sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, December 11, 2017

In the News

Infitada (uprising)


My sense is that readers of Virtual Mirage are confused at the day of rage/week of rage/month of rage that is going on in Palestine. How is it different than the month before? Or the year before? Or the decade before? 

Dirty, sweaty, military age males in Palestine run around and throw rocks for the television cameras and journalists take pictures. Liberals send money to allow them to buy more rocks. And when they launch missiles at Israel, the Israelis bomb them.

The infitada is the same, the liberal outrage is the same and the Israeli reaction is the same. The coverage and analysis on MSNBC is the same. They liked Obama (a closet Muslim) better than they liked President Trump. I get it. Who really cares?

What's in the Cake?

Why can't a baker with the right to free speech, free religious choice and expression be forced to say or paint, or pipe with frosting ,something that he/she doesn't agree with? Why would the government chose to ruin him for failing to provide a cake for sodomites?

The government is limited in its ability to coerce by the Bill of Rights. We'll see what the Supreme Court says on the matter. 

For the record, I have no problem with homosexuals objecting to provide a cake to a straight white couple's wedding. I have no problem with negroes only baking cakes for other negroes. These are business decisions and unless they interfere with interstate commerce, I really don't see where the Federal Govt. has the jurisdiction to say or do anything. If they ship cakes illegally across state lines, it's a job for the FBI...and maybe we've finally found something that the FBI can do without screwing it up?

Corrupt News Network (CNN)

(h/t Commentarama) "On Friday, CNN ran with a story which said that Wikileaks had offered Team Trump access to certain information on September 4th, ten days before Wikileaks went public with it. If true, CNN would see this as proof that Wikileaks and Trump were working together and therefore Trump and Russia were working together. Here are the problems:
1. It wasn't offered to Trump and there is no evidence Trump people accepted it... it was an unsolicited email.
2. The email didn't come from a person CNN could actually identify as being connected to Wikileaks.
3. There is no proof that Wikileaks is actually connected to Russia. US intelligence only thinks this when they want to blame the Russians for something. Otherwise, they treat them as separate people.
"So basically, some unknown dude sent an email to Trump Jr., with no evidence Trump Jr. responded... and CNN saw this as the smoking gun of some deal between Trump and Russia. Many other media outlets then ran with this because they want to believe that Trump is guilty of something or other.

"Then the big problem came out. CNN misread the date. Instead of being September 4th, the email was sent September 14th, after Wikileaks released the information. Hence, CNN's take is impossible, and CNN should have known it."

Andrew Price laid it out beautifully so I quoted him entirely. I realize that there is nothing new or novel about CNN lying because they are a corrupt, sly, nasty news source that does not trade in facts. They are a propaganda machine that serves their masters in Democrat Party.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Sermonette

Your sermonette today deals with one of the more corrupt portions of the Deep State Swamp, the FBI.  It needs to be addressed quickly and dealt with the one would of dying cancer patient - more below in the sermonette.

It takes a set to flip off Congress, which appropriates money for your corrupt organization.

FBI Director Christopher Wray refused to answer Rep DeSantis when asked if dossier was used to spy on Trump’s Camp, more here (LINK).  REFUSED TO ANSWER?
(Gateway Pundit) FBI Director Christopher Wray testified at a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Thursday morning. He defended the FBI against Trump’s scorched earth tweets attacking the institution’s corrupt leadership and refused to answer many key questions.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) asked the FBI Director if the Hillary-funded garbage dossier was used to spy on Trump’s camp and Wray refused to answer.
Which means, of course, that the fake dossier ginned up by the Clinton Campaign was used in FISA Warrants to spy on the Trump Campaign during the course of the election. That was egged on by the Obama Presidency and eclipses Watergate in all respects. 

In response to the question, did the FBI spy on President Trump, the answer is yes. 

The only solution to this problem with the FBI that has been dogging the sly, puffed up, mendacious, smug agency is to put them under the direct scrutiny of an inspectorate general that reports directly to the president. The FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility doesn't have the stroke to discipline a corrupt or obstuctionist director. We need something more. The FBI needs to be reformed NOW. Leadership found wanting needs to be removed the way a surgeon wielding a scalpel would remove a tumor. Unfortunately that means a lot of cutting. Will that remove Russian spies in the FBI ranks (I'm thinking Robert Hanssen here)? Quite possibly. Sorry Putin...

Now for the sermonette part, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth will set you free."

The corrupt, nasty, lying mainstream media went wild with derision when President Trump announced that he'd been spied on by the Obama FBI. We now know that was true and that the FBI was used as a tool to give Hillary Clinton (lock her up) a pass on gross criminal misconduct and to try and damage President Trump. That situation can not stand.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Personal Observations

BUILD THAT WALL

My company, Consulting Services, has recently been retained by USGOV as to the matter of the US Mexico Border.  There are some things that I can say at this juncture and some things that I can't. However, despite what nay sayers will tell you, construction of "the Big Beautiful Wall" is critical to national security. The current situation is so degraded and there are so many tunnels that the high value aliens take who pay $20K per head to cross through a tunnel, that it must be stopped for everyone's wellbeing. Who are those high-value aliens? Middle Easterners with ISIS, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda affiliations and Chinese. They go through the tunnels by the hundreds, but each one of them is 'trouble'. The regular Mexicans just packing drugs or crossing to find work, go where there is no fence. The Big Beautiful Wall is designed with below ground sensors that will detect tunnels.

I was asked a question in Mexico City last week regarding NAFTA. I replied that the big question is whether we should be dealing with the President of Mexico or Ruben Osevegera Cervantes (El Mencho), the most powerful drug lord in Mexico. 

Mexico is a failed state where the Narcos and the major industrialists who back them call the shots. And people in Mexico know that the place is circling the drain. There is a presidential election coming up this summer and it's not going to be pretty. The people are fed up with the government and if the election was held today the anti-US communists would win power. The value of the peso is in the tank now. If the election goes to the communists it will plummet like the Venezuelan Bolivar (currency). 

A wall makes perfect sense to all but the most self-absorbed who have motives that are not American motives.

Illegal immigration is down by 70% but it's still an issue and will remain an issue. An unstable Mexico makes the construction of a wall even more important.

The Trump Presidency

All I can say after the first year is that President Trump is good to his word in trying to make America great again. The stock market has never been higher, consumer confidence is up, job creation is many times higher than it was during the dismal years of Obamanaiton, government is shrinking in size and slowly but surely, the swamp is being drained. It's true that Hollywood liberals, Republican RINOs and the corrupt, smug, sly, filthy lying mainstream media and their progressive masters are very sad. They predicted gloom and doom and America is pulling itself out of the pit that they prepared for us. 

Sad, bitter has-beens like the Bush Dynasty, the abortive Clinton Dynasty, George Soros and his cabal, and Barack Obama whose legacy was trashed by the electorate in their election of President Trump, still grind their teeth and hope for some modicum of success. But it's illusive. The Mueller probe isn't going anywhere and the corrupt FBI has been called out for what it is - an 'organ of the power elite', not a mechanism of a justice system.

US relations in the Middle East and in the Far East have never been better with the exception of North Korea (soon to be just Korea). The Germans are angry with the President, but they're an Islamic Republic now, aren't they?


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Geopolitical Thoughts

War Drums in North Korea

On 6 December, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published anti-US remarks by a Foreign Ministry spokesman. I'm only going to quote a few.
“These confrontational warmongering remarks cannot be interpreted in any other way but as a warning to us to be prepared for a war on the Korean peninsula.” 
“Worse still, the CIA director has made a provocation against us by impudently criticizing our supreme leadership which is the heart of our people.” (calling him "Little Rocket Man" or the "Fat, Dumb Kid with the Bad Haircut" is demeaning? What about 'accurate'?) 
“This is the revelation of the U.S. cunning and heinous intention which is to instigate our strong countermeasures and use them to ignite the fuse for a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula.” 
“If the U.S. does not want to be burnt to death by the fire it ignites, it would better behave with prudence and caution.’
This comment carries the approval of the Foreign Ministry. Most recent comments have been by various North Korean Ambassadors, who restated established propaganda themes.

This statement implies that North Korean intelligence can no longer distinguish demonstrations from real war preparations. Its conclusion apparently is that the US has made a decision to go to war on an undetermined date. Its advice is that North Korea must be prepared.

One significant remark is the statement “we do not wish a war…” This is the first time in months that the North has made that point. The success of an extortion operation is to get something significant at little or no cost. 

The North Korean regime is serious about not wanting a war. It would represent a negative return on the expense and energy North Korea has invested in the strategy to neutralize the US in a reunification bid. It would call their bluff, but the North Korean leaders would order national suicide rather than lose face by backing down.

Chinese Reaction

Chinese forces recently conducted an unusual exercise near Korea. Air force spokesman Shen Jinke made the announcement at an airport in northern China on 4 December. The South China Morning Post (SCMP) article made the correlation that the Chinese exercise was announced the same day the US and South Korea began their biggest joint air force exercise.

Shen said Chinese combat aircraft flew in airspace they had never flown before. He also said that this kind of training would become a regular feature as the air force worked to strengthen its capabilities so that it was ready to safeguard China’s strategic interests.

The SCMP article quoted “Chinese military expert” Li Jie who said the drills were intended to show that the People’s Liberation Army Air Force was making strides in joint operations, which are an important part of modern warfare.

Li also said that Monday’s announcement also was aimed at sending a message to the United States and South Korea.
“The timing of this high-profile announcement by the PLA also is a warning to Washington and Seoul not to provoke Pyongyang any further,” Li said.
Senior Captain Li Jie is a naval strategist and military expert with the Chinese Naval Research Institute. Our searches found that his comments are infrequent, but authoritative. He has been making them at key moments since at least 2010. 

The Chinese use military exercises to send political messages, especially to Taiwan. Li makes comments when the Chinese leaders need to be sure that a behavioral message is clear and understood by a target audience. In this case, the targets are the US and South Korea

The message is stark and highly unusual, something that would be inappropriate to state officially in public. However, it almost certainly has been conveyed in verbal communications between Chinese and US officials. The exercise and its public announcement reinforce the gravity of the Chinese message.

Last spring the quasi-official newspaper Global Times published the conditions under which China would intervene in a Korean conflict or would refrain from intervening. It restated long-standing Chinese policies.

China would prevent the collapse of North Korea under almost all circumstances. If the US and the US allies fired the first shot, China would aid and defend North Korea and ensure that it did not collapse.

If North Korea started the war, China would not intervene to prevent a US counter-attack. However, it would intervene to prevent the US from devastating North Korea. China also would intervene to keep North Koreans in North Korea during a war.

The exercise details and Li’s remarks in the SCMP article suggest two scenarios worry the Chinese leadership. The first is that the North Korean leadership is likely to misread US actions as precursors to an imminent attack, rather than as demonstrations. 

The second scenario is that the US actually has decided to conduct an attack on a target or set of targets in North Korea. 

The article also suggests that the Chinese judge that demonstrations of US power have reached the point of diminishing returns and the US knows it because the Chinese have told the US. Thus, the Chinese analysts are interpreting the scheduling and conduct of more and larger US and allied exercises can only be interpreted as war preparations under cover of exercises. 

Thoughts: It's clear that the Trump Administration knows that the Norks are concerned and would prefer to see them fire the first shot, which would provoke the sort of decapitation and degradation of Nork forces that are planned. And the Chinese know what the US knows. The question becomes one of what will make the Norks act rather than just talk? Or maybe they launch a missile and it inadvertently lands in Japan the way that the last one almost did?

Pakistan

China is hedging on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported on 6 December that China temporarily stopped funding three major projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The three are road construction projects that are essential to completion of the Corridor.

The Chinese announced the temporary suspension at a 20 November Joint Working Group meeting, which was supposed to finalize the projects. The Chinese delegation said that the funds would be suspended pending ‘new guidelines’ to be issued from Beijing.

The Dawn article reported that Pakistani officials from the National Highway Authority were stunned by the surprise announcement. The reason for the suspension is Pakistani corruption in distributing about $1 billion in Chinese investment funds for land acquisition and road construction. 

Pakistani businessmen have expected the CPEC project to provide a bonanza of wealth for Pakistanis. That is not how China manages these projects, for which it has long experience in Africa. The projects are set up so that Chinese companies profit and local companies get the spill-over.

I anticipated that terrorist attacks and other security challenges would undermine and compromise the CPEC. Pakistani corruption has proven to be the greater, more immediate and less easily managed threat. 

Syria-US

The US military stay in Syria is open-ended. A US Defense Department spokesman said that the US is committed until there is an “enduring defeat of ISIL.” A Defense Department spokesman also said that the US has roughly 2,000 troops in Syria and 5,200 in Iraq.
"While the nature of US support to partner forces will adjust as the coalition shifts from major urban combat operations to stabilization tasks, US support will not end until the enduring defeat of ISIL and will be determined by conditions on the ground," Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said on 5 December. 
The US said it would continue to support its local allies, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as they move to stabilize eastern Syria. "We are going to maintain our commitment on the ground as long as we need to, to support our partners and prevent the return of terrorist groups," Pahon said.

The Turks use almost the same language to justify keeping their forces in Syria in order to fight the Syrian Kurds. As a terrorist organization, ISIL’s permanent defeat can only be assured by permanent operations against them because the organization is self-regenerating. The Syrian Kurdish militias also are self-generating. The language of enduring defeat means open-ended.

The rough number of US soldiers in Syria is four times more than the number released in late November. The statement of continuing support for the SDF is likely to infuriate the Turkish leadership, who says they have assurances to the contrary from the US President.

Russia in Syria

Six Russian long-range bombers struck Islamic State (IS) targets in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The TU-22M3 bombers took off from a base in Russia, flew to Syria and bombed IS targets as well as weapons and ammunitions depots, they said.

The last TU-22 bomber attacks occurred in late November. The Russians are taking advantage of air attack missions in Syria to maximize the flight and combat experience of their bomber crews. On the other hand, the continuing bomber attacks are strong indicators that the defeat of IS fighters is still not final.

The bomber attacks tend to contradict Russian President Putin’s statement that complete victory has been achieved over the Islamic State.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Checking In


I'm still out and about, but the blog must go on.

Ok, there's nothing requiring a blog and there's nothing that says it must go on. I just wrote that out of a sense of the dramatic.

I'm on a salad binge at the moment, but it's not what you think. I'm not on a vegetarian bender because I love animals (who are competition for my food). I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants.

Tomorrow, back to the ribeye.

Kindle allows me to download books to occupy down-time and that's what I do. I just downloaded, "Children of Time" a science fiction book by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I don't know whether the book will be any good or not. You sort of throw the spaghetti against the wall with books, don't you? Unless it's something by Jim Curtis or one of the greats, you take your chances.

There are things moving at the White Wolf Mine. The clouds (above left) herald the labor and the improvements on the property. This is a photo from earlier in the week (below). The masons are hard at work laying block retaining walls to fortify the place. Yes, I understand that a .50 BMG will punch through that as if it doesn't exist. But we all have to live within budgets. The steel roof and the structural steel won't make the place EMP proof, but it will help - for those of you who are concerned for my welfare. I would have turned my office into a Faraday Cage with Tempest approved gear (a SCIF) but there's not much secret that needs to be hidden from snoopers.


The photo (left) shows the steel machine chewing up a path for the second driveway (drive-through garage). Do I need 2 driveways? No, but I thought that it would be cool.

The weather shows clear, no precipitation for the next 14 days with highs in the 50's. At this rate, the team will go to town on construction. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Digging Deeper (Roots, cont'd)


In another installment of "Roots", I found that the Quidley family, to whom I am directly related and who settled on Hatteras Island in North Carolina's outer banks first came to the New World in the 1680's, on the Brigantine, Gull, out of Portsmouth, England. The ship's master, Patrick Quidley, established a base for himself by transplanting family members as colonists. Though the mists of time hang heavy over precisely what the 'colonists' intended to do, their subsequent actions speak for themselves.

Patrick Quidley's brush with the law is recorded in the book, "The Admiralty Sessions, 1536-1834: Maritime Crime and the Silver Oar".
"Dr. Fisher Littleton presided over the Admiralty court and took the view that those who adhered to James II were “not enemies, but rogues”. The prosecution proceeded at the Admiralty Sessions held at the Marshalsea in February 1694, even though the nine accused men asserted that they fought under a lawful commission issued by James II. At these hearings, Captain John Golden and Thomas Jones were convicted for treason and Patrick Quidley and Darby Collins for piracy. On March 5,  1694, they were hanged."
As the book points out, there was some dispute as to whether they (pirates) sailed under a letter of marque or as pirates. The distinction between the two was a fine one...

The body of Captain William Kidd hanging in a gibbet over the Thames, the result of confusion over
whether Captain Kidd took prizes legally under a letter of marque, or illegally as a pirate. (Wikipedia)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Roots


There has been some family controversy surrounding my maternal grandfather and great grandfather. There have been legends that sprang up to support 'the story'. Exercising some genealogical muscle, I set out to do what I do. Prove or disprove using facts. The "Q" family records stopped with my great grandfather...and that is always interesting. Now I know that circa 1900, he changed his name (possibly a brush with the law).

That part of the family settled in Hatteras Island, North Carolina. They lived on the outer banks since some time in the early 1700's and were alternately pirates, smugglers, fishermen and salvage operators who claimed ships driven ashore and shipwrecked. They owned slaves - not black ones - hapless seafarers who washed up on the Outer Banks. Great grandpa Q left all that for Washington DC, where he lived most of his life, dying in 1971. My mother described him as a mountebank, which may have been what drew him there. He was alternately a brick layer, a boxing promoter and an opportunistic crook.

His son, my grandfather was a scammer (not unlike his daddy) and for most of his life, he was a revival tent preacher, known as "Reverend Jack". I only saw Reverend Jack a couple of times that I can recall. He was a handsome Elmer Gantry style guy without the scruples of the movie character. He had two children with my grandmother before she dumped him. I have no idea how many other likely lads are out there. He founded a church in Tennessee eventually and died there.

I didn't spend much more time with my mother (an accomplished ballerina from the American Ballet Theater) who, at 84, still walks and moves like a ballerina. The harsh discipline that made her a great dancer also made her very difficult to love. The last thing that my brother asked me before he died (the next day) in auto accident was to be nice to her, so I put myself out to do that very thing. 

My mother bought the story of the history of the Q family hook, line and sinker. She wasn't all that happy to know that rather than descending from a group of farmers who were kind to the Indians, and my great grandfather married an Indian princess, they were a species of pirate who preyed on the unfortunate. The antebellum South took race very seriously (the records are clear) and the Q family didn't have any known affiliation with the Hatteras Indians, all of whom had been killed off between 1520 when it was first settled and the early 1700's. Mother had other stories from her maternal side as well. I don't think that she made them up. She's not like that. But she took things at face value and created a legend that she has shared with my daughters. Shining a light on family history (the roaches scuttle for the floorboards) is interesting. 

I have a trip to the outer banks planned, to dig a little deeper. There is a lot of provable information on-line these days including family bibles that have been photographed and made available on the Internet. But walking old cemeteries in Frisco, Buxton and Hatteras might turn something up. 

There are some dangling bits of history that may have wound around my DNA. For example, Blackbeard-the-Pirate (Edward Thatch - or Teach) operated in those waters. Did my ancestors sail with him on the Queen Anne's Revenge or the Witch of Endor? They were in the right place at the right time, in the right line of work. Blackbeard accepted a royal pardon and settled in Bath, North Carolina, right across the Pamlico Sound from Hatteras, where the Q family was living at the time. Did they rub shoulders? I can't say for sure (yet).

Mother (who is very proper) is disturbed by this history, which is much more fun to me...no wonder I always like the Pirate ride and eating at the Blue Bayou restaurant at Disneyland. Mother is not amused.