Wednesday, July 01, 2015


The GOP’s new website has a special page for GOP “Accomplishments” across history (interestingly, the page title is “Political News: American Achievements: Political Achievements”).
Let’s start in relatively modern history, as the fact is that neither party is what it was before, say, the Great Depression. Neither is America.
  • 1938 – The First Asian-American US Senator was a Republican: This is odd dating, as the reference is to Hiram Fong, who in 1938 won a seat in the territorial legislature of Hawaii as a Republican, running on a statehood platform. He was elected as a US Senator in 1959, upon statehood, serving three terms. The blurb notes he received votes for the presidential nomination in 1964 (Goldwater nominated) and 1968 (Nixon’s the one).
    Not included is that he’s the only GOP senator from Hawaii to date, and the only Asian-American to ever seek the GOP presidential nomination (he got “favorite son” votes from Hawaii). Fong was strongly bipartisan, a firm labor supporter, and was strongly for immigration reform and civil rights. He also steadfastly supported the Vietnam War and Nixon throughout the Watergate scandal.
  • 1940 – The Republican Party first called for ending racial segregation in the military: According to the blurb, the 1940 RNC presidential platform had a plank: “Discrimination in the civil service, the army, navy, and all other branches of the Government must cease.” FDR and Truman are then blamed for “refusing” to integrate until in ’48 Truman “complied” with the “Republicans’ demands for racial justice in the US military.”
    The US military had integration under review for
    some time, and actually took many steps (some better-intended than others) toward integration before the 1948 Executive Order (e.g., the formal integration of OCS classes in 1942). Given Republican opposition to “social engineering” experiments re the military, it seems odd that they would propose changing military policy during the WWII years. It’s worth noting the Democratic party had strong Southern contingent (already splitting off by 1948 into the Dixiecrats, based on Democratic civil rights platform planks that year), which would eventually shift over to the GOP as part of the “Southern Strategy” — and, despite that, Truman still forced through this integration. The GOP taking credit for it is silly; their candidate in 1940, for example, was Wendell Willkie, who, though an opponent to racism, hardly made that particular plank a key to the GOP campaign. And, of course, this “achievement” is actually pretty amusing, given GOP caterwauling over the “integration” of gays in the military.
  • 1952 – A Republican Integrated the University of Mississippi: Eisenhower appointed Elbert Tuttle to the US Court of Appeals in 1954, and he ordered — in 1962 — the integration of U.Miss under the Brown v. Board of Ed ruling, admitting James Meredith. (Again, an odd year to choose — 1952 was when Tuttle helped Ike get the presidential nomination).Tuttle was, indeed, a liberal Republican, doing pro bono work with the ACLU among others (hardly making him a darling of the GOP these days). His ruling was in — and was actively backed up with force by — the administration of John Kennedy.
  • 1954 – A Republican Wrote the Brown v. Board of Education decision: That’s California politician Earl Warren, appointed Chief Justice by Eisenhower in 1953, who forged a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Ed, which struck down Plessy v. Ferguson‘s separate-but-equal acceptance …
    a decision characterized by
    Conservapedia as “a powerful moral statement clad in a weak constitutional analysis,” criticized by William Rehnquist and Clarence Thomas — though lauded by George W. Bush in 2004. Note that the court that Warren (a controversial “judicial activist” to conservatives) oversaw was all appointed by FDR and Truman.
  • 1954 – Republicans Established the Federal Highway System: Actually, as noted, Ike got passed and signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act in 1956 (what’s with these dates, anyway?). So … would the GOP today work toward a national infrastructure bill? Really?  Only, I suspect, if someone made a strong case that US business needed it, and likely not even then. I mean, isn’t that kind of a socialist thing to do? Didn’t Hitler build the autobahns?
  • 1957 – Republicans Passed the Civil Rights Act: After dinging FDR and Truman for not proposing any civil rights legislation, the blurb lauds Ike for proposing “the first federal civil rights legislation since the Republican Party’s 1875 Civil Rights Act,” the Civil Right Act of 1957 …
    which adopted the recommendations of Truman’s 1947 Civil Rights Committee. A key to getting the bill passed — a Texas Senator named Lyndon Johnson. It’s key opponent: then-Democrat, soon-Republican Strom Thurmond.
  • 1957 – Republicans Ended Racial Segregation in Little Rock: Facing down the Southern Democrats (soon to become Republicans), Eisenhower (who could never get the GOP nomination today) “refused to tolerate defiance of the federal judiciary” (which is a standard talking point of the Right these days). ‘Republicans were unfazed by the many Democrats, including John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, who criticized President Eisenhower for the action he took to uphold civil rights” — most of the criticism (itself mild) having to do with deploying army troops internally (one imagines the GOP hue and cry were the present Democratic administration to do the same for some reason).
  • 1972 – Nixon Goes to China:  Nixon shows the “foresight” to end “more than two decades of hostility with the most populous nation on earth,” helping isolate the USSR.
    And we leap forward 15 years (without, it seems, Republican achievements). Note that staunch opposition to Red China had been strongest amongst the GOP, with Nixon leading the way in the 50s. The phrase “Only Nixon Could Go to China” is something of a truism. One wonders how the GOP reconciles this laudatory recollection with their own opposition to bilateral and multilateral discussions between the current administration and anyone else they currently consider an enemy (e.g., Iran).
  • 1981 – Reagan Tax Cuts: Reagan gets bilateral support for the 1981 Economic Recovery Act, cutting taxes. “His wise approach to fiscal policy causes an economic boom, ending the stagnation and ‘malaise’ of the Carter era” …
    … a result of inflation (which Nixon and Ford had both grappled with) and the Arab Oil Embargo. And we skip over everything else related to the Nixon regime — from Viet Nam to Watergate — as well as Gerald Ford. Note that the blurb’s touting of reduction of the tax rate from 70% to 50% (which later rate today would be considered rank Marxism) was only true for the highest incomes; lower tax rates fell from 14% to 11% (woo-woo). Insert controversy here over whether the tax cuts increased the deficit or increased government revenue.
  • 1987 – Tear Down This Wall: Reagan demands freedom for Eastern Europe from the Soviets.
    While a fine sentiment, GOP criticisms of the current administration’s rhetorical flourishes indicates that fancy talking isn’t their cuppa. This part of the speech wasn’t just criticized by Democrats, as the blurb indicates, but by members of Reagan’s own national security team, and didn’t get much attention at the time. The blurb seems to imply that Reagan either predicted or was responsible for the Berlin Wall coming down in 1989, though much of that was from hindsight when it finally happened.
  • 1994 – Contract with America: Republican congressional candidates pledge to reform taxes, welfare, and Congressional exemptions to US law, and get a majority in the House for the first time since 50s.
    … and we skip over George H.W. Bush and jump to Newt Gingrich. It’s not clear that, aside from some publicity shots, that it actually had
    much effect on the election, which was already headed the Republican way. The “Republican Revolution” stalled in the next couple of years, and Gingrich was out as House Leader by 1997, and the GOP majority steadily eroded until the Dems took back control in the past two elections.
  • 1996 – Welfare Reform: The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act is passed by the Republican-controlled Congress. “President Bill Clinton, reluctantly, signed it after vetoing it twice.” Actually, it appears to have been vetoed once, and Clinton signed it as part of his pledge to “end welfare as we know it.”
  • 2001 – Operation Enduring Freedom: George W. Bush orders attacks on the Taliban in Afghanistan in October. Yay, team. “It is critically important that the current administration maintain America’s bipartisan commitment to the Afghan people.” If only we’d been “critically” committed enough to pour the immediate resources into Afghanistan to help them get on their feet rather than heading directly into Iraq instead.
  • 2001 – Republican Tax Cuts: The Republican Congress and Republican President pass the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act, reducing income tax rates, capital gains taxes, and increasing the exemption for the Alternate Minimum Tax. In 2003 they pass the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act. “Sadly, the Democrats who took control of Congress in 2007 vowed to allow these Republican tax cuts to expire in 2011. This will have the effect of a huge tax increase on the American people” … well, mostly for the wealthiest taxpayers who benefitted from EGTRRA and JGTRRA.
  • 2003 – Operation Iraqi Freedom: After condemning Saddam Hussein’s “nightmarish regime” (with which we palled about in the mid-80s, when they were fighting Iran), and noting in passing the brief 1990 Gulf War, Congress authorizes George W. Bush to “hold Hussein accountable ” for violating and ignoring “many UN resolutions regarding Iraq’s failure to comply with disarmament and cease-fire terms from the first Gulf War.”
    Which seems to be a nice way to finesse around the whole “clear and present danger” of Iraq’s suspected WMD programs. Though it doesn’t seem very Conservative to be simply enforcing UN resolutions, now, does it?
  • 2004 – Vouchers for DC School Children: The Republican Congress and President sign a spending bill that includes vouchers to help DC children “escape” to private school instead of being “shackled” to a failed public system. The nasssssty Dems, including Obama, failed to renew the program this year, at the behest of the “education establishment.”
    Yes, those nasssssty Dems who noted a Dept. of Education study showing only limited improvement in reading and no gain in math for the 1700 kids in the program. And, in fact, Obama proposed extending the program for the kids already enrolled in it through high school (thus offending both sides of the debate).
So what have we learned from Great Achievements in Republican History?
  • The Republicans are the civil rights party! (At least through the 50s.)
  • The Republicans are all about saving taxes for all! (Unless it comes to the Federal Highway system.)
  • The Republican stand tough against the Bad Guys! (Except for Nixon going to China.)
  • Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were gods walking among men. Ike and Nixon were pretty cool, too. George H. W. Bush and Gerry Ford … well, not so much, I guess.
And now you know. And knowing is half their battle.
5,253 view(s)  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


That last bit!


Alan Caruba: a voice of calmness and wisdom silenced
"After spending most of his life in Maplewood, New Jersey, Caruba died in South Orange, New Jersey on June 15, 2015 days after returning from the Tenth International Conference on Climate Change, a climate change skeptics conference in Washington, D.C. On June 10 he published his last article in Heartlander Magazine, which said: "An entire generation has grown up and graduated from college since the first lies about global warming were unleashed. That’s how long Heartland and others have labored to present the truth. If the media fails to take notice of this week’s conference, you will know that the battle will continue for a long time to come."



Monday, June 29, 2015


A radical leader of an anti-American, racist, paramilitary organization told an enthusiastic crowd that they can “strap up” with weapons “for only a couple of...




What happens when guns are banned? The night of the long knives. The next Leftist cause in Britain is "Ban knives." I kid you not...
By BI: The new “Save a Life – Surrender Your Knife” program is in full swing and police are telling us that they have joined forces with an already growing trend in the United Kingdom to ban ‘pointy’ knives. Police departments in Britain, urging people to give up their blades, including those from t…



As referendum looms, many in country hoard groceries, gas... ATM withdrawals limited to 60 euros a day... WEEKEND THAT SHOOK EURO...
Patience, Composure... World 'defenseless' against next financial crisis...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

John Roberts did it for THE MONEY! He's a WHORE and a TRAITOR!

The most prominent voice of conservatism, Rush Limbaugh, may have just blown the lid off of a huge conspiracy involving yesterday's Supreme Court Obamacare...

Bristol Palin gives a big middle finger to the degenerate filth of the Left who mock her pregnancy

Bristol Palin gives a big middle finger to the degenerate filth of the Left who mock her pregnancy. We need to see more of this kind of backbone from Patriots! Patriot Rule Number One never, never, NEVER apologize to the Leftist PIGS about anything you do.
In response to the chorus of critics who attacked her after she announced she was pregnant, Bristol Palin posted a follow up blog post titled "My Little Blessing,"...

It is legal now to carry concealed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia!

This letter is coming from Allen West’s website….MUST READ!! Yesterday, as you know, five justices on the SCOTUS redefined what marriage is in America and...

REVOLUTION 2.0: Be the Best Saboteur You Can Be

Be the Best Saboteur You Can Be

By: Daniel Greenfield

Sultan Knish
Governor Haley and Al Sharpton
1. There is no conservative party
There is a Republican Party. The purpose of the party and its politicians, much like that of its Democratic counterpart, is to obtain money and privileges for its major donors. That doesn’t mean that its members don’t have other ideals and agendas, but Republican politicians who rise high enough come from an urban and suburban establishment that is more liberal than its base.
Expecting them to care as much about your issues as you do is unrealistic.
They will only do the right thing insofar as it helps them
A. Get control of money
B. Advance their careers
C. Become popular
And this is a good thing. It means that they’re controllable. It means that the Democrats are also controllable. And this is how the left took over the Democratic Party.
The only way to interact with the large body of politicians is through the carrot and the stick. The “destructive” Republican saboteurs the establishment complains about, whatever their motives, are serve as the stick, undermining and sabotaging efforts to conduct business as usual.
The only way conservatives can get anything done now is by threatening business as usual.
Washington D.C. is never going to be the solution, but to the extent that its business as usual is threatened, sabotaged and held hostage, it will have trouble putting its boot on ordinary people. Until the Republican establishment changes its ways, populist saboteurs are the best conservative weapon.
Don’t expect them to do the right thing. Don’t be disappointed when they don’t. And certainly don’t expect them to solve all this.
The only way they will ever do the right thing is if you have leverage over them.
2. Fight the small stuff
You don’t have to think in terms of a national movement. You don’t even have to think in terms of an organization. Those are things that we need, but you can fight the left in small ways at home.
I’m not talking about Sign X or donate to Y.
Just obstruct any liberal initiative, policy or program in your community. It doesn’t matter what. It doesn’t matter if it’s innocuous. It doesn’t matter if you agree with it.
Undermine it on principle. If you can, vote it down. Encourage others to vote it down. If you can’t, look for ways to tie it in red tape by attaching other agendas to it.
The left wins its biggest victories at the planning stage. Its activists come early and stay late. They propose their plans, rig meetings, use kids and the elderly as human shields, and get their way. They are not used to any real opposition. Particularly the kind that doesn’t bluster, but finds ways to tie their proposals in knots, to make them expensive and drag them out as long as possible.
Oppose them when you can. Concern troll them when you can’t.
If you don’t have that kind of position, think of the origins of the term ‘sabotage’. Workers threw their shoes into machines and stopped the machine. Don’t do anything illegal. Don’t do anything that will get you fired.
But if you have the opportunity to make a liberal program work badly, if you have a legal way to put more stress on it, to tie up the energy and time of the people running it, to make it worse… do it.
We’re the underdogs. We’re the political guerrillas. This is not our system. It’s their system.
Our job is to make it run as badly as possible.
Henry David Thoreau wrote that there’s always injustice in government just as there’s always friction in a machine. It’s when injustice becomes dominant in government, then friction has its own machine.
The left’s friction is now the machine. Get your shoes in the machine. It already runs badly, make it run worse. It already costs too much, make it cost more. You are now the friction. With enough friction, the machine breaks down.
That’s part of what the left did to us. It dragged down our government and culture. It poked a thousand holes in everything. It made it too tiresome and wearying to go on doing this and that. Morale withered, confidence broke down and the left took over.
Now it’s their turn to be on the receiving end.
I’m not going to give the Mario Savio speech
“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus — and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it — that unless you’re free the machine will be prevented from working at all!”

That’s for younger people. It’s for a mass movement.
But you can wear down the machine in a thousand different ways without risk. You don’t have to throw your bodies on the gears. You just have to be a wholly legal burden on it and a pain in the ass of the people running it… and especially the people planning it.
The big stuff begins with the little stuff. When you fight the little stuff, the big stuff starts breaking down.
3. Deny legitimacy to the system
Liberals like to crow that ObamaCare is the law of the land. Now it’s gay marriage. Tomorrow it’ll be a ban on the Dukes of Hazzard.
All that implies legitimacy, order, a legal system. And that’s not what we have.
What we have is a Supreme Court and a White House that acts with brazen illegality. ObamaCare was illegally passed. It was illegally preserved.
No matter how many judges sign off on it, it has no legitimacy. It will never have any legitimacy.
America is built on the simple premise that no system can be more legitimate than its natural laws and founding premises. It does not matter how many judges or politicians try to suspend the First or Second Amendments. All they are doing is removing their own legitimacy.
When a system acts illegally, then its dictates are not the law of the land, they are the law of force.
ObamaCare is coercion. Forcing people to participate in gay marriages is coercion. The FHA ruling is coercion. We may be compelled into compliance, but compulsion is all it is. It isn’t law or justice.
The distinction is important.
When we follow the law, we do so because it is right. When we are coerced, we are at gunpoint by an illegitimate system. Those who compel us are not any different than criminals.
Not only is the system illegitimate, but it is also inconsistent, though it claims there is equality under the law, is favors some at the expense of others.
The system is not only illegal, it is also hypocritical and corrupt. That must be emphasized at every turn.
Liberals maintain a narrative that their way is the inevitable path of progress. We know the truth. Their way has been tried and it failed a thousand times. The only thing inevitable is their eventual failure. Their systems will always be abusive, dishonest and corrupt.
They will always turn undemocratic no matter how they start out. They will always turn to coercion.
When we act and when we talk it is vitally important that we distinguish between the legitimate laws we follow and the illegitimate laws we comply with.
This may seem like a technicality, but it’s a technicality that tyrannies have fallen on.
Every liberal victory is not a triumph. It is another pile of dirt on their own graves. It is another straw on the back of the camel. It is another demonstration that they are corrupt and illegitimate. Their latest victories were gained by abusing the process. They will in the long run lose them just as criminals eventually lose their loot. They have not defeated us. They have corrupted themselves.
4. We’re not done
Every conservative these days seems to have a tipping point for when America will end. None of them are real.
This country was built out of a tiny fraction of the territory and population it holds today. It was built by a handful of people organizing and rousing a movement that spread to a minority of the population at the time.
If the revolution were happening today, it would look a lot like the way it looked then, with major cities in the hands of the establishment and the Loyalists and a handful of farmers that even their formally trained commanders held in contempt fighting against them and the might of an empire.
That’s not coincidence. It’s the whole of human history.
During the Revolutionary War, the entire rebel population of America would be outnumbered by the residents of Manhattan today.
Demographically outnumbered? They had it worse.
Economic collapse? They had it worse.
America isn’t over until it’s over. It will take a long time to happen. At some point the country will be completely unrecognizable, but that’s relative. Would Washington have recognized America in 1952? Or even 1882? America has always been changing. We can’t change it back, but we can change it to.
That’s the real battle.
Contrary to what some conservatives like to believe, the left did not suddenly show up here in 1963 or 1905 and disrupt a formerly peaceful country. The left has always been here. It’s a part of us.
No people and no country are untouched by evil. It’s only a matter of what form it takes. But in any form, we know it by its destructive instincts, its facade of righteousness that poorly conceals a lust for power. Americans have fought it before. Americans have won.
It’s big now, but it’s not nearly as big as we think.
5. A little rhyme and reason
I’ll close with a few selected lines from a children’s nursery rhyme from the days of the big bad USSR that once threatened the world, before folding under the pressure of its people who found the courage to stand up to it.
It’s written for children… but like much that was written in the USSR, it had a message for adults.
The Monster Cockroach
Kornei Chukovsky
To the picnic they all come,
Munching candy and cake,
In a very merry mood,
For a day at the lake.
Then suddenly they grow numb and still!
Who’s that coming down the hill?!
A fierce and dreadful Roach!
A mean cock-cock-Cockroach!
“Don’t you dare to approach!”
He roars, he rages:
“I’ll lock you in cages!
And swallow you ALL
“Or with a twitch of my mustache,
I’ll turn you all to succotash!”
Alas! Not one dares to fight,
Every bird and beast take flight!
Now the Lion climbs a hill;
From there he speaks his royal will:
“We must regain our happy land!
Against the brute we’ll take a stand!”
“And to the warrior who fears not this foe,
Who this monster will overthrow,
To him I’ll give a juicy bone
And the finest pine cone!”
The creatures in one eager crowd,
Surge forth and cry out loud:
“We do not fear this nasty foe,
With tooth and claw
We’ll lay him low!”
And they all rush to do battle-
Birds, fish, fowl, and cattle.
But the Roach moves his mustache
And bellows: “SUCCOTASH!”
One and all they beat a retreat.
The enemy they don’t defeat!
Into the fields and woods they dash-
Terrorized by the Roach’s mustache!
The Lion shouts: “What a disgrace!
Come back! Come out and show your face!
Pin the enemy with your horns-
Bulls, rhinoceros, unicorns!”
But each in his hiding place stays,
And wails: “Horns aren’t cheap these days…”
And our skin is precious too-
What you ask we cannot do!”
Caught in nettles the crocodiles twitch,
And the elephants get caught in a ditch.
Lo! All that’s heard now
Is the flow of tears;
All that’s seen now
Is the trembling of their ears!
To the Cockroach they all yield-
He’s now lord o’er wood and field.
He struts about among them,
Rubbing his tummy,
Looks at their young ones
And says: “How very yummy!”
The poor, poor parents
Are in distress.
Their dear babes
They hug and caress:
For what mother could give up her child,
Her baby tame or her baby wild?!
So that the monster could devour
Her precious crumb, her little flower!
So mommies and daddies moan and cry
As they bid their infants good-bye!
But now we see another picture:
a flighty flying nimble creature-
A carefree Sparrow lands with a trill
right there on the Roach’s hill,
And for a moment all are mute
Fearing the mustachioed brute:
“A monster?! Where?!
“It’s a roach, a roach, a wee-bit roach,
A little beetle you fear to approach.
Look! It’s a midge a mite,
A bug that can’t even bite!
For our trouble we’re to blame!
What a shame!
What a shame!”
The Hippo then comes forth
With slow pace and a worried face,
Muttering in an anxious way:
“Please go away, go away!
Your words will make him very mad,
He may think of something very bad!
Then the Hippo falls still,
Surprised by a sudden trill…
The sparrow bends her dainty neck
Peck, peck, peck-
Not a smidgen, not a speck!
The roach is swallowed in a flash,
All of him and his mustache!



DAILY BEAST: It seems inevitable that rhetoric like this will stir the next Confederate flag-waving zealot to an act of, if not domestic terrorism, at least...




First goes Greece. Then Portugal, Spain and Italy. Next goes France...Germany...Britain...America.
Second, a series of revolutions break out starting in America...


Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Second American Revolution Has Arrived

The entire edifice of constitutionalism has just been ceremoniously trashed. Oh, we could see it coming from miles away. At least, I could; I’ve been watching this progression too closely and for too long to harbor any illusions about it. However,...|By Francis W. Porretto







Friday, June 26, 2015


The Princess Rules. 

This decision by the Dread Judge Roberts, the Leftist Obama Lackey Leader of the U.S. Supreme Court, may be the straw that broke camel's back and launch the Second U.S. Civil War.

“Five Justices on the Supreme Court have overturned the votes of 50 million Americans and demanded that the American people walk away from millennia of history and the reality of human nature. In reaching a decision so lacking in foundation in the text of the Constitution, in our history, and in our traditions, the Court has done serious damage to its own legitimacy.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council

It is NOT a “Constitutional Right”. It never has been and never will be. This is merely corrupt political appointees enforcing the agenda of the left and its jabbering, deviant, unprincipled constituency.

 Homosexuality is of no interest to me, because the sexual preferences of people are their own business. But marriage is between a man and a woman, and any other form of it is a sham. Any homosexual claiming otherwise, using the law and political power and vicious campaigns to enforce the acceptance of the unnatural, is now an enemy.

KG at Crusader Rabbit



(Apache News Service) All nine people aboard a sightseeing plane died in a crash Thursday in southeast Alaska, authorities said, but stormy weather prevented the immediate recovery of the bodies.

"We have nine fatalities," said Clint Johnson, head of the National Transportation Safety Board's Alaska office.

Rain and wind forced an end to recovery efforts Thursday night in the rugged terrain about 20 miles northeast of Ketchikan. Officials would mount a recovery attempt again on Friday, he said.

There was no immediate indication of why the DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter turboprop crashed; however, in a transmission from the aircraft shortly before the plane disappeared from radar, a voice yelled,  "Allahu Akbar!" and the screams of passengers was heard as well. The plane was found Thursday against the granite rock face of a cliff, 800 feet above Ella Lake.

Johnson said it was too soon to know circumstances of the crash, including whether the plane has suicide piloted into the cliff, but ISIS has made a number of terrorist threats in Alaska.

The NTSB was assembling a high-level team to investigate the crash, including three members from Alaska and at least two people from Washington, D.C.

"The initial rescue crew that went in had a very tough time because of the terrain," Johnson said. "It's a very steep, mountainous area, and weather conditions caused them to stand down.'

Coast Guard Petty Officer Lauren Steenson said the agency received a report around 2:15 p.m. that the plane was overdue. Troopers said an emergency locator transmitter activated in the Misty Fjords National Monument, and a helicopter pilot spotted the downed aircraft above Ella Lake, about 800 miles southeast of Anchorage.

Promech Air, an airline based in Ketchikan, operated the shore excursion sold through Holland America Line, the cruise ship company said in a statement. The eight passengers were guests on the Westerdam, which is on a seven-day cruise that departed Seattle on Saturday.

"We are incredibly distressed by this situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with those onboard the plane and their families," the statement said. "Holland America Line is extending its full support to traveling companions of the guests involved."

Promech said that the crash happened about 11:20 a.m., and the plane was one of five Otter aircraft in its fleet.

"There is nothing I can say that can alleviate the pain and overwhelming sense of loss that we and the loved ones of those affected are feeling," Marcus Sessoms, president of Promech Air, said in a statement. "At this moment, all of us share the pain and anguish of this terrible event. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to everyone touched by this tragedy."

The Ketchikan Daily News reported the Westerdam had been scheduled to leave the city at 1 p.m., but it remained in port Thursday evening.

The airline's website advertises tours of the 2-million-acre Misty Fjord National Monument in its float planes.

"Towering granite cliffs, 1,000-foot waterfalls, lush and remote valleys and serene crystalline lakes make up this incredible landscape," it says.