sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Sermonette





Thought for the Day (an Invocation)

The message of today's Sunday Sermonette is that you don't need to take guff from children. That goes double for prophets like Elisha:
2 Kings 23-24 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tear forty and two children of them.
My take away from this is that those children were metaphorical antecedents of the students that we see protesting about nothing on college campuses today - or that occupy Wall Street. Note to self: We need more bears. 

May Day (tomorrow)

What are you doing tomorrow for May Day? There are the myriad of pagan rituals involving may poles and other events designed to spur human reproduction. If one is going to spend the day frivolously, it's important to find the right sort of gathering. And if you are going to engage in reproductive activities or even to practice for the event, today is your day!

It's also International Worker's Day, celebrating the few communist hell holes that still exist here and there around the world, vast gulags for the various unfortunate, starving, populations. (In the late 19th century, May Day was chosen as the date for International Workers' Day by communists)

Perhaps the best way to celebrate International Worker's Day is sell what you have, buy an airplane ticket to North Korea and join in the struggle with the locals there. There just aren't that many communist dictatorships left in the world. I'm sure that they can find something for you to do, even though you'll be suspected of being a spy. If nothing else, you'll be shot and they'll use your body for fertilizer...your own little contribution to the advancement world communism.

100 Days In

One hundred days into President Trump’s administration, it is becoming evident that when considering his base, the president has been more successful than many would like to give him credit for.

As those of you who read this blog know, I have been a supporter of the president from the beginning. He has a lot going for him that his detractors are uncomfortable with:
  • He actually owned a successful business and knows what it's like to get raped by taxes and to have to meet a payroll.
  • Negotiations don't mean giving up your bottom line or your game plan.
  • You hire the right people (such as SECSTATE Tillerson and SECDEF Mattis) and let them do what you hired them to do with minimal interference. The Trump cabinet is not made up of political hacks who made their reputations by sucking up.
  • He takes campaign promises seriously, but understands that conditions change and you must be flexible to win - and President Trump likes to win.
President Trump ran on the promise that if elected, he would appoint federal judges who uphold the constitution and support the Second Amendment. The nomination and appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch has accomplished just that, and will be one of President Trump’s lasting successes from his first 100 days. 

White Wolf Mine Update

Some of you are following my progress in building a house high on the Mogollon Rim, above the City of Payson, AZ, which calls itself "rim country" but is sited at least 1,500 feet and ten miles below the rim. 

Plans call for a window here and a window there. I have had an education in how many companies and options available for each window, window types and the doo-dads and thingywhaps. 

I'm into the granularity phase of ordering specific 'components' of the custom-built shack. Some of those options are expensive. The glass wall that accordions back on itself to give you the indoor/out-door experience between the great room and the out-door covered deck (same size as the great room). Even the people at Pella Windows have suggested that La Cantina is the company to go for if you're in search of that solution.

It needs a more potent header than other types of glass door solutions because there is no load bearing support at all. It's not as secure as other options, but has the benefit of allowing you to treat the great outdoors as part of the house (the deck is about 15' above ground level).

I don't think that they will be much use during the winter. The problem with these doors is the lack of screen options...

Then there are the triple paned windows with shutter/blinds built inside of them. They're cool, but you know that if the grandkids get to the controls, they'll play with them until they break. It's what children do. Thus the guest wing of the hovel will have slightly more traditional windows that just open, close and have a regular blind or curtains.

However, let me assure you that the companies that offer these solutions are VERY PROUD of those doors and are thrilled to charge you accordingly. These window showrooms are located in Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Scottsdale and in San Diego's Gas Lamp District. I know who pays for the address.

Parting Thought (a benediction for the sermonette)


Friday, April 28, 2017

The Follies

Business as Usual

SANA, the Syrian state news agency, reported that Israeli aircraft attacked a Syrian military position southwest of Damascus airport at dawn on 27 April. One news source said the position was actually a warehouse of Iranian-supplied weapons that was operated by Lebanese Hizballah.

The Russian government protested the attack. However, it's interesting to note that their anti-aircraft artillery (rocket) did not shoot down the Israeli jets.

Israeli intelligence minister Katz told Army Radio, "I can confirm that the incident in Syria corresponds completely with Israel's policy to act to prevent Iran's smuggling of advanced weapons via Syria to Hezbollah in Iran. Naturally, I don't want to elaborate on this…. The prime minister has said that whenever we receive intelligence that indicated an intention to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah, we will act."

Israel did not directly confirm that it attacked Syria again, but even the indirect confirmation is unusual. Israeli officials seldom make public comments about attacks in Syria.

An unidentified senior Israel Defense Force officer told reporters that the Israel Air Force destroyed some 100 missiles in the air attack on a convoy near Tadmur on 17 March. 

After the 17 March attack, the Russians called in the Israeli ambassador to Moscow to protest in person. That action suggested that Russia might use its advanced air defense systems to prevent future Israeli air attacks against weapons shipments for Hizballah. The Israeli attack on the 27th indicates the Russians will not protect Hizballah’s Iranian arms supply line.

The Israeli officials’ greater openness about operations over Syria conveys to the Assad government and to Iran that Israel can and will continue to prevent advanced weapons from reaching Hizballah whenever it detects them. In other words, business as usual.

Meanwhile, the US military is making headway against the Caliphate (ISIS), but you won't read about every planned move in the New York Times a month in advance.


Culture

Mohammedans on the march to Europe (below) in search of a better life.


In the photo, there are 7 military age men and 1 woman. The woman has bare feet and she is carrying two of the three children who accompany her. The men all have shoes. None of the men are helping her, because in their savage, barbaric and backward culture the woman receives neither help or respect. In essence, she lives a life of slavery and servitude. If the odds hold true, the lady was likely the subject of genital mutilation as a child, she received no education and she is not allowed to hold a job, open a bank account or drive a car due to the faith-centered norms of her culture.

How do women in the USA react to this? They honor Islam, while wearing pink vagina hats.



2% of Counties Account for 51% of U.S. Murder Rate
             Shamelessly lifted from Diogenes for discussion here

The United States can really be divided up into three types of places. Places where there are no murders, places where there are a few murders, and places where murders are very common. In 2014, the most recent year that a county level breakdown is available, 54% of counties (with 11% of the population) have no murders. 69% of counties have no more than one murder, and about 20% of the population. These counties account for only 4% of all murders in the country. The worst 1% of counties have 19% of the population and 37% of the murders. The worst 5% of counties contain 47% of the population and account for 68% of murders.

This does not represent a gun control problem since the bulk of the 350,000,000 (estimated) firearms owned in America are not concentrated in the same areas where murders are most prolific. Murders are highest where Democrats have unassailable political control. What are we to make of that? I am not going to discuss racial distribution as an overlay to this map because to do so would make me a racist... 


Thursday, April 27, 2017

War Drums

Cause and Effect

We need to file this one under cause and effect. War on the Korean Peninsula is not inevitable, but we're not that far off, either. It all hinges on what the Norks do next. Another nuclear test is the trigger point for the US to remove the North Korean capacity to deploy missiles or use it's nuclear weapons.

The Chinese signaled that they will allow that to happen without recourse to the US. If North Korea attacks the South, the US and South Korea will remove the regime with extreme prejudice. If North Korea uses nuclear weapons, the US will reciprocate -- and China will stand on the sidelines trying to keep North Korean refugees from over-running China.

US elections have consequences and President Trump and his capable administration have laid out what will happen very clearly. The Chinese have agreed with the plan.

On April 25, the Chinese unofficial English language publication, Global Times, published an editorial on the North Korean confrontation which warned North Korea to not detonate a sixth nuclear device. Excerpts follow.
“The game of chicken between Washington and Pyongyang has come to a breaking point. If North Korea carries out a sixth nuclear test as expected, it is more likely than ever that the situation will cross the point of no return. All stakeholders will bear the consequences, with Pyongyang sure to suffer the greatest losses.”

“Under the best-case scenario, unprecedentedly severe sanctions imposed by the UN will deal a heavy blow to the entire industrial activities of North Korea and it will barely be able to sustain development of its society. Once the US launched surgical strikes against North Korea's nuclear and missile facilities, the Pyongyang regime will be forced to make a life-or-death decision.

“By then, if North Korea does not resort to strategic retaliation, its deterrence will lose ground and Washington will play it like a fiddle. If Pyongyang does choose to retaliate against Seoul, the US and South Korea will target its regime without a second thought.

“A high stakes situation like this could quickly get out of control. No stakeholders want such a situation. But once the gamble begins, no side will be able to stop it.”

“…China is now acting to prevent the relevant sides from rolling the dice in this crazy gamble, and is doing this by persuading Pyongyang to quit its sixth nuclear test. If Pyongyang stops now, it will avoid the devastating result that it cannot bear. North Korea can drive a bargain with the US with its current nuclear achievements and strive for its rights over national security.”

“Pyongyang has pursued an independent course since the end of the Korean War. The integrity of the nation's sovereignty is much higher than that of South Korea. This has impressed quite a few people. Yet given North Korea's current national strength as well as its peculiar geopolitical circumstances, it must learn how to be flexible as well as resolute. Taking a small step back will make a conflict easier to solve. This does not mean being a coward, but being courageous to face the challenge in a different way.”

“The North Korea nuclear issue is like a puzzle filled with bombs. Pyongyang must not strike a match and detonate it. What it needs is big wisdom to realize a soft landing.”
This editorial was written on Army Day, April 25. It contains unusually candid language. Chinese leaders have abandoned subtlety in communicating with North Korea. Global Times is the publication in which Chinese leaders can express their views candidly, but without making an official statement. 

This editorial is similar to prior editorials in several respects. The most important message is that another nuclear detonation represents the point of no return in a game of chicken. Imagery of North Korean preparations for a nuclear test during the past two months has provided the time for leaders in China and the US to have confidence in making that judgment.

The second message is that North Korea will suffer the most if it crosses the point of no return. “It will barely be able to sustain development of its society.” An earlier editorial said North Korea would cease to exist.

A final point is that China continues to insist that its ability to influence North Korea is limited. It cannot force North Korea to comply with Chinese wisdom.

A new Chinese idea.

A second editorial in Global Times proposed that the US and the international community should be prepared to offer North Korea incentives for good behavior.

More excerpts.
“North Korea is facing unprecedented international pressure due to its nuclear and missile programs. The country's economy can hardly bear tougher sanctions and Washington has raised many times the extreme option of initiating a military strike on Pyongyang.”

“But sticks alone are not enough to prompt North Korea to stop its nuclear and missile activities. The international community should acknowledge the importance of the carrot.”

“Now Pyongyang is clear about the consequences if it continues to act recklessly. What it is uncertain about, though, is what benefit it will get if it stops nuclear and missile activities.”

“As for Washington, it should show its sincerity to encourage Pyongyang to move in the right direction and leave room for positive changes.”

“Sanctions against North Korea should be imposed within such a pattern - as long as North Korea violates UN Security Council resolutions, the sanctions will become tougher with no upper limit. But if North Korea does not carry out new nuclear tests or missile launches within a certain period of time, there should be no new sanctions. Both sanctions and North Korea's nuclear activities should be temporarily frozen.” (Emphasis added.)

“Major powers should research what North Korea can get once it announces a moratorium on its nuclear and missile tests. The UN Security Council should play an active role to bring Pyongyang in this direction.”
This editorial is important for two reasons. The first is that it tends to confirm that Chinese officials have been in contact with their North Korean counterparts. The editorial staff wrote confidently, “Now Pyongyang is clear about the consequences…” That implies that the Chinese got through to the North Koreans. The rest of the sentence reads like North Korea’s probable follow-up question to a Chinese presentation about the consequences.

The sentences in bright highlight contain a new formula for temporarily easing tensions. The editorial writers proposed that a freeze on nuclear and missile testing should be matched by a freeze on sanctions. This is the first time we have read a solution that ties testing to sanctions.

All previous Chinese solutions have proposed a suspension of testing in return for a suspension for Allied military training. We have written previously that there is no symmetrical exchange of value in that formula. The sanctions must be biting if the North Koreans now are willing to consider suspending tests in exchange for suspending new sanctions. 

____________________

Turkey

On 26 April, Turkish authorities launched a massive detention operation, arresting more than 1,000 people nationwide. The Turkish government said the arrests were aimed at supporters of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom President Tayyip Erdogan blames for last year's failed coup attempt.

Anadolu Agency, a state-run news service, reported that the government aims to arrest another 2,000 people. A late report said that 9,000 policemen have been suspended for links to the coup plot.

The Turkish Interior Ministry said the raids on the 26th were aimed at disrupting a secret anti-government network, called the “secret imams.” Supposedly this network had infiltrated Turkey’s police forces. The network has no connection to the Islamic clerisy.

President Erdogan has chosen to interpret the narrow margin of victory in the passage of the constitutional amendments as a mandate to pursue the purge and other security programs with greater energy. 

Turkey has detained or suspended more than 150,000 of its best educated public servants. The impact on the armed forces was demonstrated in their lackluster effectiveness against Islamic State fighters in northern Syria since last August. 

The purge will continue as long as it helps Erdogan consolidate and centralize presidential power.

Turkey in Syria

Between 24 and 26 April, Turkish army and air force units attacked US-backed Syrian and Iraqi Kurdish fighters.

A Russian news service reported, “According to reports that are coming in, on the night of Monday 24 April, Turkish Air Force aircraft delivered missile and bomb strikes on parts of Iraq and Syria bordering on Turkey. The Turkish side states that positions of armed formations of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Democratic Forces of Syria led by the Democratic Union Party, which is close to the PKK, were the targets of the strikes. About 70 Kurdish fighters are reported to have been killed.”

On the 26th, Rudaw reported that the Turkish army and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) exchanged fire on the Syria-Turkey border. Both sides claim they were attacked first and retaliated. 

A YPG media outlet reported that Turkish artillery shelled at least four villages in the border area of Darbasiyah in al-Hasakah province. It did not report any casualties. 

The Turkish military announced that it continued its strikes against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) positions in northern Iraq and against the YPG in Syria on 26 April. The army said the raids killed six militants.

When President Erdogan announced the end of Operation Euphrates Shield last month, he said that Turkey would not withdraw its forces from northern Syria and that other operations would begin soon. The attacks on 25 and 26 April appear to be the opening actions in the new operations. If so, the new operations are directed against the Kurds more than the Islamic State. 

In undertaking these operations, Turkey has challenged the US, Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria as well as the Syrian and Iraqi Kurds. It deliberately has fractured the anti-terrorism effort.

The Syrian Kurds called for the establishment of a no-fly zone in northern Syria. "Only by declaring north Syria as a no-fly zone can YPG defend the country unhindered. Turkey must adhere to a no-fly zone," wrote the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) on Twitter.

The Turks consider the Kurds to be terrorists and justify their attacks as part of the Coalition’s anti-terror campaign. Erdogan and his advisors know that the US and Russia strongly back the Kurds in Syria and the US and Iraq back Kurdish autonomy in Iraq. 

For years Turkey had a relatively free rein to operate against the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization, in northern Iraq and Syria. Times and the nature of the fighting have changed. A huge backlash against Turkey is forming to reduce Erdogan’s hubris.

If the US or Russia provide air defense weapons to the Syrian Kurds or extend an air defense umbrella over them, the threat of losing a modern combat aircraft might prompt the Turks to reconsider their campaign against the Kurds during the fight against the Islamic State.

A Russian View

Russian reaction. In commenting on Turkish military attacks against the Kurds, the Russian Foreign Ministry posted the following comment.
“Such moves cause most serious concern in Moscow. We are talking about the Turkish military's actions against Kurdish forces that are genuinely opposing terrorist groups, above all ISIL (the Islamic State), on the ground. In circumstances where the war against terror in Iraq and Syria is far from being over such actions are clearly not facilitating the consolidation of antiterrorist efforts; they are exacerbating the situation that is tense as it is.”

“That the Turkish strikes were delivered against sovereign states' territories in circumvention of their legitimate governments also cannot but cause concern. We deem such moves unacceptable, running counter to the fundamental principles of interstate relations.”

“In these circumstances, we call for restraint from all the sides. It is important to demonstrate due political farsightedness and focus one's attention on the most important current task - countering the terrorist international in the form of ISIL, Nusra and other affiliated groups.”
This is the second time that Turkish forces have attacked either a Russian aircraft or the forces of a Russian proxy. Turkey’s actions are putting pressure on a fragile relationship. The Russians have been uncustomarily patient with the Turks.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Notes

Stairway to Heaven

I drove to downtown Los Angeles today as a favor (no good deed goes unpunished) and spent two and a half soul-sucking hours in traffic to get there. Upon my arrival I had to find a place to park. Downtown Los Angeles reminds me of Athens, Greece when it comes to parking and I narrowly beat another car to a parking place. I'm parked and the passenger of the other car, who we'll call Cupid Stunt jumped from her car and began screaming at me. She wanted the parking spot where I parked my car. So there we are, her screaming and me standing there not doing anything, because this is the era of cell phone cameras.

Homer (driver) then emerges from the car. He was 30 years younger than me, maybe two inches taller and Cupid is telling him to kick my a$$. I'm smiling at her and smiling at Homer and just standing there. I look at Homer and he shrugs. He doesn't want to fight. Then Cupid lays into him as traffic builds behind his car, which is blocking the 9th Street eastbound lane east of Los Angeles Street, or in that general area. She calls Homer a coward for failing to pound my head soft, and berates his manhood. 
Note: It's Los Angeles and I have a .45 Kimber holstered with two spare magazines and a loose fitting shirt that covers it. Yes, I can CCW legally. So even if Homer has a bazooka, I can double tap him if it comes to that and re-holster before he hits the pavement, dead.
A police officer on a motorcycle arrives and Cupid gets in his face over me taking the parking spot before she and Homer could pull in. I'm still smiling and it really get's Cupid Stunt's goat. She asks the police officer to make me stop smiling. I explain to both Cupid, Homer and the Officer that I'm just a happy sort of guy.

Homer gets in his car and drives away, abandoning Cupid. She followed the car, beating on the door, but Homer was in the wind. Traffic situation averted, the police officer drove off. Cupid walked back toward me and asked (meekly now) if I'd give her a ride home. She's in the downtown skid row area and it's skid row for miles in all directions - zombie land - but there are open businesses. The people on the street are mainly homeless inner city minority types. Cupid is a caucasian woman in her late 20's with a low cut blouse and daisy duke cut-offs.

Did I help her out?

"Uh, no."

Did Cupid Stunt find love on the mean streets of Los Angeles? I can't say. I took care of biz and headed out of that cess pit.

(There's a lady who knows all the good times are gone, and she's climbing a stairway to heaven...)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

More on North Korea

Narcotics

We've discussed the push within North Korea to "earn" foreign currency. When it comes to earning through narcotics trafficking, most of the heavy lifting is done by North Korean diplomats, operating under diplomatic cover - with full diplomatic immunity. Movement of physical narcotics is managed through the use of a diplomatic pouch or occasionally by North Korean merchant shipping. Successful earning is the pathway to success in the worker's paradise.
Diplomatic employees of the Democratic People's Republic of (North) Korea (DPRK), many of them have been apprehended abroad while trafficking in narcotics, including two in Turkey in December 2004; police investigations in Taiwan and Japan in recent years have linked North Korea to large illicit shipments of heroin and methamphetamine, including an attempt by the North Korean merchant ship Pong Su to deliver 150 kg of heroin to Australia in April 2003. (CIA World Factbook)
More recently North Korean diplomats in Mexico were found to have purchased 200 kg of cocaine from Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG), also known as the Guadalajara Cartel. The narcotics were shipped to North Korea in a diplomatic pouch, presumably for the private use of party elites. As one official from Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional (CISEN) told a source close to Virtual Mirage, "That should be one hell of a party in the Party." Source asked CISEN whether or not the North Korean diplomats paid with high quality counterfeit US currency. Source hasn't heard back.

Officially, Party members do not partake of narcotics. Privately, things may swing another direction.

Sex Trafficking and Forced Labor
North Korea is a source country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; many North Korean workers recruited to work abroad under bilateral contracts with foreign governments, most often Russia and China, are subjected to forced labor and do not have a choice in the work the government assigns them, are not free to change jobs, and face government reprisals if they try to escape or complain to outsiders; tens of thousands of North Koreans, including children, held in prison camps are subjected to forced labor, including logging, mining, and farming; many North Korean women and girls, lured by promises of food, jobs, and freedom, have migrated to China illegally to escape poor social and economic conditions only to be forced into prostitution, domestic service, or agricultural work through forced marriages. (CIA World Factbook)
The United Nations has given North Korea a Tier 3 rating when it comes to human trafficking.
North Korea does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government continued to participate in human trafficking through its use of domestic forced labor camps and the provision of forced labor to foreign governments through bilateral contracts; officials did not demonstrate any efforts to address human trafficking through prosecution, protection, or prevention measures; no known investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of trafficking offenders or officials complicit in trafficking-related offenses were conducted; the government also made no efforts to identify or protect trafficking victims and did not permit NGOs to assist victims. (2015)

China

The map of China (right) graphically demonstrates the strategic location of all Korea to Beijing and Shanghai. The large US military presence on the Korean peninsula has been an ongoing irritation since the 1950's. More recently, the addition of the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea has damaged their chi. 

In the past they felt that the way forward called for supporting the North, but all that has fallen out of balance with Kim Jong Un and the nuclear weapons and ballistic missile issue. A nuke on a missile, fired by the North Koreans, is as likely to hit Beijing as it is to hit Japan. 

The North Korean propaganda machine has been so virulent and they believe their own spew to the point where rationality is something that they can't understand.


Geopolitics - North Korea and China


Chilling relations between China and North Korea are becoming more evident. It's North Korea's game at this point and they can choose how it ends. 

The Korean People’s Army (KPA) celebrated its 85th anniversary today. Reuters reported that North Korean forces staged a massive live-fire artillery demonstration at a military base near Wonsan. The Party daily, Rodong Sinmun, reported, "There is no limit to the strike power of the People's Army, armed with our style of cutting-edge military equipment including various precision and miniaturized nuclear weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles." 

All open source news services reported that only conventional weapons systems participated in the display.

According to the Daily NK, North Koreans in the China border region were disappointed that China did not send a delegation to North Korea on Kim Il-sung’s birthday on 15 April. They interpreted that as a portent of difficult times ahead.

This is the first credible report that did not send a delegation to Pyongyang to honor Kim Il-sung. The Chinese Foreign Ministry press spokesperson has been asked on multiple occasions whether China sent a delegation to watch the North Korean military parade on the 15th. The spokesperson always replied that China and North Korea are friendly neighbors. The two sides always maintain friendly exchanges.

On 24 April, the spokesperson was asked whether China sent a delegation to watch the military parade. The spokesperson again replied that China and North Korea are friendly neighbors. The two sides always maintain friendly exchanges.

A Chinese official snub of Kim Il-sung’s birthday means that relations with North Korea are extremely strained. If the Chinese also boycotted the KPA anniversary, relations might be at an all-time low.

China Daily is an English language daily newspaper owned by the China Daily Information Company. The BBC describes it as state-owned, meaning that it carries official views. They published an editorial today on China’s assessment of the confrontation with North Korea. Excerpts follow:
“… the situation is still inflammable.” 
“For as the sanctions imposed by the United Nations begin to bite deeper, the possibility that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea might become reckless out of desperation has never been higher….” 
“Judging from their recent words and deeds, policymakers in Pyongyang have seriously misread the UN sanctions, which are aimed at its nuclear/missile provocations, not its system or leadership. They have unfairly misrepresented Beijing's role in the process, disregarding its preoccupation with peace, humanitarian concerns and non-interference in the DPRK's domestic affairs. And they have greatly underestimated the international community's-not just any individual stakeholder's political will to denuclearize the peninsula.” 
“They are at once perilously overestimating their own strength and underestimating the hazards they are brewing for themselves.” 
“They need to reassess the situation so they do not make any misjudgments.” 
“Likewise, Washington should continue to exercise restraint and pursue a peaceful resolution to the issue.” 
“There have already been enough shows of force and confrontation, it is time for Pyongyang and Washington to take a step back from their previous rhetoric and instead heed the voices of reason calling for peaceful denuclearization of the peninsula.”
The editorial praised the President Trump for using “impressive patience” after announcing the end of “strategic patience.” It also praised him for agreeing with “peace-minded China.” It said tension has eased, but the situation is still dangerous. (Don't expect the corrupt, lying, smug, elite mainstream media in the USA to report the praise.)

The editorial restated themes from an earlier Chinese commentary that the North Korean policymakers are misreading their situation and that they have overestimated their strength and underestimated their peril.

The message is that UN sanctions and Chinese enforcement actions are not directed at overthrowing the North Korean government and system. They are designed to persuade North Korea to halt specific programs that China opposes. 

Kim Jong Un personally identifies with the missile and nuclear programs. Chinese advice and wisdom probably are unwelcome and, thus far, unheeded. At the same time the Chinese are exerting more pressure during this confrontation – including sanctions enforcement and use of blunter, more critical language -- than in any past crisis.

Brief Summary

You can make of this what you will. This blog does not tell you how to think or what to think, but simply provides the information with a little analysis that may or may not be correct. I don't think that anyone can tell you how this will end. Doing that would require that we crawl into the muddy, mushy minds of the power elite who rule North Korea and into the mind of the fat, near-sighted Dear Leader, bad haircut and all.   

China likely has spies close to the throne. Their reaction tells us things that we may not have direct knowledge of. All that is disturbing.

China has repeated to the US that North Korea is their problem and that they will deal with it. President Trump said that North Korea is China's problem and that they should deal with it. China is praising President Trump for impressive patience and agreeing with China.

Things are coming to a head with the Norks.



Monday, April 24, 2017

Geopolitics - North Korea

Because of the general interest in North Korea that has been building for some time, I'll keep updating y'all on details. The mouse that roared is continuing to roar. It's what they do.

Kidnapping as a Signal

North Korea detained a Korean-American professor at Sunan international airport outside Pyongyang just before he was boarding an aircraft for China. The professor had just completed a month-long course at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. In my humble opinion, ANYONE who travels to North Korea essentially signs their own death warrant. If they come back out, they dodged a bullet. I don't think that the US should take extraordinary means to rescue/save them beyond the general humanitarian efforts that we always make to ease the suffering of US prisoners held by savage and uncivilized nations.

North Korea has not announced the arrest. The Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, which performs consular functions for the US, informed the press, but provided no information about the reason for the arrest.  Kidnapping is a tactic that the North Koreans sometimes use to invite talks with the US without appearing to be weak. However, President Trump is not his predecessors. Kidnapping may be something that the Norks like to use, but that is unlikely to bring the US to any sort of bargaining table during this administration.

Nuclear Weapon Test

North Korea has resumed activity at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. Volleyball time has ended. The workers have placed more camouflage materials over trailers and equipment.

The imagery analysts at 38 North published an update of the status of the site based on the latest imagery. On 19 April, the site was judged to be in standby status. That has ended, though a volleyball court outline is still visible. The judgment still stands that the North Koreans can detonate a nuclear device at any time. 

North Korea issued more threats against the US and against the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. One threatened a "super mighty attack". The threats against the US are worth relating. The North Koreans have submarines that can be deployed against the carrier battle group. The carrier battle group also includes attack submarines that specialize in sinking enemy submarines.

The North's Korean Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, which serves as a liaison in inter-Korean affairs, issued a statement on Friday, 21 April. It warned that, "Anyone who threatens Pyongyang must be ready for South Korea to be turned into ashes, the sinking of the Japanese archipelago and nuclear hail to rain down on the US mainland.”

The North Koreans heavily rely on US press releases for locating US aircraft carriers beyond the Sea of Japan. They can be deceived and regularly miss US deployments that are made without accompanying press releases.

The anniversary of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) is 25 April. It is another occasion for a show of capabilities.

China-Russia

On 21 April, news services reported alerts and force movements by China and Russia towards the North Korean border.

Some units of the Chinese air force reportedly were placed on high alert. Specifically mentioned were Chinese bombers equipped with air launched cruise missiles. They reportedly conducted a major exercise in northeast China. China denied the aircraft alert.

Reports on Russian movements said that ground force units were moving to the North Korean border. The Russian government denied that it was reinforcing the border, but did not deny that troops moved into the border area. It said the troops were returning to base from deployments in other regions. 

The Russian border with North Korea is 17 kms long, just northeast of Sonbong. It is not an area where major Russian troop units can be concentrated. Vladivostok, however, is a major Russian port and military town. It is 170 miles northeast of the North Korean border.

This was an unusual convergence of reporting for nothing to be happening. Something North Korea did or was about to do seems to have got the attention of the Chinese and the Russians.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Really?

File this one under, "aren't you special!" (with a Southern, "bless your heart" thrown in for good measure)
Outraged Muslims are reportedly planning a May 1 demonstration at the Amazon headquarters in Seattle, Washington. The company is under fire after several Muslim security guards demanded time and space to pray five times a day, while on the job
The guards contend in a lawsuit filed this week that the subcontractor who employs them does not appropriately accommodate their faith and retaliates against those who speak out. 
There are a few things that stand out here. (1) Why would you want to hire a Muslim security guard? Think on that one for a while. (2) Can't they drop and pray at the lunch room? - The whole aloha snack bar thing seems appropriate in a place where people are nuking frozen burritos, slurping down vending machine coffee and pulling left-over spaghetti stuffed into tupperware out of the common refrigerator. (3) I'm sure that the broadcast of the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer will offend somebody and we wouldn't want that, now, would we? (4) Why can't Amazon host a "draw Mohammed" competition? (5) Finally, there would be something terribly wrong going on if Muslims weren't outraged at something (a daily event for the religion of peace).

Amazon has dedicated prayer rooms for Mohammedans (note the linked article above) The Muzzies are mad because they don't have ENOUGH OF THEM. Amazon does not provide dedicated prayer rooms for Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Baptists, Mormons, Sikhs, Animists, Native Americans (sweat lodges), Pagans, Buddhists or Hindus - and a mini casino for the agnostics and atheists. I call that religious discrimination. 


Bullet Points


In Sweden and France, they're
Mohammedans
In the USA they're rich college kids.
Sunday Sermonette - The glories of the progressive agenda may be something that plays well with college professors and administrators, but it doesn't play well in Fly-Over-Country. You know, the place that elected Donald Trump to be President - and elected the legislature - and supported Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice on the Supreme Court.

I was at my grandson's flag football game yesterday and my daughter's mother-in-law was also there. She is reading Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign, and she may be the only person on the planet who dislikes Hillary more than I do. She gave the book high marks and is not surprised that Hillary spent good money to hire people to find out who leaked. The book paints Hillary Clinton as a nasty, mean, egotistical, shrewish, smug, lying, incompetent (bitch) candidate. No surprise there. We know that Bill wants nothing to do with her.

The surprise to Democrats was that America saw through the smoke screen, generated by the lying, smug, elitist mainstream media's white-wash of her.  Hillary out-spent President Trump well over two-to-one and felt that would be what she needed to win.

I can't recommend the book because I haven't read it yet, but if Nancy is enjoying reading how the authors are skewering Hillary, it's got to be good.

Chicago Homicide - numbers still lead the aggregate of Juarez and Tijuana, Mexico again this month in what has become a national disgrace. Anything from the elite mainstream media on the wholesale slaughter of black-on-black crime? Not a peep.

And while I'm discussing the media, you don't see any of their vaunted incisive reporting on Mohammedans engaging in female genital mutilation of pre-pubescent girls (I support the AHA foundation). The practice is SICK and the people doing it (often Islamic family members) need to be imprisoned at hard labor for life. When they die, bury a freshly killed pig in the grave with them. (The 8th Amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment doesn't apply here because they're dead when you dump the freshly killed swine in the hole for the six foot drop to rest in peace next to them for all time.) And if you don't like my take on the situation, I offer you a heartfelt, aloha snack bar. I have no time for crimes against children. Public flogging is not enough (see suggested sentence, above).

The French Presidential Election - moves forward with the run-off today. The votes are not in as of this blog posting, but Le Pen stands a good chance of being in the final two. There are those who are upset that she has a philosophy that French people should come first in France and that France's interests are more important to French people than Europe's. If she should win, she proposes a FREXIT from the EU, following the British model. The EU leadership is a mixture of smug, pro-Islamists who wish to force France to accept more Mohammedan savages - not a good idea in a nation with at least documented 10,000 jihadis running around springing regular terrorist attacks and killing the innocent. The French should do what's right for them. The US elected President Trump to build a wall, drain the bureaucratic swamp and help make America great again. The Brits voted to leave the EU. Why should the French do otherwise?

Ann Coulter - pretty here
prettier in person
Has the World Gone Mad? - Bill Maher, a liberal whacko, is defending Ann Coulter, whose April 27 speech at Cal-Berkeley was canceled amid concerns of another attack by the Democrat Party faithful. She's showing up on April 27 anyway. It's a public school, funded at taxpayer expense. Free speech should be respected...should be.
Maher said this sort of thing goes on at campuses nationwide, calling it the liberals' version book burning. "They invite someone to speak whose not exactly what liberals want to hear and they want to shutter it," Maher said. "I feel like this is the liberal's version of book burning. And it's got to stop."
Bruce Jenner - is back in the news, having announced that he had his courting tackle removed. The 66 year old former Olympian is a lesbian. Tell me how that makes any sense and I'll buy you a (cheap) cigar. Jenner has a screw loose. He'll be on Fox News on Monday (Tucker Carlson show in Bill O'Reilly's old time slot) to discuss it. I have a feeling that I'll need to take a pass on that.

Benediction to the Sermonette: My take on Islam - may be different than you think it is. The peaceful exercise of religion is a protected activity in the US. Islam is a political system that masks itself as religious faith, thus the duality and the problem. I have no issue with Muslims who follow the law of the land, but we have seen time and time again where they set themselves above it. Wife beating, mutilating little girls, honor killing, etc. are barbaric and intolerable, savage practices embraced by Islam. They need to be prosecuted with extreme vigor* so that the savages can pack their $hit and flee back to the hell holes that they left if they can't live with that. The official stance of the USA should be "caution" when it comes to Islam - "tolerance with a BIG F-ing caveat".

*See suggestion above - imprisonment at hard labor for life. When death arrives, bury them with a freshly killed pig.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day

An Interesting Rant

Michelle Obama promoted "healthy"
school lunches that turned out to be
too foul for children to eat.
The Fox News website had an interesting piece on school nutrition. It seems that schools in the American South have banned grits. I'm not sure what a grit is. I've eaten them before, but not being from that part of the country, I don't eat them regularly. The Obama White House apparently banned them in schools along with biscuits and gravy. Naturally, as the article points out, biscuits should be made from buttermilk and Martha White Flour. 
The Obama administration also had a problem with traditional Southern buttermilk biscuits made from Martha White Flour. 
“Biscuits have to be 100 percent whole grain,” Ms. Dillard said. “It’s not the kind of biscuit you would see at a restaurant.” 
Nor is it the kind of biscuit you would see on your grandmother’s dining room table or a Wednesday night church supper. Why, no self-respecting Southerner would ever serve such an atrocity.
The people of Alabama are trying to restore the imbalance caused by the era of Obamanation and want both grits and genuine biscuits returned to the school menu. The Obama menu included the government sanctioned whole grain cathead biscuits but the kids just threw them in the trash...who wouldn't? I would think that the biscuits could be thrown by high school students, but if you hit somebody in the head with one, it could kill him. There's a lot of liability there.

What's Taught in School

Teachers in Great Britain must be insane. (Fox News) But I'm not going to say that it won't or isn't happening in the US, because our education system is twisted beyond all rationality at present. The British Teacher's Union wants to encourage sodomy as a lifestyle choice among daycare children.
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) called on members this week at their annual conference in Wales to promote LGBTQ issues to children -- beginning in nursery school. NUT also urged ministers to make proposed sex and relationship education “inclusive” of lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues. 
“It is far better that children are provided with accurate information in the classroom rather than inaccurate information in the playground,” a NUT booklet on advice for teachers about LGBTQ equality and transgender issues said.
Happy Earth Day 

Predictions made around 1970 when the “green holy day” (aka Earth Day) started:

1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment.

3. The day after the first Earth Day, the New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”

4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 issue of Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”

5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” wrote Paul Ehrlich in a 1969 essay titled “Eco-Catastrophe! “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”

6. Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the 1970 Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off.”

7. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the Spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness.

8. Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor, wrote in 1970, “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”

9. In January 1970, Life reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”

10. Ecologist Kenneth Watt told Time that, “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”

11. Barry Commoner predicted that decaying organic pollutants would use up all of the oxygen in America’s rivers, causing freshwater fish to suffocate.

12. Paul Ehrlich chimed in, predicting in 1970 that “air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” Ehrlich sketched a scenario in which 200,000 Americans would die in 1973 during “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles.

13. Paul Ehrlich warned in the May 1970 issue of Audubon that DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons “may have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945.” Ehrlich warned that Americans born since 1946…now had a life expectancy of only 49 years, and he predicted that if current patterns continued this expectancy would reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out. (Note: According to the most recent CDC report, life expectancy in the US is 78.8 years).

14. Ecologist Kenneth Watt declared, “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'”

15. Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of Sciences, published a chart in Scientific American that looked at metal reserves and estimated the humanity would totally run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver would be gone before 1990.

16. Sen. Gaylord Nelson wrote in Look that, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

17. In 1975, Paul Ehrlich predicted that “since more than nine-tenths of the original tropical rainforests will be removed in most areas within the next 30 years or so, it is expected that half of the organisms in these areas will vanish with it.”

18. Kenneth Watt warned about a pending Ice Age in a speech. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

Being a skeptic at settled science has some basis in reality. It's good to look at the past, even though the progressive thing to do is listen to your local Democratic Party apparatchik and take what they say as gospel.

Syria

US news sources reported that Syria has redeployed most of its operational combat aircraft near the Russian base of Khmeimim in northwestern Syria. The move is said to be a precaution to deter additional attacks by the US from destroying the Syrian air force.

The Syrian government denied the report. A spokesman said that some aircraft routinely moved to Khmeimim and others used it because of its proximity to terrorist targets.

Russian forces and the Russian government have been severely criticized for not shooting down any of the US cruise missiles used in the 7 April attack. When Russia deployed advanced air defense systems to Syria, military officials said that they were to help defend Syria from outside aggression. They later revised that mission statement, but Russian analysts commented that the US attack fell within the rules of engagement for any basic air defense mission.

Some writers suggested that the missiles were not used because they are not effective against US cruise missiles. They wrote that the government is doubly embarrassed by the US attack because it occurred and because it revealed the limits of the anti-missile system in which the Russian government has heavily invested.

The Russians are now under pressure to demonstrate the effectiveness of the air defense system. I don't think that they want the US to launch a cruise missile attack on Khmeimim Air Base to demonstrate its effectiveness (or lack thereof) all the same...

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Follies

Racial Self-Identification

I had lunch on Wednesday with a friend who is a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council. The White Mountain Apache have a reservation in Arizona and the land that the White Wolf Mine is on, once belonged to the White Mountain Apache before the white soldiers came and stole it from 'us'. During lunch, I told him that I am self-identifying as a White Mountain Apache since race is fluidic. However, in the effort to remain on friendly terms, I wouldn't put a claim on federal (welfare) money due tribal members, and didn't intend to build a casino. 

He looked at me as if I'd just eaten a raw bass. I went on to explain that I would, however, claim the tribal right to hunt big game on Indian land whenever I felt like it (a tribal perquisite). 

He thought that I was joking, but I "educated him" (but he wasn't buying the BS) that since white men and women can claim negro status if it advances their personal agendas, and Elizabeth Warren, a senator, can claim to be an Indian in order to make $330,000 to teach one class at Harvard, it's only right that the tribe recognize me as a member in those moments when I want to go hunting. When I'm not hunting, I can remain an evil white man, occupying what once belonged to the Apache. 

The discussion wound around with some harsh words for Senator Elizabeth (Pocahontas) Warren (D-MA) from the Chief. It would be interesting to see Senator Warren come to the White Mountain, San Carlos or Ft. Apache reservations in Arizona. Her welcome would be one for the ages and we'd want to insure that there were plenty of cameras present to record her homecoming, the scalping, being stretched over an anthill, massacre of her bodyguards, etc. 

I'll cut to the chase. I can go hunting as his guest on Indian land, (Whatever game I kill will be left on the rez. to feed people in need. I'm fine with that.) but the White Mountain Apache don't recognize gender or racial fluidity. How can this be? (I hear you scream) Arn't Indians down for the progressive movement. I thought that after the Sioux and Standing Rock that they embraced the "new racial paradigm". Apparently not on the rez. 

Politics - Free Advice to the Donkeys


The Democrat Party is still slugging it out by trying to out-nasty itself in the hopes that swing voters will be swayed by the filth and invective. They need to put somebody in charge who is from outside of their inner circles and who is a decent human being if they want to reach the America that is represented on the map. It would also help to put the love of sexual perversion on hold while doing this. The Dems don't even have to bring it up. Simply by being decent human beings, they might recover some of their lost empire.

The amazing thing is that it doesn't seem to have occurred to any ranking Dems. Nastier is better has become their mantra. And if you think that they were upset with having Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch take the bench at the Supreme Court, they're REALLY not going to like it when President Trump appoints the next round. They're pinning their hopes on taking back the US Senate in 2018, and hoping that Justice Ginzburg and Justice Beyer can hold out that long. Justice Kennedy will almost surely step down this summer offering President Trump another nominee.

The Politics of Tampons

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is rolling out a new pilot program to provide free menstrual products in several of its campus bathrooms — including some men’s restrooms.

The public university will offer the women’s hygiene products in three campus buildings. In two of them, Helen C. White and Sterling halls, the products will be available in all of the women’s restrooms, said Steve Wagner, a spokesman for the school, in an email to The College Fix.

But in a third venue, the Red Gym, the products will be available in all of the building’s bathrooms, he said. Wagner said: “Menstrual products will be available in all of the bathrooms of the Red Gym so that they are available to any student who might need them.”

It appears the products are needed in men’s bathrooms to benefit transgender males (biological women who identify as male).

The three-level Red Gym houses the institution’s Lesbian, Gay and Transgender Campus Center, the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiative, Multicultural Student Center and a variety of other student and academic programs and divisions, according to its website.

United Airlines - the Beating Continues

...and they deserve it.