Report: Snowy owls shot at NY airport to protect planes

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has ordered wildlife specialists at area airports to shoot snowy owls, a source tells NBC New York.

At least three birds have been killed, a Port Authority source tells the New York Daily News, which first reported the story.

NY/NJ Port Authority Police Officers Michael Wholey left and David LeMagne right last seen in this picture assisting in the evacuation on 9/11/01. They immediately ran back in to assist in further rescue, never to be seen alive again.

This is an email from Chris Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Ann Kelly giving the cue to David Wildstein, Governor Christie’s appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to wreak havoc on traffic patterns at the George Washington Bridge, and in particular in Fort Lee, whose Democratic mayor had refused to endorse Christie for a second term.  

Let’s watch Mr. Christie, a Republican and former U.S. Attorney and who has previously denied – repeatedly – that his administration would never partake in such shenanigans, get out of this one.  Because BUSTED.

(via The Record)

Rick Rescorla - 9/11 Hero - NEVER FORGET

Rick Rescorla predicted 9-11. He also predicted the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. It is a matter of record. Rescorla was the Vice President for Security for Dean Witter Corporation when he foresaw the coming bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. Two years before this first attack, he predicted it would be a truck bomb exploding in the unsecured basement parking area. He went to the New York/New Jersey Port Authority with his warnings and was told to “be concerned with the security of the 40 floors that Dean Witter leases from us and leave the rest to us.” Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley received about one quarter billion dollars in settlement fees for the Port Authority’s negligence in failing to heed the informed warnings of the coming 1993 attack.

Still ignorant, arrogant, and flat out stupid, the Port Authority and Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley refused to heed Rescorla’s second warning — a very specific warning — that another attack was coming — this time from the air — in the form of commercial aircraft. Rescorla was a hair off. He thought it would be cargo aircraft out of Europe or the Middle East loaded with explosives (not far off the historic happening).

Asked by his superiors “What can be done to prevent such an attack?”  Rescorla replied “Nothing. Get out of this building. It’s nothing but a big soft target. And they intend to hit us again. Move across the river to New Jersey. Build, buy, or rent a group of low-rise buildings. Spread out.into smaller targets. In this computer age we could do our business from the middle of North Dakota. We don’t need Wall Street anymore.”

How does a man come to possess this ability to so accurately predict future events? He had no crystal ball. He was not clairvoyant. He was a professional in the arts of intelligence, security, and counter-guerrilla warfare. He had spent his entire life centered on these things. Over a lifetime, Rescorla accumulated knowledge and experience that allowed him to know the how, when, why, and where his enemy would strike.

Rescorla was born in May 1939 in Hayle, Cornwall, England. His childhood memories were of commando raids by British forces, OSS operations, and the French resistance. As a youth he read about these events, studied them, analyzed them, criticized them — like a Monday morning quarterback. He was virtually nurtured at the tit of war and special operations.

In his teens he joined the British army, became a paratrooper, then went into intelligence and led a unit fighting guerrillas and insurgents in Cyprus. Then he went to Africa — Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) where he fought more guerrillas and insurgents. After that, he joined the London police force as a member of the Scotland Yard Flying Squad where he was much involved in anti-IRA operations. In 1963, he came here to the United States and enlisted in the American Army as a private. In April 1965 he was commissioned as United States Officer of Infantry out of the OCS course at Fort Benning, Georgia. Five months later he was commanding a platoon of 44 men in Vietnam with the 2/7th Cavalry battalion of the 1stAir Cavalry Division. Two months after that he was one of the most distinguished heroes of the battle of Ia. Drang Valley (see the Joe Galloway/Lieutenant General Hal Moore book We Were Soldiers Once — And Young).

After the war, Rescorla left active army service (although he stayed in the National Guard until he retired as a Colonel). In 1967 he became an American citizen. He had paid his dues. He went to college at the University of Oklahoma where he studied literature and writing. Then he went to law school and became a lawyer. He taught criminal justice at the University of South Carolina in Columbia for awhile, but the academic life was too tame for him.  He went into the banking/financial security business, and quickly advanced to the top ranks of his profession.

Over the course of his life, Rescorla developed a corps of men he could rely upon — thinkers — soldiers — politicians — writers — law enforcement officials — second class, politically incorrect, belligerent men — men who saw things as they actually were and not what they seem to be. From these he developed his own brain trust — his own intelligence unit — his own staff and group of counselors. He kept in contact with them by telephone.  He posed questions — hypothetical situations concerning international developments and problems. He collected, consolidated, and analyzed the input from this net of agents and thus came to logical conclusions. Some he hired for short periods as consultants. One — a natural insurgent/guerrilla/warrior — he brought to New York to make an estimate of the situation and the likely plan of attack upon the World Trade Center. In 1990-91, all this produced the prediction of the 1993 bombing. In 1995-96, it predicted the 2001 air attack.

See? No horoscope — no crystal ball — no tarot cards — just plain and simple intelligence and professional expertise and logical projection, i.e., “If you want to know what a terrorist is likely to do, just ask a terrorist — or one whose mind works like that of a terrorist.”

Now — go back to why Rick Rescorla was a hero on 9-11.

Answer: Because after being told by Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley that they could not relocate — that their lease ran to 2005 and maybe after that the move was possible — Rescorla planned and drilled the Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley staff and employees in the evacuation of the World Trade Center offices that they occupied.

Despite criticism and intimidation, despite ridicule and denigration, Rescorla forced his people to drill. Without warning, he’d sound an alarm and then lead the entire company through a mandatory, rapid, efficient, and safe evacuation practice. They grumbled and they griped, but they did it.

Rescorla installed generators and stair lighting in the event of power failure (which came to be). He assigned office and floor wardens to insure control and accountability of personnel and evacuating. Rescorla insisted on buddy teams – people were to go two-by-two down the stairs in an orderly and rapid manner. Rescorla made sure that elderly and handicapped persons had three or four others to assist them. And he drilled them — over and over — again and again — until it became a conditioned response.  As Rescorla said “like a soldier going into an anti-ambush drill.”

On the day of the crisis, when the first tower was hit, the Port Authority ordered everyone in the second tower to stay at their desks. Rescorla made a command decision to countermand that order. “Bugger that!” he said. And then he initiated his conditioned response plan. Evacuation began immediately.

Trained — conditioned — the Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley employees responded. They implemented Rescorla’s plan. 2700 people followed Rescorla’s drill. Rescorla was everywhere – the halls – the stairwells — from the 10th to 70th floors. His voice could be heard above the near mayhem, keeping them calm, responsive, moving in a controlled and orderly manner. At times he sang to them over his megaphone. He sang God Bless America in that booming deep baritone of his. And he sang the defiant Men of Harlech, just as he’d done when the 7th Cavalry was surrounded in the Ia Drang Valley, just as the British Army had done when surrounded by the Zulus at Rourke’s Drift.

Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming;
Can’t you see their spearpoints gleaming?
See their warriors’ pennants streaming
To this battlefield.
Men of Cornwall stand ye steady;
It cannot be ever said ye
for the battle were not ready;
Stand and never yield!

All but six of Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley’s employees survived. They got out – alive. They live today. They live because Rescorla was watching out for them.

Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley was not comprised of its equipment, computers, files, fixtures, furnishings, nor potted plants. It was comprised of its people — those 2700 individuals, their minds and talents and experience. When Rescorla saved their lives through his foresight and actions, he also saved the largest financial institution in the nation — in the world — on this earth.

But Rescorla did not survive. After shepherding the 2700 out of the building, Rescorla knew there were still a few left above — the confused — the disoriented — the injured. And as everyone who knew Rescorla knows, he would leave no man behind.

And so he went up into that tower of death in an attempt to save them. He knew it was a forlorn hope. He knew that he would probably die in his attempt. But Rescorla was a man that could never live with himself in the future if he did not try to save those few that were left. So he went up. And the tower came down. And Rescorla is no more.

I know this is true. I was Rescorla’s best friend, confidante, and comrade-in-arms throughout our entire adult lives. I fought with him in Africa, went through OCS at the same time he did, fought in Vietnam with him. I am the guerrilla/insurgent/terrorist-at-heart he hired as a consultant. My children called him “Uncle Rick.” My wife thought of him as the brother and sibling she’d never really had. I was best man at both of his weddings. From 1970 until his death, we spoke on the telephone three or four times a week. His children called me “Uncle Dan.” Not by blood or birth but by choice, we were brothers. (For a full account of Rescorla and Hill’s legendary exploits and amazing friendship read Heart Of A Soldier by James B. Stewart)

On 9-11, as he went through that trial, we spoke over the cell phone as things progressed from the initial aircraft hit until he went up looking for the few survivors that may have been left behind. After he started up he called his wife, Susan. His last words to her were “You made my life.” Susan and I were both watching our TV when Rick’s tower went down, taking him and his life with it.

I have wept only one time over the loss of my one true friend, brother, and companion – and that, unfortunately, was on national television while being interviewed by Jane Pauley. She asked me then if that was the first time I had cried over Rick. I replied, “Yeah. I’ve been too busy being proud of him. I’ve been too busy cheering.”

I have vowed to never again cry over Rick Rescorla and his death. It was not an event to weep over. It was a noble ending for a noble man. I choose to rejoice in that. I will continue to cheer.

Such magnificent men are rare. They appear every few eons or so, and they are a gift to mankind.

Rescorla died the death for which he was destined — standing for the principles of honor, integrity, and valor. He was a man who considered everyman to be as important as himself. From bush natives in Africa to the barons of Wall Street, he considered every life as valuable as his own. In the end, he died as he lived — in service to his fellow man. Like the Good Book says: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).

There was no better man in history. There probably never will be better. I give you 2700 survivors of the 9-11 World Trade Center disaster as witnesses.




The fire started around 8:30 a.m on Friday, May 13 1949 when a drum of carbon disulfide fell off a trailer truck about a third of the way into the tunnel. The highly flammable chemical leaked out onto the hot surfaces of the truck.

In 1949, trucks were required to display decals to signify the transportation of dangerous cargo. This tractor-trailer entered the tunnel without decals, and police were completely unaware of the potentially hazardous chemicals moving through the tunnel. Had they known, the fire might never have occurred as the truck would have been redirected to one of the bridges instead.

Minutes after the fire began, Port Authority Police officers started helping drivers escape to safety. Three bus loads of children were stopped at the entrance of the tunnel when the fire occurred. 

Firemen entered the eastbound tube from the New Jersey side and worked their way through more than a hundred automobiles, buses and trucks. 

By 1:00 p.m., the fire had been largely controlled.

In total, ten trucks were destroyed, dozens of cars lost, and 600 feet of tunnel was badly damaged. The fire caused $1 million in damages or an estimated $7.5 million in today’s dollars.

Some 2600 long distance message circuits that depended on five cables laid through the tunnel were put out of service.

More than 650 tons of debris were removed from the tunnel by a crew working round-the-clock.

Christie Knew About Lane Closings, Ex-Port Authority Official Says

The former Port Authority official who personally oversaw the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge in the scandal now swirling around Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said on Friday that the governor knew about the lane closings when they were happening, and that he had the evidence to prove it.

In a letter released by his lawyer, the official, David Wildstein, a high school friend of Mr. Christie’s who was appointed with the governor’s blessing at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge, described the order to close the lanes as “the Christie administration’s order” and said “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference” three weeks ago.

“Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some,” the letter added.

The letter marked the first signal that Mr. Christie may have been aware of the closings, something he repeatedly denied during thenews conference.

In early January, documents revealed that a deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, Bridget Anne Kelly, had sent an email to Mr. Wildstein saying, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” the town at the New Jersey end of the bridge, where Mr. Christie’s aides had pursued but failed to receive an endorsement from the mayor.

JFK AirTrain at Terminal Six

This is the AirTrain station at JFK Airport’s Terminal Six. National Airlines once used this terminal. Some of you may recall National’s famous advertisements, which featured saucy flight attendants making coy statements like, “Hi! I’m Linda! Fly Me!” National Airlines was bought by Pan Am in the 70’s, and both airlines are now history. Today, Terminal Six serves as Jet Blue’s main hub. The AirTrain connects Terminal Six with JFK’s eight other terminals, as well as the Long Island Railroad’s Jamaica Station, the airport’s long-term parking areas, and the Howard Beach “A” train station.

Photographed by David N. Sommer, June 17, 2004.
Added to the photo archive by David Sommer, June 17, 2004.
Railroad: Airtrain (Port of NY, NJ).

The racial justice issue that Americans must stop ignoring: Pollution
By Robert Hennelly

It is easy for Martin Luther King Day to be co-opted into a pat on the back for the United States with the first African-American in the White House serving his last year of his second term. And yet, if the celebration is to mean anything, it must be an occasion for us to call out examples where racism still forecloses on the future of young people of color, sometimes even before they are born.

Case in point, the decision earlier this month by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — of Bridgegate infamy — to reverse itself on a pledge it made in 2010 to ban all diesel trucks that were older than 2007 when federal truck engine regulations kicked in, which would have required a major reduction in highly toxic diesel emissions.

Environmental degradation is ravaging minority communities. One example from the NY/NJ area looms large


Dec. 4, 1957: Heavy, early snowfall wreaked havoc, and three people were killed. “The severity of the storm surprised many,” The Times wrote. “It took a bus four hours last night to make a run scheduled for 35 minutes from Teaneck, N.J., to the Port Authority Bus Terminal at Eighth Avenue and Forty-first Street.” Photo: Robert Walker/The New York Times

Ex-Port Authority Official Says '€˜Evidence Exists'€™ Christie Knew About Lane Closings

The former Port Authority official who personally oversaw the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge, central to the scandal now swirling around Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, said on Friday that “evidence exists” the governor knew about the lane closings when they were happening.

In a letter released by his lawyer, the former official, David Wildstein, a high school friend of Mr. Christie’s who was appointed with the governor’s blessing at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge, described the order to close the lanes as “the Christie administration’s order” and said “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference” three weeks ago.

In which an appointed official in the Christie administration just threw Christie under the bridge.

The lawyer who just wrote a letter to the NYT for Trump has a fascinating history on Wall Street

(Defense attorney Marc Kasowitz speaks to reporters after a jury found the New York and New Jersey Port Authority negligent in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, in New York October 26, 2005.Reuters)
On Wednesday the New York Times published the accounts of two women who claim to have been sexually assaulted by GOP Presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

Shortly thereafter, the Trump campaign sent the NYT a cease and desist letter demanding the paper take down the story, claiming that it is defamatory.

The letter is signed by famed trial attorney Marc E. Kasowitz of the firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, and he’s got a fascinating history on Wall Street.

One of the things Kasowitz is known for, is going after investors who have short positions — as in they are betting against — in company shares. 

In finance, that can either make you a hero or a whiner, depending on who you ask.

Here are two noteworthy examples for you. His firm represented Fairfax Financial, the massive Canadian investment holding company founded by “Canada’s Warren Buffett,” billionaire Prem Watsa, in 2006.

Watsa accused a number of American hedge funds superstars — Dan Loeb of Third Point Partners, Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates, Steve Cohen of SAC Capital (now Point 72), — of bringing down his company’s stock by spreading misinformation to journalists and engaging in an “organized a campaign to drive down the prices of Fairfax’s shares.”

Fairfax sought $6 billion in damages. And while the suit did result in the publication of some pretty embarrassing e-mails for Dan Loeb, that was about the worst that came of it for the short sellers. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2011.

Kasowitz also represented Canadian pharmaceutical firm Biovail back in 2007. Biovail was the precursor to Wall Street’s disaster stock, Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

Biovail, just like Fairfax, was accusing a group of short sellers of colluding in order to bring down the company’s stock. In this case, Kasowitz didn’t lose the case, his firm was fired.

What happened there was a little bit complicated. According to reporting from the Wall Street Journal, Biovail shareholders sued the company in 2003. During those proceedings, Biovail’s attorneys subpoenaed documents from Banc of America Securities. However, the parties signed an agreement saying the documents would only be used in that action.

But that’s not what happened. Kasowitz’s firm used the documents for its suit against short sellers years later. When it was called out on it, the firm claimed it had no knowledge of that agreement. In 2007, Biovail then fired Kasowitz’s firm.

In non-Wall Street news, Kasowitz also defended The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in a negligence suit surrounding the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

From the NYT:

In a verdict that could prove costly for the Port Authority, the six-member jury in State Supreme Court unanimously found that the agency did not heed warnings that the underground garage was vulnerable to terrorist attack and should be closed to public parking. This failure, the jury said, was “a substantial factor” in allowing the bombing to occur.

None of this is to say that Kasowitz isn’t well respected. He won a case defending MBIA, one of the world’s largest monoline insurers, when 18 major banks tried to overturn the company’s corporate restructuring after the financial crisis, for example.

And he’s been celebrated in some legal circles. The National Law Journal called him a “Litigation Trailblazer,” among others.

But on Wall Street, people can get sensitive about short selling. There are many who see it as fundamental to free and well functioning markets. So the guy who sues short sellers is always going to be the guy who sues short sellers, no matter what else he does. 

NOW WATCH: Things are getting worse for Wells Fargo and now the FBI is getting involved

More From Business Insider

The attorney representing David Wildstein, the former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official who ordered the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge last year, today called into question the accuracy of Gov. Chris Christie’s statements on the scandal.

The charge, which was made in a letter sent by attorney Alan Zegas to the Port Authority, said Wildstein “contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some.”

Zegas also said, “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference” last month.

The statements were made as Zegas wrote to the authority asking it to reconsider its decision earlier this month not to pay Wildstein’s legal bills. The Port Authority declined comment, and the governor’s office did not immediately return requests for comment.


The Newark Star-Ledger, “Chris Christie Knew About Lane Closures, Wildstein’s Lawyer Says.”

Oh your ass just got caught.