers to fight for better pay and conditions. That is admirable. Bullying, intimidating and ruling with an iron fist is not.

Workers should be able to vote in secret whether or not they want to have a Union. If this goes through, will we one day have to stand in front of politicians and point out the one we want?

Security companies in Washington D.C. became unionized recently. Some security companies are known for paying bad wages and not treating their employees very well. Union involvement there most probably helped a lot of security officers who were not getting a fair deal.

Unfortunately, the banning of the secret ballot does not seem set to help anybody – except the Unions who are probably expecting an influx of new (paying) members. There is talk that many companies will either close down or outsource their manufacturing to Asia if Unions are forced on them.

Do we really need to risk more jobs in these terrible economic times? Apparently those who handed over more than $67.5 million dollars seem to think so.

FDA inspectors not worth peanuts – literally.

Why do we have to suffer the Food and Drug Administration’s incompetence? In the recent past it has been tainted spinach, baby formula, diseased meat and now it is a lethal outbreak of salmonella from infected peanuts. In just about every circumstance, children’s lives have been put at risk.

It is so bad, that the President himself is complaining. He stated last week that they should have caught this problem before now and as a result, the operation of the FDA will be completely reviewed. If they were in the private sector, they’d be bankrupt by now.

Why should these Government Agency employees be allowed to bumble their way through life, in their job-for-life jobs? I have written about the FDA before. How many more times must they be written about? Hopefully this President means what he says and hopefully heads will roll.

So far, eight people have died and five hundred and fifty have been made sick as a result of the salmonella outbreak from this dodgy peanut plant in Georgia. More than 250 of thoses cases were children. As President Obama pointed out; “we should be able to count on the government to keep our kids safe when they eat peanut butter”.

I was watching a documentary on cable last night and a New Yorker was talking about how he had wanted to get a job as an inspector in the 70′s. He wanted to be a food inspector and candidly explained that everyone knew that was where the most money could be made in kick-backs and bribes.

Of course, it goes without saying that the owner and managers of the peanut company should be prosecuted for manslaughter. It has been documented that they knowingly shipped products that tested positive for salmonella on twelve separate occasions during 2007 and 2008.

Gitmo to close down in ’09?

On the face of it, President Obama’s executive order to close the terrorist detention camp in Cuba may seem like he is not that tough on terrorism. There are even those who are heralding this as the end of the War on Terror.

It is too early to jump to conclusions, however. According to Ben Feller, the Associated Press writer, the administration is also planning a study of more aggressive interrogation methods that could be added to the Army Field Manual.

It seems that the President is looking to “play by the book” and in this case, if the book needs to be hardened, it sounds as if that is what will happen.

Another sign that he may not be as soft on terrorism as some would think are the recent air strikes in Pakistan. These came during his first 48 hours in office. Looks like he has hit the ground running.

If you thought the "Popemobile" was something, wait until you see the "Obamobile"

If President Obama is forced to give up his Blackberry, at least his new Cadillac is a cool consolation prize.

The new “Obamobile” is said to be able to withstand Rocket and chemical attacks. He also gets to take it all over the world on his travels.

I was listening to a live broadcast of the Inauguration and the announcers were discussing the wonder car. They figured it would get 3 or 4 miles to the gallon. Shame they didn’t make it a Hybrid when they were at it as there are bound to be those who will complain about the poor mileage figures.

Not that he will ever travel that far in it. When the Government sells that in a few years, it will probably only have a couple of thousand miles on it. It will be one of those “driven by a little old lady to church” specials. Only with this one, you could ride to church safe knowing that your car could withstand Rocket and chemical attacks!