sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hollywood Holiday Dead Pool


Hollywood Holiday Dead Pool

With the death of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's father, Fidel Castro; the Hollywood Holiday Dead Pool is rolling once more. Ask not for whom the bell tolls. 

Men

Some contend that Castro was simply a brutal dictator who fathered somewhere under fifty likely lads, among which, Justin (possibly a Manchurian Candidate), and others in Cuba, followed their father into politics. 

Should politicians be included in the Hollywood Holiday Dead Pool or not? My sense is that they can be if they are entertaining. And Castro was nothing if not an entertainer.


Kieth Richards, will die, but his mummified corpse will continue to mount the stage to play with the Rolling Stones - for the next twenty years.

Women

Rosie O'Donnell, famous for being a lesbian, obnoxious and a fat hog, will die, choking to death, while gnawing on a turkey leg in her Hollywood mansion.

Jane (Hanoi Jane) Fonda, treasonous Hollywood celebrity, and ex-wife of progressive media mogul Ted Turner will move to Africa to escape Trump's America. She will immediately contract ebola and her flesh will drop off her bones. The death will be too good for her, but that's how it goes.

Cher will die while launching herself to Jupiter in a home made rocket. She will join Sonny, wherever he is and it will be groundhog day...forever.

Crystal Balling a Crazy World

Brig asked for a comment on this article. At first I didn't want to do that because the article is long and somewhat windy in its analysis -- but Henry Kissinger has that tendency. I'm not a fan of Kissinger and his love of "new world orders".  However there has been a significant shift in the politics of the US and Britain and Europe is poised to follow. Because of that shift, the entry of Russia into the void left by the US and the failure of the US so-called pivot toward Asia, and what will be seen as a resurgent and more assertive United States, I decided to comment after all.  -- for what it's worth.

Domestically, expect to see Donald Trump work diligently to bring jobs back to the US and increase manufacturing capacity. The threat of having their brands dragged through the mud will influence the big companies. As I mentioned in a previous blog, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (Foxconn Technology Group) reached out to people I know, to secure logistic supplies of 'rare earth' components used in manufacture of iPhones, Kindle, etc. for a new assembly plant in the US. This sort of supply chain effort precedes any corporate move, but I expect to see iPhones made in the US by the end of 2017 or possibly early 2018. There will be similar moves in other industries. I expect that inner city horror shows such as Detroit may be the recipients of these sorts of jobs, mentored through a new Department of Housing and Urban Development that is focused on this sort of activity rather than doling out welfare. 

In the same way, new power structures, underpinned by mutually beneficial trade deals (look for a US/Canada/UK free trade agreement) will change the economic power structure in ways that were unthinkable during an Obamanation. 

In the article, Henry Kissinger discounts the need for an effective physical barrier on America's southern border. There is a new sheriff in town and there will be a wall/barrier that will stem the flow of illegal immigration into the US. US immigration administration (as reflected in the old Immigration and Naturalization Service) has been an unwieldy swamp ever since I've been an adult and worked in government. I'm certain that the Trump Administration will attempt to fix it but that may take more than four years. There may be news today which makes my suggestion anachronistic, but somebody like Mitt Romney would be perfect for the Department of Homeland Security where reorganizational skills like his can be put to work. DHS hasn't worked since President Bush set it up. Maybe it can be fixed and maybe it needs to be devolved into more manageable component parts? 

My sense is that the US will deal more pragmatically with China and Russia than it has in the past. The Trump Administration, will focus on rebuilding the Navy and the military in general because in part, it brings manufacturing jobs, and in part because it's been neglected during Barack's tenure. An American military build-up won't be lost on Asia. The fine details of new relationships with Russia, for example, need to be worked out, but the focus will be on pragmatic cooperation rather than confrontation if that can be managed. Both the Russians and Chinese looked at Barack as an inner city rube. That's not how they view President Trump.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Message to Barack and Friends

The election of President Donald Trump is one for the record books. It's the greatest political feat in American history, magnified by his opposition -  Hillary Clinton and the vaunted Clinton machine. She out spent President Trump by at least 10 to 1. And Donald Trump closed the deal on schedule and way under budget.

I'm out making the world safe for democracy. However I thought that I'd leave this summary for those few people who drift by the blog.

The election was a complete repudiation of Barack Obama: his fantasy world of political correctness, the politicization of the Justice Department and the I.R.S., an out-of-control E.P.A., his neutering of the military, his nonsupport of the police and his fixation on things like transgender bathrooms. Since he became president, his party has lost 63 House seats, 10 Senate seats and 14 governorships.

Preaching — and pandering — with a message of inclusion, the Democrats have instead become a party where incivility and bad manners are taken for granted, rudeness is routine, religion is mocked (except Islam) and there is absolutely no respect for a differing opinion. This did not go down well in the Midwest (fly-over country), where Trump flipped three blue states and 44 electoral votes.

Barack campaigned for Ms. Clinton (The Bitch of Benghazi) by saying that a vote for Donald Trump was a repudiation of both his presidency and his legacy. Sixty-two million Americans agreed with him when they sent President Trump to the White House. Meanwhile, the mainstream progressive media went into melt-down mode on election night. All the work that they did - the shilling for Clinton, the lies and vicious attacks against President Trump, the non-stop attacks - were all repudiated as Donald Trump was elected forty-fifth president of the United States.
Here is a short primer for the young protesters. If your preferred candidate loses, there is no need for mass hysteria, canceled midterms, safe spaces, crying rooms or group primal screams. You might understand this better if you had not received participation trophies, undeserved grades to protect your feelings or even if you had a proper understanding of civics. The Democrats are now crying that Hillary had more popular votes. That can be her participation trophy.
A few take-aways for the Democrat Party:
  • Barack's undying love of Islam is not shared by America.
  • Transgender bathrooms are not more important than the US economy.
  • The Democrat Party has screwed the black people in America over-and-over-and-over again. They are starting to slowly wake up to that.
  • Globalism doesn't "Trump" Americanism. We know that we are exceptional and we expect our leadership to acknowledge that.
  • Bowing and apologizing to our enemies didn't get you anywhere, did it Barack? Vladimir thought you were a light weight and you did nothing to disabuse him of that opinion.
Here is a take away for the liberal media:
  • If your newspaper is failing because subscriptions are off, it may be because you are unfairly reporting the news.
  • The public is offended when you try and "make news" instead of reporting it.
  • Not as many people believed your lies as you had hoped.
  • Paying bloated salaries to your talking heads doesn't give you more credibility. The size of the talking head increases as the pay increases without a corresponding improvement in quality or cogent dialog.
There were rumors that Barack would have been appointed to the US Supreme Court under a Clinton Administration and he'd be around to lecture the nation from that forum until he shuffled off this mortal coil. That is unlikely to happen now. Oh, he'll still be featured on MSNBC for the progs that watch that channel, but he won't do it from the bench.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Taxing Questions

President Trump vowed to drain the swamp and to reduce both personal and corporate taxes. Growth should offset those numbers and reducing or eliminating some federal departments such as Education and gutting others such as the EPA will help. But what about the IRS?

We know that President Trump, while a businessman, was hounded by the IRS and that Barack used them as his personal attack dog to launch against political enemies.

Will there be needed changes in that bureaucracy? Will the tax code be fixed and reduced to a manageable size? These are bonuses that would save ever business and every taxpayer money, likely not costing the government anything  -  but are they a bridge too far for a single four year presidential term? There are a lot of precious porkbarrel items in that massive tax code that lobbyists will work (on behalf of clients) to retain. The unbounded protection of sugar is one of the biggest. A clue to his intentions will come when he appoints a Secretary of the Treasury.



Then again, it's always better to do business in cash when possible.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Current Events (a review)

Welcome to Hell, Fidel

Fidel Castro, the communist dictator who ruled Cuba for nearly half a century, is dead at age 90 according to Cuban state television. Castro rose to power during the Cuban Revolution, toppling Fulgencio Batista's regime in 1959 alongside his brother Raul and Che Guevara. He then transformed the nation into a single-party, communist state and installed himself as dictator. In recent years Castro had largely retreated from the public eye, rarely appearing in public since relinquishing power to his brother Raul in 2008.

Most young Americans don't know who Fidel Castro is but they recognize Che from the t-shirts -- not knowing who he was either. It speaks to our university system (below).

Sanctuary Universities

Will vastly expensive private universities be handing out full-ride scholarships to illegal aliens in an effort to keep them on campus?

I haven't heard the result of their kibitzing yet, but a number of universities have declared themselves to be "sanctuary campuses". I don't know how many illegal aliens can afford to be there at $60K per year + numbers. Any thoughts?

The Weather

Myron Ebell
The United States has bankrolled much of the "environment industry" worldwide to date. There are a lot of non-government organizations (NGO's) and a lot of countries which feed at the trough to try and change the weather.

The US spent $77 billion between 2008 when Barack took office and 2013. President Trump has said that withdrawal from the nearly endless waste of effort in this regard would save the country $100 billion during the next four years. I think that's a fair number. There are better places to put $100 billion, even if you planted trees or improved roads (reducing traffic jams that waste fuel and pollute the air).

President Trump appointed climate sceptic Myron Ebell, who is in charge of the the Environmental Protection Agency transition. Mr. Ebell may become Secretary of the EPA to oversee it's downsizing. There is no word on that as of this writing. The climate change lobby hates Mr. Ebell with a passion. Naturally, it speaks well for him in the circles that I move in.
Inconvenient Truth
Worldwide Industrial emissions have stopped growing over the past two years, largely due to changes in the Chinese economy that are not connected to any green agenda. Moreover, the US economy is set to substantially de-carbonise because hydraulic fracturing has unlocked VAST oil and gas reserves, which resulted in gas prices falling below well below coal
Donald Trump’s historic election win and repudiation of climate agreements does not mean that emissions will climb. Emissions are reponsive to changes in economies, in particular changes that occur in the gigantic Chinese economy. Major policy shifts such as the Chinese government ordering a rationalisation of smelting capacity, which it is reluctant to do, would probably have more short-term influence than generally worthless agreements at international meetings.
Recount

Popular wisdom is that Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for president, who didn't win a single county in America during the recent election, is calling for ballot re-counts in battleground states for one of or all of the following reasons:
  • To boost her name recognition for political purposes.
  • As a shill of the Clintons, who are unwilling to open that can of worms for fear of backlash.
  • To raise money that she'll keep in her political war chest -- $5 million so far.
My sense of the matter is that she wants to be a player in the post-Clinton political scene and she is raising money to do that through this re-count gambit. When you consider that nobody really knows who she is or what she stands for (besides being 'left of Bernie' - and full 1984 commie), it's not a bad idea to do this because she got her mug (above) on this blog and she's raking in the cash. Politics is like that. Bernie did well and she's trying to grab his base for the Green/Rainbow Coalition.

Barack is Bitter

Old NFO discussed the bitter melt-down going on inside of the Democrat Party, citing the article below, which was a re-hash of an article from the New Yorker magazine.
(Hot Air) You see the narrative emerging. Clinton has let down Obama and has made his legacy vulnerable because her greedy desire for tarnished money allowed her to be painted as an unseemly, untrustworthy grifter. And Obama and his team should know, it’s exactly the playbook they used against her eight years ago. 
But Hillary’s failure in 2016 has the opposite effect for Obama as it did in ’08. This time around, the president campaigned on her behalf and laid his own legacy on the line by stumping with lines like, “All the progress that we’ve made these last eight years,” he said, “goes out the window if we don’t win this election!” 
The post-election niceties are starting to disappear in the rear-view mirror and now, since he set the narrative that Trump’s victory would undo his entire presidency, Obama and his surrogates will start sharpening their criticism of Clinton and her failure.
Barack blamed George W. Bush for everything including the Bubonic Plague in the 13th Century, but that is nothing compared to what he and his friends will unleash on Hillary Clinton. The so-called Obama Legacy is about to be undone almost completely as he is revealed as the worst president in American history, but that's not who will get their ire. All that blame will land at Hillary's flat feet.  Hillary is blaming the Weiners, but nobody listens. 

Meanwhile the cash drop to the Clinton Foundation is as dry as the Arabian desert - no more oil money for them. Chelsea Clinton's chance of winning an election for dog catcher anywhere in America is somewhere around zero, as the Clintonian dynasty crumbles

The press will continue to lash out at President Trump, but Trump will smile and side-step them.

Nothing irks the press more than simply being ignored. And so long as they behave like partisan children, that's how they will be treated not only by President Trump, but by the public as well. They threw it all in for Hillary and the public repudiated them.

As much of a malevolent hector as Barack prepares to be, his words will fall on deaf ears as President Trump works to make America great again and reverse the miserable Obama years.

Let it Go?


Keep California, or Let It Go?
(Washington Times) Anti-Trump secessionists filed formal paperwork Monday launching their petition drive aimed at separating California from the union by first putting the issue before voters on the 2018 ballot. 
A petition submitted by the Yes California Independence Campaign calls for repealing language in the state constitution that describes California as an “inseparable part” of the nation and holding a vote on independence on March 13, 2019. 
Organizers, who filed the petition with the California attorney general, said they plan to begin collecting signatures early next year to qualify for the ballot. 
At the same time, the group is planning to hold #Calexit rallies in Los Angeles and San Francisco during the Jan. 20 inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump. 
“This is our chance to show the world that Donald Trump is not California’s president and that we are going to take direct action to defend our values, preserve our way of life, and protect our people,” said a post on Yes California’s Facebook page. 
The #Calexit campaign has six months to collect 585,407 valid signatures (nationwide), but the goal is to gather at least 1 million.
One thing is certain. If California leaves the union, the USA will need to build a wall around it to keep the progs in. As the Calexit movement grows, more and more progs are vowing to leave their east coast progressive havens and resettle in California - reverse Californication. Witches and freaks will flock to their new home, voluntarily segregating themselves in the worker's paradise.
Personal Message: Brig, if that happens, the progs from Washington and Oregon who are moving south are likely to inundate you. Sell high, move north to the now evacuated Oregonian forests and buy low.

Vote Below:
(Legal disclaimer: This is an informal plebiscite. Results are not scientific and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of the public as a whole.)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Wars and Rumors

Limiting Coal Exports

Fat Little Dictator
The United States and China have agreed on new UN sanctions to impose on North Korea in response to the nuclear test it conducted in September. According to a diplomatic source, a key provision of the new sanctions is that the US and China have agreed to cap North Korean coal exports to China. Coal exports to China earn hard currency which the North Korean regime uses to finance its nuclear and missile programs.

The new sanctions are intended to close loop holes in the existing sanctions architecture, one of which was coal exports. Coal exports for civilian uses are permitted, but not for earnings to support the nuclear program. Heretofore, coal exports have been unrestricted.

The Chinese are as good as their word in supporting multilateral sanctions on the North’s nuclear program. China opposes the North Korean nuclear weapons program because Chinese leaders consider it to be destabilizing. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is testy and impulsive. North Korean nuclear weapons also can be turned against China as easily as towards South Korea.

So long as Kim relies on advice from Dennis Rodman on matters of life, love and leadership, who knows what those lovable Norks will do?

Kashmir and General Escalation

On 22 November, three Indian Army soldiers on patrol in the Machil sector of Kupwara District were killed by infiltrators from Pakistan. The infiltrators decapitated one of the Indian soldiers. The Indian Army said that the action “bore the signature of the Pakistan Army’s Border Action Team.” Three weeks ago, members of this team infiltrated across the Line of Control and beheaded an Indian soldier.

The actions by the Pakistani Border Action Team appear to be responses to India’s surgical strikes into Pakistani Kashmir in September. The Indian artillery barrage resets the cycle of escalation. There will be more attacks. Decapitation and mutilation of Indian soldiers are fairly recent additions to the practices of the Pakistani commandos, possibly borrowed from the Islamic State. They are deliberately intended to heighten Indian hostility.

Indian outrage is nationwide and the Indian Army vowed retribution. On 23 November, the Indians executed a large-scale artillery barrage against lines of communication in the Neelum Valley which leads to Muzaffarabad. 

The tone of Pakistani commentaries about Kashmir is increasingly inflammatory. At least three Pakistani comments on 23 November called for war against India. The reasons for Pakistani baiting of India over Kashmir at this time are still not clear, but the two states are moving slowly, but steadily on a path towards general war. 

Turkish Armor vs US Backed Kurds

Kurdish-led fighters of the Manbij Military Council (MMC), which is associated with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), destroyed three Turkish army tanks in clashes on 23 November on the outskirts of Manbij.

The MMC-SDF fighters targeted the tanks of the "Turkish occupation forces" in intense fighting that has been taking place between the villages of Beshamel and Dam al-Jab in the Manbij area, the SDF website said. The SDF forces said that fighting had been ongoing for two days "after Turkish troops targeted MMC-SDF positions from the air and on the ground." 

On 22 November Turkish President Erdogan said that Manbij would be the next target of Turkish-backed forces after they captured al Bab. Erdogan was dissembling on all issues. The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army has not captured al Bab, but fighting already has increased on the outskirts of Manbij which remains under the control of the SDF. 

The Turkish Altay Tank, designed and developed by Otokar,
a subsidiary of 
Koç Holding, for the Turkish Army and
export markets.
The Turkish Army’s armor contingent is now leading the fight at Manbij. That is moderately good news for the Syrian Kurds because they have destroyed more than a battalion of Turkish main battle tanks since August and just added three more to their tally. 

Note to Turkey: The US-made Javelin anti-tank missile is combat effective against your Altay (Turkish made), and Leopard 2 (German made) tanks. Teaching the Kurds a lesson has not come cheap to the Turkish tankers.

Both the Israeli-made Spike Missiles and the Javelins have been used against the Turks. Being cooked inside a tank by a missile made in Tel Aviv is a particular insult to the Muslim Turks, but not one that bothers the Kurds.

A FARC Peace Agreement?

The (communist) People's Army of Colombia or Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) has been engaged in talks with the Colombian government over the details of a peace agreement. The chief complaint of the opposition to the peace deal is that the FARC face no consequences — punishment -- for decades of murders and crimes. Instead they are being rewarded with amnesty and political inclusion. Even FARC members convicted of crimes will have them excused.

Colombian voters rejected a peace treaty with the FARC rebels in a national referendum in October. Since then, President Santos has renegotiated the peace agreement and intends to submit it to Congress for approval, instead of trusting the voters. Santos signed the new agreement on 24 November. Santos is practicing voter nullification in refusing to accept the referendum outcome. His efforts are likely to fail.


Black Friday Greetings

Message to the Non-Trump Voters

It's "Black Friday", and it may be true, as claimed, that some financial dispensation for Afro-Americans should be made on this day (because I think they own the rights to the word, "black"). It's that time of year when people in the ghetto are trampled to death in Walmarts.

The world is racist, my niggaz. 

When you come back from fighting the crowds for the best deals at Target, lay around in your onesies, drink cocoa, eat left-overs and do whatever comes natural to you. You've earned it.

Of course, for those of you who understand economics, the term "Black Friday" means that retailers are in the red, not making money all year and turn the corner today. Scary. 

Now a tribute to the man, not the musical:


Changing the System

Following the shellacking that Crooked Hillary received in the recent election, there is a lot of noise in the progressive and collectivist State of California that the popular vote should replace the electoral college. 

That movement notwithstanding, Rev. Al Sharpton (tax cheat) may be one of the few celebrities* - using that word liberally - who will flee the USA and live up to his promise to engage in unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Whoopie Goldberg, who like the Kardashian posse, is famous for being famous, I guess, says that now she's going to stay. I'm wounded that Whoopie scorned my offer to help her push her couch up onto the U-Haul for that long trip north to Canada.

*We have a photo of Rosie O'Donnell being helicoptered away from the US - at long last. She stayed for Thanksgiving to fill her pie hole (with pie). Now, bon voyage. I hope that it doesn't lead to a food shortage in Canada.

There are a lot of progs who have expressed concern at the shift from Michelle Obama to Melania Trump as first lady.

It's like shifting from a Harlem dump truck to a Ferrari. The liberal crones in the mainstream media are uncomfortable with that. Most American men have a different take on the whole thing.

Dolphin Free Cranberries

I can only hope that I'm not too late and that you chose dolphin free cranberries when you went to the store to lay  in supplies for Thanksgiving. If not, consider the plight of the cranberry bog dolphins when you buy the seasonal favorite for Christmas (used to be "Holiday" under Barack) dinner.



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving

Everyone has their own Thanksgiving tradition. Often it's linked to family traditions and to me, it is linked to food in quantities that makes an army commissary pale in comparison. 



To all of you who drift by this blog, I wish you a very 
Happy Thanksgiving!


P. S.

(More) Wars and Rumors

PM Abe
I haven't had much time to blog lately, but that doesn't mean that I can't bring you all up to speed on the news. One matter that Prime Minister Shinzō Abe brought to President Trump's attention this past week should be discussed here at least in passing because the US mainstream media won't report things like this.
Japanese and Russian media reported on 22 November that the Russian Pacific Fleet has deployed state-of-the-art anti-ship missile systems on islands off northern Japan.
Pravda and TASS reported on the 22d, “The Russian Defense Ministry has deployed the anti-ship missile systems Bal and Bastion on the Kuril Islands of Iturup and Kunashir.” 
“These units are part of the 72nd Coast Missile Brigade of the Pacific Fleet. The divisions are expected to hold firing exercises with the use of combat missiles before the end of the year.”
“On 23 August, the Collegium of the Russian Defense Ministry discussed prospects for the deployment of troops on the Kuril Islands. It was said that a division of coastal defense would be formed in 2018 in Chukotka.”

(Note: Chukotka Autonomous Okrug is the Russian district directly opposite Alaska across the Bering Strait.)

The Bastion coastal missile system is equipped with supersonic P-800 Onyx/Oniks missiles. Against sea targets, the system can destroy ships located within 350 kilometers (217 miles) of the shoreline. One firing unit may have up to 36 missiles and can protect more than 600 kilometers (372 miles) of coastline.

Armed with low-altitude subsonic anti-ship missiles X-35, the truck-mobile Bal missile system can destroy ground and surface targets to a distance of 130 kilometers (80 miles) from the launch site or 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the coastline. The X-35 missile is capable of destroying ships with a displacement of 5,000 tons. A Bal-equipped unit can fire salvos of 32 missiles.

Bastion Coastal Missile Defense System (launcher)
The islands – Iturup (Etorofu), Kunashir (Kunashiri) and Shikotan as well as the Habomai group of islets -- were seized by the Soviet Union following Japan's surrender in August 1945. The islands are called the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia. The dispute over ownership of the four Russian-held islands off Hokkaido has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty since World War II.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in March that Russia would deploy the anti-ship missile systems on the islands before the end of the year. This action is substantively identical to Russia’s installation of the Bastion system in Kaliningrad and in Crimea in 2015. The Kola Peninsula also hosts a Bastion firing unit near Murmansk. In two years, a firing unit will be based opposite Alaska. 

Russian is upgrading its perimeter defenses at strategic points. If this pattern holds and the money does not run out, Russia may be expected to base state-of-the art anti-missile and anti-aircraft systems at each of these points, as it has in Syria and plans to do in Kaliningrad.

Russia-China Cooperative Nexus - 
Since Abe's Meeting with Pres. Trump

On 22 November, a Russian Navy Kamov Ka-27 antisubmarine helicopter flew near the Senkaku Islands, prompting Japan to scramble Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets.

The Self-Defense Force's Joint Staff said the helicopter came within about 10 kilometers of Japan's air space over the Kuba and Taisho islands, which are part of the Senkakus, as it flew in the area for a few hours Tuesday afternoon. Some Russian Navy ships, including a missile destroyer, were also spotted in the nearby waters.

The Russians have not commented on this incident. This was the first time a Russian helicopter flew near the Senkaku Islands. The Japanese are concerned about collusion between Russia and China. The Russians have been silent about China’s sovereignty claims to most of the East and South China Seas.

You should expect to see this expansion of Russian protection of its territorial boundaries and at least symbolic cooperation with China as their establishment of spheres of influence are more firmly established. The question of US response will be an interesting one and clearly it will be an early priority of a President Trump's foreign policy apparatus.

As the US ratcheted down its military under Barack-the-feckless, China and Russia have expanded -- as one would expect. What both the Chinese and Russians don't grasp is how a resurgent US after eight miserable years under the Obama Administration will challenge that. Japan wants a close relationship with the US to counter threats from China and Russia, which is why PM Abe was the first foreign head of state to visit President Trump during his transition meetings. 



Monday, November 21, 2016

TRUMP!

Donald Trump continues to amaze and delight post election in the same way as he did before the election. Here is a singlet that make me smile.

The Media Summit

No, it wasn't an episode from The Apprentice, but I think that some of the great and near great in the news business ended up feeling like they'd been taken to the woodshed. That doesn't happen very often but there is a real fear on the part of the mainstream media that 'liars' will lose their press credentials. 

Personal Message to CNN: If you are no longer in White House press briefings, LSP, Fredd, Adrienne, Old NFO and the Grunt of Monte Cristo will use their press passes to get in and they'll tell you what's going on.
(NY Post) “It was like a f–ing firing squad,” one source said of the encounter. 
“Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,’ ” the source said. 
“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down,” the source added. 
A second source confirmed the fireworks. 
“The meeting took place in a big board room and there were about 30 or 40 people, including the big news anchors from all the networks,” the other source said. 
“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong.’ He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars,” the source said.

Energy Independence

The energy initiative that President Trump is pursuing calls for the US to be energy self sufficient. The recent disclosure from USGS of the vast untapped resources in the Wolfcamp shale makes that goal more achievable.

The Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin portion of Texas' Permian Basin province contains an estimated mean of 20 billion barrels of oil, 16 trillion cubic feet of associated natural gas, and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to an assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey. This estimate is for continuous (unconventional) oil, and consists of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources.
Journal Reference:
Stephanie B. Gaswirth, Kristen R. Marra, Paul G. Lillis, Tracey J. Mercier, Heidi M. Leathers-Miller, Christopher J. Schenk, Timothy R. Klett, Phuong A. Le, Marilyn E. Tennyson, Sarah J. Hawkins, Michael E. Brownfield, Janet K. Pitman, Thomas M. Finn. Assessment of undiscovered continuous oil resources in the Wolfcamp shale of the Midland Basin, Permian Basin Province, Texas, 2016. U.S. Geological Survey, 2016; DOI: 10.3133/fs20163092
The estimate of continuous oil in the Midland Basin Wolfcamp shale assessment is nearly three times larger than that of the 2013 USGS Bakken-Three Forks resource assessment, making this the largest estimated continuous oil accumulation that USGS has assessed in the United States to date.
"The fact that this is the largest assessment of continuous oil we have ever done just goes to show that, even in areas that have produced billions of barrels of oil, there is still the potential to find billions more," said Walter Guidroz, program coordinator for the USGS Energy Resources Program. "Changes in technology and industry practices can have significant effects on what resources are technically recoverable, and that's why we continue to perform resource assessments throughout the United States and the world."
Although the USGS has assessed oil and gas resources in the Permian Basin province, this is the first assessment of continuous resources in the Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin portion of the Permian.

Continuous oil and gas is dispersed throughout a geologic formation rather than existing as discrete, localized occurrences, such as those in conventional accumulations. Because of that, continuous resources commonly require special technical drilling and recovery methods, such as hydraulic fracturing.

The question of what price gasoline would have to reach to make this oil and gas resource both recoverable profitable is one that I can't answer. I'm sure that there are studies afoot to make that determination. 

There is another question and one possibly more sensitive. Do the Saudis already own the oil in the Midland Basin Wolfcamp shale, or are they negotiating to buy it?

Wars and Rumors

A Cold War in the South China Sea

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) of the Center for Strategic and International Studies reported last week that recent satellite imagery showed that Vietnam lengthened its runway on Spratly Island by dredging and reclamation work.

The runway has been expanded from less than 2,500 feet to more than 3,300 feet and probably will be lengthened to 4,000 feet. According to AMTI, which is a project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, continued reclamation work by Vietnam would likely mean that the runway has been extended to more than 4,000 feet.

According to AMTI, Vietnam has added 57 acres to Spratly Island.

When construction is completed, the longer runway will be able to accommodate commercial transport aircraft and jet fighter aircraft. Vietnam has been upgrading the defenses of its islands, especially Spratly Island, steadily this year. Vietnam installed an extended range artillery rocket (EXTRA) system on Spratley Island that can reach some of the Chinese Islands.

The Vietnamese can't be blamed for pushing back against China, which would swallow all of Asia whole if I could. That's naturally the Chinese plan but being Chinese, they have a 100 year timetable to accomplish it.

Aleppo

The Syrian air forces attacked eastern Aleppo for a sixth straight day Sunday, 20 November, in the most intense bombing since the war began five years ago.

Among the latest reported violence: a suspected chemical attack that killed four children and their parents. Two activist groups -- the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights and Aleppo Media Center -- said a barrage of barrel bombs struck their neighborhood.

The death toll since the bombing campaign began is over 300, or 50 deaths a day. All hospitals in eastern Aleppo have been destroyed or have closed.

As yet no major ground offensive against Aleppo has occurred. The Syrians continue to have the lead in liberating the rebel-held areas of Aleppo.

The Russians want the Syrians to do the heavy lifting that comes with a ground assault. The Syrians would rather have the Russians do it for them. The process of softening up neighborhoods (turning them into rubble) will continue until the Syrians feel that they can manage the mopping up without suffering a humiliating defeat.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Isn't all News Paparazzi Now?

The Dallas Daily chose to school President Trump on the role of the media. Frankly, who cares whether they hang out and watch he and his family eat at Twenty-One Club or not? Normally the mainstream news story would read "Evil, mysoganistic, racist, homophobe, President-Elect Trump had dinner at a restaurant that most American's can't afford to dine at (let along manage to reserve a table). The waiter, an African American underclass woman, served his family, harkening back to the days of the antebellum South." Who needs that noise?
(Dallas News) Twice in a week, president-elect Donald Trump has ditched precedent and traveled without the press pool that normally moves with the president. The first was a trip from New York to Washington; the second for a dinner in a swanky New York restaurant after his press people told journalists that his day had ended.  
Trump may see these reporters as an extension of the Paparazzi that hounded him when he was a reality television promoter and real estate mogul. They aren't. 
The press pool isn't about staking out celebrities. The pool play an essential role in assuring government transparency and an informed American electorate.
President Trump and his family had expensive hamburgers across the street from Trump Tower. Maybe the media was excluded because the media is completely unfair. If the media doesn't want to be treated like paparazzi, maybe they shouldn't behave like them.

An American President is covered by the press. We all know that. Back when they wrote news instead of trying to make news, it was useful. It can be useful again but the media needs to change.

Their enthusiastic efforts (as disclosed by WikiLeaks) to get Hillary Clinton actually disqualifies them from any sort of journalistic respect from anyone. Dallas News, get over yourselves.

Sunday Sermonette and WWM Update

I went to the grocery store with two granddaughters and as we were being checked out, the cashier asked if we had our own bags or if we wanted to buy them. Yes, it's California. The shopping bags that were free before November 9, are now $.15 each as a matter of law. So I spent forty-five cents to purchase clear plastic flimsy shopping bags, and blaggarded the State on the drive home - silently - so the girls wouldn't learn any new words. There is a reason that I want to leave the liberal paradise and spending $.15 for each shopping bag is only the beginning. I mentioned it to the clerk at the store and she said, "I wish that I could go. I was born and raised here but we're stuck with my husband's job." I don't blame her.

I get it.
  • If you live your whole life driving on hardball roads, going down to the local store to buy the goods which you will use that day; 
  • If you're accustomed to smelling the offal from your friends and neighbors along with the stench of burned diesel and gasoline when you roll down your car window; 
  • If you don't chop the wood that you burn to cook your food and heat your home; 
  • You may not know that there are other choices. Or if you've heard of them, you never thought to experience them. Or if you experienced them, you never thought to live in them - because it's so different from your comfort zone.
We don't usually sell our souls in some exotic Faustian bargain. We bleed them out slow, one sterile, plastic, right-angled day at a time. I know how it works. I could be the poster child. One day you wake up and realize that living with wood, stone, iron and fire eludes you in the modern world. Society emasculates you in politically correct ways and it causes you to become domestic and pliable, destroying all meaning until you are lost...a rudderless ship, and often you don't know it - because you're going with the flow. The tide is sweeping you in and out like a piece of flotsam and you think that you're living your own life.

Shooting an elk on your own property might be one of those things that you can't imagine. Leaving the guts behind for various scavengers might seem as alien to you as not having a local store with goods made in China on the shelves. Perhaps you are more comfortable with a morsel of plastic-wrapped processed food that's been preserved with chemicals and has been sitting on that shelf for three years, waiting for you to pick it up and eat it. If you're more comfortable with the latter scenario than the former, look in the mirror. WTF are you? You're becoming "progressive". You're becoming prey rather than being a predator - because you need to decide which you really are.

Some people arrive at places to experience a piece of history. The Durango and Silverton Railroad is such an experience, and I am not putting it down. It's cool. Once visited, tourists return to their homes, next to homes or piled on top of other homes, clutching a souvenir (made in China).

However there are places in America - lots of places - where a horse is not part of a petting zoo, and having big game in the back yard is not part of a wildlife park experience. You bank the coals in the stove at night to insure heat all night instead of relying on a thermostat. Good old fashioned quilts bridge the gap.

I've been writing checks this week and there is something going on at the White Wolf Mine in the high country of the Mogollon Rim in Arizona. Within 40 miles of the White Wolf Mine (WWM) there are a number of species of animals. Leaving off most of the rodents and game birds such as ducks, pheasants, dove, quail, grouse and partridge: 

Jaguar

The only known wild jaguar in Arizona is El Jefe (more here), but I have heard from locals that some Go Pro infrared videos have picked up at least one jaguar on game trails at night in the Mogollon Rim area. Those reports are not confirmed to me, so I don't know if it's chatter or something more substantial. The area was populated by jaguar in substantial numbers up to the 1920's and 1930's.

There is more here from Arizona Game and Fish Dept. (link)

A buddhist friend of mine said that the jaguars running around the Arizona highlands are reincarnated shamans. True or false - you be the judge. I think that they're just jaguars.

Wolves

Mexican wolves have been reintroduced into Arizona habitats and by all reports, their numbers are growing. (link) The wolves' range is farther than 40 miles from the WWM, so it might be hubris on my part to report that here, but the day may not be far off when there will be howls of wolves at night.

Buffalo/Bison

The "Raymond Ranch" herd and the "House Rock Wildlife Area" herd live in Arizona. The Raymond Ranch herd is about 30 miles (more or less) east of the WWM. There are hunting permits drawn by lottery for buffalo. I'm only guessing that the wolves may be drawn by the presence of Buffalo.

Mountain Lion/Cougar/Puma

There are lots of lions in the WWM area and Arizona has a hunting season for mountain lions. Managed hunting culls the numbers and keeps them in balance. 

Bobcats/Lynx

Not only are there bobcats in the general area, they are in the specific area of the WWM. I was fly fishing on Clear Creek, which is about 1/4 mile from WWM and saw a bobcat in daylight, moving stealthily in the meadow near the creek bottom. (Clear Creek runs through a deep gorge but there is meadowland near/adjacent to the creek in many places)

Condors

There are about 70 condors living in Arizona. Most live north of the WWM, but they are sometimes seen as far south as the Mogollon Rim. They exist today because of a captive breeding and reintroduction plan

Eagles and Hawks

There are bald and brown eagles that live in the Mogollon Rim area and a wide variety of hawks.

Locals, commonly seen:

The coatimundi is not a raccoon 
Badgers
Porcupines
Raccoons
Coatemundi
Javelina
Elk
Mule Deer
White Tail Deer
Pronghorn Antelope - yes, you even see them in the ponderosas.
Coyotes
Black Bear
Turkeys

Big Horn Sheep range in Arizona but not in the WWM area.

There is something to be said for the only sound you hear when you go out the front door in the morning is the whisper of the morning breeze through pine needles...or the trumpeting of elk during  the mating season.

In Arizona there is a pheasant season for falconry - and you can use a hawk or falcon to hunt them. It's not only well beyond cool, I'm looking into it. I have to square the care and feeding of a raptor with my continued consulting biz and the need to travel.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

I Have Questions

Miley Cyrus

She is pictured (right) holding her 'comfort pet', on her way to a safe space, sad that President Trump won the election and irritated that conservatives are holding her to her word to leave the US - forever.

Cynical conservatives have suggested that she move to Saudi Arabia, where her progressive values will be more appreciated. As a Muslim country, The Magic Kingdom is known for its tolerance.

Cyrus on stage (left) sets a progressive example for America's youth that she feels will be missed once she's gone to Saudi Arabia. Message to Miley - not so much. But if the Saudis don't want her, maybe the Ugandans will take her and will make her 'their own'.

No matter what, Miley - make good your threat and leave. Have a little dignity...ok, not possible. Sorry for the suggestion.

My question: Why are you still here?

Mad Dog Mattis as Secretary of Defense

Known as "Mad Dog Mattis," the retired general was credited with a string of colorful quotes over the years, including: "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet."

My question: How does General Mattis feel about the global warming mission for the military?

Hamilton

Vice President Pence attended the Broadway show, Hamilton. Brandon Dixon chose to single out the Vice President in a fit of progressive indignation. It's the sort of rude behavior that we've come to expect from progs. It was ironic that that Brandon Victor Dixon, the actor portraying Vice President Aaron Burr, who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel, delivered the rebuke. Burr was later suspected of having conspired to traitorously divide the western states and territories from the nascent United States.

I saw it on the news and have a question: Why do they have a non-white homosexual person playing Aaron Burr, a straight white man? (or is it racist and homophobic to ask?)

I may pass on the play.

Pardoning Hillary

There are problems associated with any pardon of Hillary Clinton. Those actual (and jailhouse) lawyers who visit the blog may wish to weigh in with your opinions.

There are many violations of USC that we are aware of, but she has not been charged.  Each one of those violations would need to be laid out in a pardoning document along with the time period in which the crimes took place and a factual basis must be presented (think of an 'Albert plea').  

A presidential pardon is not blanket forgiveness, thus if Hillary committed acts of treason, for example, since she hasn't been charged with treason, the document would allege treason and she would be pardoned for it.

If the pardon misses something, she can still be prosecuted. 

Enter the Clinton Foundation, which remains under investigation. A pardon would surely have to include acts committed in connection with the foundation and the implications would have some far reaching ripples for those souls not important enough to receive Presidential clemency. The tax liability alone would keep a hundred IRS agents busy for the next four years at least even if Hillary herself received a pass. The pardon would present a road map for investigators to follow to round up the coterie of Clinton associates and would inevitably lead to their prosecution with Hillary as a witness. They may also rope Barack in as a witness or possibly in some cases as a co-defendant. We don't know at this point.

And what about Slick Willy? Would Barack pardon him too? And Huma Weiner - clemency or not? If he pardoned Huma Weiner, what about disgraced congressman and pedophile, Anthony Weiner?

Very messy.

Barack is keenly aware of his legacy, which doesn't amount to much at this point. A Hillary pardon would be one of those documents so vast in its bulk and so extensive in its detail, that it would shame him now and through history. Thus I don't think that he will do that before he leaves office.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Week's End

There is a nagging question of whether antagonism toward President Trump is fear of accountability rather than concern over his view of the world and the nation. The words, "You're FIRED!" are seldom spoken in political circles. President Trump, the outsider, backed by Republican majorities in both houses of Congress might actually say those words...And his administration will be marked with a drawing down of federal jobs with a hiring freeze on all non-military and non-law enforcement positions - possibly for four years - possibly longer if the Republicans retain the Executive Branch.

The Democrat Party is still bewildered why they lost the presidency, both houses of Congress, and soon the Supreme Court will shift back into a conservative dead lock that will be broken once the next justice steps down. 32 States have total Republican majorities in their legislatures and 33 States have Republican governors. The mainstream media wonders openly what happened to the brain washing that they thought their pearls were giving to America. The news articles still slash out at President Trump, but it's a lot like being whipped with a wet noodle.
---Meanwhile, the world waits for all of the Hollywood stars to move to Mexico, because moving to Canada is racist.
The Barack road show and farewell tour has been a one-man love-fest. He speaks of achievements during his eight years in office, but the entire US foreign policy establishment has been an ignominious disgrace. The Iraq War cost trillions of dollars and thousands of lives; Libya is a failed state; Assad still controls Syria; Iraq has been taken over by ISIS and Iran; the Russian reset has collapsed; North Korea’s nuclear arsenal has expanded and diversified; China has taken over the South China Sea; the pivot to Asia has stalled and the Filipino president has defected to Beijing. Everything the current US foreign policy establishment has touched has been a total failure and consequently America’s decline in the world has been accelerated well beyond structural trends. As Trump says, had they done nothing at all America would be in far better shape.

Back channel signals indicate that the new US Embassy may be sited in Jerusalem, to the delight of the Israelis. The Arabs won't like it but they backed Hillary with cash and an abundance of love. Elections have consequences. To be fair, President Trump is far more pro-Israel than Barack was or Hillary would have been. A Trump Administration will seek to preside over calm and a good business environment in much of the Middle East. Maybe the Arabs are tired enough of fighting among themselves and fighting with the Jews that they'll buy off on it (but I'm not holding my breath).

I have meetings on Friday - And then the weekend begins. I'm thinking that there may be a motorcycle run down Pacific Coast Highway in my immediate future.

Will I humiliate myself on a surfboard - fat old man on a long board? Likely not -- victory. I could always ride to the Little Saigon district of Orange County, CA, for a bit of dim sum (Charley don't surf).


Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Tale of Two Countries


I rarely quote the New York Times, but I like what they did here. It's worth reading the article and I won't regurgitate that. 


Hillary Clinton's America

The point has been made that the Democrats style themselves as the party of the 'little man, the forgotten worker, etc.' But that's not how the country looks, is it? The Clinton archipelago only takes in fetid inner cities, a few Indian (feather) reservations and some liberal artsy enclaves, representing 15% of the country's land mass. 

The answer Dems are formulating, if the press is to be believed, is that they must be more socialistic, more opposed to traditional American values and need a former Black Panther revolutionary running the DNC (if it's possible to blend both an archest and a communist) to lead their march back from defeat. Maybe take Elizabeth (fake Indian) Warren as their figurehead?

That's not what I read from the map.  But I'm not a prog.

My advice to the progs is that they need to go with their gut and they need to keep those children on the street smashing main street, breaking glass, stopping traffic, blocking ambulances, screaming and destroying to show support for the Party of Clinton. Soros, send more money to keep the revolution going.

Donald Trump's America

Meanwhile, Donald Trump's America has a different vision. If the progs are angry now, I can only imagine their unbridled fury at an improved economy as America rebuilds from the disastrous Obama years.