sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Tale of Two Reptiles

Bill is out, Barack is in?

So maybe it's true that there is no muff too tough?



And Barack will find out what Bill knew all along.

Gaza


puerile, incompetent, and
lacking all common sense 
The mainstream media is all but ignoring the situation in Gaza, likely because none of the participants to the action feel that the Obama Administration has any credibility to influence any portion of the conflict. They made themselves irrelevant. Therefore, covering a conflict that will only underscore puerile incompetence on the part of President Obama's foreign policy is not in the MSM's interest. 

The president is far more interested in NOT losing control of the US Senate in November, as polls continually predict. Thus, fund raising takes precedence over the requirements of the Office of President.

Meanwhile-

The Israeli security cabinet held another late night session on 30 July to decide the next phase of Operation Protective Edge. It agreed to intensify the attacks, the fourth escalation order since Operation Protective Edge began. It also approved another reserve call-up. An additional 16,000 soldiers are being recalled to active duty, raising to 86,000 the number of reserve soldiers committed to Protective Edge. This is about one-fifth of the reserves. The 86,000 does not include large portions of the active duty force that also are engaged in combat operations. Finally, the cabinet said it will continue to observe periodic, brief humanitarian ceasefires. 
On Wednesday, three Israel Defense Force soldiers died in combat, bringing the total to 56 soldiers killed and 3 civilians. Palestinians fired 80 rockets on Tuesday and 84 on Wednesday. At least 2,770 rockets have been fired at Israel since 8 July, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. The number of Palestinians killed is now estimated at 1,400.
The weird progressive left, championed by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) suggests that Hamas may be a "humanitarian organization". One can only wonder what Rep. Pelosi is smoking. 


The PLO/Hamas/Palestinian Islamic Jihad shoots rockets into Israel discriminately acting as cat's paws for others. That much is clear. Israel takes the only action possible when attacked. And they are undertaking to clear all of the structures adjacent to the Israel border - back about 3 kilometers, to deal with the tunnel situation.

Hamas has requested a cease fire to allow for rearmament so that they can shoot more missiles into Israel, but the talks are unlikely to go anywhere. No lasting ceasefire may be expected because the combatants do not yet appear ready to stop fighting. 




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What has Islam done for America?

In America, everyone has a right to practice the religion of their choice. It's one of those things that we take for granted. There is not one Muslim country where that is true. 
(Breitbart) On Sunday, President Obama and First Lady Michelle released a statement thanking Muslim Americans for their many “achievements and contributions… to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.” 
The comments were made to mark the celebration of Eid-al-Fitr, a time of spiritual renewal for Muslims which comes at the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan. The Obamas said in their statement that Eid “celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity” and “welcomed their commitment to giving back to their communities.” The International Business Times reports that during Eid, Muslims join in Islamic prayer, while saying "Allahu Akbar," or "God is Great," and feasting. 
The statement further reads that the administration “wishes Muslims in the United States and around the world a blessed and joyous celebration.” The letter ended with salutation of “Eid Mubarak,” which roughly means “blessed celebration.”
I too celebrated Eid Mubarak by eating a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich (on whole wheat bread).  Actually, I think that it was just lunch on that blessed day. But that's not my point. What has Islam done for the United States of America?  On first blush, I couldn't think of a single thing, besides our First Post-American President. Yes, Islam gave us Obama. They can have him back. 

I "Googled" <what has Islam contributed to american culture>. Can you guess what I came up with?

Nothing.

Only news stories of Obama talking about everything that Islam has done for America without identifying anything.

America's first war was with Islam - the Barbary Pirates, who kidnapped Americans and took American merchant vessels in acts of piracy on the high seas. That may be what Obama referred to because the war with Islam caused the US to build a Navy that was useful in our second national war -- with the British in 1812.

Here is your chance to sound off on all the things that Islam has done for America.

I'm going to start the list:

(1) By attacking America, they provided me with a living for part of my life - so killing Muslims for a living did provide me with means, that I in turn used to buy goods and services in America, thus boosting the economy and benefiting the man-on-the-street to some small degree.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Unconventional Naval Expansion

If you lack the navy and coast guard to patrol the sea areas that you claim as territorial, how do you retain positive control? China is thinking "out of the box" and it makes some sense.
(Reuters) According to official media, more than 50,000 Chinese fishing boats have been outfitted with China's Beidou satellite navigation system, which gives them a direct link to the Chinese coastguard. The program is an indication of China's increasing financial support for fishermen as they sail deeper into Southeast Asian waters. Reuters indicated that Chinese also are providing fuel subsidies so that fishermen can sail farther into the South China Sea.
The Chinese fishing fleet is not just an economic asset. In times of crisis, it is a paramilitary force that comes under the direct control of the armed forces. Fishing boats have harassed US naval ships on occasion and armed fishing boats had key tasks in the Chinese naval maneuvers during the 1996 Taiwan Strait crisis.

The new systems are part of the program for upgrading military control of the fishing fleets. The boats receive weapons, ammunition, depth charges or mines and sailing orders when militarized. In peacetime, they provide a continuous flow of intelligence to the coast guard and the navy.

When you consider the Chinese territorial expansion aspirations into the Spratley and Senkaku Islands, adding 50,000 fishing boats to the naval cadre is no small thing. 

It's one of those things that keeps Japanese Naval Officers up at night.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

It's Not a Small Thing

Sunday Sermonette - A walk down memory lane.

President Ronald Reagan took four US Battleships out of mothballs to send a message. They were updated with tomahawk cruise missiles in addition to their formidable 16" 50 caliber naval guns.



February 8, 1984

President Reagan announced that American naval and air forces off Lebanon would now attack any units behind Syrian lines that were firing into the Beirut area. (Peace through superior firepower) The Syrians laughed at the red line the American President drew and continued to shell a Christian enclave in East Beruit.

The day had a chill to it but things were about to warm up and restock hell with fresh meat. SEALs who had moved into position during the night, had a Syrian troop concentrations and gun positions in sight. The US made one last request to stop shelling. Muslims laughed at the threat.

US Naval Special Forces called in gunfire from the USS New Jersey. Each round weighed about as much as a Volkswagen and cratered, flattening about 100 meters wherever they hit. The New Jersey fired about 260 rounds between noon and midnight.

The Syrians took notice. But that was another time, another President.

Training film on the 16" gun.





It works differently today.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Broken Record

MSNBC lauded President Obama for his speech last Monday regarding Russia's role in downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, killing 298 people.

"Russia has extraordinary influence over these (Russian) separatists," the commander-in-chief said sternly. "No one denies that. Russia has urged them on. Russia has trained them. We know that Russia has armed them with military equipment and weapons, including anti-aircraft weapons. Key separatist leaders are Russian citizens."

Then he called on Putin to "cooperate with the investigation" and warned "Russia will only further isolate itself from the international community." Boy, that must have made Putin quake. Putin answered Obama's speech loud and clear on Wednesday, when Russian funded and managed "separatists" shot down two Ukrainian jets — a mere six days after Flight 17 was blown out of the sky and on the very day the first bodies were returned to the Netherlands.

President Obama's unremitting fund raising is targeted at the Democratic Party retaining control of the US Senate in November, because if they don't, it's all over for him. And the Russians, the Egyptians, the Israelis and everyone else knows it.

When there is a crisis, Obama calls for an investigation and then goes golfing or on vacation and that's the end of the investigation...and he will stay gone until there is a new crisis, after which he will golf and go on vacation following his call for an investigation.

Broken record - at every possible level.




Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Mysterious IRS

In most actions brought by the US Government against its citizens, there is a preponderance of evidence burden placed on the government. That means that the government is required to show beyond reasonable doubt that: (1) a crime was committed; and (2) that a particular person committed the crime.

USC Title 26 (Internal Revenue Code), which is 4 million words long - 7 times as long as the Bible (source)*, reverses that situation, requiring citizens to show beyond reasonable doubt that they did not commit a crime. The burden is not on the government, but on the average citizen.
*Mark Luscombe, a principal federal tax analyst for CCH, said the publisher’s version of the tax code is 5,036 pages.
Which brings to mind the question: "Did Lois Learner's dog eat the homework?" If that had been your defense at an IRS proceeding, you would have ended up in jail. Not so when the IRS is on the ropes before Congress. 
(Fox News) The head of the IRS confirmed Wednesday that investigators looking into missing emails from ex-agency official Lois Lerner have found and are reviewing "backup tapes" -- despite earlier IRS claims that the tapes had been recycled.  
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, testifying before a House oversight subcommittee, stressed that he does not know "how they found them" or "whether there's anything on them or not." But he said the inspector general's office advised him the investigators are reviewing tapes to see if they contain any "recoverable" material.  
The revelation is significant because the IRS claimed, when the agency first told Congress about the missing emails, that backup tapes "no longer exist because they have been recycled." 
"It is unbelievable that we cannot get a simple, straight answer from the IRS about this hard drive," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., said in a statement Tuesday.


It's a very good thing that the Obama Administration has the mainstream media on their side. If it was a Republican Administration, NBC/CBS/ABC/CNN would be all over this.

The Obama Administration used its power to attack American citizens using the Internal Revenue Service. If it goes back to Obama he'll be impeached. So there was a hard drive crash without a back up and the "dog ate the homework". In that light, it makes sense. It also explains Obama's ceaseless fund raising to retain the US Senate in November. Harry Reid can block an impeachment if he's majority leader. If it's Mitch McConnell, the story plays out differently.




Wednesday, July 23, 2014

SA 17 (Grizzly) Seems to Work

NATO calls it the SA-17 Grizzly. The Russians named it the Buk (Means Beech tree) M2, and it downed the Malaysian airliner loaded with people last week. This week, they accounted for two Ukranian SU-25 fighter jets. 
(Fox News) More here.
SU-27 Flanker
What does that tell us? It suggests that the system not only works against slow flying commercial aviation lumbering along at 400 knots at 35K ft along a flight plan route, but they'll also shoot down one of the better Russian made front line fighters. Does the SU-27 look a bit like a US made F-15 to you?

The Buk M2 won't work well on stealth aircraft, but the Russians are hopeful that will be solved with the introduction of their Buk M3. Either system requires an initial radar lock to launch.


The Buk M2e (pictured here) mounts an impressive phased array radar tracking system. (NIIP 9S36 Passive ESA Engagement Radar) This makes it very difficult to launch an anti-radiation missile preemptively at the Buk M2 before it can get its shots off.

Then again, if you're shooting down unarmed civilian airliners, you need not fear any retaliation in the form of a HARM (AGM-88E) riding your own radar beam down to your location.

These missile systems are in play in Ukraine as Russia, which claims not to be arming their fifth column army, is moving ahead with their military annexation of Eastern Ukraine. Didn't President Obama draw a red line somewhere over there? 


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Random Little Pranks (The Bean Counter)

The more precise and grandiose the title, the more up tight, self important and annoying the bean counter is.

About 10 years ago. I was dealing with IBM on an issue and one of their white shirts gave me a hard time. I worked for the government at the time and there was no need to be so impossibly puffed up with me. Naturally I prevailed but there at IBM, they seemed to stuff the same shirt as many bean counters that I've had to deal with from time to time. There is nobody easier to get to than people like Person X because they are SO important. (middle management on the way up)

Over the Labor Day weekend, a friend and I changed the names on the assigned parking placards at the IBM HQ in Los Angeles. We moved the order of the names, eliminated names and added new people (random names, most of them sounding red-dot Indian, South Asian and Chinese). I was there on Tuesday morning when the white shirts and suits showed up at work. O-M-G. 

The principal target (Person X) sat down next his BMW, florid faced, back to the tire, and couldn't get up. He had difficulty breathing. Eventually he barfed. I thought that he might stroke out in front of me...which would have been taking things too far on my part. It was bedlam as people received the news by driving into the parking garage and trying to find a place to park. Some seemed elated at being promoted, others, seemed sadder by demotion and again, others - namely the guy who f-ed with me, were fired and replaced by Phoc Yieu Thieu from the Vietnam office.

Fast forward about 3 months. Person X (who barfed next to his BMW) was scheduled to take an important client out to dinner. I knew about this in advance because I knew the client. Client was a legitimate client of IBM from a very important company, so that is what made it work. Client was an old Navy Buddy of mine, and he had a very hot wife. They showed up, dressed to the 9's got into the back of the car with Person X and his double-chin chubby, whining, self-conscious, frumpy wife. Client sat down and his wife produced a large black dildo asking what that was doing in the back of the car - and made a scene. God love her. Client said that he had difficulty holding it together but pulled it off. 

Imagine that you are Person X in that situation. Hot wife threw the dildo between him and double-chin, chubby wife in a fit of "righteous anger", invoking the name of God in her condemnation of Person X and the chubby wife.

Naturally the dinner was cut short. 

Client, client's hot wife and I went out for a separately planned dinner afterward and she laughed until she cried. She is a good sport and has a wicked sense of humor.

I lost track of Person X, but shortly after the incident, he changed his employment. I'm sure he's counting beans somewhere.

The moral of this story is that you should pick your enemies carefully.



At the request of our fellow blogger, Jenny, this will be an ongoing series.





Real Friendship forged with blood and salt water...



Re-Naming Massachusetts

The Washington Redskins controversy is being taken to a new level as US States named for Native American tribes are now under fire. Massachusetts is likely one of the first dominoes to fall as the liberal bastion that it is. 

If the Kennedy family wasn't almost all dead (see: curse) I'm sure that simply naming the state "KENNEDY" would be on the table. Nobody is mentioning that these days. Is it politically incorrect? I have some difficulty keeping track of what is and what is not politically incorrect.

Utah will go next, possibly reverting to the name DESERET, which was the name given to the state by the first white settlers. USGOV changed it to Utah when it became an official territory and the name stuck when it was admitted to the union. Has racism no bounds?

The most blatantly offensive state is Indiana. I'm not sure what to re-name it, maybe CARDINAL after the state bird, but it's possible that senior Catholic officials or the City of St. Louis would have something to say about that.

It's a long list. Connecticut, Delaware, Minnesota, both Dakotas, Wyoming, and so forth. All those names are out. We must find something more politically acceptable. I think that simply using the state bird's name makes sense except that North Dakota and Wyoming both have the same state bird - the Meadowlark. This could get confusing. Delaware's state bird, the Blue Hen (chicken) makes perfect sense. Minnesota's state bird, the Loon -- again, makes perfect sense.

I read something really interesting a couple of days ago, it was titled, “The U.S. Military’s Ongoing Slur of Native Americans,” Everyone knows that the US Army is racist for naming their helicopter fleet, weapons systems, and mission code words after indigenous American equipment, tribes, and individual chieftains. One Boston University Professor has already started the charge to get rid of every Native American name in the Department of Defense. If he wins his PC war, the US Army will rename its helicopters (all of which have Indian names) from Blackhawk to Transporter, Kiowa to Whirlybird, and Apache to Insane Platform of Hovering Death.


Monday, July 21, 2014

General Rant

As we're in the midst of yet another "summer of recovery" there is not much happy economic news on the horizon since the economy contracted 3% in the first quarter of 2014. The second quarter showed 2% growth so we're at -1% growth so far this year.



(Rasmussen Polling) More Americans than ever say they owe more money than they did last year, and they’re more pessimistic about their future interest rates. 
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 34% of American Adults now owe more money than they did last year, up from 32% last month and the highest finding in regular surveying since April 2009. Slightly fewer (31%) owe less now, while 33% say they owe about the same amount as they did last year. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
As Hillary Clinton's hopes for a presidential ascendency become less sure in the minds of progressives, they have shifted their love to Elizabeth "Fake Indian" Warren. And I'm not sure which presidential hopeful is less sincere and less qualified to do -- just about anything. There is California's 85 year old governor Jerry Brown, who has run for the presidency every bit as often as Joe (Slow Joe) Biden has -- what about him as an alternative? Governor Moonbeam is every bit as incompetent as Warren or Clinton. Or Biden...who may end up winning the nomination of his party.

Arab-Israeli Conflict

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Virginia City

This is certainly not a Sunday sermonette. Virginia City, NV is a tourist trap these days, but I drifted through it this past week and enjoyed myself all the same. And it made me think of the song (below)

Nerd Facts: Virginia City, Nevada is the largest federally designated Historical District in America. It is maintained in its original condition, as it was in the boom days of the 1870s, when the Comstock Lode made it the West's premier mining metropolis.

I just like the song and Western anachronisms. If I had lived in the Old West would I have been a gunfighter? Likely if I was white. If I had been red, I would have taken scalps. If I'd been Chinese, I would have run a laundry. Life is just like that.

I can't see myself as a pilgrim, sod buster or feather merchant. Even today, which is why I spent my life as a gunfighter. Things haven't changed. Creds make it legal.






Thursday, July 17, 2014

Who's Minding the Store?

I step away for a day and the place goes to pot.

The Russians shoot down a Malaysian Airliner (hint - if any of you fly Malaysian Air from this point forward, it's all on you) that is just flying along a regularly scheduled route. Whether they did it for shits and giggles or just to blame Ukraine isn't the point. A lot of people fell 6 miles to Earth.

Israel invades Gaza, totally disregarding US Secretary of State John Kerry.  Maybe Obama needs to use his telephone and his pen to bring order to things? Clearly even the Democrats are distancing themselves from him and his teleprompter.

Just between us, I don't think that many people care what Obama or his creature, Kerry, want these days. Their credibility went with red lines, keeping your doctor and hospital, lying about the IRS Scandal, the EPA Scandal, the VA Scandal, the Benghazi Scandal, Fast and Furious, the fact that the FBI isn't investigating ANYTHING that the President sent them out to investigate unless it involves political adversaries, etc.

Yes, the Palestinians had it coming and yes, Israel will sort things out until the US can funnel more foreign aid to Hamas that they can use to buy more rockets to shoot at Israel.

But guys and gals...please try to keep a lid on the pot because it's boiling over.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Le Mat


Walk-About Notice (part 1)

The Fool or The Jester is titled Le Mat in the Tarot of Marseilles, and Il Matto in most Italian language tarot decks. These archaic words mean "the madman" or "the beggar", and may be related to the word for 'checkmate' in relation to the original use of tarot cards for gaming purposes.

I don't read tea leaves, cast chicken bones, examine the entrails of goats, star gaze to know what I'll have for lunch the next day or divine portents. Neither do I put stock in runes or tarot cards. Fellow blogger, Wo Fat and I, have a friend who claims to talk to crows. All well and good, I guess.

I once knew a Vietnamese witchdoctor in Little Saigon (Westminster/Garden Grove, California) who caught feral cats and they told him secrets. Cats are eaten in Little Saigon and are at risk as an entree, but this made matters worse for felines. Gang members began to kill them on sight once the word got out that they were speaking rumors to the witch doctor and free ranging house cats all but vanished from the area.

But I don't believe that house cats speak to Viet witchdoctors. So this blog post has nothing to do with tarot cards.

However, the Fool is a vagabond on walk-about. He carries a bundle of his belongings on a stick slung over his back (waltzing matilda) and is being chased by a local dog...that looks a lot like a Jack Russell Terrier.

This song is worth listening to. Maybe twice. It's on my playlist. 


I remember that terrible day when our blood stained the sand and the water...
And as year follows year, the old men disappear...
And the band played Waltzing Matilda...

The Fool is usually interpreted as the protagonist of a story, and the major arcana is the path the Fool takes through the great mysteries of life and the main human archetypes. This path is known traditionally as the Fool's Journey. The Fool is the spirit in each of us, in search of experience. He represents the mystical cleverness bereft of reason within us, the childlike ability to tune into the inner workings of the world.

He is seemingly unconcerned that he is standing on a precipice, apparently about to step off. (more balls than brains)

Since I've been accused more than once of that failing, I thought it appropriate.

I don't know how often I'll be checking my blog over the next couple of weeks as I come and go. So if I'm slow in responding, you know why. And there is always e-mail, isn't there?




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Obama on the Fence



It's interesting to watch the news clips of ISIS members taking a sledge hammer to the tomb of a prophet of Islam, with enthusiasm and energy. When I see that, I think of the same sort of fanatic, frenzied determination that the progressives have had in their efforts to "fundamentally transform America".

No argument has been as absurd as whether or not we should put a fence long the US Border with Mexico. The Republican assertion that all negations on the status of illegal aliens can only begin with a genuine border barrier makes sense. Obama calls a fence, 'racial prejudice'. 



Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sharing Saturday

So what do you do when you're feeling barn sour?

ROAD TRIP.

And where can you go to feel a breath of fresh air?

THE OCEAN

It's summer and it's California, and that means that the beach areas are crowded. Do you really want to go there?

IT DEPENDS ON THE NATURE OF THE CROWDS.

I am not a surfer, but it doesn't mean that I can't hang out at the beach and watch others surf. It's Southern California, land of the endless summer. 

This is Ocean Beach (Near San Diego, CA) - and yes, Old NFO, Euripides and Lone Star Parson this is what you're missing. 

I've defined the mission, I've defined the location and while in Ocean Beach, across from the pier, the best place to sit is at Hodad's and watch the people go by, if you're not swimming, which I did before going to Hodad's. Race Bannon (famous blogger and work-out maven) would be proud of the work-out but not proud of what it led to...Brighid and Jenny (more famous bloggers than Race) would have been ashamed of me for my weakness...BUT

Hodad's is not for the weak of constitution and if you plan to live forever, I recommend that you don't go. I'm serious. It's one of those dive hamburger joints next to the beach where the food will make your arteries crackle (snap, crackle and pop) if you don't exercise by swimming or running first. Even if you do exercise, first and you're as hungry as an arctic wolf, this isn't a California green tea, herb grass and tofu joint.

And then there's the line. There's almost always a line to get into Hodad's and the place is very small inside (but infinitely cool). 

I spent a piece of my life in San Diego in and around the ocean and when I want to reconnect with my roots, I feel like a salmon, returning to the stream. No, I didn't go to the beach or to Hodad's to spawn. The surfer blonde above is just a random surfer blonde.

When you sit down at Hodad's, since the place is packed, you end up sitting next to random people. That's part of the charm of the place. Since you're all eating cheeseburgers, there is no real food envy involved. The food is "BIG FOOD". You all know that you're shortening your miserable lives. It's a shared experience. 

There was a Gucci biker crowd (overweight bean counters, consultants and attorneys on Harleys with their blousey women - out wishing they were cool enough to be REAL bikers) there to be seen with the cool people and I ended up sharing a table with some of them. Yes, people share tables there. In my case, I simply Bogarted my way in - but it's part of Hodad's etiquette. I suspect that the guys didn't like the idea of a just-from-the -ocean guy sitting next to them, dripping slightly on the the bench next to their Armani leather breaches. But the women didn't seem to mind. And as an alpha male type, I really don't care what the wanna-be biker lawyers and CPA's think. Ya know?

GLORY ROAD

What did I want? 
I wanted the hurtling moons of Barsoom. I wanted Storisende and Poictesme, and Holmes shaking me awake to tell me, "The games' afoot!" I wanted to float down the Mississippi on a raft and elude a mob in company with the Duke of Bilgewater and the Lost Dauphin. I wanted Prester John and Excalibur held by a moon-white arm out of a silent lake. I wanted to sail with Ulysses and with Tros of Samothrace and eat the lotus in a land that seemed always afternoon. 
I wanted the feeling of romance and the sense of wonder I had known as a kid. I wanted the world to be what they had promised me it was going to be -- instead of the tawdry, lousy, fouled-up mess it is.

And because of blogs, you're now sharing the day.



Friday, July 11, 2014

Random Thoughts/Random Day

I think that I'm good at circumspection, but I always wonder whether or not I deliver the goods. And there is no way of ever knowing, is there? Self delusion is a tricky thing. To some extent it's like pneumonia for a person living in a pensioner's home. You will die of congestive heart failure long before the dementia allows you to recall what congestive heart failure is. 

The morning began just after 7 am with a battle with bureaucrats at the Federal Aviation Administration. I am convinced that if I throw enough money at the problem, I'll prevail. Lawyers, time, court, fighting city hall --- never a good idea. My parting phone shot was, "who do you think you are,  the IRS?" If you have ever dealt with FAA, you'll know that they're even more narcissistic than the EPA.

I spend a lot of my life immobile in traffic talking hands free on the phone - what a life. Not as fun as snapping necks and cashing checks.

During the course of the day I thought about writing another fictional short story. Before I do that, I need to finish reading The Grey Man - Payback (a novel in the works from fellow blogger Old NFO). Then I thought on the industrial aircraft that my company is finalizing. We're doing some finishing work on the fuselage.

Below is a cross section of the aircraft. You can see the ducts fan engine lay-out (electrically powered jet engines - sort of).

It's fun to build flying things but it's not fun to have to make payroll. That's the rub when you're finally the one calling the shots. With big pay comes big responsibility. If the company goes public, cha-ching. If you roll with the odds, it will fail because companies have a very difficult time becoming real. I suspect that the fact that people are investing in the company means that they believe in it achieving something - since they invest millions. Breaking news, CFO just called and has a commitment from a billionaire to dump another $325K into the company (on favorable terms to the billionaire) by wire transfer in the morning. Selling stock isn't as easy as it sounds, though we've sold quite a bit and raised money pre-revenue to staff up the high tech company in the shadow of Cal Tech.

I think that I'll go out and get a hamburger and read on my Kindle. I'm re-reading Children of Dune.  When I get back home, there will be time for The Grey Man. This will go live on the blog tomorrow at 3:30 am. 


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fence It

(The Examiner) On Monday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina held a joint press conference in Playas de Catazaja, Mexico, to officially announce an agreement to make it easier for those making the illegal journey to the United States from Central America, to cross into Mexico.  
The Southern Border Program to Improve Passage, will provide for more border checkpoints along Mexico's border with Guatemala, and offer more protection and even emergency medical care to those making their way north.  
The illegal aliens will receive a so-called Regional Visitor's Card, according to El Universal. Officially, the program will grant the cards to only illegal aliens from Guatemala and Belize, allowing them to remain in Mexico's southern states for 72 hours (more than enough time to reach the U.S./Mexican border by train).


Photo above: Existing US Border Fencing in one stretch.

Photo below: What Congress authorized eight years ago

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 50,000 people under the age of 18 from Central America have crossed the US Southern Border to take advantage of the "Dream Act" that President Obama has been touting from his platform.




"If we want to solve this problem, we need to secure the southern border," Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., told Fox News.

Bridenstine is pushing for the enforcement of The Secure Fence Act of 2006. The law, signed by then-President George W. Bush, authorized hundreds of miles of fence construction along the southern border, in addition to more checkpoints, cameras, vehicle barriers and lighting to catch people.

His office cites findings that the U.S. only has "operational control" over 44 percent of the southern border, and notes the law requires 100 percent control. To achieve that, he wants the National Guard deployed to augment the Border Patrol and construction completed on 700 miles of double-layer fence.
The Federal Government, now faced with a crisis of the President's making, is "dumping" incarcerated young people everywhere that it can. People in the City of Murietta, CA pushed back and there will be more push back.

The President denies that his programs have encouraged illegal immigration for the purpose of planting more Democratic Party voters in the US, however many believe that he lies -- sort of the same way as "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor".

One way to silence all of the Obama Haters in this matter would be to build the fence authorized in 2006 - that hasn't been built.




Wednesday, July 9, 2014

America: Imagine a World without Her (Book Review)

America: Imagine a World without Her (Book Review)

I bought Dinseh D'Souza's book on Kindle ($15.00) and read it. Now it's time to review it. There are two views of America. One view, taught by the "progressive" movement holds that the nation is a cancer on the planet, guilty of massive theft, expropriation, murder, oppression and injustice. It's the communist line that President Obama grew up around as a child and young adult. It's the view that was taught by Reverend Jeremiah Wright in the church that the president attended for 21 years, and the place where he met his wife.

D'Souza sets out to debunk the progressive rant and to set the record straight. The book accompanies a movie of the same name which has been released and is in (some) theaters. 

In his book, D'Souza asks some questions that need asking. For example, why are the descendants of slaves in America better off than the Africans are in the "old world" they came from? The book is a good companion to Dr. Ben Carson's book, One Nation.

I enjoyed reading what another reviewer wrote and it echoes my sentiments completely:
Despite the temporary setbacks in the nation, given an out-of control government; profligate public expenditures with a monstrously escalating national debt; the abuses and corruption of the redistributive welfare state, maintained by an increasing tax burden on middle class Americans; and the prevailing progressive accusatory views in liberal academia, progressive Hollywood, and the popular culture -- D'Souza thinks America is still great and worth defending.
You won't find the book in Costco (a major corporate donor to the Obama campaign) because they pulled it from the shelves under pressure from the White House. However, due to public pressure, on July 8 (yesterday) they announced that they are restocking the book. It should make you want to read the book even more.


Breaking News: America: Imagine a World without Her is now #1 on the best seller list.


Barack Toxic in Denver

Iraq folding.

Israel's army on the move in Gaza

The VA Scandal

The IRS Scandal

Russia in Ukraine

Illegals flowing across the US Border with Mexico

China building nuclear submarines as if there was ...no tomorrow...


And it would seem that he can't even find a Democrat to meet him at the airport.  And all of his fund raisers don't allow the press with cameras for fear that there would be shots of him embracing local politicians that are running for office -- thus ruining their chances for reelection. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

God's Transparency?

I am not Catholic and was not raised Catholic. However through my life, the ugly truth of pedophiles in priestly garb has been an open secret. The same is true of the fact that the Catholic Church's unspoken policy for much of the century has been to hide this inconvenient truth and shield wicked priests. 

By this, I'm not indicting all priests nor am I discounting the good that the Catholic Church has done.

This is what the Pope of Rome had to say on the matter yesterday.
(Fox News) VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis begged forgiveness Monday from the victims of clergy sex abuse as he held his first meeting with several abuse survivors -- but another victim called the gathering nothing more than "a PR event." 
The Vatican quoted Francis as expressing personal "sorrow" in his homily at a private Mass with six victims for the `'sins and grave crimes" of clerical sex abuse against them. 
Francis pledged `'not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not," and promised that bishops `'will be held accountable." 
"I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves," the pope said. 
"This led to even greater suffering on the part of those who were abused and it endangered other minors who were at risk," the pope said, according to the English translation of his homily, which was delivered in Spanish. 
Francis noted the abuse caused some victims to resort to addictions, or even suicide. 
"These deaths of these so beloved children of God weigh upon the heart and my conscience and that of the whole church," he said.
 My question to you, dear readers is whether you feel that the Pope is committed to transparency and accountability or do you think that he simply hosted a public relations event?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Immigration


I don't live very far from Murietta. In fact, my daughter just moved there. It's interesting to ask yourself WHY the Obama Administration would so diligently want to dump hundreds of wetbacks (illegal aliens/undocumented persons) in their town, over a hundred miles from the US/Mexico Border.
(IBDResidents of city proud to be called Reagan Country rose up last week to halt busloads of illegal immigrants being dumped into their neigborhoods, showing why they may have started a grassfire national movement. 
To get into the town hall meeting at California's Murietta Mesa High School, you had to work your way through 200 angry protesters. Many of them were in green and white Mexican soccer jerseys and bandanas and waved Mexican flags, at least one with "Viva Mexico" stamped on it. 
"Ci-ti-zen-ship! Ci-ti-zen-ship!" shouted one young woman, pumping her flag along as the crowd's rage sizzled. She apparently saw nothing inconsistent about brandishing the flag of the country she didn't want to be sent back to. 
Other demonstrators from Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles counties waved signs and shouted "Murr-i-hate-a," while still others openly proclaimed their status, belying the notion that illegals live in the shadows. 
Inside, however, it was a different picture. Racially diverse citizens of Murrieta, a conservative city of 100,000, had come together to air concerns a day after their neighbors made global headlines by preventing three busloads of illegals from being dumped by federal authorities who had consulted no one here. 
We talked to a dozen attendees (and protesters) to learn why the community had risen up against big government and where they thought their political mood was headed. National, they insisted... 
read more - link above.
I understand that the President of the United States feels that every illegal alien who is allowed to remain in the nation in violation of constituted law represents a vote for his party...we all get it. He needs to be impeached and exiled to his beloved Kenya.

 


Accuracy is Final

One more in a non-sequential series of fictional shorts

Speed is Fine, Accuracy is Final

The mulatto lay dying next to his dead mule, a bullet hole through his calf that wouldn’t have been fatal had it not developed a wicked infection. Crispin poked the leg with a stick and green puss oozed from the wound. “Swelled up tighter than an Injun’s headband in summer.” Crispin Stillwell spat on the ground. “The question is whether we shoot him and burry him, or leave him, in which case the buzzards will pick his bones and the coyotes will scatter them and the Mule’s together, which ain’t fittin’ for a Christian.”

“How do you know he’s a Christian?” The boy asked his father, looking hard at the black man, passed out from the screaming that attracted their attention to him in the first place.

“Reckon most niggers are. It’s not the faith they came from Africa with, but most of their song speak of Jesus or the Prophets.” Crispin remembered his days in the South before the War of Northern Aggression.

“How long you think he’s been here, Daddy?”

Crispin took off his hat, brushed the flies away and mopped his brow with a dirty bandana. He married a young woman when his life's clock pushed past thirty-five hard range years. He looked at Adam, his oldest son. At fifteen, it became time to teach the boy the realities of life. “In this heat the wound will suppurate faster and the bloat flies have got into the wound.”

That sort of question called for an accurate response and as a rangeman, Crispin wanted to teach his son the tradecraft of the plains. “Maybe three days.” He looked hard at his son. “Go out there and cast for sign and see if you can tell me who did this.” Crispin felt certain that he knew the answer, but he was taking advantage of a teaching opportunity.

The bullet that passed through the dying man’s leg continued into the mule. He gave voice to his thoughts, “It’s a waste because that the mule had been in the prime of life.” 

The mulatto had been the target, of that Crispin felt certain. The hole in the black man’s leg had been made by a half-inch projectile, soft lead. Maybe an old buffalo hunter’s muzzle loader? A Hawkin perhaps? Fired at close range, a fifty-caliber ball would pass easily through the man’s leg and then through the mule’s shoulder and into its heart. You didn’t see those weapons much anymore because there were better options. The man who shot the man and the mule had been poor, an Indian or a poor Indian. A poor Indian would have butchered the mule. This mule was left to die with the mulatto’s leg trapped under the fallen side, wedged between the carcass and rocks. The mule must have struggled, which broke the man’s other leg in a few places and he couldn’t scramble out of the trap after that. So not an Indian kill.  The empty jug of corn liquor near the dead mule had been another sign. He didn't think that it belonged to the dying negro.

“Unshod ponies.” Adam shouted from where he crouched. 

“Only one unshod, the mule here.”

“Oh.”

“Our two horses and one other, all shod, followed the unshod mule in. One shod horse left to the north.” You need to be better than that son, if you plan to thrive out here. The horse that left to the north carries a heavy man and he throws his right way out in a trot.”

“Are we going to follow him?”

"Get back here. There's finishing to do."

As the boy dismounted next to him, Crispin drew his long barreled Sharps 1874 45/110 from his scabbard and put a round into the mulatto’s brain as an act of kindness. Then he bowed his head and Adam followed suit. “Surely you who number the sparrows and feed the ravens is not unmindful of this mulatto in his awful hour of pain. Allow his soul, oh God, to take flight to your bosom if it be thy will. If it be not, the devil take him. Amen.”

“We gonna bury that fella?”

“Reckon not.”

“What about the Christianity we was discussing?”

“Lord giveth, Lord taketh, blessed be his name. Nothing in that book about burying a mulatto. When buffalo or trouble is afoot.” While they’d been speaking, Crispin noticed a dust cloud on the far eastern horizon. “Look off there.”

Adam said, “Not Comanche.” 

“No, they wouldn’t raise dust like that. It’s either buffalo, or maybe pilgrims. Could be the army on the move. I heard they had a mounted column of dragoons out here looking for old Red Blanket and his people. Either way, I don’t want to be in the area here burying somebody. Accusations are simple and justice is fickle in such circumstances.”

“Even with a mulatto?”

“The war is over and we’re from Missouri, which means that we could be accused by either federals or pilgrims of mischief in which we had no part. Pilgrims can’t track and neither can soldiers so judgment on the matter will lack perspective. Besides, it was me who put a bullet into his head.”

“What if it’s Buffalo?”

Pawnee
“Then we’ll have a fine dinner. Let’s ride toward that dust and see what develops.”

As they rode over the rolling plains, dotted with copses of birch and cottonwood, Crispin stopped his son and made a sign for silence, but his horse nickered, then whinnied, giving them up to three Pawnee in the shade of a large elder. They came at a bad time because the Pawnee had just finished shooting arrows into a white man wearing a faded red shirt. One of their number seemed to be having some difficulty pulling the man’s scalp off. Crispin drew his rifle, sat on the dirt and handed the reigns to his son. He took careful aim and crack, the rifle fired. Pop, the bullet hit one of the Indians and spun him.

“Gut shot,” Crispin began his commentary. He ejected the spent metal cartridge and loaded a second, taking his time, shouldering the rifle again.

The two Pawnee tried to lift their wounded comrade onto his pony and Crispin fired again.

“You missed.”

“I hit the one with the white pained face in the leg.”

The white-faced Pawnee fell from his horse as he rode off, the white man’s mount in tow.

The last uninjured brave began firing at Crispin and his son.

“He’s shooting at us.”

“From horseback, seventy yards away.” Crispin fired a third time. “This rifle is accurate out nine-hundred yards. I have to adjust my point of aim since I’m shooting down hill.” Crispin stood.

“He ain’t dead Daddy.” 

“Yep, he is.” The Pawnee fired once more and then fell from his horse as Crispin took his horse’s reigns from his son. He looked over his shoulder. “He just didn’t know it yet.”

Adam dismounted and they walked carefully down the gently rolling hill to where the three Pawnee and the dead white man lay. At about twenty yards off, Crispin motioned his son to stop and his put a round into each of the Indians in turn. The one who'd been shot in the leg jumped and wailed after being gut shot by Crispin. "See son, he wanted to get us up close and do for us as we did for him. Some people would think this a waste of ammunition, but I have another perspective on the matter."

"What are we going to do now?

"Round up the Indian ponies and that saddled horse and I'll see what I can find out about the white man. We'll wait for whoever is coming to decide what to do next. They're about three leagues off."

Crispin saw the man's fifty caliber muzzle loading plains rifle laying on the ground next to his body. There was another jug, empty. Must have set the Pawnee off that he drank it all before they got to him. One of the Pawnee had a dirty Colt Walker horse pistol that must have belonged to the dead man too. He'd been trying to fire it when Crispin hit him with his second shot. He picked up the pistol. The primers had corroded and it would take some patient work to put the pistol into serviceable condition again.  The way he worked it out, the man was out after a run-away negro with a mule and had not only dispatched the mule, but ran afoul of the Pawnee, all of whom were young braves. Drinking pop-skull dulled his senses and eroded whatever judgment he'd had in the first place.

Five men on horseback rode up on Adam and his father, Crispin and took in the scene of dead Indians, the white man, partially scalped and shot full of arrows.  "We're the Hansen Party, headed for Oregon Territory."

"I'm Crispin Stilwell and this is my son, Adam. We own a section of bottom land adjoining the Indian Nation just west of Farrow's Rift and we were out hunting Buffalo when we came onto this. There's also a dead man with a mule a league south by west. If you come across him, it would be a kindness to bury him."

"You killed all of them Injun's by yourself?" One of the pioneers asked, incredulous.

"Yes."

"What if they'd all charged you."

"I had distance and elevation on my side, the sun is to my back and I would have taken them all just the same."

"With a single shot rifle?"

"Well, Pilgrim, you can't panic. It's all about confidence. This is a 45/110 Sharps. A round a piece will do the trick. Speed is fine, accuracy is final."



Sunday, July 6, 2014

Old and Spineless

People speak of war, but few carry the burden. I try not to watch the news because it ticks me off. America's current Secretary of State nauseates me even more than its past SECSTATE did, and that's quite a statement. He's in the photo (right) with Hanoi Jane Fonda, who should have been executed for treason - but is celebrated by progressives for -- I'm not sure what.

The rift between politician and soldier is nothing new. Every civilized culture has seen what happens when the old and spineless commit the young and brave to the battlefield. Sometimes it has good results. Sometimes it has bad ones. Regardless, it’s the reality of how human beings conduct warfare.

Swiftboat John Kerry
The man in the legislature will never make the same sacrifices as the man on the ground. A society who doesn’t realize this is doomed. When we forget the cost of war and blindly follow our leaders who wish to commit troops, disaster will result. We must have a dedicated political body, citizenry, and military in order to conduct a successful campaign.

Most of you may not know that I was completely opposed to the War in Iraq. Unlike most of you, I knew that we planned to invade 10 months before we did...before the announcement of 'weapons of mass destruction' that weren't wouldn't be made for 6 more months. The thought ran like this -- 'the Iraqis surely wouldn't have destroyed them all'. Except that they did and credible sources on the ground verified that.  So, I wouldn't call my self pro-Republican in the Iraq War department. When I and those like me informed the Bush Administration that it would require 250,000 US troops in place for 10 years to normalize Iraq, they responded this way, "We don't have 250,000 troops to send and 10 years." That would tell anyone that maybe the invasion was ill conceived because while we could crush Iraq, it was the only thing holding IRAN in check.

However, badly the previous administration managed Iraq, John Kerry (as with Barack Obama) digs the trench every day to reach new lows in credibility, in integrity and in competence. Kerry was an incompetent naval officer who relied on his Skull and Bones credentials at Yale. He became a cur when he left the navy and made common cause with Jane Fonda - and friends.

Now the nation has seen fit to put this pompous fool in a position to direct American foreign policy. Pardon me for a moment while I dry my tears with the American Flag.



Saturday, July 5, 2014

Random Acts of Manipulation

I'm responding (sort of) to a blog post by Juliette, who reads some of my stuff here from time to time and comments. On her blog, she recounts how a stranger sent a bottle of wine to a table where she was seated with another lady. (Juliette is very pretty - don't blush Jules - and lives in England) This led me to respond on her blog, and I thought that I'd share some fun bar behavior for the benefit of both men and ladies who drift by Virtual Mirage.

#1 I'm not a club sort of guy. Yes, I go to Las Vegas, but no, I don't gamble. I go to restaurants and shows and stay in the five star hotels, which are reasonably priced. Most of them don't have gambling (Trump, Four Seasons, Wynn). I can never be accused of being "Mr. Vegas". 

#2 I can be boring from the perspective of a "party animal" because I will definitely not be the guy doing the naked tap dance on the table with a lamp shade on his head. Thus I don't go out and hit clubs very often. If I do, it's usually because old friends from the SEAL Teams or other ex-something-somethings are in town and I want to show them a good time.

#3 I find clubs a bit boring, therefore to make them more interesting I play what I call, "club games". There are a LOT of games going on in clubs - just go to one. I make it a point never to take home a person that I meet in a club because if they go home with me, an aging, white haired guy, they will go home with anyone - and will catch the diseases that anyone has. 

#4 The usual philosophy of many guys is "avoid disappointment", go ugly early. That is taken to mean that should you wish to go home with a lady, you're better off finding somebody with impossibly low self esteem early in the evening. The underpinning logic is that you don't have to spend a lot of money wooing them and it's likely that they won't be gaming you the way a person with high self esteem might. I fit in to the high self esteem crowd because I'm comfortable in my skin. Yes, I do play my little club games. Mostly harmless.

CLUB GAMES

Women play club games too, but since guys are really stupid, their games are not as fun - and sometimes are a bit cruel. Women are very frustrated when you don't respond to their games, and turn and stalk more appropriate and vulnerable prey.

This list of my guy club games and the list is not comprehensive:

* ATM Game - I have a rich friend who has a TON of money in the bank. Often to exceed US$3 million. He has it accessible in an ATM. I have him save his ATM receipts. If you are going to give somebody your phone number (and always give a fake one that belongs to somebody you don't like who is married to a suspicious woman), you give it out on the ATM receipt.  This is accomplished by fumbling in your wallet for a business card, and in the absence of one of those, pulling out an ATM receipt and writing down the number. The more shallow the woman, the more crazed she will be when the number is wrong, and the more ticked off the enemy will be - it's two for one.

* Champagne Game - I prefer Dom Perignon, or a Shramsberg Reserve for this particular game. The booze must be expensive and I have to be really bored to do this, but I do. Send the bottle to a table with several women there, from "anonymous". If you pop for the Dom, the place will have some sort of card for the note. Dive bars don't stock Dom.

There are curious reactions from the women, and you need to be seated close enough to listen to them. The most narcissistic woman at the table will be certain that it's intended for her. It's common for about 20% to believe that they're being stalked and they opine that the champagne is drugged. Another 20% will eventually stand up, leave the table and chat up attractive guys in the hopes that HE is the guy who sent the champagne.

If I'm in a wickedly cheap mood, I'll have one of those rose peddlers that frequents bars send a single rose to a table with several women seated there with no instruction as to who it's for. The seller (nice tip required) doesn't recall specifically who the rose is intended for...

* Playing Doctor - I hate to share this but it works and I there are guys who I know who've stood off and witnessed this. On one occasion, after doing this, when walking into work, everybody got on the ground and "worshiped". So it's not exactly a secret operation.

I'm in my 50's, usually very serious demeanor, usually dress well. I've been approached in clubs by women who have asked what I do for a living. If I'm not in the mood to play games, I tell them that I work for a company that makes chalk. (the reaction is priceless - they simply look at me as if I'm crazy and walk away) -- or if I'm more playful, I explain that I'm a plastic surgeon visiting town on a medical convention. Because it's reasonable to believe that I could be a plastic surgeon, it begins a dialog. Literally 50% of the women who hear the line AND have been drinking, arrange to show me "the girls" and ask me (a) my opinion of the work they had done; (b) my opinion of what work could be done. I never offer medical advice, but I do always provide VERY POSITIVE feedback and make them feel good about themselves.

In the most famous event of this little club game, I fired off the line in a restaurant near a river. The guy seated next to me (not a plastic surgeon either) was quick on the uptake and said that he was one too. Both from out of town, which wasn't a lie. He owns a large oil company - richer than a plastic surgeon. There were guys from work present in the restaurant (witnesses) who didn't know that I was bored and playing doctor. After I ate, I wandered down by the river where there was a dock. I sat off by myself, enjoying the warm summer night. The word got out that I was a plastic surgeon. Well over a dozen women walked up to me at my table, bared their breasts and asked for an opinion. The guys from work had no idea what had happened (they sat at a stag table that attracted no female interest), but they were all eyes.

Maybe I will share more of these little club games later.