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From Stone Heads to Air Guns

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Echoes of the Cold War

Ten Republic F-105 Thunderchiefs (eight F-105Ds and two F-105Fs) of the U.S. Air Force Reserve 465th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 507th Tactical Fighter Group on the flight line at Tinker Air Force Base, OK. 1 June 1978.

 

Identify the Mystery Aircraft

The answer is at the bottom of this blog….were you close?

 

What is Girardoni’s Windbüchse

The Girardoni air rifle, also known by its German name the Windbüchse, was a military air gun designed in Vienna by Italian inventor Bartolomeo Girardoni c.1779. It was issued to the ‘Imperial-Royal’ army of the Holy Roman Empire between 1780 to 1815, but only used for a few years during that time period.

As its name suggests, and unlike a firearm, the Windbüchse utilized compressed air stored in a tank to propel its otherwise unremarkable lead bullets. The air tank was made of riveted and soldered sheet iron fitted with a brass threaded collar and check valve, covered with leather, offering enough pressure for up to thirty shots and doubling as the rifle’s buttstock. The bullets were contained in a tubular hopper with room for 20 and some shots, with a loading gate towards the muzzle and a spring-loaded piece transferring individual rounds from the magazine to the gun’s chamber. The rifle featured a hammer, in reality a cocking lever, similar to contemporaneous flintlock mechanism. Rather than striking a spark with a flint however, it simply triggered a pin in the stock to push onto the air tank’s valve to release a consistent burst of compressed air. The superficial similarity in operation to a firelock might have been achieved on purpose to help soldiers better get used to the weapon. The barrel was rifled, which coupled with the tight tolerance of the bullets it fired permitted by it being a breech-loader made it fairly accurate, limited only by the inefficiency of air compared to gunpowder as a propellant.

  A better look at the magazine’s spring-loaded sliding block in its resting position. When the rifle was pointed up, you could slide the transfer block, connected to a leaf spring, and align its opening with the gun’s magazine. Releasing it would take it and a ball back in line with the barrel.

Although there may have been plans to issue Girardoni’s air rifle to Austrian line infantry, it did not see much use outside of light infantry and Jäger units due to its complexity. The gun was issued with its own proprietary webbing, the pouch pictured above. It contained two extra air tanks, four tube-shaped speedloaders of 20 lead balls each, a complete bullet casting toolkit and a hand pump. The extra tanks were particularly important, as refilling them was the weapon’s main weakness. To achieve the 800-850psi/6000~kPa pressure inside the tank, the user had to rely on the small hand pump and a lot of elbow grease. If no specialized cart-mounted larger pump was in sight, they were in for about 1500 strokes to get their weapon to full capacity and effectiveness. The pump looked like your average bike pump, except the air tank was screwed directly onto the upper portion, while the bottom part was connected to a crossbar for the soldier to step on. Raising the tank up and down would work the pump and refill it. The metalworking techniques of the time did not allow for particularly robust, airtight reservoirs, which caused them to rupture often and prohibited the gun from seeing a wider and longer service life.

Overall the Girardoni rifle was an extremely advanced weapon for its time, being the first breechloading and repeating gun issued to a military, along with making used of an early example of what would become tubular magazines more than fifty years later, providing its user with unseen firepower at the time. It was smokeless back when a sniper’s position could be given away by a puff of blackpowder, and although it was far from being silent it was moreso than any other musket.

image

  Girardoni 1779 system pistol manufactured by S.H. Staudenmeyer in London c.1810, with an 8-round capacity hopper and a curved air tank as a grip.

For many Americans the Windbüchse entered popular consciousness when learning about the Lewis & Clarke expedition, when in the weapon’s later service years it was introduced to the civilian market and found its way into Meriweather Lewis who took the opportunity of charting the Louisiana purchase to flex on the locals.

 

The Olmec Legacy

Maybe it’s worth a view? Youtube

The Olmec were the first great civilization of Mesoamerica. Despite being latecomers, they bloomed with incredible speed and left an enduring legacy across all of Central America.

 

The Value of a Lager

Improvised camp made by French soldiers by parking vehicles in a circle, a la settlers in the Wild West. — Mali

Renault FT Tanks bivouacked in the Atlas Mountains. Northern Morocco, spring 1930.

 

Answer to: Identify the Mystery Aircraft

Antonov An-225 Mriya

 

 

Teaching Children to Fish

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When my girls were young, we spent time in the ocean on my boat — most weekends, weather permitting. The boat slept 6 comfortably and thus, it was essentially boat camping, usually 25 miles off shore in the lee of Catalina Island. I had a small inflatable dingy with a small motor on it and we could motor into Avalon for ice cream or pizza if the craving hit.
They loved to go fishing. Mostly it was the bragging rights. I don’t have a scanner handy and back then photos were paper, not electrons in the digital sense of photos. I’m posting a few photos that I have scanned in from that era. Sadly, I don’t have any with them posing with their fish to show the kids at school. Their regular hauls were impressive. They were never skunked.
This is how it worked.
I put on SCUBA gear and kicked over the side, with the fishing line in tow and a fresh squid on the hook. I had a black light that caused the monofilament to glow so that I could keep track of it and keep from getting tangled.

I would hunt for the perfect fish, offer the squid and the kids hauled them to the surface. They took turns. They thought that’s what fishing was all about.

Now that they’re older and they have a better concept of fishing, they still feel cheated if they don’t catch one trophy fish after another. Did I ruin my daughters for all time when it comes to fishing? Quite possibly.
More recently, my younger daughter went fishing and expressed to her boyfriend that, “fishing with daddy was far more fulfilling.” Young men who wish to measure up need to buy a boat and SCUBA gear. Go big or go home.

On Line Dating Profile

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shamelessly stolen from Evi L. Bloggerlady
Beware on-line blind dates — you could end up with somebody like him.

In Praise of Wadcutters and Old Men

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Old men are not often impressed with the fads of the moment. The millennial movement doesn’t matter to them. They’re not “woke” and never will be. Hillary Clinton referred to them as deplorable because they think that she’s nothing but a corrupt, old, scab on the ass of society. If you don’t believe me, ask an old man sitting on a bench, feeding pigeons (flying rats).
They don’t care. Men reach a certain age when they don’t want drama. They don’t want to fight anyone – and if forced they will not fight fair. They won’t quit and there are no weapons that they won’t use.
Leave men like that alone to their coffee as they sit alone in the Waffle House, reading from an old dog eared book. 
Ignore them where they sit in a bar drinking bourbon and smoking a cigar even if it’s a no-smoking bar. 
Don’t poke the old men. They will hurt you.
And life in prison when you’re 75 isn’t the threat that it was when you were 25.

Identify the Movie

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They should have left his dog alone.

Building a Better Liar

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The Obama Administration’s Legacy

Some call President Obama a sociopathic narcissist. The mainstream media
feels as if that characterization is obtuse. They love him and roll in his dung.
America’s “top cop”, Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt
of Congress in regard the Fast and Furious Scandal. Now he’s facing
potential perjury charges on the AP/James Rosen – Fox News Scandal
IRS Division Chief Lois Learner “took the fifth” rather than lie before
Congress about her apparently criminal conduct in targeting the
president’s political opponents under color of authority.

For her efforts, she was chosen to lead the ObamaCare division of IRS. We
expect that conservatives and libertarians will be dying off right and left.

UN Secretary Susan Rice lied about the causation for the Benghazi massacre
over-and-over-and-over again. For her efforts she has just been named
National Security Advisor to Barack Obama. What an honor…

It’s not a secret that carnival workers nationwide are changing their nickname
from ‘carney’ to something else because they feel that Jay Carney is besmirching
their reputations for ‘honesty’. As Press Secretary it’s his job to lie for Obama
ever single day. In fact, if he’s saying it, you know it’s not true.

She’s unattractive and uber masculine, but Michelle Obama opens her heart
to the American people. She says that she hates her life as First Lady and
just goes on yet one more vacation at taxpayers expense.
During his Second Inaugural Address and his State of the Union Speech, Obama promised to transform America into a European-style nanny state through a surge of liberal programs that would require more taxes and more spending.  I don’t think that he was lying about that.
Rassmussen Polling shows that nearly 80% of conservatives feel that the Federal Government poses a ‘clear and present’ threat to their individual rights. And while we all understand that conservatives would feel that way, the overall number is 56%.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% of Likely U.S. Voters now consider the federal government a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of those rights. That’s up 10 points from 46% in December.

While the Obama Administration tells lie after lie and the mainstream media covers it up for him, the faith that many people have in regard who is the threat to us and our lives — grows. 

Full Retard

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“If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” -Sir Winston Churchill

What are our politicians saying?

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) “When the gunman realizes that nobody else is armed, he will lay down his weapons and turn himself in. That’s just human nature.”

A difference of Opinion

(CNN) Former U.S. Marines Cpl. Joshua Boston wrote a letter to Senator Feinstein regarding her proposed Assault Weapons Ban.

I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.

Boston went on to say that he is not a “subject,” “servant” or “peasant” and should not be punished because of the acts of an evil man. “I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.”
I wonder if all Marines feel the same way?

Many conservatives simply wish to be left to pursue their lives under the umbrella of the US Constitution. That’s something that progressive people find unacceptable. Enacting laws to shove people who wish to be left alone, to live and let live, gives the progressive movement its wings, Bill of Rights or no Bill of Rights.

There are a lot of veterans in America bitterly clinging to God and guns. Of those people, most can shoot the eye out of a squirrel at at least 800 meters. They were trained to do that by the government that brought you a number of sequential wars. Some of them were “small wars” some of them were “large wars” but the United States has been in an at-war posture for many decades now. The “bitter clingers” simply wish to be left alone.  A hunter in New York was asked why he didn’t feel that he needed an assault weapon. He replied that the government agents who might wish to confiscate firearms were well supplied with that armament, web gear, magazines and ammunition and that if one wanted an assault rifle, one was there for the taking. 

A Brief List of Wars that the US has been involved in since 1950. Keep in mind that there are small wars – ‘brush wars’ – where the US sent special forces that are not included here. Never the less, the US has been turning out guys who cash checks and snap necks for a very long time. Yes, the US has built themselves some mighty fine killers.

1947-1991
First Indochina War or
French Indochina War
Korean War or
Korean Conflict 
1950-1953
Second Indochina War or
Vietnam War or
Vietnam Conflict
Laotian Civil War or
Secret War
1953-1975
Laos Pathet Lao
North Vietnam North Vietnam
1958 Lebanon crisis or
Operation Blue Bat
Invasion of the Dominican Republic or
Operation Power Pack
1965-1966
 Dominican Republic

Invasion of Grenada or
Operation Urgent Fury

1983
 Greneda
 Cuba
1982-1984
Flag of Druze.svg Druze miltia
 Syria
Gulf of Sidra incidentor
First Gulf of Sidra Incident
1981
Action in the Gulf of Sidra or
Operation Prairie Fire
1986
Libya LibyaMarch 

Bombing of Libya or
Operation El Dorado Canyon
1986
1987-1988
 Iran1987–1988
1989 Gulf of Sidra incident or
Second Gulf of Sidra Incident
1989
1989-1990
Gulf War or
Persian Gulf War or
Operation Desert Storm
1990-1991
 Iraq
1991-2003
Iraq Iraq
Includes:
Somali Civil War or
Operation Restore Hope
1992-1994
Somalia Various Somali factions
1993-1995
1994-1995

Bombings of Afghanistan and Sudan or
Operation Infinite Reach
1998
Kosovo War or
Operation Allied Force or
Operation Noble Anvil
1999
Renamed by Obama: Foreign Contingency Operation
2001-Present

Operation Enduring Freedom
Part of the War on TerrorIn Afghanistan:
In the Philippines:
In Somalia:
In Sahara:

7 October 2001 – presentConflicts ongoing;

  • Insurgent groups:
2001 Invasion of Afghanistan – Ongoing

Flag of Jihad.svg Jemaah Islamiyah
Flag of Jihad.svg Abu Sayyaf
Flag of Jihad.svg Rajah Sulaiman Movement
Flag of al-Qaeda in Iraq.svg al-Qaeda

Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa 
2002 – Ongoing
Somali Civil War Pirates:
2002- Ongoing
  • Somali Marines
  • National Volunteer Coast Guard (NVCG)
  • Marka group
  • Puntland Group



Second Liberian Civil War
2003
Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy
Movement for Democracy in Liberia

Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara
2007- Ongoing

Iraq War
2003-2011

War in North-West Pakistanor
Operation Freedom Eagle
2004- Ongoing
2011- OngoingLibya Libyan Arab Jamahiriya:
This list does not include US involvement in “secret wars”. There were a number of those and even though the personnel involved were comparatively few, there was a great deal of training and experience received.

Obama fails again

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Some call Obama clueless. Others think that he’s simply obtuse. And it’s tough to know whether it’s an act or if he can really possibly be as stupid as he pretends to be.

He tried to calm the stock market today and failed miserably because he made it clear that he’s completely out of ideas on how to build the economy, grow jobs and get us out of the morass that he and the Democratic Congress planted us in. After his remarks the market fell an additional 5.5% (to 6.9%).
He played the class-envy card suggesting that heavier taxes on the sector that creates jobs would spur more job growth. That certainly inspired the stock market. He wants to spend more on roads in his third “summer of recovery” but we lost 330,000 jobs last year between June and September when his ‘recovery’ program was in full swing. The shovel-ready jobs never appeared. Obama also wants to extend unemployment benefits from two to three years. Now there’s a plan to spur people to find work. Many people find that they make more on unemployment than they’d make working. Does anyone think it would spur the economy to keep the unemployment payments flowing for a third year? He also wants to extend the temporary payroll tax cut that didn’t do anything to improve the economy. That’s it – and it’s why the markets continued to tank.
Yes there are culprits – the evil fifth column, called The Tea Party – those radical people who demand that the government not borrow more than it can afford to repay.  If it wasn’t so absurd, I’d think that it was a Saturday Night Live skit.

Maps, Nose Art, and a Few Thoughts

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Find your own road

 

What Are Men Thinking?

 

2024 Campaign Launch

President Donald Trump could announce his 2024 plans as soon as Inauguration Day, if his legal battle over the presidential election falls short, according to a published report. …more here

It would be a reason for Republicans (with the exception of Mitt) to boycott the inauguration and go to the big rally.

 

Nose Art (Danger – Politically Incorrect)

The last of the nose art on display at the EAA Museum, Oshkosh, WI, a collection of roughly 3 dozen pieces saved at the last minute from being melted down as scrap.

 

Vietnam

Originally it was Annam, Tonkin and Cochin China before the French united them as Vietnam. Then it was part of French Indochina. Then the Japanese came (allied with Vichy France, run by the Nazis). Then the French came back (Free French) and then the Americans and then they left. Then the Vietnamese and they tossed out the ethnic Chinese (boat people). The Chinese tried to invade and had their asses kicked. I may have missed a step or two. The Red Chinese still want to rule the place.

(bove) Japanese troops, part of the first contingent of reinforcements sent under the Franco-Japanese Joint Defense Protocol, await orders to advance into Saigon, Vietnam. 1 October 1941.

Personal Aside: I’m an avid collector of French Indochinese Currency.

 

Fun with Maps

Plague Maps

 

 

Non Plague Maps

Where you can grow palm trees in the United States

 

UK population distribution if the UK was the US, which it is not, but you get the drift.

 

 

I like both banana bread and carrot cake.

 

Vaccine?

Bill Gates likes it.

Of General Interest

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Diversity Visas

More here. 

The terrorist, Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov was among the maximum 50,000 people allowed into the U.S. every year under the State Department diversity visa program.

Diversity visas draw people from nations generally hostile to the United States of America and its people and many who take advantage of the program are Muslims. Why would we want THEM to be HERE? 
Clearly, we need to host more Draw Mohammed contests around the nation to eliminate these vermin before they can kill honest, hard working people just out for a walk.

President Trump vowed to scrap the federal immigration program that allowed the New York City truck terrorist to enter the United States, and said “animals” like the suspect in Tuesday’s attack belong in Guantanamo Bay.

Gitmo was designed from the outset to keep foreign terrorists outside of the territorial USA where (once in the country) they would be tried under the US Criminal Code (Title 18, etc.). So Saipov won’t be going there. He’ll be tried for homicide and whatever else the New York penal code has to offer.

President Trump wants people to be allowed into the US on a merit-based system, which makes sense. Under that system, Muslims and others would be allowed entry ONLY if they’ve earned it. It’s a departure from the eight miserable Obama Years.
Toxic North Korea

On 1 November, The Asahi Shimbun Asia and Japan Watch reported that a North Korean military hospital in Chunghwa county in North Hwanghae Province was treating soldiers exposed to radiation from the nuclear tests, according to its source on North Korean affairs. The county borders Pyongyang.
The treatment is for soldiers who worked at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site and their families. More than a thousand members of a single regiment of the Korean People’s Army are deployed at Punggye-ri to dig tunnels and patrol the surroundings.
This is the first open source report of contamination and exposure to radiation of North Koreans at the nuclear test site since testing began in October 2006.
The report is from a single source and is not confirmed. It contained no information about the numbers of soldiers treated and whether family members also had been exposed to radiation and were being treated.
In late October, Radio Free Asia quoted Asia Press that outbreaks of typhoid fever have been occurring in Ryanggang Province, whose capital is Hyesan, on the Yalu River and the China border. Deaths from the disease reportedly have been increasing among older people.
This report has not been confirmed, but it is plausible. North Korea has been vulnerable to a variety of public health diseases that are usually associated with less developed countries. 
Cholera, typhus and typhoid outbreaks have been regular occurrences since at least the 1970s primarily because of foul water, poor sanitation and sewerage infrastructure, poor vaccination programs and neglect in boiling water before personal use.
Asia Press explained that the outbreaks in Ryanggang Province are from locals using untreated water from the Yalu River without boiling it. Public health has never been a national priority, except for brief periods during serious outbreaks. 
Mali

The first military operation by the forces from the Group of Five (G5) Sahel states, Operation Hawbi, was conducted on the borders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

A colonel from France’s anti-jihadist Operation Barkhane said that several hundred soldiers participated in a show of strength and presence. He commented that the French role is to provide advice and air and artillery support to Operation Hawbi.

 The area of the operation is not far from the village where four US military personnel were killed on 4 October. A French-language Belgian news service described the area as a hotbed for extremist groups.

The G5 Sahel force is a new regional counterterrorism force composed of units from Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania. The leaders of the five countries plan to field a force of up to 5 000 military, police and civilian personnel by March 2018.

The 5,000 will comprise two battalions each from Mali and Niger and one each from Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania.

On 30 October, the United States said it would pledge $60 million to support the force.

Unicorn Hunting (the video)

Don’t miss LSP’s UNICOR HUNT.

VIDEO HERE

The Blame Game

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It’s time to sharpen your knives. Take them to a leather strop when you’re finished with your stone work and bring them to a molecule thickness…sharper than a razor.

She wasn’t wrong.

A reckoning is what we’ve been asking for and it’s coming. It always works the same way with conspirators. The key is the grand jury. It’s a secret proceeding with only the prosector, the witness and the jury. There is no Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination and there is no right to have your attorney present. In fact, if you’re a conspirator — can you trust your attorney? Who does your attorney know, who will THEY tell?

So there you sit with the prosecutor and the grand jury. You don’t know what the other co-conspirators have said, so perjury is on the table if you lie. And with the conspiracy to create a coup to remove a lawfully elected president, comes overt acts that are crimes upon which the conspiracy swings.

Subpoenas will go out very soon if they have not been sent out already.

Adulterers Supervisory Special Agent Peter Strzok, FBI and FBI Counsel Lisa Page are blaming Loretta Lynch for the rigging of the Hillary investigation and her server and obstruction of justice.

Loretta Lynch was leaned on by former President Bill Clinton on behalf of Candidate Hillary Clinton to obstruct justice in the e-mail scandal then plaguing his wife. She’ll blame Bill. 
Bill Clinton, can not take the Fifth and must testify against his wife. Bill Clinton knows a lot about perjury…once bitten, twice shy?

Hillary Clinton — may not be called to testify, but she may get a target letter, which is common practice. (lock-her-up — see above)

Bruce Ohr now blames DOJ and FBI officials for ignoring his warning about Christopher Steele and the dossier. Will he throw his wife, an employee of Fusion GPS, under the bus?

Fired FBI chief James Comey is bashing Strzok, Page and Rod Rosenstein on national TV.

Rod Rosenstein is firing back at Comey.

Brennan and Clapper are buddies, but in a grand jury, Clapper will flip like a pancake on his old friend. Then where will Brennan be? Is there a target letter in the mailbox?

Andrew McCabe is attacking all of them. 

Susan Rice isn’t saying too much but she unmasked Trump campaign officials to implicate them in the phone Russian spy hoax. Will she roll on Barack?

Will Barack Hussein Obama get a target letter or will they throw him into the grand jury?

You know, I wish that I was a DC lawyer. I’d make enough to buy the airplane that I want. Drat, another missed opportunity.

New Years Eve Reprise

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The Holidays have passed, but this is your retrospective:

Nike – Up your Game

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Nike could improve their branding.
(h/t Woodsterman)

Handicapping the Third Debate

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Clinton/Westworld – a second debate highlight

What should we expect? I thought I’d delve.

I can’t help but wonder if we won’t see more flies on Hillary at the third debate. Maybe they’ll crawl across her eyeball in a tribute to the new HBO series, “Westworld” (remake). (here) (more here) It makes perfect sense if she is possessed by a demon, as some exorcists suggest.

I wouldn’t rule a seizure out on the part of Slick Willy. He didn’t seem any too pleased when Trump brought in the women that he’d abused and/or raped.

For the third time, Donald Trump will be debating against the news media. Chris Wallace is likely to be more fair than his predecessors, but time will tell. Wallace has been more fair than the shills at CNN or NBC in the past, but he’s part of the media community. The news media is desperate to destroy Trump. The Donald must overcome them (and the rampant fraud expected at polling places) to win the votes needed to triumph.

“Clinton Ground Game”

Voter fraud is what they can get away with now (see above). A President Clinton vows to open the borders and invite everyone who wants to cross — with the intent to break the political system forever (Wikileaks). Experts feel that the population of the US could double in four years with refugees flooding in from all corners of the world – arriving to full health care and welfare benefits. We’d be lucky to get away with a $30 trillion deficit by 2020.
Ok, back to handicapping the debate.

Slick Willy – a second debate highlight.

The media foamed at the mouth and recoiled in great horror when Trump suggested that if he won, he’d appoint a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of Hillary’s evil and criminal behavior. However you KNOW that Barack is in it as well, so the Dems are not just fighting for their political futures, they are also fighting to keep from being held to account. 

Would Barack be given exile rights in Kenya? From the news reports, he’s not all that popular back home, largely due to his advocacy for homosexuality. He’d have to find some country that would shelter him from the consequences of his actions. Maybe Barack and Hillary would end up in Russia living on the same floor of the same building as Snowden is? Would Putin grant sanctuary or would he allow them to be hauled back to the dock (in chains) and held to answer before a jury of their peers? While Barack is in exile in Russia, would he be compelled to take his mother-in-law (who now lives in the White House) with him?

We know that the People’s Republic of China is unlikely to give Barack and Hillary sanctuary. The same is true of Israel…however the North Koreans could put them to work in the pea fields. It would be the first honest work that either of them ever did.

Will Director Comey, the corrupt leader of the FBI, be paraded into the debate this time and placed front and center to look into Hillary’s reptilian eyes? I realize that he’s not a rape victim (or maybe he is and we don’t know), but Hillary doesn’t trust law enforcement and she might think that he cut a deal with Trump? It would be great theater. It could only be better if Hillary went into a grand mal seizure…but I don’t think that America is that lucky.

UPDATE: Maybe Sec. Clinton will be asked about the secret arms deal that she participated in in Libya? That would be worth the price of a bag of Cheetos.

Wind River (Movie Review)

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I haven’t spent a lot of time in Wind River Country/Lander Wyoming area for a couple of decades. It’s wild and beautiful country. Intelligence and SPECOPS people trained up there with mules, which were used extensively in the early days in Afghanistan before Big Army took over. 
When I was a kid, we used to be up there some summers and I loved it. I also loved Star Valley, WY and still have friends who live there today. 
The feature film, “Wind River” takes place in that same area. The cinematic work reminded me of the place and of the past, so there was a sentimental bent out of the gate.

I took some time out this weekend to see the film and I liked it. There were a few lines like, “there aren’t any millionaires in Jackson Hole, the billionaires pushed them out.” I recall Jackson Hole 50 years ago and today it’s unrecognizable. One liners aside, I found the story interesting and the action as honest as you’re going to find in a Hollywood production.

Cory Lambert is a Wyoming wildlife officer/game warden, who finds the body of an 18-year-old woman on an American Indian reservation in snowy Wyoming. Because it appears to be a murder, the tribal police are obliged to call the FBI. Jane Banner, an inexperienced FBI special agent arrives to run the investigation and they learn that the victim was raped at the postmortem. Teaming up with Lambert as a guide, the duo soon find that their lives are in danger while trying to solve the mystery of the teen’s death.

Art is a matter of personal preferences, but I recommend the movie as entertaining. I didn’t look at my wristwatch once while viewing the film.  

9/11 – Never Forget

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ALL Enemies, both foreign AND domestic…

I’ll let you decide which is which.

Before

The attack

Rebuilding

On September 12, 2001, what would you have given in the way of odds that President George W. Bush would be succeeded by a Muslim-affiliated, half negro, sexually ambiguous, child of communists from Chicago, that he’d do two terms and be followed into office by Donald J. Trump?

Some say that Barack Obama wasn’t a Muslim, though he was raised as one – for a while, anyway. He had a definite affinity toward Iran. But that he’d follow the 9/11 attack and take office during the Global War on Terror is one of the political paradoxes of our time.

Congress authorized CIA to engage in war against Islamic terror groups and then ruthlessly crushed that effort when Barack swept into office with Democrat majorities in the legislature.

The cause and effect of political turmoil (and international intrigue) in America is one of trying to maintain a republic in the face of serious enemies in the infrastructure.

___

I remember when Barack wanted to change the 9/11 Memorial Date to a celebration of community agitators (like himself) rather than recalling radical Islam.

 

___

Moving on

While reading a list of statistics from his teleprompter, Biden announced, “Military COVID infected, 118,984, military COVID deaths, 6,114.”

Those numbers do not match the official statistics from the Department of Defense, which show just over 40,000 U.S. military personnel have been infected, and only 7 have died.

Biden could issue a retraction blaming his handlers for the misstatement of facts, but then his handlers would be blaming themselves because Biden can only say what he’s told to say.

 

Against ALL enemies, both foreign and domestic.

 

The Secret Plans

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It may be that I’m the only one who notices that every single presidential candidate running for office is “working on his plan for America’s financial health”… except Herman Cain. The secret plans are getting a little old. When you announce that you want to be the leader of the free world, shouldn’t you already have a plan? 
Call me old fashioned if you will. (h/t Dale for the graphic, right)
The odious, coercive politics of ‘pass the bill so you can see what’s in it’ is at the same time what we’re seeing with the presidential field – none of whom want to come out with anything out of fear that it won’t be popular.
America has seen Obama’s plan and we know that it didn’t work. By extension, we know that his new plans (more stimulus, more debt, more spending) won’t work any better than his last one has. The hope and change fizzled and nobody in Europe is planning on pushing for another Nobel Prize or any other reward for Obama. He was acclaimed  for the color of his (father’s) skin. That’s about as far as it’s gone. Even though a black man can be president, we still have affirmative action and all of the welfare vestiges of Johnson’s Great Society.
Secret Plan Example: We know that Obama and friends had a plan to institute tough gun control in America. They would sell guns from America secretly to narcotics mafia members in Mexico and then have the Mexican Army seize them and demonstrate that there was a NEED for gun control. However, the secret plan didn’t work. 
What I don’t want to see is a field of Republican presidential candidates who all have ‘secret plans’ for America’s economic recovery. There is no need for a secret. TELL US and we’ll make up our minds for ourselves.
Explaining to me that you are working on a plan that I’m sure to like is not enough! Suggesting that once you’re in the White House, you’re going to unveil your new plan — is a secret plan. 
One parting shot: I hate the idea of a national VAT (Cain’s 9-9-9) and would rather see a flat income tax of somewhere around 18% for EVERYONE who earns money in America. No deductions for anything. However,  I’m sure that a lot of you will take exception with my suggestion.

International Update

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May Day in Mexico

I had to go to Mexico to meet people on the other side of the border, and picked May Day because it’s a national holiday in that country as the workers unite.  Thus, it’s easier to get around since people stayed home from work. I had a meeting at Tijuana Playas, which is there on the coast where the big march was trying to get over the border fence. The marchers took “International Worker’s Day” off too to celebrate their communist roots… which make it strange that they’d want to get into the US rather than enjoying the worker’s paradise that is Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador.
By all accounts, the next Mexican president will be a communist as that country does a Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren and moves HARD left. Naturally that will further bankrupt an economy teetering on collapse anyway. Nobody seems to learn from history. However in Mexico, the narcos call the shots whether the PRI (Socialist Party), PAN (Conservative Party) or PRD (Communist Party) is in charge.

Thoughts on the Taliban

Are the Taliban insurgents? Insurgency is a chronic condition that reflects a basic equation of manpower and resources between the combatants. 

The Taliban started as and have remained a popular movement, which is described as an ethnic and quasi-religious uprising. Most fighters are ethnic Pashtuns and have support from local Pashtun villages, even in northern Afghanistan. 
The label is important because it defines the problem and, perforce, the appropriate solution. Insurgencies have been defeated. No modern national military establishment has doctrine for defeating an ethnic uprising, except mass killings and repression.
Garda World’s extensive and lengthy tracking of security in Afghanistan shows that Taliban violence occurs in all but a handful of districts. In Garda World’s color-coded matrix, no region is green, that is, safe. Violence in a district implies influence.
The Taliban are a Pakistani-generated (Pushtun) challenge to the Afghan government in Kabul. They have said and demonstrated that they have no intention or calling to carry a message outside Afghanistan.
The Islamic State seeks to make Afghanistan a base for spreading by force their medieval beliefs and practices. The Islamic State leaders said their goal is to convert South Asia.
Kabul is presumably listed as under government control, but the suicide bombers of the Islamic State influence it heavily.
I think that President Bush (unwilling to strike Saudi Arabia after 9/11) found a convenient haven for Islamic training camps and struck it because we had to attack somebody. While it was a CIA war, it went rather well. Once Big Army showed up, it became a mess where the beltway made trillions on a war. And we’re still in the mess. We all know how it will end, don’t we?
Iran and Israel
Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei threatened the United States and its allies during a Monday speech to workers. He called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu a “liar” after Netanyahu accused Iran of deceiving the world about its nuclear program. 
Netanyahu reproduced what he said were copies of Iranian files detailing a project to build nuclear weapons, which was reportedly stopped 15 years ago. Iran said it had never sought to build a bomb when it signed an international deal to curb nuclear activity in 2015.
Netanyahu’s presentation was forceful, but I have some concerns. The graphics contained no links that established that they came from the Iranian trove or any trove. Some deference to the chain of custody is essential in a briefing meant to incriminate. Most of the images on the graphics are available on the Internet. 
The content of the files might make the case of a secret nuclear program, but the content of the briefing did not make that case. In my experience, graphics intended to persuade an audience must be self-proving, without explanations.
A second concern is the sheer volume of the trove would require large numbers of experts fluent in Farsi and nuclear technical terminology in Farsi months just to get a cursory sense of what the files and the CDs contained.
A third concern is the absence of dates and security classifications. The “Manhattan Project” was heavily classified. Every information security system insists on dating materials. None of the graphics contained dates or security markings.
Nuclear experts familiar with the many reports on Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have posted to the web their judgment that Prime Minister Netanyahu presented no information about Iran that was not already in the public domain. He did not prove his case, but his delivery was top-drawer.
Israel-Syria
Israel attacked Iranian targets in Syria again. Syrian government sources reported that rockets struck military bases near Hama and Aleppo during the night of 29 April. Arab news sources said that the targeted bases contained several missile warehouses and were staffed with Syrian army soldiers and Iranian revolutionary guards. 
The Jerusalem Post reported the targets were an underground missile production facility and a depot for surface-to-air missiles. The production facility at Hama was built in a mountainside supposedly by North Koreans and financed by Iran. The explosion there registered 2.6 on the Richter scale. Eyewitness reported seeing massive fireballs.
The missile storage facility was near Aleppo.
A Syrian army source told al Masdar News that the Israeli military was responsible for the attacks. The source claimed that the attacking aircraft were F-35s. He said more than 30 Syrian and Iranian soldiers were killed. 
Sky News Arabia reported 18 killed and more than 60 wounded. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 26 deaths, mostly Iranians.
A retired Israeli intelligence chief judged that Israel has expanded its targeting strategy, “if the Israelis are responsible.” He said the targets previously were convoys or recent shipments. The targets on 29 April were hardened production and storage facilities.
Israeli defense minister Liberman said the Israelis are prepared for retaliation. Iranian initiatives to expand their infrastructure and presence in Syria is forcing the Israelis to escalate the air campaign and to strike deeper into Syria.
Parliament empowered the Prime Minister. The Israeli parliament passed a law authorizing the prime minister in consultation with the Defense Minister to declare war in “extreme circumstances.” Previously that decision required a vote of the Cabinet. This gives the prime minister unprecedent authority to manage the Syrian and Iranian accounts, provided no casualties result, and the situation requires urgency.
Ukraine
Ukrainian President Poroshenko announced the start of new operations in the east. President Poroshenko officially declared on 30 April that the ongoing anti-terror operation in Donbass (rebel-held eastern Ukraine) was over and that the Joint Forces Operation would begin.

“Starting today the large-scale anti-terror operation in the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions is coming to an end,” Poroshenko said. “Now we are starting a military operation led by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to ensure protection of territorial integrity.” 

The new plan is expected to “bring drastic changes,” giving Ukraine’s army additional powers and control over units of the National Guard, the Security Services and the National Police. 
The map is the latest from the Ukrainian National Security Information Analysis Center. The line of contact remains essentially unchanged. Exchanges of fire are heaviest opposite Donetsk.
This announcement coincides with Ukraine’s receipt of US-made Javelin anti-tank missiles.
Most of Poroshenko’s announcements are theatrical, for dramatic effect. This order primarily is an organizational change that expands army control of security and law enforcement agencies in the east. Poroshenko’s announcement does not signify an offensive against Donetsk and Luhansk.
The US intention to provide the weapons has been public knowledge since March. The Russians have had time to prepare a response by their proxies.

FREE SPEECH & The Police

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The Right to Free Speech ->

Before you watch the video, I want you to consider your rights to self expression in a free land. I want you to ponder what you always wanted to tell the police when they stopped you for a minor traffic violation.

Maybe one day the police will be warm and caring. Maybe one day they will give up eating red meat for tofu. Maybe one day they will take flower arranging classes instead of martial arts to get in touch with their inner child. Maybe one day they will turn in their semi-automatic handguns for less lethal feather-dusters. Maybe one day you will be able to get away with insulting them at will without ending up in the gray-bar hotel or looking up while laying flat on a gurney in the emergency room of a hospital.
But it’s not one day. It’s today.
And discretion is the better part of valor.
Sometimes “Sorry Officer” is not quite enough.