sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, July 31, 2015

Blogging

I've been blogging for about six years now. I started hesitantly, on more of a dare than anything else.  

Recently, I've thought about discontinuing the practice because there is a significant portion of the blogging regimen that smacks of narcissism. I've been reading Hemingway while on the road recently. His terse, tense short stories are masterful. He was good when was good and his second best was still better than most other men's best. Eventually, Hemingway fell victim to his own legend. In The Green Hills of Africa and later in The Old Man and the Sea, he didn't write like the great early Hemingway but more like one of Hemingway's heroes might have written had they been literate. He ceased to see himself as a writer and saw himself instead as a hunter, a warrior, a mighty man who could take it even if he could no longer dish it out. 

If you live long enough to look back, it's evident that we lead different lives at different times. We're still who we were - at least shades of our former selves, but life and experience changes us. Sometimes it hardens us. Other times it breaks us. Our reaction to adversity defines who we are if to nobody but ourselves.

The times that we find ourselves living in are outrageous, and blogging about that daily assault of abomination and weirdness becomes nearly reflexive -- at least to me. 

Perhaps blogging is similar to Yeates' lonely impulse of delight (An Irish Airman Forsees his Death) "I balanced all, brought all to mind, the years to come seemed waste of breath, a waste of breath the years behind". I prefer to think that I leave behind a somewhat mute record of impressions. Breadcrumbs for those who would read that lead to at least what I, in my narcissistic best, thought of this or that.

I've been writing my own brand of terse, tense prose, which I do as an artist might doodle on a sketch pad. If you follow this blog, you'll see it showing up more regularly...at least until I tire of my own drivel and doodling. Think of those stories as mandalas that are crafted for their own sake and then destroyed.




Thursday, July 30, 2015

Soylent Green

The 1973 movie, starring Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson had an interesting plot:
The 20th century's industrialized society has left the world permanently overcrowded, polluted and stagnant by the turn of the 21st century. In 2022 (roughly where we are now), with 40 million people living in New York City alone. Housing is dilapidated and overcrowded; homeless people fill the streets; about half are unemployed.
So far, so good. Mayor DeBlasio, himself a former Hillary Clinton campaign manager and political operative is trying to run the scenario out.
Most of the population survives on rationed food products produced by the Soylent Corporation, whose newest product is Soylent Green, a green wafer advertised to contain "high-energy plankton".
Heston, who plays a New York City detective, learns that Soylent Green is made of people, and that's the punch line of the movie. In 1973, anyone who'd made a movie about an America where babies are killed in vast numbers in utero at public expense would have been laughed off the stage. Nobody outside of the few surviving Nazi researchers, still on the run in '73, would have conceived of a ruling American political class so callous as to jeer at the bodies of dead babies and to cheer on those who sold harvested organs, making a huge profit. 

The California Attorney General (who plans to be the next US Senator from California) is diligently working to prosecute those stalwart souls who infiltrated Planned Parenthood and are methodically releasing video after video of outrageous conduct. Fully in defensive mode, Planned Parenthood keeps assuring the public that there was no systematic profit taking from planned organ harvests from babies that took place. Then another video that shows different people wanting a new Lamborghini paid for with baby organs surfaces, or a grizzly video of a dead 11 week old infant where they're debating how much they'll get from the child's corpse and how much they want for each part. The Democratic Party's response, and that of the mainstream media, has been predictable.

 However, there will undoubtably be more videos.

Hillary Clinton and the progressive faithful are rallying around Planned Parenthood, determined to keep the doors open and the killing of babies and the organ harvesting moving forward.

What does it say of us as a people?

WARNING, the video below may be disturbing to you.



Judge Issues Restraining Order  - prohibiting the release of more of these videos...




Tuesday, July 28, 2015

15th Arkansas Volunteer Infantry

Battle Flag of Van Dorn's 15th Arkansas Infantry Rgmt.
Observation: Texans feel differently about flags of the Confederacy than do people who grew up in New England and went to Harvard. Witches and the possessed seem to have an aversion to them. I wonder why?

Log Item: I'm in catch-up mode as the Texas blogging is running slower than usual. Hot and warm weather are defined in Texas (according to Mark Twain -- I think) as the difference between weather that will melt a brass door knocker and that which will only make it mushy. 

The Norwegians that I'm working with think that it's hot too. Norwegian friend: "What are you going to do when you get back to California?"

"I'm going to jump in the pool, then I'm going to read the accumulated mail -- in that order."

Texas was subjected to global cooling earlier in the summer that came with 37" of rain that flooded the place. This week is global warming as the water evaporates, and apparently the US Military is losing the battle with the weather. 
Now that the US Military has been tasked with dealing with the weather as a primary mission, I'm going to hold them to it here on this blog.
Political Note: President Obama is not as popular in Texas as he is in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Detroit or Philadelphia. Even among the faculty of the University of North Texas, his popularity has waned. It may be that Texans are not prone to be vegetarians. I think that Obama polls better among vegetarians and the transgendered.

Consulting in Texas: The trip here is coming to an end but I'll be back and forth during the ensuing year.

Texas Afternoon

Log Item: Fire and Brimstone in Texas hill country

Last Sunday I attended the Lonestar Parson's (LSP) sermon, followed by a lunch of Mexican food with he and his two teenage sons. The debate that followed: 
"Should we go shooting?"
"I always like to shoot."
"It's 102 degrees and 90 percent humidity."
"Yeah. Maybe we need to drive to Dallas and get ready for the BBQ -- and catch an afternoon nap."

BBQ finished, I asked what LSP had planned for entertainment. Three seconds later he 'miracled' up red and blue flashing lights: Out front of the spread, one paramedic engine and five police cars. Aunt Bitty Woo (actual name - sorta) went out to the front porch followed by the rest. Bitty Woo wore her pink cap, claiming to have been working for CIA for the past ten years. LSP pressed her for details of her service and I explained to him that I'd have to kill him. (curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction would bring him back)

The heat drove some poor sot crazy and it took five Dallas PD officers and the EMT's to subdue him. He kept calling for help. We allowed the police to deal with his drug and heat induced frenzy. Since my car was hemmed in by the police cars and drama, I sat with the LSP entourage and watched before getting into the rental and driving back to the University of North Texas for the Monday morning meeting with IBM.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Texas Dino-sours

Dino-sour country extends southward from the Texas Hill Country to the coast. Many of the courthouses and original homes are constructed of limestone blocks that are comprised of the materials (shells, coral, etc.) that made up the floor of a Jurassic sea. Salt ocean though it was, it was often very shallow (periodic global warming no doubt caused by the portent of man, 75 million years later) and there are dino-sour footprints remaining in limestone here and there.

While in Glen Rose, the county seat of Somerville County, I looked at a large dinosaur (T-Rex style) footprint, eternally cast in limestone there in a wall next to the courthouse. An old man scrutinizing my examination, recited:  

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ponder This

Log Item: Lunch in Ponder, Texas


At the Ponder Steakhouse, the pies are home made and fresh, and the steaks are cooked to perfection.

Next door to the Ranchman's steak house is the Bank of Ponder. It was made famous by Bonnie and Clyde. It's the very first bank that they tried to rob. 

Unfortunately for Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, the bank had no money in it. They had to drive north to another city and pull another bank robbery at a more prosperous community.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Blogging from Texas

Log Item: I'm running around Dallas, San Antonio, etc. and one of the first things that you notice is that the economy in Texas is doing better than it is in California. Both states border Mexico. Both states have beaches, and beyond that, they couldn't be more different. 

It's strange to be in a place where some of my views are considered "liberal". Really strange. Like, over-the-top strange. Me? Yes, it's apparently true. Part of what I'm doing in Texas involves collaboration with professors at a state university, and even there, I find that I'm being out conservatived (is that a word)? It's not a bad thing. I simply feel that I may have walked into the Twilight Zone at times. 

You can't bad-mouth Hillary Clinton at a California University without fear of arrest (on some sort of "trumped" up charge). In Texas if you mention candidate Clinton, the automatic response is "Oh, the Bitch of Benghazi?" ---they stole my line! It's almost like a Seinfeld episode in that regard. I'm using TV metaphors here because it's the only way to adequately explain myself.

Log Item: People I'm working with set up a meeting with seriously high government officials here in Texas. Their comment when the meeting was being arranged was, "Why are you bringing a foreigner here to speak with us?" They may fear that I am a transgender or some other form of social pariah judging that I arrived from the "land of fruits and nuts".  Nobody talks about the Kardashians to my face, but there is the subtle hint that I may be sympathetic to them. I may need to move to Arizona in an attempt to remove the stain.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Gone to Texas


"Gone to Texas" is the title of a book by Forrest Carter, that was turned into a feature film titled, "The Outlaw Josie Wales" (Clint Eastwood). Both the book and the film are worth your time. Forrest Carter also wrote a book, The Education of Little Tree, which is worth reading.

Part of The Outlaw Josie Wales was shot in Paria, near Kanab, in Kane County, Utah. I've been to the movie set, which burned down over a decade ago. The building foundations are still there.  Whenever I go somewhere I like to study up on the history of what made this or that place significant in history. Whose lives were built there? Why did they come and why did they stay or leave? Or were they forced to leave? (It comes with the Gone to Texas theme - hang in there)

Paria was a Mormon settlement that the Indians attacked again and again because the pilgrims built their homes on ground that the Piutes held sacred. I guess that they didn't like the pale faces moving in there and setting up shop. The Mormons got tired of fighting for a piece of land that while interesting, was not profitable and moved on. The Army moved the Piutes onto a reservation, the Piutes lost a sense of what was and what was not sacred and life on the Paria River remained the same.

You can't run cattle (successfully) on the Paria River because it's almost all quicksand. Five miles to the east, over some steep mountains and sheer cliffs, the Cottonwood River has no quicksand and made for better ranching. You don't see tourists on the Paria River. There is a graded dirt road that runs through Cottonwood Canyon (sort of the Gateway to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument/park).

It may be a metaphor. Or maybe not?

But, I digress.

As some of you know, I'm working on a project in Texas and will be traveling to and from more regularly now. If the blogging is slow from time to time, you'll know that I'm in Texas, riding horses, shooting machine guns, fishing and working...in that order.

A friend of mine from DEA who is not working on the project but who is aware of it, asked how he could get a job like that. I told him that he'd need to bag the day job and country club lifestyle of a Department of Justice worker. 

I have known him for a while and worked with him in Mexico. I think that he'd punch out of his DOJ sinecure if I offered him a better gig -- but he is an adrenalin junkie and is a first rate operator, and what I'm doing is a universe apart from 'Blackwater' type stuff.

The job came as the result of an odd set of circumstances and I'm back working with friends from Norway on it as well. So I must anticipate more viking outings in the far north, hopefully this year before the frost settles in. As you who follow this blog know by now, I really like Norway, but only in the summer. Once it gets cold and dark there, it's cold and dark for six months.

Since I'm not quite sure how often I'll be in Texas and how often I'll be back on the West Coast or on the road in Norway, I'm not certain whether this will be one of those situations where I relocate the Ducati Diavel to the Lonestar State or whether I just rent a Harley from the local dealership when I need to go for a ride.

I know that a Texan would ride a horse rather than a motorcycle, but I'm not a Texan so I'm not caught up in that dilemma.


Place Holder


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Anchor Globe and Eagle

This is your Sunday Sermonette...and it goes out to the US Marine Corps and the US Navy.

Following an attack from a Muslim terrorist on American soil, the Marine Corps has taken an interesting approach.
(Marine Corps Times) One of the steps Carter approved was Marine Corps Recruiting Command's decision to have recruiters not wear their military uniforms for now, a defense official said.
I think that it's more prudent to issue them sidearms and to insure that they are proficient in the use of sidearms. When you consider that concealed weapons permits are issued to John Q. Public, it would seem that having trained service members assigned to recruiting commands carry handguns for their own defense would make sense. 

Then again, the Commander-in-Chief is not able to utter the words, "Muslim Terrorist". So perhaps it is better than Marines simply shed themselves of their uniforms in fear.

I wonder what Col. Chesty Puller would have to say about this turn of events? 

I have served with many marines during my lifetime and know many more beyond that service. I don't know one of them that would take off his uniform in fear of some half-baked Muslim cur.

I'm not the Commandant of the US Marine Corps, but if I was, I'd issue JIHAWG Ammunition to every Marine in the recruiting command, and everyone at 8th and I St. (HQ Marine Corps). 
Not only does Jihawg guarantee that all of their ammunition meets or exceeds S.A.A.M.I. standards for velocity, penetration, and accuracy, they also coat each projectile with a special ballistic paint infused with pork to make it “Haraam” or unclean to a radical Jihadist. 
This makes Jihawg Ammo the only commercially available ammunition with the added deterrent factor of eternal damnation for fundamentalist Islamic Jihadist.
If I was president, I'd issue it to all US Forces to send a message. And if the Muslims currently in US Military service want to quit, I'd let them.

Is my solution harsh? I think not. The FBI and police need to carry JIHAWG ammo too. Deny the bastards paradise and let them know that's how we roll.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Big Shake - The Big Boom

The Big Shake

Fox News Video The Federal Govt. estimates that 13,000 Americans will die in a 9.2 magnitude margin rupture earthquake on the Pacific Northwest Coast (Oregon and Washington). The video is interesting. On average, these massive earthquakes hit the area every 240 years and it's decades overdue to wipe out all of the coastal cities including Seattle, Tacoma and Portland.

Hollywood wisdom suggests that the San Andreas Fault will go first, wiping out Southern California, but that may have to wait for the Juan De Fuca tectonic plate's subduction. The Cascadia Fault packs a wallop 30 times more powerful than the San Andreas Fault's potential.



The Big Boom

Scientists are also predicting a massive volcano disaster in the Yellowstone National Park area (actually a massive volcanic caldera). It too will wipe out a big part of the Intermountain West (also sparing Southern California). 



Friday, July 17, 2015

Israeli CyberWarfare


Israel exported $6 billion in cyberwarfare/security products. They plan to increase their market share. Unit 8200 is part of that plan. Given that Israel has been "thrown under the bus" by the US in the current nuclear deal with Iran and that both Iranian and other Palestinian hacker groups are ramping up in their attacks on Israel. The US "gift" of $100 billion to Iran as part of the sanctions being lifted is anticipated to help fuel their acquisition of computer equipment for more brutish attacks on Israeli government servers.
(Financial Times) In a searingly hot afternoon at a campus-like new science park in Beer Sheva, southern Israel, I watched as a group of bright, geeky teenagers presented their graduation projects. Parents and uniformed army personnel milled around a windowless room packed with tables holding laptops, phones or other gadgets. There was excited chatter and a pungent smell of adolescent sweat.

This was a recent graduation ceremony for Magshimim (which roughly translates as "fulfilment"), the three-year after-school programme for 16 to 18-year-old students with exceptional computer coding and hacking skills. Magshimim serves as a feeder system for potential recruits to Unit 8200, the Israeli military's legendary high-tech spy agency, considered by intelligence analysts to be one of the most formidable of its kind in the world. Unit 8200, or shmone matayim as it's called in Hebrew, is the equivalent of America's National Security Agency and the largest single military unit in the Israel Defence Forces.

It is also an elite institution whose graduates, after leaving service, can parlay their cutting-edge snooping and hacking skills into jobs in Israel, Silicon Valley or Boston's high-tech corridor. The authors of Start-up Nation, the seminal 2009 book about Israel's start-up culture, described 8200 and the Israeli military's other elite units as "the nation's equivalent of Harvard, Princeton and Yale." 
With a female IDF minder at my side, I listened as the teenagers described their projects. More than half were boys but there were girls too, and 8200 is open to both. Omer, 19, had designed a USB key that can suck information out of one computer and organise it on another: essentially, a hacking tool. "We made it appear like a keyboard so you can infiltrate any company in the world," he told me. "It's a proof of concept."
The Saudis and Egyptians are playing catch-up in the world of cyberwarfare and remain considerably behind their Israeli ally.

The US has created a bi-polar system in the Middle East where Israel and the Arabs are making common cause against the Iranians, who apparently are backed by their arch enemy, the US. I have absolutely no idea why the US chose the highly unreliable and militarily aggressive to be the "winner" in the Middle East. You'd have to ask President Obama if you want an answer...but he doesn't give straight answers traditionally.


It's a strange world when the Saudis, the Egyptians and the rest of the Arabs are now Israeli allies against Iran. Naturally, all of the Arabs will want their own nuclear arsenals for use against Iran.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Planned Parenthood - Liberal Icon

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) vs Planned Parenthood

On the video (below), Dr. Deborah Nucatola, the senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, is seen talking matter-of-factly about the organization's participation in baby/fetal tissue-selling programs as she slugs down wine and chomps a salad. I would have thought that Planned Parenthood made enough from the federal government that they wouldn't need to stuff their pockets from cash derived from selling dead babies that they harvest (late second trimester and early third trimester children have more value).

Nucatola talks about doctors performing abortions in which ultrasound is used to ascertain the best location to grab the fetus with forceps. She explains, "We've been very good at getting heart, lung, liver because we know that, I'm not going to crush that part." 

On the video, Nucatola describes the best strategy to extract calavarium, or skulls, intact, but it is not clear if she is speaking in general terms or if she is describing Planned Parenthood's methods. And then, she says nothing about whether or not the fetus is still alive when it's delivered.
"And with the calvarium, in general, some people will actually try to change the presentation so that it's not vertex, because when it's vertex presentation, you never have enough dilation at the beginning of the case, unless you have real, huge amount of dilation to deliver an intact calvarium. So if you do it starting from the breech presentation, there's dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last, you can evacuate an intact calvarium at the end."


Make of this what you will.

To be fair to the other side, progressives contend that the babies who Planned Parenthood kills are not alive, and that the parts that they harvest are sold simply to medical laboratories for experimentation to reimburse their costs.

Comments?



Present and Past

When we look back, photographs are time capsules, capturing an instant in time that will never come again. Facebook, the Internet, etc. are often (correctly) excoriated by many, but it does serve to capture moments in our history that future generations will view.

Timothy O'Sullivan Photos:

Five Generations on Smith's Plantation

93rd New York Infantry - during the War of 
Northern Aggression (1864)

Men/Boys - same/same - HQ Unit during the War
of Northern Aggression (1863)

Piutes, near Cedar City, Utah (1872)

To me, the reason for blogging is to set the record straight that not everyone in our generation glorified in transgender behavior, sodomy and the corrosive 'progressive agenda'. So if you ever ask yourself, why I do it, that is why. To establish for the historical record that it was not all MTV, and sanctuary cities, inner city riots and a nation dictated by executive whim without a rule of law. Bill Clinton calls resistance to an immoral and generally lawless (unless they are laws that the executive favors) government a "vast right wing conspiracy". There is no conspiracy. There are some who simply disagree with what has become political correctness.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Day Like Most Others

Bastille Day is a slow day here in Southern California where it's a crime to storm things and rip them down. If you get a large enough gang of people and if they're not white, then it's embraced by the national government. 

But I'm not an inner city guy (alas), so won't be burning down neighborhood stores and throwing rocks at the po-lice. There is the local mosque...and I could picket it (a solid step down from storming the bastille) but I have a feeling that would be a 'hate crime'. I'm not up to knowing what is and what is not a hate crime these days. I thought that the illegal alien who shot Kate Steinle in San Francisco would be charged with hate-crime murder, but because he's a Mexican and she was white, it doesn't apply. Now if he had been white and she, a Mexican, I'm sure that it would have been a hate crime.

Even the French don't do much on Bastille Day (referred to in France as the National Holiday). There is the traditional parade in Paris. The French Foreign Legion is always the highlight. There are fireworks at night in Paris, but nowhere else. 

I thought of doing something on the Ducati - with red, white and blue, in honor of Bastille Day, but most Americans (a) Don't know that it's Bastille Day (b) Don't know that the French tri-color flag is red, white and blue (c) Would think that I forgot that Independence Day was ten days ago.

Having considered the futility of celebration, I am contenting myself with work in front of the computer with a possible foray on the motorcycle at the noon hour to get a deli sandwich, which I will bring back to the office and eat with potato chips (plain) and a diet soda, while I work.

The next possibly existential question is whether the work I do has any meaning. The only answer that I can come up with is that it doesn't. Not this work. And that begs the question of why I do it instead of celebrating Bastille Day with the five other people in town (unknown to me) who know that it's Bastille Day, by drinking wine, eating French bread, cheese, a little sausage, and shooting guns in the air. 

Bastille Day in France is a time for military parades. America doesn't do that anymore and hasn't for years. It's not progressive of me to think that military parades are stirring and represent a thank-you to the people in uniform who work tirelessly (for less than minimum wage) in the service of the rest of us.

There is always September 11, that was changed from a day of remembrance of what Muslims did into a day when the President said that we need to honor political activists who stir things up in the inner cities (sort of like Bastille Day). Since the President himself made his bones as a political agitator in Chicago, and many say that he's a closet Muslim, that may explain his attitude toward that American remembrance. Imagine if we had military parades on September 11...the lesson being, f*ck political activists, this is what's coming if you screw with us again?

Gentle Musing

A few thoughts on this and that:

WE HAVE A DEAL!

It took a long time for the Iranians to whittle things down but they've been successful and President Obama has a display of his deal making ability (along with normalization with Cuba) for his Presidential Library and Monument. There are uncharitable souls that characterize the Obama years for their successive failed policies. Barack H. blames Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush.

There are Americans who don't trust Iran. I do trust Iran to keep on doing what they have been doing all along. And I trust Israel to act in their best interest even if it is unilateral, to keep their country from turning into a sea of radioactive glass.

THE DONALD  The politicians who want to be king have timid hearts that are bursting with the things that they dare not say, and as a result of that, the billionaire businessman who doesn't owe his sinecure to a government paycheck is sucking all of the air out of the room.

I don't think that Trump would make a good president, but he clearly is setting the agenda for the rest of the lemmings that are trying to carve out a piece of political real estate for themselves. The entire illegal alien/wetback discourse has been heated by Trump and by Bill O'Reilly, who is stumping hard for Kate's Law. 

I think that the election cycle is finally getting interesting.


Hillary (THE BITCH of Benghazi)  -- She can't handle two e-mail accounts at once, and her memory is simply not that good --- but she promises America that it will improve (and she'll remember who her enemies are) if elected president. She's just like you: Hip, young, beautiful, sober, broke and her mind is almost fully functioning. She will make the polyester pantsuit fashionable again. And she's ahead in the polls. It speaks volumes about the American people. 

The Bitch of Benghazi can't recall that she received three subpoenas for her public/private e-mail --- so the server was destroyed and then put into a trash compactor and melted into a single metal cube. Is she willing to deliver the metal cube to Congress? No, not even that. But people trust her, they love her and they think that she should be leader of the free world.

SANCTUARY CITIES have long been a dream of progressive America. All we need do now is WALL THEM OFF from the rest of the nation, and everyone will be happier. Before we lay the first brick, we need to make sure that the liberals who created them are all on the INSIDE of the wall. Make the wall secure enough to keep them inside.

Then bomb them.

FARENHEIT 451  Book burning and censorship have long enabled the northern narrative, which vilified the American South for resistance against Northern Aggression. Since the winners of the war write the books, finding a fair account of causation is difficult. I have no difficulty with government officials who wish not to fly the stars and bars, but I have a problem with a government who wishes to erase American history and tear down monuments to a struggle that defined who we as a people are.

Big government came into its own following that costliest of all wars and we are still fighting that trend - and losing - with a twenty trillion dollar deficit by the time Barack Hussein Obama leaves office.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Yemen: A Tar Baby

The Tar-Baby is a fictional character in the second of the Uncle Remus stories published in 1881; it is a doll made of tar and turpentine used to entrap Br'er Rabbit. The more that Br'er Rabbit fights the Tar-Baby, the more entangled he becomes. It's presently politically incorrect to use this story to illustrate anything because of the "Afro-American thing". However, sometimes, you need to use the correct literary metaphor, and that's what I'm doing here. The Saudis have a tar baby on their hands.
Yemen is a caricature of a war, fought by pre-modern entities that wield modern weapons in pursuit of medieval ideas of winning and losing.
In Yemen,  President Hadi agreed to a ceasefire yesterday. Hadi has agreed to a ceasefire at least twice in the past. The Iranian-backed Houthis, who control western Yemen, did not respond. There will be no ceasefire. Houthi forces shelled and rocketed at least three Saudi bases or outposts in their response to the request for a ceasefire. 

Despite a near maximum surge, the Saudi-led coalition has failed to defeat the Houthis and restore Yemen as a Saudi satrapy. The Houthis remain in control in western Yemen and al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula remains in control of much of eastern Yemen. The Saudi air offensive has destroyed modern Yemen, but not weakened Iranian influence or power.

The Saudis made monumental failures of military judgment, most likely with advice from Westerners. They swallowed the Kool-Aid that said air power can achieve political results on the ground. Nothing in US military history substantiates such a claim, although the claim has been made before. And once again air power has failed. 

The Saudis ignored the fundamental truth that aircraft do not hold ground. More on that (below).  The Saudis also believed that the Houthis would negotiate rather than witness and experience the destruction of Yemen. The Saudis erred.

Finally, the Saudi King should have replaced his Defense Minister for inexperience, poor judgment and incompetence. Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners have depleted their air assets, but have nothing to show for it, after more than three months of operations.

Historical and Practical Observations

Fighting a war requires that you send in ground troops. If it's the Russians doing the fighting, they just go in and kill almost everyone and relocate what's left of the locals, replacing them with some other population (Chechnya) of more compliant people. The Saudis have a problem with this because their military isn't capable of a ground operation of any scope. They need to hire proxies to do the work for them. In this situation the proxies they had in mind (Pakistan) didn't want to do it. And near genocide is a nasty business.

The Russians have a lot of experience with it and are usually willing to take the casualties necessary (historically). Russian mercenaries would have done the work for the Saudis for cash, but the Saudis are joined at the hip to the USA. And the US wouldn't want the Saudis to hire Russian thugs. The Americans are squeamish when it comes to this sort of thing and the retired US Air Force mandarins who advise the Saudis prefer to wipe out people without antiaircraft defenses from altitude. Who wouldn't - if it worked.

Mini-Rant
Air Forces world wide are populated with people who are comfortable pickling a bomb or five off at 30,000 ft. and then flying back to the club for a drink without ever having to look at the blood, the destruction or the stink of what they did. Bomb damage assessment photos are sterile things as well. I don't hate zoomies, but find that those who do duty as forward air controllers [United States Air Force Combat Control Teams, singular Combat Controller, (CCT)]  have a much more comprehensive view of what they have done. They boast that they are "first in", which may be true from a USAF perspective, but usually they're integrated into force recon marines, SEALs or Delta operators who keep them safe.
If the Saudis wish to evict the pro-Iranians from Yemen, they need to kill them. That comes down to a face-to-face reality. I realize that sounds very unsanitary and politically incorrect in the modern world, but that's how it works. You can't bomb stone-age people back to the stone age.




Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cold Weather Regimen


Cold Weather Regimen

Fictional short

He explained that everything works differently in the snow. Everyday items such as adhesives that work in regular snow don't work in very cold conditions.

It seemed to take a week to explore the metrics that he ticked off for successful operations in non-snowy weather including the woodcraft to pull it off, are more complex as soon as the snow falls. Even when we landed in Helsinki and took a taxi to Scandic Paasi, I thought more in terms of a ski trip. Dinner at Juuri Keittio and Baari is how it started but that's not at all what it turned out to be, and I learned what when you eat MRE's, constipation follows - the hard way.

In the Arctic, it's much more difficult. When you're north of the tree line in the tundra, it's impossible. That's where I found myself, laying on my belly wearing overwhites.

Overwhites are a type of coverall that you wear in situations where the world is white. Battle Dress Uniforms (BDU's) are worthless. Between my overwhites and my flesh were down coat and trousers, long underwear, a Goretex insulating layer, trigger finger mitts with liners, a balaclava, neck gaiter, and hat. My feet were encased in vapor barrier boots, wools socks and Goretex under-socks.

If you move they can see you. If you walk or run, they can track you and since there are no trees or cover, a helicopter can just hover out there following your footprints. Good thermal gear will spot the heat differential between your energy-burning body and the surrounding ambient -30F ground. Arctic is a bitch, but so am I. To reinforce that, he leaned over, pulled back my balaclava and chewed on my ear. I didn't know whether it was a sexual overture or to break my concentration. Knowing him, both.

It's worse when you weigh 125 lbs soaking wet, because you have to pack over half your own weight in equipment. I didn't understand any of this when I signed up with the outfit, and the guy laying next to me didn't explain it. Then again, he didn't kill me either and I was grateful for that. Less grateful in a snow suit in Finland in the winter, though.

He called it a training exercise. I called it torture. My rifle was lighter than his. He'd folded an Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Covert Rifle up inside my pack. He said that somebody nicked it from German G25 special operators. He carried an Accuracy International AX 338 with a Schmidt and Bender PM2 scope and glassed the countryside forward of us with the twenty-five power scope.

"I'm thinking of Hawaii, Jack. That condo at Ko-Olina."

"Keep your head in the game Grace."

Grace is not my name. He calls me that when I trip and fall. It's an inside joke, and not one that I'm particularly fond of. Since the outfit took me on for training, Jack has been running me ragged. I didn't think that they'd pair me up with my boyfriend but Jack explained that it worked better that way. I didn't need to know all of the people who work for the group. We would train as a team and operate as a team.

I was laying on my back when the man with the black pantagonia ski overalls, stopped in front of our hide and staked his poles hard into the ice pack for effect. "Jack. Princess. How's your Finland vacation coming along?"

Jack quickly pulled himself together and stood. "Go ahead and shake the dew from the lily, Freddy Fuckfaster." The man had one of those weathered faces that sunburn seems to have little effect on, like tanned leather, cracked and worn, but tough. "I've been sitting twenty feet away, watching the two of you for the past six hours. I had breakfast and lunch. I swear to Christ that you didn't disappoint. It was like watching porn the whole time. I understand a little morning wood, but this is taking a good thing to an extreme."

It may sound funny, but I never thought that we were taking it to an extreme. It's how we usually pass the morning.

"We were a little bored and had to pass the time," Jack offered by way of excuse.

"Princess, you are supposed to piss and shit where you hide, not get up and walk twenty feet to handle nature's call and clean up. You're trying to be snipers, for love of pete. Jack, you were one once. I know that. What happened to Scout Sniper School discipline? Don't answer that, I know what happened. Little Sally rottencrotch ruined you."

"You don't have to be abusive," I shared with the stranger who had yet to introduce himself, but who Jack seemed to be acquainted with.

Jack looked at me with daggers, speaking to the stranger, "You're right, Wilson."

"The thermal bloom from your hide," the man Jack identified as Wilson tapped night vision gear, "looked like a couple of randy mink were living in there. Come to think of it, that's precisely what's going on here."

"No excuse." Jack took the blame for me, and I loved him even more for it.

"There never is. Gather up your traps and we'll head back. Exercise finished. I told the Center that putting the two of you together in the bush wouldn't work...too much bush is the problem."

I'm guessing that his rant was somewhat rhetorical.


A New Occupation

A New Occupation

This is a fictional short, and one of a non-sequential series.

Nobody ever said that I was a good girl, but I look the part and it works for me.

When I first saw him, sitting next to his buddy at the table at the Balboa Bay Club, I took his measure. Nobody would call him a good boy. Nobody would call him a boy either.  They were both shirtless, but his shoulders were somewhere around a yard wide and his friend was one of those smaller men, built like weasels, wiry and nasty.  You can’t miss the scars. They’re not the sort of marks that soft men have. The ink was all devil dog, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines.

I took the shirt that he'd draped over an empty chair and put it on. Pointing to his tattoo I said, “Balls of the Corps”. You see, I am a Marine Corps brat, and I knew three-one's motto. Inviting myself to his table was a far surer tactic than wasting the day being subtle and competing with the rest of the women.

They were drinking Mai Tais, and I drank his. He ordered another one and asked my name. I asked him if he wanted my stripper name or the name I was born with. I’m not a stripper or a whore, though, I’ve been called the latter by men I didn’t screw.

They didn’t have jar head hair cuts and didn’t have the disciplined vibe and jibe of the recently discharged, so I figured that they’d been out long enough to hang out with. He told me that his name was Jack, and I knew that he lied to me, but it worked well enough. I knew that I would sleep with him after the first five minutes. The next six hours was all kabuki theater on both our parts. The love making had that hard, intense quality, which defines the difference between fucking and intercourse. When he went for fourths, and handcuffed me, I knew that it would be love.

He lived in one of those high-rise luxury places across Pacific Coast Highway from the beach, all chrome, glass and leather. When I woke up, he’d left, but since I lounged in his place, I knew that he’d be back. I opened his best bottle of champagne, found a box of berries and waited. While waiting, I searched the place out of curiosity. Women leave their marks on men. Even if it’s panties left behind in a drawer or a toothbrush in the medicine cabinet. We claim turf. There was no sign of another woman, and Jack, or whatever his parents named him, wasn’t queer. The art was tasteful, but had an aggressive masculine quality to it. I found knives with wicked, sharp blades and loaded handguns spread around the condo in unusual places. There are two kinds of people who do that, those who are clinically paranoid and those who have a reason to be. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they're not out to get you.

Nothing about him spoke to life as a government drone or yardbird thug. This guy definitely did not lap at the taxpayer’s trough and his friends were all like him - definitely not ex-cons. Still, how could I help but be suspicious? He had too much money and way too much time on his hands. We dropped the top on his Maserati and cruised the beach scene, we climbed half dome in Yosemite and we scuba’d in the Sea of Cortez. The credit cards all belonged to foreign banks from places like Monte Negro and Grand Cayman, all in the name of Jack Smith.

The hook came when we were staying in mother’s apartment and an ambulance hauled another suicide attempt out to the local hospital. I commented that there were a lot of them here. The wheels turned. Keep in mind that with Jack, they always turned.  I found it attractive, and not usually sinister, but this time, there was a darkness to his concentration.  “Would you spill coffee on a guy and offer to bring him home to wash his pants?”

“What?”

“Just what I said, would you?”

“Why’s that?”

“Because I’m going to put a rope around his neck,” he pointed to my climbing gear, fresh from an ascent in Arizona, waiting in the corner to be washed and put away, “and drop him off the balcony.”

I thought it was one of those sick jokes that he played on his buddies but when he actually did it, I lost my lunch right there on the floor. He liked it, said that it played well, and that the cops would like the barf too.

A drug dealer keeps my mother, and I asked him if he was in the same business. He said that he wasn’t precisely in that line of work, but close enough. I pointed out that I’d seen too much to be left behind. He replied, “who’s leaving you?"


Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Passing Fling

A Passing Fling

This is a fictional short, and one of a non-sequential series. 

You know who she is. You just don’t recall it because you were drunk all the time back then. Her mother keeps an apartment in Huntington Beach. You know the place. It’s the only complex on the ocean side of Pacific Coast Highway, where you can literally walk out of the building and into the surf. It’s on the west side of the pier. I’ve heard it said that there have been a lot of suicides there, but management keeps it quiet. She moved in with her mom and then mommy moved out, but mommy’s boyfriend kept the rent current with blood money. At least that was her story.

Southern California is just what it appears to be. Most places aren’t. People don’t know each other, but sometimes they drift together and just as easily, they drift apart. She was one of those people, but you remember her now don’t you? Dark hair, cut below her collar, cobalt blue eyes, and enough attitude to sink the Titanic. 

You and I were at the Balboa Bay Club, sitting at a table, and killing a hangover with mimosas when she walked up and slipped my Nagrani shirt on over her bikini because she worried about a sunburn. You left the club with the Filipino surfer chick early and she spent the night. Hell of a first date. I woke up and went for a run on the beach. When I got back, she’d raided my wine cellar and had opened a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée. She paired it with fresh blackberries that I had in the Sub Z. 

She always asked how I got the scars. I told her they came from a dominatrix in Hollywood, but she suspected shrapnel. Her kisses always had a desperate quality, as if it might be the last time. She kissed the scars and told me that they’d go away, but I think that it might have been the head game that she played with me. I was lost in her eyes, and the sun, and the space that we shared. 

I don’t know why I brought her into the rackets, but at the time I had a job that was illusive and pulling it off had become challenging. The target had that rangy feel about him, late twenties, always shabbily dressed and usually wore hand-me-down tweed jacket over one of a dozen different frayed sweaters, jeans and beat-up Nikes. I think that he picked up the pattern somewhere in Europe, but it didn’t fit on the beach, even in winter. He hung out at Starbucks and had the vibe of a coffeehouse revolutionary about him. You know the type, mop of unkept black hair, sullen, watchful eyes with an intensity that puts off most people. 

She had the knack and lured him to her place, where he committed suicide by throwing a rope around his neck and jumping from the balcony. The police looked into it. The absence of a note was suspicious, but she told them that he threatened because she wouldn’t fuck him. She dared him and he jumped and swung. 

I know, it isn’t my style, but I thought that I could pull it off and I did. His friends came by, the boys from the mosque. They looked into it, pulled the police reports and nosed around. Once they saw her, they figured that the poor dumb, sexually deprived bastard might just have done it for the sake of pussy. Guys do that. Other guys understand these things. I laid it out that way and it worked.

Once the job and the fallout passed, we flew to New York for the weekend and stayed for nearly a month. She liked shopping on Fifth Avenue and more work popped up while we were in town. This time, I didn’t include her in the business because all I did was shove the guy in front of a subway train at rush hour and that was that. Simple is always better. After New York, she started looking through wedding dress magazines and I sensed that our time together was drawing to a close.

You could call her a loose end if you want to, and I know how your dirty mind thinks, but that’s not how it ended. She’s working for the outfit now.



Friday, July 10, 2015

I'm Ready for Hillary

It does not matter how big the lies are or how often she tells them. Whether Hillary Clinton blames an "awful video" that none of the rag heads saw on the Benghazi Massacre or whether she's deleting e-mail to cover herself, the left will drink the Kool Aid and will love her for it. Self-identified 'progressives' love her in much the same way as a mother loves a deformed infant or an addict loves his drug and they are not going to give it up.

She was a bungling fool as SECSTATE, not unlike her successor, John Kerry has been, but when you own the media, it's all covered up. The prime (gut) difference between Hillary Clinton and a rattlesnake is that you can become attached to the snake in time because it has redeeming characteristics. 




Thursday, July 9, 2015

Oregon Age of Consent - 15 yrs - for Transexuals

There are things that I can be tolerant about - believe it or not. I don't care if two consenting adults bugger themselves silly. I have absolutely no tolerance for situations where the state encourages this type of conduct when it comes to children.
(Fox News) The list of things 15-year-olds are not legally allowed to do in Oregon is long: Drive, smoke, donate blood, get a tattoo -- even go to a tanning bed.

But, under a first-in-the-nation policy quietly enacted in January that many parents are only now finding out about, 15-year-olds are now allowed to get a sex-change operation. Many residents are stunned to learn they can do it without parental notification -- and the state will even pay for it through its Medicaid program, the Oregon Health Plan.
In a statement, Oregon Health Authority spokeswoman Susan Wickstrom explained it this way: "Age of medical consent varies by state. Oregon law -- which applies to both Medicaid and non-Medicaid Oregonians -- states that the age of medical consent is 15."

While 15 is the medical age of consent in the state, the decision to cover sex-change operations specifically was made by the Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC).

Members are appointed by the governor and paid by the state of Oregon. With no public debate, HERC changed its policy to include cross-sex hormone therapy, puberty-suppressing drugs and gender-reassignment surgery as covered treatments for people with gender dysphoria, formally known as gender identity disorder.
The nation is caught up in a celebration of sodomy. I understand that. The President of the United States painted the White House with rainbow light in affirmation of that celebration. The Supreme Court seems to think that there is a Constitutional right involved with this. 

photo of a rabid dog
There needs to be a line drawn, and government funded transgender operations on children who are fifteen years old - without so much as parental consent, crosses that line. I'm sure that the people of Oregon are so proud of this - it's so progressive. I don't live in Oregon but I do believe that states have the right to make decisions regarding their own people. However when it comes to children and the perversion of transgender surgery, how can anyone condone this?

People responsible for enacting this law have the hearts of beasts, not humans. They need to be held accountable and treated the way one would deal with a rabid dog.

Casting Chicken Bones

File this rant under global warming, global cooling, climate change and climate disruption (for you simpletons, it's the weather). Combating the weather is a primary mission of the US Military under the Obama regime. NOAA is making predictions for the rest of this year and into the spring of 2016. These predictions are often called casting and reading chicken bones.

El Nino has an 85 percent chance of lasting through winter 2015-2016, according to an updated forecast released on Thursday by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Adminisration (NOAA). NOAA also reported that there is a greater than 90 percent chance of El Nino lasting through the fall.
El Nino is an anomalous, yet periodic, warming of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. For reasons still not well understood, every 2-7 years, this patch of ocean warms for six to 18 months.
The declaration that El Nino is likely to last through winter is important for the United States since precipitation and temperature impacts from a moderate-to-strong El Nino are typically most noticeable during the cold season. 

For Southern California, it means lots of rain. Some of that rain will be captured in reservoirs, but most of it will run off into the ocean. Rich idiots, liberals all, who have built hillside homes on stilts will see those homes washed off into the ocean too. They will ask the government for aid because of the scourge of global warming (weather). Republicans will cave for fear of being seen as unfeeling. After things dry off, the progressive home owners will build new homes on stilts, which will inevitably be destroyed in ensuing El Ninos. 

Residents of the western states may remember the flooding that struck California during the strong 1997-98 El Nino. In February 1998, a series of storms caused half a billion dollars in damage and killed 17 people in California. Personally, I had a 27' Sea Ray (boat) destroyed in the climate disruption (global warming/weather). I had to file a lawsuit against my insurance company. They lost.

Anticipate that the Democratic Party will propose taxes that will be used to combat the weather - but not one thin dime will be used to create reservoirs to solve the drought problem that is cyclical in SoCal and has been cyclical since the last ice age (global cooling gone wild), about 10,000 years ago.

Oh, and while I'm on a rant: 


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Unemployment


America riggs the numbers when it comes to measuring unemployment. It may be that every country does that. I really can't say. I think that Bernie Sanders is coming close to real numbers when e quotes 10.5%. American's participation in the labor market (which is different than the employment rate) is as low as it's been since the Department of Labor started measuring it. 62.6% of all Americans participate in the labor force, leaving 37.4% who do not.  There are a number of reasons that people don't work. Having said that, one must look at the current participation rate historically to determine "how bad things are".

There are different reasons for this. One is the system that the nation has put in place, which encourages an underground employment wherein people work but they are not paid through the traditional reporting system. They work "under the table", for cash. It benefits both the employer and the employee because neither has the burden of Social Security, income tax, Medicare or employer matching costs. Often the employee can claim unemployment and thus, qualify for food stamps, aid for dependent children, housing subsidies and pull in tens of thousands in earned income credit.

If the employment rate is so good, why is the nation teetering on recession --- still. I understand that Obama and his acolyte, Hillary Clinton are telling America that, "happy days are here again". I simply think that they're full of ---rhetoric.


Greece: The Folly of Central Planning

America's founders, now characterized as "rich white men", as if that was an indictment, understood that government needed to offer the maximum flexibility and freedom. They created a system that was federated (layered). Each layer had its responsibilities. Each enacted laws particular to the needs and ambitions of its constituents. Each elected citizens to serve to oversee the level and function of government that it needed. The Constitution enumerated what the National government was responsible and EVERYTHING else was left to the individual states to decide. The Bill of Rights and a Supreme Court was set up to insure that the system was fair and the playing field, even.

America was not designed to have a massive central government that took money in and then redistributed that money to buy votes. Central planning doesn't work. The nation is too complicated, the people too diverse and the system too complex. There is a lesson here that the Europeans are learning to their detriment, as they try to reinvent the wheel.
(Fox News) GREECE'S WORSENING debt crisis sends shivers through American stock markets, a day after Greek voters reject demands from international creditors for further austerity measures in exchange for a bailout of its bankrupt economy.
The Wisdom of Bankers and Planners?

The soul-searing lesson of the fall of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact is that central planning of a national economy or of a set of linked national economies exceeds the wisdom and wit of economists, bankers and financial experts. The European Union and its economic advisors and agencies failed to learn that lesson. Elite leaders are simply not smart enough to control or even anticipate the choices of free people.

On 5 July, more than 60% of Greek voters voted OXI, which is pronounced, “oh-key,” which is translated, “no.” 

For the second time, voters approved the anti-austerity party and policies by a large majority. The electoral mandate of the Syriza Party has been reaffirmed by a large margin. That mandate is that the austerity programs designed in bureaucratic offices by unelected functionaries has failed and will not be continued in Greece.

Greece has not settled its debts or solved its economic problems, but its voters have voted for Greece over Europe and in that expression of political will have reclaimed their national sovereignty. That changes everything. Greece will still owe Euro-denominated debts. On the other hand, its leaders have a strong mandate to repudiate Euro-mandated rules in settling them. 
The Greek voters just said that the Brussels bankers are not sovereign. That converts the forthcoming economic negotiations into a traditional model of sovereign vs bankers. The European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund came close to emasculating the idea of national sovereignty in the guise of debt settlement. 
Looking ahead, the Greeks will do fine. At least half the Greek national GDP is off the books. The grey economy is flexible, corrupt and responsive. Greeks know how to survive. Most TV narratives will not convey that message.

The BBC and other analysts have written that past bailouts for Greece actually exceed the total amount of Greek national debt. The debt service rates attached to the loans, however, resulted in 90% of the loans being committed to paying off debt service to the lenders. Less than 10% of the European loans remained to pay pensions or other sovereign obligations. This was a rigged system.
Five years of European bailouts produced deeper indebtedness without any improvement in the Greek Gross Domestic Product. Greek bailouts have been an economic shell game that profited the lenders.
The near term consequences will be negotiations among the Europeans over another Greek bailout, so as to avoid acknowledging their colossal failure of judgment. There will emerge new opportunities for profits with Greek entrepreneurs and consumers, if Greece returns to free market economic policies.

US Investor Exposure

US investors hold only about $10 billion of Greece’s $330 bn debt. This is pocket change relative to the US debt. The largest threat is that other debtor states, whose population is tired of austerity policies that have not failed, will follow the Greek example. A domino effect could lead to more serious consequences for US investors, especially if the Greek way leads to prosperity instead of perpetual poverty.

Something to think about: