sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Making Sense of It.


You've seen all of those 'falling rocks' signs on the roadside, right?


This is from Oak Creek, AZ.

I suspect that it augers well. It's a landslide, and portends positive results in the 2020 re-election of President Trump.

I know, I know, I should be a fortune teller.

If you look closely, there's a coyote tail under the largest rock. 

Happy New Year

Should Old Acquaintance be Forgot?

There isn't much left of 2019, and before we ring in the new year, it's time to break out the good Martinelli's sparkling cider in paper cups (no plastic straws) for my blogging friends. Feel free to help yourself to the microwaved Costco mini-corn dogs that Fredd's Aunt Sally nuked (partially - you can chip a tooth on the semi-frozen corndog minis). Only the best for all of you. Don't worry, you won't be invited to the wine cave since that's now politically incorrect. It's not that I wouldn't want you guys turning $900 bottles of Bordeaux into wine coolers by adding 7 Up and shaved ice...I just can't give you the key because of politically correct sensibilities. You understand.

Nobody ever said that I didn't know how to party.

Meanwhile, a guy in El Paso, who has spent his adult life living on his wife's multi-million dollar trust fund is coming down from what must be a wickedly insane acid trip where he imagined that he ran for president.

Sometimes life is like that.

It's like sitting on the open air veranda of a luxury hotel in Phnom Penh during the communist revolution of Pol Pot, watching the conscripted kids ride out of town in Coca Cola trucks to get killed. Years later, it's surreal. Days of auld lang syne?

So as we take the bottle opener to yet another festive apple juice, we can reflect on all of the young college nerds who will be "the future leaders of America". Those tragic young souls who are triggered by just about everything will be taking the reins of power and deciding what the healthcare of the older generation will really be like.

December of 2019 has showed you how much your Chevrolet hates you. It's true (more here). The Washington Post hacked a Volt to prove its point. There is something to driving an old (and relatively dumb) vehicle, that is not embedded with spyware. I could envision a convoy of new, cool 4x4's on their way to Virginia to support 2A being shut down on the Interstate from space if Hillary had won the last election.

Or maybe just all vehicles owned by deplorable people because of their danger to the woke population?

The Hollywood sion, Michael Moore, who lives primarily on his trust fund has declared publicly that firearms owners pose a real threat. If that was true, Fat Mike would have been planted six feet down with a mouth full of dirt.

But he's alive and he never left the US as he promised to do when President Trump took office. So he's not only foolish, he's a liar.



Monday, December 30, 2019

Most Favored Nation?

It's a trading status that traditionally rewards mutually beneficial relationships with a bonus consisting of the best trading terms, the fewest trade barriers or import quotas - if any. Endowing each other with these benefits was the key reason that the World Trade Organization was founded. 

If you look at the map (right), you'll see that the members are represented by the color green, the blue states are members which are part of the EU, yellow are observer states and the few red dots (places like North Korea, Palestine, Turkmenistan, etc.) are not members.

Why is there a WTO again? Oh yes, everybody treats everybody else equally and it's a brave new world. Except that's complete hogwash. 

The WTO is a paper tiger, and I'm being very kind. More realistically, it's a Potemkin Village.

What would be the consequences for US tariffs if the United States withdrew from the WTO during President Trump's second term? The president has the legal authority to pull the United States out of the organization without congressional approval.

On the orders of the president, the administration drafted a bill—entitled the United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act—that would do away with the most-favored nation (MFN) clause, which requires the United States to treat all WTO members equally in terms of the import duties applied to their goods. Such a step would allow the president to increase tariff rates, even rates “bound” (fixed) in previous trade negotiating rounds. Given that the president withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),  now replaced by the US, Mexico and Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), the WTO may be the next domino to fall. 
Context and Precedent: Congress last set rates of import duty in the Tariff Act of 1930, in what is commonly known as the Smoot-Hawley tariff. But from that point on, the president has, through executive order, reduced import duties—first as a result of reciprocal trade agreements reached in 1930s, then through the lower tariffs negotiated at the first General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) meeting in 1947 as well as subsequent multilateral rounds - etc. So, in a nutshell, Congress ceded that power to the president.
The World Trade Organization became a weaponized trade tool utilized by China and Old Europe, most notably, to cheat the United States. President Trump changed that in fundamental ways with bi-lateral or smaller multi-lateral trade deals (such as USMCA). Essentially, whatever value the World Trade Organization may have had is now passed. It's time for the US to officially remove itself, and let the rest of the world do whatever it would like. I think that you'll see this happen after President Trump's re-election in 2020.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Forecasting (Sunday Sermonette)


Where do I see myself in a year? I don't know. I don't have 2020 vision. I will toss the runes though. Welcome to the Sunday Sermonette.


The race for 5G dominance in the world between China and the US will continue as we enter the (new) Roaring Twenties. The economics of tariffs and trade will likewise be huge as BREXIT moves forward and new treaties between the US and Great Britain will be written.  It will be a huge and dynamic opportunity for both nations. The US economic engine under President Trump should continue to roar and that's good for the nation and the world - perhaps except for China.

The US will finally end the War in Afghanistan after trillions of treasure and buckets of blood have been spilled with a far less than ideal outcome. President Trump has no interest in foreign military adventures to fill the coffers of the military industrial complex and the deep state. And with the good potential of another Trump victory, they'll just have to content themselves with a trillion dollar military budget.
The War in Afghanistan, code named Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom's Sentinel, followed the United States invasion of Afghanistan of 7 October 2001. Did the war in Afghanistan make America any safer? There are arguments that jihadis showed up there from all over the globe to be killed by American munitions, but it's a very thin reason for a war in that place. Bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan, protected by American allies there... One thing is certain. A lot of beltway bandits made hundreds of billions. And a lot of Americans were killed and injured (including my son-in-law).
Absent one of them dying between now and then, which is not out of the question, the Donkey race for the White House will boil down to corrupt old Joe Biden (who'd be 78 when sworn into office) and that old communist, Bernie Sanders (who'd be 79 when sworn into office), despite the Party's complete disdain for old people, millionaires, white people and men. Riddle me that one. Lizzy Warren's lies and her outlandish plans for America is sinking her before the first primary. The Butt Guy is doing well in early polling but America isn't ready for a President Butt Guy. Yang is considered by the Party to be too white (it's true).  Hillary could show up at the Donkey Convention, offering to save them from themselves, maybe after both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders commit suicide?

The Second Amendment and the situation in Virginia will be writ large across the American landscape in 2020 as the collectivists with a very different vision of the future of the nation work to dilute and diminish the capacity for Americans to keep and bear arms.
“If the legislature decides to restrict certain weapons I feel harms our community, I will swear in thousands of auxiliary deputies in Culpeper,” Culpepper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins, who was just re-elected for a third term in office, said. “There’s no limit to the number of people I can swear in.”
Free people are armed. Slaves never are.

Manned Spaceflight may become more normal again in 2020 as America re-enters the high ground. The cold, dismal, 8 years of Obamanation are past (when one of NASA's taxpayer-funded missions was to try to make Muslims feel good about themselves) and it's taken some effort to regain what we've lost, but America is back, greater than ever, with some amazing technology. I, for one, eagerly anticipate the movement back into space.

USAF Holiday (WW2) flash concert. I haven't heard any word as to whether or not there will be a US Space Force band. Maybe they're not thinking that far forward into the future?

Ukraine


Areas under Ukrainian government control vs areas under Russian control in Crimea or in Luhansk/Donetsk that have disputed control.


Steve S., a blog reader brought this youtube channel to my attention. The US corruption in Ukraine involving Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and the rest of the Obama Administration is considerable, and has been documented extensively. Of course, none of that could be disclosed during the impeachment hearings. Interestingly enough, the Trump Administration had very little to do with Ukraine compared with the very active involvement of the Obamanation. As with the Russia hoax, the Trump Ukrainian hoax was designed to throw suspicion off the guilty by blaming political rivals for their own skulduggery.

Make of all this what you will. 

The prize was control of the vast Ukrainian wealth and the beneficiaries were American politicians and greedy robber barons who were ALL attached at the hip to Obama and friends.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Funding the Chinese Military

Just a note on the Chinese People's Liberation Army (and the People's Liberation Army's Navy) and how they are funded. All Chinese military services including the Chinese Coast Guard, which are essentially pirates, are expected to be self-funded to the extent possible. Some of this blog's readers know this, but other's may not and I want to bring you up to speed. The same is true of the Public Security Bureau.

The People's Liberation Army is expected to be self-sufficient apart from the national budget. It is heavily invested in tourism related industries in China and has vast hotel holdings, interests in national airlines, owns restaurants and whorehouses. The whorehouse business was damaged by President Xi, who has tried to put a stop to "chicken street" - the red light districts in the worker's paradise. It cut into the Army's bottom line but was subvented. I don't know the numbers, just that it happened. If you want to cut PLA weapons development, reduce tourism significantly.  

The PLA also is involved in agriculture, growing not only crops to feed its own troops, but in the growing of crops that are precursors (ephedrine) for methamphetamine, in the production of ketamine, MDMA and other narcotics that are sold for cash in the decadent West... 

Additionally, they supply the Mexican drug cartels (among others) with firearms and ammunition without any sort of end-user certification or documentation. Keep in mind that it's cash.

The Chinese Coast Guard (a component of the People's Liberation Army's Navy) earns by protecting the fishing fleet (owned by the Navy), which strips the ocean without any restraint, and by seizing foreign fishing ships. The ships are auctioned and the crews are ransomed. This happens every day. The details leak into the press from time to time. (Red Star Over the Pacific, is a good reference book by Naval Institute Press, reviewed earlier this year on Virtual Mirage.)

Stopping currency price manipulation may do more to damage the Chinese military funding mechanism than anything else that we're presently doing, but their parallel system of funding outside of the national budget is something that you should always be mindful of. 

Having moved in circles in China, a lot of this is obvious, but the information doesn't always make its way into the Western Consciousness outside of military or intelligence circles.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

China vs US Space Force

One litmus test of whether or not you're doing the right thing in America is gauging the Chinese reaction to it. They're unhappy about a lot that President Trump has done, which means that he's doing a lot right.
The Communist Chinese are outraged that the US created a dedicated space force. They verbally attacked its creation earlier this week by labeling it a 'direct threat to outer space peace and security'.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters that China is 'deeply concerned about it and resolutely opposed to it'.
'The relevant U.S. actions are a serious violation of the international consensus on the peaceful use of outer space, undermine global strategic balance and stability, and pose a direct threat to outer space peace and security,' Geng said at a regular briefing.
In 2007, China conducted an unannounced missile strike against one of its own defunct satellites, creating an enormous amount of space debris. Geng dismissed such concerns, calling them 'unfounded counter charges' that merely provided the U.S. with a justification for its own actions. China, he said, has consistently opposed the weaponization of space and believes international treaties on arms control in outer space need to be negotiated.

Space has become increasingly important to the U.S. economy and to everyday life. The Global Positioning System, for example, provides navigation services to the military as well as civilians. Its constellation of about two dozen orbiting satellites is operated by the 50th Space Wing from an operations center at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado.

China has established a similar, independent network, the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, assembled from 42 separate satellite launches. The Asian superpower announced this month that the $9 billion Beidou system, which aims to rival US-developed GPS, will be complete next year.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Eve

Glory to God in the highest. And have a safe, healthy, and conflict free Christmas Eve. Peace on Earth and in your hearts.

Having made that wish, there is always stuff to rant about. There are always matters left undone. There are always regrets. (For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, 'It might have been'.) 

There are always head scratchers - remove viewing is real in rare circumstances and can not be explained by any conventional means. How does somebody who has never been there or seen that tell you want is in a locked safe in the third basement level of a secure facility in a place that they've never been?

Likewise, how does one measure or meter something like genuine forgiveness, or God's grace? Or the value of a single soul?

It's worth pondering but it's well beyond understanding. So, just enjoy the Christmas music, the memories, the desert, the family and friends. And please accept my wishes to you all for a very Merry Christmas.

Clapper Squirms

Former Director of National Intelligence, General James Clapper, spoke on CNN last Monday, where he admitted that he and others are being investigated by Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Connecticut Attorney John Durham, for doing what former President Obama “told them to do.”

James Clapper
Asked if he is concerned if Attorney General William Barr or John Durham’s investigations will find wrongdoing and seek to punish former intelligence officials, James Clapper responded, “I don’t know. I don’t think there was any wrongdoing.”

Clapper, a perjurer, appeared before the Senate to discuss surveillance programs in the midst of a controversy over warrantless surveillance of the American public. He was asked directly, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?” There was no ambiguity or confusion and Clapper responded, “No, sir. … Not wittingly.” That was a lie and Clapper knew it when he said it. And the statute of limitations ran on that, so he won't be prosecuted for THAT perjured testimony.

Today Jim Clapper is a CNN contributor and a darling of progressive left. And he's likely the one that US Attorney Durham has testifying before the federal grand jury because he's the weakest of the co-conspirators. He will lay out Barack Obama... and then the fun starts.

We don't know what he's telling the grand jury, but let's review what he's saying on CNN:
“And oh, by the way, hold off what the then Commander in Chief, President Obama told us to do, which was assemble all the reporting we could, that we had available to us, and put it in one report that the President could pass on to Congress and the next administration.”  
“And while we’re at it, declassify as much as we possibly could to make it public, and that’s what we did,” he added. “It’s kind of disconcerting now to be investigated for having done our duty and what we were told to do by the President.” 
“If it weren’t for President Obama, we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set off a whole sequence of events, which are still unfolding today, notably, Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation,” he said. 
“President Obama is responsible for that and it was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment (based on the Steel Dossier) in the first place,” Clapper admitted. 

Navy News


Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly announced Monday that a new ship will receive the name USS Arizona -- the first time since its original namesake sunk at Pearl Harbor in 1941.

USS Arizona

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey touted the announcement Monday afternoon. "This ship and the name, 'USS Arizona,' hold special meaning for our country, its history and the people of Arizona — and today, that legacy begins a new chapter," Ducey said in a statement Monday.

Since the battleship Arizona is still commissioned at the bottom of Pearl Harbor, there's going to have to be some razzle dazzle to change things, but all in all, it's a good move. 1,177 of its crew members died when the Arizona was sunk in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The next USS Arizona will be a Virginia (774) Class nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN).  I wonder whether or not I can scam a seat at the commissioning?

Monday, December 23, 2019

DNA Edition

DNA Danger? 

CIA doesn't allow its personnel to give DNA swabs when they travel. (Kuwait, for example requires a DNA swab for entry and other countries are considering doing the same) The sample would positively identify the person and the sample could tend to identify relatives, who could come under scrutiny or be influenced. Now the Defense Department is piggy backing that policy.
From The Pentagon 
(link) A growing number of companies like 23andMe and Ancestry sell testing kits that allow buyers to get a DNA profile by sending in a cheek swab or saliva sample. The DNA results provide consumers information on their ancestry, insights into possible medical risks and can even identify previously unknown family members. 
The boom in popularity of such kits has raised ethical and legal issues, since some companies have shared this data with law enforcement or sold it to third parties. The Defense Department is now expressing its own concerns about these kits. 
Exposing sensitive genetic information to outside parties poses personal and operational risks.
The old double helix and future wars.  You can't deny that it's exploitable information. And people  in "the West" are giving the kits away as Christmas gifts. My advice is to swab somebody ELSE (not a family member) and send their DNA in as yours. Yes, things could go horribly wrong for you if they turn out to be serial killers. It would be embarrassing if you sent Vladimir Putin's DNA as yours, for example. But otherwise, you would simply be somebody's unknown identical twin, separated at birth...even if they were born thirty years before you were.

DNA Hunting

Hunter Biden displays his IQ
The scorned stripper and baby mama is hunting Hunter Biden, now the subject of multiple criminal investigations related to “fraud, money laundering and a counterfeiting scheme,” as claimed in court documents filed Monday in his Arkansas paternity case. When Hunter copulated with a stripper in Arkansas, he likely didn't even consider that his DNA would cause this sort of problem for himself and his famous (corrupt, creepy) father, and presidential hopeful. If Old Joe reads this, I'm sure that it would cause him to want to attack me the way he did poor old Corn Pop (or is it Pop Corn?)... Maybe we could have a spelling contest, Joe? Or maybe Joe and I could do pull ups

Virginia


A number of years ago, I attended an "Oathkeepers" meeting, just to see what they were all about. I recognized three FBI special agents, who I knew personally, attending the meeting. When they saw me, they sort of panicked and asked me not to 'burn' them. Because I was seriously underwhelmed by the "Oathkeepers", I didn't burn them and I never went back.
Paul L. Quandt wrote, "The problem with revolutions is that more often than not, they produce people who are more of a threat to life and liberty than those who were overthrown. Pendulums and all that."
The Oathkeeper organization fizzled as far as I know. Many of the people who were the loudest there had NEVER taken the oath or support and defend the Constitution of the United States agains all enemies, both foreign and domestic as part of what they did for a living. My impression was that a lot of them had personal grievances. Some didn't want to pay their taxes (who does?), some didn't want water in the public system to be fluoridated (Water fluoridation is the controlled adjustment of fluoride to a public water supply to reduce tooth decay.), some voiced their concerns about UFO's. Since the FBI considered it to be a subversive organization they must have spend millions of dollars nationwide to send special agents in to take down Oathkeeper's names.

Even though I'm technically on Christmas vacation, spending time with the kids and grandkids, things pop up and I found it interesting from speaking with people in my old haunts about how FBI employees have been redeployed to Virginia, to keep a close eye on the Second Amendment advocacy. You see, advocating for a close adherence to the Bill of Rights is apparently cause for the FBI to infiltrate. And if you're asking yourself what "legitimate" reason the FBI would have for doing that, I will suggest that it's just as legitimate as taking out an 'insurance policy' to defeat President Trump.

Are there FISA applications in regard Virginia patriots? Oh, most certainly. You can't go to the local magistrate anymore to obtain a Title Three wiretap because so many of them were appointed by President Trump. The alternative is to go to a "secret court" that won't have regard for the rights of citizens because "Russians" have inserted themselves into the ranks of the patriots. You see where this is going, don't you? There don't have to be Russians. The FBI's perjured oath that there are Russians is enough for the secret courts.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Shortest Day (least daylight)


Just about the time you thought that you may have human beings figured out, there comes the "Godzilla Lives Club", comprised of people who spend some of their time on the planet wishing and dreaming that there actually was a Godzilla - coming to a beachside city near you. No, you can't make this stuff up.

And I won't waste anymore electrons discussing it. But this post should assure you that no 'news' is too insignificant for Virtual Mirage to cover.

The Wall

$1.4 billion set aside for funding the border wall passed through with the latest Congressional spending bill, far short of the $8 billion the administration requested. So construction on the wall will continue, as before, but slowly, as before. The good news is that Mexico stood up their army on their side of the border and they're turning back a significant number of illegal aliens who embarked from whatever point origin, determined to end up here.

Winter Solstice

Photo of last year's big party at Stonehenge (stock photo)
Today is the day that pagans get naked and dance under the moon, all in the name of faith.  

I asked a pagan that I know to describe a Winter Solstice Party for me (actually for all of you) because I won't be attending. 


He said that he doesn't go anymore because they're BYOB events with potluck snacks and the women who attend are on average ten years older than he is have hairier arm pits and legs than he does. So much for the big night out. If you decide to attend a party, you've been warned. 

The FISA Court

After having swallowed lies fed to the court by the FBI on more than just Crossfire Hurricane (the attack on the Trump Campaign - and insurance policy), as it turns out, the FISA Court is reviewing all of the crap that the Bureau has cooked up to get at "its enemies" -- which may or may not be enemies of the USA. 

And that's really the problem isn't it? Whose side is the FBI on? One would hope that it would be a dedication to acting under the rule of law, but that's asking too much. 

The court now wants the FBI to surrender the authors of these lies so that justice can prevail and they can be prosecuted for perjury. I suspect that the Bureau may offer up a sacrificial goat who is old enough to retire and the court will censure them. The pay back to the sacrificial offering will be a cushy corporate security job, paying mid six figures in Bali or Bermuda. The Bureau rewards its friends and the Deep State flourishes. 

The Durham grand jury, empaneled and hearing witnesses may offer some clarification and indictments. We can hope.

Friday, December 20, 2019

A Looming Financial Crisis?

No, it's not clickbait.

Steve S. wrote and referred me to this article - linked for your convenience - $2.93 trillion. In a nutshell, this is the situation:
Last Thursday, December 12, the New York Fed announced that over the next month it would shower the trading houses (primary dealers) on Wall Street with a total of $2.93 trillion in short-term loans. The money is for a Wall Street liquidity crisis that has yet to be explained in credible terms to the American people.
The New York Fed’s repo (repurchase agreement) loan program began on September 17 when repo loan rates spiked from approximately 2 percent to 10 percent – meaning either liquid funds were not available to loan or the mega banks on Wall Street were backing away from lending to certain counterparties. Repo loans are typically between banks, hedge funds and money market funds on an overnight basis and are made against good-quality collateral. Since that time, the New York Fed has been making these loans to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars weekly.
Liquidy problems don't NECESSARILY equate to a crisis through the use of derivative financial instruments if you can hold to maturity. (read more about the Orange County CA Bankruptcy, which was a liquidy crisis on steroids) I ran the investigation that involved broker dealers and bond traders and as a result, I do know what a double step-down, inverse floating rate note based on Swiss LIBOR is. There are things you learn in life that are difficult to purge.

My take on the article is that somebody is leveraged in the wrong direction to the tune of $3 trillion and the Federal Reserve is trying to save them and save the market as it now exists. But the devil is in the details, isn't it?
The $2.93 trillion that the New York Fed will funnel to Wall Street over the next month consists of up to $120 billion each weekday in overnight loans through January 14 and $440 billion in term loans ranging from 3-days to 32 days. In addition, during the last week of the year (on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) the Fed will bump up its overnight loan offerings to $150 billion from $120 billion, thus providing an additional $90 billion that week.
Whatever it is, it's a real mess, and it will drag all of you (and the nation and the world) along with it. If it's the liquidy crisis that I suspect it is, there is a way to fix it without crashing the economy, but it's touchy.  Fredd, what do you think?

Friday's Follies


Did you know that the Donkeys Debated?

I was on the road and missed most of the Democrat debate. The big take aways would seem to be that Yang doesn't like circumcised males, Bernie is still an angry old communist (he's consistent), Warren is angry at the Butt Guy for hanging out with billionaires, and Biden's doctor told him that he is every bit as healthy as some people. It's no wonder that the donkeys voted to impeach President Trump for things that aren't crimes even if their absurd accusations had merit. 

Kabuki theater. 

Unfortunately for the donkeys, theatrical moves such as, "we impeached the President but we're not sending the articles to the Senate," sound even more pathetic than Kabuki performances. You can't make this sort of soap opera up. And how will history record this? It's more like a Nostradamus rant than it is anything resembling normal human interactions (beyond the third grade). 

The white cat memes make more sense than the donkeys in the House of Representatives. 

The Meaning of Life

Our fellow blogger, Jules, has a book of the same title coming out soon. (shameless plug) If you were to ask me what was best about life, I might default to Hollywood writing and Conan the Barbarian: "Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women!" Ok, maybe it's not THE meaning, but... you might get my point if you were a barbarian. 

I'm looking forward to the book coming out to hear other's take on things. Clearly the best thing in life for me is grandchildren. Not quite the meaning, but maybe it is the meaning when you get down to the bottom line. (LL with youngest daughter - right - more than a few years ago)

LL with youngest daughter, left, a couple years ago. No success in life can compensate for failure with your family. I think that learning to be kind, learning to be loving and learning to be a worthy parent may be the reason for living. The rest of it is the static background of making money, buying toys and the hash that people seem to pay an inordinate amount of attention to.   

But I'll have to wait until Jules' book comes out to know if I'm the only one who feels that way.

Discovery, or Lack of?

To date, scientists have discovered 4,104 confirmed exoplanets. But for every confirmed planet that astronomers nail down, there are handfuls of maybe-planets in the data, whispers in the data that might come from stars hiccuping or pairs of stars dancing or would-be stars that didn't quite make the cut. And scientists no longer have the resources to analyze every potential planet's identity crisis. And for all that, no other "intelligent" life, broadcasting from the void.

Then again, why would space aliens want to make contact if they're watching CNN? 


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Theoretical Thursday

A Pardon?

Will President Trump pardon Paul Manafort? At best the pardon is theoretical at this point. Still, it's something that bothers the Democrats, so they've been working to get him convicted on a state charge so that the presidential pardon on federal charges will still keep the former campaign manager locked up. But things aren't going well for the donkeys.
A New York judge has dismissed a state mortgage fraud indictment against Paul Manafort, President  Trump's former campaign chairman, citing double jeopardy laws. 
Manafort, 70, was previously sentenced in a pair of federal cases earlier this year as part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. 
Judge Maxwell Wiley ruled that state law precludes prosecution because the criminal case was too similar to that which landed Manafort in federal prison, writing that the factual overlap between the state and federal cases “is extensive — if not total.”
I don't claim that Manafort is either "pure" or "blameless", but if you're going to lock up Manafort, put him in a cell next to former Vice President Joe (Slow Joe) Biden for 18 U.S.C. § 208, which prohibits Government employees from participating personally and substantially in official matters where they have a financial interest. Then Biden can sit in his cell and wait until a Democrat is elected president and can pardon HIM. Or until he dies. Whichever comes first.

Moses

When I lived in the UK, circa mid-1970's, my land lady asked, "Where was Moses when the lights went out?" answer: "Under the bed, looking for a shilling." You see, in those days you had a meter and fed it if you wanted electric power in Great Britain. The same was true for the gas. A tuppence went into the gas meter that heated the water in the sink so that you could wash dishes.

Now you know what I know (for sure?) about Moses...he used to look under the bed for a shilling.

But there are theories.

While Moses (played by Charleton Heston) and his Pharaoh opponent (played by Yule Brenner) may be who comes to mind, Egyptian hieroglyphics do not reflect that a person known as “Moses” was ever a prince of Egypt. 

In the Egyptian language, the name “Moses” or "Messe" as it would be in Egyptian, simply means “born of”. In modern day terms you might even equate it to the “X” that Malcolm X used to denote the fact that because of his heritage as a slave that he had no idea what his true last name should be.  

Atheists often use this as a throw down that the Bible is false. And while I have to agree that many Bible stories are not historically supported by evidence in the way that they are presented, we often need to delve deeper to try and get to the core of who, what, when, where, why and how. We’ve discussed the Exodus of Moses (third exodus) before and that it was almost certainly comprised primarily of Levites. 

Pharaoh Amenmesse
Archaeologist Rolf Krauss theorized decades ago that Moses was actually one and the same with the short tenured Egyptian Pharaoh, Amenmesse. It’s a detective story, and this guess (it can only be a guess) you’ll never find a glyph that reads, “Moses was here”. Not by that name. 

Amenmesse lived during the Early Bronze Age period between 1228 and 1188 B.C. when the Exodus that is described in the Bible most likely occurred (the third slave revolt and a component of the migratory events).

There are plenty of hieroglyphics describing Amenmesse, although serious attempts were made to remove those references because Amenmesse was considered a traitor. Amenmesse’s name means “born of Amun”. Take away the reference to Amun, which you would expect someone to do if they discovered they were not really Egyptian and subsequently led a revolt against the powers that be, and you have the name “Messe” or “Moses”. In fact the story told by Josephus from the Egyptian historian Manetho regarding “The Revolt of Osarseph” is very likely a retelling of the revolt that Amenmesse led in Egypt against his half brother Seti II.

There is a tomb of Amenmesse in Egypt and three sarcophagus/mummies were found there, but none of them turned out to be Amenmesse.

If Amenmesse was the real Moses and the Exodus actually happened as the Bible explains, what would we expect to see afterwards in Egypt to explain why they may not have wanted to record anything about it?

Shortly after 1208 B.C., when the Exodus occurred there was a total solar eclipse over Egypt, likely related to the “plague of darkness”, marking the time. Egypt was ruled by a very young, crippled King named Siptah (also known as Ramesses). He soon died and was replaced by the widow of Seti II, Twosret, but she did not last long either. And then Egypt experienced a period of chaos where there was no King at all and they were subject to invasion by enemies outside their borders. The whole country nearly fell apart until Setnakhte, the father of Ramesses III, emerged to drive the invaders out and restore order to Egypt.

For a young and weak King like Siptah to have decided to memorialize such an ignominious defeat, by a traitor to the kingdom no less, allowing people considered second class citizens to leave Egypt, and that in the course of these events a significant portion of their armed forces had been wiped out, would have been tantamount to posting a sign saying “INVADE ME!” In fact, that DID happen after Siptah and Twosret died but neither wanted to extend what would have been an open invitation to their enemies by advertising their weakness.

If you examine events in that light, there is compelling circumstantial evidence of the existence of Moses and that the Exodus occurred. You simply need to plug what facts there are into the historical timeline, and it emerges. Or not? There are professional clergy who follow this blog and a number of Biblical experts who can take me to task. No doubt they will. My feelings won't be hurt.

So maybe Moses wasn't under the bed, looking for a shilling.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Thoughts for a Wednesday

Ancient Observatories

Some Ancient Alien theorists believe that the ancient temple (constructed 12,000 years ago) was built by space aliens because construction of Göbekli Tepe (in Turkey) is such that the manpower, engineering and project management should not have been possible twelve thousand years ago. The quality of art on the stone structures is also way ahead of its time.
Alien theorists say that Göbekli Tepe was built during, or before, the last ice age ended. How could hunter gatherers with food shortages at the time build Göbekli Tepe?

Monte Verde, in Chile, is even older at 16,500 BC, but it doesn't boast the construction marvels that the ancient Turkish temple does. 

Because I am an Ancient Alien skeptic, I think that people sell mankind short. When you look at a lot of ancient relics including water clocks and similar machines that were crafted "before there were clocks", it's not inconceivable that Göbekli Tepe, the pyramids at Giza, etc. were constructed without flying saucers being present. 

The remarkably clear skies (particularly during the cold winter and long nights) in the Arizona Highlands harken back (for me) to a time when human beings looked up, a lot, and tried to make sense of what they saw. The sky (among other things) is a huge clock. And even though we have 500 television channels to browse, they derived wonder and awe from the sky. Often they built structures (such as Stonehenge or Chichen Itza) in an attempt to make sense of what they saw. Such a structural reference is evidenced at Göbekli Tepe.

FISA Abuse

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was ill conceived because it made the abuses perpetrated by the FBI that we have seen recently brought to light. The question of whether wicked foreigners are more dangerous to the republic than the FBI (and the 'insurance policy' they created against a duly elected president) is can be fairly asked. Now the FISA court itself, hoodwinked by the FBI, is pushing back. (more here)
“The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable,” wrote the FISA court.
With this sort of conduct being commonplace apparently, can the country trust anything that the FBI is doing to be free from corrupt influences generated by bias within the agency?

When the FISA courts were set up many years ago, many of us (including those of us in the prosecutorial end of the business - I worked for the Orange County CA District Attorney at the time) warned that the proper functioning of the system within its legal limits required the utmost honesty and ethical behavior of those involved in bringing matters before the courts, because the ability to supervise and insure the integrity of the system was impossible to monitor from the outside. Think about this; if Senator/SECSTATE Clinton had won the election, we never would have discovered the malfeasance and (basically dishonest) “missteps” involved in this particular case. Given the actions discovered in this matter, you have to wonder whether or not other investigations suffered from the same or worse “sloppiness”.

Chewing Gum

What might future scientists learn about you if you spit it out? (link)

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Twofer Tuesday

The Holiday Season

In trying to find the Peace on Earth that the Season promises, sometimes you have to reflect back on the human capacities for good and evil.

The human capacity for evil, as despicable and undesirable as it is, is no less a human trait than our capacity for goodness, love, kindness, and empathy.

Until and unless our species evolves to the point where human nature is more benign and perfect than it is presently, there will always be evil in the world. Just as there are those persons who have a tremendous sense of goodness at one end of the spectrum, there are those at the other end who are capable of the most grotesque atrocities. Unfortunately, there is no sure way of identifying all of those capable or likely of committing great evil in advance. To quote Solzhenitsyn, “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being."

All we can do is try to make evil as small a denominator in the human heart as possible.

The White Wolf Mine, Two Years Ago


Monday, December 16, 2019

Nasty Pieces of Work

Crossfire Hurricane

Do yourself a favor and read Peter Van Buren's article in The American Conservative. I was going to write a piece but he did a much better job than I would have done and hit all of the salient points. 
"The release of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, which shows that the Democrats, media, and FBI lied about not interfering in an election, will be a historian’s marker for how a decent nation fooled itself into self-harm. Forget about foreigners influencing our elections; it was us."
And lest you think that this is the only instance where the FBI set aside the law to frame innocent people, think again.  And like any virus, it will survive this 'crisis' and will continue to do what it has done again. Much of the FBI's problem in this instance and others is that its culture creates this behavior.

The DC Swamp is real and it undermines the Constitution and the nation as a whole. The people's choice of President Trump set its toxic nature into motion and the centerpiece of that is the FBI, and the swamp creatures who ran/run that organization. The squad who put together Crossfire Hurricane still work at the FBI and enjoy positions of honor, trust and profit. That tells you all that you need to know.

And In The Old Dominion

The Virginia legislature just drafted this for the police officers in that state who refuse to enforce gun control laws.

Total bitch move.

Legal emasculation doesn’t carry the same weight as actually cutting your balls off.

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose...”
(linkB. Any public safety employee of the Commonwealth, or of any county, city, town or other political subdivision thereof, or of any agency of any one of them, who, in concert with two or more other such employees, for the purpose of obstructing, impeding or suspending any activity or operation of his employing agency or any other governmental agency, strikes or willfully refuses to perform the duties of his employment shall, by such action, be deemed to have terminated his employment
I have further comments, but they don't belong to the Internet. And I'm not a keyboard commando. But if the lawyers sitting as legislators in Richmond believe that they can subvert the Constitution, I think that they will rue the day. Jerking themselves off over this sort of mumbo jumbo will have unpleasant consequences for the progs.

Maybe it would be good for Bloomberg's presidential image if he came to Virginia himself and started kicking doors. After all he helped pay for all of this.

Then there is the mainstream media and this thought came to mind regarding those people (bless their hearts):



Sunday, December 15, 2019

Timely and TImeless

This is one of my favorite Obama Era retrospective memes.


This is one of my favorite Congressional memes.


The Squad, because you can't make this up.















Self-explanatory


Life at home



Saturday, December 14, 2019

Weekend Sermonette

BREXIT

UK 2019 Voting Map
The election marked a sharp realignment of the country’s election map along lines shaped by Brexit. Boris Johnson ran on a platform to “get Brexit done,” a promise that seemed to win over areas that had voted to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum.

The voting map, left, reminds me of the 2016 voting map where President Trump crushed Hillary.  News pundits are suggesting that PM Boris Johnson might be a tool of Vladimir Putin because his first name is "Boris", which just happens to be the first name of a cartoon spy character from the Rocky and Bullwinkle series in the 1960's. Coincidence, you decide. It would have been enough for the Democrats to impeach President Trump, if his name had been Boris instead of Donald.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) won big in Scotland as was expected. A buddy of mine from the old days holds a prominent position in SNP. I stayed at his house that last time I was in Glasgow. I gave him a brass CIA belt buckle to wear when he attended and led SNP rallies. He just smiled at me. But I digress.

The UK will leave the EU in January and I think that is that. Many in Old Europe are upset that the UK is likely to align itself with the United States and establish bi-lateral trade that will replace the deals that they had with Europe. 

The mere notion that Johnson's election would make Britain great again sent hoards of progressive protesters into the street.

Juice WRLD - dead

The method of his death provided a fitting epitaph. Thus the Sunday Sermonette continues.

I'm sure that some of you were fans. How can Fredd not be a fan because they're both from Illinois, home of Juice, and Barack, etc.

Jarad Higgins, known as rapper Juice WRLD, was pronounced dead at a Chicago hospital early Sunday morning.
Chicago, IL – Rapper Juice WRLD allegedly swallowed multiple Percocet pills in an apparent attempt to hide them from police during a raid of his private jet on Sunday. 
The 21-year-old rapper, whose real name is Jarad Higgins, suffered a seizure a short while later and was pronounced dead at a Chicago-area hospital at 3:06 a.m.
A Constitutional Crisis in The Old Dominion?

Shoulder flash of the Virginia
Army National Guard
Democrat Congressman Donald McEachin’s comments about using the National Guard to enforce Governor Ralph Northam’s proposed gun control laws in Virginia has caused a storm of controversy in the state, to the point that Major General Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard has issued a statement.

Will the Virginia National Guard go into rural counties to look for people who are allowing their 17-year old daughter to hunt unsupervised on their property, or to try to catch someone transferring a firearm without a background check?

Will the Virginia National Guard kick down doors and search houses without a warrant as Democrats have suggested that they do at "lawless Republican homes".

Dozens of county sheriffs in Virginia have vowed not to enforce newly minted gun control laws that violate the US Constitution. Counties have passed resolutions defending their resident's rights. Will Virginians establish a police state where soldiers search the homes of suspected gun owners who refuse to register their rifles with the Virginia State Police?

And what about the Virginia State Police? Have those officers sold their oath? The oaths that we all swore to defend the Constitution against ALL enemies, both foreign and domestic are not caveated.

In some locations, resolutions have passed where county sheriffs may deputize citizens to resist the State and potentially the Virginia National Guard. I think that every Virginia County should adopt that measure.

Virtual Mirage stands with those citizens of the Old Dominion who with to defend their rights to keep and bare arms without reservation. It's a serious situation and the Virginia legislature shouldn't put itself between the citizens and the Constitution. 

The Citizens of Virginia who are members of the National Guard may have to decide whether or not the orders of those appointed over them are lawful or not.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Observations

The donkeys and their goat rodeo seem to be having some second thoughts about impeachment. The articles of impeachment are literally articles that could apply to ANY president, at any time in history. It's not a good precedent to trot those out, given that there's not one shred of evidence of ANY crime. And the threat of endless impeachment hearings is likewise something that may not be in the nations (or the Donkey Party's) best interests.

I'm not convinced that the democrats will be able to pull together enough votes to impeach on a full floor vote of the House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi is counting votes and support for impeachment is weakening. Joe Biden said that he won't appear before the Senate if subpoena'd in the matter, which would be the same 'contempt of Congress' that the donkeys want to impeach the president for. Bad form Slow Joe. 

Better for the donkeys to try and marshal support for Slow Joe or Crooked Hillary in 2020 at this point than to shoot their bolt over the impeachment witch hunt. But they're not the brightest people in the room.

2016 REDUX?

What is best in life: Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women! The mere prospect of a replay is worth the price of admission. And should Hillary be the anointed one (yet again, screwing Bernie and the Bernie Bro's) it would be more entertainment than I think that I can stand. There is nothing sweeter than liberal tears, and nothing more savory than unicorn steaks.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Midway (movie review)

41 Devastator (torpedo/bombing aircraft) launched during the battle produced no torpedo hits and only six survived to return to their carriers. The torpedo bombers were great decoys, for the dive bombers. The movie gets a lot of things right, a few things were omitted, such as F4F Wildcat fighters. The sacrifice and bravery of the aviators (Navy and Army Air Force) that led to the demise of four front line Japanese aircraft carriers can't be overstated and the film does a good job laying that out. 

The workmen at the docks that repaired the damaged Yorktown in 72 hours, and set sail with the aircraft carrier, which would lend weight to decide the matter were likewise brave. It was a total war, and before Midway (at the Coral Sea, in the Philippines, etc) that Japanese gave a lot more than they got. They were dark days.

The movie was worth viewing, even though I've read just about every book written about the Battle of Midway.

America paid a very high price by not being ready for War. It's a lesson for the current generation. The "miracle at Midway" changed the momentum of the war. But best not to have to rely on miracles.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Twofer Tuesday

"Scenarios"

People don't want to raise the subject because it's 'racist' to bring it up. However in my present travels, things pop up  as I sit in the bar eating oysters on the half shell, and those things are grist for blogging. CDR Salamander touched on it in his blog, "France's Long War". But he didn't take it as far as he might have.

There have been various scenarios that were war gamed over the past few decades. The first, back in the 70's, was that rampant sickle sell anemia would curb population growth in Africa. That may still be a problem in Africa but it is eclipsed by so many others.

The second was that AIDS would depopulate Africa. The third was that maybe an Ebola wildfire would do what AIDS did not. I realize that these are not politically correct thinking, but they were circulated and not by me. I'm just bringing up the touchy subject. Now I think that decision makers and shot callers are confident that the whole "plague will solve the population problem" scenario isn't going to be effective in the near term. And it's increasingly unlikely that Africa will be able to do anything to solve the African situation, which is complex, and self-perpetuating.

As things stand, irresponsible government, human population expansion beyond that which resources are capable of supporting, and genocidal inter-tribal disputes will continue to force illiterate and unskilled people north, across the Mediterranean into North Africa and into Europe. 

I haven't seen much will on the part of Europe to address the situation.

Sanna

Sanna Marin will be sworn in as Prime Minister of Finland today. Depending on when you're reading this, she may already be seated.  As with many Europeans, she's strongly left of center, but she is easy on the eyes. Damn me with faint praise as being a heterosexual male if you must.















I've worked cooperatively with Supo (Finnish Intelligence Service) in the past. I was always impressed with their professionalism. But none of them looked at all like Sanna Marin. And that's a shame.