sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Right Enemy


We all have enemies. It's a condition of life. Even in the semi-utopian socialist wet dream that was the book (and world) 1984, the society was constantly at war.

The prog enemy is "the rich", which is problematic because all of the prog leaders are "rich" by anyone's standards. They wear their pink hats and parade around holding signs displaying their reproductive organs and decry men, and "the rich", and whatever. 

h/t Woodsterman
Then there are the Hogs who want to disarm all honest people in America. The Hog movement focuses misplaced rage and feeds the argument in the hopes that government will screw over the honest people by seizing their firearms, leaving only criminals in possession of firearms (like every shithole country on the planet...and those on their way to earning that status). If you're really opposed to guns, chop off your trigger fingers to show the world that you abjure firearms and you can't ever use one again (see left). It's not going to hurt any more than eating a Tide Pod will. Think of it as a Yukuza challenge where the stupid Yaks were ordered to chop off a finger by their leader (yubitsumi). Progs (now Hogs) can wear their mutilations with pride.

The real enemy is people who want to use the government to attack YOU. Which is why the Second Amendment makes sense.


Golden State Blues

California Doubles Down on Crazy

If you're an illegal alien living in California, you qualify for in-state tuition rates even though you're not a citizen of the state. If you're an American living in another state and want to attend university in California, the rate is substantially higher. (If you're an illegal alien, all you need do is skulk across the state border into California to qualify)

I registered all of my automobiles in Arizona last year. Yesterday, I received a delinquent registration notice from California, with a $90 penalty on top of the usuriously expensive basic registration. You can't call anyone at DMV because they will put you on hold - until the end of business and then they hang up. If you go to DMV there is a 4-5 hour wait MINIMUM. I checked on appointments and I couldn't go in until May to explain myself. So I drove to the auto club and asked them (I'm still a member). They said that they couldn't do anything to help me and advised that DMV is about a year behind processing CALEXIT registrations. "Eventually they'll catch it." Meanwhile they will put a lien on my tax return for next year. That's how they roll. And yes, I did turn in my auto license plates as the state requires. 

The whole sanctuary city issue has become a national joke. California - ever the liberal innovator - wants to double down and give illegal aliens the vote. Since it's the individual State and not the Feds who certify elections, they may be able to pull it off. Or maybe the United States will send in federal troops to calm things down and shoot a few insurrectionists at the capitol in Sacramento?

Good Friday

I'll be running around, keeping the place safe for democracy while you (the faithful) are observing the spiritual aspects of the day. Easter is a season in Mexico that is nothing short of nuts. 

Because the ports of entry are clogged, the narcos are sending a LOT of drugs across over the weekend. It may be virtually legal to possess 10 kg of meth in California, but it's a federal crime to bring it across the Mexico/California border. Of course, these loads are rarely that light. 50 kg is about as small as they like to break them down these days for cars. The cartels will still send wetbacks with 40 pounds of meth or cocaine stowed in backpacks across areas where there is no fence, or a step-across fence.




Thursday, March 29, 2018

Thoughts on Things International

China-North Korea

President Xi and the Xinhua news agency put Kim Jong Un on the record. On 28 March, the Chinese news agency Xinhua published a long and detailed report on the Kim visit. The fuller report clarifies several points and warrants some additional comments. 

The Xinhua report reminded readers that China adopted as policy and law Xi’s three phase strategy of making China moderately prosperous by 2020, having achieved modernization by 2035 and building a great modern socialist country by 2050. The strategy will not change because of any single event. North Korea is coopted into the strategy.
What is not said is also important. This relationship is not between equals. It is not based on friendship or shared goals or even shared principles. It is not based on duty among communists. North Korea is non-compliant. 
The Chinese view their relationship with North Korea is an asset in China’s strategy for dealing with the US. Kim does not see the Chinese big picture.

That judgment puts in context the lack of comments about reunification. Kim talked about warm inter-Korean relations without saying “reunification.” A reunified Korean state would pose a new and powerful challenge to China. It would be capable of frustrating the President Xi’s grand strategy. China opposes a reunified Korea. A stable, independent DPRK fits in China’s strategy.

Buried in the middle of the Xinhua report is the following paragraph.
“The Chinese side expects political stability, economic development and people's happiness in the DPRK, and supports the WPK, led by Comrade Chairman, in leading the people of the DPRK to advance along the path of socialism, as well as the endeavors by comrades of the DPRK in the developing economy and improving people's livelihood, Xi said.”
In this paragraph, Xi took Kim to the woodshed. China ordered North Korea to behave, put its own house in order and get out of China’s way. Whenever the Chinese leader resorts to stating China’s expectations, it always means that the client or tributary state has fallen short. This is strong medicine. China is the socialist model for North Korea, rather than Kim’s chaotic experiments in market economics.

The Chinese view of balanced development is not the North Korean byungjinstrategy of parallel development of nuclear weapons and of the economy. This is also a message directed to the North Korean Vice Marshals and Generals who have neglected the people’s livelihood for the sake of nuclear weapons.

China’s policy is North Korean denuclearization, “Xi said that positive changes had taken place on the Korean Peninsula since this year, and China appreciates the important efforts made by the DPRK”.

“On the Korean Peninsula issue, Xi said that China sticks to the goal of denuclearization of the peninsula, safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula and solving problems through dialogue and consultation.” Kim fenced with words about denuclearization because he has to face his generals at home.
“Kim said that the DPRK is determined to transform the inter-Korean ties into a relationship of reconciliation and cooperation and hold a summit between the heads of the two sides.”
Concerning summitry, the excerpts available previously in the English language press did not quote Kim the way Xinhua did. Kim cannot easily back down from a summit now. He is on the record. The game of using the South Korean special envoys in shuttle diplomacy is ended.

The price for Chinese friendship is North Korean agreement to fit in China’s grand plan. Kim appears to have done that up to a point. As a safeguard against backsliding, China published Kim’s words of agreement, almost as if there was an open mike. 
  • Xi did not mention sanctions or promise sanctions relief. He also did not credit North Korea as a nuclear state or as a middle power with an important role in international affairs. He tended to treat Kim as an important, non-compliant tributary. The four images published showed handshakes, but no embraces.
  • Kim did not promise to stop any programs. He did say he hoped for closer communications, sending cards and letters, sending envoys and holding high-level guidance meetings – all leadership actions. Kim implicitly agreed to keep China informed about the process, progress and content of the two future summits.
The two communist states are communicating again. China tutored Kim to try to keep him from unhinging Chinese plans. The underlying tension between Chinese and Koreans remains. The meeting was guidance for Kim and a strategic challenge for the US.

Saudi Arabia-Yemen

The Saudi-led Coalition began a large air campaign over Yemen, following the Houthi missile attack earlier this week.

According to the official media wing of the Houthi forces, the Saudi-led coalition conducted dozens of airstrikes, with at least 18 of them conducted last night in the Hajjah Governorate, west of Sana’a.

The Saudi-led Coalition has primarily concentrated this air campaign on the Houthi-held areas in the Sana'a, Hajjah, and Sa'ada governorates.

This attack is punitive. Large air raids have had almost no measurable effect on the civil war, except to deepen hostility and strengthen resolve to fight on.

Turkey-Kurds-US

Erdogan vowed to take Manbij. Turkey will take action if militants do not withdraw immediately from Syria’s Manbij region and areas in the country east of the Euphrates, Turkey’s National Security Council said on Wednesday, 28 March.

Terrorists have to immediately leave Manbij or Turkey will begin military operations as it has done elsewhere, the National Security Council declared.

The US has personnel in the Manbij area and doesn't plan to leave. If the US does not withdraw its personnel and Turkey persists in attacking Manbij, clashes between the two NATO members would appear to be inevitable. The Russians will enjoy the spectacle from the sidelines.

Turkey is the only NATO member that routinely clashes with another NATO member, namely the Greeks.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Brief Hovel Tour

The garage stretches the width of the house

The shop will be located in the area left. Naturally it will 
expand because that's how it happens. Is there any possibility 
of having a garage that's too big? No. I'm thinking that it should
have been another two cars long.

Where the upper and lower floors meet.

The shack will extend beyond the principal structure with the
effect that it actually sits out over the tops of the pines as part
of the view.

View from the dining room.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

An Interesting Footnote

China Gets It

Even if the general US population doesn't understand what is going on, the leadership in China understands recent US moves. The bottom line is that China needs the US and US markets if it intends to march forward and engulf all of Asia, which are their aims. Asia in fifty years, Africa in fifty years (or simply drained of all mineral wealth) and Russia when they get around to it.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin spoke about the issue  yesterday on Fox News:

“We are going to proceed with our tariffs. We’re working on that,” Mnuchin told “Fox News Sunday” in an exclusive interview, while acknowledging the U.S. is also trying to reach a trade deal with China in which the country would reduce tariffs and further open its markets. 
“We’re simultaneously having negotiations with the Chinese to see if we can reach an agreement,” he also said. “As the president has said, we want to cut the trade deficit $100 billion over the next year. … I’m cautiously hopeful we reach an agreement, but if not we are proceeding with these tariffs. We are not putting them on hold.”
And that's how it's going
  • If China doesn't leash back its North Korean dog, it there will be a nuclear war on its doorstep. They're working to bring the Norks to the bargaining table. 
  • If China won't stop dumping steel and is not capable of dealing with $100 billion in trade deficits next year (meaning it will need to buy more from US markets), they'll be hit with tariffs and it will hurt them worse.
  • China is on a military build up for hegemony in the Pacific, the US is building 37 more warships with emphasis on submarines that can sink the Chinese fleet.
China played it's hand early. Now President Trump is responding and their options are far more limited than it might seem - if they want to keep their agenda on schedule.

Sunday Sermonette

The Invocation

It's time for another polemic here at Virtual Mirage.
Easter is coming and the saints are marching in. It's
high time that we recognize them.

Saint Andrew?

There is the upcoming book tour
where I'm sure that he will refer to
himself as "St. Andrew".
Do delusions of adequacy qualify somebody to be a saint? McCabe might tell you that they do. It's about all that he has going for him now that they've taken his retirement badge/credential away. He'll write a book to prove it. He thought that he wanted a career but it turns out that all he wanted was paychecks. 

You know how I feel about the FBI's role in the effort to mount a coup d'etat against the Trump Presidency if you've read this blog for any time at all. And of all the conspirators, you have Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who took charge of the Clinton e-mail investigation and also took $700K in a thinly disguised bribe from the Clinton Machine.
Alan Dershowitz notes that, "If Andrew McCabe is so insistent that the actions taken against him were fraudulent and politically motivated, he can easily waive his right to privacy, and allow the internal FBI investigative report by its Office of Professional Responsibility that recommended the details of his termination, to be made public

If that internal investigation was flawed or a farce as he seems to suggest, that report would likely indicate such, or perhaps give more credibility to his claims." 
And he could then do a fist pump and join the Saint James Comey "I really admire myself" book tour because that party sounds awesome.
Every time I hear disgraced former FBI Director Comey speak I want to hurl my cookies at that self-righteous windbag. He's a self-made man who worships his creator.

If a regular special agent did what McCabe or Comey did, they would have been fired out-of-hand as would Comey. "All pigs are equal. Some are more equal than others."

Saint John?

I think that he'd like the title,
"St. John".
On Thursday, President Trump replaced a man who built the case for war with North Korea as a last resort with a man who just made the case for war with North Korea as more of a first resort. Trump announced that National-Security Adviser H.R. McMaster will be succeeded by John Bolton, the George W. Bush-era United Nations ambassador.

John Bolton, a Fox News contributor, is a wing nut. I'm sorry, I have to call them the way that I see them. I want to stop short from calling Bolton an idiot. I really want to.

For the record, I always thought that General McMaster was a poor choice for national security advisor, not because he's stupid, but because of his politics and his connections to the old Obama regime and their political cadre. He can go back to the army, pick up a fourth star and do something at the Pentagon that will benefit Beltway Bandits (Govt. Contractors) to prepare for his "soft landing" in retirement. He was always sort of a 'stuffed shirt'.

John Bolton (he is not only dull. he causes dullness in others) had a very high opinion of himself before this move by President Trump. I'm sure that today, he's insufferable. I don't think that he'll have a long tenure. BUT Bolton wants a war (really any war will do) and I always worry about those people. They can cause a lot of damage. Look at George W. Bush's NS Advisor, Paul Wolfowitz (his mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork). He, more than anyone, (even more than Rumsfeldt and Cheney) pushed for the Iraq war and that was and is a disaster.

Bolton's one of those guys who shoots his pistol and calls whatever he hits, the target. President Trump is reaching deep to find this guy. Must not be anyone left in the barrel.

The Benediction

It's time to retreat to the Arizona highlands and worry less about the world around me, curtail some of the work that I'm doing and calm down a bit. Is it fishing season yet? I need to hear the wolves howl at the moon and the big cats roaring as cat's do at night when they're on the rut.

I expect the general contractor to explain to me that he has to pass on the increased price of lumber to me. And there will be other cost over-runs. I understand, but I'm never happy about them. Hey, I'm stimulating the economy. There's a bright side.

Expect sporadic blogging for a few days.

Then it's back to the salt mine when I surface. Thankfully there is more work in the offing and I have the capacity to support myself.



amen

Friday, March 23, 2018

Federal Pork




A billion here - a billion there, who's counting?

News reports a threatened veto by President Trump - but I doubt he'll do it. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Oh, the Insanity

Mount Holyoke College - Massachusetts

The all women school is opening its doors to men, but only if they say that they're not. That's the conclusion of the gender inclusion task force. 
While Mount Holyoke maintains it is committed to its historic mission as a women’s college, it says it recognizes that what it means to be a woman is always changing. “Traditional binaries around who counts as a man or woman are being challenged by those whose gender identity does not conform to their biology,” the policy states. 
The college formed a gender inclusion task force to assist with the changes. 
Any “biologically born female” can apply for admission, but only a “biologically born male” who “identifies as other/they/ze and when ‘other/they’ identity includes woman” and one who “identifies as a woman.”
But what if a normal guy lied to get in to go to school and get laid a lot? How would Mount Holyoke handle that? I find this whole progressive cant ludicrous and -- if I'm being honest -- it's also entertaining. Who doesn't find a freak show interesting when the freaks keep trying to be freakier?

He's Back

This story received some traction on Fox News, where they've been ridiculing Indiana University. Apparently the publicity had some impact
Lake Ingle, a (male) religious studies major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was kicked out of Christianity class earlier this month for saying there are only two genders. He is now allowed back in. 
IUP President Michael Driscoll announced at a press conference Monday his decision to go against Professor Alison Downie’s controversial request to ban Ingle from class for “disruptive behavior.” 
Ingle told Fox News he was booted out of Downie’s classroom for challenging the feminist theology professor on the biology of males and females and the gender wage gap during a Feb. 28 lecture in which she allegedly asked only women to speak following a TED Talk by transgender ex-pastor Paula Stone Williams. Williams discussed the “reality” of “mansplaining,” “sexism from men,” and “male privilege.”

Downie kicked him out of class and asked him not to come back, which would have postponed his graduation if not for the college president’s decision.
Therapy Pets

I am not anti-pet. I do think that hauling your pet on the airplane with you in the passenger compartment is too much of a good thing, because others don't necessarily want to deal with your duck, rat, squirrel, snake, turtle, dog, hedgehog, cat, etc...and we know that the pets don't do well in the overhead compartments where they suffocate.

And before you jump my frame about seeing-eye dogs, seeing-eye cats, veteran's PTSD pets, I suggest that if airlines want to haul pets that they put them in a compartment separate from passengers where they can bark, quack, howl, meow, hiss, etc. Charge full fare to stack the cages, etc.  And before you ask me about squalling babies, I have no problem with a 'family seating area'. Put it in the back, board them first like they do now. Have the seats face forward and backward.

United (not my favorite airline), famous for "Chinese take-out" has killed somebody's hound and that will cost them another million. All this could be fixed with a pet compartment. If you love your frog or your parakeet enough, pay the full fare ticket for them. If not, put them in a pet hotel, leave them with a friend, drive your car, or don't travel.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

White Wolf Mine Knife

A friend of mine who served with Third Special Forces (ODA3110) lives in the general region where the White Wolf Mine is located. He inspects the building site for me from time to time and keeps the trades honest. He asked me about a month ago whether or not I had a White Wolf Mine Knife. I told him that I own more than one knife but didn't have a dedicated knife to the place.

Today I received a knife that IS the official White Wolf Mine Knife, a one-off pattern welded blade that started off with nine layers of 1095 and 15N20 steel, folded to 288 layers. Hardened to Rockwell 60. It has a scrimshaw wolf on the grip. While it's significantly fancier than most of my blades, which were strictly designed for combat, it screams WHITE WOLF.



It's one of those blades that I'll bring out for ceremonial purposes like the thoracic cut on the first elk that is killed and cleaned on the property. Otherwise, it will enjoy a position of honor in my trophy/I love me area in the den.

CW Swanson (Daily Timewaster) suggested that I give it a name. What about Ulvens Tann (Wolf's Tooth - in Norwegian)?

         

Here and There

North Korea

North Korea published an official comment about relations with South Korea and with the US. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published an English-language commentary on 21 Wednesday that read a “dramatic atmosphere for reconciliation has been created in relations between the North and the South of Korea and there has been a sign of change in the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea --North Korea) -U.S. relations.”

I don't know whether the rapprochement is sincere or not. I don't think that anyone knows at the moment. However the US is going ahead with scheduled military exercises beginning April 1, and sanctions are still in place. I don't think that China will blink and lift them and that may have the attention of the Norks even more than what the US and its allies have done.

The commentary on improving relations coming out of North Korea is without precedent and important as an acknowledgment of a change in North Korean tactics, if not policy. North Korean media have published nothing else like it, according to an analysis posted by the Daily NK on 20 March.

Putting their Snouts Under the Tent

The Russian Far East Development Ministry announced on 20 March that a delegation led by its minister, Alexander Galushka, is now visiting Pyongyang.

The delegation is scheduled to meet with North Korean External Economic Affairs Minister Kim Yong Jae on 21 and 22 March to exchange views on cooperation in the fields of energy, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, transportation and science technology.

This is vintage Russian behavior whenever North Korea reaches out to South Korea and the US. The timing is perfect.

The Russians tried to shoehorn themselves into the Agreed Framework arrangements during the Clinton administration and were one of the parties in the Six Party Talks. The distinguishing features of Russian involvement were that they never committed resources or finances, but always had much to say.

Russian meddling has important implications. It means that the Russians see opportunities for increased influence at no cost to them by pretending to be friends with Kim Jong Un’s regime. 

They also see opportunities for possible financial gain, for example, from a relaxation of sanctions as a reward for improved relations and eased tension. The Russians also appear to be trying to position themselves to capture a larger share of the North Korean energy market, at China’s expense. Russian fuel smugglers are competing with Chinese smugglers for North Korean customers.

Russian intrusion, such as this, is a positive indicator. It implies that the leaders in Moscow have concluded that the North Korean outreach is at least superficially genuine and will last for a while. 

Turkey-Syria

News services reported that Turkey intends to create its own local government authorities in Afrin District, replacing the councils created by the Kurds. One of their tasks will be managing humanitarian assistance.
The images of Turkish-backed forces looting Afrin suggest healthy skepticism about Turkey’s good intentions is justified.
Syrian Kurdish sources reported that the Turkish proxy forces, the Free Syrian Army, is capturing the remaining parts of Afrin District. They also are preparing to attack the Syrian Kurds at Tel Rifaat, which is the only sizeable town left in the region.

The People’s Defense/Protection Units (YPG) withdrew from Afrin to Tell Rifaat and to Manbij. Tell Rifaat is reported to be no longer a Kurdish-controlled town. In late February, the YPG supposedly surrendered control of the town to Syrian government forces. The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army has had limited contact with Syrian-backed forces. When incidents occurred, the Syrians retaliated forcefully.

Bitterness among the Kurds. 

The Syrian Kurds said they feel that they have been stabbed in the back by the US and the international community. "The silence of the international community is complicit in the macabre plan of Erdogan. Silence means acceptance," a group of Kurds originally from Afrin and now living in Europe told the French daily Le Monde on 20 March.

"Don't abandon your allies!" they said. "The same fighters who fought courageously against Daesh (the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State) are today left to the mercy of the Turkish army," said Khaled Issa, the official representative in France of Syria's Kurdistan. "What is happening in Afrin is ethnic cleansing and the great powers are spectators," he said.

The Usual Searing Analysis

The Kurds in Afrin chose defeat by the Turks over compromise with the Sunni Arabs and the Alawite Arabs. Syrians and Russians tried, but failed to persuade the Kurds to accept Syrian authority with the prospect of armed assistance. The rest of the Kurds talked about coming to the aid of Afrin, but did not, most likely on outside advice (from the US). They stopped at Manbij.

The Syrian Kurds did not learn from the experience of the Iraqi Kurds in the independence referendum in September. Somehow, they believed that their version of autonomy within the Syrian state would be acceptable to the Damascus government and to the Russians. It was not. 

No country with a large Kurdish population will permit the emergence of an independent Kurdish state. That Kurdish dream of statehood is dead for another generation.

President Trump did the right thing by keeping the US out of the fighting. The US forces in the general area are mopping up ISIS and have advised the Kurds to make friends from the national forces in Syria and Iraq, respectively or to accept that they are fighting a war they can't win. The US is not interested in fighting a proxy war against Turkey or anywhere else in the Middle East. That is a change in approach from the Bush and Obama years.

Israel

Israel officially confirmed on 21 March that Israeli air forces destroyed the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007. The announcement said the air strikes removed a major threat to Israel and the region and was a “message” to others.

The Israelis released declassified materials related to the attack. They included photographs and cockpit video of the moment that an air strike destroyed the Al-Kubar facility in the desert near Deir ez-Zur. The facility was located more than 480 km (300 miles) inside Syria. “This was our message in 2007, this remains our message today and will continue to be our message in the near and distant future.” 

The message is a warning for Iran. Israeli air strikes have destroyed at least two suspected Iranian facilities in Syria. All parties are on notice that the attacks on suspected Iranian facilities will continue. 

North Koreans were building the nuclear reactor complex at Deir ez-Zur when it was attacked in 2007. The main buildings were copies of those at the North Korean complex at Yongbyon.

Altered Carbon (a review)

The Journey

There I was, casting about on Netflix and I ran onto a new series: Altered Carbon. So I watched it and it was ok, but there were parts that I found a bit over the top. Still, I'm always in the market for a good novel and I found the the series was based on a book. The book, written in 2003 by Richard K. Morgan won the coveted Phillip K. Dick award for Science Fiction. Awards don't blow my skirt up but it had 650 reviews (+/-) and most of them were positive, so I got closer to pulling the trigger on the Kindle version on Amazon.com. 

The Book - Altered Carbon

Then I bought the book even though I did not and have not moved past episode 1 on Netflix. And I really liked it. There was something in the story that resonated for me and I found myself laughing, which I seldom do while I read. Don't get me wrong, this is NOT a comedy. It's a murder mystery set in the 25th Century, and it's very well written. Here's the plot: Netflix Tag Line: In the distant future, human consciousness can be digitized and downloaded into different bodies. Brought back to life after 250 years by Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy) the richest man on Earth, ex-Envoy soldier Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman / Will Yun Lee) must solve Bancroft's attempted murder for the chance to live again in a world he doesn't recognize. (trailer)

The Sequel - Broken Angels

The main character is the same, but the story is different. It's a war story and the same brittle edge that I found appealing with Altered Carbon was there in Broken Angels. Some reviewers didn't like the change in plot from detective novel to futuristic war novel, but it's a unique view of "the future" while being an interesting commentary on warfare without being preachy.

The Current Read - Woken Furies

I just downloaded this story which is third in the series and I'm possibly a quarter of the way into it. You will either get totally sucked in and miss days of your life, OR you will run screaming. I can't say what your reaction will be, but these books on Kindle are $12 each and I usually don't spend that much on a digital book. But the previous two were worth it. And this one is very good so far.

Will you like the series? I can't venture a guess, but think on it - you might like it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Those Lovable Turks

Turkish President Erdogan said the war against the Kurdish People would continue to the Iraqi border.
"Now we will continue this process until we entirely eliminate this corridor, including in Manbij, Ayn al-Arab, Tel Abyad, Ras al-Ayn and Qamishli," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday in Ankara. 

(Press comment: Ayn al-Arab is known to Kurds as Kobane; Tel Abyad’s Kurdish name is Gire Spi and Ras al-Ayn is Sari Kani in Kurdish. All of the towns are located along the Syria-Turkey border within Rojava, the self-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Syria.)
Erdogan said that capturing Afrin was a “comma” and “God willing, a full stop will come next,” but he insisted that Turkey is not invading Syria. “Our intention is not to invade, but to carry out operations to cleanse (Kurds) terrorists and eliminate terrorist threats to our country,” he said. 

Erdogan also threatened to fight anti-Turkish Kurdish fighters in Iraq. 
“We told the Iraqi government that they were trying to form another Qandil in Sinjar (Shingal). If you do not solve it, we can enter Sinjar and clean it up there,” he said, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
The reference to Qandil is to the base of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) which is a terrorist organization. Qandil is located in northeastern Iraq, whereas Sinjar is located in northwestern Iraq. 

Buoyed by the capture of Afrin in Syria, Erdogan is talking boldly about solving Turkey’s Kurdish terrorism problems, despite the humiliation of Turkey’s immediate neighbors and their allies.

He also is challenging Iran. The Turkish border campaign is an embarrassment for Iran because Iran is an ally of Syria and Iraq. Iranian volunteers were the only fighters who came to the assistance of the Kurds in Afrin. 

The Turkish and Turkish-backed forces are operating with impunity in Syria. Turkish air power, armor and artillery make them unstoppable by the Syrian Kurdish militias, unless they receive US air support.

In threatening Sinjar, Iraq, Erdogan would commit Turkish troops and proxies to operate more deeply in Iraq than they did during the tenure of Saddam Hussein. Once again, they would operate with impunity because Iraqi forces and Iraqi Kurdish forces could not repel the Turkish army.

Minutemen

Darwin never said the strongest of the species survives. He said the “most adaptable” to change survives. And the fastest to adapt not only survive, they thrive. That was certainly true in the age of British America when the staid and established British lost the New World. 

Note how the so-called "deep state" that actually runs America does the same thing by refusing to adapt to change. "How can a non-political real estate mogul become President? Why that's un-American," poor old Jeb! laments to his friends in the club from an alcoholic haze. Hillary (Jeb! without a dick) blames white women who are browbeaten by their husbands for her loss. How could anyone not recognize her political superiority over an outsider - somebody who doesn't belong to the club? Let's get Mueller in there to discredit the President and try to get him ousted.

Deep state manifestations peak out of the ooze and some of them (mostly in the FBI these days) are netted out and examined like some species of Neanderthal discovered living in a cave. The only problem is that the deep state was bruised (not killed) by the Trump election and they yearn for the good old days of Bubba and George W.

The socialists on the left took a drubbing and plan to double down on their loss rather than looking out across the nation. Those in the know within the deep state are bothered by the fact that "the deplorables" who elected President Trump are armed to the teeth and if counted as a militia army (which they are not but hang with me for a minute) due to numbers, arms and ammunition, outnumber the standing military by at least 50 to 1. (Active US Military in 2017 was 1,281,900)

Deep state efforts to disarm those deplorable Constitutionalists who cling to God and guns during the years of ObamaNation were anemic. Barack is often held to be the best firearms salesman that the world has ever known. Is it any wonder that the progressive left funding mechanisms were ready to pounce on a tragedy to try and do something about the deplorables and their firearms?

The NRA has not been able to handle all of the membership applications that they received from the latest anti-firearms craze. The deep state folks should recognize cause and effect by now, but they don't. 

Many who read this blog are disorganized minutemen - simply by default and training. It's not a militia, but it could be. This keeps members of the deep state up at night.

The current thoughts of many in California to break away and form a new state (read more here) reflects the discontent with the progressive movement which draws its strength from inner city people and coastal liberals. Enough of this discontent has to do with California's increasingly restrictive policies toward private ownership of firearms. Maybe this move would stop a CALEXIT? Maybe it will hasten it? Likely it's only noise, but California legislators have a tin ear when it comes to Constitutionalists. History shows that hasn't worked well in American history.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Vote Called For!

Death Wish
It's time to take stock:

Whiskey in the Jar -- Thin Lizzy   or   Metalica  ???

Ok, I think that Metalica kills it, but that's just me.

Some of you may recall the War Tunes post from St. Patrick's Day. There was come contention. What do you haters think of Thin Lizzy playing The Emerald?

And for this historical record, the first time I heard "The Emerald" was at Plymouth, England in the barracks of 62 Commando circa 1976 and they LOVED IT. See, the War Tunes among people who were killing Irish for a living (or throwing them in prison hulks - which was the same thing), were popular. They were more popular when the lads were tipping the bottle a bit. And everyone loved Thin Lizzy (a pro-IRA band). Who doesn't love The Boys are Back? Disco was big and when anyone returned from leave, we had that played before we busted the club up - and the Bobbies were called - and we left out the back with the young birds and groupies who wanted to do it all night long.

LL Circa 1976
I realize that some of you may see it differently, but you may not have been at the point of the spear at that time.  

In those days Ford was president and you could DO SHIT under the rubric of counterterrorism and everyone back home thought that was cool including Democrats. The USGOV decided to second some officers and a few senior enlisted to go to the UK and watch what was going on first hand and report.

That evolved into other jobs with the Brits, and more exotic jobs ending America's enemies -- until they almost ended me. And I decided to become civilized rather than kill people for Uncle Sam.  If you're going to ask how all that worked out, the jury is still out. Civilization is over rated. Whatever you do, don't fear the reaper.

Go ahead and vote. Thin Lizzy or Metalica?

Sunday Sermonette

It's difficult to live life without picking up 'baggage' - and I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way. It depends on what the baggage is and on what we do about it. The worst is the baggage that we don't know about, because that's almost always problematic.

Our ethics, what we value (and by extension our metaphysics and epistemology) are revealed by our aesthetics. Think about what movies, TV shows, books, stories, blogs, or news articles you like to consume. The kinds of entertainment we like, or the fictional characters we identify with, act as a litmus test for our ethics.

What art is hanging on your wall? Is it realistic, like photographs, or hyper realistic paintings? Or is it abstract? What is the subject matter? All these things can reveal how you fundamentally view the world, and how you think about knowing the universe.

Just as asking about how one views consciousness will reveal their metaphysics, what one surrounds themselves with, or their aesthetics, reveals their ethics, and ethics is codependent on their metaphysics and epistemology.

We surround ourselves with what we find comfortable, reassuring, and by being invited into the home of a stranger and looking at those things, we can come closer to being brought up to speed than in any other way.

I visited a friend the other day who is in early stage alzheimer's. He knows what will kill him unless he wanders under a moving bus first. The walls were bare, the furniture minimalist. Nothing remained of what had been since he and his wife sold everything and moved into a small, but clean and neat apartment. The stark walls and the capacity to pick up and move everything within half an hour or less made me uncomfortable. They have six children (three natural, three adopted) who are now adults. No photos of the grandchildren, no hint of --- anything. The walls reflected his current state of mind. No baggage.

I don't want to end up without SOME baggage. Then again, there are no hearses with luggage racks.

End of sermonette.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Because of March 17th

It wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day without some war tunes.



The Old Black Brimmer



The Boys of the Old Brigade


Come out Ye Black and Tans



The Wild Rover (not a war tune)



Ok, and a bit of Metalica - Whiskey in the Jar

A Little Political Chatter

We dodged a very big bullet when we elected President Trump rather than the vile old crone. I realize that the progs and a number of RINO's were unhappy and the deep state was shaken to its core. But can you imagine President Hillary without a shiver of anxiety that reaches to your very core?

The rampant corruption that the Clintons brought with them would have ruined the nation. Even though progressives reveled in the corruption and filth that the Hillary and crew represented, you have to think that even they must breathe a sigh of relief in retrospect of what might have been.

At the same time, I'm thankful that Hillary is still around showing people what a cupid stunt thing that she is.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Moving on (and still speaking of cupid stunts), there is Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who enjoys an 11% approval rating in his own state -- who is stepping aside and is not running for re-elecion to the US Senate. But WAIT! Flake is making noise about running for the presidency in 2020 against an incumbent President Trump. 

You may recall that Jeff Flake jumped party ranks to support Hillary Clinton against President Trump. He is a disgrace to Arizona and one can only wonder if his hubris has any bounds at all. I spoke to a fellow Arizonan about Flake and the guy said that the senator couldn't be elected dog catcher in his home town of Snowflake. I countered that I was certain that he could stand for election as dog catcher and win because half of the town is related to him...but that's about all the political future that the guy has.

Times have changed. I recall when the picture (right) of Navy Chief Petty Officers was the norm. I've been gone for a while and I understand that characterization is no longer true. Sad. But a lot of things have changed - times are always changing. The Navy became very politically correct and I think that a career in that service would be exceptionally difficult today for a trigger puller.