sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

75 Years Ago - This Morning

WH press secretary says WWII veterans should 
get over their ‘bitterness’ about Pearl Harbor attack.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to visit Pearl Harbor, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the attack and I have no problem with that. However, the unprovoked, surprise attack on Pearl Harbor is something that we shouldn't ever forget. Barack urged us a couple of years ago to get over the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center (and the aborted attack on the White House). 

It's not about getting over something and moving on. It's about recalling history without any politically correct, revisionist lens. People who can do that are willing to make plans to avoid the situation that made it possible to successfully attack Pearl Harbor or New York and Washington, DC.
The classic book on the attack on Pearl Harbor is "At Dawn we Slept" by Gordon Prange. 
One of the best books on the Battle of Midway is "The Shattered Sword" by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully.
There is a move in the US and in Japan to remove the necessity for dropping two atomic bombs on the Japanese homeland, which ended the war. Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard deal with this issue appropriately in, "Killing the Rising Sun".  The way I see it, (a) it saved American lives and (b) the Japanese had it coming. They could have surrendered and chose not to after having been warned.

But that was in the future on December 7, 1941.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Opportunities (apply here)

I dropped by a career fair local to where I live in SoCal yesterday just to see what was out there for the sake of the blog.  
  • Prep/line cook at a Vietnamese restaurant.
I told them that I could supply cats in large numbers but I had no experience cooking them. The owner looked interested and told me to leave my name and phone number, which I did. 
  • Massage Therapist 
A Korean massage chain was hiring. I don't know whether it was a rub and tug job or whether they were giving actual massages. I asked the lady whether or not I would be expected to deliver happy endings. She smiled enigmatically, but didn't answer my question. I didn't leave my phone number.
  •  US Army
The Army has no employment opportunities for a sixty-year old former Naval Officer and specwar operator/pensioner who wants to get back into the game. I explained that I still had all of my own teeth. Still no go.
  • Store Protection Specialist
Ross, a clothing store, are looking for someone to stop theft problems at Christmas in the barrio. They are willing to pay minimum wage for this service. I showed retired ID and asked if I had the 'green light' to take out thieves. They didn't ask for my resume. I'm sure that the person that they hire will be on par with minimum wage.
  • Uber Driver
I have a valid driver's license without restriction but don't want drunks barfing in my personal car. I took a pass. I'd rather call for an Uber than be an Uber driver.
  •  Diesel Mechanic
I could qualify if I was a diesel mechanic and if I had my own tools. Unfortunately I've never worked on a diesel engine. I told the employer that I was willing to learn. He took a pass. I couldn't blame him.
  • Night Manager - Denny's
Denny's was looking for a night manager (part time/no ObamaCare) to work the graveyard shift. I happen to know that Denny's is a rough place after drinking hours because it's down the street from a popular biker bar. I let my Pendleton shirt slip open a bit and the grips of the Rugged Super Redhawk Alaskan show. He asked, "are you licensed to carry that?" I said that I was. He offered me $10 per hour. Generous, but I passed. He upped it to $15 without breaking a beat as I walked away. 
That's about it. There were a few more tables. Nothing in manufacturing, nobody's hiring people to make anything. The wages are low (I don't know what they were willing to pay a diesel mechanic), and Southern California is a very expensive place to live.  

Part of making America great again requires that manufacturing begin in the USA again in a big way. I know that President Trump knows that. The problem is making it happen when everything on the shelves at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. are made in Chinese sweat shops.
In working on the building list for the White Wolf Mine project, I went in search of kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and specified that I didn't want anything made in China. Well, friends, they don't exist. There are different grades of Chinese fixtures, but it all comes from China.

We Want Joe!


Biden to Run?

Twenty-seven days after Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States, Vice President Joe Biden told reporters he would make his third bid for the highest office in the land four years from now.

"I'm going to run in 2020," Biden, 74, told a group of reporters at the Capitol Monday evening. "So, uh, what the hell, man."

When asked if he was serious or joking, the vice president paused for about four seconds and sighed. He was then asked if he would run for president.

"Yeah, I am," Biden said. "Yeah, I am. We're going to run again."

I don't know who "we" is. Cynics said that Barack would run as poor old Slow Joe's vice president, which he is allowed to do under law.

During the Obama Administration, Biden spent most of his time cutting ribbons to open buildings or shopping malls. The gaff-prone VP had to be kept off the stage for the sake of the nation. A run for president would be nothing if not entertaining. He'd be 78 when he took office if he won.

Dream Team

For Republicans, the dream team would include Keith Ellison, a black Muslim as head of the DNC, Rep. Nasty Pelosi, the rich San Francisco sion as House Minority Leader and Slow Joe Biden as the Democratic Party's candidate of choice for the presidency.

Having them on the stump would insure that even more Senate and House seats would be lost - and Joe Biden? Really? Ok, he would have been arguably better than Hillary Clinton was. I'll give you that.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Stopped Clock (right twice daily)

This is shameless theft, but I thought that Andrew Price did a good job summarizing the party of the Ass/Donkey. Thus, I lifted his entire blog post and am re-posting it here for your reference.



Some thoughts on Democrats

Liars and Hypocrites: Most people think the worst of their opponents in politics. If you step back and examine things honestly however, you generally discover this isn't true. Heck, even the evil Soviets weren't as bad as people imagined. With the Democrats, however, it is true. Their party is a wretched hive of scum, villainy, hate and treachery. Think about their recent behavior:

● Despite the actual impossibility of it being true, the Democrats are whining that the Russians hacked the election so they can de-legitimize the results. Think about that. They are actively trying to destroy the public's faith in the electoral system because they think it will benefit them.

● They lie as a reflex to aggrandize themselves and demonize their opponents. Harry Reid lies so easily that I'm not sure he understands the difference between truth and lies. Pelosi lies automatically. And the rest are no better. Then there are the media who make lies and bias into an art form.

● They scaremonger blacks with the idea that whites are trying to kill them or put them into slavery. Look at the cop killings they've caused.

● They scaremonger young women with the idea that some old religious dude is going to control their sex lives and with lies about them being cheated in the economy.

● They scaremonger Hispanics with the idea that they will be deported.

● They scaremonger Muslims with the idea that they will be rounded up. That wannabe terrorist in Ohio was acting because he believed them.

● They scaremonger gays with the idea that everyone else wants to criminalize who they are.

● They exploit their "the end is near" environmentalism to push leftist ideology rather than actual solutions, all the while telling kids the world is dying. They won't even change their own behavior. Do you think they believe this?

● They endanger national security to undermine GOP administrations time and again, consorting with the enemy, trying to harm American defense, smearing soldiers, lending aid and comfort to terrorists and murderous regimes.

● They exploit all tragedies for fundraising.

● And ironically, Wikileaks showed us their leaders don't even believe the crap they tell their drones.

Not Easy Getting The Green: The Green Party's™ Jill Stein dropped her PA recount and thereby confirmed that she really took leftists for a ride. She just earned about $6 million she never would have had by starting a fight she knew could not be won and then stopped once she had her money. Poor Hillary got a black eye joining her effort. Beautiful! 

  **The Green Party is a registered trademark of the Democratic Party.


So, So Wrong: As an aside, here are some of the things the Democrats have been wrong about during my life.

● Jimmy Carter will be our best president ever... he's so smart. (stagflation)
● There will be massive starvation if populations keep increasing past 4 billion. (7 billion strong and fat as hell)
● We are on the verge of a global ice age!! Global warming will kill us all!
● Cities will flood because of global warming. (water level steady)
● There will be super hurricanes all the time. (lowest number in decades)
● Oil production has peaked and we will be out of oil in the next decade... repeat every decade.
● Ronald Reagan will be our worst President. (highest approval ratings, even liberals now claim they liked him)
● Ronald Reagan will start World War III. (ended risk of WWIII)
● Putting short range nuclear missiles in Europe will cause nuclear war!
● MAD is crazy and will kill us all (today: MAD kept us safe!)
● Reaganomics will not work. (4%+ growth)
● The Soviet Union is strong and unified and will never break. Their economy is too strong.
● You can't shoot down a missile.
● SDI will start a nuclear war.
● The Nicaraguan people love the Sandinistas. They'll vote them in in a landslide.
● We will lose if we invade Iraq and 60,000 American soldiers will die.
● Obama will be our greatest president ever... he's so smart.
● The public will accept Obamacare once we pass it.
● We can win without stupid white people. (worst showing since the Roaring 20's)

What kind of fool would trust these people to decide anything?

A View of Asia

Preface

The Chinese government has prospered in its relationship with the (feckless) west, and in particular, the US. To the Chinese leadership, the US is the "mysterious East". As a professor and visiting lecturer at the People's Public Security University in Beijing, I had some spirited discussions with hard core Chinese ideologues. Heads exploded when I attempted to explain the application of the Second Amendment and why it was critical that private American citizens be armed as to their preference. We agreed to disagree, but those concepts don't square well in the ordered Chinese mind. As Kipling so wisely put it, "East is east and West is west and never the twain shall meet." They (and the Russians) view the center of the United States as a vast irregular militia, armed to the teeth, and well outside of control of Washington. I agreed with them. It's the way that the Founding Fathers wanted it. An armed society is a free society. Slaves are never armed. The Second Amendment is not about deer hunting.

China

Chinese media reported that on 3 December China lodged solemn representations with the United States, urging it to honor its commitment to the one-China policy, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Saturday.
"It must be stated that, there is only one China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory, and the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government that represents China. Those are all facts recognized by the international community," Geng said.

He also said that the one-China principle is the political foundation for China-U.S. relations. "We urge relevant US (sic) side to honor the commitment to the one-China policy as well as the three Sino-US joint communiques, and cautiously and properly handle Taiwan-related issues to avoid any unnecessary disturbance to the bigger picture of Sino-US relations." 
In public, the Chinese are playing down the significance of the telephone call, but that almost certainly is a fa├žade. The leadership will interpret this as a crisis in US relations that threatens the stability that President Xi and his supporters have made the cornerstone of Chinese engagement world-wide. And this is why President Trump did what he did. He began negotiations with the People's Republic of China. The mainstream media melted down as did the Obama State Department, but it's clear to anyone with eyes that the situation has changed.

An Fengshan, spokesperson for the office, said the Chinese mainland's adherence to the one-China principle and the position against Taiwan’s independence are steadfast.
"We are determined, confident and capable of containing Taiwan independence in any form and pushing forward the national reunification process," said An.
The Chinese have been clear for over a decade that they will use force to prevent Taiwan from declaring independence. The phone conversation means that China must not neglect the military capabilities that will ensure that its threat is not idle. 

This is the second recent important national security issue on which the Chinese judge the US has shown it cannot be relied on. The Chinese judge the US behaved the same way regarding its reaction to North Korea’s nuclear test on 9 September. 

In the Chinese view, just when China began cooperating with the US and South Korea on imposing sanctions on North Korea, the US and South Korea announced the agreement to install the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea.

South China Sea 
I have no idea how the Trump Administration will address the Chinese militarization and seizure of the South China Sea as it's own swimming pool. However I'm sure that will be on the table as well from a US perspective as the negotiations move forward.

Since President Trump has not formally taken office, there have been no discussions between his still-forming administration and US Allies in the region - principally Australia. The Philippines is still in play and could tilt in any direction.

For China, the Taiwan phone call manifests the same behavioral pattern. Chinese leaders see US policy positions as impermanent and that they cannot be taken for granted. They are correct. The US policy has changed. Precisely how that will all play out is a book yet to be written, but we at Virtual Mirage will keep you in the loop with accurate information, and not the histrionics that one reads in the New York Times or the Washington Post - or is reported on MSNBC.

India-Heart of Asia Conference (HoA)

Delegations from Over 30 countries and a dozen international organizations attended the conference on 4 December in Amritsar, Punjab State, in northwestern India. Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “The three big issues of the conference were countering terrorism to create stability in Afghanistan, providing Afghanistan the connectivity to strengthen economic activities and the development which is essential for progress.

The Amritsar Declaration. This document is the final conference report. It recognized terrorism as the greatest threat to peace and security. 
“We remain concerned by the gravity of the security situation in Afghanistan in particular and the region and the high level of violence caused by the Taliban, terrorist groups including ISIL / DAISH and its affiliates, the Haqqani Network, Al Qaida, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, East Turkistan Islamic Movement, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Jundullah and other foreign terrorist fighters. Acknowledging the support that terrorism derives in our region, we demand an immediate end to all forms of terrorism, as well as all support to it, including financing of terrorism. We recognize that terrorism is the biggest threat to peace, stability and cooperation in our region….” 
“We strongly call for concerted regional and international cooperation to ensure elimination of terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, including dismantling of terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens in the Heart of Asia region, as well as disrupting all financial, tactical and logistical support for terrorism. In this regard, we call upon all states to take action against these terrorist entities in accordance with their respective national counter terrorism policies, their international obligations and the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy 2006. Furthermore, we encourage early finalization of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism with consensus….” 
“We reaffirm our recognition made in Islamabad last year that violent extremism facilitates, encourages and justifies acts of terrorism and violence and we undertake to introduce measures to curb the spread of violent extremism and terrorism. We recognize the necessity of taking serious measures to address recruitment of youth to extremist and terrorist networks. We realize that the radicalization of disaffected elements of the population, especially youth, can only be prevented by effective de-radicalization and counter-radicalization strategies involving all the HoA countries….”
About half of the terror groups identified by name are based in Pakistan. The East Turkistan Islamic Movement is a Uighur separatist movement in Xinjiang, China.

The excerpts above reflect a systemic approach to countering terrorism, from recruitment of youth, to financing of terrorism to logistics. The approach is sound in concept.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani set the tone for the conference. He accused Pakistan of launching an "undeclared war" on Afghanistan by covertly supporting several terror networks including the Taliban.  It's not a secret. Or if it is a secret, it's not a well-crafted secret.

Ghani quoted a top Taliban commander saying unless terror sanctuaries were allowed in Pakistan, the outfit will not last even a month.

The Amritsar Declaration praised Iran and China for helping Afghanistan overcome the condition of being a land-locked country by investing in infrastructure projects.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Rainbow Gathering meets Burning Man

Reliving the victory over Custer at the Little Big Horn River
The cowboy hat was made in China. It ruins the ensemble.
The protest at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, North Dakota, of an oil pipeline that does not cross their land, is something that I've had difficulty understanding. A prog friend of mine was supporting it until I reasoned with him. Now he's quiet.
  • Oil and gas pipelines presently cross under the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in over 440 places. This is just one more. 
  • It's not being built across tribal land. Indians are not being paid for an easement because it doesn't cross their land -- whoops - that might be the problem.
  • The protests gives the false impression that Indian tribes had no input to the project. The public record shows that they did. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers held 389 meetings with 55 tribes to discuss the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe met with the corps nearly a dozen times to discuss archaeological issues and to help finalize the pipeline’s route.
Part of the problem is that there are no responsible news outlets to report the story fairly. That's why you have Virtual Mirage and its crack editorial staff.

Freak Show

Native Americans?
What started out as a protest by Indians has become a lode stone that has brought professional protesters like holy men including Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton (on his farewell tour prior to leaving the US to avoid prosecution for tax fraud). It's also brought an army of mostly aging white hippies, trying for one more go-round at protesting before they croak. Indian protesters are now voicing concerns about their Caucasian co-demonstrators. Is that racist? I think so, even though nobody asked me. 

Indians have taken to social media, claiming that social justice warriors are arriving at the Standing Rock demonstration for the “cultural experience” and are treating it like Burning Man festival. The Indians have complained that the white people are playing guitars or beating drums and interfere with that sort of music being played by official Indians. The hippies also chant at inappropriate times, and that disturbs the Indian's chi.

When the Sioux first started the protest, they didn't intend it to become a forum on gender identity speeches around their sacred campfires. And they didn't expect the hippies to eat all of their food and scat all over the reservation. But such are the ways of hippies. The Sioux elders must not be old enough to recall the sixties. Or maybe they never visited Austin, Texas or San Francisco, California.


White People are Ruining the Protest

If you are going to host a protest, you need to have a way to filter out the hippies, little better than raccoons (trash pandas), who are attracted to these sorts of gatherings.
(Washington Times) “I Need to get something off my chest that I witnessed and found very disturbing in my brief time there that I believe many others have started to speak up about as well. White people colonizing the camps,” Alicia Smith said in a Facebook post. 
“They are coming in, taking food, clothing etc and occupying space without any desire to participate in camp maintenance and without respect of tribal protocols,” she wrote. “These people are treating it like it is Burning Man or The Rainbow Gathering and I even witnessed several wandering in and out of camps comparing it to those festivals.” 
Her Nov. 14 post, now making the rounds on social media, said outsiders are “literally subsisting entirely off the generosity of native people (AND YOUR DONATIONS if you have been donating) who are fighting to protect their water just because they can.”

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II, who is leading the protest, raised concerns about sanitation in a Nov. 23 interview with Vice, saying activists are “digging pits out there for their human waste.” “That’s a flood zone,” said Mr. Archambault, referring to camps on federal land along the Cannonball River. “So when the floodwaters come up, that waste is going to be contaminating the water. We’re no different than the oil company, if we’re fighting for water. What’s going to happen when people leave? Who has to clean it up? Who has to refurbish it? It’s going to be us, the people who live here.”
The only thing keeping the hippies from running around naked at the protest this month is the bitterly cold North Dakota winter weather (which has not been impacted by global warming yet).

A couple News reports to consider:

October 28 News Report


December 2 Hawaii gets involved.




You'll Be Sorry (Sunday Sermonette)

If you read any article in any mainstream newspaper in America, or listen to any news program on the mainstream media (which isn't really news, it's commentary designed to influence outcomes rather than report on events), you can't avoid the refrain, "YOU'LL BE SORRY". Progs in the Ministry of Truth hate nothing worse than people ignoring their erudite and illuminating prose. Such was the case with the election of President Trump - and the down-ticket race which handed the Senate and the House of Representatives to the Republican Party. America didn't care what the media had to say. Some cynics even feel that the entitled, overpaid, smug, metrosexual media convinced the homophobic, Islamophobic, sexist, deplorable people in "fly-over country" to vote for President Trump because of the media's shameless and non-stop trashing of candidate Trump.

Barack's plea to those homophobic, sexist, racist, deplorables was simple: "If you elect Donald Trump, you repudiate my legacy." Oooops.

Post-election the Democrat Party blames the failure of an entitled white (criminal) woman to ascend to the presidency due to racism. I would accept a cry of 'sexism' because Hillary Clinton (the Bitch of Benghazi) is a woman, but that's not what they're saying. The Democrats say that Hillary lost to Trump because (even though they are both white and about 70 years old) of her race. That makes no sense at all. Not even considering that the progs are saying it. 

I mentioned this to a prog that I know. He scratched his head and said (tongue in cheek), "Bill Clinton is known as 'the first black president'. Hillary married him and that makes it a mixed race marriage." It goes to show that some progs don't take the mainstream media or the Clinton campaign any more seriously than America in general did. The prog continued, "That might work for Chelsea Clinton, who is the last hope for a Clinton dynasty now. She can run for office as a half-black candidate the way that Obama did. From a Democrat's point of view, she's every bit as black as Obama."
You may be saying to yourself that the prog doesn't sound very progressive, but he's a social justice warrior, intent in waging a war on the weather and redistributing other people's money. He's just disgusted with the Clintons, who he recognized to be a 'criminal cabal'.
Returning back to the basic theme here, what of the media? I read an article this morning in the Boston Globe, wherein the "you'll be sorry" theme was pushed forward yet again to the people of Boston and Massachusetts, who ironically voted for Clinton over Trump. He preached to the choir - which is something that the Editorial Staff of Virtual Mirage does on every Sunday Sermonette. Does that mean that the Boston Globe envies VM? Maybe, when you consider the scant readership of the Globe these days.

An article on Fox News, written by a Democrat, offered an interesting perspective. Though a Democrat, he's not quite part of the mainstream media, and he's a former CIA ops officer, which is why his reasoned article makes sense. 
(Fox) During a shouting matching Thursday night between top aides of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the President-elect’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway summed up a key reason for why my Democratic Party lost – and will likely continue to lose. “There’s a difference for voters between what offends you and what affects you.”
...During the election, Secretary Hillary Clinton levied a million arguments for why Trump wasn’t fit for the presidency. He was accused of hating women, gays, Latinos, Jews, Muslims, and overweight beauty queens. He had a bad temperament. He was a Russian spy. He bankrupted contractors. He hadn’t paid taxes since the 1980s. His skin was orange and his hair fake. 
Since the election, we’ve stuck to the same script. His chief strategist is a white supremacist. His cabinet picks are Islamophobic. His business interests are in conflict with Washington protocol. 
But guess what? Most voters didn’t – and still don’t – care. In the Rust Belt and rural communities, they have bigger problems to tackle. Idle factories, saw mills, and coal mines. Families falling apart from opioid addiction. Incomes that have less buying power than 40 years ago. Kids living at home because they are swamped with student debt. 
They’re running out of hope.
America dodged a bullet. We could have been stuck with the evil and repellant Hillary Clinton and all of the damage that would have caused the nation. But I don't know that the mainstream media will ever recover.