sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, June 28, 2019

Would Che Wear a Bernie T-Shirt if he'd Lived?

First, a response to your comments:

"...Obama, who was famous for being half white - or half negro,..." And 100% anti-American communist a**h***
-Paul, not only was Barack's mother a communist, but his grandparents were communists and they introduced him to his "Uncle Frank" (who looks enough like him to be his father), a card carrying communist. When you look at his inner circle in the White House, they were all communists and the children of communists. Small wonder that the eight years of Obamanation were so dismal.
  • Tulsi's quite the phenom on /pol... in the meanwhile, one of the Dem front runners, how many are there?, wants to provide abortion coverage to transsexuals.

    How courageous is that?
     -LSP, providing abortion coverage to trannys is about the most progressive thing that you can do, outside of getting a tuck-and-roll job yourself. Many prominent tranny males become lesbians with female partners. It underscores the definition of 'gender confused'.
  • These Democrat debates are starting to resemble 'The Gong Show', and the hook is out for every damn one of them, they are all missing the sentiment of the voter. Nobody gives a crap (for the most part) on trans-gender issues. What, maybe 4% and I'm being overly generous on that estimate.

    -Fredd, It has been a long time since I saw the Gong Show, which came to you 'almost live' from Hollywood. I used to get tickets and took dates to the show, which was a hoot off camera as much as it was on. I think that the whole Democrat freak show are too weird to be on the Gong Show. They wouldn't be credible. Nobody that weird should be walking around in public, yet they do.
  • So, on Tucker last night, she rejected Trumps sanctions and promoted going back to the failed Obama/Iran deal.
    And Tucker seemed to agree?

    -Ed, I can't speak for Tucker, but the Iran deal, which they violated day-one by not allowing inspections as agreed. It was an artifact of the Obama wet dream that he cooked up with Valerie Jarrett and John (Swiftboat) Kerry, both of whom are (rich) collectivists. Rich for me, poor for the great unwashed. They would be oligarchs.

    Thank God for the Second Amendment. If they promote a civil war, I suspect that it won't be survivable for John Kerry or Barack Obama unless they stay in Africa (where they are also unwanted).
  • I hadn't noticed the resemblance to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but in that photo, it looks like one of those Stalin/Lenin "staring off into the future" pictures. With the hair light from above giving her an Obama-esque halo.
    -SiGraybeard, yes it does indeed look like a state photo that you'd see of Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Mao, etc. If Che was alive, would he wear a Bernie t-shirt?

  • I'm in SoCal

    For a few more days. This chart reminds me of what I've experienced in my time here with my grandkids. I also got some work done. Busman's holiday.


    If you've never visited the place, it won't mean much to you.



    Thursday, June 27, 2019

    Observations

    Tulsi Gabbard


    As the least objectionable Democrat in the crowded field, you may be asking yourself whether or not Tulsi Gabbard is genuinely pushing for nomination on the Democratic ticket. Sure, she'd take it, but by running, she's creating name recognition where there was none, and will be trying to position herself for 2024 or 2028, after the Trump Era. It's an effective strategy and may help her gain the US Senate for Hawaii in the interim.

    For now, she's not enough of a collectivist to gain the imagination of the progs. It's true that she's a woman, but she's not a lesbian. She was born in American Samoa, but liberals claim that she's not Samoan enough -- and most of them have no idea where Samoa is. Clearly there aren't enough Samoans out there voting to make a difference, so she represents an insignificant grievance group, unlike Obama, who was famous for being half white - or half negro, depending on how you look at it. She served in the US Army in a combat theater, which puts her in the same lane as Mayor ButtGuy - claiming that it has prepared her to be commander-in-chief.

    I don't know if anyone has noticed, but she looks a lot like comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who portrays a politician in the series Veep. Is life poised to imitate art (again)? I don't know, I'm just asking the question.

    Adventures in Nork-Land

    The North Koreans release rants directed at the US every few days, and I don't expect that you read them. I don't know that I'd read them but for the production this blog.

    North Korea shares a close, long term relationship with Syria and Iran (you should not be surprised). They are under an "80% sanction environment" and took note that the US just slapped 100% sanctions on Iran. That bothered them and I think that's cause for the rant.

    The North Koreans are not happy that the world does not view Dear Leader (the fat kid with the bad haircut) as a genius. Lack of fawning, mawkish respect for Dear Leader can lead to execution in the Hermit Kingdom.

    Official US statements characterize Chairman Kim as an oriental despot who heads a brutal regime. North Korea continues to engage in a wide range of dehumanizing, criminal activities. To us, it's simply the case. They understand the reality but chose to reject it. Even if the leaders meet again, bilateral relations and denuclearization will be difficult if not impossible. They want to keep their nuclear weapons and to keep creating more. China is trying to put a wet blanket on that activity but their efforts seem to be scorned privately, while putting a happy face on Dear Leader's meeting with President Xi last week.

    Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    Housekeeping

    I have a guy - who is going to switch my entire blog out of Google. I'm sure that I could do it myself, but I have a guy. And he's boarding a plane from Shanghai at high noon for the Dallas Metroplex as I type (but he won't be staying at LSP's annex in Dallas). And eventually it will be fixed. Within a couple of weeks, I'm guessing.

    GOOGLE has been giving me a lot of heartache. I can't comment on my own blog, delete spam, etc. There are a couple of other blogger-driven blogs that I can comment on such as WSF or LSP. I can't comment on LindaG or the Daily Timewaster. And I suspect skulduggery on the part of Google. Call me suspicious. If I hadn't been on blogger for a long time, I'd think that the glitch was with me.

    President Trump is compiling a list (HERE) and (HERE). So I'm going on record that there appears to be skulduggery. I can't tell you whether or not Google is playing fast and loose with me, but it would fit the pattern that other people have experienced.

    Mike_C's Complaint

    Yesterday Mike_C replied to my blog post in this way:
    Playwright and occasional movie critic Stella Duffy: Net worth somewhere around $16 million. White lesbian. Sorry, Mx Duffy, as a rich white person, you DON'T get to speak for persons of color. And lesbian with a wife? A committed lesbian relationship is so bourgeois that these days it's practically straight, only with more flannel shirts and worse haircuts. How DARE you presume to speak on behalf of the truly marginalized?
    Mike - Mike - Mike, women who wear comfortable shoes (as opposed to 'lipstick lesbians, who wear Jimmy Choo shoes) have been sorely oppressed. Oh, sure, they drive their Bentleys from their homes in Pacific Pallisades to Whole Foods, and shop on Rodeo Drive (which is going to be renamed Obama Boulevard), but do they find R-E-S-P-E-C-T in the world of Deplorables, which includes YOU, Mike? No. They don't. Deplorables are not bound by race or national origin. They cling to the notion of gender inflexibility, and vote for the Orange Man. Deplorables don't feel that the Academy Awards are important, or the other statue awards that the Hollywood Elite hand out to each other while making disparaging statements about the great unwashed meat eaters in fly-over country who contribute to their extravagant lifestyles, orgies and indirectly -- causes.

    As one of your betters, Mike_C, she feels empowered to speak for you, one of the marginalized. She's better than you and so is her carpet-eating wife. Face it, live with it, and embrace her love for you and the rest of the little people she speaks for. I suspect that she feels that a heavily armed mouth-breather such as myself is well beneath her contempt, and far beyond redemption.


    Hump Day Review

    A Hog's Complaint

    (Link) Young liberal activist, David Hogg, complains that assassins are hunting him and that he survived seven attempts on his life. You can read the article, but I want to know who the incompetent would be killers are. They need to be sentenced to service in the Marine Corps where they can improve their skill sets at Edson Range (& building 31498) at Camp Pendleton.  (range named for Major General Merrit A. (Red Mike) Edson, USMC)

    Of course, the reality is that Hogg and other progs complain that conservatives are hunting them. If that was actually the case, there would be far fewer progs, and the Democrat caucus would be thinner.  The problem with most progs is that they project themselves onto others. This is particularly true when it comes to private ownership of firearms. .02% of all firearms are used to commit crimes. It's statistically insignificant. Yet the rant continues to disarm honest, lawful Americans. Hogg tries to position himself as the point of that spear and as a martyr - because it pays the bills. And if you want to keep that money coming, you have to make an outrageous claim to stay 'relevant'. Or you have to propose some sort of goofy BS like the Green New Deal.

    Concentration Camps

    People have to scale the wall to get in but then...
    In Sri Lanka

    Gnanarathana Vero, the chief prelate of one of the largest Buddhist chapters in Sri Lanka, called for the stoning of Muslim doctors and for boycotts of all Muslim-owned restaurants, stores and enterprises. Gnanarathana’s Chapter includes 565 temples around the island. Sri Lanka hosts 6,000 Buddhist monasteries.

    It seems as if the famed Buddhist tolerance for people has reached its saturation point when it comes to Mohammedans. 

    Sri Lanka extended emergency rule for a third month. On 22 June, the government extended the law  that grants emergency powers to security forces for a third month . It was first enacted on 21 April in response to the multiple bombings of three hotels and three churches by Sri Lankan jihadists on Easter Sunday. 

    I'm sure that if the Sri Lankan jihadists are deported, that NY Mayor (and presidential hopeful) Bill DiBlasio will call for them to be relocated in his city.

    Sponging off Society

    Politicians are proud to offer to pay for votes using other people's money.

    If it passes, I'll join the filthy hoard by signing up for a couple classes in a JC and never showing up, and using my government loan to pay my mortgage and for a new car that I'd like to buy. Socialism baby - ride that train until there is no 'other people's money' - then Venezuela where currency is used as toilet paper because toilet paper is too expensive.

    The only question is how many Americans are too stupid to understand that. Or is their greed so powerful that it overrides all else?

    Time will tell. My generation of Deplorables is dying off and when we're gone it will be up to the next bunch - Millennials, Gen X and so forth. God help us.

    It's a Movie about Toys

    (linkCritic Slams 'Toy Story 4' For Sexism, Disableism, And Having 'No Black Leads'. There are African American actor's voices, but the toys that they portray are not black (ghetto) enough. Make of that what you will. Mr. Potato Head's parts fall off - which is an insult to disabled people...

    Monday, June 24, 2019

    Your Monday Moment

    It's Monday, it's summertime, and here at Virtual Mirage, the beat goes on.

    Psychiatry vs Exorcism

    Many Republicans turned to medical options to help cope with the Trump presidency early on, but the man has been revealed to be precisely what the nation needed, and the RINOs have been revealed to be mountebanks. Right Mitt? The Democrats don't need shrinks, they need to find exorcists. And as 2021 edges closer, that may be closer to the truth than they wish to accept.

    The Circle of Socialism/Communism 


    I understand. That's not how they taught it to you in college, but that's how it ALWAYS works. And whether you're discussing utopian socialism (Bernie) or utopian communism (Marx/Lenin), the end is the same. I'm not saying that it's not a bad pitch. The inherent desire/lust to loot others to benefit yourself is the oldest game in the book, but in order to do it, tyranny is required. And it's a lot easier to bend the knee to that sort of thing than it is to unbend it. Ask the unarmed Jews who were cooked to ash by National Socialists in Germany.

    And that may be an inelegant way to frame an argument to keep and bare arms, but it works for me.

    Apologizing for Islam




    Sunday, June 23, 2019

    Sunday Sermonette

    Reparations

    How much should descendants of slaves pay in reparations to the descendants of 360,000 Union soldiers who lost their lives to free them? I'm guessing that we need some income redistribution to set things right... 

    15 minutes of Fame

    Ed's guest
    I ended up on the radio with famous talk radio host, Ed Bonderenka, on Saturday. We were going to chat about a number of topics, but Iran dominated the hour. The situation in Iran is such that they want to provoke us into a war that their leadership can survive. If it comes to a real war with even one American casualty, we need to insure that the beards go to their reward and claim their virgins, etc. But for now, we need to deny them the war that they are begging for. Tighten the screws and let the Iranians/Persians deal with their own leadership. It will happen. We just have to sit back and allow the people to deal with the turbans (their betters) when they've had enough.
    I think that we need to send AOC to Iran and let her lecture them. She runs the Democrat Party now. Wouldn't it be a shame if they imprisoned her and held her for ransom? That would cripple the entire Green New Deal movement. Could we survive without her? Time would tell, right?
    On Ed's show, we never got to the situation in China, and questions of readiness for a navy war in the Westpac (see the USS Fitzgerald, USS John S. McCain collision incidents, etc.) The US Navy is no longer the Navy that I knew. Watching SEALs punished, careers destroyed for dispatching terrorists is something that is totally alien to me. During my time as an 1130, your career would be destroyed if you failed to 'send them on', to the next life. Garrote, headshot, cut throat, strapped to a Bangalore torpedo that's subsequently detonated, tossing them off a ship to see how long they can tread water, etc. were all acceptable - then. Some us drew the line at throwing them off a ship while chumming for sharks, but that was the mindset. Now, harsh language is enough to receive tough censure from on high. What a goat-f--k.

    Are we ready for war? I can't say. Any navy war will be disproportionately born by heavy lifting on the part of the submarines/silent service.

    I've been out of that game too long, but I will say that when I look at US Navy ships these days, their sides streaked with rust, they remind me of the old Soviet Navy (now Russian Navy). I can go on forever about this topic and the 'metrosexual navy' that developed during the long 8 years of ObamaNation and national decline. The decline seems to have stopped during the Trump Administration but we need at least four more years of President Trump with a worthy follow-on to correct the damage that was done.

    View from Abroad

    Many inside and particularly outside the US look at our policy toward the murder of viable babies both born and unborn with horror. "What sort of people would do that?" Maybe Nazis, obsessed with the slaughter of Jews? Maybe the Red Chinese after the Cultural Revolution when they were trying to thin the population out? Pol Pot would have done it in Cambodia for shits and giggles. But we (and the world) heard legislatures CHEER the decision to kill living babies if parents somehow decided that the child was inconvenient.

    We've covered this topic on this blog before, and some of you edge toward 'my body my choice'. You have that right. However, I will state for the record that a baby in utero with its own heartbeat, its own DNA, it's own capability to move and feel pain is a HUMAN BEING, unique in all the universe as are you, dear readers. Not according them rights that we afford other HUMAN BEINGS creates a slippery slope legally. We either regard all human life as sacred, or we agree that murder is not a crime. I understand that there are issues of rape, incest and life of the mother and I agree with those exceptions when it comes to medical abortion early in a pregnancy where rape and incest are the issue.

    It's common knowledge that the most dangerous place for a black person to be in many parts of the US is in the womb.

    What sort of people are we? Clearly we have sunk to a point where calling us a nation of animals would be a compliment. Animals protect their offspring.

    Ed wanted me to share thoughts on abortion on his radio show. These are my feelings on the matter. We live in a land of plenty. Many families are working hard to find a child to adopt.

    As an aside, I rode on a train in China with a Chinese gentleman a number of years ago. There were American families with their newly adopted Chinese children in the same train car. He was telling me how great the Japanese were and what great friends of China they were. I looked around and asked, "How many Japanese people adopt Chinese orphans?" That shut him up.


    Saturday, June 22, 2019

    Movie Review: Bright

    Set in Los Angeles in an 'modern, alternative timeline', Bright presumes that the Lord of the Rings characters have been living together since the time of 'Middle Earth'. The story follows two LAPD officers, human Daryl Ward (Will Smith) and rookie Orc cop Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), as they encounter a powerful magical weapon that could change the balance of this world if it falls into the wrong hands.

    Humans are...human, elves occupy the elite position in society as the intelligent, clever characters that they were in Lord of the Rings, and orcs are heavy, slow and fairies are annoying, flitting here and there.

    There I was, last night, without much to watch on tv and I defaulted to Netflix and landed on Bright. I approached the movie with a great deal of skepticism. Elves, orcs, fairies and so forth in the modern world didn't sound that interesting, but the principal cast of Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, and Lucy Fry and the production team led by David Ayer intrigued me. And I'm glad that I viewed the film. It was good. And I found that there is a sequel in the works, which will be a MUST SEE. Many critics had a different opinion, but I don't care much what they write.

    It is a $90 million production - no skimping on the budget. And it worked, at least for me. I agree that it was an unusual 'buddy movie', a blend of orc and human police officers. But there were enough twists and turns over possession of a magic wand that it kept the whole project interesting. I didn't look at my watch once and was let down when the film ended. It was a good end, but I was ready for more.

    Should you watch BRIGHT?

    Up to you...but I may watch it again. That's high praise.

    Friday, June 21, 2019

    Iran - Rolling Commentary

    Blogger won't let me comment on my own blog...typical difficulty.

    So I'll comment here.

    WSF - We can blockade the Basra area with naval mines that are exceptionally difficult to sweep and can sink ships or shoot down helicopters that try. Commercial insurance rates and coverage will keep tankers from running the blockade. I'm not sure that's the right move at this point, but it chokes off their revenue from oil sales.

    As to Feinstein and Obama, the word traitor naturally comes to mind. With his 'legacy' in tatters, Barack may be working to undermine the president in the hopes of building a new legacy of skulduggery. If Congress should declare war (don't hold your breath), he might find himself on the wrong end of a rope. Of course, the left would call it racist...

    Ed - Iran is claiming the shoot-down. They hope to whip their angry population into a patriotic froth, and turn their fury from the beards to the Great Satan. At this point, I think that they've miscalculated.

    Jim - Unless I miss my guess, we're drowning Iran with white noise and jamming. It serves to blind them, increase their anxiety, etc. Just like President Trump's 'abortive attack'. PSYOPS. Keep them guessing.

    LSP - The US has a LOT of options available and my sense is that they're all on the table as we formulate the most effective response. I'm sure that invasion is very low on the list. It doesn't accomplish much. Rods from God delivered to Qom, may deliver the desire martyrdom...except that the beards don't want to be eliminated. They can't get loaded and rape teenage boys if they're vaporized.

    VALUISM - John, we need to work this so that it backfires on the turbans. Let the public see who is running things, and let the world grow a spine. I know, not much chance of that.

    Iran, Beating the War Drum

    For those of you who have been asleep, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) downed a US RQ-4A Global Hawk intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance drone over the Strait of Hormuz. The commander of the IRGC Guard said Thursday that the shooting down of a US drone had sent “a clear message” to America.

    With this attack, the US or its allies have experienced recent attacks on land, sea and air. The symmetry strikes us as no accident. The evidence points to Iranian instigation and instrumentality. Major General Salami of the IRGC appears to have ordered all IRGC assets to participate in the harassment. 

    The question that you, dear readers, should ask is 'why' now, and why are they picking at the US?

    First of all, the timing, is set to influence the 2020 elections. The Iranian leadership watches CNN and the continual spewing of hatred toward President Trump. CNN makes common cause with Iran, which is finding President Trump much more of a challenge than the feckless, puerile Obama was. They would like to see Barack (or in the alternative, somebody like Biden, Beto, the Butt guy, or Spartacus) return to office. Somebody who would send them a few hundred billion in small bills to try and buy 'any deal'. It's important to Iran to stop the crippling sanctions that have led to critically high unemployment, lack of goods on the shelves, etc.

    Iran judges that if they can entice the US to overreact or to not react at all, we will look either like a bully or weak and helpless in the face of the turbans.

    They don't want a war. In an alternative to the use of nuclear weapons, the USA could wipe out their nuclear processing plant with 'Rods from God' or some other non-radioactive solution. As satisfying as that would be, and trust me, I'd be satisfied with that sort of response, there may be another way.

    The beards would be satisfied if they could ensnare the US in another Middle Eastern conflict. Not a war, but a set of limited engagements that they judge will stir Iranian patriotism and which Iran can survive. Iran must be perceived as the victim so the US electorate votes in a new administration - Maybe Mayor DeBlasio? Iran feels that they are more popular in the US than DeBlasio is. It's tough to argue that one. 

    US military options are limited for deterring, much less preventing, the harassment campaign without making Iran look like a victim. Congress wants a hand in this and is pushing for a new authorization to use military force - one that they, rather than President Trump, the Commander-in-Chief, can manage. It's not a bad political ploy. If the trolly jumps the rails, they blame President Trump. If things go well, they take the credit.

    Who's more popular in the US - Congress or Iran? It's kind of a toss-up.

    The US goal needs to be subduing Iran without fighting. The clock is ticking inside Iran when it comes to the Supreme Leader and his cadres. That's why they are picking at the US now. Having a war to point to will tend to galvanize their dissatisfied people against the US rather than against Dear Turbaned Leader. An internal revolution in Iran works a lot better than a war (as satisfying as Rods from God would be). Turning Iran's strategy back on itself will ultimately work better than responding to Iran's picking in a tit-for-tat move that plays to their goals.

    For example: Embargoing/blockading Iran is not as effective as convincing other nations not to buy Iranian oil. In one case, Iran claims victimhood. In the other, they are acknowledged by other nations as a pariah state, squeezing them. I realize that many who read this blog feel that it's a good time to nuke 'em 'till they glow and use their asses for runway lights. But does that approach get us what we want, and how much will it cost in treasure, political capital, and American blood? What does The Art of the Deal suggest?


    Thursday, June 20, 2019

    Murmillo

    Headgear - SPQR


    It's called a "Cassis Crista", the bronze helmet of a Roman 'Murmillo' gladiator, circa 1st century AD. Murmillo's were very heavily armed gladiators, and were a class of heavily armed warriors. They were matched against other gladiators and seldom lost the match. 

    Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    Keep America Great

    I'm not the least bit tired of winning. Without apologies, I support the presidency of Donald Trump and the continued presidency of this great man to 2024. We need more conservative justices on the Supreme Court and nobody believes that RBG will survive to 2024. It's very likely that President Trump's lasting legacy will be most profoundly felt through the appointment of judges (for life) to the federal bench.

    There are a long list of accomplishments that can be credited to the Trump Presidency. All of those were achieved while he was under constant attack from the corrupt, lying, smug, sly, wicked mainstream media and the Deep State. There are still a lot of RINO's skulking around as well, but they don't say that much these days.

    I'm going to list the top accomplishments of the Trump administration. It's my list. You may have favorites that I miss.

    1. Historically low unemployment, which includes historically high employment for all categories of Americans. There is a dignity to work, a nobility to being able to take care of your needs and those of your family.

    2. We are not at war and the war in Afghanistan is winding down. President Trump is not an advocate of kinetic war all the while he has rebuilt the military to make it stronger and more effective.

    3. NASA has returned to being a space agency instead of a muddy mission that included helping Muslims to feel good about themselves. There is a US Space Force, that will take the lead in space based military missions. It will be slow to start, but it will get its own legs and its own voice.

    4. The rotten treaties of the Obama Years (and before) have been recut. There was no Trans-Pacific Partnership, NAFTA is gone, the Paris Climate Accords are gone, the Iran Nuclear Deal has been repudiated, and China is no longer treating the United States like its bitch. Europe is being forced to reassess its treatment of the US economically. NATO is being forced to pay its fair share for its defense.

    5. Obama/Biden said, "You didn't build that". President Trump says "You built that, now let's build more." To wit, business killing regulations have been rolled back or eliminated at a historic rate, and that has unleashed the American economic juggxrnaught. We are making steel again, business are returning to the US, and manufacturing is also returning.  

    6. There has been a crackdown on illegal immigration and the US Borders are not OPEN. I realize that the Democrats view each illegal alien as an illegal voter, and that's been problematic, but the president held firm.

    7. The Veteran's Administration is being held accountable for the services it provides and veterans now have the right to choose healthcare providers. AND the new system saves money.

    8. ISIS is gone. They hold no ground. The dismal failure of USGOV to deal with these monsters was reversed with President Trump's election.

    9. The United States is now the #1 producer of oil and gas - FOR EXPORT, for a change.

    10. Relations with North Korea, while still rocky, do not immediately portend nuclear war.

    (Bonus) 11. President Trump drives the mainstream media insane. The hippies, lefties and media of my youth has flipped in a dramatic way. They now call Russia a threat, they trust the FBI, CIA and other related agencies, they defend big business such as Google and Facebook. For those of you who lived through the Vietnam Era, this is truly remarkable. And they REALLY hate President Trump, who wants to Keep America Great.



    Tuesday, June 18, 2019

    China - In the News

    Please feel free to differ when it comes to the commentary that you read here. It's a blend of what's in the press in Asia and my personal experiences with the Chinese in the People's Republic up to and including Politburo members, in Hong Kong and my experience working directly with the Public Security Police, etc. It doesn't mean that I'm right. Only that I have had enough exposure to form opinions.

    1. China is inherently unstable. If the People's Liberation Army wasn't there to keep the place in line, Western China (Muslim); Shanghai; and Guanzhou (was Canton) in Southern China would leave the People's Republic TODAY. None of those areas appreciate Beijing, and all feel that they would be better off on their own. I leave it to you to decide whether they would be or not, but in my opinion capitalism and more personal freedom is always better than communism and less personal freedom. Add Hong Kong into the mix and you have a festering wound created by "one country, two systems". 

    2. Chinese people as a cultural group are inherently capitalistic. They just are. There are a million examples of this in their nature that can be seen in the West. They're industrious and smart and work toward personal goals which revolve around, (a) make money, (b) get married to a Chinese lady and have children, (c) build a monument to yourself. 

    3. Chinese dysfunction that resulted from the one-child policy created an unnatural male/female imbalance that conflicts with "b" above and generates huge social pressure. The Floating Population (homeless Chinese in mainland China) consists of about 200 million Chinese people and they create social friction and add to a lack of harmony in Big China.

    President-for-Life Xi has declared a 'new' Long March
    with the USA in the crosshairs.
    4. The Chinese milked the West eight ways from Sunday in trade, in tech transfer, and it allowed for this to become a "Chinese Century". Fools like Slow Joe Biden spout that China is not competition to the US. It's goofs like him that created the situation that we find ourselves in. The unexpected arrival of President Trump and his demand for 'fair trade' upset the apple cart. Fair trade in China means trade that benefits China. 

    Hong Kong

    One quarter of all the citizens of Hong Kong turned out to protest the government. Those are people who took to the street, and that number doesn't reflect the OVERWHELMING dissatisfaction of Communist China absorbing Hong Kong like a malicious amoeba. Hong Kong flies the Hong Kong flag, not the flag of the People's Republic of China.

    If the protest was in the US you'd have seen 81 million people out on the street (proportionate to population). That's a BIG problem to Beijing and they have to figure out how to crush it and at the same time keep Hong Kong and its money intact. Sending the People's Liberation Army in to kill people won't work when you're talking about millions of people. I'm not saying that the oligarchs who run the PRC are squeamish. They're not. But they're building this massive belt road project on the pretense that they are not the bloodthirsty killers of the Cultural Revolution. Slaughtering several million people in Hong Kong would not give the world a warm and fuzzy feeling.

    China and North Korea

    North Korea has always been a Chinese satrap. Sometimes the Norks forget who calls the shots. This week, Chinese President Xi will make his first state visit to North Korea. On 17 June, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published an announcement. 
    “At the invitation of Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and president of the People's Republic of China, will pay a state visit to the DPRK from June 20 to 21.”
    The visit will be the first by a Chinese President to North Korea in 14 years. Hu Jintao was the last Chinese President to visit, in 2005. His host was Kim Chong-il. As a Vice President, Xi visited Pyongyang in 2008.

    Xi Jinping accepted Kim Jong Un’s invitation during Kim’s visit to China in March 2018 to try to thaw relations with China. In accepting the invitation, Xi said he would visit at a convenient time.

    Preparations for this visit explain North Korea’s relative lack of attention to South Korea and the US in the past few months. President Xi’s visit will complete the rehabilitation of North Korea as a partner of China under Kim Jong Un’s tenure. It also implies that the Chinese communists have accepted North Korea’s dynastic form of socialism. 

    China appears to be intervening to prevent the return of instability on the Korean peninsula. Kim Jong Un’s deadline for terminating his peace offensive on 31 December, influenced the Chinese decision to intervene. The Chinese support North Korean denuclearization for their own reasons, which include prosperity and stability. They oppose a return to a campaign of provocations and increased tension with the US and its Allies.

    What has China demanded from Kim in return for President Xi’s visit? Likely it is a commitment to maintain the suspension of long-range ballistic missile tests and nuclear tests, especially while China grapples with the US in the trade war, on cyber security issues, freedom of navigation and marketing 5G technology. 

    In late May, President Xi said China “is now embarking on a new Long March and we must start all over again.” He blames his 'friend', President Trump for the need to reset. That declaration implies a long campaign of struggle, mainly with the US. The Chinese strategists cannot afford to be distracted by crises in Korea, in Hong Kong or with Taiwan. President Xi will advise Kim to behave, and China will promise to work to get sanctions lifted.

    Recipe Corner

    White Wolf Salsa

    This isn't a recipe blog. But I think that it's time to post up a salsa recipe, so that you all can enjoy the best salsa for yourself. I know, "Cooking with LSP" is a favorite edition of yours and I don't intend to compete with my good friend, but I had to this once

    Ingredients:

    1 can of whole, peeled tomatoes (big can - 102 oz)
    1 medium size yellow onion
    1 bunch of cilantro (bunch is a relative term, so you can use two bunches if they're small)
    6 to 10 jalapeño chilis (you can add serrano chilis, habaneros, etc. up to you. You need to titrate the   heat to taste. more on that later.
    salt to taste.

    Directions:

    Place the chilis in a pan, and cover them with water. Bring the chilis to a boil.

    Blend the tomatoes in a food processor/blender until they reach the consistency that you like. Pour that into an extra large bowl. Follow the same procedure with the onions and cilantro, placing each into its own bowl. Add some tomato juice to each blend to help hydrate it.
    Blend the onion until it looks like pulped juice, pour it into a bowl.
    Rinse the cilantro and use all of it. Blend until it's a chunky green sauce, pour it into a bowl.
    Take the chilis out of the water that was boiling, chop off the stems. Take the seeds out if you want the salsa to have the flavor with less heat. Add them to the food processor slowly until you get the heat that you're looking for.
    Add your ingredients into a large bowl, sprinkle about 1/2 tablespoon of salt over the mix, and stir everything together to taste. Test the seasoning with a tortilla chip.

    Pour into jars and refrigerate.

    Yes, it's simple salsa, but I'm a simple cook, and it is quite delicious mainly because you can tinker with the ingredients and come out with something that is better than the stuff you get at the store (no preservatives) 

    I recommend that you make the tortilla chips yourself as well from fresh, delicious corn tortillas if you want the treat to be complete. It's better than popcorn when you're watching political debates, and even though you're culturally appropriating an Arizonan, nobody need know. 


    Monday, June 17, 2019

    Monday Madness

    Global Warming

    The climate warmed to melt the ice sheet that was miles thick. That ice age ended officially between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago, depending on who you talk to. There have been mini-ice ages between then and now and nobody is sure what caused them. The progressive movement latched onto the idea that if the US paid trillions of dollars each year, that the weather would improve, while China, India, etc., pumped greenhouse gas into the atmosphere with reckless abandon - and volcanoes did the same. Complex Physics of Global Warming is worth review if you have an interest. 

    Monsoon comes to Arizona in July and August, cooling the desert, driving up the relative humidity and killing the odd fool who doesn't understand what a flash flood is and camps in a dry wash. Some people attribute this weather pattern to something sinister. Others just counsel that one should get used to it since it happens every year.

    Here at the White Wolf Mine, we're trying to get the hovel painted between the last snow storm (Memorial Day) and the onset of the monsoon. Getting this house completed has been an ordeal. I moved in on January 1. Things still are not complete. Heating and A/C people will be by the place today to fix what they didn't do correctly the first time.

    Boom-Boom

    The painting crew brought a boom down the logging road to calk and paint the higher portions of the structure.




    Fredd asked about scaffolding, and normally, it would work. But the scaffolding would have to tie into the building to keep it attached and that would mean damaging the exterior in favor of scaffolding. 


    Hong Kong (update)

    Another large demonstration and march took place on 16 June after Hong Kong's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lam announced the government decided to suspend debate on the extradition amendments on the 15th. The citizens of Hong Kong are not amused and they are now calling for Lam's removal and installing a replacement who is not the pupped of Beijing (good luck with that).

    Organizers claimed that Sunday’s demonstration and march were larger than those a week ago. No sources reported clashes or casualties

    On 15 June, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang called the decision to suspend the amendments, announced hours earlier by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, an attempt to "listen more widely to the views of the community and restore calm to the community as soon as possible".

    In public statements, the Chinese leaders continue to back the Hong Kong government. They are maintaining the pretense of autonomous decision-making and non-interference in Hong Kong’s affairs. Nobody is fooled, but there are issues of face involved.

    With the crowds escalating demands and now calling for Lam’s resignation, the challenge of restoring stability becomes even more important and difficult. Communist leaders have limits to their tolerance of mass demonstrations that they did not organize.  They will not surrender to mob rule, even if a third of the city population is involved.

    If Lam resigns or the city government makes more concessions, a harsh crackdown will follow to send a message. Chinese oligarchs in Beijing cannot afford to let Hong Kong’s exercise in popular democracy serve as an example of a mechanism for city populations in other Chinese cities to effect changes in laws, programs or policies with which they disagree. 

    Historical Corner - for your review

    Sunday, June 16, 2019

    Sunday Sermonette

    Father's Day Poll

    Did you follow in your father's footsteps in terms of occupation?

    (Yes/No/Sorta)

    Happy Father's Day

    My father died a long time ago, but thoughts of him often attend me and of course, in a way he continues to live though me.


    Here's a photo from 2000 with my wife, and my four girls, taken at San Francisco, before the place went to hell. Nineteen years later, there are also nine grandkids, and I've arranged for all of them to be at a pool party & BBQ in two weeks! It's like herding cats.

    The Clock is Ticking


    The US is behind Great Britain where free speech has been suppressed in favor if Islam.

    Everyone has a Favorite


    Either one makes a really nice Father's Day gift.

    White Wolf Mine Update

    There are still workmen here every day and they're bringing a 66' bucket lift to paint the higher parts of the hovel on the mountain side rather than the ridge side of the building. I had a grease fire in the kitchen and a different painter is coming in on Monday to paint the ceiling, which received some soot. The A/C people are also coming over because the new A/C doesn't work. I did all of the diagnostic work that I could and can't figure out why it didn't work. I didn't turn it on until -- yesterday. We've had the Forest Service going insane with proscribed burns and it's been very smoky here in the high country. They announced that their goals for burning and back burning and what they do have ended. After this, a fire is a regular wildfire, and not the government making everyone who lives or camps on the Mogollon Rim miserable.

    The new motto for the White Wolf Mine:


    Friday, June 14, 2019

    Iranian Mischief

    Ever since the Gulf of Tonkin Incident (fake news) dragged us into war in Viet Nam, I have looked at these predicates for war with a very jaundiced eye. You see, there is a tendency among Americans to trust their government, their leaders, and to follow somewhat blindly. So I always urge caution.

    You've read about it in the news and I don't have much to offer beyond what is circulating. Two tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman by Iran and the crews have been evacuated. .

    Imagery showed one ship, the Front Altair, on fire, drifting and in danger of sinking. The other ship is the Kokuka Courageous, which is reported to be drifting.

    The US released a video that the US says shows an Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) boat alongside the Kokuka Courageous, removing an unexploded limpet mine before the tanker was attacked. 

    The US Secretary of State said US intelligence pointed to Iran as being responsible for the attacks. 
    "This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication," Pompeo said.
    Assuming the identification of the boat in the video is accurate, this attack was the work of an element of the IRGC.

    What should the US do?

    Is it 'our fight'? No American ships, citizens or territory was involved and the oil was headed for Asia. National Security Advisor John Bolton is pushing for war with Iran. But the aggrieved nations are Norway (who leased the ship to a Taiwan firm) and Japan. Japanese Prime Minister was in Teheran holding talks with the Iranian Supreme Leader. Message sent and received.

    If Japan wants oil, let them buy it from the USA. The same for Taiwan. We are now exporting energy, you know, and with Canada have by far the largest proven reserves on the planet.

    And that applies to all nations that would rather not have their ships damaged/sunk by Iran. Just boycott Iranian oil. Buy from the USA. That will solve the problem and the US doesn't need to worry about a crazy, costly war.








    Modern China

    Social Credit Scoring

    It's already in place in much of China and based upon discussions that I've had with people in major cities in China, the coercion is in place and it depending on where you stand, it works. The system ranks everyone based on their social credit. If you marry somebody that is not Han Chinese, your ranking drops. If you criticize the local or national government, that all-important ranking drops. And so forth.

    As with private credit scores, a person's social score can move up and down depending on their behavior. The exact methodology is a secret. However playing games on the Internet too long, buying luxury items in excess (unless you're elite), a bad driving record, posting on social media, etc. will spike your score. And everyone knows that if you're part of the party elite, the rules do not apply.

    Naturally. A bad social credit score can keep you from traveling on a train, restricting your travel outside of China, reducing your internet speed, banning you and your family from attending good schools, 17 people who refused to carry out military service last year were barred from enrolling in higher education, applying for high school, or continuing their studies, Beijing News. You can't register to stay in a nice hotel, can't get better paying jobs, and being black listed publicly/socially shamed. There are also incidents reported where the government will take your dog from you because of your low score. Want a credit card, so sorry. Orwellian tactics are alive and well. Yet, it's the Red China blues for those who are not elite, and are subject to the often subjective social score.

    Intentional Ramming

    On June 9, a Chinese fishing boat struck and sank a Philippine fishing boat in the Spratly Islands. The Philippine boat sank off Reed Bank in the Spratly Islands, and the Chinese boat left the area without attempting to rescue 22 fishermen in the water. Typical behavior of the Navy of the People's Republic of China (all "civilian" Chinese fishing boats are part of the Chinese Navy).

    A Vietnamese ship operating nearby rescued the Philippine crew.

    The action most annoying to the Manila government is the Chinese abandonment of the Filipino fisherman in the sea. That establishes a preliminary basis for culpability, if not deliberation.

    This year Chinese boats, coast guard ships and navy ships have become more aggressive in the Spratly Islands as US and allied ships have increased their freedom of navigation and other operations.

    The Chinese fishing boats backed by coast guard or naval ships have driven Philippine fishing boats from Scarborough Shoal and other fishing grounds. A deliberate ramming is certainly not unprecedented. 

    The Philippines are learning the disconnect between Chinese diplomatic entreaties and maritime practices. It's all part of the Long March, to make the world China.

    Hong Kong

    The Chief Executive closed Hong Kong government offices for the rest of the week. The Legislative Council has not yet announced when it will next attempt to convene a session to debate the extradition amendments.

    Some demonstrators said they will return to the streeets to prevent that from taking place. The Civil Human Rights Front, one of the organizers, said it has applied for a demonstration permit for another mass rally on Sunday, the 16th.

    China - Helping to Make Japan Great Again

    A US and Japanese naval task group is operating in the South China Sea. The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force’s (JMSDF’s) aircraft-carrying destroyer, JS Izumo (DH-183), held a joint naval exercise in the South China Sea from 10 to 12 June. 

    The USS Ronald Reagan, JS Izumo, JS Akebono (DD-108), and JS Murasame (DD-101) conducted communication checks, tactical maneuvering drills and liaison officer exchanges designed to address common maritime security priorities and enhance interoperability at sea.

    An open source naval locator map placed the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group in the South China Sea, south of the Paracels, east of central Vietnam. The Chinese have not yet commented on this show of force.

    The JS Izumo, at 27,000 tons, is the largest naval combatant in the JMSDF for now. However, the Japanese government has approved the construction of two full-size aircraft carriers. 

    For most of the post-World War II era, no Asians, including the Japanese, sought the reconstitution of Japanese naval power. Chinese leaders were in the forefront in denouncing any Japanese military activity outside Japan, regularly reminding Japanese leaders to review their recent history and its outcome.  But China is working hard now to convince the Japanese that they need to build a navy to halt China's imperialism.

    For a time, North Korea seemed like a primary driver in Japanese military development, after it test launched a ballistic missile over Japan in 1998. Despite Kim Jong Un’s aggressive missile test program in 2016 and 2017, the Chinese naval threat emerged to eclipse the North Koreans.

    China is a bad neighbor, unless you want to be folded into the worker's paradise and ship your money along the Belt Road to China. 

    Thursday, June 13, 2019

    Big Trouble in Little China

    The anti-extradition rally turned violent today (it's after midnight in Hong Kong as I write this). The South China Morning Post (SCMP) published a running blog with imagery of events in Hong Kong on the 13th. 

    The protest gathered slowly and peacefully in the morning. The apparent trigger for more aggressive action was the arrival around noon of legislators at the Legislative Council building to debate the amendments to the Fugitive Offenses Ordinance and a related ordinance. Then things got nasty and the Hong Kong Police fired more than 150 tear gas canisters to disburse the protesters.

    It's not just anti-extradition that is at stake, and hauling Hong Kong Chinese to mainland China and the tender mercies of the PRC that are at stake. It's the 'one country, two systems' philosophy. The Red Chinese have been trying to woo Taiwan into their orbit using means fair and foul, but THIS shows how the Beijing government handles dissent in "another system". 

    Clashes with the riot police went on for about three hours in earnest. Authorities said 21 police officers were injured. Medical officials reported 72 civilians treated for injuries, two people were seriously injured.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang strongly denounced rumors that the People's Liberation Army will be deployed to clear the streets of Hong Kong.
    “I can assure you that it is a groundless rumor designed to mislead the public and incite panic. Such heinous intention must be condemned,” Geng said. 
    Will Taiwan accept the blandishments of Beijing now? Will they follow Hong Kong into the dragon's mouth with promises?

    International judgment that the principle of “one country, two systems” has failed is coming. And this on the heels of economic woes in the worker's paradise.

    Hong Kong belongs to communist China and the public disorders in Hong Kong are China’s internal affair. The implications of that seem lost or deliberately played down. The central leadership has very limited tolerance for public expressions of dissent.  Millions of people in Hong Kong are expected to return to the streets tomorrow.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2019

    An Assault on Academia

    How many "professions" require specific instruction and how many could be handled by apprenticeships until the candidate reaches "journeyman" status. The law and medicine are two such areas which would streamline the pipeline to get qualified people in place. A test (bar exam, etc) could be administered to insure that standardized education is achieved. But do we need uber expensive schools? 

    Kim Kardashian is going the apprentice route in California, which allows for that prior to a bar exam. Many licenses such as a private investigator license requires apprentice hours or on-the-job experience (such as police officer). 

    Oh, but how academia would HOWL if that became the gold standard.

    A Review of International News

    Brief commentary on news tidbits that you might have missed.

    Adventures in Norkland

    The North Koreans are ruled by a God. Just ask the fat kid with the bad haircut. He will reassure you that he is at the very least 'a god'. At the same time, he is a prisoner of that near worship that drips like honey from the mouths of the people, his subjects, within the Hermit Kingdom. He cannot be seen to make the mistakes that lesser national leaders routinely make. Kim cannot be blamed for policy failures. (see The Man Who Would be King - Kipling)

    Chairman Kim and his strategists have made preparations for a major change in strategy in 2020. North Korean statements indicate Kim personally is responsible for maintaining the outreach and conciliatory policy. The recent exchange of personal correspondence between Kim and the US President reinforces that judgment. President Trump recently reported that he received a "beautiful letter" from the fat little dictator.

    North Koreans need relief from the UN Security Council sanctions and they can have that if they dismantle their nuclear weapons in a transparent and verifiable way. They also need to demobilize much of their land army and turn swords into plowshares. The problem with doing that is that they can't conquer South Korea if they do... And that's a key part of their national agenda (Long March)

    Big Trouble in Little China (continued)

    On 9 June, more than a million Hong Kong people rallied to protest amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, according to the organizers. The Civil Human Rights Front said the number of protestors totaled 1.03 million, doubling the number who protested in 2003 against Article 23 national security laws.

    On 12 June, a second day of protests occurred in Hong Kong to accompany the start of the legislative debate over the bill. Many businesses were reported closed. Police used tear gas and water cannons to maintain order.

    Hong Kong is semi-autonomous under the “one country, two systems” principle and has no extradition arrangement with China. The trigger is the extradition amendments, but the issue is Chinese erosion of Hong Kong’s limited sovereignty, including citizen rights not available elsewhere in China

    The protestors want extradition amendments withdrawn or limited to countries in which the suspect would be tried under a criminal justice system that respects civil rights comparable to Hong Kong’s system. That would rule out mainland China. 

    However, Chief Executive Lam is committed to enacting the amendments. She is under orders

    PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang responded to questions from the press, assuring them that the amendments will be enacted and will be law by 20 June. Hong Kong is under the iron boot of the communists in Beijing, and they don't care how displeased the public is. 

    Under the new rules, political protestors in Hong Kong might be arrested and extradited to mainland China where criminal justice serves the ends of the Communist Party and the punishments for dissent are more draconian. 

    For Hong Kong, the defenders of civil rights are waging a rear-guard action that they cannot win unless the communist government collapses. Trust in the city’s leadership to withstand political pressure from Beijing has declined again, but the communist mandarins in Beijing are moved by instability, not by distrust.

    Greece and Turkey

    Tension is rising offshore in Cyprus. Turkey's foreign ministry vowed a strong response to the issuance by Greek Cyprus of arrest warrants against the 25-member crew of a Turkish oil drilling ship off western Cyprus.

    The Greek Cypriots claim the Turkish drillship is exploring in continental shelf areas that are in the Greek Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone. The Greek Cypriot administration is the Republic of Cyprus and is a member of the European Union.

    Turkish officials and the government of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) claim that they also have rights to the resources. Turkey is the only state that recognized the TRNC. A thousand UN peacekeepers in UNFICYP maintain the buffer zone between the two halves of Cyprus. 

    In February, ExxonMobil announced the discovery of a commercially exploitable gas field. The size of the field would make the Republic of Cyprus energy self-sufficient but would require it to construct a processing and distribution infrastructure, which Turkey already possesses. Turkey protested ExxonMobil’s license, which was issued by the Republic of Cyprus. Tension has been building ever since. In May, Turkey announced its intention to send a drillship to the new gas field.

    Expect Turkey to resort to gunboat diplomacy.