sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

October Ends (opinion)

Blood in the Street?

James Cromwell
Hollywood actor, James Cromwell, predicted that there would be blood in the streets if Democrats didn't win the upcoming election. Cromwell (who continually threatens to leave the US if Republicans win, but never had the guts to get out of town) seems to forget who has the guns, and it's not the progs. I find that interesting. Whose blood is he referring to?

It would be interesting to have the actor (and who really cares what an actor says when he's not reading what somebody else wrote for him?) elaborate on his statement.

Many conservatives, who are tired of left wing bullying, would tell Cromwell, "bring it". The liberal thugs like Black Lives Matter and Antifa have never met a group of angry, armed veterans. And if they had, they'd find that they need to find more angry black people and Antifa activists... and more Illegal Aliens waving Mexican flags... then they'd need even more. Is the levy inexhaustible? I think not. There is somewhere between 24 trillion rounds of ammunition in private (conservative hands) in America.
Far more ammunition is sold to private buyers in the us every year than is sold to the government.
Culture?

Of passing note or of passing not... whatever... I clicked on one of those clickbait things at the bottom of a Fox News website about the "Beloved TV Shows Canceled in 2018".

Too old to enjoy
sitcoms
It showed me how out of touch I am, because I never saw any of them. I'd heard of a couple, but could never bother to sit and watch them. Not one. American culture has passed me by and I didn't even have the good grace to wave. 

There are something like 1000 channels of programming on TV between cable, Netflix, Hulu, Prime, etc. I can rarely find something that I actually want to sit down and watch. And when I do, it's almost always a disappointment.

I find myself entertained more often by a book (bought electronically through Amazon.com on Kindle) that I read on my I-Pad. The greats, like Jim Curtis (Old NFO), are not writing enough so I have to find joy in other, lesser authors.

Zombies

It's the day for zombies, isn't it? My daughter had to take my granddaughters (left) to ballet class yesterday, the pre-zombie day, and this is what it looked like. They are cute zombies.

I find the zombie TV shows to be incredibly boring. Headshots of zombies, which promotes the video gaming industry in which teenage boys spend their afternoons shooting video zombies in the head. I guess it can pass for American culture can't it?

And then there is the big ramp up for the candy harvest tonight. I opted for three Costco trick-or-treat bags of nearly full size candy bars, doing my best to support the dental industry and of course, candy manufacturers and retail outlets. 

Zombies on TV shows don't show any affinity for candy, but the crew who will come by the house tonight will doubtless break that mold.

The Racket

Meanwhile, in Yemen


The three years of (marginally effective) bombing have destroyed what infrastructure Yemen had. Admittedly not much. A wholly predictable side effect of the war has been the breakdown of the public health system, the world’s worst cholera epidemic and half the population – about 14 million people – suffering from famine. Without the war there were about the same number of starving people (a statistic that the UN and other aid organizations never bother to disclose.

Another push by the Saudis to liberate Hodeidah from Iranian proxies (Houthis) is imminent. A Yemeni official said the Saudi-led military coalition sent more than 10,000 new troops towards Hodeidah in preparation for a new assault. The new offensive is supposed to begin within days.

A contingent of forces from Sudan recently arrived to secure areas already liberated and free up more experienced forces for use in another offensive. The last coalition push to capture the port was in mid-September. It made limited progress.

Coalition forces have been trying to liberate Hodeidah for nearly a year. Last January, Virtual Mirage reported Emirati forces advancing on the port. Since then, the coalition has captured most of the coast between Aden and Hodeidah and the southern suburbs of the port. But the Houthis still hold the port.

The US provides extensive assistance to the Saudi and UAE air forces (who write checks to pay for it), which fly sorties agains this or that target. It's said that the US could stop the bombing by refusing to send weapons, ammunition and spare parts to the Middle East, but "war is a racket" (GEN Smedley D. Butler) and by providing support to the Saudis and UAE, we fight a proxy war against Iran that petro-dollars pays for.

When will it end? It started in 632 AD when Mohammed died and a family scuffle broke out over who got what spoils.

We will stop suppling arms and military supplies when the Saudis and UAE run out of oil money...



Tuesday, October 30, 2018

One Man's View

China

The opinions contained in this blog are generally worthless.
- LL at LSP's compound in Hillsboro, TX.
While it's not covered here in the mainstream media, the Chinese press is whipping up people in the PRC to prepare for war with the USA. It has to do with Taiwan and with serious economic downturns in the worker's paradise. There's talk on the street in Shanghai of interning Americans living in China during the upcoming war. 

Will the PRC invade Nationalist China to save itself from its failing economic policies? What would the USA do if China invaded? Does the ocean belong to China exclusively? All of these questions and more are rarely explored in the corrupt, venal, lying, smug, sly, mainstream media - but they are endlessly speculating about whether creepy porn lawyer Michael Avenatti or Hillary Clinton will be the next US president.

President Xi is under a lot of pressure, and the US isn't underwriting their economy to the tune of almost a trillion dollars a year anymore as President Trump works to make America great again. As the US rebuilds, China feels the pain. It won't deter their military build up for the moment. The problem China has is its citizens. They've been promised eternal continuing prosperity and the central government can't deliver.

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Caravan


The first caravan arrived and then when the sun rose on the following day, this was left behind. Beware of Guatemalans and MS-13 bearing gifts. What should be done?

(1) Hit the pinada with artillery.

(2) Napalm.

(3) Haul the pinada through the fence as a triumph of Democrat policy?

(4) Hook it up to a Sikorsky Sky Crane and drop it twenty miles off-shore?

Vote early and often...

Observations

Where is Charles Martel? (ok, I know where he is, it's a metaphor)

If I were a Muslim student and wanted to use the prayer room provided for that purpose at a major American university, and found the floor was dirty, I would vacuum it. If that wasn't good enough, I'd rent a steam cleaner and would clean and shampoo it. But that's me. I don't lay on the floor to pray, but Muslims do. Apparently that's way too much work for the Muslims attending Columbia University. The referenced article says that female Muslim students want a much larger (and presumably fancier) prayer room. Possibly one with a nice view. They are naturally not ponying up the money to pay for it. 

Then again, I have a lot of respect for Charles Martel and for his accomplishments in life. He wasn't a big fan of the Islamic invasion of Europe.

The Shooting in Pennsylvania

Following the shooting in Pennsylvania, some Jews are saying that they will be attending synagog armed. My response to that is - why haven't you been doing that all along? Waiting for another bunch of Nation of Islam thugs or some other sort of freak to replay Krystalnacht? I'm not a Jew but I always carry a handgun when I'm attending church, going to the store, pulling money out of an ATM, etc.

A friend of mine was taking money out of an ATM in San Diego and three hispanic males beat him up and stabbed him. He's still recovering. Said friend was a naval officer who carried "the football" (nuclear launch codes) for President Reagan for two years during Reagan's term in office. I asked, "D, why didn't you shoot them?" He replied that he wasn't armed.

Ah.

Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. Even in the People's Republik of Kalifornia, where they only want criminals to be armed.

Turks in Syria

The Turkish zone of control in Syria gets larger and larger. Interesting.

On 26 October, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan issued what he said was a “final warning” to those who would endanger Turkey’s borders. He said Turkey was determined to focus its attention on Syrian Kurdish fighters east of the Euphrates.

Erdogan said the US turned the Manbij deal between Ankara and Washington into a tool to stall Turkey. The Manbij deal focuses on the withdrawal of the YPG from the city in Aleppo province in what Turkey says is a bid to stabilize the region.

The attack near Kobane is the first Turkish attack at Syrian Kurdish targets east of the Euphrates River. President Erdogan threatened at least six times to cleanse Syrian Kurdish fighters from northern Syria east of the Euphrates as he did to those west of the Euphrates. He finally backed up his threats with action.

Cooperation with the US and US-backed forces remains strained. Erdogan has accused the US of duplicity in protecting the YPG, whom the Turks consider a terrorist organization. Syrian Kurdish fighting groups remain in Manbij. They were supposed to have withdrawn to positions east of the Euphrates River months ago. Some 2,000 US soldiers and Marines are advising and assisting the Syrian Democratic Forces. Under the new US policy, they will remain until Iranian soldiers and Iranian-backed militias leave Syria.

The Middle East is a mess - and has been - since time began.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sunday Sermonette: Toxic Purge

Since I am currently homeless (the WWM project just sunk its fangs into another $110K of my money last Friday) and living alternately with this and that adult daughter (and their families), my daughters each have solutions to "fix me".

Amanda, husband and my youngest
grandson at Disneyland yesterday
Yes I'm getting old, or perhaps I am old? And I take medication to keep myself alive... but they feel that I can be fixed. My body can be repaired, much like an old Ford left rusting in a field.

Both older daughters are heavily into homeopathic solutions and I'm not saying that they're wrong. It's just that the witches' brew that they want me to drink have a less than perfect reaction. I have explained cause and effect. They consult books.

"But Dad, your liver is possibly toxic and needs to be purged." The argument has merits. I suspect that some of my fellow bloggers may also have toxic livers, but am no more willing to turn my daughters loose on you than Fredd is disposed to feed you food made by his Aunt Sally.

I suggested a liver transplant but the girls argue, "You don't know where that liver has been". Full disclosure, the MD that I go to says that my liver is fine. The girls, thrilled to "practice medicine", have volumes, written by people that I've never heard of suggest otherwise. 

Thus, I lend my body to science and their tinkering with chemistry. Not all scientists are mad and I have to admit that coming out the other side like Frankenstein (possibly the Mel Brooks variety) has advantages over the current state of affairs... particularly at Halloween. People have told me, "LL, you don't need a mask to scare children." All well and good.

I suggest that the purgatives could also be taken by my son-in-law (above). My daughter tearfully explains that he has refused her amateur medical treatments to date. This tells me that he's a lot smarter than I am.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Series


Eighteen innings last night, ending in a walk-off home run by Max Muncy, brought the Dodgers their first win in this World Series. Tonight the Dodgers are still down 2-1 against the Red Sox, but they're on home turf and it's going to be interesting to see how the Red Sox do. I'm pulling for the Dodgers, and I follow Dodger baseball throughout the season. The Red Sox had their historical best season in baseball ever. The Dodgers barely squeaked through into the series.

I've been invited to a World Series party tonight in the home of HARD CORE Bostonians, who really love the Red Sox. There will be all sorts of "Boston food" including lobster rolls, so it's worth going just for the snacks. They had hoped that it would be the final game of the Series, with Boston clinching things, but they may be too fast in their celebration. In any event, the World Series won't be clinched tonight (Saturday).

I could go into details. Those who like baseball already know them and those who are not baseball fans don't care. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Thoughts

Bombs - I have a few problems with the bombs recently sent to famous Democrats.

(1) In the photos I have seen on media, the stamps are not canceled. Which is very suspicious and suggests that they were not passed through the post office.

(2) None of the devices detonated. If they'd been sent by Republicans to Democrats, I suggest that they would have.

(3) It smacks of a hoax, possibly to increase the TV ratings of CNN and MSNBC.

__________


Halloween - You don't have that many shopping days left. If you have any doubt about whose grandchildren will be the cutest little candy scavengers out there, that would be mine. 

(right) Alyssa (9) and Savannah (5) are trying things out. Courageous Lion and Dorothy...their younger sister is Toto.

I went to one of those Halloween costume stores and wandered around with one of my grandsons. Where were they when I was a kid? You can buy some seriously cool stuff there. Sure, it's essentially landfill, but it's neat. You can buy a baseball bat wrapped with barbed wire (plastic). When I was a boy we wrapped real barbed wire around baseball bats. How things have changed.

It's a holiday for dentists. Then there is the dramatic run-up to Christmas. Christmas is an expensive holiday. Independence Day is my favorite because I like BBQ, fireworks and no emotional baggage. I'll be in SoCal this Halloween, so I'll be going from door to door with the grandchildren to protect them from perverts and genuine freaks.

__________

The Election - I really hate robo-calls and unsolicited texting. The crap that comes in the mail is instantly tossed.  


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Hints from the WWM

I visited the hovel and while the basic structure is complete, there are elements that are not - mostly finishing elements which include the kitchen and pantry countertops (concrete) and the bathroom countertops (marble), the bulk of the finished plumbing, etc. 

The photos that I'm dropping on the blog are the master shower (right) which has multi-directional valves on the walls, a bedroom (below) ad the kitchen as taken from the front door area.

I have advice for anyone interested in building a custom home and it's the same advice that I've heard elsewhere. Budget for price +15-20% over what you expect to pay. All that will be cash. Budget for construction time plus 33%.

I know that Fredd is planning to construct a home closer to Aunt Sally's (so he can go there for dinner more frequently) in Texas. Things may be different in Texas, but maybe not THAT different.

SO, caveat emptor.

If you throw enough money at the new house, or shack/hovel, you might end up getting a nice place. I reminded the general contractor about the propane generator while I was up there. He'd 'forgotten' and now it's going in. Trust me, your contractor will have memory issues and you need to be able to remind them how the cow ate the cabbage.

The subcontractors on this project were really first rate as near as I can tell. What was done was done well. Ok, once I move in, I might have a different view of things, or maybe I'm just mesmerized by a 2000 square foot garage.





Sunday, October 21, 2018

Finding "Justice" (Sunday Sermonette)

I spoke with friends today about the curious case of Matthew Hedges (31), a British university student, who has been charged with spying “for a foreign state” in the United Arab Emirates is looking at a trial (of sorts) next week. I won't take up the question of whether or not I think that Hedges was a British spy. I leave that to wiser people than me. 

However, there is a reason why most case officers (government spies) operate under diplomatic cover with diplomatic immunity while overseas. There are two kinds of case officers:
(1) Inside officers, who hold jobs within the embassy of the nation that they represent. Those jobs come with diplomatic immunity and they can't be arrested, but they can be expelled (PNG'd) by the host nation if they're caught.
(2) Outside officers,  often referred as non-official cover officers or NOC's, who operate outside of the shadow of the embassy. If apprehended, they're on their own, but the employing nation works to get them released - often blowing their cover in the process. Disclosure of cover can have a lot of unpleasant ramifications and I won't go into that here.
(*) There are also recruited assets, referred to in the business as "agents" who are managed by both categories (above). If captured or compromised, they're usually on their own. 
Matthew Hedges has been kept in solitary confinement for the last five months. UAE Investigators had gathered evidence from his electronic devices and intelligence from UAE security agencies that was in his possession when he was arrested last May.

What many Westerners don't understand when they go abroad is that in places like the UAE, you have almost no rights. Your trial will take place in secret and is decided by an Islamic judge. There is no jury. There is no right to free speech, no right to confront accusers, no right against self incrimination, and due process is what the UAE says that it is.

Last year, Hedges co-authored an article in an academic journal on the Muslim Brotherhood political organization and the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which the UAE is a member. The UAE is officially opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood. And there you go. A serious crime is revealed.

I suspect that there are wheels-within-wheels that grind deeper than the superficial but will not comment on that. The short message is that if you leave the USA you have very limited rights.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Saturday


At a local Halloween carnival with Liam 
and Lucas (two of my grandsons) in SoCal.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday Follies

Pope to Visit Norks?

Pope Francis accepted a handwritten letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, delivered by President Moon Jae-in, on 18 October, inviting him to visit Pyongyang. North Korean communists are as anti-Christian as any people on earth. However, one of Kim Il-sung’s (few) friends was the late Reverend Billy Graham.

Casting the chicken bones to see precisely how the whole North Korean situation will play out is something that many of us do - but that place is so messed up at every possible level that it's impossible to accurately forecast anything.

Screwed Up States

On 18 October, Ecuador announced (mood music link) that it was expelling Venezuela's ambassador over "offensive" comments. The move was in response to accusations by Venezuela Communications Minister, Jorge Rodríguez, that Ecuador President Lenín Moreno was "lying" about the number of Venezuelan migrants pouring into Ecuador. 

During his speech at this year's General Assembly, Moreno had said his nation has received more than 6,000 Venezuelan migrants a day and that "children are arriving with measles, diphtheria and polio." 

Rodríguez seized on those statements and said it would take "140 bus-loads per day for seven years" to reach the number of Venezuelan migrants that Ecuador claims to have.

Not only are the Venezuelan leaders bad governors and bad neighbors, they can’t do math. Despite the expulsion and disrespect, Ecuador continues to assist Venezuelans who reach its borders after transiting Colombia. The UN reported nearly half a million Venezuelans have migrated to Ecuador in 2018.

The great Venezuelan exodus continues. The UN estimated in early October that more than 2 million of the 32 million Venezuelans have left.

The Common Denominator

When you look at horrible places to live with failed economies, rife with human suffering at all levels, you will note that they're all communist enclaves. All are dictatorships where a few very wealthy oligarchs live like kings while the rest of the nation serves them. You'd think that Americans would be thrilled that they don't have to live under that sort of horrible oppression...but wait. Look no further than the multi-millionaires at the NFL, NBA, etc. who feel the oppressive yoke placed upon them here.



Thursday, October 18, 2018

Modern Life

We're all Indians Now

Some of you will recall that I had a family legend that circulated my entire life, suggesting that I had relatives who were part Creek. In fact, if you believed the legend, I was 1/8 Creek. I swallowed the lie because it was convincingly delivered. 

I found genetic comfort in the fact that I like both knives AND tomahawks.

With modern family search/ancestry/DNA resources available, I found that the story was a complete fabrication. Those ancestors who were said to be Indian were white as were their ancestors and there were documents (original images on-line) to prove it, going back to the 1600's. In those days, a declaration of race accompanied birth and christening documents because right-to-inherit, own land, vote, etc. was tied to that issue in whole or in part. 

My mother had framed photos of my Indian ancestors on her walls. Total bilge water. Her brother, my uncle, had his whole self image wrapped around his ancestry, and now, into his early 80's, it's been stripped away by modern technology.

BUT WAIT, there's hope. Senator Elizabeth Warren is claiming that .9% Native American DNA makes her an Indian. It could have been Aztec or some sort of South American rather than Cherokee, but she proclaimed herself a squaw. Maybe my mother and uncle are Indians when you apply that standard!

The next question is where I need to go to get a piece of the profit from the casinos and oil wells. And don't I qualify for some sort of allotment due to my minority status? The government owes me hundreds of pounds of free cheese that I never claimed.

Hungary Takes a Stand

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, signed a decree, which went into effect last Saturday, removing gender studies from a list of approved master’s programs.
“The Hungarian government is of the clear view that people are born either men or women,” Orban’s chief of staff said in August. “They lead their lives the way they think best, but beyond this, the Hungarian state does not wish to spend public funds on education in this area.”
Apparently he did not take into account that there are 32 possible gender identification options (the rules for determining what "you" are remain fungible on a daily basis), many of which are recognized through Europe and the US. Imagine the thought that people are born as men or women? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Intrigue in Belgrade, Yemen, etc.

The nature of warfare is changing, and some of this has to do with a lot of highly trained US Servicemen who are selling their skills to unscrupulous potentates. The scenario isn't new. During the middle ages, English longbowmen, Genoese crossbowmen, Swiss pikemen, etc. did much the same thing - and the nature of warfare changed then too. 

A number of middle aged men with skills have approached me over time, asking whether or not they should get into the trade, and my advice is always, "no".  So this cautionary note is sort of a letter in a bottle to all of those people as well as something to blog about.

Daniel Corbett, second from right, with Abraham
Golan, second from left, and Isaac Gilmore, far right.

Buzzfeed News
A friend of mine (L. C.) shared the story of a US Navy SEAL reservist Daniel Corbett, who has been held in prison in Serbia for eight months while under investigation for possession of an illegal handgun. The story made news from the outset because local outlets and various boutique US News sources found it to be 'sexy and salacious'. (The corrupt, elite, mainstream media would have reported it if Stormy Daniels had been involved, but she wasn't.)

In July, his criminal lawyer was gunned down in Belgrade in a gangland-style hit that remains unsolved. It is not known if the lawyer’s killing is related to Corbett’s case.

Corbett, who goes by the nickname “Dirty,” had combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to three sources familiar with his military record. He first served with SEAL Team 5 from 2004–2007, and with Naval Special Warfare Development Group or DEVGRU from 2008-2011. From then until 2016, he was assigned to Naval Reserve SEAL Team 17 (drilling reservist) while he pursued his civilian career in search of whore's gold.

In 2016, Corbett also worked in Yemen for several months for Spear Operations Group. Spear Operations Group (a US based company) was funded by the United Arab Emirates to assassinate Islamist political leaders and activist clerics. (more HERE)

Abraham Golan, who runs Spear, had traveled to Serbia with Corbett in early 2018, according to Serbian news reports. 

Corbett’s first lawyer, Dragoslav “Misa” Ognjanovic, insisted in April 2018 that the firearm Corbett was accused of possessing did not function at the time. BUT its serial numbers had been removed and that's a separate crime. In June, Serbian prosecutors announced they had indicted Corbett and three Serbian citizens on weapons charges that carried up to 12 years in prison. But on July 24, a court in Belgrade ruled that the indictment could not go forward unless it was rewritten to include more forensic information about the firearm.

Four days later, Ognjanovic, the lawyer, was shot down in front of his apartment building. (sic transit gloria mundi) The lawyer was essentially a mob lawyer, so there were other motives to kill him beyond his representation of Dirty Corbett.

As of this date, Corbett languishes in the Belgrade Central Prison, and I'm not suggesting that he doesn't belong there.

And who knows how long Dirty Corbett will be there? He is said to be cursing his bad luck - but "the fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves".

Dirty Corbett picked a bad group to attach his future to. Spear Operations Group, incorporated in Delaware and founded by Abraham Golan, (Hungarian Israeli security contractor living near Pittsburgh) is a loud mouth. Which means that when he sang to various news outlets about the assassinations that he and friends committed, it doomed Dirty. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Update and Perspectives

One Perspective

"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." I think of this quote often these days when the media attacks the President for doing the right thing. There's a lot of blindness inside the beltway, in the hallowed halls of the mainstream media, at Satan's Vatican and the rest of America's elite universities. And I'm not saying that wisdom is reposed in fly-over country exclusively, but even one eye is better than being totally blind - in a metaphorical sense.

The nation elected Donald Trump as president. It elected legislators where Republicans are in the majority. It did these things to restore balance to the dismal years of Obamanation that we experienced. And Obama re-entered the political spotlight (as if to say, NO, I'm Spartacus), stumping for candidates, and then mysteriously withdrew. Has he stopped sending a tingle up the legs of homosexual males? I can't say. You'd have to ask them.

It may be wishful thinking, but my sense is that the Republicans will keep control of the legislature in the mid-term.

Meanwhile, the work at the White Wolf Mine continues, and with the lease on the interim house expired and me moved out, I'm staying with children in the mean time. It's nice to spend time with the grandkids, and consulting work continues, so I'm not underfoot all that much. But the situation is far from ideal.

Now a few other observations:

North/South Korea

On 16 October, North Korea, South Korea and the United Nations Command convened their first three-way meeting to discuss demilitarizing the Joint Security Area at Panmunjom.

Other topics up for discussion are an evaluation of progress in removing landmines and guard posts, adjustments to border surveillance equipment, and ways to mutually verify demilitarization efforts. The US was displeased by the military annex to the Pyongyang Declaration because it was not consulted. A military agreement between the two Koreas, who are technically still at war, is not a bilateral issue, and the senior Alliance partner was not involved. The Commander of the UN Command in Korea is a US Army General who is also the Commander of US Forces Korea. The US is now involved, and the US Commander said he supports tension reduction measures, including the removal of land mines and some guard posts along the Demilitarized Zone.

However, the agenda was set by military leaders from the two Koreas. They are the parties who agreed to disarm the guards in the Joint Security Area, remove land mines, establish a no-exercise zone and to reduce the number of guard posts. Ironically, the guards on the South Korean side represent the UN Command, which was not a party to the Pyongyang military agreement. 

On 15 October, the two Koreas agreed to begin reconnecting rail and road links. The agreement on transport links was reached during talks at Panmunjom, as agreed at the third summit between South Korean President Moon and North Korean Chairman Kim last month.

The two sides agreed to hold ceremonies in late November or early December to inaugurate work on reconnecting railways and roads that have been cut since the 1950-53 Korean War.

This agreement, per se, probably does not violate the letter of the UN Security Council sanctions, but it is inconsistent with the purpose of the sanctions to maintain pressure on North Korea. The timing of the ceremonies implies that the two parties expect sanctions will be eased by then.

Security of South Korea, or increased South Korean vulnerability to an attack, is one of the key concerns of Korean experts. Several of the non-military, high-cost/high-value indicators of North Korean war preparations for 70 years are preparations of the infrastructure north of the DMZ to support high volume transit by tanks, other military vehicles and troops and high-volume communications. 

South Korea has agreed to take actions as confidence-building measures, to reward Kim for his sincerity, that would relieve the North from having to take them in the ramp-up to war. In addition, South Korea also has removed some of its own mines whose wartime purpose is to slow up any attacking North Korean ground forces.

Some might argue that North Korea has made itself vulnerable too. The difference is that the North Korean armed forces have a primary mission of unifying Korea by force. Kim has not renounced that mission. Conversely, South Korean forces have the primary mission of preventing unification by force. That mission is being made more challenging.

The greatest threat to North Korea is that its population (and military) will see how the leaders have screwed them for so many decades and will take matters into their own hands. It's worth watching to see how all of this unfolds.

Israel-Palestinian Authority

On 14 October, the Israeli army issued an order for the school to be closed, but students tried to enter on Monday morning alongside some officials. Israeli soldiers and border police fired tear gas at protesters, including into the school premises. Four people were hit by rubber bullets, the Palestinian Red Crescent said, with a number of others affected by tear gas. An AFP photographer also was injured in the clashes.

Concerning the Gaza Strip, at least 24 Palestinians were injured, and dozens of others suffered from shots and tear gas fired by the Israeli navy toward Palestinians who demonstrated near the maritime border with Israel, in the northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli jets also were active attacking launching sites for arson balloons, at groups throwing firebombs at Israeli soldiers and at a pair of men who tried to blow a hole in the border fence.

The Palestinians appear determined to test Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s threat to launch a “different” response if the violence continues. 

This is news/not news. You could pick up an Israeli newspaper from ten years ago and nearly identical stories would grace its pages. However it is indicative of insipid discontent - some legitimate, some ginned up. The Palestinians could have peace and a good way of life if the leadership wanted it - but they never want a good crisis to go to waste because without a war, they would lose power.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Story

I first heard the Frozen Bird story when I was in the Navy, undergoing arduous training. The saga runs like this:

A little bird was flying south for the Winter. It was so cold that the bird froze and fell to the ground in a large field. While he lay there, near death there, a cow came by and dropped a large pile of dung on him, warming him and saving his life.

As life coursed back into his little feathered body, he realized that he was covered by dung, repellant and odorous. He started chirping and complaining.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

There are lessons that can be drawn from this:

(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
(3) When you are in deep dung, best to keep your mouth shut.

~~~~~~~

Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday Follies

I watched a movie on Amazon Prime last night and it said that there were "adult situations". Funny, there wasn't anyone working to make a living, struggling to pay bills, being disrespected, trying to clean up after their children, etc. Things have been busy for me, so it's been slower blogging. There hasn't been much time to do anything but try and please clients who pay the bills and deal with the final phases of this, the White Wolf Mine Project.

China is struggling with the US intention to not let them screw us in trade anymore. It all seems so unfair to the celestials in the Middle Kingdom. One big issue for them is that workers have expectations of continually rising wages and standards of living and it's unrealistic. The Chinese are planning for a post-Trump USA where they can take advantage of America again. I hear this time and time again and my message to them is that the genie is out of the bottle, and no matter how many bribes they pay, it's unlikely to be stuffed back in - even if Slow Joe Biden or Poke-a-haunt-us take the presidency in 2020 - which is unlikely.

China's Belt Road Initiative is the cornerstone of their plans for an economically abundant future. However, things are not particularly hopeful there either. Sierra Leone has joined Malaysia and Pakistan in scaling back some projects. Sierra Leone has canceled plans to build a $318 million airport outside the capital of Freetown with a Chinese company and funded by Chinese loans. The Minister of Transport and Aviation Kabineh Kallon said that the project wasn't necessary and the country's current international airport would be renovated instead.

Sierra Leone is the first African government to cancel an already announced Belt and Road Initiative project. Essentially, the Chinese wanted them to build a new airport in a place where there is very little need for it.

This week, the Malaysian government freed 11 ethnic ChineseUighur Muslims from prison who fled to Malaysia after breaking out of a jail in Thailand last year. The Chinese requested their extradition, but the Kuala Lumpur government sent them to Turkey. Prosecutors in Malaysia dropped charges against the Uighurs on humanitarian grounds and they arrived in Turkey after departing Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

Background: In 2014 Thailand captured some 200 Uighurs after a cell of Uighurs attacked passengers at Kunming Railroad Station in south China. 
The men escaped the Thai jail in November 2017 and fled to Malaysia, whose state religion is Islam. They were captured in Malaysia. Prior to the general elections in May, the Malaysian government routinely extradited Uighur Muslims to China on request. Relations with China have become less cordial since the upset election victory of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad’s party, Alliance of Hope (PH). 
This is the second recent action by the PH government to cross China. Shortly after taking office, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad canceled more than $20 billion worth of projects awarded to Chinese companies. He said they were too expensive and not practical.  
Malaysia also opposes China’s assertion of sovereignty over most of the South China Sea. Malaysia claims to seabed rights off Borneo overlap China’s claims. Malaysia also claims 12 reefs, shoals and islands in the Spratly Islands.
These are not large setbacks to the Belt and Road Initiative, but they are setbacks. The Sierra Leone airport, the huge port and recreation complex in Malaysia and the railroad project in Pakistan are impractical or too expensive. 

As for the Uighurs, Malaysia’s change in practice risks significant strain in relations with China. As an Islamic state, Malaysia is sympathetic to the Uighurs, who are Sunni Muslims. China is systematically suppressing all Islamic observances in western China. 

US Policy Shifts in Syria are not reported by the mainstream media in the US, but things are moving subtly. I report these things here just to keep the dozen or so interested blog readers who drift by up to date.

The Syrian Kurds remain in Manbij. Turkish President Erdogan said that the agreement between Turkey and the US regarding Manbij had been delayed but is “not completely dead.” He added that “US Secretary of State Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mattis say they will take concrete steps.”

Commentary: President Erdogan said at least six times this year that the Syrian Kurds had departed Manbij and returned east of the Euphrates River. With extensive US assistance, the Syrian Kurds liberated Manbij from the Islamic State and attempted to linkup with Syrian Kurds in Afrin Canton, until Turkish forces and proxies intervened. The Syrian Kurds were the only group willing and able to defeat the Islamic State forces. Under pressure from Turkey, the US appeared to be abandoning them.

The US supposedly had agreed to their relocation last spring to placate Erdogan’s obsession that the Syrian Kurdish militia, the YPG, was anti-Turkey and communist. Joint US and Turkish military patrols supposedly began in late spring in Manbij. The Turks posted images of the joint patrols.

This week, however, Turkey announced that US military personnel had just now begun training in Turkey for starting the joint patrols. The earlier reporting was perception management.

As recently as July, US policy backed the Turks and the US was seen as preparing the Kurdish militia to return east of the Euphrates because the US was drawing down its support. In July, the US also appeared reconciled to the continuing tenure of Syrian President Assad. That changed during the summer. The justification for the US presence had been to defeat of the Islamic State terrorists. US forces would remain until that defeat was permanent, according to the US Secretary of Defense, then they would leave.

US forces are not leaving. Field reports of new camp or base construction and of new convoys of equipment and weapons deliveries for US and US-proxy forces east of the Euphrates leaked. Then came the public statements of new reasons US forces were not leaving Syria. The new justification was that US forces would not leave until Iran withdrew all its soldiers and advisors and all Iranian-supported militias, such as Hizballah. 

On 11 October, US Secretary of State Pompeo, said that the US supported a political settlement in Syria but US forces would remain until all Iranian and Iranian-supported left Syria. The US policy concerning a political settlement has returned to the position of the prior US administration that President Assad cannot be part of a political settlement. The Secretary said that circumstances change. The most immediate beneficiaries of the change in policy are two: the Israelis and the Syrian Kurds. The Syrian Kurds are likely to remain in Manbij, although the deal is not “completely dead.”


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Notes



Sunday morning in the Arizona Highlands, above


Sunday night in SoCal, below, at my daughter's home (Raptor visible below). Watching an Argentine SAOCOM-1A satellite reach orbit, propelled by a Falcon 9 that returned to Vandenberg and made a powered landing. The launch was spectacular as those evening launches almost always are.  Then again, maybe it's the government covering an alien event - a close encounter (Falcon 9 in a powered landing situation).

Friday, October 5, 2018

Before Dawn



If you plan to catch big fish, you must leave well before dawn (unless you're LSP and the fish line up in the lake, drawing. lots for the opportunity to take your hook). The Savage River canoe is loaded up, ready for its journey to the White Wolf Mine area, and trying to get in on the fishing season before it ends.

In 2008, my modified 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser was pictured prominently on the wikipedia page for that vehicle but no more, alas. Time has passed, but the rig is still as effective as it was then. When a part shows wear, I replace it, and there are a lot of weld-er-up style custom parts and aftermarket goodies to replace the weak spots in the OEM vehicle. 

 
The 18' canoe weighs in at 33 lbs. Carbon fiber with a kevlar bottom to deflect rocks and such. Thus, even a weakling such as myself can toss it up on the FJ. The yellow microfiber buffer pads are of my own design and help prevent chafing from the cinch straps on long trips.

Toys are important. But in fishing, luck is more important. Combining the two can be even more fun!


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Historical Reference

The story is oft told.

It's not a new story. Not in the least. And yet, it's renewed and part of the 24 hour news cycle in 2018.


Spider Rock



Spider Rock area / Canyon De Chelly - This spire towers 750 feet above the canyon floor. It is thought by the Diné (Navajo) that spider woman lived on top of this spire. I asked the Navajo if she could spin a web - any size - and could catch thieves just like flies. 

Likely not.

Disappointing.



Monday, October 1, 2018

Chinese Imperialism


The USS Decatur sailed near two Chinese man-made islets lands in the South China Sea. On 30 September: 

 “The guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur conducted a freedom of navigation operation. Decatur sailed within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson South reefs in the Spratly Islands.”






All US military operations in the area “are designed in accordance with international law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows”.

The image of Johnson South Reef is a year old. I included it in this item because it is one of clearest that shows the extent of Chinese investment in the seven man-made islets it has reclaimed and occupied.

Prior to Chinese reclamation, this reef was above water only at low tide. As shown, the islet has an area of 27 acres or .043 square miles. Press sources claimed that Gaven and Johnson South Reefs also have air defense weapons. 

This was the first US Navy transit within 12 nm of these two islets since the Chinese expanded national borders to include them, hundreds of miles from Chinese shores (about 800 miles in the case of Johnson South Reef). They took that action because they were certain that the Obama Administration (the "bowing president") was too anemic to do anything about it. They certainly had the measure of the man.

There have been at least 10 US and Allied naval transits of Chinese claimed waters in the South China Sea this year, including a transit of the Parcels by HMS Albion in August. In addition, US and allied aircraft have overflown the South China Sea and drawn Chinese protests. The most recent was a B-52 flight last week.

The US and allied transits inside China’s 12 nm territorial sea are conducted under conditions of “innocent passage”. According to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea Naval (UNCLOS) combatants may transit territorial waters without permission if they are making an innocent passage, which includes not conducting military training, launching aircraft and not firing weapons. 

Transits in open sea areas of the South China Sea have included live fire training and flight group training by aircraft carriers.

The Chinese insist that warships must obtain Chinese permission to transit the South China Sea. Chinese ships have challenged US, Japanese and Australian ships, but the likelihood of a confrontation at sea is slight. The Chinese are not reluctant to scramble aircraft, however, with a risk of accidents or incidents.


Different Topics

An Upended Apple Cart

All American political Parties are corrupt. The Principal Parties (Democrat and GOP) man the ramparts of the swamp, by which they can become fabulously wealthy. (i.e. Barack Obama entered the White House with a couple hundred thousand dollars in the bank and left with well over a billion).

The Libertarians seem to focus on how cool it would be to do drugs and not get arrested. However when it comes to who will care for the millions of shiftless, brain-dead druggies, they waffle on the answer and betray their anti-government sentiments.

The Communists/Socialist/Nazis and the Green Party are more morally bankrupt than the Democrat Party and you have to work hard to become that.

Creepy old groping Joe Biden receives his sexual predator
award. 
And President Trunp - running as a Republican but not taking their advice - screwed up the system that has been carefully crafted for so long. It's no wonder that the corrupt, elite, sly, media (Voice of the Swamp) hate him. There are a lot of people who were betting their political futures on Hillary Clinton and an extension of the Clinton Dynasty. Just look at the long list of foreign donors that Hillary arm-twisted into contributing to the Clinton Foundation in the hopes of gaining political influence. The nation was on the auction block and then President Trump won -  and it wasn't anymore.

The Republicans, who built their personal fortunes on campaign contributions against the Democrats no longer had an enemy (other than Donald Trump).  The political patronage that had become endemic in the pay-to-play Obama Whitehouse suddenly ended.

But fear not, Satan's Vaticans (Harvard, Yale, etc.) continue to turn out lawyers who know what's good for you. From within political office, they can take your money and "help you" and they're confident that they will win in the end.



Science Nerd Corner:

Plate tectonics have kept Earth's core molten and spinning. The arrangement makes massive radiation belts possible and their influence makes life on Earth possible. So understanding how they work, how they formed, etc. is interesting to creationists and evolutionists alike.

    Plate Tectonics

A new study suggests that plate tectonics -- a scientific theory that divides Earth into large chunks of crust that move slowly over hot viscous mantle rock -- could have been active from the planet's very beginning. The new findings defy previous beliefs that tectonic plates were developed over the course of billions of years.

The paper, published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, has important implications in the fields of geochemistry and geophysics. For example, a better understanding of plate tectonics could help predict whether planets beyond our solar system could be hospitable to life.
"Plate tectonics set up the conditions for life," said Nick Dygert, assistant professor of petrology and geochemistry in UT's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and coauthor of the study. "The more we know about ancient plate tectonics, the better we can understand how Earth got to be the way it is now."
For the research, Dygert and his team looked into the distribution of two very specific noble gas isotopes: Helium-3 and Neon-22. Noble gases are those that don't react to any other chemical element.

Previous models have explained Earth's current Helium-3/Neon-22 ratio by arguing that a series of large-scale impacts (like the one that produced our moon) resulted in massive magma oceans, which degassed and incrementally increased the ratio each time.

However, Dygert believes the scenario is unlikely.
"While there is no conclusive evidence that this didn't happen," he said, "it could have only raised the Earth's Helium-3/Neon-22 ratio under very specific conditions."
Instead, Dygert and his team believe the Helium-3/Neon-22 ratio raised in a different way.

As Earth's crust is continuously formed, the ratio of helium to neon in the mantle beneath the crust increases. By calculating this ratio in the mantle beneath the crust, and considering how this process would affect the bulk Earth over long periods of time, a rough timeline of Earth's tectonic plate cycling can be established.

"Helium-3 and Neon-22 were produced during the formation of the solar system and not by other means," Dygert said. "As such, they provide valuable insight into Earth's earliest conditions and subsequent geologic activity."
Journal Reference:
Nick Dygert, Colin R.M. Jackson, Marc A. Hesse, Marissa M. Tremblay, David L. Shuster, Jesse T. Gu. Plate tectonic cycling modulates Earth's 3He/22Ne ratio. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2018; 498: 309 DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2018.06.044