sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Setting Priorities

People have asked what's wrong with me. I can't say. Sometimes the mood is a bit strange and there is nothing to attribute it to. It may be a combination of over work and the comprehension of my own mortality.

When I have difficulty writing (working on various literary projects), I know that the vessel is empty and needs to be recharged or it will wind down like an old clock  that has nothing left to chime.

Party's over.

We humans possesses reflexive consciousness wherein we not only can perceive what we experince but we also have the ability to experience that we are experiencing something. It means that in a sense, we can sense ourselves from outside of ourselves. (to simplify it, we can take a "selfie")

We are able to sense other people's intentions or expectations and act accordingly. It makes the world go around, but I'm not sure that sort of reflexive consciousness is always a gift.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls...
Or maybe I'm just being a bit morbid? There is always that.

No kidding

Time for a...

Road trip

Planning it now.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Obama Policy in the Middle East

From what I hear, there is a policy. Nobody that I know including senior members of the military and intelligence communities is precisely sure what it is, because it changes all the time.

This is the current idiot's guide to the Middle East as the area engages in religious and ethnic conflicts -- that the Obama Administration could have headed off, but didn't.

The Egyptian Army (supported by the Saudi Arabian Air Force) seized the Bab-el-Mandeb last Thursday and Friday from Yemen. With the Iranian machine marching forward, they are concerned that if Iran takes that chokepoint in the Red Sea, they can cut off Saudi oil and the much of the Saudi lines of supply. That is presumably why Iran sank so much treasure into seizing Yemen in the first place. That and to threaten Saudi Arabia's southern flank.

No, they didn't tell the US before they did it because they didn't want us to betray them to Iran. That is what passes for trust for Barack Obama.

You see, despite their enduring hatred for the USA (Great Satan) and Israel (Little Satan), the Iranians want to seize Mecca and Medina more than anything else on the planet. They have a plan to do that and they are executing it. The Saudis feel that the US is on the side of Iran and we may well be -- I mean, who knows what the President (also referred to as the Manchurian Candidate) is really up to?

In  years past, the US was an ally to Israel. The Obama Administration clearly is not. Have they jumped out of bed with Israel only to jump into bed with Iran? Some observers wonder.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (she of the deleted e-mail and Bitch of Benghazi), co-architect of the Obama Doctrine, is anxious to become president so that she can continue his legacy. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Please - No

I am not going to go on the attack against a potential Republican contender for the presidency, but I want to ask why we need to scrape the bottom so hard in this instance. Yes, I know that he and his family can raise a zillion dollars -- just like the Clintons can. Yes, he'd be a legacy president -- just like Hillary would be. 

Quite simply it makes me not want to vote. I will, but a Jeb Bush option is Clinton lite. 

A friend of mine moved to Costa Rica and is putting some mild pressure on me to do likewise. Pull chalks and move. His reasoning, "No more US taxes to worry about, and let the liberals have the place lock, stock and barrel."

The problem I have with the 2016 race that is shaping up is that I'm not overly enthused with any of the likely candidates - but of Republican hopefuls, Jeb Bush happens to be at the bottom of my list, right below the other closeted liberal, Chris Christie. 

The Value of Going Home

CW's blog, the Daily Timewaster carried this piece yesterday: La Légion étrangère Arabian. To cut to the chase, the New York Times reported that Eric Prince, founder of Blackwater, is organizing an 800 member mercenary force for the UAE. There have been a number of mercenary armies stretching back in antiquity to the Middle Ages, the Roman Legions, Ancient Persia, etc. It's a proven formula for small rich nations with citizens who are too few or who lack motivation to fight for their national interests. The UAE and the oil nations of the Middle East all fit that category. 

Moving on, there are problems with this for US Citizens. Sure, you may lose your citizenship for fighting with a foreign army. That's problem number one. Problem number two is how America views "civil rights abuses". Middle Eastern sheikdoms have no problems with torturing or executing prisoners summarily. They stone women on the accusation of adultery. Americans who are even involved remotely with that (officers at a distant location) can be tried and convicted in the United States for the conduct of foreign soldiers under their command.  So while it may sound appealing to some of us, with more balls than brains, you simply can't ever go home once you do this sort of thing. For many people, there's not much of a home to go back to and you find your new home in the company of men who "live by chance, love by choice and kill by profession".

I'm not saying that it's an intrinsically bad life, though there is an expiration date -- it's a young man's game. The pay is exceptional, you work out, shoot and train most of the day and there are vacations. You just may not be able to take them back home in the USA.

I saw The Gunman, a French movie staring Sean Penn, now in theaters. Yesterday began the weekend. Since I have no life, I had time on my hands and went there to pass the time. The theme of the film, as with all French movies is that "life is shit". I don't recommend it. Wait for it to come out on cable in two months or something. However, Penn's character is somewhat emblematic of what you can get yourself into. The film over dramatized it by about 8,000%. But if you see the movie, you'll take my point.

My personal sensibilities don't include voluntarily being a pawn of an Arab state or hireling of a sheik, though various presidents have made Americans into that beginning (in my experience) with George H. Bush and Gulf War One. USGOV indentured me and mine as servants of the Al Sabah government in Kuwait, on loan from the American government. We did our duty. But I understood what the situation was from the outset -- not unlike the Hessians being sold by the King or Prussia to King George III to go and fight in America. The difference was that as a serving American officer, I could go home when it was over.

After having been gone for some time, things at home had gone to hell in a hand basket in my personal life, but there is still value to going home. The consolation prize was one more gong (medal) to stack with a series of baubles of the same style in my drawer, in a box, now collecting dust.

There are a lot of issues with oil, gold, the Middle East and there are wheels within wheels within wheels...large cogs and small ones. And it's easy to be ground to dust by the gears of war. Would be mercenaries need to keep all of those things in mind.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

More from the Archive

CNFK (Commander (US) Naval Forces Korea), military
liaison to ROK Squadron 56 (ROK SEALs), Chinhae, ROK
Yes, I know that there is no rank, etc. on my uniform, but it does
say, "US Navy".

The lieutenant commander to my left in the photo was commander
ROK SEAL Team Five. He's moved up since. That's the nice thing
about being older. You know a lot of people who you knew when
they were on the way up too. They ask you for favors, you ask
them for favors. The Chinese call it guanxi.

$500,000.00 in the trunk of a car along with a newspaper - evidence of
the ability to pay coupled with a specific date... all in a day's work.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Japanese Motorcycle Gangs

How terrified are you of Japanese motorcycle gangs?

Motorcycle Gangs in Japan
They have bikes, they just prefer to stand around instead of riding them.
The first Japanese motorcycle gangster that I ever saw wore an authentic looking black leather jacket covered with emblematic dragons. But he lost me when I notice his embroidered name tag (in English) that said, "Hi, my name is Yoshi". Then I saw more of them. All had the "Hi, my name is" name tags on their jackets. The hair was exotic, the outfits out of Hollywood - Central Casting, but they lacked the fundamental menace necessary for any bike gang to maintain credibility.

I'm not saying that three dozen of the little kung fu gangsters couldn't rat pack you and stab you. But looking at them and the bikes, I'd likely be laughing myself into a fit of hysterical helplessness and it would make their job all the easier.

As is clearly illustrated below, they also pride themselves on their abilities as break dancers in addition to riding (or not riding but standing next to) garish scooters.

It is fundamentally wrong that Japanese bikers paint their scooters neon pink and they are impossibly proud of having done so.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

NY Blogging

I stepped out to take a few photos from my penthouse balcony before I left the hotel for the airport, and to comment on New York City. It's been a cold and rainy week in the Big Apple, but I'm here on business, not to indulge my vacation fantasies. 

This is Hillary Clinton's city. Mayor DiBlasio was one of principle campaign managers when she ran for president last time and failed.  Clinton (and Obama) are clearly the darlings of big business, and of New  York City.

Bill Clinton recognized that corporate money was an untapped resource by the Democrats. He came from a State where it really wasn't an option to be a player without cozying up to the State's biggest industries (chicken pluckers, pig farmers and Walmart). 

Yes, I've had my nose broken once too often
but somehow the old grizzled face seems to
fit with the old grizzled city.
Hillary, while a protomarxist, understands the formula. Obama took up where the Clintons left off. Wall Street, the tech giants, the entertainment industry have all benefited greatly from Obama's quid pro quo administration.  He's taken the Chicago model nationwide.

The Obama years have resulted in unrestrained profits for Wall Street. Hillary will promise more of the same because while she protests that she's broke, one hand washes the other. Business is not about absolute morality. It exists to make a profit. I'm clearly not anti-business, but that's what drives the machine.

So when your Democratic Party friends call the Republicans the party of big business, set them straight.

One more photo before I pay the hotel bill and grab a taxi.