sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

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.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Semantics

Everyone tends to split hairs when it comes to matters of interest to them. Is 'somebody' a freedom fighter or a terrorist? Does killing people for fun and profit for political gain somehow end up with a different result than if they're doing it as part of their business plan (profit motive)?

Last Friday, President Trump announced that he will hold off on officially designating Mexican cartels as terrorist organizations while he works with the Mexican president "to deal decisively" with the issue.
"All necessary work has been completed to declare Mexican Cartels terrorist organizations," Trump tweeted Friday. "Statutorily we are ready to do so. However, at the request of a man who I like and respect, and has worked so well with us, President Andres Manuel @lopezobrador_ we will temporarily hold off this designation and step up our joint efforts to deal decisively with these vicious and ever-growing organizations! All necessary work has been completed to declare Mexican Cartels terrorist organizations. Statutorily we are ready to do so. However, at the request of a man who I like and respect, and has worked so well with us, President Andres Manuel @LopezObrador_ we will temporarily hold off this designation and step up our joint efforts to deal decisively with these vicious and ever-growing organizations!
Some call them Reapers - some call them rapers. It all depends on where the
missile enters.
President López Obrador walks a tightrope. He was elected on the platform of hands-off drug cartels, and now if he sticks to that promise, he faces a potential invasion (if only by armed drones) of sovereign Mexico. Designating cartels as foreign terrorist organizations means that the US is expressing the intent to kill them wherever they are.  That would include removing some of Pres. Lopez-Obrador's most ardent donors from the gene pool. Call it retroactive birth control if it makes you feel better.

Obrador praised Trump's decision at an event Friday in his home state of Tabasco.
“I celebrate that he has taken our opinion into account,” the Mexican president said, according to The New York Times. “There has to be cooperation with respect for our sovereignties, cooperation without interventionism. And I think it was a very good decision that he took today."
The sad reality is that the cartel structures include the WHOLE of Mexico. A terrorist designation would label all of Mexico as a terrorist state, much as Iran is today, with very tough financial sanctions. And they're our largest trading partner. Sticky wicket. Technically, and maybe practically, it would bar financial institutions of doing ANY business with Mexico. And who would want to invade the place? (if you broke it, you bought it) Particularly where the dope that they move is in such high demand in the US?

Mexico will stage pageants (see Wag the Dog) in coming weeks and months to show that they are cracking down on cartels. The cartels who don't pay MEXGOV enough will be targeted by Mexican light armor and troops. They will serve to assure the USA that they're serious about curbing cartel behavior. In reality it will be business as usual.

President Trump will show the American public these pageants and will use it to assure the voting public that our largest trading partner is trying...while we keep building the wall. Politics remains what it is.
Mexico today is a financial mess. It's not getting any better no matter what the US does or doesn't do, but designating it as a Terror State would lead to a complete collapse. I know that there are a few readers who might applaud that. But you need to be careful in what you wish for. What would rise from the ashes in Mexico? What about the humanitarian result of twenty million (or more) trying to cross the US Border every WEEK. The cause and effect could be horrible.

The US has a tiger by the tail. We don't want to hold on, we don't want to let go, and shooting the tiger in the head, while satisfying, may not get us where we want to go.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Turkish Expansion

Balkan Chessboard (Part 2) On November 29, we took a look at the situation in Greece and the Balkans (link). Since that time, the situation has become more complicated largely because of the Turkish position is changing. Let's take a look at how this is happening and at the strategic implications.

Greece ordered the expulsion of the Libyan ambassador Friday in the latest escalation of a dispute over a controversial deal signed between Libya’s U.N.-supported government and Turkey on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean. Turkey and Libya objected but there's not much that the Libyan ambassador can do except leave by Monday.

The Greeks have no diplomatic presence in Libya.

An agreement recently inked between Libya and Turkey will give Turkey access to an economic zone across the Mediterranean, over the objections of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, which lie between Turkey and Libya geographically. The deal has added tension to Turkey’s ongoing dispute with Greece, Cyprus and Egypt over oil and gas drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean.

The matter will end up on court, but Turkey has a history of ignoring court decisions unless it's a decision handed down by Islamic court, in Istanbul, controlled by Turkish strongman, President-for-life Erdogan. (in other words, a rubber stamp by the Turks)

The Libyan-Turkish security cooperation agreement is complicated because Libya has been divided between two competing governments since 2015, one based in Benghazi in the east and the other based in Tripoli. The Turkish deal was signed with the Tripoli-based government of Fayez Sarraj, and will allow Turkey complete access to Libyan territory including the right to construct military bases. It's not a bad move for the Tripoli-based Libyans because they gain Turkish troops to help support their claim against the "pretenders to the throne" in Benghazi.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis sought the support of fellow NATO members on the issue during an alliance meeting in London earlier this week, but because both Turkey and Greece are members of NATO, it's sticky.

For Turkey, it's a pattern that they are deliberately pursuing in an attempt to spread their military and political influence through the Mediterranean. They're trying to forge the same relationships with other weak and divided nations with the promise of military and financial aid. 

Then there is the issue with Cyprus. Cyprus was split along ethnic lines in 1974 when Turkey invaded the country and seized the northern part of the island, where it currently has 35,000 troops. And then gas was discovered on the ocean floor and the Turks started drilling not only adjacent to their claimed territory but in the maritime zone claimed by Greece.

Military Action?


Will Athens support the Greek Cypriot maritime territorial claim with naval action against ongoing drilling? Reliable sources tell me that it's being considered. However, the Greek military operates on a budget half the size of the Turkish military, it has a much smaller army and navy and is at a significant disadvantage without allies to back its play. Both the Greeks and Turks run similar submarine fleets (built in Germany or under license). Their naval forces are roughly comparable. The disproportionate numbers are largely to be found with the land armies. The Greeks traditionally rely on tank-busting helicopters to sway the odds in their favor.

The Christian Greeks are attempting to base their appeal to their long time British and American allies along religious lines. The Turkish (Islamic) caliphate is working hard to keep that from happening. 

Sunday Sermonette

I hadn't planned to blog, but the whole situation with NATO and the recent summit irked me. There's a lot that irks me these days. But I'm very grateful for President Trump and for his leadership and I'm looking to four more years with President Trump in the White House.

Foreign Policy in the age of Donald Trump

During the impeachment hearings, you saw and heard the mandarins from the US State Department crow repeatedly about how they know so much more than President Trump does about diplomacy. They have PhD's from the Georgetown University's Center for Strategic Studies. If you ask them, they will assure you that they're all geniuses. The culture that spawned them was one of unlimited and nearly unaccountable spending. They are the bulwark that stands between the Godless communist Russian hoards and hometown America. Just ask any one of them. 

If you should point out that Russia is a Greek Orthodox (Christian) country and it is not a one party system, the mandarins will scoff at you. If you were to ask about China, they'd just smile. China is not a Christian country and it is a communist country, but at State, Russia is the big threat to our freedom. North Korea is a close second. 

Meanwhile at the recent NATO Summit, President Trump spoke about how the American Middle Class is donating to support European (NATO) countries. He said, "It’s our middle class. We’re funding high-speed railways in Germany. We’re rebuilding airports all across France and central Europe. Our middle class is descending into poverty." The media went crazy, [saying], ‘You’re destroying the greatest alliance in history. It’s our strongest defense.’ And the Pentagon came in, the generals met with [Donald Trump], [saying], ‘Sir, these are our friends, sir,’ and Trump is saying, "Well, if they’re our friends, why do they lie to us? Why do they sign a document promising this percentage they’ll give, and they don’t give it. Why does our middle class have to pay for their defense and to clean up their environment?"

President Trump's approach will work as well or better than any other approach if NATO is to arm itself against its only enemy, Russia. The State Department should be thrilled, but predictably, they are not. It's not how things have been done. Whether it works or not is irrelevant. The bureaucrats are process people, they make entreaties, they take their counterparts to lunch (I'll have the cherries jubilee) on their expense accounts, they cajole (pass the sweet and sour shrimp).  Most of them have forgotten that diplomacy is saying "nice doggy" while you're looking for a rock.

And PM Boris Johnson, yucking it up with Blacky Trudeau and Froggy Macron... oh, that was not the best move. President Trump was willing to do a lot for the UK in their Brexit efforts. Now it will still happen, but it will be more difficult. 


Of the 29 NATO countries,  only five pay their treaty obligation - 2% of GDP to defense of their own nation (and thus to strengthen NATO) they are USA - 3.6%; Greece - 2.4%; UK - 2.1%; Estonia - 2.1% and Poland - 2%. Essentially the US taxpayer subsidizes the rest of the NATO member countries. To add insult to injury, President Trump suggested that the NATO member countries should account for their delinquency by paying the difference between what they paid and what they should have paid for past years. Globalists such as Presidents GW Bush and Obama would never have suggested such a thing, but President Trump is a Nationalist. He concerns himself with America first (how dare he!)

Robert Levinson

He disappeared on March 9, 2007 on Kish Island, Iran. Levinson, a former DEA and FBI special agent went to Iran as a private investigator on a cigarette smuggling matter. The Iranians have held him since then. He's the longest held American hostage in history. Will he be released in 2020? Maybe. Your Sunday Sermonette is that you need to have faith. It precedes the miracle.

WSF - business opportunity.


bleach and fumigate, and sell to somebody else, but yeah, WSF.




Friday, December 6, 2019

Friday Follies

How Clean Were They?

Mail Call
'Easy Company' took umbrage with my comment yesterday to the extent that people didn't bathe (much) in the Middle Ages. In medieval Japan, they bathed at least once a day. In Scotland in the 1200's, not so much and clearly not during the winter. (maybe a sponge bath intermittently) The Romans did have sophisticated bath houses but they were largely not used in Britain unless the aristocracy/landed gentry used them.  Some cultures did take steam baths and then jump into the ocean. I expect that cleanliness, particularly during winter was a function of class, location and overall culture. 
From my travels in the Middle East, in many places hygiene hasn't improved since the days of Mohammed...and dental care may not exist beyond extractions.
2020


It might help the donkeys if they put a 'collar-of-shame' on Slow Joe to keep him from biting himself.  Feel his hairy legs if you dare.

The circus continues as Elizabeth Warren announced that she will be the only 'woman of color' on the donkey's debate stage. You can't make this stuff up.

Their only hope is that President Trump will be removed from office before the end of his term and that is very unlikely to happen.

Meanwhile -

I'm traveling, trying to earn a few Zlotys to rub together, making the world safe for democracy and all that jazz before the holiday season shuts me down for the remainder of the year.  So forgive the spotty blogging.

Unique Shopping Strategies

There are some holiday/Christmas parties with white elephant gift exchanges (stealing allowed) coming up and I'm trying to find unique, strange and desirable gifts to add to the mix.

What is the most unique and desirable (should be both) gift that you've managed to grab at a gift exchange? 

There will also be a party for charity up here in the high country that will include a slave auction. I realize that is politically incorrect in many parts of America, but not here. There are no black people living here to object. It's sort of a highlight of the year, along with a prime rib dinner. People volunteer their skills at cooking a custom pie, housecleaning, doing woodwork, chopping wood, custom ammo loading, etc., and they are bid on by others in attendance. No, it's not a "swinger party", Woodsterman...

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

News and Traditions

Harris is Gone -  Back to the US Senate

The donkeys she loves so dearly failed to give her lots of money and they failed to support her in the polls. That means that they threw the baby out with the dirty bathwater* (see below). She could be a contender for vice president depending on who the democrat nominee turns out to be.  And we know that Harris has skills (wink). But if Mayor Pete, the ButtGuy, is their anointed one, will those skills work any magic on him? I think that Spartacus would have a better shot for Pete's #2.

This frees up a slot for another white male billionaire, heterosexual, preferably a smug, disconnected octogenarian. Michael Epstein could have been a contender if he hadn't met a mysterious end. We know that Prince Andrew would have endorsed him.

Maybe Kamala can go have a drink with Swalwell? If she hung with Willie Brown, I'm sure that flatulence doesn't bother her.

One key thing to remember about Harris (unlike Tulsi Gabbard, who was polling ahead of Harris at the end of Kamala's run) is that she's notoriously lazy. I like lazy donkeys better than I like activist donkeys. In the curious case of Bernie Sanders he's a lazy activist who has managed to convince a lot of Bernie Bro's that he will give them free stuff, paid by millionaires other than himself, if they give him money. It's a sweet hustle. I'm not knocking it. But Kamala couldn't close the deal. Too lazy.

Trip Downtown

I was speaking to a friend in a parking lot in Phoenix and a couple of inner city people, obviously loaded, approached us. I pulled my mouth guard from my pocket and shoved it in my mouth. He said, "You keep a mouthguard in your pocket?" I said, "Yes and I have my own teeth. No dentures or implants." He stressed, "Why do you keep a mouthguard in your pocket?" I replied, "for fights like this one."

The two inner city people just stood there while we spoke. Me with my vampire teeth mouthguard in, mumbling and my friend.

They asked, "You have a mouthguard?"

"Isn't it obvious?"

"You get in that many fights old man?"

"Not as many as I used to but I can whip your (deleted) asses."
~I had a bowie in my back, under my belt and a derringer concealed in my left hand.
They felt that I might be crazy, said so, and retreated.

I took the mouthguard out and put it back into my pocket.

Origins of Common Phrases

During the Middle Ages, urine was used to tan animal skins. Families used to urinate  in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery for a farthing. If you had to do this to survive you were "piss poor." Some people were poorer than that. They "didn't have a pot to piss in."

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June, but maybe not good enough. The bridal tradition of carrying a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor was born. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women, and finally the children. Last of all the babies.* By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it . . . hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high. The family animals were herded into a space below the floor (the undercroft). Once there they were less likely to be stolen or to freeze to death. There was nothing to stop things from falling from the thatching, down into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed, therefore, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

Some people weren't wealthy enough to afford a home with an undercroft. They lived in dwellings with dirt floors. They were "dirt poor". The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way, subsequently creating a "thresh hold."

In those old days, they cooked in the great room with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while, and thus the rhyme, "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the "upper crust."

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up, creating the custom of holding a wake. I always wanted to fake my own death and lay there in my open coffin while people stood around, lying about how much they liked me, then I'd jump out of the coffin, woke as a progressive.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive, so they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.